The Hill's 12:30 Report: O'Rourke jumps into 2020 fray

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--> A midday take on what's happening in politics and how to have a sense of humor about it.*

*Ha. Haha. Hahah. Sniff. Haha. Sniff. Ha--breaks down crying hysterically.

 

The Hill's 12:30 Report: Beto O'RourkeBeto O'RourkeO'Rourke says he 'absolutely' plans to stay in politics Krystal Ball: Buttigieg is 'the boomer candidate' Language is a weapon in political warfare — if the media play along MORE jumps into 2020 race | Trump mocks O'Rourke's 'crazy' hand moves | Trump braces for Senate rebuke | Last-ditch effort to sway GOP senators | Trump threatens veto on emergency resolution | Top Mueller aide leaving post | Speculation grows probe may be winding down | House votes for Mueller report to be public | Dems critical of Omar seek primary challenger | Pi Day pizza and pie deals

  

TALK OF THE MORNING

You Beto believe it!:

Former Texas Rep. Beto O'Rourke, who ran against Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) in 2018, has jumped into the 2020 Democratic presidential primary. http://bit.ly/2FbJJnw

Why Beto's unsuccessful Senate bid is important: "While he ultimately lost to Cruz in November, O'Rourke managed to come within less than 3 points of a win in Texas, a state with a reputation as a Republican stronghold. Voters in the Lone Star State haven't elected a Democrat to the Senate in roughly three decades." http://bit.ly/2FbJJnw

Watch Beto's 2020 announcement video: http://bit.ly/2UBG5bG

Photo of Beto's Vanity Fair cover -- what a glamour shot!: Tyra Banks would have nice things to say about this. Photo: http://bit.ly/2HtoRd3

Cable networks are pumped: All three major cable networks aired Beto's campaign event in Iowa. Screenshots: http://bit.ly/2J8Ytrc

Want a quick taste of Beto's campaign style?: Here's a clip from his first campaign event in Iowa. Watch: http://bit.ly/2u79AGL

Something to notice about Beto's speaking style: He uses a lot of hand motions when he speaks. A few examples of his animated speaking style: http://bit.ly/2JqG1L5

REACTION FROM President TrumpDonald John TrumpFive landmark moments of testimony to Congress Lindsey Graham basks in the impeachment spotlight Democrats sharpen their message on impeachment MORE:

President Trump noticed Beto O'Rourke's animated hand movements and questioned whether O'Rourke "is crazy." (Via Reuters' Jeff Masonhttp://bit.ly/2HlLH6T

HOW PRIMARY COMPETITOR KAMALA HARRIS IS FUNDRAISING OFF BETO'S ANNOUNCEMENT:

Here's a photo of a fundraising email the California senator's campaign sent out: http://bit.ly/2O1WXGj

THAT WAS FAST -- BETO'S FIRST CONGRESSIONAL ENDORSEMENT:

Rep. Kathleen RiceKathleen Maura RiceProgressive freshmen jump into leadership PAC fundraising Marijuana industry donations to lawmakers surge in 2019: analysis Pelosi backers feel vindicated after tumultuous stretch MORE (D-N.Y.) almost immediately endorsed Beto O'Rourke. She tweeted: "He's honest, authentic and has the courage of his convictions and a bold vision for our future. Most importantly, he'll build a movement that will rise above the toxic division in our politics and unite this country." http://bit.ly/2W1nJRY

^Context from The Washington Post's Matt Viser: "Perhaps it's true that few may rival Beto's hand movement. But Trump is certainly one who would." http://bit.ly/2TRutEg

KEEP UP!:

Here's a list of 2020 presidential candidates -- and who still may run: https://nyti.ms/2IKvzxA

 

It's a warm, beautiful Thursday in D.C. -- oh and Happy Pi Day! Keep reading for celebratory deals on pie and pizza. ;) I'm Cate Martel with a quick recap of the morning and what's coming up. Send comments, story ideas and events for our radar to cmartel@thehill.com -- and follow along on Twitter @CateMartel and Facebook.

Did someone forward this to you? Want your own copy? Sign up here to receive The Hill's 12:30 Report in your inbox daily: http://bit.ly/2kjMNnn

  

HAPPENING TODAY IN CONGRESS

We've been talking about this vote for so long, I'm running out of material!:

The Republican-controlled Senate is set to pass a resolution rebuking President Trump's national emergency declaration to build a wall on the U.S.-Mexico border. http://bit.ly/2W125wT

Weren't Republicans trying to avoid this vote?: Well yes, but talks within the Republican conference fell apart yesterday.

