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Re: Election Errata
« Reply #915 on: March 08, 2019, 02:07:33 PM »
44 got a bad case of bunched up undies........


<a href="http://www.youtube.com/v/zzqa8h9xQQ0&fs=1" target="_blank" class="new_win">http://www.youtube.com/v/zzqa8h9xQQ0&fs=1</a>
I know exactly what you mean. Let me tell you why you’re here. You’re here because you know something. What you know you can’t explain, but you feel it. You’ve felt it your entire life, that there’s something wrong with the world.
You don’t know what it is but its there, like a splinter in your mind

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The future is Murder" - Leonard Cohen

RE

 The Democrats’ Dilemma

What Ilhan Omar and Dean Phillips tell us about the future of the Democratic Party.


By TIM ALBERTA

March 08, 2019

The Friday Cover for March 8, 2019: Ilhan Omar and Dean Phillips

Read more

Tim Alberta is chief political correspondent at Politico Magazine.

MINNEAPOLIS—They have gathered in defiance of the freezing temperatures on a late February’s night, scores of them twirling Somali flags in one hand and American flags in the other, crowding around the arrivals terminal and waiting to welcome one of their own. The vast Somali community in the Twin Cities is like one sprawling extended family, explains Ali Aden, a 39-year-old engineer who came to the U.S. two decades ago, as we survey the scene. When a prominent member of the family arrives, it’s customary to greet them this way.

“Is it Congresswoman Omar they’re waiting for?” I ask, referencing the freshman Democrat whose district we’re standing in.

“Ilhan?” he smiles broadly. “No, no. If it were Ilhan, the whole city would be here.”

As it turns out, the reception is for an obscure Somali government dignitary. In normal times, his arrival would be the talk of the local expat community; some 80,000 people of Somali descent are estimated to live in Minnesota, the largest community of the Somali diaspora in the United States, one that has distinctly flavored the Twin Cities’ culture and caused some occasional unease on the right, such as when then-candidate Donald Trump warned in 2016 of the “disaster” of Somali refugees moving into Minnesota and becoming radicalized by Islamic State.

But these are not normal times. The voters of Minnesota’s 5th Congressional District knew they were making history last November: Omar’s victory made her both the first Somali-American to serve in Congress and, along with fellow newcomer Rashida Tlaib of Michigan, its first Muslim female member. What they didn’t expect was that in her first seven weeks on the job she would become one of the most prominent, polarizing and recognizable politicians in America—the subject of fierce debates on the House floor and cable news, lauded on the left for standing up to Israel and vilified on the right for comments seen by many as anti-Semitic.

Omar was destined to stand out: After Congress changed its 181-year-old rule prohibiting headwear to accommodate her, she became the first person to wear a hijab on the House floor. But it wasn’t her wardrobe, or her religion, or her gripping biography as the congresswoman who came of age in a refugee camp, that distinguished Omar in her early days on Capitol Hill. Rather, it was her usage of social media and the uproar that ensued.

First, Omar tweeted that Lindsey Graham had been “compromised,” suggesting that his support for Trump—whom he’d verbally mauled throughout the 2016 campaign—owed to blackmail collected on the South Carolina senator. (Conservatives accused Omar of playing on the long-running, unsubstantiated insinuation that Graham is gay; she denied this, but apologized.) Then, after being seated on the House Foreign Affairs Committee, Omar was lampooned for a 2012 tweet in which she wrote during an Israeli military campaign in the Gaza Strip, “Israel has hypnotized the world, may Allah awaken the people and help them see the evil doings of Israel.” (Omar later apologized and deleted the tweet; she claimed ignorance of the anti-Semitic trope that conceives of Jewish hypnosis.)
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Notes of support on Ilhan Omar's name plate.

After uproar over an Omar tweet that some called anti-Semitic, supporters placed notes on Omar's nameplate in the Longworth House Office Building on Feb. 11, 2019, in Washington, DC. | Mark Wilson/Getty Images

Finally, in early February, after just over a month on the job, Omar made the jump from occasional agitator to permanent lightning rod. Arguing that U.S. lawmakers back Israel because of campaign donations from Jewish donors, the congresswoman tweeted, “It’s all about the Benjamins baby,” a reference to $100 bills. The fallout was fierce: The entire House Democratic leadership denounced Omar, forcing yet another apology, and both the president and vice president piled on, skewering the congresswoman for her remarks, with Trump even suggesting that she should resign from Congress. (Notably, neither Trump nor Mike Pence has ever criticized Congressman Steve King despite his well-documented record of openly racist rhetoric.)

All of this proved agonizing for Omar’s constituents, particularly those in the Somali community. Her arrival in Congress was meant to bring them legitimacy and representation. Instead, almost immediately, it invited controversy and humiliation. “I was shocked. I don’t like her on Twitter,” Aden tells me. “She’s very smart, and I didn’t think she would talk that way. It was an embarrassment for me as a Somali-American, because we do not like extreme left or extreme right. But she will do better. This is new to her—she will learn how to handle it.”

The more essential question, it seems, is whether the Democratic Party—its base bursting with energy, riding high off the House takeover of 2018—will learn to handle Omar.

The Minnesota congresswoman, along with the likes of Tlaib and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York, represents the unapologetic new guard of progressivism, pushing the party’s establishment to embrace tactics and positions that have heretofore been considered outside of the mainstream. Yet they face resistance not just from party elders but from many of their fellow freshmen, centrists who campaigned as fixers not firebrands, moderates who are watching warily as the Democrats’ brand is being hijacked by the far left. One of these members is Omar’s neighbor in Minnesota: Dean Phillips, a wealthy businessman who represents the 3rd District.

To better understand these dueling visions for the Democratic Party, I sat down with both Omar and Phillips, spent several days in their communities and talked with some of their constituents. What I learned is that, despite the cautionary tale offered by years of vicious Republican infighting, Democrats are dangerously close to entering into their own fratricidal conflict. On matters of both style and substance, the fractures within this freshman class are indicative of the broader divisions in a party long overdue for an ideological reckoning.

And Omar isn’t shying away from it. “I am certainly not looking to be comfortable, and I don’t want everyone necessarily to feel comfortable around me,” she told me, a mischievous smile tugging at her lips. “I think really the most exciting things happen when people are extremely uncomfortable.”
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Phillips, a friendly soul and consensus-builder by nature, is among those feeling a bit uncomfortable. Amid a discussion of Omar and Ocasio-Cortez, he complained, “Suddenly an entire party is being branded by the perspectives of two of its members who represent 1 percent of the caucus.”

For Somali-Americans like Aden, the Democrats’ identity crisis cuts more deeply. Joyful yet jittery in this era of anti-immigrant politics, they knew that she, as a Muslim woman born in Africa, would be a magnet for scrutiny, and it’s going to take more than a few careless tweets to diminish their immense pride in her success. What worries Aden and others in the Somali community I spoke with is that Omar has walked into a trap—stumbling into these controversies not because she is motivated by anti-Semitism, but by a background in grassroots activism and a belief that the only way to defeat Trump is to play the game by his rules: accusing instead of inquiring; wielding hyperbole as an everyday weapon; tweeting first and asking questions later.

“Trump is a radical. Maybe I should say he’s a racist, because that’s what I believe. But I don’t want to see others becoming radical as the result,” Aden, a naturalized citizen and a loyal Democrat, says. Like more than a few members of Pelosi’s team, he shudders at talk of impeaching the president—not because he likes Trump, but because he thinks it will help the president paint his opponents as “extreme, just like him,” and benefit his reelection in 2020.
Above: Omar campaigns on Election Day, November 8, 2016 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Below: Phillips greets guests at a picnic in Excelsior, Minnesota, on September 15, 2018.

Above: Omar campaigns on Election Day, Nov. 8, 2016 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Below: Phillips greets guests at a picnic in Excelsior, Minnesota, on Sept. 15, 2018. | STEPHEN MATUREN/AFP/Getty Images; Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call

“I just worry Ilhan will be too much left, like the woman in New York,” Aden says. “You know—AOC.”

***

In January, Democrats reclaimed the House majority with a freshman class of over 60 members, the party’s biggest in nearly a half-century. It has already distinguished itself as perhaps the most consequential crop of new lawmakers ever to arrive in Washington. Even more immediately than the 2010 wave of Tea Party Republicans rebranded the GOP just two years removed from George W. Bush’s presidency, this 2018 class has demonstrated at warp speed its capacity for manipulating the trajectory of the post-Barack Obama Democratic Party, its presidential hopefuls succumbing to the gravitational pull of the freshmen agitators within weeks of their taking office.

For Omar, there is no danger in calling for Trump’s impeachment, or in advocating the abolition of Immigration and Customs Enforcement, or in pushing “Medicare for All,” or in supporting the “Green New Deal”: Hillary Clinton carried her district by 55 percentage points in 2016. The same can be said for Omar’s closest friends: Tlaib, Ocasio-Cortez and Ayanna Pressley from Massachusetts. This clique of rookie lawmakers, who call themselves the “Squad,” represent four of the safest Democratic districts in America. They have come to Congress not to pursue incremental victories, but to push for wholesale change in the government and inside their own party, secure in the knowledge that their deep-blue backyards will buffer them from whatever recoil might damage other Democrats in less ideologically insulated parts of the country.

The dilemma for the party is that Democrats would not have won their majority without the influx of some 40 newcomers who flipped Republican-held battleground seats—the vast majority of them running on platforms of good government and bipartisan productivity.

In Michigan, while Tlaib’s flamboyant liberalism suits the Detroit-anchored 13th District—“We’re going to impeach the motherfucker!” she declared hours after being sworn in—it makes life considerably harder for Haley Stevens and Elissa Slotkin, a pair of moderate freshmen who won difficult races in the suburban-heavy 11th and 8th Districts, respectively.

And in New York, while Ocasio-Cortez puts the Bronx-based 14th District on the map with her championing of Democratic socialism, her fellow freshman Max Rose, a combat veteran who won a major upset in the 11th District by playing to the cultural conservatism of Staten Island, is forced to answer for his party’s lurch to the left.

But perhaps nowhere is the divergence inside today’s Democratic Party better crystallized than here in greater Minneapolis. Omar’s 5th District, which includes the airport, has not been represented by a Republican since 1962. A five-minute cab ride away is the Mall of America, located in Minnesota’s 3rd District, which had not been represented by a Democrat since 1960—until January, when Phillips took office after knocking off GOP incumbent Erik Paulsen last fall.

“The districts couldn’t be more remarkably different. They’re neighboring, but don’t have a lot of similarities,” says Ken Martin, chairman of the Minnesota Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party and vice chair of the Democratic National Committee.

Omar’s district is entirely urban, a mix of the very prosperous and the very poor, with a median household income of $63,202 and a mean household income of $88,390, according to the Census Bureau. Phillips’ district is mostly suburban, enwrapping Minneapolis like a giant “C,” containing blue-collar boroughs to the north, affluent areas to the west and upper-middle-class communities to the south of the city. Its median household income is $89,442, and its mean household income is $123,574.

That Phillips is Jewish and Omar is a Muslim—the only such neighboring members of Congress in American history—makes their intersection all the more intriguing, particularly in light of recent events.

Yet to focus too narrowly on this unique dynamic is to obscure the phenomena of polarity that Omar and Phillips represent. With a new generation of Democratic leaders emerging, and the left splintered over some of the existential questions of governing in the age of Trump, two warring iterations of the modern Democratic Party can be found in one overlapping zip code. Where Omar and her fellow safe-seat Democrats prescribe a fearless liberalism and believe Trump’s scorched-earth approach calls for zero-sum political warfare, Phillips and his swing-district confederates preach cooperation and a post-ideological pragmatism, fearful that the president’s surest path to reelection is to portray their party as even more dogmatic than his own.

