Democrats focus on cutting off path to victory for Trump if presidency is thrown to House to decide

And, if successful in elevating Scholten, Biden’s trip could serve as a backstop for his own presidential bid.

A Scholten victory would likely give Democrats eight of Michigan’s 14 seats in the House, helping House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s newly stated goal of blocking Trump from a last-gasp effort to remain in the White House if he does not win the November election.

It’s all very complicated, but there is a remote chance that neither Trump nor Biden will be a clear winner in the electoral college.

In such a scenario, deciding the presidency falls to the House of Representatives, but in a rare twist mandated by the 12th Amendment after the contested 1800 election, each state’s delegation counts as one vote. So Montana and Alaska, with just one at-large representative, count the same as California with its 53 members and Texas with 36 members.

The victor must receive at least 26 votes, a clear majority. Trump, in recent days, has proclaimed he is ready to fight in courts if he should lose the race, and that he is ready to force the matter all the way to the House.

“I don’t want to go back to Congress, even though we have an advantage if we go back to Congress,” Trump told supporters at a rally Saturday in central Pennsylvania. “Does everyone understand that? I think it’s 26 to 22 or something.”

That is true — for now. Republicans have the delegation majority in 26 states, Democrats have 22 states, while Pennsylvania and Michigan are essentially tied. But, as Pelosi (D-Calif.) noted in a memo to her caucus Sunday, the new Congress sworn in the first week of January would cast those votes early next year ahead of the scheduled Jan. 20 inauguration.

With an already huge cash advantage over House Republicans, Pelosi has pleaded with her caucus and her donors to open their checkbooks to help flip those majorities to Democrats and cut off Trump’s path to a second term.

“What we hope to accomplish is to send a very clear message on Election Day to the president: There ain’t no light at [the end of] the tunnel for you in the House of Representatives,” Pelosi said Thursday at her weekly news conference. “That isn’t going to work. So don’t cause chaos because you think it will lead to a light at the end of the tunnel, because that light at the end of the tunnel in the House is going to be a train coming right at your plans.”

That message has landed in a select group of about 15 districts across six states, where already competitive races for the House now carry an even greater weight.

“The future of the presidency hangs in your race? No pressure there,” Scholten joked Thursday in a Zoom call with other Democratic candidates. “Right? We are certainly aware of the discussions around this.”

Michigan landed at an even seven-seven split after Democratic gains in the 2018 midterm elections. Then, Rep. Justin Amash

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Pelosi preparing for House to decide presidency if neither Trump or Biden win electoral college: report

Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiPelosi: Trump Supreme Court pick ‘threatens’ Affordable Care Act Sunday shows preview: Lawmakers prepare for SCOTUS confirmation hearings before election Will Democrats attempt to pack the Supreme Court again? MORE (D-Calif.) is reportedly preparing lawmakers for the possibility of an Electoral College tie forcing the House to decide the election, according to a Politico report published Sunday.

Such a scenario would involve each of the 50 state delegations in the House having just one vote in the process, Pelosi reportedly warned House Democrats in a letter Sunday, and would force Democrats to shift their strategy ahead of November.

“The Constitution says that a candidate must receive a majority of the state delegations to win,” the House leader wrote, according to Politico. “We must achieve that majority of delegations or keep the Republicans from doing so.”

A tie in the Electoral College could result from a number of scenarios, including neither candidate reaching 270 electoral votes due to voting totals or as the result of so-called “faithless” electors, or electors who do not vote for the candidate who is victorious in their state.

An elector hasn’t voted for the candidate to come in second place in their state since 1968, according to 270 To Win, but in 2016 several electors refused to cast their votes at all, an unusually high number.

Republicans currently hold overall control of 26 state delegations, compared to 23 for Democrats. Pennsylvania’s delegation is split evenly. Both of those numbers could change wildly in November, however, as all 435 voting members of the House are up for reelection.

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Pelosi begins mustering Democrats for possible House decision on presidency

Pelosi, in a Sunday letter to House Democrats, urged them to consider whether the House might be pulled into deciding who is president when determining where to focus resources on winning seats in November. This could lead to more concerted efforts by Democrats to win in states such as Montana and Alaska — typically Republican turf but where Democrats have been competitive statewide. In these states, Democratic victories could flip an entire delegation with a single upset House victory.

“The Constitution says that a candidate must receive a majority of the state delegations to win,” Pelosi wrote. “We must achieve that majority of delegations or keep the Republicans from doing so.”

Pelosi has also raised the issue repeatedly in recent weeks with her leadership team. Other senior House Democrats told POLITICO they’d heard about these concerns from colleagues in recent weeks.

“We’re trying to win every seat in America, but there are obviously some places where a congressional district is even more important than just getting the member into the U.S. House of Representatives,” said Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-Md.), a constitutional lawyer.

Trump, too, has taken notice of the obscure constitutional resolution to a deadlocked Electoral College, both in public and private.

