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Mark Meadows is taking his free tea cups, and his many black friends, and his bigly serious concerns about balancing the budget, and going home! Or perhaps he's heading up the road to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue to stick a shiv in his good pal Mick Mulvaney's back. But he's not staying in Congress, goldurnit!

This morning, just hours before the Friday filing deadline, the North Carolina congressman announced his intention not to run again in 2020. Axios has his statement thanking God and Trump (if indeed there is a difference), saying, "For everything there is a season. After prayerful consideration and discussion with family, today I'm announcing that my time serving western North Carolina in Congress will come to a close at the end of this term." Amen, Rabbi.

Meadows went on to hint that he'd nope right out today if Donald Trump would only crook a little orange finger and beckon him into his doughy embrace, saying, "My work with President Trump and his administration is only beginning." When Politico asked him directly if he was leaving early to hop in the sack with President BeBest, Meadows didn't bother with subtlety.


At this point, I plan to serve the people of western North Carolina until it's decided that I can best serve the president and the American people in a different capacity. And so while there's no immediate plans, there's certainly discussions that have occurred and potentially could occur in the future.

Watch your back, Mick!

Trump already toyed with the idea of appointing Meadows as White House chief of staff, and he's never let Mulvaney take the "Acting" asterisk off his name tag. Even before Mulvaney confessed that Trump shook down Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy for his own political benefit, he was on the ropes with Trump. The Washington consensus has been that Trump would keep Mulvaney inside the tent pissing out until after the impeachment, but after that ... dead man walking. Don't worry, Mick, Trump will probably wait until you're out of the building to barf out a tweet humiliating you and calling your wife ugly! (Haha, no he won't.)

As for Meadows's congressional seat, Democrats need to manage expectations. North Carolina's 11th District did get slightly more liberal when a court struck down the Republicans' bullshit map that split liberal Asheville, but it's very unlikely to wind up as a Democratic pickup. Take it from Cook Political's Dave Wasserman:

But if you don't compete, you never win. Take it from Alabama Senator Doug Jones -- particularly since the filing deadline is fast approaching, meaning the GOP won't have a window to round up and vet a bunch of strong candidates.

On our side, several Democrats have already announced their intention to run against Meadows, including retired Air Force Colonel Morris "Moe" Davis of Buncombe County, who is getting a lot of national progressive attention. On that topic, we've got nuthin' but support for whoever emerges from the primary -- Democrats in NC-11 have a steep enough climb without avowed leftwingers like ourselves telling them who best represents their conservative district.

It's unclear who'll emerge from the GOP muck to take the Meadows seat. Roll Call says the congressman has ruled out a run for retiring Sen. Richard Burr's seat in 2022, and reports, "Meadows said it's up to the residents of western North Carolina to decide who will represent the 11 District next but he hopes he'll be passing the baton to another conservative." Which makes it sound like he's leaving it up to the North Carolina Republican Party. But with the filing deadline in a matter of hours, it's a safe bet that Meadows has some nasty Trumphumper just wriggling around in his pocket waiting to be deposited at the registrar's office to make his candidacy official. And if he doesn't, he's even dumber than we thought.

Even if we don't pick up this seat, we'll at least be spared Meadows's inane filibustering as the ranking member on the Oversight and Transportation Committees. So, let's call this one a win!

[Axios / Politico / Roll Call]

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Liz Dye

Liz Dye lives in Baltimore with her wonderful husband and a houseful of teenagers. When she isn't being mad about a thing on the internet, she's hiding in plain sight in the carpool line. She's the one wearing yoga pants glaring at her phone.

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