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Here’s why Joe Biden chose Kamala Harris as his VP

Harris, who ran unsuccessfully for the Democratic presidential nomination earlier this year, had been the front-runner to be Biden’s pick for months because, well, she simply made sense.

* She has experience in government — as both the California attorney general and as a US senator since 2017

* At 55 years old, she represents a younger generation of leader — something that Biden, who will be 78 on Inauguration Day 2021, said was a major factor in his choice

* She is a historic pick as the first Black and South Asian American woman to appear on a major party’s national ticket

* She’s from California, a massive treasure trove of both Democratic votes and Democratic donors

* She emerged as an outspoken voice on race — and the need for police reform — following the death of George Floyd in May and the subsequent protests it sparked around the country

There was no one else on Biden’s VP shortlist that checked so many boxes.

What’s telling is that Biden — and his team — didn’t feel the need to reach for a less predictable pick. They knew that while picking Harris would draw considerable attention, it would also be the thing most people expected them to do. Despite the historic nature of putting Harris on the ticket, Biden and his advisers knew that selecting Harris might be described by some as unsurprising.

But one man’s “unsurprising” is another man’s “safe.” And that’s exactly what Harris is — and what Biden believes he needs.

See, if you are Joe Biden, making your third run for president and ahead in virtually every swing state and nationally over President Donald Trump, every day between now and November 3 you want to do nothing that threatens to change the underlying dynamics of the race. And those underlying dynamics are that this election is a referendum on Trump’s first term in office and, more specifically, the deeply haphazard and erratic way in which he has handled the coronavirus pandemic in the country.

Under that theory of the case, Biden needs to spend most of his time convincing voters that Trump deserves to be fired and a (relatively) small amount of time making sure they believe he could do the job in the incumbent’s place.

What that all means is that Biden wants the race to be about him as little as possible. He doesn’t want to turn this into 2016 all over again, in which Hillary Clinton was forced by Trump to play defense over her time (and emails) at the State Department. He doesn’t want the race to turn into a war of words or a battle to see who can sink lower in terms of personal attacks.

And so, in making the most important decision of his campaign, Biden abided by that approach. He wanted to, above all, do no harm.

Picking former US Ambassador to the United Nations Susan Rice, who saw her fortunes soar in the finals days of the veepstakes, undoubtedly appealed to Biden, since he had the closest personal relationship with her and believed she could help him heal the wounds, internationally, that Trump has created. But Rice’s ties to the attacks in Benghazi, Libya — not to mention her presence in a January 20, 2017, meeting on Michael Flynn — created clear attack lines for Trump’s campaign to turn the spotlight from his flailing bid to Biden and Rice.

Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms was, without question, one of Biden’s most trusted, effective and loyal surrogates throughout the 2020 race. She was with him when no one thought he could come back from dismal finishes in Iowa and New Hampshire. But with her time as mayor of Atlanta being her highest level of experience in elected office, Biden would open himself up to questions about whether she would be ready to take on the top job at a moment’s notice.

California Rep. Karen Bass’ time as speaker of the State Assembly in California and her ability to appeal to Democrats of all ideological stripes made her an attractive choice. But past comments about Fidel Castro and Scientology — and Bass’ shaky responses when pushed on those comments — suggested that she might not be ready for the full glare of the national spotlight.

Harris, by contrast, had no obvious weakness that the Trump campaign would exploit.

Yes, it would note — as it did shortly after the pick was announced! — that she had slammed Biden’s stance on segregated busing in a June 2019 presidential debate. (“Not long ago, Kamala Harris called Joe Biden a racist and asked for an apology she never received,” said Trump campaign spokeswoman Katrina Pierson.) But it’s hard to see that attack doing much damage, given that Biden made history by picking Harris.

Is the he’s-a-secret-racist message really going to resonate given not only that but also a series of examples of Trump weaponizing White animosity toward minorities during his time in office? No way. And, while her prosecutor past in California might rankle some liberals who believed she was too aggressive in policing, it’s equally hard to imagine that liberals — faced with the prospect of four more years of Trump — would abandon Biden because of it.

