Shades of 2008.
Courtesy of Axios:
Republicans are making plans to torpedo some of President-elect Biden’s prospective Cabinet, agency and judicial nominees if the GOP keeps its majority, aides involved in the discussions tell me.
Top targets include political names and civil servants who spoke out loudest against President Trump, forced out his appointees or became stars in the impeachment hearings — like Sally Yates and Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman — as well as longtime targets of conservative media, like Susan Rice.
Targets also include more obscure potential nominees for federal judgeships, solicitor general and the Supreme Court. Republicans worry these nominees could blunt conservative moves on deregulation or social policy.
With Biden planning to announce his first slate of Cabinet picks this week, Senate GOP staffers are closely following reports of floated names, gathering opposition research and even planning potential hearing questions, staffers familiar with the processes in two separate Senate committees tell me.
Some leaked names are labeled “really objectionable,” and Republican staffers have begun circulating research to members to try to preempt their nomination altogether.
These preparations are very preliminary, given that Trump hasn’t conceded, his GSA administration has blocked the transition from the beginning and Republicans haven’t begun meeting with Biden’s team.
Between the lines: Of course, this doesn’t mean doom for such nominees. Even if the GOP did retain a bare majority of control after two remaining runoffs in Georgia in January, a few Republicans could cross party lines.
And several Republicans — including Sens. Mitt Romney, Susan Collins and Pat Toomey — still believe in the longstanding norm that presidents should get the cabinets they want unless there are truly legitimate concerns about a nominee.
There is a hell of a lot riding on those two Senate seats from Georgia.
If the Democrats pick those up Biden can have the Cabinet that he wants, and the job of mopping up and moving forward can begin.
If the Republicans retain even one of them every move that Biden makes will be sabotaged by Mitch McConnell and his Senate minions.
I know that Stacey Abrams is doing everything that she can to get those Senate seats under Democratic control, and I certainly hope it is enough.