AuthorTopic: Election Errata  (Read 108730 times)

Offline RE

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🤡 SNL Trump Meets the Press
« Reply #1020 on: May 12, 2019, 01:29:19 AM »
<a href="http://www.youtube.com/v/Cy8w8-hjMjM" target="_blank" class="new_win">http://www.youtube.com/v/Cy8w8-hjMjM</a>
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Offline RE

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https://www.politico.com/story/2019/05/13/beto-orourke-national-audience-1319824


Beto O'Rourke told Rachel Maddow he plans to continue his lightening tour campaign but could do a better job reaching a national audience. | Mario Tama/Getty Images

2020 elections
O’Rourke: I need to ‘do a better job … of talking to a national audience’

By DAVID SIDERS

05/13/2019 10:50 PM EDT


Beto O’Rourke, sagging in presidential primary polls, acknowledged Monday he needed to “do a better job” reaching a national audience, touching off a series of high-profile media appearances he had not fully embraced before in his campaign.

The former Texas congressman told Rachel Maddow on MSNBC that he is “running today the same way we started,” blitzing across the country for a non-stop schedule of rallies and town halls.

“But I recognize I can do a better job also of talking to a national audience,” O'Rourke said. “I hope that I’m continuing to do better over time, but we’ve been extraordinarily fortunate with the campaign that we’ve run so far.”

Though O'Rourke has done interviews with Univision’s Jorge Ramos, CBS’s Gayle King and MSNBC’s Chris Hayes, among others, he had expressed a preference for “eyeball to eyeball" campaigning. But with his support appearing to stagnate nationally — resting at 5 percent in the latest Morning Consult poll — the former Texas congressman is now seeking to regain his footing in the Democratic primary.
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O’Rourke is scheduled to appear on ABC’s “The View” on Tuesday morning, following by a CNN town hall next week.

O’Rourke’s Maddow appearance followed a high-dollar fundraiser in New York City on Monday, the first of his campaign. While Joe Biden has granted reporters pooled access to his fundraisers, O’Rourke streamed his remarks at the event live on Facebook.

O’Rourke has been campaigning relentlessly since announcing his candidacy in March, hosting 150 events in 116 cities and answering more than 1,000 questions from voters, according to his campaign.
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Speaking to Maddow, O’Rourke said “showing up to those town halls is not just a means of introducing myself. It’s a way to learn about what’s most important to those that I want to serve.”

On issues ranging from climate change to voter access and money in politics, O’Rourke sounded many of the same notes Monday that he has at his rallies and town halls. He sharply rebuked President Donald Trump for "cozying up to strongmen" abroad.

Trump’s foreign policy, O'Rourke said, has been a “complete disaster for the United States and for the world and has made us less, not more, safe.”
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Offline RE

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Tough to turn down those big ratings numbers, but good call IMHO by Liz.  Faux Newz is a fucking sewer.

RE

Warren turns down Fox town hall invite, rips network as 'hate-for-profit racket'

By Avery Anapol and Joe Concha - 05/14/19 11:14 AM EDT


Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) said Tuesday that she will not participate in a town hall event with Fox News, blasting the network as a "hate-for-profit machine."

"I’ve done 57 media avails and 131 interviews, taking over 1,100 questions from press just since January," the 2020 presidential candidate wrote in a series of tweets. "Fox News is welcome to come to my events just like any other outlet. But a Fox News town hall adds money to the hate-for-profit machine. To which I say: hard pass."

Warren sent out a fundraising email to supporters shortly after the announcement, doubling down on her denouncement of the network.

"Fox News is a hate-for-profit racket that gives a megaphone to racists and conspiracists — it’s designed to turn us against each other, risking life and death consequences, to provide cover for the corruption that’s rotting our government and hollowing out our middle class," Warren wrote in the email.

"Hate-for-profit works only if there’s profit, so Fox News balances a mix of bigotry, racism, and outright lies with enough legit journalism to make the claim to advertisers that it’s a reputable news outlet," she added.

Her decision bucks recent trends in her own party, coming after a number of other 2020 Democrats have held town halls on the network.

Last month, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) was featured in a live event from Bethlehem, Pa., that drew nearly 2.6 million viewers, making it the most-watched town hall of the year.
 
Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) appeared in a Fox town hall last week, drawing 1.6 million total viewers.

And South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete Buttigieg will appear in a Fox News town hall on Sunday, while Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) will be featured on June 2.
 
The decisions to appear on the network by other contenders come even after the Democratic National Committee (DNC) barred Fox News in March from hosting a Democratic presidential primary debate over what DNC Chairman Tom Perez characterized as the network's reported close ties with the Trump administration.

But Warren in March called Fox News "a propaganda machine" after the DNC's decision to ban the network from hosting a primary debate.

"It just looks like a propaganda machine," she told MSNBC. But Warren also added that she appreciated the value of reaching a wide variety of voters.

"I want to be able to get out and talk to everyone,” she said. “I want to be in everybody’s living room.”

Warren has been climbing up in recent polls, as her almost single-minded focus on policy and her ambitious field organizing show signs of paying off.

