Good Wednesday morning!
A week after the chaotic Iowa caucuses, New Hampshire announced a winner hours after polls closed in the state last night: Sen. Bernie Sanders. More below.
In a new op-ed, New York Times columnist Tom Friedman endorsed Michael Bloomberg, arguing that he’s the one candidate who “has the best chance to carry the day.” The column included a disclosure that Bloomberg donated to a new museum Friedman’s wife is building in D.C. called Planet Word.
On Capitol Hill, the House Subcommittee on the Middle East, North Africa and International Terrorism is holding a hearing on the Israeli-Palestinian peace process with former U.S. negotiators Frank Lowenstein, Mara Rudman and Michael Singh.
Sen. Chris Murphy (D-CT) and Rep. Ro Khanna (D-CA) will discuss a “progressive U.S. policy approach to the Middle East” at a congressional breakfast hosted by the Century Foundation on the Hill.
Yesterday, the House Armed Service Committee’s subcommittee on military personnel held a hearing on the threat of “alarming incidents of white supremacy in the military.” Writing in The New York Times, Rep. Max Rose (D-NY) and Ali H. Soufan, a former FBI special agent, urged the federal government to designate white supremacist groups as foreign terrorist organizations.
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Sanders takes New Hampshire, with Buttigieg a close second
Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) won the New Hampshire Democratic presidential primary race last night, bringing home 25.7% of the vote. Former South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg came in a very close second with 24.4%.
The one with momentum: Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) saw a surge in New Hampshire, finishing in a not-so-distant third place with 20%. It was a disappointing night for both Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) and former Vice President Joe Biden, who garnered just 9.3% and 8.4% respectively, falling short of the 15% threshold to pick up delegates from the state. Addressing his supporters in South Carolina, Biden touted his support among African American and Latino voters, and expressed hope that he could rely on them for a comeback. “It ain’t over man, we’re just getting started,” a defiant Biden said. “We’re not going to let anyone take this election from me.”
Moderates vs. progressives: Cook Political Report editor David Wasserman points out that Buttigieg, Biden and Klobuchar collectively picked up 53% of the vote, surpassing Sanders and Warren’s combined 36%.
Gang gone: After his disappointing finish, Andrew Yang announced Tuesday evening that he was dropping out of the race. Yang said he is a “numbers guy,” and therefore recognizes he just doesn’t have the numbers to clinch the nomination. He told The Washington Post that he has not decided if he will endorse another candidate. Sen. Michael Bennet (D-CO), who struggled to top 1% in polls, also dropped out of the race, and former Gov. Deval Patrick said he would “make some decisions” on his future today.
Bernie’s worldview: In The Atlantic, Uri Friedman describes how the world sees Sanders’s foreign policy vision — “a left-wing isolationist,” who shies away from military engagement, embraces diplomatic and economic tools and seeks to push progressive priorities — like climate change and inequality — overseas.
Olmert and Abbas jointly address Trump peace plan
In a joint appearance with former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert at the Grand Hyatt Hotel in Midtown Manhattan on Tuesday, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas indicated that he’s ready to return to the negotiating table with Israel “under the umbrella of the international quartet” — but not on the basis of President Donald Trump’s peace plan. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu described Olmert’s appearance with Abbas as “a low point in Israel’s history.”
Olive branch: Speaking Tuesday, Olmert — who negotiated with Abbas on the Annapolis Conference framework before leaving office in 2009 — described the Palestinian leader as a “man of peace” and the “only partner” Israel has in peace talks. Before leaving the press conference without taking questions from reporters, Abbas called Olmert a “friend” and “a man of peace,” and said he wanted to “extend my hand to the Israeli people” to resume negotiations “at the point where it ended with Olmert.”
Glass half full: Olmert told Jewish Insider‘s Jacob Kornbluh that he implored Abbas to embrace the “principle of a two-state solution, as spelled out in a very clear way in the Trump plan.” If this is “the goal of a potential solution, then there should be a way to advance to negotiations on that basis,” the former prime minister explained.
At the U.N.: In a speech before the United Nations Security Council, Abbas blasted the Trump plan as “an Israeli-American preemptive plan in order to put an end to the question of Palestine.” The Palestinian leader held up a map of what a Palestinian state would look like under the U.S. plan and said, “It’s like Swiss cheese, really.”
Open door: U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Kelly Craft indicated that the administration is open to changes in the plan if the Palestinians choose to engage. “This plan is not a ‘take it or leave it.’ It is not a ‘my way or the highway.’ It is not set in stone,” Kelly stressed in her speech. “Rather, it is an opening offer. It is the beginning of a conversation, not the end of one.”
