Discover more from IMPORTANTVILLE
Coats out at DNI—Pete vs. Beto—Hale named candidate to watch
What's happening—and what's next—at the intersection of Indiana politics and business?
Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats, the former Hoosier senator who Trump scolded as “naive” for his blunt assessments of Iran, North Korea, Syria and Russia, resigned yesterday, not 48 hours after he created a position in the intelligence community to coordinate election security efforts. He will remain in his role until Aug. 15.
“As we have previously discussed,” Coats wrote the president, “I believe it is time for me to move to the next chapter of my life.”
Coats’ two-year tenure was the second longest among his fellow directors; George W. Bush's director, John Negroponte, served the longest in the position created after 9/11.
THE BACKSTORY, VIA THE WASHINGTON POST: “For months, Coats had recognized that his relationship with Trump, which was never strong, had frayed beyond repair, according to a former senior intelligence official who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss the sensitive issue. Coats had felt isolated and excluded from important national security decision-making, the former official said.” More here.
Fellow Hoosier Republicans rushed to praise him for his service.
Sen. Todd Young:
America is better and more secure thanks to his tireless service.
Sen. Mike Braun:
Dan Coats made his state and country proud during his tenure as Director of National Intelligence, and Americans are safer because of his foresight and leadership.
Rep. Susan Brooks:
Dan Coats is hard to replace, but I know my good friend @RepRatcliffe will continue to serve our country well. John and I served together as United States Attorneys. John is immensely qualified for this new role and I congratulate him on his appointment.
Rep. Jim Banks:
America is grateful that Director Coats has strived to depoliticize our nation’s intelligence during a time when that has been difficult to do. His legacy for doing so will only grow in the years to come.
Rep. Jackie Walorski:
Throughout his life in public service, Dan Coats has always put the interests of his country and his fellow Hoosiers first.
EXTRA, EXTRA—BECAUSE THERE’S ALWAYS A HOOSIER ANGLE: Rep. John Ratcliffe, Coats’ replacement, is a 1987 Notre Dame grad. A Hoosier, Cam Savage, managed Ratcliffe’s 2014 House bid.
WHAT PETE BUTTIGIEG SAID ABOUT RATCLIFFE LAST NIGHT IN DETROIT: Per The Washington Post’s Amy B. Wang: “And uh, whew, I hate to say it cause the new guy went to Notre Dame...As far as I can tell, his only qualification is loyalty to this president.”
Good Monday morning, and welcome to IMPORTANTVILLE. Salsa and ranch together is gross—but as Midwesterner, I respect your right to mix the two. Tolerance is a two-way street.
Happy Birthday to Marilyn Quayle, who celebrates her 70th birthday.
FOR YOUR RADAR
The Senate is expected to vote on Trump’s budget deal Wednesday, though it could happen Thursday.
Buttigieg debates in Detroit tomorrow night at 8 p.m.
WHERE'S VEEP? He joins the president for a signing ceremony for the September 11th victim compensation fund. He later lunches with the president.
WHERE'S ERIC? Making a jobs announcement at 3 p.m. at 9190 Priority Way West Dr. in Indianapolis.
WHERE’S PETE? In Detroit ahead of his debate performance tomorrow night.
THE PETE BEAT
It’s a big week for the South Bend Mayor, who is looking to expand his support beyond college-educated whites in tomorrow night’s debate.
WHAT MAYOR PETE IS READING: “Shootings have spiked in South Bend, driven by incidents with multiple victims” (Christian Sheckler, South Bend Tribune )
Through Thursday of last week, 63 people had been hit by gunfire in South Bend this year, compared with 45 over the same period in 2018, according to city police Capt. Dan Skibins. That’s a 40% spike.
10,000 DONATIONS: In an email to supporters yesterday, Campaign Manager Mike Schmuhl announced the campaign set a goal for 10,000 additional donations before Buttigieg debates in Detroit.
