POLITICO Playbook: WHY A TOP JEB MONEY MAN may defect to Rubio: ‘I’m done’

OVERHEARD — Daniel reports: Some GOP senators say Sen. Ted Cruz has been noticeably nicer at the Capitol lately, as Marco Rubio rolled out endorsements from three GOP senators (Steve Daines, James Risch and Cory Gardner).

FINAL POLL AVERAGES that booted Christie and Huckabee from main stage (8 debaters) for Tuesday’s Fox Business debate in Milwaukee, and Graham from kids’ table (4 debaters), per Steve Shepard (Threshold for main stage was 2.5): 1) Trump 25.3 … 2) Carson 24.5 … 3) Rubio 11.8 … 4) Cruz 10.0 … 5) Bush 5.5 … 6) Fiorina 3.0 … 7) Kasich 2.8 … 8) Paul 2.5 … 9) Christie 2.3 … 10) Huckabee 2.3 … 11) Jindal 0.5 … 12) Santorum 0.5 … 13) Gilmore 0.0 … 14) Graham 0.0 … 15_ Pataki 0.0.

EMAIL DU JOUR, re Christie: “Now he’s in the Quiet Car!”

— @ChrisChristie: “It doesn’t matter the stage, give me a podium and I’ll be there to talk about real issues like this http://christiene.ws/1Nvu40o #BringItOn” … @maggieNYT: “Christie bumped from main stage just as he is getting a bit of mojo again after a long long long long year”.

By Mike Allen (@mikeallen; mallen@politico.com) and Daniel Lippman (@dlippman; dlippman@politico.com)

SCOOP DU JOUR — “Bush’s Rubio attack plan backfires : One of Florida’s top GOP fundraisers officially quits Bush team, signals shift to Rubio,” by Alex Isenstadt and Marc Caputo: “’I think the world of Jeb Bush … but the campaign has hijacked his message,’ said Brian Ballard, a Tallahassee lobbyist who contributed more than $25,000 of his own money and has raised hundreds of thousands of dollars more for Bush’s campaign and the super PAC supporting him.

“’The campaign has become negative, one that is about attacking and trying to bring down Marco Rubio. And that doesn’t sit well-not only with me, but with anyone who knows the two … Marco’s a friend of mine. I didn’t sign up for a campaign that was going to be negative and attack a bright star of the party’s future. It doesn’t make sense. I’m over it. And I’m done.’” http://politi.co/1XUtMDt

WASHPOST CLEARS RUBIO — “Here’s why the Marco Rubio’s corporate card saga isn’t really a scandal,” by “Fact Checker” Michelle Ye Hee Lee: “Rubio’s carefully worded explanation doesn’t quite rise to the level of a Geppetto Checkmark, but it is accurate enough that it does not warrant even a single Pinocchio. … [B]ased on the information released so far, a mountain’s been made out of molehill, by the media and Rubio’s opponents.” http://wapo.st/1MMxNrv

— “Cruz calls a one-on-one with Marco Rubio a ‘plausible outcome,’” by CNN’s Teddy Schleifer: “Cruz [told] … CNN’s Jake Tapper on ‘The Lead’ that … the Florida senator [was] a ‘formidable’ candidate in the ‘moderate lane’ … ‘I think they’re going to slug it out for a while,’ Cruz said, predicting a battle between Rubio, … Bush and others. ‘Once it gets down to a head-to-head contest, I think the conservative wins.’” http://cnn.it/1S2btIu

— “Bush Opens Up About Daughter’s Drug Addiction,’” by HuffPost’s Scott Conroy and Jon Strauss: “In an emotional interview conducted on his campaign bus, Bush spoke in highly personal terms about the toll that [Noelle’s] struggles took on her … family. ‘She went through hell … And so did her mom and so did her dad. And it was in a private setting, but then it became very public when I was governor. And it wasn’t easy.’” http://huff.to/1XTvu7S

LATE-NIGHT BEST — HILLARY on JIMMY KIMMEL: Jimmy: “President Clinton: would he be the first man, the first gentleman, the first mate? Who decides that?” Hillary : “He said the other day that it was fine for all the talk of me running to break the big hard glass ceiling and become president, but he was running to break the iron grip that women had had on being spouse of the president.” …

Jimmy: “He’s very popular still. If you were running … against your husband right now, who would win that race?” Hillary: “He is a terrific campaigner and I think he is good at it, it would be fascinating if he were able to run again — the Constitution says he’s not … I don’t want you to tell anyone that. But if he could, he would. … If I were going to run against him, would I win? Yeah!” Then she and the audience laugh. 4-min. video http://bit.ly/1MnmuEn