What Biden did is make the pick that maximized his chances of continuing to make the race a straight referendum on Trump while also selecting someone, in Harris, whose resume suggests will be ready to step in if and when Biden decides to step aside.

This is the VP choice of a confident candidate, and campaign, who believe they are winning. And who believe that, as long they execute the basics of the campaign between now and November 3, Biden will be sworn in as the 46th president on January 20, 2021.

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Joe Biden said he would pick a woman as his running mate. Here’s who could be on his list

Biden, throughout his presidential run, has mentioned a host of women as possible vice-presidential picks, including former primary rivals California Sen. Kamala Harris, Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar and Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren.

After announcing his commitment to selecting a woman as his running mate, Biden is prepared to run a “vigorous vetting process” to determine his vice president pick should he become the Democratic presidential nominee, according to a Biden campaign official.

“Joe Biden is familiar with the process of selecting a Vice Presidential candidate, having been on the opposite end of the process in 2008,” a Biden campaign official says.

The official declined to provide any further details about the process, including when it will begin.

Here is what Biden has said about some of the women who could be his running mate:

Kamala Harris

Harris, a former Democratic presidential candidate, is widely seen as a top contender to be Biden’s running mate.

Biden and Harris are close because the former vice president’s late son, Beau Biden, served as attorney general in Delaware at the same time that Harris held that position in California.

After Harris ended her presidential bid — and announcement that seemed to take Biden by surprise — the former vice president said he would consider her to be his running mate, should he win the nomination.

“She is solid. She can be president someday herself. She can be the vice president. She can go on to be a Supreme Court justice. She can be attorney general. I mean, she has enormous capability,” he said.

When pressed, Biden said he would “of course” consider Harris as a running mate.

In the midst of a tough primary, one where the two got into a high-profile clash at the Democratic debate in June, Harris joked with reporters that “if people want to speculate about running mates, I encourage that, because I think that Joe Biden would be a great running mate.”

Amy Klobuchar

CNN Democratic Presidential Town Hall with Minnesota Senator Amy Klobuchar

Klobuchar’s endorsement before Super Tuesday helped propel Biden to big wins across the country, but especially in her home state of Minnesota.

When Biden was asked in Iowa if he would commit to a Biden-Klobuchar ticket, he said he would “look very closely” at choosing a woman and said that there were at least eight women who he thinks would qualify for the role.

“I could name for you eight women who would easily qualify to be President of the United States and vice-presidential pick,” Biden said.

Biden also said this month that Klobuchar, along with New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker and Harris, were “all capable of being president.”

Klobuchar, while stumping for Biden in Michigan recently, slipped and said she “couldn’t think of a better way to end my candidacy than join the ticket” before correcting herself and saying, “joining the terrific campaign of Joe Biden.”

Elizabeth Warren

Warren hasn’t endorsed anyone in the Democratic nomination fight since ending her presidential campaign earlier this month, but Biden has been up front about the Massachusetts senator being on his vice-presidential shortlist.

“I’d add Senator Warren to the list,” he told Axios in December, before any voting had taken place. “But she’s going to be very angry at my having said that. … The question is would she add me made to her list.”

One notable issue: Biden and Warren are ideologically at odds, something that the former vice president has said he would like to avoid when picking his running mate.

Gretchen Whitmer

democratic response michigan gretchen whitmer state of the union address full vpx_00010415

The Michigan governor has something going for her: She comes from a state that Democrats see as critical to their success in 2020.

And Whitmer was on stage recently when Biden compared himself to a “bridge” to younger, accomplished Democrats.

“Look, I view myself as a bridge, not as anything else,” Biden said. “There’s an entire generation of leaders you saw stand behind me. They are the future of this country.”

But Whitmer has seemingly already taken herself out of the running.

“I think it is important that he has a woman running mate, to be honest. I think that there are a lot of phenomenal potential running mates for him,” Whitmer told MSNBC on Monday. “It’s not going to be me, but I am going to have a hand in helping make sure that he has the rounded-out ticket that can win.”

