10 Things in Politics: Dems talk about Bidenless 2024

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Here's what we're talking about:


Joe Biden

1. ON THE CAMPAIGN TRAIL: President Joe Biden has his party frozen. Biden may be riding high on the House finally passing his bipartisan $1.2 trillion infrastructure plan, but some in the party are looking to 2024.

Here's what party insiders are privately discussing:

"He will be in his 80s — is it really that crazy to ask?" one Democratic strategist told Insider. Publicly, Biden has insisted he will run for reelection. But privately, Democrats are talking about what'd happen if Biden were to bow out.

  • The timing is delicate: "They're already having a hard time getting anything done. Imagine what it would be like if the GOP knew he was a lame duck," the strategist said of fears that Biden's political standing would collapse if lawmakers knew he was done.

If not Biden … then whom?: "We don't have a clear candidate for president in 2024," said former Rep. Jim Moran, a Biden supporter and friend. Vice President Kamala Harris would become the immediate frontrunner, but she is facing a historically low approval rating.

Read more about what Democrats are talking about if Biden decides not to run again.


2. Celebrations follow US's border reopening: "They look at it as a light at the end of the tunnel for some return of normalcy," Eileen Bigelow, the area port director for Vermont for Customs and Border Protection, told the Associated Press of the first day the US reopened to many vaccinated international travelers. Reporters found happy families at airports from coast to coast and in other parts found parents and grandparents for the first time holding children who had been born abroad during the coronavirus pandemic. More from a jubilant day.


3. Mitch McConnell says he'd support Trump if Trump wins the GOP nomination in '24: Former President Donald Trump has continued to rail against McConnell, telling The Washington Post in a new interview that the only reason McConnell was at the helm of the Senate's Republican caucus was that he "raises a lot of money." McConnell told the paper he'd still support Trump in 2024 if Trump managed to win the Republican Party's presidential nomination a second time. More on the back-and-forth between two of the most powerful Republicans.


4. Capitol riot committee subpoenas Michael Flynn and other Trump aides: John Eastman, a legal scholar who was said to have written a memo for then-Vice President Mike Pence saying the vice president had the power to unilaterally derail Congress' certification of US elections, is among the six Trump associates whom lawmakers want to hear from. Three of the subpoenas are addressed to people who attended a January 5 meeting at a hotel where a "command center" or "war room" was led by Rudy Giuliani. More on the latest move by the House select committee investigating the insurrection.


Jesse Moss

5. Buttigieg documentarian dishes on his exclusive access: Jesse Moss saw the trailblazing candidate and his husband, Chasten, bicker over home-improvement projects, go on a date at Dairy Queen, and have a tense conversation about whether Chasten Buttigieg should go onstage as his husband claimed victory in Iowa in February 2020. Moss said both Buttigiegs had seen the documentary set to begin streaming on Amazon on November 12. Read more from Insider's interview with Moss, including what will happen to all of the unused footage.


6. GOP lawmaker tweets edited meme in which he slashes AOC: Rep. Paul Gosar of Arizona posted an edited anime scene on Twitter on Sunday evening that depicts him attacking Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. The "Attack on Titan" spoof, titled "Attack of Immigrants," shows a sword-wielding anime character with Gosar's face edited on it slashing a giant with Ocasio-Cortez's face. Ocasio-Cortez issued a scathing response, predicting that Gosar was unlikely to face congressional punishment.


7. Tesla stock drops following Elon Musk's bizarre Twitter poll: Tesla stock fell as much as 7% after Musk proposed selling 10% of his massive holding of the electric-car maker's shares depending on which way a Twitter poll went. Musk previously said he planned to sell stock this year. More on the world's richest person musing about his fortune on Twitter. | He also tweeted a crude joke at a Democratic senator.


8. White House goes to bat to defend vaccine-or-testing mandate: The Biden administration told a federal court that delaying its mandate of vaccination or COVID-19 testing for companies with more than 100 employees "would likely cost dozens or even hundreds of lives per day," Politico reports. Over the weekend, a federal judge temporarily blocked the policy amid a barrage of conservative legal challenges. The details on the legal fight over one of Biden's key COVID-19 policies.


9. Astroworld attendee sues Travis Scott after the event turned deadly: ​​The suit says Drake, who was a special guest at the festival and is also named in the lawsuit, "came on stage alongside Scott and helped incite the crowd" into actions that seriously injured Kristian Paredes, who was at the front of the general-admission section, which was separated from the VIP section by a metal gate. Eight people died and hundreds more were injured during Scott's set. More on the fallout from the concert.

  • Horrifying quote: "When he collapsed, concertgoers trying to escape their own suffocation caused by the crowd rush trampled over his body like a piece of trash," the Houston attorney Tony Buzbee told reporters of Axel Acosta, 21.

Insider video


10. SpaceX returns four astronauts to Earth: "Their homecoming — coming just eight hours after leaving the International Space Station — paved the way for SpaceX's launch of their four replacements as early as Wednesday night," the AP reports. More on what's next.


Today's trivia question: What musician released a compilation album under a strict revenue-sharing agreement with the IRS? Email your answer and a suggested question to me at bgriffiths@insider.com.

  • Friday's answer: Robert Todd Lincoln had close ties to the presidential assassinations of his father as well as Presidents James Garfield and William McKinley. "My, God," he told The New York Times after Garfield's shooting. "How many hours of sorrow I have passed in this town."
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