The weight of these circumstances is not lost on either lawmaker. In separate interviews, both Omar and Phillips had kind words for the other, downplaying intraparty rivalries while offering bromides of shared goals for their caucus.

But once I began drilling down on specifics—of policy and strategy, ideological branding and political temperament—the tensions quickly bubbled to the surface. Their responses revealed not just disagreements within the Democratic coalition that will prove difficult to reconcile on Capitol Hill amid an acrimonious presidential election cycle, but also a hint of distrust that if unchecked could yield the sort of bloody internecine struggle that crippled the GOP for much of the past decade.

Welcome to the opening salvos of the Democrats’ Civil War.

***

Phillips has a pedigree that orients toward resolution, making him remarkably well-suited to the task ahead.

The grandson of renowned advice columnist Abigail Van Buren (“Dear Abby”), he traffics in relationships and common ground, viewing no problem as too big for people collaborating in good faith. The first group he joined in Congress was the Problem Solvers Caucus, a club of business-minded centrists that accomplishes little legislatively (and earns sneers on the far left and far right) but provides something of a spiritual oasis for moderates in both parties. The closest friendships he has made on Capitol Hill are with Republicans, though as a courtesy he checked with them before giving me their names, not wanting to inadvertently damage their standing on the right. And when Omar tweeted what was panned as an anti-Semitic trope, Phillips held off for many hours on issuing a news release, much to the irritation of Jewish friends and colleagues. The reason: He hadn’t spoken with his fellow Minnesota freshman and wanted to have a private dialogue before commenting publicly on the matter.

“That's how I wish more people would conduct themselves—let’s share it face to face,” Phillips says. “You know, a little more talking, a little less tweeting. It’s the tweeting that gets us into trouble.”
Rep. Dean Phillips in his Washington, D.C., office.

Phillips in his Washington, D.C., office. | Allison Shelley for Politico Magazine

Even as he said that, Phillips managed to show a level of empathy worthy of his grandmother. “Our conversation was about as much about me expressing my feelings and why I was hurting, why such language and statements are destructive, as it was an invitation to work together and start a respectful understanding and talk about our differences in life experience,” he said. “I mean, Representative Omar’s life experience and mine couldn’t be more dissimilar—but that’s the beauty of the United States.”

Fifty years old and fabulously wealthy, with black-rimmed glasses and waves of toffee-colored hair swept neatly back and behind his ears, Phillips looks the part of an industry mogul. His family is corporate royalty in the Twin Cities, with a liquor distilling empire he took over after earning his MBA and various properties scattered across the metro area. On a Wednesday afternoon, we’re inside one of them, a historic downtown building two blocks from the Mississippi River, once owned by the Pillsbury family (of biscuit fame) and now being sold off by Phillips’ family, which has used the estate to house its philanthropic work. Phillips mastered every gofer’s position in the distilling company before running it, then launched several other fruitful ventures of his own. It was only after he had established his own name, his own brand, that Phillips turned to politics.

Paulsen, the GOP incumbent in the 3rd District, had cruised to a fifth term in 2016—winning by 14 points—despite Trump losing the district by nearly 10 points. Unbowed and armed with a personal fortune, Phillips convinced party elders that he was just the sort of Chamber of Commerce-friendly, compromise-minded Democrat who could win independents and disaffected Republicans in the Minneapolis suburbs. He was right: Running as a problem solver on issues of health coverage, gun violence and fiscal profligacy, Phillips thumped Paulsen by double digits, flipping a GOP district that had stymied Democrats for years.

Two things have stood out about Phillips, as a candidate and during his baptism by tweet-fire in Congress. The first is his tolerance of—dare I say deference toward—Trump, a man for whom reflexive loathing is a prerequisite on today’s left. Phillips labored throughout his campaign not to mention the president at all; though Trump was deeply unpopular in the district, he says, voters rarely mentioned the chaos emanating from the White House. They were more interested in his bread-and-butter issues: expanding health-care coverage, getting corporate money out of politics, balancing the budget. To the extent Phillips talked about Trump, however, he came across as reverent, even appreciative, praising the president for channeling the angst of voters who felt abandoned by the governing class. This has continued since taking office: Several times in our conversation, unsolicited, Phillips cites Trump’s ability to connect with the neglected masses, once going so far as to credit him with showing Democrats how to campaign differently in 2018.

The second thing that distinguishes Phillips is his allergy to labels. He talks frequently of “outcomes” but can prove impossible to pin down on policy details, the result of a studied effort to avoid being typecast either as a wild-eyed progressive or a weak-kneed moderate. (According to the Minneapolis City Pages, he told voters at an event last year, “I’m pro-life. And I’m also pro-choice. And I don’t think they’re mutually exclusive. I think it’s really important to be both. And I celebrate both.”)
Top: Dean Phillips talks with people outside City Hall during early voting in Plymouth, Minnesota, on September 21, 2018. Bottom: A newly elected Omar speaks to a group of supporters in Minneapolis, Minnesota on November 6, 2018.

Top: Dean Phillips talks with people outside City Hall during early voting in Plymouth, Minnesota, on Sept. 21, 2018. Bottom: A newly elected Omar speaks to a group of supporters in Minneapolis, Minnesota, on Nov. 6, 2018. | Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call; KEREM YUCEL/AFP/Getty Images

In one breath, Phillips tells me, “I can’t think of many Americans who wouldn’t want better access to health care at a lower cost, wouldn’t want cleaner air, wouldn’t want to protect our environment, wouldn’t want to have better access to education at a lower cost,” he says. “These are all shared outcomes. … There isn’t a lot of daylight between what I want to see done and what some of my colleagues perhaps further to the left on the political spectrum may want.”

Yet in the next breath, when quizzed on some of the specific proposals in question, the daylight becomes blinding. He promptly points out that he didn’t sign onto the Green New Deal, a plan calling for tens of trillions of dollars to transform America into an Elysium of renewable energy. He scoffs at the mention of “modern monetary theory,” the fashionable notion pushed by Ocasio-Cortez and others on that left that America’s national debt is a meaningless number. He does not support a single-payer, Medicare for All health care apparatus. Nor does he subscribe to the increasingly common proposal of tuition-free college.

This is not to accuse Phillips of duplicity or doublespeak. Like many rookie lawmakers—at least, those of his moderate tribe—he doesn’t want to rock the boat. Those Democrats who flipped red districts campaigned on promises not to clash emptily with Republicans; the irony, of course, is that they arrived in Washington only to realize that the greater threat to their jobs is coming from the left flank of their own party.

Phillips approaches the subject like he approaches every other political subject: gingerly. “It’s creating some interesting challenges in that some very young and new members have followings. Two people, their collective following exceeds the entire remainder of the Democratic caucus,” he says, deploying some digital hyperbole in referring to Omar and Ocasio-Cortez. “By definition, they become to the public the voice of a party, they become even de facto leaders of a party.”

As if this point isn’t explicit enough, Phillips adds, “This majority was achieved not by winning in AOC’s district or Ilhan Omar’s district, [but] by victories in districts that had not been terribly favorable to Democrats in the past. … So if there’s a tension in the party, it’s how do you maintain that majority?”

***

Omar has a simple answer to her colleague’s question.

“I think you endanger your majority by not doing what got you into the majority,” she says. “And this is something that the Republicans often are in tune with that the Democrats are not. We seem to be afraid of our own shadow. We’ve become too afraid, I think, to actually listen to the people, and to recognize who our base is,” she says. “I’m fascinated by Republicans. They seem to have, for good or bad, a full understanding of their base and complete loyalty to them. We have a bigger base, but we seem to not understand them or have loyalty to them. When you are constantly trying to figure out how to appease everyone, you end up not appeasing anyone.”

The congresswoman is leaning forward in her chair, a sudden urgency inflecting her voice as she evaluates the diverging paths before the Democratic Party. Seated inside her fifth-floor congressional suite, a brunet headscarf framing her face and a winter coat draped around her shoulders to fight the morning chill, Omar was cautious when we began speaking. Understandably so: Between the Lindsey Graham controversy, the two early incidents of alleged anti-Semitism, and a recent viral sparring match with Trump’s special envoy to Venezuela, Elliott Abrams, she has the wary look of a battle-scarred trouper rather than a rookie lawmaker not two months into her first term.

But her guard doesn’t stay up for long. Though she is just 37, with delicate features, a puckish giggle and a strident social media voice that reflects her relative youth, Omar is a woman in a hurry.
Ilhan Omar is pictured.

Omar wore white with a group of female Democratic lawmakers at the State of the Union address on February 5, 2019. | Win McNamee/Getty Images

Having fled the civil war in her native Somalia at age 8, spending the next four years in a Kenyan refugee camp before finding asylum in America, her adolescence was spent questioning why the land of opportunity she had read so much about—her new home, the United States—was falling short of its promise. Landing briefly in the suburbs of Washington, D.C., and then in Minneapolis, she saw dire poverty. She saw broken schools. She saw people without health care. Naturalized at age 17, she set off for college in North Dakota, studying political science and beginning her journey as a community activist focused on nutrition and education. She knocked on doors and startled many a rural, white woman with her headscarf, only to form deep bonds over their shared anxieties, such as “having affordable child care, making it work with school, holding down a job, and making it home in enough time to make dinner.”

As the Somali population in her city continued to swell, so did the young activist’s discontent. By the time she ran for office in 2016, knocking off a 22-term incumbent to win a seat in the Minnesota statehouse, Omar was fed up—not so much with Trumpism, or with politics in general, as with the Democratic Party.

As she saw it, the party ostensibly committed to progressive values had become complicit in perpetuating the status quo. Omar says the “hope and change” offered by Barack Obama was a mirage. Recalling the “caging of kids” at the U.S.-Mexico border and the “droning of countries around the world” on Obama’s watch, she argues that the Democratic president operated within the same fundamentally broken framework as his Republican successor.

“We can’t be only upset with Trump. … His policies are bad, but many of the people who came before him also had really bad policies. They just were more polished than he was,” Omar says. “And that’s not what we should be looking for anymore. We don’t want anybody to get away with murder because they are polished. We want to recognize the actual policies that are behind the pretty face and the smile.”
Photos of the Somali community around Minneapolis.

80,000 people of Somali descent live in Minnesota, a sizeable diaspora that lends a distinctive feel to the state's major cities like Minneapolis, pictured above. | Mark Peterson/Redux Pictures for Politico Magazine

Omar embraces the comparisons between the Squad and the Tea Party. Despite the obvious philosophical differences, the models are strikingly similar: a two-term president leaves office with unfulfilled promises to the ideological core of his party’s base; that core base is galvanized by the election of the other party’s president; two years later, in that president’s first midterm election, the energy of that core base helps the out-of-power party retake control of Congress.

What remains to be seen is whether Democrats follow the comparison to its natural conclusion, with the insurgent activist wing swallowing up the party’s establishment. It’s a thought that paralyzes lawmakers like Phillips—and animates those like Omar. “We look at the negative aspects of the Tea Party and not really at the part of them that spoke to the American people, that made them feel like there were people actively fighting for them,” she says. “There’s a resemblance there. A lot of us are not that much different in our eagerness to want to come here and fight for our constituents, fight for the American ideals we believe in.”

The problem as Omar sees it—and not coincidentally, as some Tea Party conservatives saw it back in 2011—is that many of her fellow freshmen didn’t come to Washington to fight.

