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  1. Florida Politics

Around Washington, little sign of big election change coming

WASHINGTON — Donald Trump wants to drain the swamp, but Washington isn't preparing to be drained.

Even with new upheaval in the election, the mood here remains the same: Republicans and Democrats expect Hillary Clinton will be the next president.

"If it were Trump, people would be looking into Canada's immigration laws," joked Jose Parra, a former adviser to Democratic Sen. Harry Reid. "There would be resumes flying. Corporate America would be getting flooded."

"Obviously, what happened on Friday did make people perk up," said Parra, referring to the FBI's bombshell.

Republicans aren't as willing to openly say it but the GOP's focus is not Trump, rather trying to maintain Senate control and hold back the possibility Democrats could grab the House, too.

Maybe everyone here is as clueless as Trump says. "I want the entire corrupt Washington establishment to hear and to heed the words we are all about to say: 'When we win on November 8th, we are going to Washington, D.C. And we are going to drain the swamp,' " he said Monday in Michigan.

This town thrives on conventional wisdom and obsesses over polls and how much money each campaign has. In that context, Clinton's the winner.

Already headlines are surfacing about personnel moves. "Hillary Clinton is considering keeping Ernest Moniz on as secretary of energy, should she win the presidential election next month, a source familiar with the Clinton campaign's planning told BuzzFeed News," read a story over the weekend.

Those decisions are being made in an office building near a Jimmy John's down the street from the White House. Clinton transition team members are vetting candidates for Cabinet and hundreds of key jobs. Across the hall, Trump has a group doing the same, the space paid for by the federal government.

"These are both very active teams. It's a friendly or an unfriendly takeover concept, but they are both doing the job," said David Eagles, director of the Center for Presidential Transition. "There was never in our mind any slowdown from either team."

The new president has to make 4,000 appointments, about 1,100 of which require Senate approval. If Clinton wins, many of the lower-level jobs will likely remain filled by the same person, which helps explain the lack of urgency here.

Another sign of the consensus in Washington: The rampant speculation about which Republicans will run against Clinton in 2020, including Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida, Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas and House Speaker Paul Ryan.

Others, such as Utah Rep. Jason Chaffetz, chairman of the House Oversight Committee, are gearing up to continue what has already been years of investigations into Clinton.

"It depends on who stays and who goes," Chaffetz said recently told the Washington Post, talking as though a Clinton administration is certain. "If Hillary Clinton brings in the same gang — Loretta Lynch, Cheryl Mills, Huma Abedin, Jake Sullivan — she has her cast of characters. If they put on the same play, she's not going to get good reviews from the critics."

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