Life in the Minority

NICHOLAS FANDOS Friday, December 2, 2016Screen Shot 2016-12-02 at 8.27.22 AM

Good morning.
President-elect Donald J. Trump, buoyed by the first stops of his post-election victory lap through the Rust Belt, returns to transition mode on Friday, once again ensconcing himself in Trump Tower.Having attended a large and friendly rally for the first time in weeks, Mr. Trump has a slate of meetings planned, including a session with Senator Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota, a rare Democrat to make the journey to Trump Tower but one who expressed enthusiasm at the invitation.

Though Mr. Trump’s aides had said they did not expect to announce additional cabinet appointments before next week, Mr. Trump let it slip at the rally in Cincinnati on Thursday that he had chosen James N. Mattis, a retired Marine general, to be his secretary of defense.

The weekend will leave Mr. Trump plenty of time to mull his remaining picks, including a prize that has drawn a lot of speculation: secretary of state. Mr. Trump needn’t rush. At the end of Week 4 of the transition, he remains well ahead of the pace for naming cabinet positions set by his modern predecessors.

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T.J. Kirkpatrick for The New York Times
A Final Tree-Lighting for Obama | President Obama and his family at the National Christmas Tree lighting ceremony at the White House on Thursday.

What We’re Watching This Weekend

Mr. Trump has used the last two weekends to show off his Bedminster, N.J., golf course and Mar-a-Lago, his Palm Beach retreat. Will he pick a new destination from his real estate portfolio this weekend?
The House is scheduled to vote Friday on the annual military policy bill and send it to the Senate for a vote next week before Congress leaves town.
Will Mr. Trump heed the White House’s advice and consult the State Department when taking phone calls from foreign leaders?
Can the bid by Representative Keith Ellison to become the chairman of the Democratic National Committee survive the resurfacing of past statements he made about Israel after the the Anti-Defamation League called them “both deeply disturbing and disqualifying”?
Vice President-elect Mike Pence will attend a get-out-the-vote rally in New Orleans on Saturday to lend some support to John N. Kennedy, the state’s Republican treasurer, in Louisiana’s Senate runoff.
President Obama will attend his last Kennedy Center Honors as head of state on Sunday night. Al Pacino, Mavis Staples, James Taylor, Martha Argerichand the Eagles are all being honored.
Representative Xavier Becerra of California at an event for Hillary Clinton in Monterey Park in May.
Representative Xavier Becerra of California at an event for Hillary Clinton in Monterey Park in May. Monica Almeida/The New York Times

Life in the Minority

Democrats seem to be looking for the exits in Washington.
Representative Xavier Becerra on Thursday jumped at the offer by Gov. Jerry Brown of California to become the state’s attorney general.  Ms. Heitkamp, heading to that meeting in New York on Friday with Mr. Trump, said that “whatever job I do” she hoped to be able to work with Mr. Trump and Congress. Senator Tom Udall, Democrat of New Mexico, is mulling a run for governor back home. And there are others.The prospect of an extended stint in the congressional minority under a Republican White House can be a strong incentive to find a new political opportunity. The decision by Mr. Becerra was especially painful for his colleagues since he was on track to become a prominent voice of House Democrats searching for future leaders. If Ms. Heitkamp were to resign, she would most likely be replaced with a Republican, expanding that party’s majority in the Senate.

Republicans will no doubt continue to try to lure away receptive Democrats and some will make plans to depart on their own. Democratic leaders are going to need to find ways to convince their members to stick around.

James N. Mattis, a retired Marine general, leaving a meeting with President-elect Donald J. Trump in Bedminster, N.J., last month.

Hilary Swift for The New York Times
By MICHAEL R. GORDON AND ERIC SCHMITT

The retired general once led the United States Central Command, but his tour was cut short by the Obama administration, which believed he was too hawkish on Iran.

President-elect Donald J. Trump greeted supporters at a rally on Thursday evening in Cincinnati.

Doug Mills/The New York Times
By NICK CORASANITI AND MICHAEL D. SHEAR

The event resurrected signature applause lines and carried the hallmarks of Mr. Trump’s whiplash style during the election: indicting and promising, nostalgic and forward-looking.

Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif of Pakistan, center, invited President-elect Donald J. Trump to visit his country in a recent call.