Stacey Abrams

Stacey Abrams nr 04092019

Abrams, the Democratic gubernatorial nominee in Georgia in 2018 and the former minority leader in the state House of Representatives, is seen as a rising star in the Democratic Party, leading many top Democrats to privately suggest her as a running mate.

Abrams was among a host of Democratic women Biden said he would see as a potential running mate in November, referring to her as “the woman who should have been the governor of Georgia.”

Abrams has devoted herself to voting rights since losing the gubernatorial race and comes from a state where Democrats see the potential to make inroads in 2020 up and down the ballot. But the Georgia Democrat also has very little experience on the national stage.

Maggie Hassan and Jeanne Shaheen

The two New Hampshire Democratic senators were among women that Biden mentioned in November as potential running mates.

They are both seen as longshot picks — neither has the name recognition of other possible candidates on this list.

“There’s an incredible number of people,” Biden said in November, including “the two senators from the state of New Hampshire.”

Laura Epstein, a Hassan spokeswoman, responded to Biden’s speculation by saying, “Sen. Hassan is flattered to be mentioned, but believes that the biggest impact that she can make for the people of New Hampshire is serving as a U.S. Senator.”

Sally Yates

Yates, the deputy attorney general under former President Barack Obama, was also mentioned in the list of candidates Biden said he would consider, referring to her as “the former assistant attorney general who got fired.”

Sho served as acting attorney general for 10 days in January 2017 before she left the Trump administration, but is an unlikely pick.

Yates, who is from Georgia, endorsed Biden this month.

Michelle Obama

To be clear: This is highly unlikely.

But Biden, at an event in Iowa earlier this year, was asked by a voter if he would nominate “Obama” to the Supreme Court.

He said yes, but that he likely wouldn’t want it. The voter asked, “The question is… which Obama?”

“Well, I sure wish Michelle would be the Vice President,” Biden replied with a smile.

The former first lady has said repeatedly that she won’t run for office because she is “not interested in politics.”

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Here’s What We Know About Russia’s ‘New Playbook’ for Election Meddling in 2020

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U.S. intelligence officials told a House committee last week that Russia is attempting to meddle in the 2020 presidential election on behalf of President Donald Trump, according to a New York Times report on Thursday. And they’re reportedly using a “new playbook” to do so.

In 2016, the Russian government created troll armies and impersonated Americans and American groups in 2016, but now, it’s cutting out the middleman and just trying to get Americans to repeat blatantly false information themselves, the intelligence officials reportedly told Congress. The government is also allegedly working from U.S.-based servers rather than ones in Russia, the officials reportedly said, an attempt to circumvent monitoring by U.S. intelligence agencies.

The National Security Agency also apparently told House lawmakers that Russian hackers have “infiltrated” Iran’s cyberwarfare unit, “perhaps with the intent of launching attacks” and making it appear that they come from Iran. And lawmakers were also warned that “foreign powers” could use ransomware attacks to incapacitate or pry with voting systems and registration databases. Last year, there were ransomware attacks on at least 140 state and local government and healthcare providers in the U.S., CNN reported in October.

The briefing also included a revelation that Russia intended to interfere with both the 2020 Democratic primaries and the general election, the Times reported. Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s report released last year found that the Russian government had also tried to influence the 2016 Democratic primary.

One tactic that hasn’t changed, intelligence officials reportedly said, is that the Russian government is looking to exploit existing controversies and close election results to question the integrity of the American political system.

READ: Trump and Putin joked about election interference and killing journalists

“The message was, ‘it appears they’re favoring one candidate over another, and everybody should be cautious,’” a CBS News source who attended the Hill meeting told the network.

The report wasn’t exactly what the GOP wanted to hear. Trump was reportedly “angered” by the disclosure, believing it would be used against him by the Democrats. He reportedly “berated” acting director of national intelligence Joseph Maguire — whose aide, Shelby Pierson, reportedly delivered the briefing — for allowing it to happen.

Administration officials sought to downplay Pierson’s report, which, according to the Times, was “the conclusion of multiple intelligence agencies.”

