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The Freedom Caucus tugs on Kev’s leash. what’s next?



Many of you have written to me to ask me: is it possible that the White House negotiated knowing that McCarthy would be forced to make unreasonable demands, which led to the House Republican Party closing the door to negotiations? In other words, did they negotiate knowing they would get credit for coming to the negotiating table and forcing the Republicans to leave?

Is it possible?

I usually have a pretty intuitive understanding of political battles. In this case, no. It’s not clear to me what’s going on, what’s going to happen, and to what extent different players have a plan at all. About the hypothetical above: I doubt that the White House will enter into negotiations with the expectation and hope that they will fail. It is more likely that they decided to probe for a reasonable deal, knowing that the Republicans were likely to derail the negotiations themselves. In this case, they get their sanity/maturity back on credit from DC power, which is inexpensive.

May be

I will say that one can see the increase in declared support for the 14th Amendment decision by Democratic senators to have something to do with it. Even Angus King, a very centrist big deal type, has expressed a growing openness to the idea. There were also various contrived comments by Biden and Yellen about the emergency measures. If you squint a little, you can see that these moving parts are connected to each other in some way. It is equally likely that they are completely unrelated – or at least not coordinated.

Kevin McCarthy’s decision to “suspend” negotiations seemingly out of nowhere is just a character behind the scenes that we’ve been talking about all this time. McCarthy was never authorized to make a deal in any reasonable territory. The hosts of the Freedom House meeting pulled him by the leash, and that was it. For the past couple of days, they’ve been signaling they don’t want a compromise. They want the Senate to pass the House bill. Perhaps they could be bought a little cheaper. But this is the universe in which they operate. He was a negotiator; he was a chasing horse.

So, back to the original question: is it possible? Yes, it is possible, and it has always been a real possibility. (See our discussion with Kate Riga in this week’s block.) But I don’t really understand what’s going on here. The only thing that is clear, and has always been clear, is that Kevin McCarthy cannot hold his own meeting. They negotiate with him, but the train is actually run by the Freedom Caucus.

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Republican voters of Kentucky choose a candidate for governor. Andy Beshear




Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron will win his party’s nomination for governor in Tuesday’s primary, CNN projects, setting up a long-awaited showdown this fall with a Democratic governor. Andy Beshear.

Cameron, backed by Donald Trump, will beat former diplomat Kelly Craft in a race seen as a test of the former president’s influence on Republican primary voters as the 2024 presidential race takes shape.

Cameron’s victory marks one of the most important elections of 2023, with implications for 2024.

CNN forecast Tuesday night that Beshear will win the Democratic renomination. His bid for a second term could be an important landmark for next year, when his party defends Senate seats in other red states like Montana, Ohio and West Virginia.

Beshear, whose father served two terms as governor, defeated the Republican governor. Matt Bevin is an unpopular incumbent who angered many in his party in 2019. As expected, he fended off nominal Democratic opposition in Tuesday’s primary.

Republicans, though, argue that despite Beshear’s popularity, the November general election is likely to be competitive in the dark red state. In recent years, Republicans have eroded the Democratic lead in voter registration, and the Democratic presidential nominee has not won Kentucky since former President Bill Clinton was re-elected in 1996. Beshear is the only remaining member of the party elected at the state level.

Cameron said “thank you very much” to Trump at his campaign party on Tuesday.

“Let me just say that Trump’s victory culture is alive and well in Kentucky,” Cameron said.

Cameron nodded at his potential historic status: if he defeats Beshear in November, he will become Kentucky’s first black governor and the first black Republican elected governor in the United States.

“To all who are like me, know that you can achieve anything. Know that in this country and in Kentucky, all that matters is your values,” Cameron said.

He also recounted his attacks on Beshear in the upcoming election, accusing the first Democrat of crime, low labor force participation, fentanyl, and schools that he said “are on the verge of becoming a hotbed of liberal and progressive ideals.” ”

He said the Republican-controlled legislature deserved the most credit for Beshear’s accomplishments.

