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Monday, December 09, 2019 {{ new Date().getDay() }}

Energy Secretary Rick Perry told President Donald Trump on Thursday that he will be resigning from the administration shortly, according to reports from Bloomberg News and the New York Times. The reports did not say when, precisely, he will be leaving government, but the Times said it would be “soon.”

Perry, once a high-profile GOP candidate for president and governor of Texas, faded into the background as a member of Trump’s Cabinet and managed to avoid the big scandals that touched nearly every other top official — until recently. As Trump’s Ukraine scandal exploded, Perry was quickly swept up in the chaos.

In a recent Wall Street Journal report, Perry confirmed he was involved in Rudy Giuliani’s scheme to pressure Ukraine to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden and Trump’s conspiracy theories about the 2016 election.

The Journal reported:

Mr. Perry also said he never heard the president, any of his appointees, Mr. Giuliani or the Ukrainian regime discuss the possibility of specifically investigating former Vice President Joe Biden, a Democratic presidential contender, and his son Hunter Biden. Mr. Trump’s request for a probe of the Bidens in a July 25 call with Ukraine’s president has sparked the impeachment inquiry in the House.

However, the claim that Perry was unaware of potential Biden probe, a claim echoed by many Trump officials, is unconvincing. Giuliani was quite public about the intent to get Ukraine to investigate Biden — he talked about it in the New York Times. His discussion of the plan last May even led to a backlash from Democrats, which prompted Giuliani to cancel his trip to the country.

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Sen. Bernie Sanders, left, and President Joe Biden during 2020 presidential debate

I look at September 2019 as a month where I missed something. We began with a trip to New York to do Seth Meyers’s and Dr. Oz’s shows. Why would we go on The Dr. Oz Show? For the same reason we had gone on Joe Rogan’s podcast in August: We could reach a vast audience that wasn’t paying attention to the standard political media. On Dr. Oz, Bernie could talk about Medicare for All and his own physical fitness. While at the time we believed Bernie was uncommonly healthy for his age, he was still 78. Questions would be raised related to his age, and we needed to begin building up the case that he was completely healthy and fit. It turned out to be a spectacular interview, ending with the two of them playing basketball on a makeshift court in the studio. Bernie appeared to be on top of the world.

Yet in retrospect, I should have seen Bernie growing more fatigued. After New York, with the school year starting, we did a series of rallies at colleges and universities in Iowa; this was the kickoff of our campus organizing program in the state. We would then fly to Colorado for a large rally in Denver before heading to Boulder to prep for the third debate, to take place in Houston on September 12. In Iowa, Bernie’s voice was a little hoarse. After the rally in Denver, he had completely blown it out. He sounded terrible.

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Rep. James Clyburn

When I interviewed House Majority Whip James Clyburn in 2014 about his memoir Blessed Experiences: Genuinely Southern, Proudly Black, the South Carolina Democrat was confident in America’s ability to find its way, no matter how extreme the political swings might appear at any given time.

“The country from its inception is like the pendulum on a clock,” the congressman told me. “It goes back and forward. It tops out to the right and starts back to the left — it tops out to the left and starts back to the right.” And remember, he said, it “spends twice as much time in the center.”

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