The Hill's 12:30 Report: What Sununu's NH Senate decision means for midterms

The Hill's 12:30 Report: What Sununu's NH Senate decision means for midterms
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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. 



*Cue the TikTok song* — SU-NO-NO, no, no, no, no:



New Hampshire Gov. Chris SununuChris SununuBiden plan for free at-home tests faces hurdles Chris Pappas launches reelection bid in New Hampshire Democrats optimistic as social spending bill heads to Senate MORE (R), a top Republican recruit for 2022, announced this morning that he will not run for the Senate.  

Sununu will instead run for a fourth term as governor.

Sununu’s reasoning:  


Sununu won't run for Senate


I mean, FAIR. 


Why this is important: It’s a big blow to Republicans who have been courting him for months to run. He had a pretty decent chance of winning that seat and potentially being the tipping point to flip the Senate in 2022. 

Tidbit: In making his decision, Sununu said he spoke with former President George W. Bush.  

What we know


Did Sununu give national Republicans a heads up?: It sure doesn’t sound like it. "I guess you'll have to let them know,” Sununu told reporters. “I haven't talked to them." 

Josh Holmes, former chief of staff to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellLawmakers remember Bob Dole: 'Bona fide American hero' Senate leaders face pushback on tying debt fight to defense bill Former Sen. Bob Dole dies at 98 MORE (R-Ky.) tweeted: “Unbelievable.” 

This made me laugh


Pretty good gig already



An example of why he would have been a strong candidate in the Senate race: Via NBC’s Alex Seitz-Wald, “Hassan and Sununu were also both on the ballot in 2016 and take a look at the side-by-side there. Hassan won by 743 votes (!) while Sununu won by 16,000 against a strong Dem candidate.” Graphic of the 2016 results:  

From Democratic incumbent Sen. Maggie HassanMargaret (Maggie) HassanConservative group targeting Kelly, Hassan, Cortez Masto in multi-million-dollar ad blitz Biden signs four bills aimed at helping veterans Constant threats to government funding fail the American public MORE’s (N.H.) campaign manager: “Senator Hassan won her last race by 1,017 votes, and we know that no matter who emerges as the Republican nominee this is going to be a hard-fought race … Our campaign is ready for the challenge ahead.” 

Morning Consult’s Cameron Easley pointed out: “[Hassan] is one of the few vulnerable D incumbents to see her popularity grow during the course of 2021. [Morning Consult] polling shows her approval ticking up from 48% to 51% between Q1 and Q3.” 

From former Sen. Scott Brown (R-Mass.), whose wife Gail Huff Brown, is running for Congress in New Hampshire: Brown hopes Sununu reconsiders, according to Fox News’s Paul Steinhauser:

It’s a beautiful Tuesday morning in DC. 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 — and follow along on Twitter @CateMartel and Facebook

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Give me a tune — ‘Let it be calm, let it be calm, let it be calm’:

Via The Hill’s Morgan Chalfant and Amie Parnes, challenges are piling up for President BidenJoe BidenChina eyes military base on Africa's Atlantic coast: report Biden orders flags be flown at half-staff through Dec. 9 to honor Dole Biden heading to Kansas City to promote infrastructure package MORE as the holidays and winter approach. 

Supply chains: “Supply chain bottlenecks spurred by increased demand threaten to hold up Christmas gifts.”

Labor shortages: “Businesses are facing labor shortages, which are likely to lead to inconveniences for Americans traveling during the holiday season.” 

Gas prices: “Rising gas prices will add to those headaches, and now administration officials are warning that heating homes also will cost more this year.” 

And there’s always COVID-19: “And as it gets colder, inside gatherings could lead to more coronavirus cases, which have started to flatline after weeks in which they have fallen.”

What to expect in the next few months:


Via CBS News’s Lily Rose, here’s what to expect and how to secure a tree:


Joe Manchin is growing! Growing, I tell you!:

Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.), who already has an enormously powerful role as a key moderate Democrat in the 50-50 Senate, became even more powerful last week as the House passed the $1 trillion infrastructure plan that sends billions to his state. 

How so: “Progressives held the bill in the Senate for months in an effort to exert leverage over Manchin … But in the end, liberals allowed the bill to move forward after a commitment from House centrists to back a larger climate and social spending bill.” 

