The Atlantic Politics & Policy Daily: Tulsi Talks

The representative from Hawaii’s campaign has defied expectations, even as she herself remains an enigma. Plus, why the 2020 campaigns could fall for another hack, à la 2016.

Scott Morgan / Reuters
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What We’re Following Today

It’s Thursday, September 5.

‣ Jason Greenblatt, the White House’s top negotiator for its long-awaited, long-delayed Middle East peace plan, will resign, President Donald Trump confirmed.

‣ Hundreds of thousands of homes and businesses are without power in South Carolina, as Hurricane Dorian pounds the coast of the Carolinas.

Here’s what else we’re watching.

Can’t Stop, Won’t Stop (Running): Less than a week remains before the special election in North Carolina’s Ninth Congressional District. Dan McCready can’t wait: He’s been running for Congress for the past three years, and during that time saw his would-be opponent lose a primary, lost the 2018 midterm race by 900 votes, and then witnessed his opponent’s win disqualified by the state’s board of elections. “I’m ready to be done,” he told David A. Graham, who is reporting from Charlotte on the infamous “do-over” election.  But if McCready wins, he’ll have to then turn to his 2020 reelection.

But Their Emails: Experts continue to warn of the credible risk for another major hack this election cycle, Uri Friedman reports. Note, for example, that only four candidates have implemented policies that “would prevent emails spoofing their campaign-site domains from reaching the inboxes of voters, donors, reporters, or other recipients.”

Does Anyone Really Know Tulsi Gabbard?: The representative from Hawaii says she’s staying in the presidential race despite not qualifying for next week’s Democratic-primary debate, but that’s not the main reason she’s mystifying to political observers. She’s running an unconventional campaign with unconventional supporters, Edward-Isaac Dovere reports: “Good politicians are smooth. Gabbard is beyond smooth. She’s unflappable to the point of being confounding.”

Adding to the Congressional Retirement Train: The second-longest-serving House Republican, James Sensenbrenner of Wisconsin, announced that he won’t seek reelection (the 15th House Republican to announce a retirement). First elected in 1978, he was an original sponsor of the Patriot Act in 2001.


(Scott Olson / Getty; Ramon Espinosa / AP; Jose Jimenez / Getty)

Across the Bahamas, rescue efforts are under way as the official death toll after Hurricane Dorian swept through the islands climbed to 20. See more images compiled by our photo editor Alan Taylor here.

Ideas From The Atlantic

Trump’s Most Pointless Lie (David A. Graham)
“No single subject has transfixed the president so consistently over the past week as attempting to prove that, at some point in the past, Hurricane Dorian was headed to Alabama.” → Read on.

Elite Failure Has Brought Americans to the Edge of an Existential Crisis (Derek Thompson)
“The nuclear family, religious fealty, and national pride—family, God, and country—are a holy trinity of American traditionalism. The fact that allegiance to all three is in precipitous decline tells us something important about the evolution of the American identity.” → Read on.

What Else We’re Reading

Congress promised student borrowers a break. The Department of Education rejected 99% of them. (Cory Turner, NPR)

Julián Castro’s climate plan addresses environmental racism (Amal Ahmed, Texas Observer)

Conservatives: We’ll spill blood to keep our guns (Matt Ford, The New Republic)

Trumpworld anxiety grows over a rising Elizabeth Warren (Hanna Trudo and Asawin Suebsaeng, Daily Beast)

Tensions mount between Trump, Pence camps heading into 2020 election (Tom LoBianco, Yahoo News)

About us: This newsletter is a daily effort from The Atlantic’s politics writer Elaine Godfrey, with help from Christian Paz. It was edited by Shan Wang.