“And I don’t want to end up in the Supreme Court and I don’t want to go back to Congress either, even though we have an advantage if we go back to Congress — does everyone understand that?” Trump said at a rally in Pennsylvania on Saturday. “I think it’s 26 to 22 or something because it’s counted one vote per state, so we actually have an advantage. Oh, they’re going to be thrilled to hear that.”

In private, Trump has discussed the possibility of the presidential race being thrown into the House as well, raising the issue with GOP lawmakers, according to Republican sources.

Under the Constitution, the winner of the presidential election isn’t officially chosen until Congress certifies the Electoral College vote total on Jan. 6, 2021. That vote comes several days after the newly elected Congress is sworn in, meaning the delegation totals will change to reflect the winners of House races in November.

If neither Biden nor Trump has secured the 270 electoral votes required to win, the newly seated House delegations will then cast votes to determine a winner. States whose delegations reach a tie vote are not counted.

But it’s more than a math equation. If the House is asked to resolve an Electoral College stalemate, the country will be witnessing one of harshest exercises of raw power in history. If Democrats retain control of the House, they could opt against seating potential members whose elections remain contested, even if state officials say otherwise.

An informal whip count has already begun. Democrats hold a one- or two-vote seat edge in seven states that are expected to feature at least one sharply contested House race: Arizona, Iowa, Maine, Michigan, Minnesota, Nevada and New Hampshire. Republicans hold a similarly tenuous edge in Florida. The

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What Would a Biden Presidency Look Like? Obama’s White House Photographer Picks Six Photos That Offer Clues

For years, Pete Souza, the former chief official White House photographer of President Barack Obama, stayed behind the camera. But in The Way I See It, a new documentary from filmmaker Dawn Porter, the lens is trained squarely on him. The film, in select theaters on Sept. 18 and premiering on MSNBC on Oct. 9, focuses on his work during the Obama administration as well as the years he spent photographing President Ronald Reagan. “What I was trying to do was look for these authentic moments,” Souza tells TIME about his tenure in both administrations. “The fleeting moments that not only reflect what’s happening in front of you, but that reveal what the president is like as a human being.”

What Would a Biden Presidency Look Like? Obama’s White House Photographer Picks Six Photos That Offer Clues

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In recent years, Souza has become more outspoken, particularly about his own feelings on President Trump, on his Instagram account, where he has more than 2 million followers. There, he shares photographs from his time in the White House, many of which are accompanied by snarky captions that compare the current president to the previous one. The popularity of his account led to the 2018 publication of his most recent book Shade: A Tale of Two Presidents. He goes even further in The Way I See It, revealing more of his personal life onscreen. “This puts me in a more public footing, which is a little uncomfortable for me,” Souza tells TIME. “But at the same time, I couldn’t not agree to do this film. I feel so strongly about the institution of the presidency and how it’s being ripped to shreds by this guy.”

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Souza hopes that viewers of the film can draw connections between both Reagan and Obama through their appearance in photographs. “Whether you agree with their politics or policies, they’re decent human beings and they’re empathetic,” Souza says. “They know the presidency is about us and not about them.” Throughout the documentary, he discusses what it was like to have such unfettered access to Barack Obama and how he was able to showcase the former president’s humanity through pictures. In seeing authentic moments of a person exercising their capacity for empathy, we can understand what type of leader they are, Souza says.

Given the time he spent in the Obama White House, Souza also had a high level of access to the current Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden, when he served as Vice President alongside Obama. TIME asked Souza to choose photographs he took of Biden during that time to discuss what he thinks voters can glean about Biden as a leader, and what a Biden presidency might look like.

Reaching out across the aisle



Barack Obama, Mike Lee, Sheldon Whitehouse sitting at a table: President Barack Obama talks with Rep. Rual Labrador as Vice President Joe Biden talks with Sen. Mike Lee following a meeting with bipartisan Members of Congress to discuss criminal justice reform, in the Cabinet Room of the White House, on Feb. 24, 2015. Official White House Photo by Pete Souza


© Official White House Photo by Pete Souza
President Barack Obama talks with Rep. Rual Labrador as Vice President Joe Biden talks with Sen. Mike Lee following a meeting with bipartisan Members of Congress

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Pete Souza On What a Biden Presidency Might Look Like

For years, Pete Souza, the former chief official White House photographer of President Barack Obama, stayed behind the camera. But in The Way I See It, a new documentary from filmmaker Dawn Porter, the lens is trained squarely on him. The film, in select theaters on Sept. 18 and premiering on MSNBC on Oct. 9, focuses on his work during the Obama administration as well as the years he spent photographing President Ronald Reagan. “What I was trying to do was look for these authentic moments,” Souza tells TIME about his tenure in both administrations. “The fleeting moments that not only reflect what’s happening in front of you, but that reveal what the president is like as a human being.”

