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Fahrenthold’s three takeaways from Biden’s cabinet choices

President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris introduce their nominees and appointees to key national security and foreign policy posts at The Queen theater, Tuesday, Nov. 24, 2020, in Wilmington, Del. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

The General Services Administration informed the Biden administration on Monday that the Trump administration is ready to begin the transition process. The next day, Pennsylvania and Nevada certified their elections.

While momentum seems to be building for President-elect Joe Biden, Washington Post reporter David Fahrenthold told KIRO Radio that President Trump is still waging a legal battle.

“This is over. It’s especially over now,” Fahrenthold said. “Whether Trump gives it up — he has not given up his legal fights. In Wisconsin right now they’ve got a bunch of county employees stuck in a big room for 12 hours a day recounting ballots because Trump asked for a recount.”

As for an end game, Fahrenthold said it’s not fair to assume Trump has thought about a long-term strategy.

“But I do think, from our reporting, that he would like to maintain a strong hand in Republican politics — to sort of keep control over the party and maybe to set himself up as the main presumptive nominee for 2024,” Fahrenthold said. “He would also like to make some money, and I think those things are intertwined.”

Meanwhile, President-elect Joe Biden is putting together his cabinet. Fahrenthold recognizes three trends in Biden’s choices:

“First, there will be a continuity with the Obama Administration … Second, there will be a rejoining of alliances or re-strengthening of alliances, like the NATO alliance, the Paris Agreement. And the third is that it’s going to be kind of boring, which honestly I think a lot of people will welcome.”

The idea is that Americans won’t have to check Twitter to find out what’s happening each day in Washington D.C.

While boring, Fahrenthold said we’ll know more about what the administration will be able to accomplish once we have results from the Georgia runoffs in the Senate. If the Democrats don’t gain control of the Senate, Fahrenthold suspects there will be mostly executive actions and Biden will have to fight with a Republican Senate.

While Gov. Inslee didn’t get the role of climate czar in Biden’s cabinet, Fahrenthold suggested Biden was paying close attention to the governor’s climate proposals during Inslee’s run for president.

“I think Inslee’s isn’t credited enough with how much he shaped Biden’s thinking,” Fahrenthold said. “I think the offer to (John) Kerry was about Paris. Kerry signed the Paris Agreement and then it was torn away, or Donald Trump tried to tear it away. By making Kerry his guy, he’s saying, ‘We’re getting back to this agreement we already signed.'”

Pulitzer Prize winning reporter David Fahrenthold joins KIRO Radio’s Dave Ross every Tuesday on Seattle’s Morning News. Listen to Seattle’s Morning News weekday mornings from 5 – 9 a.m. on KIRO Radio, 97.3 FM. Subscribe to the podcast here.

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