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Looking at 2018 with Playbook's Anna Palmer and Jake Sherman

Preview: "The Takeout"
Preview: "The Takeout" with the Politico Playbook co-authors 02:29

Just two weeks into the new year and there's no shortage of political news -- a glimpse at the headlines of the past couple of weeks reveals escalating tensions with North Korea, punctuated by the battle of the nuclear buttons. Then, the president won praise this week for inviting reporters to view nearly an hour of negotiations with lawmakers over immigration, in particular, how to address the plight of DREAMERS, immigrants brought to the U.S. as children. The next day, still on immigration, in another meeting with a handful of lawmakers in the Oval Office, the president wondered why the U.S. wants to bring in "all these people from sh*thole countries," instead of, say, countries like Norway.

Mr. Trump also reflected this week on his administration's accomplishments over the past year: the stock market has been hitting record highs, African-American unemployment rate is at an all-time low, and, together with Republicans in Congress, he pushed through the first piece of tax reform legislation since the 1980s.

CBS News Chief White House Correspondent Major Garrett sat down with POLITICO Playbook's Anna Palmer and Jake Sherman Thursday over a mountain of breakfast tacos to hash all of this out and figure out what the year ahead holds.

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For instance, is there a real genuine chance for bipartisanship? 

"I would say no," Palmer opined. "That's pretty depressing, but I think -- listen, it's the 'Kumbaya' moment where they want to say that kind of thing, but we are clearly headed into, very quickly -- political 2018 midterms."

She added that Republicans have done nothing so far -- not on tax cuts or health care -- "to actually reach across the aisle.

"It's hard to see them do that now when they're talking about entitlement reform or infrastructure," Palmer said. And both of those require Democratic buy-in to get done.

But there is one area where the two factions might find common ground: the battle against opioid use in America.

"That's something that I could see Democrats getting on board [with]," Sherman said. "And I really do believe there will be something on that because that is an issue that affects every district...If they do it, it's a big political victory."

And political victories are what politicians can never really stop chasing during their time in office.

"I think the reality is that the minute the election happens, members of Congress and even the president, are running for their re-election," Palmer said. "Anything they do is kind of precipitated based on that. But they're also fundraising, they're also looking at who their potential challengers are going to be."

But lately, Republicans have had the sense that victories are going to be harder to come by in the midterms -- it's apparent in the dozens that are planning their exits.

"Look at the House," Palmer told Garrett. "You have 31 Republican seats open… there's this kind of almost feeling that you can't get away from that. Republicans feel like they're going to lose control of the House, and they just don't know by how much. And so every move is coordinated based on that feeling."

For more from Major's conversation with Playbook, download "The Takeout" podcast on Apple PodcastsGoogle PlayStitcher, or Spotify. New episodes are available every Friday morning.

Also, you can watch "The Takeout" on CBSN Friday and Saturday nights at 9pm ET/PT. For a full archive of "The Takeout" episodes, visit And you can listen to "The Takeout" on select CBS News Radio affiliates (check your local listings).

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Producers: Arden Farhi, Katiana Krawchenko

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