** Presented by Chevron: Our nation’s heroes deserve the very best when they return home. The USO has created programs to help veterans and their families restore their lives. Chevron is proud to support the USO in this essential mission. Learn more about the USO at: http://tinyurl.com/oedyj5t **

SNEAK PEEK — In Parade, “Sunday With John Dickerson,” by Kathleen McCleary: “[Q:] ‘How do you keep in touch with what really matters when you’re going at such a fast pace and involved in such elite circles?’ [A:] … Going to church helps too. I go to mass at 5:30 Saturday nights, at the church I went to when I grew up. The Stations of the Cross on the wall are just the ones I used to look at 40 years ago. I swear the brass chandeliers are still the same.” http://bit.ly/1MLtkp9

IN NYC? Join us THURSDAY — POLITICO NEW YORK PLAYBOOK LUNCH: New York Playbook co-authors Azi Paybarah and Jimmy Vielkind, plus Mike Allen, host a conversation with Rep. Hakeem Jeffries and Attorney General Eric Schneiderman; 12:30 p.m. at the Bank of America Tower. RSVP http://bit.ly/1GP6WZm Subscribe to New York Playbook http://politi.co/1WDH98i

2016 CULTURE — WashPost Style lead, “COMEDIANS ARE FEELING THE BERN: Why has the most humorless presidential candidate garnered mad support from the normally apathetic stand-up scene?” by Ben Terris: “[A] lot of comedians are liberal, a lot are handsomely educated but hardly well-employed enough to pay off their student loans, and a lot of them appreciate seeing a fellow angry person take the stage to tell it like he sees it. …

“And … comedians are going to appreciate anyone who is such a CHARACTER: Sanders talks with a funny Brooklyn accent, acts like a crabby grandfather, and for crying out loud, his name is BERNIE.” http://wapo.st/1MMz420

THE PAPERS: N.Y. Times, top of col. 1, “BLACK VOTERS SEE CARSON’S APPEAL, BUT HE HOLDS OFF: LITTLE TURNOUT EFFORT — Candidate Is Seen as Not Exploiting a Singular Opportunity,” by Jonathan Martin in West Memphis, Ark. http://nyti.ms/1OsOEQr … L.A. Times A1, at fold, “Carson can thank evangelicals’ faith for surge in polls,” by Seema Mehta in Sioux City, Iowa http://lat.ms/1HwdAPa

SUNDAY SO FAR:

— ABC’s “This Week”: Bernie Sanders … Trump phoner … Defense Secretary Ash Carter talks to Bob Woodruff … Rep. Peter King on the Russian plane … Jon Mecham … Roundtable: Rich Lowry, Donna Brazile, Alex Castellanos, Maggie Haberman.

— CBS’s “Face the Nation”: Ben Carson … Trump phoner … Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand … CBS News Senior Security Contributor Michael Morell … Panel: David Ignatius, Molly Ball, Ed O’Keefe, and Ben Domenech

— NBC’s “Meet the Press”: Roundtable: Marc Caputo, Hugh Hewitt, Gwen Ifill, Rachel Maddow

— “Fox News Sunday”: Chris Christie … House Homeland Security Chair Michael McCaul … Power Player: Arthur Bloom, founder of MusiCorps, with a mission to teach music to disabled soldiers. … Panel: Karl Rove, Julie Pace, Kim Strassel, Juan Williams

— CNN’s “State of the Union”: Rand Paul … Trump phoner … Panel: Patti Solis Doyle; former Va. Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli, president of Senate Conservatives Fund; Bakari Sellers; Ana Navarro

VALLEY TALK — USA Today banner, “5 companies grab 70% of online dollars: Internet giants such as Facebook and Amazon [plus Alphabet, which includes Google; eBay; and Liberty Interactive Corp., the parent of QVC] take in $300 billion,” by Matt Krantz: “Amazon and Alphabet together hauled in 57% of the total revenue generated by the Internet companies over the past 12 months. …

“Internet profit is even more concentrated than revenue is. Alphabet generated … two-thirds of the aggregate net income collected by all the Internet companies … The big three … — Amazon.com, Alphabet, and Facebook — command more than 70% of the industry’s total market value of $1.5 trillion.” http://usat.ly/1MMwNDS

TOP EDS — DAVID BROOKS, “Great News! We’re Not Doomed”: “[H]ealth care inflation has been at historic lows. … We seem to be making at least some incremental progress toward a structural reduction in health care inflation. Many Americans are feeling gloomy about accomplishing anything these days, but progress is possible. We haven’t whipped health care inflation, or defeated our intractable budget issues. But the evidence suggests we’re landing a few serious blows.” http://nyti.ms/1S1Guw3

N.Y. TIMES QUOTATION of the day — PRESIDENT OBAMA, about a Russian passenger plane that broke apart last Saturday over Egypt: “I think there is a possibility that there was a bomb on board. And we are taking that very seriously.”