Which Republican senators are voting with Democrats: GOP Sens. Susan CollinsSusan Margaret CollinsThis week: House kicks off public phase of impeachment inquiry Senate panel clears controversial Trump court pick Republicans warn election results are 'wake-up call' for Trump MORE (Maine), Lisa MurkowskiLisa Ann MurkowskiThis week: House kicks off public phase of impeachment inquiry GOP senators plan to tune out impeachment week Pay America's Coast Guard MORE (Alaska), Thom TillisThomas (Thom) Roland TillisThis week: House kicks off public phase of impeachment inquiry Progressive veterans group launches campaign labeling Trump as a 'national security threat' Trump rules out total rollback of Chinese tariffs MORE (N.C.) and Rand PaulRandal (Rand) Howard PaulSunday shows — New impeachment phase dominates Rand Paul says Trump has 'every right' to withhold Ukraine aid over corruption Paul dismisses Bevin loss, touts 'red wave' in other Kentucky races MORE (Ky.) had said before today that they would back the resolution.

^^New additions to the motley crew: GOP Sens. Lamar AlexanderAndrew (Lamar) Lamar AlexanderJuan Williams: Republicans flee Trump Romney, Collins, Murkowski only Senate GOP holdouts on Graham's impeachment resolution The Hill's Morning Report — Presented by Better Medicare Alliance — Impeachment angst growing in GOP MORE (Tenn.), Mike LeeMichael (Mike) Shumway LeeOn The Money: Retirement savings bill blocked in Senate after fight over amendments | Stopgap bill may set up December spending fight | Hardwood industry pleads for relief from Trump trade war Retirement bill blocked in Senate amid fight over amendments Senators press NSA official over shuttered phone surveillance program MORE (Utah) and Mitt Romney (Utah) have also decided to vote with Democrats. http://bit.ly/2HE7kPx

Which other Republican senators could join this camp: Sens. Marco RubioMarco Antonio RubioGOP senators plan to tune out impeachment week Republicans warn election results are 'wake-up call' for Trump Paul's demand to out whistleblower rankles GOP colleagues MORE (Fla.), Lamar Alexander (Tenn.), Johnny IsaksonJohnny IsaksonEleven GOP senators sign open letter backing Sessions's comeback bid Juan Williams: Republicans flee Trump Democrats will win back the Senate majority in 2020, all thanks to President Trump MORE (Ga.), Ron JohnsonRonald (Ron) Harold JohnsonLindsey Graham basks in the impeachment spotlight Sunday shows — New impeachment phase dominates Rand Paul says Trump has 'every right' to withhold Ukraine aid over corruption MORE (Wis.), Ben SasseBenjamin (Ben) Eric SasseTrump circuit court nominee in jeopardy amid GOP opposition Trump has officially appointed one in four circuit court judges Senators press NSA official over shuttered phone surveillance program MORE (Neb.) and Jerry MoranGerald (Jerry) MoranIt's time for Congress to establish a national mental health crisis number Overnight Defense: Top diplomat changes testimony to indicate quid pro quo | Dem offers measure on Turkish human rights abuses in Syria | Warren offers plan to address veteran suicide rates Senate bill takes aim at 'secret' online algorithms MORE (Kan.) are undecided.

  

Spoiler alert -- we know what happens next:

President Trump vowed to veto the resolution. http://bit.ly/2O2PXsC

He tweeted: "A big National Emergency vote today by The United States Senate on Border Security & the Wall (which is already under major construction). I am prepared to veto, if necessary. The Southern Border is a National Security and Humanitarian Nightmare, but it can be easily fixed!" http://bit.ly/2HlxqaB

He also defended the legality of the national emergency: "Prominent legal scholars agree that our actions to address the National Emergency at the Southern Border and to protect the American people are both CONSTITUTIONAL and EXPRESSLY authorized by Congress," Trump tweeted. "If, at a later date, Congress wants to update the law, I will support those efforts, but today's issue is BORDER SECURITY and Crime!!! Don't vote with Pelosi!" http://bit.ly/2HknhuE

  

OTHER NEWS THIS MORNING

A special counsel retiree:

Via NPR's Carrie JohnsonAndrew Weissmann, a top prosecutor in special counsel Robert MuellerRobert (Bob) Swan MuellerSpeier says impeachment inquiry shows 'very strong case of bribery' by Trump Gowdy: I '100 percent' still believe public congressional hearings are 'a circus' Comey: Mueller 'didn't succeed in his mission because there was inadequate transparency' MORE's investigation, is leaving his position. https://n.pr/2T5eBK0

What this may mean: It's leading to speculation that the special counsel investigation is wrapping up. 

