It’s Monday, October 28. Today, how the President plans to use Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi’s death on the campaign trail. Plus, boos at a World Series game. Finally, why Nancy Pelosi wants this one particular impeachment inquiry vote.
This was never going to be Trump’s bin Laden moment.
The first whisper of the news came—how else?—in a teaser of a tweet from President Donald Trump late Saturday night, “Something very big has just happened!” Then, silence.
The next morning, Trump made the official announcement: U.S. Special Forces had killed the leader of the Islamic State, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.
“With Baghdadi’s death, Trump can try to shift the conversation and showcase his credentials as commander in chief. He can recount this story on the campaign trail for the next 12 months, delighting his base with details that he learned—and can declassify at will—while watching the operation unfold in real time.”
“In some cases, a group simply carries on with a designated successor, like al-Qaeda under Ayman al-Zawahiri following the death of bin Laden; in others, the death of a leader can fracture a terrorist group into violent, competing factions, as has been observed among some Mexican drug cartels.”
The Week Ahead
(Jonathan Ernst / Reuters)
🗓 Wednesday, October 30: Somehow, the Mueller investigation is back, in a way—this is the deadline for the DOJ to turn over certain materials to the House Judiciary Committee.
🗓 Friday, November 1: The president hosts another “Keep America Great” rally, this time in Mississippi.
(KITTIBOWORNPHATNON / SHUTTERSTOCK / KATIE MARTIN / THE ATLANTIC)
Greg Walden, Republican representative, Oregon, retiring after 11 terms: “Walden had risen to the top of the party hierarchy in the House,” Russell Berman writes. “Knowing how his decision would be perceived, Walden made a point of saying in his statement that he was ‘confident’ he would have won reelection and optimistic that Republicans could regain the House.”
Katie Hill, Democratic representative, California, resigning after 10 months in office. “Her decision came after she acknowledged last week that she had an “inappropriate” relationship with a campaign staffer,” Russell writes. “Though her district is trending Democratic, Republicans are likely to make an aggressive push to retake it in a special election.”
John Kelly, the previous chief of staff: “Speaking at the Washington Examiner’s Sea Island Summit, Kelly took an implicit swipe at his embattled successor, Mick Mulvaney, by recounting a warning he said he offered the president as he left the job.” David Graham parses the noteworthy comments.
Tom Perez, Democratic National Committee chairman: Perez has what may be the most hated job in Washington—he’s mediating the largest presidential primary in modern American history while also building a political machine strong enough to take on Donald Trump when a nominee is chosen. How’s he doing?
(Amber Searls / USA TODAY Sports / Reuters)
What happens when the president makes an appearance before a large crowd of people who weren’t screened? Things are not so friendly, as demonstrated at Game 5 of the World Series held at Nationals Park, our Ideas columnist Conor Friedersdorf writes.
Argument of the Day
(Matt Juriado / Getty)
Two Yale Law School students make a constitutional case for gun control:
When we urge the government to enact universal background checks, raise the legal age to purchase firearms from 18 to 21, and ban the sale of assault weapons, we are seeking to use the government’s regulatory authority—rather than, say, the arming of every schoolteacher—to defend ourselves and our children. That the gun-rights movement has somehow managed to monopolize the constitutional mantle of “self-defense” is as impressive a PR feat as it is absurd.