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All roads lead to Rosenstein

Here are the stories our panel of top political reporters is talking about in this week's "Inside Politics" ...

Posted: Oct 1, 2018 11:21 AM
Updated: Oct 1, 2018 11:21 AM

Here are the stories our panel of top political reporters is talking about in this week's "Inside Politics" forecast, where you get a glimpse of tomorrow's headlines today.

1. All roads lead to Rosenstein

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Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein can't seem to stay out of the headlines.

He's not just overseeing the Russia probe. Now he's been pulled into the Brett Kavanaugh investigation.

"Who did Senate Republicans call when they couldn't get FBI Director Chris Wray on the phone last week, as they were trying to allay Jeff Flake's fears about the investigation? Rod Rosenstein," said New York Times reporter Julie Hirschfeld Davis.

Meanwhile, he's expected to meet this week with President Trump to discuss his future in the administration, after a New York Times report this month that he discussed secretly recording his conversations with the president -- and even brought up using the 25th Amendment to remove him from office. But Davis said his job might be safe.

"The president, contrary to his typical reputation, doesn't really relish firing anyone," Davis said. "And he certainly right now he doesn't relish firing Rod Rosenstein."

2. No government shutdown... for now

The federal government's new fiscal year starts tomorrow. And thanks to a rare moment of bipartisanship, there's no threat of a government shutdown.

"It's a very quiet success story over the last couple of months," CNN's Phil Mattingly said. The spending bill signed by President Trump keeps the government fully funded through December 7. And, Mattingly said, 75% of discretionary spending will be funded through the entire fiscal year. It's the first time that's happened to that degree in 22 years. "That's a serious bipartisan success story."

But that success story only goes so far. The 25% of funding that runs out in December could lead to a big fight over the president's border wall.

"I'm told they actually moved the date to December 7th from later in the month, because everyone thinks there will be a government shutdown then. So why did they move the date? They wanted to give themselves a couple of weeks before Christmas, acknowledging that there will be at least a one- or two-week shutdown," Mattingly said. "We're going to go back to shutdown watch in just a couple of months."

3. Trump's moment on the world stage

The Kavanaugh drama overshadowed another big story last week: President Trump's speech at the United Nations and meetings with top foreign leaders.

"He made a number of interesting proposals there," Washington Post reporter Josh Dawsey said. "He's trying to cut foreign aid to a lot of different countries, trying to do more loans fewer grants."

Dawsey said foreign leaders still aren't sure what to make of the president, but they're getting used to him.

"A lot of leaders still are a little frustrated with him and perplexed by him, but there's a little less fear of him than there was before," Dawsey said. "I think people are acclimating to President Trump and the fact that he sees foreign policy totally differently than any of his predecessors."

4. House Democrats' leadership fight

If Democrats do take back the House, Nancy Pelosi wants to be the first speaker in more than 60 years to wield the gavel in two separate stints.

She won a procedural battle this week that may make it easier for her to stay in control of House Democrats. But it's still an open question as to whether enough of her colleagues will support her after the midterms.

"It was a win for Pelosi, but it does underscore this restiveness within the Democratic caucus," said Washington Post reporter Seung Min Kim. "We have about three dozen Democratic candidates who have distanced themselves from Pelosi, either saying outright they will not vote for her or generally saying they want new leadership."

The more seats Democrats end up with, the better her odds will be. "We'll really be watching that margin of victory to see if Nancy Pelosi can get the 218 votes on the floor to become speaker again," Kim said.

5. GOP's Midwest woes

And from CNN chief national correspondent John King:

A giant source of GOP pride -- and power -- is at risk heading into the 2018 midterm stretch.

Republicans now have a 33-to-16 advantage when you list the governors of the states by party affiliation. (Alaska's governor is an independent.) Democrats, though, are expecting big gains in this vital 2018 battleground. Republicans concede times are tough and point to the Midwest as particularly difficult terrain.

Controlling the governor's office in states often viewed as blue or purple has been a giant source of GOP pride in recent years. There are currently, for example, Republican governors in Iowa, Illinois, Ohio, Michigan and Wisconsin. But "we are about to take a big hit in the Midwest," a top GOP strategist lamented in a weekend email.

Three Republican operatives predicted the GOP would lose at least three of those five Midwest governor's offices, and two of them said a Democratic sweep of all five was not out of the question.