“I don’t believe that tiptoeing is the way to win the hearts and the minds of the people,” she says. “I get saddened by some of my freshman colleagues who can’t understand that within their districts the idea of Medicare for All is extremely popular. The Green New Deal is a very popular idea in their districts. Making sure that we have a final fix to our broken immigration system is very popular in their districts. What they pay attention to is the rhetoric that says, ‘This is a red-to-blue district, you have to be careful, you can’t talk about these policies.’ Well, in reality, these people are like everyone else: They struggle with the cost of health care, they struggle with our broken infrastructure, they struggle with having an economy that brings them into the 21st century. And we have to be willing to have those conversations.”
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi of California, center, holds a news conference on Friday, Nov. 30, 2018.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi of California, center, holds a news conference on Friday, Nov. 30, 2018. | AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite

Some of Omar’s colleagues in the Democratic caucus grumble that those difficult conversations need to be handled sensitively—and that the overzealous crop of young lawmakers are acting like bulls in a china shop. Indeed, just hours after I left her office, Omar was at the center of a fresh firestorm: This one owed to videotape that surfaced featuring comments made at an event in Washington the night before, in which she again took issue with Israeli influence over American policymaking, questioning some lawmakers’ “allegiance to a foreign country.”

Facing another round of denunciations, including from some of the most powerful members of her own party, Omar refused to back down. What ensued was a week of unmitigated chaos within House Democratic ranks: Senior Democrats pushed for a vote on a resolution condemning anti-Semitism, younger Democrats rallied behind Omar and objected to her being singled out, and the party’s leadership, desperate to defuse the situation, finally settled on a catch-all version of the resolution condemning all forms of hate speech, including against Native Americans and Pacific Islanders. It was a clear-cut victory for Omar and her allies on the left.

In a preview of her defiance, just hours before the videotaped comments thrust the congresswoman back into the national limelight, Omar told me that Washington—and especially her Democratic colleagues—should get used to her troublemaking.

“As much as other people are uncomfortable, I’m excited about the change in tone that has taken place that is extremely positive. The insightful conversations that we’re having about money and its influence in Washington. And my ability, I think, to agitate our foreign policy discussions in a way that many of my colleagues who have been anti-intervention, anti-war have been unable to do in the past,” she says. “So, I’m OK with taking the blows if it means it will ignite conversations that no one was willing to have before.”

***

It’s easy to overlook the fact that, as Phillips points out, Speaker Nancy Pelosi and the House Democratic leadership made their legislative priority, H.R. 1, a massive anti-corruption and voting-rights package that has near-unanimous support across the party’s internal divides.

It’s also easy to overlook the fact that, as Phillips also points out, the largest caucus within the House majority is that of the centrist, business-minded New Democrat Coalition. It boasts 101 members, many of them freshmen from swing districts. The group doesn’t get many headlines—“we’re not filled with show horses,” Phillips says—but its sizable membership reflects an ideological equilibrium in the caucus that isn’t widely appreciated.

And yet, if the divisions within the House Democratic caucus are a proxy war for the identity of the party, these insider battles are shaping up to be unfair fights. The intensity of the freshman progressives aside, leading Democrats hail primarily from areas of the country where working with Trump on virtually anything is a non-starter. For these members, even those inclined toward restraint, the realities of divided government and the zeal of their base provide an impetus for collision instead of collaboration.

“It’s not just the divide in the freshman class, it’s the divide between the Democrats who just got elected from swing districts and the Democrats who were elected to committees and committee chairmanships who come from ultra-safe districts and are now under heavy pressure from activists to investigate 10,000 different things in the executive branch,” says Dave Wasserman, the House editor at the Cook Political Report. “It was only a matter of time before these fissures in the Democratic caucus emerged, and they’re emerging with a vengeance.”

Meanwhile, in the nascent race for the right to take on Trump in 2020, the hearts and minds of Democratic voters are waiting to be won. No two elections are alike, and it’s premature to handicap the presidential field based on the cult followings enjoyed by freshmen members of Congress. But it’s increasingly difficult to envision a Democrat capturing the party’s center of gravity without replicating some model of what Trump did in 2016 and what Omar is doing in 2019: shunning the rules, turning up the volume and connecting with voters on their terms.

It’s a most discouraging thought for Phillips. “The only way to build a national brand it seems in this day and age, the only way to be listened to on a broad scale, is to throw political bombs,” he sighs. “And that’s a misalignment of incentives. There is not an incentive to conduct ourselves respectfully and decently.”

Inside the Mall of America on another snowy February night, a pair of local 25-year-old women, Duyen Lieu and Jeannie Farrell, can’t stop talking about the freshman congresswoman from Minneapolis. They praise Omar as courageous, trailblazing, a progressive visionary. Lieu says her supposedly anti-Semitic comments have been “blown out of proportion” by Democrats who fear her disruption of their clubby existence, and Farrell says “there’s a target on her back” because of her hijab, her refugee background and her Muslim faith.
Phillips and Omar pictured at a roundtable against gun violence on Friday, Oct. 26, 2018, in Minneapolis.

Phillips and Omar at a roundtable against gun violence on Friday, Oct. 26, 2018, in Minneapolis. | AP Photo/Jim Mone

They both follow Omar on social media. They also follow Ocasio-Cortez and other popular young Democrats. One person they don’t follow: Phillips, their representative in the 3rd District. In fact, they have never heard of him. (Omar has 800,000 Instagram followers and about the same on Twitter between her personal and political accounts, while Phillips has about 6,000 followers on Instagram and just over 20,000 on Twitter.)

It’s an open question whether the views of young, swing-district Democrats like Lieu and Farrell—who embrace the term “socialism” and are backing Bernie Sanders for president—portend the sort of rapid, sweeping changes Omar and her allies see in the party’s future. (Omar does not openly identify as a democratic socialist like Tlaib and Ocasio-Cortez; Phillips says the socialist labeling “drives me nuts,” and believes “it’s a damn big problem for the country” if his party gets branded that way because “two members out of 200” are so affiliated.)

What appears certain, however, is that the fault lines within this freshman class of House Democrats are the same ones shaping the contours of the party’s presidential nominating contest. Phillips, the business-oriented moderate, is backing Minnesota Senator Amy Klobuchar, someone who is “pragmatic” and will “build bridges” to win over independents and disaffected Republicans. Omar, the audacious progressive, has not endorsed, but says she is most excited by Sanders and Elizabeth Warren, candidates who are “not afraid” and have offered “bold proposals” that will turn out the party’s base.

One defining question Democrats will be expected to answer in the months ahead—both on the campaign trail and on Capitol Hill—is whether Trump should be subjected to articles of impeachment. While some progressives, including Tlaib, are actively pushing to begin impeachment proceedings, Democratic leaders have urged caution. They want members to wait for the release of special counsel Robert Mueller’s report on Russian interference in the 2016 campaign, fearful that the perception of overreaching could alienate the middle of the electorate and boost the president’s prospects for reelection.

Phillips and his fellow majority-makers from purple districts don’t need to be told twice. They’ll be dependent on ticket-splitters to keep their own jobs in 2020 and have little to gain by so much as uttering the I-word.

Omar is also reluctant, though, she professes, for a very different reason. She believes Trump is “completely insane” and has proved himself unfit for office. However, she adds, “I think the vice president is more dangerous than the man who is running the circus. So, impeachment is something that I think might become necessary—but I’m also afraid of it.”
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🗳️ Elizabeth Warren wants to break up Apple, too
« Reply #917 on: March 10, 2019, 12:55:11 AM »
How will this play with J6P?

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https://www.theverge.com/2019/3/9/18257965/elizabeth-warren-break-up-apple-monopoly-antitrust


Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images

    Policy

Elizabeth Warren wants to break up Apple, too
“Either they run the platform or they play in the store.”
By Nilay Patel@reckless Mar 9, 2019, 6:19pm EST
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Senator Elizabeth Warren proposed breaking up Amazon, Google, and Facebook yesterday in a post published on Medium. Her plan, which comes as the Democratic presidential primary contest continues to heat up, would classify any company that runs a marketplace and makes more than $25 billion a year in revenue as a “platform utility” and prohibit those companies from using those platforms from selling their own products.

Under Warren’s plan, Amazon would not be able to sell Amazon Basics products on the Amazon retail store, Google would not be able to promote its own products in Google Search, and Facebook would have to split apart from Instagram and Whatsapp.

But Warren’s proposal didn’t mention Apple, which clearly matches the same set of criteria: the company makes far more than $25 billion a year in revenue, and it operates the iOS App Store, in which it distributes its own apps.

I spoke to Senator Warren after she appeared on stage at SXSW in Austin, Texas today, and she told me explicitly that she thinks Apple should be broken apart too — specifically, that it should not get to both run the App Store and distribute apps in it. “It’s got to be one or the other,” she said. “Either they run the platform or they play in the store. They don’t get to do both at the same time.”

Warren’s plan to break up the world’s biggest tech companies is by far the boldest overall tech regulation proposed thus far in the 2020 presidential cycle, and it’s going to set off a fierce debate about antitrust policy among both Democrats and Republicans. After all, the push for stronger antitrust enforcement so far has actually come from conservatives.

Below, my interview with Warren, lightly edited for clarity.

So you announced a pretty bold policy proposal yesterday to break up three of the biggest companies in the world. You listed Amazon, Google, and Facebook, and you said you would break them up because they make over $25 billion a year in global revenue and they run markets in which they also participate.

Yep.

There was one company that fits that description that you did not mention.

Apple. They’re in.

You want to break up Apple as well.

Yep.

You were very specific in how you’d break up Google and the rest. How would you break up Apple?

Apple, you’ve got to break it apart from their App Store. It’s got to be one or the other. Either they run the platform or they play in the store. They don’t get to do both at the same time. So it’s the same notion.
"“Apple, you’ve got to break it apart from their App Store.”"

Pulling that apart, the App Store is the method by which Apple keeps the iPhone secure. It’s integrated into the platform. How would you propose that Apple and Google distribute apps if they don’t run the store?

Well, are they in competition with others who are developing the products? That’s the problem all the way through this, and it’s it’s what you have to keep looking for.

If you run a platform where others come to sell, then you don’t get to sell your own items on the platform because you have two comparative advantages. One, you’ve sucked up information about every buyer and every seller before you’ve made a decision about what you’re going to to sell. And second, you have the capacity — because you run the platform — to prefer your product over anyone else’s product. It gives an enormous comparative advantage to the platform.
"“This would not be the first time in US history that this kind of arrangement had to be broken up.”"

This would not be the first time in US history that this kind of arrangement had to be broken up. Back when the railroads were dominant, and you had to get steel or wheat onto the railroad, there was a period of time when the railroads figured out that they could make money not only by selling tickets on the railroad, but also by buying the steel company and then cutting the price of transporting steel for their own company and raising the price of transporting steel for any competitors. And that’s how the giant grows.

The problem is that’s not competition. That’s just using market dominance, not because they had a better product or because they were somehow more customer-friendly or in a better place. It’s just using market dominance. So my principle is exactly the same: what was applied to railroad companies more than a hundred years ago, we need to now look at those tech platforms the same way.

Why not mention Apple in your letter yesterday?

No special reason.

The comparison to railroads is really interesting because it was a very popular comparison during the net neutrality fight. The ISP runs the pipes, and you don’t want them to interfere with what happens on them. Would you also break up NBCUniversal and Comcast?

Yes. In fact, I’m already on record. I’ve actually already weighed in on that. I’ve sent letters, asked for hearings. I think I’ve done questions for the record in hearings. I’m already there. I’m clearly on record on it.

Obviously, the DOJ just lost with AT&T / Time Warner — you don’t look very happy about that. How would you unwind that one?

There’s two different questions. How well do I think the Justice Department and the FTC are doing? Not well at all, and not well for a long time now.

But the other half — how you break these things apart? Again, back in the days when we enforced antitrust laws, we did this for a long time. You peel the two pieces off. The easy one, obviously, is something like Amazon. It’s not very hard to see. You just say, okay, there’s an Amazon that runs the platform, that runs the store and people get shares of stock in that, and then all the little businesses, you get shares of stock in those, and they are now separated from each other.
"“The algorithm, at least in theory, goes back to being a neutral algorithm.”"

