It’s Monday, November 18. In today’s newsletter: Andrew Giuliani, impeachment hearings, and whether American cities have measurable personalities.
« TODAY IN POLITICS »
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The Other Giuliani
He works for President Trump. His last name is Giuliani.
I’m talking about Andrew Giuliani, who works in the White House’s Office of Public Liaison, where he makes about $90,000 and is one of the longest-serving members of the Trump administration.
What does he do, exactly? He’s the 31-year-old son of Rudy, the former New York City mayor turned Trump’s garrulous personal attorney. A former professional golfer, Andrew helps arrange sports teams’ visits to the White House, and often joins the president on some rounds of golf.
Beyond that, well, it’s not quite clear what he else he works on, as my colleague Elaina Plott reports:
“‘He doesn’t really try to be involved in anything,’ one former senior White House official told me, speaking on the condition of anonymity in order to be candid. ‘He’s just having a nice time.’”
This Giuliani is also known for being loyal to Trump—some former White House officials told Elaina that Trump even serves as something of a father figure. But can he safeguard his comfortable position now that his dad Rudy finds himself at the epicenter of the Ukraine-impeachment maelstrom?
As a reminder: Giuliani (the elder) faces allegations that he executed a shadow foreign policy in asking the Ukrainians to dig up dirt on Joe Biden and his son. Giuliani’s alleged hand in one certain quid pro quo, a key part of the whistle-blower complaint that first brought the scandal to light.
But when Elaina talked to Giuliani in late September shortly after Nancy Pelosi announced a formal impeachment inquiry, he didn’t see it that way. Between rants about the Bidens, Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama, the media, and the deep state, Giuliani told her: “It is impossible that the whistle-blower is a hero and I’m not.”
During the impeachment hearings last week, witnesses repeatedly pointed to Giuliani, who’s reportedly under investigation himself, as the Trump associate out to undermine career diplomats.
But even as Trump has disposed of adviser after adviser, he hasn’t yet stabbed Giuliani in the back. He might have more to lose from canning Giuliani than by keeping him around, my colleague David Graham has argued.
« CATCH UP / HEADS UP »
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First, a quick review of some weekend activity:
‣ Trump granted pardons to three servicemen accused or convicted of war crimes: He wants his warfighters “unconstrained by modern laws of armed conflict,” Graeme Wood writes.
‣ The White House announced the recipients of the National Medal of Arts award. The choices demonstrate how even arts awards are being bent to the president’s political preferences, writes Peter Nicholas, who first learned about these picks last week.
‣ Pete Buttigieg surged to the top of the Democratic field in one new poll out of Iowa. But “his ascent is driving a wedge between Iowa progressives,” Elaine Godfrey has reported. Here’s what they told her.
The week ahead:
‣ Tuesday, November 19: Alexander Vindman, a vice presidential aide Jennifer Williams, Kurt Volker, and Tim Morrison are all scheduled to testify in the first day of a marathon of public impeachment hearings this week.
‣ Wednesday, November 20: Gordon Sondland, whom many are eyeing as the marquee witness this week, will testify. He’ll need to get his story straight. Also on the schedule: Laura Cooper and David Hale, a high-ranking state department official.
The fifth of the Democratic presidential debates will feature 10 candidates—no new faces.
‣ Thursday, November 21: The final day of scheduled public hearings will feature Fiona Hill and David Holmes, both of whom seemed to have front-row seats to the administration’s alleged shadow Ukraine diplomacy.
‣ Friday, November 22: Twitter’s ban on political advertising is scheduled to go into effect. The company’s decision contrasts with Facebook’s, but doubt anyone who has full confidence about whether one stance or the other is correct, Conor Friedersdorf has argued.
« ARGUMENT OF THE DAY »
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Deval Patrick’s entry into the Democratic primary suggests a greater concern that more centrist, establishment Democrats have over the leftward swing of their party. But they’re misdiagnosing the origins of America’s polarization, Adam Serwer writes.
In the past, swings of political fortune have restored balance. But the alignment of the parties along cultural, racial, and religious lines, and the geographical distribution of those divisions, have allowed the wealthy to exploit cultural resentments and counter-majoritarian choke points in the American system to sustain a destructive stalemate.
« EVENING READ »
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Do different cities have measurably different overall personalities? There’s research for that. Olga Khazan reports:
Researchers analyzed surveys that “asked 3 million people 44 questions about their habits and dispositions. [They] focused on neuroticism, a tendency to feel depressed or anxious and to respond more severely to stress. Neuroticism is one of the ‘big five’ traits that psychologists often use to measure personality. The study authors compared each county’s level of neuroticism with whether those counties later voted for Trump in the 2016 election, and whether they had historically voted for Republicans.
Today’s edition of our daily newsletter of political ideas and arguments was written by Saahil Desai and Christian Paz, and edited by Shan Wang.
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