In recent years, Souza has become more outspoken, particularly about his own feelings on President Trump, on his Instagram account, where he has more than 2 million followers. There, he shares photographs from his time in the White House, many of which are accompanied by snarky captions that compare the current president to the previous one. The popularity of his account led to the 2018 publication of his most recent book Shade: A Tale of Two Presidents. He goes even further in The Way I See It, revealing more of his personal life onscreen. “This puts me in a more public footing, which is a little uncomfortable for me,” Souza tells TIME. “But at the same time, I couldn’t not agree to do this film. I feel so strongly about the institution of the presidency and how it’s being ripped to shreds by this guy.”

Souza hopes that viewers of the film can draw connections between both Reagan and Obama through their appearance in photographs. “Whether you agree with their politics or policies, they’re decent human beings and they’re empathetic,” Souza says. “They know the presidency is about us and not about them.” Throughout the documentary, he discusses what it was like to have such unfettered access to Barack Obama and how he was able to showcase the former president’s humanity through pictures. In seeing authentic moments of a person exercising their capacity for empathy, we can understand what type of leader they are, Souza says.

Given the time he spent in the Obama White House, Souza also had a high level of access to the current Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden, when he served as Vice President alongside Obama. TIME asked Souza to choose photographs he took of Biden during that time to discuss what he thinks voters can glean about Biden as a leader, and what a Biden presidency might look like.

Reaching out across the aisle

President Barack Obama talks with Rep. Rual Labrador as Vice President Joe Biden talks with Sen. Mike Lee following a meeting with bipartisan Members of Congress to discuss criminal justice reform, in the Cabinet Room of the White House, on Feb. 24, 2015.

President Barack Obama talks with Rep. Rual Labrador as Vice President Joe Biden talks with Sen. Mike Lee following a meeting with bipartisan Members of Congress to discuss criminal justice reform, in the Cabinet Room of the White House, on Feb. 24, 2015.

Official White House Photo by Pete Souza

“This is Biden talking to a Republican

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Michelle Obama Never Wanted Malia And Sasha To ‘Resent The Presidency’ While Growing Up In The White House



Malia Obama, Sasha Obama, Michelle Obama are posing for a picture: Michelle Obama opens up about what it was like raising her two daughters while living in the White House.


© Chip Somodevilla – Getty Images
Michelle Obama opens up about what it was like raising her two daughters while living in the White House.

Raising children in any atmosphere is no easy feat. Living in the White House and facing global pressure only increased the challenges, Michelle Obama confirms. The former First Lady opened up about raising daughters Malia, 22 and Sasha, 19 in the spotlight for the season finale of The Michelle Obama Podcast. During the episode, Obama spoke with her mother, Marian Robinson, and older brother, Craig, about what parenting lessons they learned while growing up in Chicago.

Any guidance grasped was naturally modified when the Obama family moved into the White House in 2009.

‘One of the things that I had to learn how to negotiate was creating these boundaries with my kids in the White House,’ Michelle remembered. ‘I mean, you talk about being raised in a totally different world than I ever knew? It’s like, pluckin’ these little girls out of our normal life on the South Side of Chicago with Craig, and mom, and our way of doing things, and our community, and then, putting them in a historic mansion with butlers and maids, and florists, and gardeners, and Secret service, and then trying to make sure that they understood boundaries, understood responsibility.’

Ensuring that Malia and Sasha led a semi-typical adolescence often required string-pulling from Marian, who lived with the family in the White House. ‘You had to basically upend the system of the White House to get them to make sure these girls had some semblance of normalcy, right?’ Obama said, revealing she’d often sneak her granddaughters ‘a little extra candy’.

Obama also recalled maintaining balance in Barack’s schedule, so that their daughters could appreciate their time at the White House, not begrudge it. “I always tried to make sure that I wasn’t pouting in front of the kids when Barack wasn’t there,” she explained, adding, ‘If I had made a big deal out of it and said, “Oh my god, your dad’s not here again! Oh, he’s missing this” or “I just wish…” then that’s the signal to them, “Well this isn’t normal”.’ She continued, ‘Even as Barack being the president of the United States, he worked his schedule around their schedule. They weren’t waiting until 9 o’clock at night to eat because dad was running late. They never couldn’t not go somewhere or do something because of dad. I never wanted them to resent the presidency, or resent what their dad did.’



a person standing in front of Michelle Obama, Barack Obama, Malia Obama posing for the camera: President Obama Holds Election Night Event In Chicago


© Win McNamee – Getty Images
President Obama Holds Election Night Event In Chicago

One milestone almost every family has to endure—dropping their child off at college. Obama reflected on the trip she and Barack took to Harvard for Malia’s freshman year. ‘Barack and I have two different ways of dealing with that anxiety. I just had a list of things to do. I was unpacking the room, we’re making the bed, we’re cleaning, we’re getting the

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