Then the platform has no reason to prefer what had been an Amazon-based seller of toasters or pet pillows or whatever it turns out to be, and we’ve got a robust marketplace with people competing once again. [The platform] also would have no interest in moving [search results] up to page one rather than page six. The algorithm, at least in theory, goes back to being a neutral algorithm.

So with railroads and ISPs, there’s a natural monopoly element —it’s hard to build a railroad, it’s hard to lay fiber. Is there an equivalent natural monopoly that you see with the giant platforms that leads to a regulatory move?

You know, the natural monopoly argument is actually... not everyone accepts it. And there’s some back and forth about whether that’s the phenomenon we’re dealing with here or not. My view is: I don’t care. [laughs] I’m sorry. What I do care about is I can see the advantages the platform gets, and because of that I say “Stop. You cannot use that information, the data you’re able to collect.” Because, literally play this game out a million times, right? There will be no competition.

There shouldn’t be only six companies.

That’s right, there should not be only six companies.

At $25 billion [in annual revenue to trigger a breakup], you’re not anticipating that the local supermarket is going to stop having to do house brands.

Exactly. And no one’s looking for that. You’re getting into the nuance, that actually this is a two level regulation. The one that’s caught all the headlines is that for everybody above $25 billion, you got to break off the platform for many of the ancillary or affiliated businesses.
"“When you’ve just got a bright-line rule, you don’t need the regulators.”"

But between 90 million and 25 billion [in annual global revenue], the answer is to say if you run a platform, you have an obligation of neutrality, so you can’t engage in discriminatory pricing. Obviously, it’s like the net neutrality rule: you can’t speed up some folks and slow down other folks, which is another way of pricing. So there’s an obligation of neutrality.

The advantage to breaking them up at the top [tier] rather than just simply saying, “gosh, girl, why didn’t you just go for obligation of neutrality all the way through?” is that it actually makes regulation far easier. When you’ve just got a bright-line rule, you don’t need the regulators. At that point, the market will discipline itself. If Amazon the platform has no economic interest in any of the formerly-known-as-Amazon businesses, you’re done. It takes care of itself.

You don’t think Jeff Bezos is going to manage himself to $24.99 billion a year in revenue?

If he did, he would have a neutrality obligation and he’d have regulators crawling all over him. He might decide he’d rather be at $25 billion and split it all up.

You know, everybody should keep in mind that when they split Standard Oil into all the components like Standard of Ohio and Standard of New Jersey and Standard of California and so on, they actually ended up turning a bigger profit for everybody who’s been shareholders and executives because the broken apart [companies] let people get in and trade more. And there was more competition. They weren’t getting the monopoly profits —that’s the downside — but some of them got a whole lot more competitive. And that’s a good thing. If those spin-off Amazon businesses are really damn good, have at it, baby.

That’s what this is all about. What I object to is when they’re getting their profits because they’re sucking out specialty secret information that nobody else gets, or they’re getting prime placement in terms of when they show up on a search.

So you’re articulating a bright-line rule. A lot of conversations I’ve had with antitrust people like the Tim Wus and Lina Khans of the world, they’re saying we need to change the standard. We need to go from the consumer welfare antitrust standard to a European-style competition standard. Are you advocating that we change the antitrust standard?

I just think it’s a lot harder to enforce that against a giant that has huge political power.

So you’re in favor of leaving the consumer welfare standard alone?

Look, would I love to have [that changed] as well? Sure. I have no problem with that.

My problem is in the other direction: there are times when hard, bright-line rules are the easiest to enforce, and therefore you’re sure you’ll get the result you want.

Let me give you an example of that: I’ve been arguing for a long time now for reinstatement of [the] Glass-Steagall [Act]. And my argument is basically, don’t tell me that the Fed and the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency can crawl through Citibank and JPMorgan Chase and figure out whether or not they’re taking on too much risk and whether they’ve integrated and cross-subsidized businesses. Just break off the boring banking part — the checking accounts, the savings accounts, what you and I would call commercial banking — from investment banking, where you go take a high flyer on this stock or that new business.

When you break those two apart, you actually need fewer regulators and less intrusion on the business.
"“It’s not only economic power that we need to worry about from the Amazons of the world — we have to worry about their political power as well.”"

You also get more assurance it really happened. We live in an America where it’s not only economic power that we need to worry about from the Amazons and Facebooks and Googles and Apples of the world — we have to worry about their political power as well. There’s a reason that the Department of Justice and the Federal Trade Commission are not more aggressive. There was a time, long ago, when they were more aggressive, a golden age of antitrust enforcement.

These big companies exert enormous influence in the economy and in Washington, DC. We break them apart, that backs up the influence a little bit, and it makes absolutely sure that they’re not engaged in these unfair practices that stomp out every little business that’s trying to get a start, every startup that’s trying to get in there.
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Is he EVER going to declare?   ::)

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    By Sam Sanders


“I’ve got to be on the timeline that works for my family and for the country,” Beto O'Rourke told reporters when asked by POLITICO about the delay. | Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty Images for SXSW

2020 elections
'It's a bit much': Beto drags out his 2020 tease at South by Southwest

The Texas Democrat confirmed more than a week ago that he'd made his decision on a potential run for president. He just won’t say what it is.

By DAVID SIDERS

03/09/2019 04:25 PM EST

AUSTIN, Texas — Beto O’Rourke took his 2020 campaign tease to South by Southwest on Saturday — and even by this city’s eccentric standards, the act was getting weird.

With a thick crowd waiting in front of Austin’s Paramount Theatre, O’Rourke slipped into the premiere of his own documentary through an alley in the back. He waited for the lights to dim before joining the audience. And 10 days after saying that he and his wife, Amy, had decided “how we can best serve our country,” he once again refused to discuss his 2020 plans.

“I want to make sure I do it the right way and I tell everyone at the same time, so I’ll be doing that,” he told reporters when asked by POLITICO about the delay. “I’ve got to be on the timeline that works for my family and for the country.”

What is unusual is not that O’Rourke hasn’t yet said whether he is running — former Vice President Joe Biden hasn’t, either. It’s that O’Rourke, unlike any other potential presidential candidate, confirmed more than a week ago that he has made his decision. He just won’t say what it is.

Instead, the politician who built his entire persona on a thread of authenticity — crisscrossing Texas while eschewing pollsters and political consultants in his Senate run last year — is now manufacturing suspense.
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“It’s a bit much,” said one Democratic strategist who has spoken with O’Rourke about working on the 2020 campaign. “The question is: Does he have a secret sauce that no one knows about — that no reporter, no operative, no strategist understands? Or is this just ‘The Beto Show’? And if this is just ‘The Beto Show,’ there’s a breaking point between strategy and narcissism.”

Even on Saturday, while O’Rourke was watching “Running with Beto,” the documentary chronicling his closer-than-expected Texas Senate run last year, his campaign sent supporters an email instructing them to share their phone numbers and email addresses “to be one of the first to hear the announcement” about any campaign.
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Mingling in the crowd, O’Rourke’s family members said they still don’t know what O’Rourke plans to do.

O’Rourke has privately discussed using Austin, among other cities, as a headquarters for his presidential campaign. The city is easier to fly into and closer to East Coast media and political centers than his hometown, El Paso, which is one time zone and more than 500 miles to the west. And with the South by Southwest music, technology and film festival underway, the city this weekend is hosting to thousands of young, internet-connected progressives that Democratic presidential candidates covet.

Democratic presiential candidates Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, Sen. Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota, former Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper, Washington Gov. Jay Inslee, former Health and Human Services Secretary Julián Castro and South Bend, Ind.,, Mayor Pete Buttigieg were in town, appearing on stages across the city. So was Howard Schultz, the former Starbucks chief executive mulling a run as an independent.
Joe Biden

2020 elections
Biden bid gets boost as 2020 field shrinks

By DAVID SIDERS and DANIEL STRAUSS

O’Rourke is widely expected to announce his campaign soon. And if he is running, there are some practical reasons to delay.

“The benign explanation is he wants to have his ducks in a row, and running for president is hard and requires an immense amount of planning and he doesn’t want to do it willy-nilly and make mistakes right out of the gate the way a lot of candidates do,” said Matt Bennett of the center-left group Third Way and who worked on the presidential campaigns of Bill Clinton and Wesley Clark. “And if that’s the case, then good for him.”

But waiting does not come without risks, including the possibility that the euphoria surrounding his Senate campaign may subside. Numerous Democratic activists, donors and high-profile politicians from across the country have complained privately that their calls to O’Rourke’s advisers still go unreturned.

“In Iowa, there’s a bunch of elected officials and county chairs and party chairs and activists and donors and staff that you would be talking to,” said Sean Bagniewski, chairman of the Polk County Democrats. “And I still don’t know anybody that he’s talked to in state.”
Beto O'Rourke

2020 elections
Beto O’Rourke says he’s made a decision, promises 2020 announcement ‘soon’

By DAVID SIDERS

Bagniewski added, “I think there was a really good window after the 2018 election where people were craving star power” but that with other Democratic contenders campaigning, “now they’re seeing there are legitimate stars in the Democratic field right.”

Hank Sheinkopf, a longtime Democratic strategist based in New York, called O’Rourke’s demurrals “good media theater.” But, he said, “It’s lousy politics. … Your supporters are going to dissipate.”

In Austin on Saturday, there were few signs of O’Rourke’s star dimming. Appearing in a liberal oasis in this heavily Republican state, the former congressman was met by supporters wearing old “Beto for Senate” T-shirts. And with nearly a year before the Iowa caucuses, it is possible O’Rourke’s dithering will be forgotten by an electorate that is not yet following every machination of the 2020 campaign.

Inside the theater, viewers saw an intimate, overwhelmingly favorable portrayal of the candidate. And when the prospect of a 2020 run was raised in the documentary, the audience cheered.

Yet there was one potentially foretelling moment of frustration, too. At one point in the film, O’Rourke is seen admonishing an aide, “You’ve got to keep us on a better schedule.”
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🗳️ Is Beto the Front-Runner or Already a Flop?
« Reply #919 on: March 12, 2019, 03:06:22 AM »
https://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2019/03/beto-orourke-must-compensate-coming-late-2020-race/584515/

Politics
Is Beto the Front-Runner or Already a Flop?

The former congressman from Texas is late to enter the 2020 presidential race but still might be able to blow everyone else away.
Edward-Isaac Dovere
10:35 AM ET


People attend an outdoor rally for former U.S. Representative Beto O'Rourke outside the El Paso County Coliseum, where President Donald Trump was holding a rally, in El Paso, Texas, in February.Rudy Gutierrez / Associated Press

In between the road trips and the Facebook Live posts, Beto O’Rourke seems to have made up his mind. Barack Obama told him back in December to get in touch with David Plouffe, who ran his 2008 campaign, and Paul Tewes, who directed the Iowa operation that scored a surging victory and propelled him to the White House. Both have now become O’Rourke advisers, along with other top Democratic operatives.

While his staff was signaling to potential hires that he will likely announce his presidential run this week, O’Rourke was still having conversations about who would be his campaign manager as recently as the past few days in El Paso, Texas. But he’s also let emails and phone calls from a number of interested operatives go unanswered, cautious about expanding his circle of trust and showing his hand.

Some professionals who have watched his decision making from afar have started to think of him as a dilettante, roaming the country on road trips searching for epiphanies. They have walked away from interactions with him and his team thinking that after a Senate race that almost overnight took him from being a no-chance nobody to the most famous 2018 candidate in the country, he’s somewhere between confused and conceited.

Read: Democratic operatives are building Beto O’Rourke’s campaign without him

“It used to be about missing cycles—now with Beto, it’s about whether he missed his moment,” said one Democratic strategist watching the race closely who, like others I spoke with, was reluctant to go public with O’Rourke skepticism.

Even some friends have struggled to explain what his delay has been about and how, if he’s had to agonize so long over whether to run, he could actually be ready for the campaign ahead, let alone the presidency.

But numerous other donors, operatives, and informal advisers are more convinced than ever of his potential, confident that he’ll reset a race that so far has not had a breakout candidate. And he and his team are counting on the attention that comes from shaking things up, especially with most voters still far from tuned in.

Read: Beto O’Rourke’s national celebrity was his undoing

With expectations so high, fans and rivals alike suspect that it won’t take long to see whether this works. He probably has only a week or two to be tagged as a front-runner or a flop.

In his handful of public appearances, interviews, and messages to supporters, O’Rourke has made very clear why he doesn’t want Donald Trump to be president. But he’s made no clear argument, in public or private, for why he might want to be president himself. According to people who have spoken with him, he is preparing to pitch himself as offering hope that America can be better than its current partisan and hate-filled politics, and that the country can come together. So far he hasn’t landed on how he’ll propose to actually make that happen.

“This is an artist at work, and we haven’t seen it before, and it’s exciting,” says Representative Sean Patrick Maloney of New York, a friend of O’Rourke’s, arguing that it’s precisely because O’Rourke will run a different kind of campaign that the process of getting to it has been so unlike anyone else’s in the field.

Christopher Hooks: What Beto won

Instead of defining the race by jumping in back in December, when interest in him was at its height, he let the race take shape without him and gambled that he’d still have time to reshape it. Instead of scooping up operatives and donors eager to sign on with a front-runner, he let months of indecision tick by as they signed up elsewhere, tired of waiting.

“I hadn’t planned on losing,” is how O’Rourke repeatedly put it to people, including Chuck Schumer, when the New York Democrat, in some frustration, tried and failed to recruit him to run next year for the other Senate seat in Texas.

Last year, of course, O’Rourke was running a Senate campaign that had every Democrat in the country (as well as some Republicans who can’t stand Ted Cruz) rooting for him. He was able to slowly ramp up, building his argument, his team, and his comfort level on the campaign trail. Now he will start with a dozen other campaigns out to take him down, as well as voters who already have other interesting and inspiring options, and he’ll do it with the spotlight of a superstar on him from the moment he begins.

David Frum: Beto’s loss was a blessing in disguise for Democrats

None of the candidates who have announced has been able to match the virtuosity as a social-media storyteller that made him a star. None, other than perhaps Bernie Sanders and to a lesser extent Kamala Harris, has become such celebrities as to be talked about only by first name. None has retained the aura among insiders for having as much potential to upend the race.

But in the meantime, expectations have been set by others. O’Rourke became a sensation in his Senate race because of his massive crowds and unheard-of online fundraising. A presidential race is a completely different level of competition. Kamala Harris drew 22,000 people to her Oakland, California, kickoff rally—almost twice what Bernie Sanders had turn out for him in Brooklyn last week. Sanders raised $6 million in his first day as a candidate—nearly four times as much as what had a few weeks earlier seemed like a massive first-day haul by Harris.

O’Rourke and his advisers have been watching. They were impressed by the strength of Harris’s week-long rollout, leading up to the big rally. When he planned his counterrally to Trump’s border-wall event last month in El Paso, he and his advisers scrambled for days beforehand to boost attendance, realizing how important it was to have a crowd that would be hard for Trump to mock. They’ve spent the past few weeks testing and refining their email list with long notes about marijuana legalization and other issues, priming it in the hopes of lighting up huge dollars when he sends out his announcement that he’s running. However, unlike Sanders’s list, which is full of people who want him to be president, O’Rourke’s is full of people who wanted him to be senator, and includes a number of major donors and employees of other 2020 campaigns. It’s unclear how much money he will be able to raise. He amassed $38 million during the final months of his Senate campaign, which defines his potential. He almost certainly can’t match that level of fundraising right away, but will inevitably be measured against it.

“He has a lot of catching up to do. Beto had all the heat closing 2018, but he allowed that momentum to dissipate while he went on that adolescent soul journey and showed America his gums,” said an operative working on another campaign, referring to a now infamous livestream from a dental cleaning in January, when he was interviewing his hygienist about her own experience growing up near the border. “Now he’s got to apply jumper cables to a cold engine and catch up to others who have zoomed by him on the road.”

The perceived ambivalence played out over just a few hours on Saturday afternoon. Those on his email list of supporters  received a long note purportedly written by his former deputy campaign manager, Cynthia Cano. She urged the Beto faithful to sign up on a new list to find out his decision, and not so subtly teased, “I’m ready for us to bring our movement to the rest of the country. It’s the exact kind of campaign that America needs right now, and it’s why so many of us are hoping that Beto has decided to launch a campaign for President of the United States.” A few hours later, O’Rourke popped into a screening at South by Southwest, in Austin, Texas, of a new documentary about his Senate campaign that shows how stressful running was for him, his staff, and his family. He ducked a question in an onstage Q&A about a possible campaign for president, and told reporters afterward that he needed to make the announcement “in the right way,” adding, “I’ve got to be on the timeline that works for my family and for the country.”

People who have been talking to O’Rourke stress that he was genuinely exhausted from the Senate campaign and sincerely searching for what to do. He had come off a nonstop, two-year campaign, and then had to finish his final weeks in the House, working both in Washington and back in his El Paso district.

“It’s a good thing that you have people who really put the thought into what they can do for the country, what they can offer, whether they have a role to play,” said one person close to O’Rourke. “A traditional politician who’s only looking out for their career and their next election is thinking, What’s the next election I can seek? or Can I get an appointment? or Who can I do a favor for? For him, it was really, Let me process what just happened.”

“You don’t want to just stumble into it—you want to really have a clear mind about what you’re doing,” the person said.

“He’s an emotionally bound candidate following his heart,” Representative Maloney says. “He’s the least calculating person in the race.”

Of course, O’Rourke is not some political naif. He got to Congress in the first place by running a tough primary against an incumbent in 2012, and landed on his no-PACs, no-consultants, no-pollsters pledge for his 2018 Senate campaign in part out of belief, but also in part by reading the political winds and knowing that pledge would resonate.

Likewise, despite flubbing some meetings and outreach, he’s been deliberate in calling others, such as former Iowa Governor Tom Vilsack, who’s acting now as a party elder and gatekeeper in the caucus process. Even as O’Rourke has made himself out to be just taking in the country on his road trips and journaling about it on Medium, he’s been monitoring how people are talking about him on Twitter. He’s become agitated by some of the criticism.

And so far it’s mostly just been trolls online. While O’Rourke has been operating with a shoestring staff, other campaigns have been massing opposition research on him, most of which he’s never had to answer for—Cruz, of course, wasn’t looking to paint him as too far to the right. His prospective 2020 opponents are raring to do so. (He got the first taste on Sunday with a video put out by the Republican group Club for Growth, railing on O’Rourke for being a privileged white man and appearing to do government favors for his billionaire father-in-law, who had donated to a PAC that supported his first congressional campaign.)

His fans are raring to go too, said Nate Lerner, the founder of Draft Beto, on Saturday afternoon. The group’s Beto Alert online campaign, urging people to sign up to get the news when he announces, nearly doubled its email list just last week, Lerner said, bringing it close to 12,000 addresses. Almost every person who clicked on the list signed up, Lerner said, which is an extremely high conversion rate.

Waiting this long “is a net positive, because while enthusiasm has decreased by a small margin, once he declares, overnight it will be like a switch flipped,” Lerner said. “Everyone will forget how long he’s waited.”

Lerner noted that on Friday, he put in a call to Cano, the aide who signed the email to O’Rourke’s list over the weekend, asking about getting involved, and she promised to connect him with a campaign manager in the coming weeks.

Now either O’Rourke will get an eye-popping response to his announcement online, or he won’t. Either he will raise millions of dollars in his first few days, or he won’t. Either he will draw huge crowds to his first events in Iowa and beyond, or he won’t.

“Everybody’s waiting with bated breath,” says South Carolina Democratic Chairman Trav Robertson, acknowledging how much interest remains in O’Rourke. The 2020 race is just getting going in the state, he says, and the other campaigns are “still all walking with baby steps here.”

But after all this buildup, Robertson says, O’Rourke will have to be able to make a lot happen, and quickly, with a team that for the most part will have only been working for him for a few days.

“What kind of infrastructure do you have in place when you make the announcement?” Robertson says. “Because you’re going to have to go from zero to 60 in two seconds.”

We want to hear what you think about this article. Submit a letter to the editor or write to letters@theatlantic.com.
Edward-Isaac Dovere is a staff writer at The Atlantic.
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Offline RE

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🗳️ Beto Ready to throw his Jockstrap into the Ring
« Reply #920 on: March 14, 2019, 02:24:07 AM »
About fucking time.  Now,will the Money machine of the Internet turn on for him again?

RE

https://www.cnbc.com/2019/03/13/beto-orourke-on-2020-run-man-im-just-born-to-be-in-it.html

Beto O’Rourke on 2020 run: ‘Man, I’m just born to be in it’
Published Wed, Mar 13 2019 • 6:35 PM EDT | Updated Wed, Mar 13 2019 • 7:10 PM EDT
Maggie Fitzgerald
@mkmfitzgerald
   
Key Points

    “You can probably tell that I want to run,” O’Rourke told Vanity Fair.
    O’Rourke has started engaging with potential campaign managers in case he decides to run for President in 2020.

GP: Beto O'Rourke Joins Protest March Against President Trump In El Paso


Former candidate for U.S. Senate Beto O’Rourke speaks to thousands of people gathered to protest a U.S./Mexico border wall being pushed by President Donald Trump February 11, 2019 in El Paso, Texas.
Christ Chavez | Getty Images

Former Texas Congressman Beto O’Rourke is “just born to be in” the 2020 Presidential race, he told Vanity Fair in a report released Wednesday.

“You can probably tell that I want to run,” he said. “I do. I think I’d be good at it.”

The interview comes after CNBC reported that O’Rourke has started engaging with potential campaign managers in case he decides to run for President in 2020. Both sides of the aisle have been waiting to see if O’Rourke will decide to join the race.

The move by O’Rourke to start holding conversations with those he considers strong candidates to lead his 2020 operation comes after he reportedly has decided to not pursue a bid for Sen. John Cornyn’s seat.
watch now
VIDEO03:05
Democrat Beto O’Rourke speaks after losing Senate race to Ted Cruz

In a recent Dallas Morning News report, O’Rourke said he has made a decision about his future but wouldn’t elaborate further.

“Amy and I have made a decision about how we can best serve our country,” he told The Dallas Morning News. “We are excited to share it with everyone soon.”

O’Rourke and his wife Amy both spoke with Vanity Fair from their home in El Paso, Texas. They described what they believe is the former congressman’s innate political ability.

“There is something abnormal, super-normal, that we both experience when we’re out on the campaign trail,” O’Rourke said.

Although O’Rourke feels “magic” on the campaign trail, he was defeated by Senator Ted Cruz in the 2018 midterm election. He said he thought he had won until the very last moment.

“So many of the stories that we had heard, especially in the weeks leading up to the election, you’re like, How can you not win when there is that level of just dedication and passion from so many people that we had met?” he said.

If O’Rourke does get into the race, one of his defining issues in a crowded field of competitors might be immigration. He recently led a counter-protest when President Trump held a rally in El Paso to drum up support for his border wall.

Beto has advocated for a path to citizenship for young immigrants brought to the U.S. illegally as children, ending the War on Drugs, and working with the Mexican government to track illegal immigrants.

O’Rourke is headed to Iowa this weekend, fueling speculation that he will soon officially enter the packed Democratic primary race.
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🗳️Beto O’Rourke Enters the 2020 Presidential Campaign
« Reply #921 on: March 15, 2019, 04:27:23 AM »
Only one big name left now to drop in, Joe Biden.  When he drops in, the serious campaigning begins.

RE

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/03/14/us/politics/beto-o-rourke-president.html

Beto O’Rourke Enters the 2020 Presidential Campaign


Video
The former Texas congressman, who rose to national stardom during his unsuccessful 2018 Senate run, is joining a crowded Democratic field.CreditCreditTodd Heisler/The New York Times

By Matt Flegenheimer and Jonathan Martin

    March 14, 2019

[Sign up for our politics newsletter and join our conversation about the 2020 presidential race.]

BURLINGTON, Iowa — Beto O’Rourke, the 46-year-old former Texas congressman whose near-miss Senate run last year propelled him to Democratic stardom, announced on Thursday that he was running for president, betting that a broad message of national unity and generational change will lift him above a slate of committed progressives offering big-ticket policy ideas.

His decision jolts an early election season already stuffed with contenders, adding to the mix a relentless campaigner with a small-dollar fund-raising army, the performative instincts of a former punk rocker and a pro-immigrant vision to counteract President Trump’s.

Yet Mr. O’Rourke also comes to the 2020 race with few notable legislative accomplishments after three terms in the House representing El Paso. And in a primary so far defined by bedrock policy positions, like the economic agendas of Senators Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren, Mr. O’Rourke enters without a signature proposal that might serve as the ideological anchor of his bid.

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“This moment of peril produces perhaps the greatest moment of promise for this country and for everyone inside it,’’ Mr. O’Rourke said in a video announcing his candidacy, released hours before a three-day tour of Iowa began on Thursday morning.

Shortly after 8 a.m. Thursday, Mr. O’Rourke stepped into a coffee shop on Main Street in Keokuk and began introducing himself to a state he had never visited before.

“Hey, nice to meet you. Beto O’Rourke,” he said, squeezing between news cameras and caffeine-seekers. “Good morning, good morning to you,” he said to people in the southeastern Iowa town of Keokuk — a county where Donald J. Trump beat Hillary Clinton by 16 percentage points in 2016 but where former President Barack Obama won four years earlier.

Soon, he was standing on a chair taking questions, perched between paintings of flowers and musical instruments. “This is democracy,” he said.

Mr. O’Rourke was planning on spending much of the next three days in similar communities across eastern Iowa, the historically Democratic part of the state where so many voters swung to Mr. Trump three years ago. Keeping with the do-it-yourself spirit of his Senate race, the new candidate did not release a full schedule of stops. Details of his appearances spread by social media and word of mouth.

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Mr. O’Rourke spoke to a crowd at a coffee shop on Main Street in Keokuk and introduced himself to a state he had never visited before.CreditTodd Heisler/The New York Times
Image
Mr. O’Rourke spoke to a crowd at a coffee shop on Main Street in Keokuk and introduced himself to a state he had never visited before.CreditTodd Heisler/The New York Times

His Democratic rivals quickly sent notice, however, that they were not going to let his long-anticipated launch go unimpeded. Former Mayor Julian Castro of San Antonio released a list of 30 new endorsements from Texas, including one state lawmaker from Mr. O’Rourke’s hometown. Mr. Sanders of Vermont, Ms. Warren of Massachusetts and Senator Kamala Harris of California emailed fund-raising appeals noting Mr. O’Rourke’s entry into the race — with Ms. Harris citing the historic diversity in the field, which she represents.

And President Trump also swiftly weighed in, using a photo opportunity in the Oval Office to ridicule Mr. O’Rourke’s gesticulations.

“I think he’s got a lot of hand movement,’’ the president said. “I’ve never seen so much hand movement. I said, ‘Is he crazy or is that just the way he acts?’’’

Unlike many of his 14 Democratic rivals for the nomination, Mr. O’Rourke has spent little time until recently even considering a White House run, let alone building an operation that would sustain one. Some voters and activists have also wondered aloud if a white man is the best fit for this Democratic moment, particularly after midterm successes powered often by female and nonwhite candidates.

[Check out our tracker of the 2020 Democratic candidate field.]

With Mr. O’Rourke’s entry, the primary field appears close to settled more than 10 months before the Iowa caucuses; former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr., the only holdout among the expected major candidates, seems poised to join the race next month.

Early polls have shown Mr. Biden and Mr. Sanders on top. Mr. O’Rourke, three decades their junior, hopes to supply an unsubtle contrast, particularly given Mr. Sanders’s success with the kinds of young voters who flocked to Mr. O’Rourke in Texas.

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Advisers to other Democratic candidates have watched Mr. O’Rourke’s plans with concern, recognizing that the kind of face-to-face politicking that fueled his campaign to unseat Senator Ted Cruz in Texas should suit him well in early voting states like Iowa and New Hampshire, where voters crave personal interaction with candidates.

Mr. O’Rourke made his town hall forums the centerpiece of his Senate candidacy, turning the race into a national cause — the underdog liberal running in a famously red state — trailed by a documentary film crew and endorsed by celebrities from Beyoncé to Willie Nelson. He made a point of visiting each of the 254 counties in Texas, helping him bulldoze fund-raising records and come within about 200,000 votes of Mr. Cruz on Election Day.
Yes, It Is Really Early for So Many Democrats to Have Joined the 2020 Race

The Democratic presidential field is more crowded than usual. Here’s how it compares with past cycles.

[Where Beto O’Rourke stands on the issues]

Mr. O’Rourke also attracted many fans outside the state, drawing them into a perpetual social media live-stream capturing not only his political events but unscripted moments on the road: late-night burger stops, skateboarding in a parking lot, reminiscing with a former bandmate behind the wheel. For many politically obsessed liberals, his inevitably upbeat musings offered a welcome online antidote to Mr. Trump’s Twitter rampaging. On the eve of his announcement, Vanity Fair released a cover story on Mr. O’Rourke with photographs by Annie Leibovitz.

Yet his boast in that interview — “I’m just born to do this” — and off-the-cuff comments he made Thursday about only sporadically helping his wife raise their children, quickly drew criticism and illustrated the peril of taking his unplugged style to the crucible of a presidential race.

Admirers, however, believe it is this ability to generate his own narrative orbit that could separate him from his peers.

“In a political environment where it’s so hard to break through, he has an ability to pique people’s interest and to drive a narrative on his own,” said Jesse Ferguson, a Democratic strategist who worked for Mrs. Clinton in 2016, and is not advising any candidate in 2020. “He isn’t just shadowboxing with the president’s Twitter handle.”

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On one central issue, though, Mr. Trump has provided Mr. O’Rourke with a useful foil. This year, when the president traveled to El Paso to press for a wall on the border with Mexico, the two headlined dueling rallies.

Subsequently, he even said he would support tearing down the existing border wall in the El Paso area, a declaration that Republicans have suggested they will use against him should he make the general election.

But the Democratic primary could present unique challenges to Mr. O’Rourke.

It is an open question whether he will be able to scale up his skeletal organization and hand over control to the sort of political professionals he largely shunned in his Senate race. The lead-up to Mr. O’Rourke’s official announcement Thursday has been highly improvisational, in part because he was personally directing much of the planning.

On Wednesday night, he was texting supporters in early nominating states to share his plans and to tell them he would have advisers get in touch with them about his schedule. And for weeks, he has been meeting and talking on the telephone with a number of Democratic strategists to gauge their interest in working for him, finding encouragement but also a reluctance to move to El Paso, where he is planning to base his operations.
Mr. O’Rourke in Iowa on Thursday. His Senate run last year propelled him to Democratic stardom.CreditTodd Heisler/The New York Times
Image
Mr. O’Rourke in Iowa on Thursday. His Senate run last year propelled him to Democratic stardom.CreditTodd Heisler/The New York Times

Mr. O’Rourke discussed the campaign manager job for 90 minutes with one strategist, Jennifer O’Malley Dillon, at the South by Southwest festival in Austin, but even on the eve of his announcement it was uncertain who would be at the helm of his organization.

Yet he enjoys the support of many of Mr. Obama’s aides, some tacitly and others more full-throated, and he has relied on advice from a number of Mr. Obama’s strategists, including the 2008 campaign manager, David Plouffe. (Mr. Plouffe is not, however, planning to formally participate in the race on behalf of any candidate.)

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But unlike Mr. Obama, who ran in a year when the Iraq war was the single overriding policy issue in the Democratic race, Mr. O’Rourke is seeking the presidency at a moment his party is lurching left on issues across the board. He will be immediately under pressure to expand upon the sometimes-vague liberalism that has colored his public life.

Already, allies of Mr. Sanders in particular have questioned Mr. O’Rourke’s commitment to progressive priorities. (Mr. O’Rourke has declined to call himself a progressive, saying he was “not big on labels.”)

In 2016, he supported a centrist challenger to Nancy Pelosi to lead House Democrats. In 2018, he frustrated Texas activists by refusing to endorse Gina Ortiz Jones, a prized Democratic recruit for a House seat, because she was facing Mr. O’Rourke’s Republican friend, Representative Will Hurd, who eventually won by fewer than 1,000 votes.

Mr. O’Rourke should have little trouble pulling in enough money to get a presidential campaign off the ground, though it is possible that some of his fund-raising success in 2018 owed to his opponent, Mr. Cruz, whom liberals love to loathe.

Some in the party have questioned whether a Senate-race-losing candidate should even be running for president so soon. Senate Democrats aggressively lobbied him to take on Texas’s other Republican senator, John Cornyn, who is up for re-election next year, even dispatching senior party officials to El Paso to make the case.

In the months since his defeat, Mr. O’Rourke himself seemed to be casting about for answers, discussing a possible run with advisers but appearing genuinely conflicted — seeking clarity at one point by making a solo road trip to meet Americans in unrehearsed settings.

On Thursday, any lingering apprehension was well concealed.

“This is the moment,” he said, standing atop a coffeehouse counter in Burlington, hands flying, “for the leadership of the indispensable country.”

He left little doubt which leader he had in mind for the top job.
A version of this article appears in print on March 14, 2019, on Page A11 of the New York edition with the headline: In ‘Moment of Promise,’ O’Rourke Says He Will Run. Order
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And now for the Faux Newz spin... ::)

RE

https://www.foxnews.com/politics/beto-orourke-vanity-fair-profile-mocked-for-stories-about-ex-girlfriends-bookshelves-and-his-near-mythical-experience

Published 14 hours ago
Beto O'Rourke 'Vanity Fair' profile mocked for stories about ex-girlfriends, bookshelves and his 'near-mythical experience'
By Liam Quinn | Fox News


MSNBC host Chris Matthews gushes over 2020 presidential hopeful Beto O’Rourke

Beto O’Rourke is officially in the 2020 presidential race, but early polling suggests his Vanity Fair profile isn’t going over well.

O’Rourke, who announced to his supporters Thursday morning he was tossing his hat in the ring for the Democratic nomination, was the star of a fawning, 8,600-word opus published by the prestigious magazine on Wednesday.

The wide-ranging interview is the cover story of the latest edition of the magazine, with the 46-year-old boldly declaring he was "just born to do this".

BETO O'ROURKE MAKES 2020 WHITE HOUSE BID OFFICIAL WITH WEE-HOURS ANNOUNCEMENT
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MSNBC host Chris Matthews is a huge fan of Beto O’Rourke’s new Vanity Fair cover.

MSNBC host Chris Matthews is a huge fan of Beto O’Rourke’s new Vanity Fair cover.

The Vanity Fair piece, written by Joe Hagan, seemed to echo the fawning tone of much of the media coverage that followed his failed bid to unseat Texas GOP Sen. Ted Cruz last fall.

Hagan, who previously penned a similarly photographed and written profile of another Democrat, former presidential candidate John Edwards, wrote in the new piece: "For O’Rourke, what followed was a near-mystical experience," referring to his entry into politics.

Some of the other parts of the profile include the writer speaking to some of O’Rourke’s ex-girlfriends, and one glowing piece of prose describing the Democrat as an “endurance-athlete campaigner.”

