A long string of Sunday programming devoted to impeachment and the 2020 race is broken today by this week’s news out of Baghdad, with the morning shows turning their attention to the killing of Qassem Soleimani in a U.S. airstrike on Thursday night. Turn the dial in any direction and you’ll find Mike Pompeo, who’s booked on all five major news programs to discuss Trump’s thinking on taking out Soleimani and America’s next steps. The first question he’ll get in each interview is “Why now?” Soleimani was the worst of the worst, but he’d been the worst of the worst for decades. What changed so suddenly and starkly that the White House concluded it was time to eliminate him knowing that that would ruin any chance of diplomacy with Iran and risk reprisal attacks across the world? We’ll see if Pompeo’s willing to share specifics on the intelligence.
The other noteworthy guest this morning is Elizabeth Warren, a candidate who’s ducked the Sunday shows for months but who no longer has the luxury of riding above the fray. She’s third nationally in the RCP average as I write this and fourth in both Iowa and New Hampshire. With less than a month until the caucuses and facing the prospect of being shanghaied in Washington this month due to Trump’s impeachment trial instead of out on the campaign trail, she needs all the free face time with voters she can get. She’ll take some hard questions this morning about her recent decline in polling and her conspicuous lack of interest lately in talking about Medicare for All, which is supposed to be one of her showcase policy proposals. And of course she’ll pander to the left by further retreating from her comments on Thursday that Soleimani was a “murderer,” a perfectly apt statement that nonetheless got her accused of being a warmonger by progressives. She’ll be on “Meet the Press” and “State of the Union.”
Lots of other big names are booked to talk Soleimani today — and impeachment too, of course. Chuck Schumer will join “This Week” to whine about McConnell’s refusal to call new witnesses at Trump’s upcoming trial and to warn Trump not to go starting any wars with Iran without congressional approval. Senators Chris Murphy and Marco Rubio will appear on “Face the Nation” to make the cases, con and pro, respectively, for targeting Soleimani. And Adam Schiff will drop by “State of the Union” to express his own deep concern about, well, everything. You know how an Adam Schiff interview goes by now, having endured tens of thousands of them on the Sunday shows over the past year or so. The full line-up is at the AP.