PIC DU JOUR — @davidaxelrod: “Seven years and a day after Grant Park, a reunion with @davidplouffe, @jonfavs & Robert Gibbs!” http://bit.ly/1LTPeD2

“60 MINUTES” listings — “Into Dangerous Hands — Scott Pelley uncovers critical lapses in the US security clearance process that millions of people, including NSA leaker Edward Snowden and convicted spy Chelsea Manning, must pass to work with America’s secrets. Michael Rey and Oriana Zill de Granados are the producers. … The Collider — The Large Hadron Collider has already helped scientists find the Higgs Boson — which some call the ‘God Particle.’ Now scientists are hoping it will reveal other secrets of the universe as it begins smashing subatomic particles together at nearly double the energy. Lesley Stahl reports. Andy Court, Keith Sharman, and Sarah Fitzpatrick are the producers. … Hamilton — An unorthodox musical with a diverse cast about the life of Alexander Hamilton is creating waves on Broadway and beyond while it smashes box office records. Charlie Rose reports. Graham Messick is the producer.”

TWITTER CONVERSATION OF THE DAY — @RyanSeacrest: “any good spots to eat in Washington, D.C.? cc @wolfblitzer” … Wolf tweeted him back saying “Thanks @RyanSeacrest I have a Monday-Friday reservation in The @CNNSitRoom 5–7PM ET. Would you like to join us?” and then Ryan tweeted back “@wolfblitzer @CNNSitRoom haha thank u wolf but I like my restaurants with less b-roll and more egg roll”

NEW PAUL RYAN VIDEO, “A Different Kind of Speaker” — Speaker Paul Ryan is releasing the first behind-the-scenes video of his Speakership which “features footage you won’t see anywhere else, including Speaker Ryan greeting his wife, Janna, and three children right after being sworn in and walking down to the Capitol Visitor Center to welcome guests from Janesville, Wisconsin.” 1-min. video, with lots of peppy music http://bit.ly/1MLKAdL

MEDIAWATCH — “New cabinet [trade] minister Chrystia Freeland sees free trade as key to middle-class prosperity,” by Financial Post’s Drew Hasselbeck: “When she was first elected as an MP in a 2013 by-election in a Toronto riding, she made the battle against income inequality and the hollowing out of the middle-class her cause célèbre. Those positions may underpin her tenure in the trade portfolio. She has argued that free trade is a necessary step to improving middle class prosperity in Canada.” http://bit.ly/1PqFum8

FUTURE OF NEWS — “NYT VR [Virtual Reality]: How to Experience a New Form of Storytelling From The Times”: “NYT VR is a mobile app that can be used — along with your headphones and optionally a cardboard viewing device — to simulate richly immersive scenes from across the globe. To start, The Times Magazine presents three portraits of children driven from their homes by war and persecution — an 11-year-old boy from eastern Ukraine named Oleg, a 12-year-old Syrian girl named Hana and a 9-year-old South Sudanese boy named Chuol.” http://nyti.ms/1Ngq3Zh … Intro by Jake Silverstein http://nyti.ms/1Ngq6Ej

REMEMBERING GEORGE BURKE: 75 people gathered at the Rayburn Horseshoe to remember George Burke, the late spokesman and close friend of Rep. Gerry Connolly (D-Va.). Connolly and former Rep. Jim Moran spoke, giving emotional tributes to Burke, who passed away last week after a lengthy battle with cancer. Burke was 64. Burke worked for 14 years as the assistant to the general president for communications and media for the International Association of Firefighters. He also worked for former Reps. Norman D’Amours and James Scheuer. “His passing left a hole in our [staff] and in our family,” Connolly said. “It was a privilege to know him.” Moran said, “George Burke loved politics because he loved people.”