“Former girlfriends describe O’Rourke as curious, wry, bookish but adventurous. He usually carried a novel in his pocket, whether Captain Corelli’s Mandolin or The Sun Also Rises,” the profile reads.

2020 DEMOCRATIC PRESIDENTIAL HOPEFULS TO TAKE STAGE AT SXSW; BETO O'ROURKE TO ATTEND FILM PREMIERE ABOUT FAILED SENATE BID

“Maggie Asfahani, an El Paso native who dated O’Rourke while he was at prep school and college, said he was somewhat difficult to know. “That’s kind of the mystique of Beto, is that he seems to be accessible,” she says, “but there’s just this layer of protection. I don’t think it’s because he’s hiding anything. I think it’s because he’s keeping a part of it to himself.”

Reaction to the piece was divided, with some celebrating the detailed look at the Democratic darling, while others mocked it.

“Like all scrappy salt-of-the-earth, organic campaigns with their pulse on the base Beto's is launched with a Vanity Fair cover spread,” one reader tweeted.

“The Vanity Fair profile of Beto makes him sound like if he were born 40 years earlier he'd be barefoot on a beach surrounded by a group of hippie devotees looking like Chris Hemsworth in ‘Bad Times at the El Royale’,” another wrote.

ALL YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT 2020 CANDIDATES
Beto O’Rourke launches 2020 presidential runVideo

“I mean I guess “Vanity Fair cover boy” is Beto’s unique lane but not sure the people are looking for that,” another reader said.

“My sense is that Beto O’Rourke doesn’t want to be president as much as he wants to be an indie movie about a guy running for president,” Chicago Tribune columnist Rex Huppke added.

O’Rourke announced his candidacy in a video Thursday morning, appearing alongside his wife, Amy.

"Amy and I are happy to share with you that I’m running to serve you as the next president of the United States of America," O'Rourke said. "This is a defining moment of truth for this country and for every single one of us. The challenges we face right now, the interconnected crises in our democracy and our climate, have never been greater.”

Republicans scoffed at his campaign launch, however, with RNC spokesman Michael Ahrens saying in a statement: “It’s telling that the Democrats’ biggest star is someone whose biggest accomplishment is losing. Beto O’Rourke failed to get anything done in Congress, and with extreme policies like government-run health care and tearing down border barriers, his 2020 bid won’t be successful either.”

The congressman from El Paso grabbed national attention last summer and autumn, as he challenged Republican Cruz in the 2018 midterm elections. O’Rourke raked in an eye-popping $80 million during his campaign, thanks in part to his uplifting message and his mastery of social media.

O’Rourke narrowly lost to Cruz -- by just more than 200,000 votes out of more than 8 million cast.

Fox News’ Gregg Re, Paul Steinhauser and Patrick Ward contributed to this report.
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And now for the Faux Newz spin... ::)

RE

https://www.foxnews.com/politics/beto-orourke-vanity-fair-profile-mocked-for-stories-about-ex-girlfriends-bookshelves-and-his-near-mythical-experience

Published 14 hours ago
Beto O'Rourke 'Vanity Fair' profile mocked for stories about ex-girlfriends, bookshelves and his 'near-mythical experience'
By Liam Quinn | Fox News


Those "people" would mock him because he reads books.
Count me as one of those who ins't upset that approximately 200 Democrats are declared candidates. That means the monarchists have to spread around their bottomless funds for oppo research much more broadly.
Also count me as one of those not prone to the Beto swoon. Not likely to get a Beto boner anytime soon.
"It is difficult to write a paradiso when all the superficial indications are that you ought to write an apocalypse." -Ezra Pound

Offline knarf

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And now for the Faux Newz spin... ::)

RE

https://www.foxnews.com/politics/beto-orourke-vanity-fair-profile-mocked-for-stories-about-ex-girlfriends-bookshelves-and-his-near-mythical-experience

Published 14 hours ago
Beto O'Rourke 'Vanity Fair' profile mocked for stories about ex-girlfriends, bookshelves and his 'near-mythical experience'
By Liam Quinn | Fox News


Those "people" would mock him because he reads books.
Count me as one of those who ins't upset that approximately 200 Democrats are declared candidates. That means the monarchists have to spread around their bottomless funds for oppo research much more broadly.
Also count me as one of those not prone to the Beto swoon. Not likely to get a Beto boner anytime soon.

LOL! I read up on him yesterday. He reminds me so much of one of the monks that was here for about 6 years. This monk could charm his way out of a paper bag. Lady Killer! He don't have a chance, unless we are all looking for another fantasy character, Superman! :)
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Offline Surly1

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And now for the Faux Newz spin... ::)

RE

https://www.foxnews.com/politics/beto-orourke-vanity-fair-profile-mocked-for-stories-about-ex-girlfriends-bookshelves-and-his-near-mythical-experience

Published 14 hours ago
Beto O'Rourke 'Vanity Fair' profile mocked for stories about ex-girlfriends, bookshelves and his 'near-mythical experience'
By Liam Quinn | Fox News


Those "people" would mock him because he reads books.
Count me as one of those who ins't upset that approximately 200 Democrats are declared candidates. That means the monarchists have to spread around their bottomless funds for oppo research much more broadly.
Also count me as one of those not prone to the Beto swoon. Not likely to get a Beto boner anytime soon.

LOL! I read up on him yesterday. He reminds me so much of one of the monks that was here for about 6 years. This monk could charm his way out of a paper bag. Lady Killer! He don't have a chance, unless we are all looking for another fantasy character, Superman! :)

Well, we are certified old guys and not quite as susceptible for the bright and shiny.

There are a lot of folks who, tired of the tried-n'-true Dem brand, want "something new," preferably one who can capture some of that JFK lighting in a bottle. Beto is Obama-like in that you can project anything you want on him and see what you want to see. I prefer to kick the tires.

Biden has a long legislative record, and to my mind there's a lot that is not good. But he benefits by proximity to St. Obama, and would be a corpadem hedge against socialists like me. And then if they nominate him, the Dems can say to leftists, "So where you gonna go?" In which case Putin and his Orange Handpuppet stand up the Second Coming of Jill Stein.
"It is difficult to write a paradiso when all the superficial indications are that you ought to write an apocalypse." -Ezra Pound

Offline RE

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Those "people" would mock him because he reads books.
Count me as one of those who ins't upset that approximately 200 Democrats are declared candidates. That means the monarchists have to spread around their bottomless funds for oppo research much more broadly.
Also count me as one of those not prone to the Beto swoon. Not likely to get a Beto boner anytime soon.

So who amongst that 200 candidates DOES your heart go pitter0patter for?  You can't count Joe Biden yet, he's still not declared.

RE
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🗳️ House Dem moderates fear socialist tag in 2020
« Reply #927 on: March 16, 2019, 03:25:55 AM »

RE

https://www.politico.com/story/2019/03/15/house-democrats-moderates-2020-aoc-1220643

Lauren Underwood and Abigail Spanberger


Two House freshmen, Illinois Rep. Lauren Underwood (left) and Rep. Abigail Spanberger (Va.), both dismissed concerns that their more vocal Democratic colleagues will complicated their reelection chances. | Andrew Harnik/AP Photo

Elections
House Dem moderates fear socialist tag in 2020

The most endangered House Democrats in next year's election are wary of their more outspoken, liberal colleagues.

By LAURA BARRÓN-LÓPEZ

03/15/2019 05:00 AM EDT

The moderate Democrats who delivered the House majority want you to know they’re not Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Rashida Tlaib or Ilhan Omar.

They haven’t all blindly signed on to the "Green New Deal." They haven't been widely accused of anti-Semitism. They aren't hungry to impeach President Donald Trump.

They are the ones on the front lines of the battlefield, defending Democrats’ House majority. And many of the endangered Democrats already see their outspoken colleagues as a potential obstacle standing between them and reelection in 2020.

“As we run up to this presidential [election], we need to show that Democrats, as a whole, are not socialists," said Rep. Katie Hill, who last November flipped a Southern California district that Republicans held for the previous quarter-century. "We’re not pushing for impeachment without serious cause and serious evidence."

With the progressive squad of Ocasio-Cortez, Tlaib, Omar and Rep. Ayanna Pressley (D-Mass.) capturing most of the headlines, the vulnerable Democrats are left to respond in stronger and stronger terms. The four liberals have forced majority-makers like Hill to distinguish themselves with voters and donors early and often.

“You have these four members frankly that were elected from seats that are going to be Democratic no matter what and represent a very small fraction of the party as a whole,” said Hill. “And it’s like they’re the only ones that exist.”
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And as the presidential election nears, Hill and her fellow at-risk Democrats will need all the attention they can get. Republicans must win 18 seats to take back the House, and they have ample targets. Republicans are setting their sights on the 31 Democratically held districts that voted for Trump in 2016, followed by another two-dozen districts like Hill's that didn't back Trump but have Republican DNA.
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To survive, vulnerable Democrats are shrugging off their more progressive colleagues. It's a strategy they employed last year when Republicans dropped millions on a steady stream of TV ads tying them to then-Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi. But the 'tweet first, explain later' strategy, utilized by Ocasio-Cortez and friends, who wield nearly 5 million Twitter followers between them, puts Democrats like Rep. Abigail Spanberger in a tough spot.

“We all won in districts when we were accused of being somebody else, or something else,” said Spanberger, before reprising the viral line from one of her 2018 debates: “I am Abigail Spanberger. I’m not anybody else.”

Spanberger is among more than a dozen Democrats who represent districts Trump won by more than 6 percentage points in 2016 — the front line of the 2020 battlefield. The list includes two entrenched incumbents who have seen their districts drift toward Republicans: Reps. Collin Peterson (D-Minn.) and Matt Cartwright (D-Pa.).

But the seats most coveted by Republicans belong to newcomers like Spanberger and Max Rose, an Army combat veteran who won a Staten Island-based district Trump carried by nearly 10 points. At least three Republicans are already eyeing a challenge to the 32-year-old Rose.

“This campaign will be a contact sport, and I have no problem with that,” Rose said.

Rose is focused on the promises he's made, including construction of a sea wall, improving commute times for constituents on Staten Island, which is not connected to the rest of New York's subway system, or lowering prescription-drug costs. With a Republican in the White House, it's often hard to deliver on these promises, but the party hopes to show voters that it will pass bills aimed at addressing health care costs and creating jobs.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez

Congress
Inside Pelosi’s playbook to wrangle the freshmen

By HEATHER CAYGLE and SARAH FERRIS

And Democrats like Rose have to stay on message while fending off 30-second TV ads flashing images of Ocasio-Cortez, who is sure to join, if not replace, Speaker Nancy Pelosi as Republicans’ No. 1 villain.

Pressed on how he’d combat it, Rose quipped: “How’d that work out for them?”

Rose, who has tactically eschewed most of the national controversies, voted against Pelosi for speaker, as did a handful of the Democrats who won in red districts in 2018. Those who called for new leadership, or outright vowed to vote against Pelosi but ultimately didn’t, have already come under attack by Republican outside groups like the Congressional Leadership Fund.

“Wow, that’s innovative stuff,” said Rose, in his distinctive New York accent. “I’m shaking in my boots.”

“I’d like to think that the Republican Party is not run by a bunch of folks that subscribe to be nationalists, like Steve King does,” added Rep. Harley Rouda (D-Calif.), who defeated then-Rep. Dana Rohrabacher in Orange County, the Reagan-era GOP stronghold. “So while Steve King’s views don’t represent the entire Republican Party, those on the far left of the Democratic Party do not represent the mainstream caucus.”

Another top GOP target, Rep. Joe Cunningham (D-S.C.), has broken with the party on a number of procedural votes used by Republicans to divide Democrats. To demonstrate a eagerness to work with Republicans, Cunningham has also made a point to get GOP cosponsors on legislation he introduces.