“Yet throughout the negotiations, that larger bill was trimmed down because of demands from Manchin and fellow centrist Sen. Kyrsten SinemaKyrsten SinemaIRS data proves Trump tax cuts benefited middle, working-class Americans most Photos of the Week: Schumer, ASU protest and sea turtles Green groups spend big to promote climate policy MORE (D-Ariz.). And neither has completely committed to voting for the social spending and climate bill.” 

More from The Hill’s Alexander Bolton:


The vaccine mandate fights continue:

Via The Hill’s Nathaniel Weixel, “The Biden administration in a filing late Monday said it has the legal authority to mandate COVID-19 vaccines or tests for larger companies, and that the GOP states and businesses challenging the law have not shown their claims will outweigh the harms of stopping the rule.”


Coronavirus cases in the U.S.: 46,624,332 

U.S. death toll: 755,915 

Breakdown of the numbers


Total number of vaccinations administered in the U.S.: 432 million shots have been given. 

Seven-day average of doses administered: An average of 1.43 doses 

For context: The U.S. population is roughly 331 million. 

Breakdown of the numbers:


What’s the biggest problem with the supply chain?:

Not enough drivers, according to the New York Times’s Madeleine Ngo and Ana Swanson.

“Supply-chain problems stem from a number of factors, including an extraordinary surge in demand for goods and factory shutdowns abroad. But the situation has been compounded by a shortage of truckers and deteriorating conditions across the transportation sector, which have made it even harder for consumers to get the things they want when they want them.”

When they say, ‘not enough drivers,’ how short-staffed are they?: “A report released last month by the American Trucking Associations estimated that the industry is short 80,000 drivers, a record number, and one the association said could double by 2030 as more retire.”


Where the situation stands — and what needs to happen:


Please step forward:

Via The Washington Post’s Jacqueline Alemany, Tom Hamburger and Josh Dawsey, “The House select committee investigating the Jan. 6 insurrection issued subpoenas Monday to six top advisers to President Donald TrumpDonald TrumpBiden heading to Kansas City to promote infrastructure package Trump calls Milley a 'f---ing idiot' over Afghanistan withdrawal First rally for far-right French candidate Zemmour prompts protests, violence MORE, including two who were active in the Willard hotel ‘command center’ where Trump’s loyal backers oversaw efforts in January to overturn the 2020 election.”

Who was subpoenaed: Trump’s campaign manager Bill StepienBill StepienMidterms are coming: Will we get answers on Jan. 6 before it's too late? Subpoenas show Jan. 6 panel's focus on Trump's plans The Hill's 12:30 Report: What Sununu's NH Senate decision means for midterms MORE, adviser Jason Miller, assistant Angela McCallum and former national security adviser Michael Flynn.

Plus: “scholar John Eastman, who outlined a legal strategy in early January to delay or deny Joe Biden the presidency, and former New York City police commissioner Bernard Kerik, who led efforts to investigate voting fraud in key states.” 

The full story:


Via The Hill’s Harper Neidig:


This will never stop being cool to watch:


It's the Dragon Capsule


Oh … fun: “The toilet on the Crew Dragon capsule was out of service. The crew had to use diapers.” The full story from The New York Times:

His reaction is pretty funny:


Britney Spears, Lance Bass related?



The House and Senate are out. President Biden is at the White House. Vice President Harris is in Paris, France. 

10:15 a.m. EST: President Biden received the President’s Daily Brief. 

4:40 p.m. EST: President Biden speaks at a virtual grassroots event for the Democratic National Committee. 

5:45 p.m. EST: President Biden speaks at a virtual fundraising reception for the Democratic National Committee.


1 p.m. EST: White House principal deputy press secretary Karine Jean-PierreKarine Jean-PierreDemocratic frustration growing over stagnating voting rights bills OSHA suspends enforcement of COVID-19 vaccine mandate for businesses Inflation raises focus on Biden Fed pick MORE and Commerce Secretary Gina RaimondoGina RaimondoEquilibrium/Sustainability — Presented by Southern Company — Shipwreck sends waste thousands of miles Buttigieg has high name recognition, favorability rating in Biden Cabinet: survey Scott says he will block nominees until Biden officials testify on supply chain crisis MORE hold a press briefing. Livestream: 

2 p.m. EST: State Department Spokesperson Ned Price holds a press briefing. Livestream:


Today is National Greek Yogurt Day.

The best story I’ve read today:

Wrinkle the Duck ran part of the TCS New York City Marathon — in boots! The internet is obviously loving it. 


And because you read this far, here’s baby with some serious moves: