No Virginia FREE Friday this week.
- All signs are pointing to a Debt Ceiling Deal getting done before Congress leaves for Memorial Day. Look for white smoke by mid-week on a deal that extends the Debt Ceiling until early 2025. That way, the ‘24 elections are off the board which helps President Joe Biden show the country he can get things done in a bipartisan way. Both sides declare victory and go home.
- Florida Governor Ron DeSantis is expected to announce his candidacy for president  next week – finally – with the filing of paperwork followed the next week by an event in his hometown of Dunedin. He’s currently 36 points behind Donald Trump. The trendlines are suboptimal for Never Again Trumpers (NATers).
Article: Why the DeSantis Braintrust Thinks It Can Actually Beat Trump 
Donors, governors and plenty of GOP voters are just waiting for the Florida governor to enter the race before they ditch the former president, according to DeSantis’ growing team of political pros. 
- If you are among the tens of millions of voters lacking any enthusiasm for a Biden/Trump rematch *raises hand* you might want to consider the Forward Party or No Labels as landing spots. I looked over their sites and neither are up to the task of moving the needle. Both are way off of the zeitgeist IMHO. Well intended, but way off. More’s the pity…Ross Perot in 1992 is still the standard.
- In depth analysis of the 2022 midterms shows the breadth and depth of the partisan trench warfare . A lot of time, effort, and money was spent with very little movement. #We’reStuck.
- Down Ballot Republicans should be worried the most  if Trump is the nominee for the third cycle in a row. One has to wonder how many registered voters pollsters go through in their calling before they find people who will answer the question, “If you HAD to choose between Trump and Biden…” “Do I HAVE to? Okay … fine…”Speaking of helping both Trump and Biden….
- The FBI faces up 10 to 20 years trying to repair its reputation following the Durham report. Matt Taibbi writes : Durham is Too Late to Stop the Madness A Special Counsel report chronicles how intelligence agencies engineered a national hysteria, but its publication comes too late to reverse the damage  – yup, the damage is done. Trump and Biden are the winners here. #UnhealthyCodependency
- Back in the Commonwealth, Governor Glenn Youngkin released this ad bringing back some Ronald Reagan themes of Sunrise in America and peace through strength. Good branding move that is authentic to Youngkin. He’s that guy. 
- But as Jeff Schapiro of the Richmond Times Dispatch wrote this week,  Youngkin isn’t afraid to pitch inside on Democrats. The governor vetoed legislation authored by Senator Scott Surovell (D – Fairfax) that passed both chambers unanimously. I was on the phone with Surovell getting his take on the Senate Democratic primaries when he got the news. Suffice it to say, the Senator from Fairfax won’t be afraid to pitch inside when his turn comes. New Era of American Values meets old school politics?
- From speaking with folks on both sides of the aisle regarding the June 20th primaries and other nomination battles, I’m not sensing a “throw the bums out” anti-incumbent wave coming. Some are more vulnerable than others, but I’m just not hearing a lot anger within the party ranks. Guns are pointed out.
- Next week, I’ll run down the remaining big nomination battles in both parties. Reminder – about 90% of the new General Assembly will be selected in the next month. So many districts – just like Congress – are “Can’t Lose/Can’t Win.” The nomination is the election. #Unsustainable
No Virginia FREE Friday this week – off to judge a BBQ contest this afternoon.
In anticipation of the oncoming Smoked Meat Sweat Coma being washed down by a non controversial American light beer …
… Sweet Love tunes courtesy of the Commodores and Anita Baker.
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