“A more reasonable interpretation of the intelligence is not that they have a preference, it’s a step short of that. It’s more that they understand the President is someone they can work with, he’s a dealmaker,” a “national security official” told CNN. “But not that they prefer him over (Bernie) Sanders or (Pete) Buttigieg or anyone else. So it may have been mischaracterized by Shelby.”

Trump replaced Maguire with U.S. ambassador to Germany and former Fox News contributor Richard Grenell this week. Administration officials said the timing was coincidental, according to the Times.

READ: The Russian group that hacked the DNC has now breached the company at the center of Trump’s impeachment

Republican lawmakers at the meeting also reportedly defended Trump from the assertion that Russia would intervene on his behalf, including Utah Rep. Chris Stewart. “I’d challenge anyone to give me a real-world argument where Putin would rather have President Trump and not Bernie Sanders,” Stewart told the Times.

Democratic Rep. Adam Schiff — the House Intelligence Committee chair, whose presence at the meeting particularly irked Trump, according to the Times — said in a Thursday tweet that “We count on the intelligence community to inform Congress of any threat of foreign interference in our elections.”

“If reports are true and the President is interfering with that, he is again jeopardizing our efforts to stop foreign meddling,” Schiff continued. “Exactly as we warned he would do.”

Cover: Russian President Vladimir Putin addresses during his meeting in the Federal Security Service (FSB) headquarters in Moscow, Russia, Thursday, Feb. 20, 2020. (Alexei Druzhinin, Sputnik, Kremlin Pool Photo via AP)

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POLITICO Playbook PM: Pelosi is sending impeachment to the Senate. Here’s what’s next.

BREAKING … SPEAKER NANCY PELOSI announced in a letter to Democrats that she is setting up a vote to send the articles of impeachment to the SENATE next week: “I have asked Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler to be prepared to bring to the Floor next week a resolution to appoint managers and transmit articles of impeachment to the Senate. I will be consulting with you at our Tuesday House Democratic Caucus meeting on how we proceed further.

“In an impeachment trial, every Senator takes an oath to ‘do impartial justice according to the Constitution and laws.’ Every Senator now faces a choice: to be loyal to the President or the Constitution.” The full letterMore from Heather Caygle and John Bresnahan

TO REVIEW: DEMOCRATS say holding the articles fostered a conversation about whether witnesses should be involved in the impeachment trial. But, they concede, they were not able to win on other fronts. Many of their demands went completely ignored or dismissed by Senate Republicans. They didn’t get a say in the trial rules or even get to see the rules. But time was running out, and Democrats were beginning to get frustrated.

SO, LET’S PROJECT OUT A BIT: PELOSI is saying she’ll talk about this at caucus Tuesday. So, we can probably assume a Tuesday or Wednesday vote.

THE SENATE’S IMPEACHMENT GUIDELINES say this: “Upon such articles being presented to the Senate, the Senate shall, at 1 o’clock after noon of the day (Sunday excepted) following such presentation, or sooner if ordered by the Senate, proceed to the consideration of such articles and shall continue in session from day to day (Sundays excepted) after the trial shall commence (unless otherwise ordered by the Senate) until final judgment shall be rendered, and so much longer as may, in its judgment, be needful.”

REMEMBER: Next weekend is the three-day MLK weekend. The logistical elements of the trial will take a few days at the front end. The real trial won’t begin until post-MLK weekend in all likelihood. Senate GOP leadership has sent signals they intend to keep the trial going most weekends.

NEW SANCTIONS ON IRAN … From the White House briefing room this morning, Secretary of State MIKE POMPEO and Treasury Secretary STEVEN MNUCHIN announced sanctions on eight top Iranian officials, Iranian steel and iron manufacturers and “three Seychelles-based entities.” Treasury’s press release

— POMPEO: “As long as Iran’s outlaw ways continue, we will continue to impose sanctions.”

— ON THE INTEL PROMPTING THE U.S. STRIKE … POMPEO: “We had specific information on an imminent threat. And those threats included attacks on U.S. embassies. Period, full stop. … We don’t know exactly which day it would have been executed, but it was very clear. … We would have been culpably negligent had we not recommended to the president that he take this action [on] Qassem Soleimani.”

