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What We’re Reading

Kamala 2024 … “Mayor  Pete” 2024 … Inside Trump’s shadow war against Iran … Why Putin might once again up the ante in Ukraine … And why Biden loves Nantucket.


Peter Hamby lays out in a new essay for Puck why it’s not just right-wingers who have problems with Kamala 2024. “As with her primary campaign, Harris concluded the general election without giving voters any memorable policy idea or sense of her worldview,” Hamby writes. “Her message was simply her identity, which might have been enough to help Biden win an election at a moment of maximal expediency. But the doubts about her capabilities that first surfaced during her own presidential bid.” READ HERE.

Alex Thompson explores in Politico how the vice president’s problems could be a boon for Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg. “While Buttigieg says he’s not contemplating the race to be Biden’s successor, inside the West Wing, others are imagining it for him,” Thompson reports. “His name is sometimes discussed by aides as a natural Democratic presidential nominee in 2028 — or 2024 if the president opts not to run. ‘Nobody in the West Wing shuts that down,’ said one person with direct knowledge of the conversations. ‘It’s very open.'” READ HERE.

Zach Dorfman details in Yahoo! News how then-President Donald Trump sidestepped the CIA and worked with the Department of Defense to take a harder line on Iran; the rift with Langley could matter if Trump becomes president again, and decides to finish the job with the Iranian regime. “In the final month of his presidency,” Dorfman writes. “Donald Trump signed off on key parts of an extensive secret Pentagon campaign to conduct sabotage, propaganda and other psychological and information operations in Iran, according to former senior officials who served in his administration.” READ HERE.

Aris Roussinos says in UnHerd that problems with Russia are on the horizon again. “For the Biden administration, this is all a tremendous headache,” the former VICE correspondent notes. “Despite often erroneously being described as an ally, there are no Western treaty obligations to defend Ukraine from a Russian assault.” READ HERE.

Tina Sfondeles and Alex Thompson dish on the Biden family’s secretive Nantucket Thanksgivings. “It’s very clear that Biden loves the tradition,” the duo report in Wednesday’s edition of Politico Playbook. “Which he described as “splendid and enforced isolation” (probably a lot less true now that a Secret Service detail, comms staffers, and nosy reporters have joined them on the island). It’s also where Biden said Beau in November 2014 urged him to run for president.” Biden insiders indicate that this may be where and when he makes his decision to run again or not next year. READ HERE.