This is the first Sunday in nearly a month where the news cycle hasn’t been shattered by something that happened in the preceding 48 hours. Three weeks ago, it was the death of Ruth Bader Ginsburg on a Friday night. Eight days later, on Saturday afternoon, Trump introduced Amy Coney Barrett as his new SCOTUS nominee. Six days after that, the president was flown to Walter Reed for treatment for COVID-19 — which he may or may not have acquired, or passed on to others, at the Barrett ceremony the previous week.
Nothing crazy has happened in the past 24 hours as I write this on Saturday morning. Fingers crossed that that’s still true by the time you read it on Sunday.
The star guest this morning is Gretchen Whitmer, on to discuss the foiled plot by militiamen to kidnap and murder her. In any other era that would be the lead story in every news outlet for days; in the Trump era, where batsh*t blockbusters happen hourly, it’s already slipping through the cracks. “Face the Nation” will try to give it the attention it deserves with an interview of Whitmer, who’ll naturally try to turn the ordeal into a story about Trump in order to help her party a few weeks before a national election. Also on “Face the Nation” this morning is RNC chair Ronna McDaniel, who’ll offer her view on the state of the race and answer some awkward questions about how she came to be infected with coronavirus. She was with POTUS at an event the day before the Barrett Rose Garden ceremony. Does she think she was infected then? Or was someone else in her orbit infected before she met with Trump, raising the possibility that McDaniel herself infected the president?
Elsewhere this morning we have a bevy of senators scheduled to preview the upcoming Barrett confirmation hearing and the prospects for a last-second stimulus deal. Ted Cruz and Dick Durbin will chat with “Meet the Press,” Mazie Hirono will speak to “State of the Union,” and Ben Sasse and Chris Coons will talk with “Fox News Sunday.” Cruz and Sasse are among the most outspoken Republicans in the Senate in opposing a blowout stimulus package on the order of what Pelosi wants. Where do they stand now that the president himself said on Friday that he wants a deal even bigger than the one Pelosi’s been pushing? Are they really not going to throw him a lifeline that might save his campaign by passing a White-House-approved compromise with Democrats in the final days of the race?