Welcome to the first Election Week edition of Communications Breakdown, Kirtzman Strategies’ weekly email focusing on media and communications. The reception to our new baby has been pretty awesome this month, and we want to hear your feedback – good, bad, ugly, or anything in-between. Enjoy.
Unforgettable
“The midterms are on Tuesday, but by Thursday they’ll be ancient history” -- Frank Bruni, on Sunday.

Blue wave, blue ripple, split verdict, Trump defeat, Trump victory, Trump happy, Trump mad. It’s all a blur. Democrats won the House, lost ground in the Senate, picked up some statehouses. Now it all seems so long ago. We were on to the next big thing before we’d been able to digest it all. Trump fires Sessions, appoints Whitaker, and instantly returns the word “Mueller” to everyone’s lips. He attacks Jim Acosta in a press conference gone berserk, as a female intern tries to rip the microphone from the CNN newsman’s grip (he wins the arm wrestle while addressing his 20-something nemesis as “ma'am.”) Acosta gets banned for his troubles. And then comes a round of recriminations over another horrific mass shooting.

But this wasn't just a weekly spin down the Trump vortex. This week, something substantial finally happened in response to his endless malefactions. With the loss of the House, Trump lost his war on Obamacare and entitlements before it even began. He lost protection from the Russia probe. He lost the indifference to his cabinet scandals. The mindless choreography of shock and outrage was disrupted. Something actually changed. 
An Oldie, Reissued
Are we the only ones surprised that an actual policy issue won the day for the Democrats? Health care is an oldie, but somewhere out there a pollster is smiling for persuading the party that the issue would still play out in the real world. Amid all the race-baiting, bombast and cacophony of nonsense over caravans and criminals, a class of Democratic House candidates managed to stick with the program and lacerate the administration over insurance for pre-existing conditions. It was an opportune time for a flash of normalcy to make a cameo, even if for just a fleeting moment.
Where'd My Enemy Go?
For the first time in recent memory, New York State is governed entirely by Democrats. Feels like a big opportunity for Gov. Andrew Cuomo (just elected to a third term), but it’s fraught. For years, he counted on the Independent Democratic Conference in the State Senate to vote with Republicans, giving him an out when expensive liberal proposals died. Now the IDC is out of business, the Democrats are in charge of both chambers and there's no one left to blame. As the old saying goes, he’s the dog who caught the bus he was chasing.
Eustace Tilley Hits the 'Like' Button
On television, it’s all about the magic maps. John King on CNN is the perennial champion, using his thumb and fingers to flex and pinch counties, states and regions in and out of existence. On your laptop, phone or iPad (are iPads still cool?), The New York Times, Washington Post and Wall Street Journal are all about data, tallies and needles. This time around The New Yorker, of all places, got into the act. It turned on the after-burners for the first time on an election night, with an elegant and writerly approach that kept readers up-to-date in its own cultivated way as the returns streamed in. Wish Walcott Gibbs were around to give us the Upshot.
Not Funny? Maybe a little bit?
We always look forward to Saturday Night Live before an election; it’s usually when their writers throw out their sharpest stuff. At times they perfectly reflect the national psyche. This time, we liked the faux-commercial featuring sweaty, anxious Dems freaking out, but otherwise their political sketches felt a little been-there-done-that. There’s only so much that you can parody a parody. 
Can Michael Bloomberg Save the Planet?
“Lying in bed in the dead of night, gripped by anxiety because our president is unmoored, it seems almost impossible to contemplate another four years under this president. The dangers and obscenities flowing from the White House each day have triggered a state of panic among Democrats, and more than a few Republicans. What if flipping the House isn’t enough? What if this kamikaze presidency is extended past 2020?” Thus begins our thought experiment in City and State : What if Bloomberg actually won? 
Here and There
Comings and Goings in Media and Communications  
 
Curious who will take the place of Bill Keller, the former Times chief who is stepping down as founding editor-in-chief of The Marshall Project, the criminal justice website. This is a plumb for someone.… Daniel Holloway becomes executive editor, television, of Variety … Singeli Agnew, an Emmy- and Peabody award-winning documentary producer, joins The New York Times’ new television effort, “The Weekly.” 


(Please send your Comings and Goings to the email address below.)
Quotable
"You’re a rude, terrible person." Donald Trump, speaking to Jim Acosta at a White House press briefing, before revoking his press credentials.

 “I thought you would have more important things to do two days before an election — like sucking up to the guy who called your wife ugly and accused your dad of murder.” Jim Carrey, in a Twitter war with Ted Cruz.

“I’ll change my name to Amazon Cuomo if that’s what it takes” New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, on Amazon’s choice of its new headquarters.
Have a career announcement for Here and There? A Quotable quote?
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