“The governor can’t pretend to be in the top three when everyone knows he was born on third base,” Cameron said.

He added: “The governor, who will not speak out on these issues and will not defend your interests, has relinquished his duties to the commonwealth and is no longer in a position to lead it.”

Kraft, in tearful comments at a pre-election party, did not use Cameron’s name but complained about his campaign tactics.

But she also urged Republican voters to unite against Beshear.

“While I’m disappointed with today’s result, we must now unite as one Republican party to defeat Andy Beshear in November,” she said.

Of a dozen candidates in the Kentucky GOP gubernatorial primary, Cameron, Commissioner of Crafts and Agriculture Ryan Quarles emerged as the top contenders.

The competition was fierce, with Cameron and Kraft shooting each other for months.

Trump and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell backed Cameron, a former McConnell staffer.

But Kraft, a former U.S. ambassador to Canada and later to the United Nations under the Trump administration, poured millions of dollars of her family’s money into the race.

On Monday, she received a late approval from Florida’s governor. Ron DeSantis turning the primary into a proxy war of sorts ahead of DeSantis’ likely looming showdown with Trump in the 2024 Republican presidential primaries. Meanwhile, Trump spoke at a televised rally in support of Cameron on Sunday night.

Kraft downplayed Trump’s support for Cameron, noting that it came when she was not officially in the race.

Cameron, in a debate earlier this month, responded by pointing out that the former president attended the Kentucky Derby with Kraft last year and backed Cameron a few weeks later.

“Kelly, you’ve been telling people for six months that you’re going to get Donald Trump’s approval. You saw him at the Derby last year. And then I got approval. And your team has been climbing ever since,” Cameron said at a debate hosted by Kentucky Educational Television.

Kraft has leaned towards attacking transgender rights, criticizing what she calls “awakening ideology” in schools.

“We won’t have transgender people in our school system,” she said Monday during a phone call with City Hall, a remark that drew criticism from LGBTQ rights advocates in Kentucky.

For his part, Quarles sought to win over voters who might be repelled by the publicity battle between Cameron and Kraft.

“It’s important that the Republicans come up with a candidate who can unite the party,” he said during a debate in early May.

While the gubernatorial race is Kentucky’s top contest in 2023, Republican Kentucky Secretary of State Michael Adams, a vocal advocate for the state’s electoral practices, will win the GOP primary, CNN predicts.

Adams fended off a challenge from Steven Knipper, an IT project manager who made false allegations of voter fraud in the state of Bluegrass, and former state legislator Allen Marikle.

Adams will be the clear favorite as he takes on former Democratic Rep. Buddy Whitley in November, whose party’s nomination is unopposed.

This story and title has been updated with additional events.

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Australian PM rules out Sydney ‘Quad’ summit after Biden cuts trip to Asia



CANBERRA, Australia – Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese has ruled out holding a so-called G-4 summit in Sydney without US President Joe Biden, saying the four leaders will speak at a G-7 meeting this weekend in Japan.

Albanese said Wednesday he understands why Biden pulled out of the summit to focus on debt-limit talks in Washington because they are critical to the economy. A summit between Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida was scheduled for May 24.

“The lockdown and disruptions that are happening in domestic politics in the United States, with the issue of the debt ceiling, mean that since this must be resolved before June 1 – otherwise there will be quite drastic consequences for the US economy that will be on the global economy – he, understandably, had to make that decision,” Albanese told reporters.

Albanese said Biden was “very disappointed” at not being able to make it to the summit in Sydney and the nation’s capital, Canberra, the day before to address parliament.

The four leaders will soon gather in Japan for the G-7 summit in Hiroshima and plan to meet there, he said.

“The square is an important body, and we want to make sure that this happens at the leadership level, and we will have this discussion over the weekend,” Albanese said.

He suggested that Modi could still visit Sydney next week, noting that Modi was scheduled to deliver an address to the Indian diaspora on Tuesday at a sold-out 20,000-seat stadium.

“We will make additional announcements about this, but Prime Minister Modi will certainly be a very welcome guest here next week,” Albanese said.

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