Biden White House seeks to turn page on Trump
President Joe Biden pauses to speak with reporters as he walks to Marine One for departure from the South Lawn of the White House, Friday, Feb. 12, 2021, in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)WASHINGTON – The end of former President Donald Trump’s impeachment trial opens a new chapter for his successor in the White House. Whether the seven GOP votes against Trump offered Biden any new hope for bipartisan cooperation within Congress remained an open question. Democrats have a decision to make in how to deal with Trump going forward. “I don’t think Donald Trump is going to disappear from anyone’s lips any day soon, and that’s because Donald Trump will always seek to find ways to inject himself and serve himself,” she said.
Tom Vilsack faces new challenges as he returns to old job
President-elect Joe Biden has selected Vilsack to reprise that role in his administration. Vilsack “has the necessary qualifications and experience to steer the agency through these turbulent times,” said Rob Larew, the president of the National Farmers Union. Then mayor of Mount Pleasant in southeast Iowa, Vilsack volunteered for the up-and-coming Biden before he exited the presidential race. Despite that, in 2007, after his own brief presidential campaign, Vilsack endorsed Hillary Clinton, even with Biden also running. In his endorsement, Vilsack called Biden “a man with empathy, and a man who has the heart of a president.
Biden weighs pick for agriculture chief from diverse slate
Rep. Marcia Fudge of Ohio and former Sen. Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota are in the running for the Cabinet position. (House Television via AP)WASHINGTON – One leading candidate for agriculture secretary hails from Cleveland, has the backing of progressives and has worked for years to boost food stamp programs. Tom Vilsack, who served as Obama’s agriculture secretary for eight years, is also being considered. Biden has said he wants a diverse Cabinet, and some Black leaders have said he needs to do more to achieve that. “You won't find a better person thant Heidi Heitkamp,” Manchin said in a statement, adding that she would make a “tremendous” agriculture secretary.
Biden eyes defeated candidates for key administration roles
President-elect Joe Biden is eyeing several Democrats who lost congressional reelection races last month for key positions in his administration. President-elect Joe Biden is eyeing several Democrats who lost congressional reelection races last month for key positions in his administration. Their consideration continues a long Washington tradition of defeated politicians seeking shelter in a new White House. A decade later, he headlined a rally for her winning congressional campaign. “More than helping the president, these people can help the White House staff dealing with members of Congress,” said Card.
Biden's win hides a dire warning for Democrats in rural U.S.
DES MOINES, Iowa – Democrats once dominated Koochiching County in the blue-collar Iron Range of northern Minnesota. But in this month's presidential election, President Donald Trump won it with 60% of the vote. Though Democrats’ rural woes aren’t new, they now heap pressure on Biden to begin reversing the trend. In clinging to their majority, House Democrats lost rural seats, notably the one held for 30 years by Rep. Collin Peterson in western Minnesota. For now, Democrats' future in rural America rests largely on how Biden is viewed there, Heitkamp said.
'Something very historical': Push for diverse Biden Cabinet
African Americans, Mexican Americans, Asian Americans, Native Americans and other people of color played a crucial role in helping Biden defeat President Donald Trump. "It's nice to know that a Native American is under consideration," said Haaland, who says she is concentrating on her congressional work. A record six Native American or Native Hawaiian lawmakers were elected to Congress. Tribal officials concur there has never been a Native American as head of interior. The department's websites cite six Native American heads of the Bureau of Indian Affairs, which was transferred to the Interior Department from the War Department in 1849.
Key departures signal agriculture shakeup for Capitol Hill
MINNEAPOLIS – The reelection defeat of U.S. House Agriculture Committee Chairman Collin Peterson in Minnesota and some key retirements mean a shakeup is coming for the industry on Capitol Hill, with power likely to shift from the Midwest to the South and the coasts. Both the House and Senate agriculture committees will get new chairs, and there will be a new top Republican on the House panel. Fischbach plans to seek a seat on the Agriculture Committee, but she'll have to draw heavily on her legislative skills to have much of an influence as a freshman in the minority party. Democratic Sen. Debbie Stabenow of Michigan is the only one of the top four agriculture committee leaders returning in 2021. Neither Roberts nor Rep. Michael Conaway of Texas, the ranking Republican in the House committee, sought reelection.
Surging Democrats expand Senate targets to GOP states
Democrats have at least a punchers chance of grabbing Republican-held seats in four states Trump won by double digits: Alaska, Kansas, Kentucky and South Carolina. They argue that Trump's name on the ballot will give Senate candidates in Republican states a major edge and say they're spending there because Democrats are raising sums that can't be ignored. An expensive battle is brewing over Ernst's Iowa seat, with outside Democratic and GOP groups each planning to spend over $20 million. Kelly has a solid chance of defeating GOP Sen. Martha McSally while Harrison is waging an unlikely drive to oust Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham, a close Trump ally. Republicans are eyeing Alaska, where GOP Sen. Dan Sullivan's likely opponent is Al Gross, an independent with Democratic support.
'Why not a Black woman?' Consensus grows around Biden's VP
But following the outrage over the police killing of George Floyd last month, many Democratic strategists say there's growing consensus that the pick should be a Black woman. Like it or not, I think the question is starting to become, Well, why not a Black woman? said Karen Finney, a spokesperson for Hillary Clinton's 2016 campaign. Finney, who was one of 200 Black women who signed a letter to Biden encouraging him to select a Black woman for his ticket, warned that the former vice president could face a backlash if he chose a white woman. Gretchen Whitmer, said last month that she had opening conversations with Bidens team about potentially serving as vice president. Heitkamp said she's long believed Biden should choose a Black woman, in part because of the current political climate, but also because Black women are some of the Democratic Party's most loyal voters.
Key Democrats spurn push to defund police amid Trump attacks
Key Democrats, including presumptive presidential nominee Joe Biden, are rejecting liberal calls to defund the police as President Donald Trump and his allies point to the movement as a dangerous example of Democratic overreach. Other opponents of the movement include Sen. Cory Booker, D-N.J., a former presidential candidate and one of two black Democratic senators, and Rep. Karen Bass, D-Calif., head of the Congressional Black Caucus. Municipal officials in Minneapolis have endorsed the defund the police language backed by some civil rights activists and a handful of progressive House Democrats. Protesters over the weekend also painted DEFUND THE POLICE in large yellow letters on a street close to the White House. Some Democrats described it as bad politics, even if most Democrats shared the desire to overhaul policing.