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Saturday, December 14, 2019
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  • The Azar, Verma feud festers
    "The federal agency I lead, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, is taking swift action to implement it." - Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services Director Seema Verma, in  Chicago Tribune op-ed. That same day, Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar went on “Tucker Carlson Tonight” on Fix News — one of President  Trump’s favorite TV shows — and claimed credit for driving the same initiative. “POTUS and I envision a healthcare system with patients in the center,” Azar tweeted from the Fox News set. “We’re fighting powerful interests to deliver honesty and transparency in healthcare.” The feud between these two Hoosiers who control more than $1 trillion in annual federal spending has transfixed The White House West wing and Washington. President Trump has asked Vice President Mike Pence to quell the Azar/Veerma feud.
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  • The tossup 2020 presidential race
    Can President Trump be reelected in 2020? His Real Clear Politics approve/disapprove composite is 43.9%/53.5%, which is 9.6% under water. In Indiana, politicians hovering in the low 40th percentile (i.e. Sens. Richard Lugar in 2012 Republican primary and Joe Donnelly in 2016 general election) lose.

    But in the state polls like the Marquette Law School Poll in Wisconsin, only Joe Biden (47-46%) had an edge over the president in one of the so-called Blue Wall States. Trump tops Bernie Sanders (47-45), Elizabeth Warren (45-44%) and Pete Buttigieg (44-43%).

    When you look at 2020 state-by-state, this looks like a tossup race. Throw in the House impeachment folly (and certain Senate acquittal), and you now understand why President Trump is holding MAGA rallies in places like Hershey, PA, and Grand Rapids, Mich.

    If Democrats veer left and put Sanders or Warren atop the ticket, and leave off someone like Sen. Amy Klobachar, 2020 could find history repeating itself. - Brian A. Howey, publisher.
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