— DEMOCRATIC SENATORS who received the classified briefing this week are already disputing Pompeo’s comments, accusing him of using an elastic definition of the word “imminent.”

— ON IRAN’S RETALIATORY STRIKES … POMPEO: “They had the full intention of killing U.S. forces, whether that was our military folks or diplomatic folks who were in the region.”

THE BEGINNING OF THE END? … AP/BAGHDAD: “Iraq’s caretaker prime minister asked Washington to start working out a road map for an American troop withdrawal … The request from Prime Minister Adel Abdul-Mahdi pointed to his determination to push ahead with demands for U.S. troops to leave Iraq … In a phone call Thursday night, he told U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo that recent U.S. strikes in Iraq were an unacceptable breach of Iraqi sovereignty and a violation of their security agreements, his office said. …

“Abdul-Mahdi signaled he was standing by the push for the American forces to go despite recent signs of de-escalation between Tehran and Washington … Iraqis have felt furious and helpless at being caught in the middle of fighting between Baghdad’s two closest allies.” AP

— NOT SO FAST? … THE STATE DEPARTMENT put out a statement this morning saying, in part, “At this time, any delegation sent to Iraq would be dedicated to discussing how to best recommit to our strategic partnership — not to discuss troop withdrawal, but our right, appropriate force posture in the Middle East.” More from Bryan Bender

— POMPEO THIS MORNING: “Our mission set there is very clear. We’ve been there to perform a training mission to help the Iraqi security forces and to continue the campaign against ISIS — continue the counter-Daesh campaign. We’re going to continue that mission. But as times change and we get to a place where we can deliver upon what I believe and the president believes is our right structure, with fewer resources dedicated to that mission, we will do so.”

THEN THERE’S THIS … WAPO’S JOHN HUDSON, MISSY RYAN and JOSH DAWSEY: “On the day U.S. forces killed Soleimani, they launched another secret operation targeting a senior Iranian official in Yemen”: “The strike targeting Abdul Reza Shahlai, a financier and key commander of Iran’s elite Quds Force who has been active in Yemen, did not result in his death, according to four U.S. officials familiar with the matter.

“The unsuccessful operation may indicate that the Trump administration’s killing of Maj. Gen. Qasem Soleimani last week was part of a broader operation than previously explained, raising questions about whether the mission was designed to cripple the leadership of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps or solely to prevent an imminent attack on Americans as originally stated.” WaPo

THE LATEST FROM TEHRAN — “Iran’s U.N. ambassador says missile strikes weren’t intended to kill Americans,” by CNN’s Caroline Kelly: “‘We said before we took our military action that we would choose the timing and the place, and we chose the place where the attack against (Iranian general Qasem) Soleimani was initiated,’ Ambassador Majid Takht Ravanchi told CNN’s John Berman on ‘New Day’ Friday when asked about [VP Mike] Pence’s comments.

“‘And we do not consider a high number of casualties as an instrumental element in our calculations.’ … ‘[W]e are not interested, we are not looking after killing Americans within this operation.’” CNN

… AND ON THE CRASH — VOLODYMYR ZELENSKY (@ZekenskyyUa): “Had a phone call with @SecPompeo. Grateful for the condolences of the American people & valuable support of the U.S. in investigating the causes of the plane crash. Information obtained from the U.S. will assist in the investigation.”

Happy Friday afternoon.

JOBS REPORT — “U.S. adds 145,000 jobs; unemployment holds at 3.5%,” by AP’s Josh Boak: “[T]he job market remains strong at the start of 2020 even if hiring and wage gains have slowed somewhat more than a decade into an economic expansion. … Annual wage growth fell in December to 2.9%, down from an annualized average of 3.3% a year earlier, a possible sign that some slack remains in the labor market and that unemployment could fall even further from its current half-century low. …

“The prospect of a stable job market, a pick-up in global growth, supportive central banks, an easing of trade tensions and U.S. economic growth of around 2% should be a positive for this year. … Retail sales during the crucial holiday shopping improved 3.4% compared to the prior year, according to Mastercard SpendingPulse. … Still, the report suggests a lingering weakness in manufacturing.” AP