“I can’t control whatever anyone else says, but I can control what I do. And I was voted in this seat to be an independent check,” said Cunningham, whom GOP operatives have dubbed an "accidental congressman" after his victory in a coastal South Carolina seat Trump won by 13 points in 2016. “I think if you do that, and you have a clear record of that, and you’re honest and transparent about it — then people will send you back.”

But Republicans hope that hammering Cunningham and other Democrats in competitive seats by tying them to their better-known colleagues will prove fruitful. In addition to reprising their Pelosi attacks from 2018, National Republican Campaign Committee aides say they will add freshmen like Ocasio-Cortez and Omar to the mix. The thinking is: This time it will stick because Democrats are in control, and Republicans are no longer battling a “hypothetical” Democratic agenda.

Omar's recent comments about politician's support for Israel — seen by many as anti-Semitic — has put some Democrats on the defensive. Asked about the Democratic divisions on display last week, Rep. Lauren Underwood (D-Ill.), who won a Chicagoland district Trump carried by 4 points, dismissed the controversy.

"I’m home every weekend and have the opportunity to talk to folks about health care and lower prescription drug costs. And so, quite candidly, this ends up as a Washington conversation," said Underwood, "and not a conversation we have in the Illinois 14th."
Thom Tillis

Elections
‘Beware the fury of Trump’: 2020 GOP senators back president on border

By JAMES ARKIN and JOHN BRESNAHAN

But the clearest path to winning back the suburban women the GOP lost in 2018, Republicans say, is constant messaging on socialism and late-term abortion bills passed by Democratic legislatures. “The more we’re talking about socialism, the better,” said one NRCC official, granted anonymity to discuss party strategy.

The fundraising deadline at the end of March will provide one of the first looks at the strength of the vulnerable freshman Democrats. Hill, who checks in regularly with the red-district Democrats as a freshman representative in leadership, admitted that she and her colleagues are working hard to post aggressive fundraising numbers. The flood of cash going to Democratic presidential contenders has a number of the freshman Democrats concerned, Hill said, noting that donors have told her their contributing to multiple Democrats running for the White House.

“We’ve got these huge fundraising targets because we want to scare off potential challengers,” Hill said. “If we win the White House but lose the House, then we’re in the same boat that we’re in now.”

Part of that survival strategy is an ability for the frontline Democrats, many of whom have never served in government, to create their own distinct profiles — even if it makes them unpopular among their Democratic colleagues.

“Sometimes I may be necessarily offensive,” Rose said of his willingness to split with party leadership. “I sat alone at the cafeteria table when I was in the 5th grade. Maybe I’ll have another round.”

And frustration with the group of liberal rock stars isn't going away any time soon, particularly on hot-button proposals like the Green New Deal.

"We’re caught in a lose-lose because the activists are completely paying attention to Alexandria. And so if we aren’t supporting it, then we’re seen as bad Democrats," said Hill. "But if we do support it, then that’s going to be damaging to our campaigns."
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🗳️ ‘Not one woman got that kind of coverage’: Beto backlash begins
« Reply #928 on: March 16, 2019, 03:50:17 AM »
Maybe he's more charismatic?

Nah, he has PWMS, "Privileged White Male Syndrome"".

RE

https://www.politico.com/story/2019/03/15/beto-orourke-backlash-women-1223073


Former Texas congressman Beto O'Rourke speaks to local residents during a meet and greet at the Beancounter Coffeehouse & Drinkery, March 14, in Burlington, Iowa. | AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall

2020 elections
‘Not one woman got that kind of coverage’: Beto backlash begins

Many Democrats see a double standard in the fanfare surrounding O’Rourke’s 2020 campaign launch.

By NATASHA KORECKI

03/15/2019 12:18 PM EDT

By NATASHA KORECKI

03/15/2019 12:18 PM EDT

Since announcing her 2020 run, Elizabeth Warren has dispensed three major policy proposals, held 30 campaign events and visited nearly a dozen states.

Since announcing his 2020 run, Beto O’Rourke has made one visit to Iowa, where he vaguely outlined his positions, including from atop a cafe counter.

Guess who’s getting the star treatment.

The breathless, sweeps-like cable television coverage that greeted the former Texas congressman’s first campaign events stunned and frustrated many Democratic operatives — particularly women — who viewed it as an example of the double standard at work in the historically diverse presidential field.

To them, O’Rourke, a white, male candidate had already been ordained the next sensation, his entry into the race greased by live television shots and O’Rourke-centric panels.

And that was after the national press swarmed him in El Paso during a recent Donald Trump appearance there, after O’Rourke graced the latest Vanity Fair cover, and after Oprah Winfrey, who had her choice of accomplished women candidates to feature on her program, instead zeroed in on the white guy from Texas.
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“I feel like the media is always captivated by the person they seem to think is a phenom: Bernie. Trump. Beto. But they always seem to be white men who are phenoms. In a year where we have more choices than ever, more women and more persons of color than ever, none of them seem to be deemed a phenom,” said Mary Anne Marsh, a Democratic political consultant.

“It’s a replay of Donald Trump vs. Hillary Clinton. Instead, it’s Beto O’Rourke in the Bernie Sanders role, to the detriment of every woman running. Not one woman got that kind of coverage. Not one. Not Kamala. Not Kirsten. Not Elizabeth Warren. Not Amy Klobuchar in a blizzard.”

“So what have we learned?” Marsh continued. “Nothing.”

While the 2018 midterm elections set the stage for women making historic gains in Congress — and last month marked another groundbreaking moment when five women officeholders joined the presidential race — no woman on the Democratic side received the kind of wall-to-wall coverage O’Rourke received.

And unlike O’Rourke, who rocketed to stardom last year as he raised a record-breaking $80 million in his unexpectedly close defeat to Republican Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, all of them had won their last election.

“I fully appreciate that he can espouse progressive values as a Democrat, that’s a benefit for the Democratic field. I don’t welcome being fed the retro candidacy,” said Tracy Sefl, a Democratic strategist and onetime Hillary Clinton adviser. “There’s a romanticizing of him. It’s the artful Vanity Fair cover — but in reality he was in Keokuk, Iowa in a coffee shop. The coffee shop had more reporters in it than Iowans. That’s the product of romanticizing.”

Frustrations over the hyper-coverage of O’Rourke began to build on the eve of his campaign rollout, when Vanity Fair published its April edition online featuring photos taken by the renowned Annie Leibovitz. On the cover stood O’Rourke in blue jeans on a dusty Texas road with a headline declaring: “Beto’s Choice: I want to be in it. Man, I’m just born to be in it.”
Beto O'Rourke

2020 elections
How Beto shook off his funk and decided to run

By DAVID SIDERS

His comments, which to some Democrats carried the scent of white male privilege, set fire to a whole different set of frustrations.

“A woman could never say ‘I was born to do this.’ But you know what? I think that some women were and it pains me that a woman couldn’t get away with saying that,” Sefl said.

Other female Democratic operatives questioned whether the women candidates could have gotten away with some of the comments O’Rourke made Thursday about his parenting style, or taken the kind of well-publicized, sans-family road trip he took earlier this year.

“I actually really like Beto, but all you have to do is put his quotes into the mouth of a hypothetical woman candidate: she ‘sometimes’ takes care of her kids, she was ‘born for this’, her speech was just ‘amazing, every word pulled out of me’ to know that women would not be the object of adoration,” said Jess McIntosh, a Democratic strategist and former senior communications staffer on the Hillary Clinton campaign.

Each candidate, of course, has had his or her moment in the sun. All of the top Democratic contenders have taken turns appearing on late night talk shows or CNN town halls. Harris announced her candidacy on “Good Morning America,” and cable news channels carried live her subsequent Oakland, Calif. rally, which drew some 20,000 people.

But Warren, for example, was initially greeted in Iowa by crowds that stretched for several blocks in Des Moines yet her visit wasn’t carried live as some outlets carried O’Rourke’s on Thursday.
poster="http://v.politico.com/images/1155968404/201903/2559/1155968404_6013923370001_6013924807001-vs.jpg?pubId=1155968404"
true

Democratic pollster and strategist Celinda Lake argued that it wasn’t just O’Rourke who was getting special treatment — she says there’s a broader gender imbalance at play. When it comes to substance, she said the women running have fielded more questions on their records and have received the brunt of negative stories to date.

Klobuchar has been hit with tough stories about her treatment of staff while Gillibrand has faced questions about the handling of a sexual harassment complaint in her office. Hawaii Rep. Tulsi Gabbard has been sharply scrutinized for her position on Syria and her comments about Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. And Warren has been besieged by stories about her past claims of having Native American heritage.

“I think if you look at the pattern, there is a real distinction between the way men were covered and the way the women were covered. There’s a huge double standard,” Lake said. “With women, many, many more negatives were raised and the men were treated like the second coming. I’m surprised that this is continuing in 2019, after the year of the woman.”

The best-known male candidates haven’t exactly had a free pass. Bernie Sanders, an early frontrunner in polls, in January has to contend with allegations of sexual harassment within his 2016 campaign and sharp criticism from former Hillary Clinton staffers. The hefty speaking fees of prospective candidate and former Vice President Joe Biden have been closely examined.

Even so, some Democratic operatives said, women are not only treated differently by the media as a whole, they face an inherent, entrenched sexism from voters.

“They are observed in different ways, they are consumed in different ways,” says Sefl. “We expect them to speak about their roles in different ways.”

That much is true, says McIntosh, who pointed to O’Rourke’s admission in an interview that he struggles to connect, even with his family at times, as the kind of revelation that a woman candidate could not make without being penalized.

“Women can’t take that path and be seen as leaders,” McIntosh said. “My hope is that watching strong men and women candidates run alongside each other in real time is going to help us acknowledge and address some of these double standards.”
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Re: 🗳️ House Dem moderates fear socialist tag in 2020
« Reply #929 on: March 16, 2019, 04:57:57 AM »


RE

https://www.politico.com/story/2019/03/15/house-democrats-moderates-2020-aoc-1220643

Lauren Underwood and Abigail Spanberger


Two House freshmen, Illinois Rep. Lauren Underwood (left) and Rep. Abigail Spanberger (Va.), both dismissed concerns that their more vocal Democratic colleagues will complicated their reelection chances. | Andrew Harnik/AP Photo[/center]

Some of these congresspeople are in a tough spot politically. I know about Spanberger, since she is from central VA. She took the seat from the execrable Libertarian and aptly-named Dave Brat, who in turn upset Eric Cantor. Rural Virginia is indistinguishable from Mississippi in many ways, but with better roads.

Quote
But the clearest path to winning back the suburban women the GOP lost in 2018, Republicans say, is constant messaging on socialism and late-term abortion bills passed by Democratic legislatures. “The more we’re talking about socialism, the better,” said one NRCC official, granted anonymity to discuss party strategy.

The fundraising deadline at the end of March will provide one of the first looks at the strength of the vulnerable freshman Democrats. Hill, who checks in regularly with the red-district Democrats as a freshman representative in leadership, admitted that she and her colleagues are working hard to post aggressive fundraising numbers. The flood of cash going to Democratic presidential contenders has a number of the freshman Democrats concerned, Hill said, noting that donors have told her their contributing to multiple Democrats running for the White House.

“We’ve got these huge fundraising targets because we want to scare off potential challengers,” Hill said. “If we win the White House but lose the House, then we’re in the same boat that we’re in now.”

//
"We’re caught in a lose-lose because the activists are completely paying attention to Alexandria. And so if we aren’t supporting it, then we’re seen as bad Democrats," said Hill. "But if we do support it, then that’s going to be damaging to our campaigns."

They are emphasizing fundraising, which is the mother's milk of electoral politics, but the real key to retaining the House (and winning the Senate) will be a strong ground game and GOTV effort, which ought to be a given in a presidential election year.
"It is difficult to write a paradiso when all the superficial indications are that you ought to write an apocalypse." -Ezra Pound

 

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