Inside the Beltway: Republicans mull over yet another identity


Republican lawmakers are in Orlando, Florida, for the next 24 hours parsing out strategies, tactics, best practices and maybe even a few optimistic notions as the moments slip by. The GOP House members’ “retreat” is not an event that encourages press coverage. But the press is monitoring the low-key gathering nonetheless and is always eager to supply convenient narratives.

“How to work with the press,” in fact, was a key topic of discussion Monday; expert opinion came from former White House press secretaries Sarah Huckabee Sanders and Ari Fleischer. This coaching could prove to be very helpful as long as the GOP throng ignores media catcalls about division and disunity among House Republicans and selectively pushes back with well-prepared, classy responses.

Meanwhile, the press lurks everywhere.

“House GOP retreat to Florida is fraught with peril,” noted Politico.

“Republicans are feeling good about their chances of retaking the House next year. But there’s also plenty that can get in their way. For House Republicans, it’s less about how they can win back the majority and more about: How do they avoid messing things up?” the news organization said.

And from the always alert comes word that the official password for the in-house Wi-Fi system in place during the retreat is “Biden Border Crisis.”

CHENEY 2024?

Rep. Liz Cheney, the House Republican Conference chairwoman, is not ruling out a potential presidential bid. No, really.

“I’m not ruling anything in or out,” she told The New York Post when asked whether she would ever consider a run for the White House.

“‘Ever’ is a long time,” explained Ms. Cheney, who turns 55 in July.

“The Wyoming Republican — who has been a frequent target of former President Donald Trump — said there are a number of contenders she sees as having potential for the 2024 nomination, adding that she believes the lawmakers who led the efforts on challenging the election on Jan. 6 should be out of the running,” the Post noted.


A broadcast note: Fox News will present a special live event Thursday from Orlando, Florida, titled “The Ingraham Angle Town Hall: Red State Trailblazers.”

Fox News prime-time host Laura Ingraham is the moderator and five Republican governors are the star power here — Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott, Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds, Mississippi Gov. Tate Reeves and Nebraska Gov. Pete Ricketts.

The five will react to President Biden‘s joint address to Congress on Wednesday, plus details on their own approach to unemployment, economic concerns and other pertinent topics. They also will take questions from a live, but socially distanced audience. Airtime is 10 p.m. Eastern.


Two top-tier law firms that concentrate on litigation and political law services have merged.

Chalmers & Adams — described by the Atlanta Journal-Constitution as a “powerhouse GOP law firm” — has joined forces with PLLC, a Virginia-based law firm founded by Dan Backer, who has served as counsel to more than 100 campaigns and candidates, political action committees, and political organizations — with a concentration on free speech and associational rights, and for his extensive practice before the Federal Election Commission.

He has also served as counsel to Stop Hillary PAC, among many other organizations and was a 2014 recipient of the William F. Buckley Leadership Award of the Young Conservatives Coalition. The new entity will retain the name Chalmers & Adams LLC.

“We are excited that Dan and his team have joined us,” said Douglas Chalmers Jr. in a statement.

“The combination of our two firms will allow us to expand the scope of the litigation and political law solutions and expertise that we are able to offer to our clients. We are looking forward to continuing our growth into additional states.”


Senate Majority Leader Charles E. Schumer has been a senator since 1999, served in the House of Representative for 18 years before that, and as a New York State Assemblyman for six years before that. So where is he now?

“Today, you’re pitching yourself as a champion of progressive causes like climate justice, legal marijuana, student debt cancellation. Is that simply times changing and you moving with your party to the left, or is it, as a lot of people claim, you trying to fend off a challenge from Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez in a primary?” MSNBC host Mehdi Hasan asked the lawmaker.

“What’s happened in the last 10, 15 years, things have changed rather dramatically. Climate, for example, 10 or 15 years ago — the climate issue was not upon us the way it is now. Income inequality, wealth inequality — they have gotten much worse over the last 10 years,” Mr. Schumer replied.

“Even democracy with Donald Trump in office and some of these Republican legislators doing what they’ve done — that has eroded. So, the need for bold change comes from my desire to help average people. And I don’t think, you know, milquetoast change is going to get that done,” the senator advised.


• 2% of U.S. adults say the economy is “excellent”; 0% of Republicans, 2% of independents and 2% of Democrats agree; 3% of men and 0% of women also agree.

• 26% overall say the economy is “good”; 22% of Republicans, 27% of independents and 28% of Democrats agree; 31% of men and 21% of women also agree.

• 46% overall say the economy is “only fair”; 43% of Republicans, 46% of independents and 50% of Democrats agree; 43% of men and 49% of women also agree.

• 26% overall say the economy is “poor”; 35% of Republicans, 25% of independents and 20% of Democrats agree. 23% of men and 29% of women also agree.

Source: A Gallup poll of 961 U.S. adults conducted April 1-21 and released April 26.

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