Ohio is viewed as the closest of the races heading into the final five weeks.

Also in this group is Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, once a rising GOP star who has had tough political terrain back home since his 2016 presidential bid flamed out fast. Democrats have underestimated Walker more than once before. But all three of the GOP strategists, speaking on condition of anonymity, said they would be shocked if Walker was able to come back and win another term.

Major gains at the governor level would be a big trophy for what Democrats hope is a major 2018 rebuilding effort.

And there would be 2020 implications. President Trump won Iowa, Ohio, Michigan and Wisconsin in 2016, and all will be 2020 battlegrounds. Plus, the presidential nominating process, of course, begins in Iowa, and those other big Midwest states could become significant in a competitive Democratic nomination fight.

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 657037

Reported Deaths: 12450
CountyCasesDeaths
Marion901321624
Lake48105871
Allen35552632
Hamilton31839393
St. Joseph29538510
Elkhart25261412
Vanderburgh21115377
Tippecanoe19765197
Johnson16242352
Porter15838267
Hendricks15723296
Clark11843179
Madison11672314
Vigo11503228
Monroe10248158
Delaware9788178
LaPorte9720194
Howard9017194
Kosciusko8514107
Bartholomew7373147
Warrick7369146
Hancock7362128
Floyd7139164
Wayne6586188
Grant6395157
Morgan6040124
Boone603388
Dubois5868111
Dearborn540266
Henry539492
Marshall5390104
Cass537199
Noble506775
Jackson462063
Shelby458490
Lawrence4154111
Gibson399681
Harrison395160
Clinton392353
DeKalb382078
Montgomery381583
Knox354484
Miami354063
Whitley346235
Huntington338176
Steuben335955
Wabash328775
Putnam325959
Ripley325161
Adams320249
Jasper312943
White295351
Jefferson292770
Daviess284296
Fayette270255
Decatur269388
Greene259978
Posey259731
Wells255374
Scott248446
LaGrange240170
Clay238944
Randolph225076
Spencer215830
Jennings213544
Washington207727
Sullivan202038
Fountain200341
Starke185950
Owen181652
Jay177328
Fulton176437
Carroll175618
Perry172435
Orange170450
Rush163922
Franklin158335
Vermillion158040
Tipton145441
Parke137915
Pike127232
Blackford120027
Pulaski105643
Newton96431
Brown94639
Benton91113
Crawford90113
Martin80114
Switzerland7507
Warren74612
Union66810
Ohio52711
Unassigned0425

Ohio Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 958153

Reported Deaths: 16968
CountyCasesDeaths
Franklin1109381191
Cuyahoga944201702
Hamilton72486944
Montgomery46927869
Summit39637941
Butler35004461
Lucas34724755
Stark29011826
Warren22137269
Lorain21738385
Mahoning19251533
Lake18178300
Clermont18172206
Delaware16261128
Licking14820194
Fairfield14378157
Trumbull14136454
Greene13470209
Medina13188218
Clark12121332
Wood11384193
Portage10829152
Allen10710231
Richland10165198
Miami9937179
Columbiana8049179
Muskingum8036123
Tuscarawas7974233
Pickaway795898
Marion7936134
Wayne7791216
Erie6783181
Ross6065135
Geauga5978129
Hancock5941110
Scioto5867105
Ashtabula5811140
Lawrence519073
Union505052
Darke5006122
Belmont484787
Sandusky472393
Jefferson4709107
Huron4701116
Seneca4620103
Athens456231
Mercer4559101
Auglaize453896
Washington451286
Shelby438867
Knox397884
Putnam3964101
Madison388747
Ashland374594
Fulton374364
Defiance3670101
Brown366742
Crawford354296
Preble350570
Logan349757
Clinton336162
Highland323652
Ottawa318467
Williams299578
Jackson287056
Guernsey283234
Champaign282545
Fayette265642
Perry265239
Morrow256624
Henry242665
Hardin241856
Holmes2416104
Coshocton230246
Van Wert227749
Gallia219446
Adams213732
Pike212025
Wyandot207652
Hocking192148
Carroll178828
Paulding158423
Meigs133536
Noble127842
Monroe114936
Harrison99132
Morgan98834
Vinton76215
Unassigned00
Fort Wayne
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Angola
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43° wxIcon
Hi: 46° Lo: 31°
Feels Like: 36°
Huntington
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Fort Wayne
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