WELCOME TO THE WORLD — Gregg Pitts, former Bush WH travel office director now consultant at private jet charter Advanced Aviation Team, and Brooks Brunson of Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck, post on Instagram: “Brooks and I would like to introduce Thomas Allyn Brunson-Pitts. Born [yesterday] at 7:55 pm, 6 lbs, 15 oz and 19 in long. We can’t express how blessed we are to be adoptive fathers. Baby and birthmother are healthy.” Pic http://bit.ly/1LTKCwG

TRANSITIONS — “MSNBC Producer Carmen Widman Joins Marathon Strategies” as SVP of media relations — “Carmen has worked at MSNBC as a senior level Booking Producer for the past 15 years, collaborating with veteran journalists such as Andrea Mitchell and Lester Holt. … She has previously worked at WNBC as well as at ABC and News 12.” http://politi.co/1GNNJaH

— “Andrew Fimka Joins the NJI Media Team as Sr. VP of Strategy”: “He’ll oversee projects with Business Roundtable, U.S. Steel, American Gaming Association, Hilton, Institute for Energy Research, as well as other issue advocacy groups. … Andrew comes to NJI Media from Story Partners where he served as [VP]”. http://bit.ly/1Stmfbt

OUT AND ABOUT — FamousDC hosted DC types last night for a preview of restaurant menu trends for 2016 at the National Restaurant Association; among the food passed around included chervil lobster rolls, miso eggplant cones, and chimmichurri beef.

SPOTTED: Amy Fenton, Clinton Yates, Chris Moody, Katy Summerlin, Jennifer Stong, Sue Hensley, Greg Crist, Josh Shultz, Stuart Roy, Ellie Wallace, Marie Formica, Nathan Imperiale, Matt Haller.

— Friends and colleagues toasted Fox News host Brian Kilmeade for his new book “Thomas Jefferson and the Tripoli Pirates: The Forgotten War That Changed American History” at Johnny’s Half Shell, right by Fox, so people could run up and do hits then come back to party more. The food included burger sliders, risotto balls, shrimp-n-grits, very fattening for people who live on television. $16.77 on Amazon http://amzn.to/1NgkqdA SPOTTED: Alex Conant, Sergio Gor, Emoly Lynn, Jordan Bloom, Jackie Kucinich, Shannon Bream, James Rosen, Chris Stirewalt, Bret Baier, Judge Napolitano, Christina Robbins.

— NRCC’s 2010 team had a reunion last night at Due South to celebrate the Majority Makers that made 2010 possible.

BIRTHDAYS : Dan Senor … Sid Blumenthal … Education Secretary Arne Duncan is 51 … Catherine Crier is 61 … Maria Shriver is 60 … FP1 Strategies’ Rob Jesmer, the pride of St. Paul … Arun Chaudhary, the pride of Chappaqua, N.Y., is 4–0; currently creative genius for Revolution Messaging and the Bernie Sanders campaign, previously Obama ’08 and the WH, where he served as the first official White House videographer in a position created for him by President Obama … Ruth Messinger, president and CEO of American Jewish World Service … Katie Niederee, press secretary for Sen. Jerry Moran (h/t Lindsay Bembenek, filing from London) …

… Max Gleischman, VP at the Glover Park Group … Ira Fishman, COO/managing director at NFL Players Association (h/t Jon Haber) … The Nation’s Mychal Denzel Smith (h/t Kiara Pesante) … Ashley Lewis, 2014 DCCC alum now senior advisor for comms. at the Ex-Im Bank (h/ts Danielle Gilliam and Troy Perry) … Politico’s Louis Nelson is 27 … Alan Dechert is 64 … Third Way’s Whitney Mitchell … Politico’s Ana Estes … Bush WH alum Matt Kirk, now an SVP at The Hartford … Bush 43 State alum JoJo Sears, now in media relations and public advocacy at Raytheon … Suzanne Granville … Rick Nussio … Matt Wyatt … Sheila Walter … Scott Anderson, executive director at Committee on States … LaCreda Drummond-Mondon …

… Ian Braun … NPR’s Eric Deggans, a Tampa Bay Times alum, is 5–0 … Diana Banister … Ben Wrobel of Village Capital and CAP … Julia Moseley … Gray Brooks … NBC News’ Gresham Striegel … Michael Beland, senior manager at Deloitte & Touche and a DHS alum … Trish Turner, senior producer at “CBS This Morning” in D.C. and a Fox alum … Chris Fitzgerald … Suzanne Granville … Sara Bowlsby … Tommy Norman … Burson Taylor Snyder, deputy chief of staff for Sen. Roy Blunt … Andrew Weinberg … LaCreda Drummond-Mondon … actress June Squibb is 86 … Sally Field is 69 … Ethan Hawke is 45 … basketball player Lamar Odom is 36 … Patina Miller (Daisy on “Madam Secretary”) is 31 … Emma Stone is 27 … actress Mercedes Kastner is 26 (h/ts AP)

** Presented by Chevron: Our nation’s heroes deserve the very best when they return home. The USO has created programs to help veterans and their families restore their lives. Chevron is proud to support the USO in this essential mission. Learn more about the USO at: http://tinyurl.com/owr4smw **

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