Aamir Qureshi/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images
By MARK LANDLER

The president-elect’s unfiltered exchanges prompted the White House to urge him to seek the State Department’s expertise in his encounters with foreign leaders.

President-elect Donald J. Trump with employees at the Carrier plant in Indianapolis on Thursday.

Doug Mills/The New York Times
By NELSON D. SCHWARTZ

As critics decried incentives for Carrier in exchange for keeping workers in Indiana, and others called the effort a new path to economic growth, the company announced other cuts.

Kellyanne Conway, Donald J. Trump’s campaign manager, and Robby Mook, Hillary Clinton’s campaign manager, at Harvard University on Thursday.

Trump and Clinton Aides Clash During Election Forum

By TRIP GABRIEL

“I would rather lose than win the way you guys did,” Hillary Clinton’s director of communications told Donald J. Trump’s campaign manager during a raucous debate at Harvard.

The Naked Cowboy performing last month in the lobby at Trump Tower, where Donald Trump was assembling his administration.

Vending and Venting at Trump Tower

By SARAH MASLIN NIR

While President-elect Donald J. Trump interviews candidates for his cabinet in the Midtown Manhattan building, the Naked Cowboy, vendors, protesters and gawkers cluster in the lobby and outside.

Mitt Romney after dining with President-elect Donald J. Trump on Tuesday. He is being considered to lead the State Department.

Donald Trump’s Cabinet Choices Deepen an Age-Old Republican Rift

By JEREMY W. PETERS

As Mr. Trump fills his cabinet with people of wealth and power, he is rekindling animosity between his anti-establishment supporters and more traditional Republicans.

CREATIVE DESTRUCTION
A Chicago parking system in 1937, an early example of multi-level car storage.

Trump and Carrier: How a Modern Economy Is Like a Parking Garage

By JUSTIN WOLFERS

It’s a constant state of flux, with jobs being created or lost. The challenge is to have a business climate in which you have more of the former.

THE RUN-UP
President-elect Donald J. Trump had dinner with Mitt Romney, a potential nominee for Secretary of State, in Manhattan on Tuesday.

The Trump Transition Reality Show

By MARK LEIBOVICH

As guest host of The Run-Up this week, I speak with my colleagues about the parade of potential cabinet appointees visiting Trump Tower.

Senator Mitch McConnell, the majority leader, after a Republican caucus at the Capitol on Tuesday.

Stephen Crowley/The New York Times
By DAVID E. SANGER AND THOMAS KAPLAN

Senators said that the vote would help ensure that the United States could quickly reimpose sanctions if Iran violated its obligations under an agreement.

David H. Petraeus, the former general and C.I.A. director, at Trump Tower in Manhattan earlier this week.

Sam Hodgson for The New York Times
By MARK LANDLER AND JENNIFER STEINHAUER

Backers of the former C.I.A. director are urging President-elect Donald J. Trump to overlook his past legal problems and put him in charge at the State Department.

Representative Tim Murphy, Republican of Pennsylvania, left, with Representative Fred Upton, Republican of Michigan, at a news conference on the 21st Century Cures Act at the Capitol on Wednesday.

Susan Walsh/Associated Press
By JENNIFER STEINHAUER AND SABRINA TAVERNISE

The bill would increase funding to fight cancer and other diseases, address weaknesses in the nation’s mental health systems and help combat prescription drug addictions.

As prime minister of Italy, Silvio Berlusconi had blatant conflicts of interest, and others tried to curry favor with him by steering business to his companies.

Alberto Lingria/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images
COMMON SENSE
By JAMES B. STEWART

As prime minister, Silvio Berlusconi kept majority ownership in his businesses. Scandals ensued as those businesses profited and his fortune grew.

Jeffrey A. Zucker, left, arriving at Trump Tower in Manhattan for a meeting with President-elect Donald J. Trump on Nov. 21.

Brendan Mcdermid/Reuters
By MICHAEL M. GRYNBAUM

At a conference, CNN’s president, Jeffrey A. Zucker, was heckled about going easy on Mr. Trump. Mr. Zucker maintained that the news station was fair.

The banker Steve Mnuchin is Donald Trump’s nominee for Treasury secretary. He has very little policy experience.

Sam Hodgson for The New York Times
THE TRANSITION
By NEIL IRWIN

Steve Mnuchin at Treasury will be another test case on how important policy expertise actually is to govern effectively.