BIG MILESTONE — CNBC: “Dow breaches 29,000 for the first time”

HMM … BLOOMBERG’S CHRIS STROHM: “U.S. Probes If Russia Targeting Biden in 2020 Election Meddling”: “U.S. intelligence and law enforcement officials are assessing whether Russia is trying to undermine Joe Biden in its ongoing disinformation efforts with the former vice president still the front-runner in the race to challenge President Donald Trump, according to two officials familiar with the matter. …

“Part of the inquiry is to determine whether Russia is trying to weaken Biden by promoting controversy over his past involvement in U.S. policy toward Ukraine while his son worked for an energy company there.” Bloomberg

— “‘Chaos Is the Point’: Russian Hackers and Trolls Grow Stealthier in 2020,” by NYT’s Matthew Rosenberg, Nicole Perlroth and David Sanger: “The National Security Agency and its British counterpart issued an unusual warning in October: The Russians were back and growing stealthier. Groups linked to Russia’s intelligence agencies, they noted, had recently been uncovered boring into the network of an elite Iranian hacking unit and attacking governments and private companies in the Middle East and Britain — hoping Tehran would be blamed for the havoc.

“For federal and state officials charged with readying defenses for the 2020 election, it was a clear message that the next cyberwar was not going to be like the last. … Yet interviews with dozens of officials and experts make clear that many of the vulnerabilities exploited by Moscow in 2016 remain. Most political campaigns are unwilling to spend what it takes to set up effective cyberdefenses. Millions of Americans are still primed to swallow fake news. And those charged with protecting American elections face the same central challenge they did four years ago: to spot and head off any attack before it can disrupt voting or sow doubts about the outcome.” NYT

TRUMPOLOGY — POLITICO MAGAZINE’S MICHAEL KRUSE: “Trump’s Art of the Steal”: “For as long as he has been in politics — in fact, for longer — he has been a ruthlessly effective practitioner of the art of parroting others’ most provocative, salacious ideas. ‘There are a lot of people that think …’ ‘That’s what I heard …’ ‘Some people even say …’ His gossipy M.O. was a staple of his campaign, propelling his historic victory, but it also has driven the scandal that has consumed his presidency — ‘I would like you to find out what happened with this whole situation with Ukraine, they say CrowdStrike,’ he said on the now well-known call last July with President Volodymyr Zelensky. …

“In some sense, the entire impeachment process is a collision between Trump’s magnification of random, unverified rumors and an official regime of fact and process. The outcome will determine more than whether Trump is removed from office. It may well establish a new standard for what our government defines as true.” POLITICO Magazine

ELAINA PLOTT’S NYT debut, from Avalon, N.J.: “He Was Cruising in a G.O.P. Primary. Then Trump Endorsed an Ex-Democrat: David Richter had been the front-runner in his House primary in New Jersey. That changed when the Democratic incumbent announced he was becoming a Republican, with the president’s support.”

2020 WATCH — MARIANNE WILLIAMSON announced the suspension of her presidential campaign in a letter to supporters today. The announcement More from Caitlin Oprysko

— “Democratic Lawmakers Try to Boost Asian-American Vote in Battleground States in 2020,” by WSJ’s Eliza Collins: “The lawmakers, who are involved with ASPIRE PAC, a political group that supports Asian-American and Pacific Islander candidates, each intend to ‘adopt’ a state, where they will hold events to try to counteract what the head of the group believes has been an organized effort by the Republican Party to appeal to these voters. …

“The program, details of which were shared with The Wall Street Journal, is relatively modest. It involves a half-dozen Asian-American and Pacific Islander members of Congress and will likely cost up to $100,000, [ASPIRE PAC Chair and Rep. Grace] Meng said. She believes that could make a difference in a state like Pennsylvania, which Ms. Meng has adopted.” WSJ

THE POLICY PRIMARY — “Is there a ‘Warren Doctrine’? These are the foreign policy veterans who are quietly advising her campaign,” by CNN’s MJ Lee: “[T]hese interviews paint a picture of a second-term senator who is deeply weary of U.S. military interventions, resists drawing distinctions between domestic and foreign policies, and has attracted to her presidential campaign a number of career diplomats who say Washington, as one adviser described it, is in urgent need of a ‘substantial rethink’ of how it conducts foreign policy.