Rebuttal: Former Mideast peace envoy Jason Greenblatt accused Abbas of recycling “old talking points” in his U.N speech. “President Abbas should work with realistic expectations, without the constant recitation of old talking points, without the political talk, without the misleading marketing points, without the victimhood and without the blame game,” Greenblatt told JI.
Read Greenblatt’s full response here.
Between the lines:Al-Monitor noted that the State Department’s budget request for fiscal year 2020, released on Monday, suggests cutting all aid for the West Bank and Gaza for the first time since Trump took office.
Heard yesterday: Saudi Arabia’s Prince Turki Al Faisal told CNBC’s Hadley Gamble at the Milken Institute MENA Summit in Abu Dhabi, “What I have seen so far of that deal is that it is trying to make of Palestine what I can call a Frankenstein creation. [It’s] generally just a monstrous conception of a Palestinian state. Its rightful capital Jerusalem is stripped from it, so that takes away its heart, and its borders are undefined and that takes away its soul.”
IN THE RACE
Former CNBC anchor enters congressional race against AOC
Former CNBC anchor Michelle Caruso-Cabrera announced on Tuesday that she is mounting a primary challenge against prominent progressive Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) in New York’s 14th congressional district.
The American dream: Caruso-Cabrera’s campaign site emphasizes the longtime news anchor’s background as the granddaughter of Italian and Cuban immigrants: “When Michelle’s grandparents first arrived in America, they worked arduous overnight shifts and took dangerous jobs in the meatpacking industry to pay the rent and feed their children,” the site says. “Watching her grandparents and her parents work long hours is how Michelle learned about achieving the American dream.”
Small government advocate: Caruso-Cabrera’s views contrast starkly with those of the self-identified Democratic Socialist incumbent. Her 2010 book, You Know I’m Right: More Prosperity, Less Government — which includes a foreword from her former CNBC colleague Larry Kudlow, President Donald Trump’s top economic advisor — calls for, among other things, fiscal conservatism, limited government and personal accountability.
The seat: In a surprise that rocked the Democratic Party establishment, Ocasio-Cortez defeated incumbent Rep. Joe Crowley, who held a top leadership position in the House Democratic Caucus, in the 2018 Democratic primary. Despite being outspent by Crowley, Ocasio-Cortez picked up more than 57% of the vote in the district, which includes parts of the Bronx and Queens, and went on to beat her Republican opponent by a 65-point margin in the general election. Uphill battle: Caruso-Cabrera faces an uphill battle to unseat Ocasio-Cortez. Three other Democrats, including New York City councilman Fernando Cabrera, have filed to challenge Ocasio-Cortez, along with eight Republicans. The freshman congresswoman has already raised more than $5 million, according to Federal Election Commission filings. An April 2019 Siena Research Institute poll shows that 52% of district voters view Ocasio-Cortez favorably.
Leon Black’s public speaking tour
Private equity investor Leon Black is continuing what appears to be a rare publicity tour. He spoke for close to an hour yesterday on stage at the Milken Institute’s Middle East and Africa Summit in Abu Dhabi, sharing how a philosophy major with little interest in finance wound up on Wall Street — and what gives his firm, Apollo Global Management, a competitive edge.
High profile: The engagement was the latest public appearance for the notoriously private Black, and comes on the heels of a Businessweek cover story earlier this year. Last week in a similar interview with Goldman Sachs’s Alison Mass, Black was asked about his family’s background and his father being an Orthodox rabbi:
“I did grow up in New York City. My father, I never knew as a rabbi, that was part of his history. He early on grew up on the Lower East Side. He was an immigrant who came over from Poland, actually, when he was about 1 years old. He studied for the rabbinate, was a rabbi in Long Island for about three years and then decided he wanted to make money. And so he went to Lehman Brothers. First he went to Columbia Business School, and to Lehman Brothers. And then he became a big conglometier, and [was an] investment banker at Goldman Sachs. He’s the person that — we read philosophy together when I was in high school. He was a passionate person about Shakespeare, which he instilled in me. And he was somebody that I had a lot of respect for and was introduced clearly to the business world through him, and I think some of my interest in social issues came from him.”
Watch the full interview here.
