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Marc Short says "of course" he's anxious about midterms

Marc Short on midterms

The full episode of this week's "The Takeout," with White House legislative affairs director Marc Short, will post on Friday morning. 

It's White House legislative affairs director Marc Short's job to be the president's chief liaison to Congress, and while Republicans now control both the House and the Senate, it's far from certain they'll hold onto both after the November elections. If history is any guide, it's unlikely -- which Short is well aware of. On "The Takeout" this week, CBS News' chief White House correspondent Major Garrett asked Short whether he's anxious about the midterms. 

The two also discussed White House chief of staff Gen. John Kelly, who, Garrett reports, has been worn down by the job a bit and is a little weary of the pace and volatility of it. 

Here's what Short had to say on both those topics:  

Worried about the midterms?

GARRETT: I don't need to tell you, there's a tremendous amount of Republican hand-wringing about what's going to happen with the future of the House of Representatives and the United States Senate. That's your bailiwick. As a matter of policy and politics, will Republicans hold on to the House and the Senate in the midterm elections?

SHORT: I'm not as much of a prognosticator, Major. I think that - 

GARRETT: Are you anxious?

SHORT: I think - of course. I think that if you look at historical trends, I think America typically likes divided government so they could be pleased with the product so far, pleased with what they're seeing as far as the agenda that's been passed, yet still prefer a divided government. I don't think that that's an inconsistent argument. And so --

GARRETT: Are you bracing for that?

SHORT: I don't know that you brace for it. I think you just keep your head down, and you keep plowing through on the agenda, and that's what - that's what we're trying to do.

John Kelly status check

GARRETT: Marc, I know he's still Chief of Staff - representations about a good working relationship with the president but I do know from conversations with lots of people in and around the building General Kelly's worn down by the job a little bit, he gets a little tired by the pace of it and the volatility of it, and there are those in the White House who believe he has lost some confidence in some sectors of the West Wing. Is that true?

SHORT: I don't think he's lost confidence. I think that the job is very demanding, but I've also heard John Kelly on many occasions say this is the most important job that he's ever had. And he's had some incredibly important jobs. 

GARRETT: What do you think he means by that? 

SHORT: I think he knows that the role he's serving in right now is consequential to - we're at a very pivotal time in American history - and it's consequential not just to the economy of our country but also the national security of our country. 

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