Weissmann's position: He was a key figure in the case against President Trump's former campaign chairman, Paul ManafortPaul John ManafortPaul Manafort's former son-in-law sentenced to 9 years in prison for scamming Dustin Hoffman, others NSC official testified there was 'no doubt' Trump pushed quid pro quo Prosecutor says Stone lied to Congress to protect Trump as trial opens MORE

Where Weissmann is headed: To teach and study at New York University. 

SPEAKING OF THE MUELLER INVESTIGATION:

This morning, the House voted for special counsel Robert Mueller's report to be made public. The vote: 420-0, plus four Republicans voted "present."  Yeah, but: The resolution is non-binding. Details: http://bit.ly/2XZWp8b

 

This is the congressional equivalent of 'you can't sit with us':

Via The Hill's Reid Wilson, "Some Minnesota Democrats, aghast at controversial comments made by Rep. Ilhan OmarIlhan OmarSanders 'very concerned about what appears to be a coup' in Bolivia Overnight Defense: Protests at Trump's NYC Veterans Day speech | House Dems release Pentagon official's deposition transcript | Lawmakers ask Trump to rescind Erdogan invite Ilhan Omar blasts Pete King as an 'Islamophobe' after he announces retirement: 'Good riddance' MORE (D), are taking initial steps to recruit a candidate to run against her in next year's primary election, seeking to buck history in one of the nation's most progressive legislative districts."

 

Tidbit from the Capitol -- cue everyone telling Sen. Murphy, 'you should be flattered!':

"Capitol police are in the basement checking IDs because of Irish lunch ... They just stopped [Sen. Chris MurphyChristopher (Chris) Scott MurphyOvernight Defense: Trump, Erdogan confirm White House meeting | Public impeachment hearings set for next week | Top defense appropriator retiring Fairness, tradition, and the Constitution demand the 'whistleblower' step forward Senate Democrat: Colleague was working on fantasy football trade instead of listening to Schumer MORE(D-Conn.)] to ask for his ID. (Young-ish senator problems?)" (Via The Hill's Jordain Carneyhttp://bit.ly/2T3jP93

 

NOTABLE TWEETS

OK, fine. We'll give you this one, WMATA:

Details on the bald eagle incident: https://wapo.st/2Ck6svM

  

Oh hello there, McDreamy:

Earlier on Wednesday: ABC's Meridith McGraw tweeted that Patrick Dempsey was touring Georgetown University with his daughter. http://bit.ly/2O232CF

  

ON TAP

The House and Senate are in. President Trump and Vice President Pence are in Washington, D.C.

8:30 a.m. EST: Vice President Pence hosts a St. Patrick's Day breakfast with the prime minister of Ireland.

10–11 a.m. EDT: First and last votes in the House. 

10:45 a.m. EDT: President Trump meets with the prime minister of Ireland and holds an expanded bilateral meeting.

Noon: President Trump participates in a friends of Ireland luncheon at the U.S. Capitol.

March: U.S. Military Caregivers Month. Op-ed: http://bit.ly/2Hylz8i

  

WHAT TO WATCH

This morning: Commerce Secretary Wilbur RossWilbur Louis RossTrump trade adviser pushes back on reports of US-China tariff deal China, US agree to reduce tariffs amid trade talks, Beijing says Income for poorest Americans fell faster than previously thought: study MORE testifies on preparation for the 2020 census. Livestream of the hearing: https://cs.pn/2Cj70SL

6 p.m. EDT: President Trump, first lady Melania TrumpMelania TrumpThe Hill's 12:30 Report: Washington braces for public impeachment hearings Trump NYC Veterans Day speech met with protests Trump gets a warm reception at Alabama-LSU game MORE and Vice President Pence participate in the Shamrock Bowl presentation by the prime minister of Ireland. Livestream: http://bit.ly/2FaYE1b

  

NOW FOR THE FUN STUFF...

Today is National Potato Chip Day! It's also National Pi Day.

Nationally: Here's where you can find pizza deals today: http://bit.ly/2CuDnxZ

Locally: Here's where to celebrate Pi Day in Washington, D.C.: http://bit.ly/2Co2zG9

  

Elsa looks so different without the smokey eye!:

Via BuzzFeed's Loryn Brantz, here is what Disney princesses look like without their makeup: https://bzfd.it/2TzF9s5

 

And because you made it to the end, here's a dog who is captain of the welcome committee: http://bit.ly/2TCOZcH