“Those who spoke with CNN described emails, group text chains and conference calls where they brainstorm responses to urgent international events, help draft campaign statements and policy papers, and flag developments that they believe should be top of mind for Warren and her senior aides. They coordinate closely with Warren’s top foreign policy aide, Sasha Baker.” CNN

— ALSO SPOTTED in the story: Ilan Goldenberg, Jarrett Blanc, Alexandra Bell, Brittany Brown, Hady Amr, Mike Fuchs, Laurel Miller, Loren DeJonge Schulman, Robert Ford and Dave Rank.

— “How Pete Buttigieg would address infrastructure,” by Kelsey Tamborrino and Sam Mintz: “Former South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete Buttigieg unveiled a plan to pour more than $1 trillion into creating millions of jobs and updating U.S. infrastructure with an eye toward fending off the effects of climate change. The 17-page plan calls for working with states, cities and local governments to build sustainable infrastructure that also builds ‘opportunity, equity, and empowerment.’

“The proposal promises to create 6 million jobs with ‘strong labor protections;’ ensure access to clean drinking water while lowering water bills across the U.S. and protecting against lead in paint and water; repair roads and bridges in poor condition by 2030; and invest in sustainable infrastructure that enables 50 percent of the country to grow over the next 10 years.” POLITICO The plan

— AMY KLOBUCHAR is out with a plan for ensuring equal rights and opportunities for disabled people. She calls for fully funding the IDEA, passing health care legislation “to expand access to home and community-based services,” expanding hiring tax credits and training programs, and more. Medium post

— “Steyer wants climate change refugees to enter U.S. legally,” by AP’s Will Weissert: “Like a lot of his White House rivals, Steyer is promising to use executive action to reinstate Obama administration protections for people brought to the country illegally as children. He’d do the same to nullify President Donald Trump’s Muslim ban and end the separation of immigrant families at the U.S.-Mexico border.” AP

SPEAKING OF CLIMATE REFUGEES … AFTERNOON READ from THE NEW YORKER’S CAROLYN KORMANN: “The Cost of Fleeing Climate Change: How an adoption racket in Arkansas offered a way off the Marshall Islands.”

AP’S TODD RICHMOND in Woodridge, Ill.: “Army Reserve leaders accused of mishandling assault claims”: “Amy Braley Franck, a civilian victim advocate with the 416th Theater Engineer Command, provided the AP with documents that show the command launched internal investigations into at least two complaints rather than refer them to the Army’s criminal investigation division as required by military policy and federal law. In a third case, they placed an alleged victim on a firing range with someone she had accused of sexual harassment, causing her to fear for her safety.

“Commanders also have failed to hold monthly sexual assault management meetings, as required by DOD policy since 2006. And they ran the company without a sexual assault response coordinator for nearly a year and suspended Braley Franck after she alerted the Army to the internal investigations, she said.” AP

TV TONIGHT — Bob Costa sits down with Jake, NYT’s Carl Hulse, WaPo’s Ashley Parker and WSJ’s Nancy Youssef at 8 p.m. on PBS’ “Washington Week.”

TRANSITIONS — Neil Grace is now head of North America media relations at McKinsey. He previously was senior comms adviser at the FCC.

BONUS BIRTHDAY OF THE DAY: Freddy Gray, deputy editor of The Spectator and editor of Spectator USA, is 4-0. How he got his start in journalism: “I worked at Mizz Magazine, which believe it or not is a teenage girly magazine. I discovered, in their archives, that they had given Kate Moss her first photoshoot, which they liked and so kept me on. I then went to work as a reporter at The Catholic Herald, a weekly newspaper, which is when I realised I wanted do journalism for life.” Playbook Q&A