Wednesday’s Campaign Round-Up, 11.23.16

Updated
Today’s installment of campaign-related news items from across the country.

* Despite increasing pressure that he concede the race he appears to have lost, incumbent North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory (R) formally requested a statewide recount yesterday. The Republican’s deficit, as of this morning, is nearly 8,000 votes and growing.

* Though Rep. Keith Ellison (D-Minn.) appears to be the frontrunner in the race for the DNC chairmanship, the Obama White House is reportedly “uneasy” with the Minnesota congressman and looking for alternative candidates. Vice President Biden has ruled out pursuing the post.

* Rep. Tim Ryan (D-Ohio), taking on Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) in the race to become House Minority Leader, faces an uphill challenge, but he has a provocative new idea. Ryan told Roll Call yesterday that if he wins and Democrats don’t take back the House majority in 2018, he’ll relinquish his post voluntarily. “If we don’t win the House back in two years, I won’t run,” the Ohioan said. “That just needs to be the standard.”

* If you’re waiting to learn which cabinet post New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) might receive, stop. Christie declared on his radio show this week, “I’m serving the rest of my term.” The Republican’s second term won’t end until the end of next year.

* Asked about his chief strategist’s controversial record, Donald Trump told the New York Times yesterday, “I’ve known Steve Bannon a long time. If I thought he was a racist, or alt-right, or any of the things that we can, you know, the terms we can use, I wouldn’t even think about hiring him.” For the record, Bannon boasted in July that he’s proud of having created “the platform for the alt-right.”

* Next year, Sen.-elect Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.) will serve as DSCC chair. He’ll be the first incoming freshman to ever hold the post.

* Don’t look for Sen. Tim Kaine (D-Va.) to seek national office in 2020: Hillary Clinton’s running mate said he’s committed to running for re-election in 2018, but has no interest in joining his party’s presidential ticket again.

* And though I’m highly skeptical of the endeavor, a group of computer scientists and election lawyers is urging Hillary Clinton to request statewide recounts in Wisconsin, Michigan, and Pennsylvania – three states the Democratic ticket unexpectedly lost – due to suspected electoral mischief. It’s unclear for now whether or not Clinton intends to pursue such a course.