With the midterms just one week away, Puck’s senior political correspondent Tara Palmeri and legal expert Eriq Gardner exchanged notes on the most fascinating pre-election storylines on their radar: from the business world implications of the Senate battle to the tug-of-war over the inflation narrative, some notes on Pete Buttigieg’s surprising political pickle, and more.
Eriq Gardner: We’re just a few days away from the midterms, which in some ways seems like it’s become a referendum on Jerome Powell’s tenure as Fed Chair. Sure, Republicans are hammering Democrats on crime, but it’s inflation and the economy that is really moving the political needle these days. The Dobbs decision feels like it occurred in a different era. Then again, I’m old enough to remember that Kansas election a couple months ago. Yeah, I’ve seen the polls, but is there any hidden indicator that expresses what insiders really expect?
Tara Palmeri: Well, you’re seeing Kevin McCarthy staffers and allies being actively recruited by K Street firms, which suggests to me that the corporate world expects that the Republicans will retake the House. Will Dunham, McCarthy’s former chief of staff, recently headed to powerhouse firm Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck. And McCarthy’s close friend, Jeff Miller of Miller Strategies, appears back in high demand. These seem like strong leading indicators, and I would happen to agree, since there’s been no obvious rebellion or alternative to McCarthy at this point. The question is how long he will hold onto the gavel, given his factious conference.