Deep Dive: The Washington Post’s Greg Miller details how the CIA secretly owned and operated a company, Crypto AG, that sold encryption devices to more than 120 countries all over the world. According to documents obtained by the Post, at least four countries, including Israel, “were aware of the operation or were provided intelligence from it.” [WashPost]
Lessons in Hate: In Time magazine, Kimberly Dozier examines how — despite U.S. government efforts — textbooks in Saudi Arabia still teach hate speech, including considering Jews “monkeys” and “‘assassins’ bent on harming Muslim holy places,” according to the Jerusalem-based Institute for Monitoring Peace and Cultural Tolerance in School Education. [Time]
Shaken Faith: In The Atlantic, Michael Fullilove, head of Frank Lowy’s institute in Australia, writes that his one-time belief in the strength and leadership of the United States has been shaken with the rise of Trump. “The world still wants to believe in America,” he wrote. “But we need Americans to help us believe.” [TheAtlantic]
Dear Diary: Wired’s Steven Levy shares a sneak peek of his new book on Facebook and Mark Zuckerberg. Levy takes a look at Zuckerberg’s “lost diary” — handwritten pages dating back to 2006 detailing the Facebook creator’s plans to move the social networking site beyond the college sphere. In time, the platform would “transform itself from a college student hangout to the dominant social media service, with a population bigger than that of any country in the world, and was on its way to having more members than any religion.” [Wired]
Around the Web
🏗️ New Hands: David Simon’s Simon Property group has agreed to acquire a majority of Taubman Centers in a deal valued at $3.6 billion.
💸 Rainmaker: The Wall Street Journal examines how Carla DiBello, a former reality TV producer from Florida, has become a high-profile figure in Saudi Arabia’s investment scene.
🕵️♂️ Double Life: Vanity Fair’s Peter Savodnik details how Matthew Gebert, who was hired at the State Department in 2013, was outed last year as the leader of an alt-right cell that promoted a white supremacist and antisemitic agenda.
🎤 On Duty: Israeli pop star Noa Kirel told Billboard that she didn’t hesitate to enlist in the Israeli Defense Forces: “My duty will be to perform in uniform and entertain troops all over the country.”
✡️ Choosing Paths: Actress and comedian Chelsea Handler, who was born to a Jewish mother and Mormon father, said at the 2020 Makers Conference that — after learning about both religions — she decided to be Jewish because “Mormonism is so ridiculous.”
🎥 Signed, Sealed: A documentary short released by The Atlantic yesterday titled “I Signed the Petition, and Now I’m Freaking Out,” details the decision by a Danish Palestinian filmmaker to sign a petition against Radiohead performing in Israel.
🗣️ Online Backlash: MSNBC host Chuck Todd faced a wave of criticism after quoting on air from an article that called supporters of Sen. Bernie Sanders “a digital brownshirt brigade.”
🏫 Talk of the Town: Principals at a high school in Maryland have promised parents and students they will launch an investigation after a Nazi flag was spotted displayed in a classroom window.
🕯️ Remembering: Boston real estate developer and philanthropist Robert Beal passed away at age 78.
Gif of the Day
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas greets J Street President Jeremy Ben-Ami following a joint press conference with former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert at the Grand Hyatt Hotel in Midtown Manhattan on Tuesday.
Best-selling author of children’s and young adult fiction, Judy Sussman Blume turns 82…
Commercial director in the Inglewood and Beverly Hills offices of Keller Williams Realty, Gary Aminoff turns 83… Author, former member of the Knesset, and daughter of Moshe Dayan, Yael Dayan turns 81… Former prime minister of Israel, Ehud Barak turns 78… Periodontist in Newark, Delaware, Barry S. Kayne, DDS turns 76… Economist and legal scholar, his father was Nobel Prize-winning economist Milton Friedman, David D. Friedman turns 75… Google’s computer genius, inventor and futurist, Ray Kurzweil turns 72… Aunt of Avi Berkowitz and Brooklyn powerbroker, Esther Dickman (h/t Sir Alex)… Former president of Disney-ABC Television Group, Ben Sherwood turns 56… Associate justice of the Supreme Court of the United States, Brett Kavanaugh turns 55… Film director, Darren Aronofsky turns 51…
Comic book author and illustrator, Judd Winick turns 50… Comedian and writer, Ari Shaffir turns 46… Deputy director for external affairs and communications at the Troy, Michigan-based Kresge Foundation, Christine M. Jacobs turns 41… Former MLB player, he is now the program director and owner of London, Ontario-based Centrefield Sports, Adam Stern turns 40… NYC-based reporter for the Wall Street Journal who covers management trends and chief executives, Rachel Feintzeig turns 35… Skadden Fellow at the Ohio Justice & Policy Center, he previously clerked for Justice Sonia Sotomayor, Michael Zuckerman turns 33… Editor-at-large at the Daily Wire, Josh Hammer turns 31… Research director for the Biden for President campaign, Megan Apper turns 29… Associate in the D.C. office of Kirkland & Ellis focused on international trade and national security issues, Jeremy Iloulian turns 29… Communications lead at Revel, an all-electric shared moped company, Anna Miroff turns 27…