DEBATE STRATEGY: Congressman Beto O’Rourke seems to be road-testing several lines of attack on Buttigieg, including his private flights and high-end donor events. Pundits are isolating the pair as a matchup to watch—something closer to a fantasy football game than governing.
State Sen. Jim Merritt is making some sign news on the South Side of Indianapolis.
Marion County GOP Executive Director Oliver Wise didn't immediately respond to a request for comment.
Marion County Democrats pointed out the erasure this morning:
IN THE FIFTH
The New Democratic Coalition Action Fund says Fifth Congressional District candidate Christina Hale is a “candidate to watch,” per the Hale campaign.
“As we begin this campaign it’s wonderful to receive this recognition and support," said Hale. “Like the members of this coalition, I am a problem solver who isn't afraid to reach across the aisle to get things done for middle-class families, like lowering the cost of health care or expanding economic opportunity. That's what I've done throughout my career and it's what I will do in Congress.”
Steve Hendrix, Josh Partlow, The Washington Post: “How Pete Buttigieg went from war protestor to 'packing my bags for Afghanistan”
They don’t get a lot of officer material through the Navy recruiting center here, a one-room office next to a vape shop on the outskirts of town. Those headed for a commission are more likely to enter the ranks through ROTC programs or Annapolis.
But one day in 2009, a rare prospect did walk in: Buttigieg, Peter, 27-year-old Harvard grad. Polyglot Rhodes scholar. McKinsey management consultant. Nordic poetry fan. Hometown boy.
Andrea Perez Balderrama, Detroit Free Press: “Pete Buttigieg says Midwest is key to winning presidency”
Democratic presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg took to the stage at the Fillmore Detroit to speak about racial justice, climate change, and education.
But on the eve of this week's Democratic debates in Detroit, the candidate also declared that winning the states in the Midwest is the key to winning the election.
“It’s also here in the diverse — more diverse than advertised — industrial Midwest, that we know that the choice between kitchen table issues and racial justice is a false choice. We can and must be there for people of all backgrounds,” said Buttigieg, the mayor of South Bend, Indiana.
“If you promise not to judge Indiana by the vice president, we promise not to judge Michigan by the secretary of education,” he added, as the crowd erupted in laughter.
Edward-Isaac Dovere, The Atlantic: “Searching for Beto”
Any hopes O’Rourke has of rising again may depend on Buttigieg collapsing, which he shows no signs of doing; his polling has remained decent, and he raised $24.8 million for the second quarter, more than anyone else running.
They’re not that similar—it’s heart versus head. O’Rourke is the inspired storyteller, Buttigieg the precision analyst. O’Rourke nannied and chased dreams of being in a band after graduating from college; Buttigieg was a Rhodes scholar and went on to work at McKinsey. O’Rourke sees the future of America in the cross-border swirl of El Paso and new Democrats in Texas; Buttigieg sees it in the Rust Belt turnaround of South Bend and forgotten Democrats in Indiana. Nevertheless, many people watching the race closely—including on each campaign—do not see room for both candidates.
They have different styles on the trail. O’Rourke drove to the Homestead detention facility the morning after the first debate in Miami. Surrounded by a clump of reporters, he mounted a stepladder and waved a large paper heart, calling out to the detainees in Spanish. Buttigieg went the next morning with four other presidential candidates and spoke about how Americans deserved to know what horrors their tax dollars are going toward. Afterward, he stopped for a long CNN appearance with the camp as the backdrop, and was rushed into his car for the next campaign stop without realizing that the frustrated advocates had wanted him to climb the ladder too.
Last week, as O’Rourke dug into his plate of spaghetti, I asked him what he made of Buttigieg. “He comes across to me as a very thoughtful, very smart person. And that’s—that’s definitely my superficial takeaway,” he said. When I asked Buttigieg to talk about O’Rourke, he declined through an aide.
That’s all for today. Thanks for reading.