The senator has done two town halls for CNN, with her latest for the network in April garnering praise from political pundits.

Former Rep. John Delaney (D-Md.), who is also vying for the party's nomination, offered to take Warren's place in a Fox News town hall, saying Democrats needed to "talk to all voters."
 
"If you're not using your town hall, I will. Democratic candidates have to campaign everywhere and talk to all voters," Delaney wrote on Twitter.   
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Sanders, a close progressive rival to Warren, drew praise for his Fox News town hall, which was seen as a bid to appeal to more conservative Trump voters who tend to favor the network.

Klobuchar urged other Democrats to appear on Fox News.

"One of the reasons I came on this show is that I believe candidates for office, whether Democrat or Republican, have to go not just where it’s comfortable, but where it’s uncomfortable,” Klobuchar told Fox News anchor Bret Baier in February.

"Fox may not always be comfortable for Democrats, but I want to make that point,” she later added.
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Re: Election Errata
« Reply #1023 on: May 15, 2019, 04:04:25 AM »
I agree with you RE. Have only seen Fox News in passing, would never go there directly. If the MSM gets everything wrong about the climate, economy, and the collapse of industrial civilization I can only imagine what Fox News says. Besides they are just a mouthpiece for the corporate rapists that run this country and the Trump idiot. To bad they don't just implode from stupidity.
AJ
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What will this do for Liz' polling numbers?

RE

https://www.vox.com/2019/5/17/18628684/abortion-elizabeth-warren-platform-roe-v-wade

Elizabeth Warren just announced her abortion platform. It’s aggressive.

It has little chance in Congress. But Warren is one of the few Democratic candidates with a clear reproductive rights plan.

By Anna North May 17, 2019, 8:02am EDT


Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) speaks during a campaign town hall at George Mason University May 16, 2019, in Fairfax, Virginia. Alex Wong/Getty Images

Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) on Friday released a statement calling on Congress to pass a slate of legislation aimed at guaranteeing abortion and other reproductive rights around the country, even if Roe v. Wade falls.

The statement, posted on Medium, comes as a wave of strict anti-abortion laws are sweeping the country. On Wednesday, Gov. Kay Ivey of Alabama signed into law a bill banning nearly all abortions in the state, with no exceptions for rape or incest. On Thursday, the Missouri state Senate passed a bill banning the procedure at eight weeks (the bill now goes back to the state House for approval). Many of these laws are aimed squarely at overturning Roe.

“This is a dark moment,” Warren writes. “People are scared and angry. And they are right to be. But this isn’t a moment to back down — it’s time to fight back.”

While many Democratic candidates have condemned restrictive anti-abortion laws in recent days, only a few, like Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), have taken concrete positions on how they would defend abortion access.

With her statement, Warren joins that group. She calls on Congress to enshrine the right to abortion in federal statute, in case Roe v. Wade is overturned and the current federal right to abortion is taken away. She also calls for a repeal of the Hyde Amendment, which bans federal funding for most abortions, and federal legislation preventing states from passing medically unnecessary restrictions on abortion clinics. And she proposes a reversal of the Trump administration’s domestic gag rule, which bars providers that receive federal family planning funds from performing or referring patients for abortions.

The legislation Warren supports has little chance of passage without a Democratic majority in Congress. But anti-abortion groups in recent years have abandoned an incremental approach in favor of a more aggressive one, and have seen major victories around the country. Now Warren is proposing an equally aggressive response.
Elizabeth Warren wants abortion protections enshrined in federal law

The Supreme Court has said in Roe v. Wade and in the 1992 decision Planned Parenthood v. Casey that states cannot ban abortion prior to viability, when a fetus can survive outside the womb. But there’s no federal statute guaranteeing the right to an abortion. That means that if Roe were to fall, the issue would be left up to the states, which could ban abortion as they see fit. Warren wants to change that, as well as passing other federal laws to help protect access to abortion and other reproductive health care. Here’s what her proposal calls for:
A federal law to parallel Roe v. Wade

“Polling data shows that 71% of Americans oppose overturning Roe — including 52% of Republicans,” Warren writes. “Congress should do its job and protect their constituents from these efforts by establishing affirmative, statutory rights that parallel Roe vs. Wade.”
A ban on targeted regulations on abortion providers (TRAP) laws

State TRAP laws, like requirements that abortion providers have admitting privileges at a nearby hospital, proliferated in the years after 2010, when Republicans took over many state legislatures. Abortion opponents have argued that they are necessary to protect women’s health, but many doctors say they serve no medical purpose.

In 2016, the Supreme Court dealt a blow to the laws, ruling in Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt that two such laws in Texas did not have the medical benefit necessary to outweigh the burden they placed on patients seeking abortions. But that was before the appointment of Justices Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh to the Court, and a new Court could reverse the decision in Whole Woman’s Health.

To prevent a resurgence of TRAP laws, Warren is calling for the passage of an existing bill, the Women’s Health Protection Act, which bars states from passing restrictions on abortion clinics that do not “significantly advance women’s health or the safety of abortion services.”
A guarantee of insurance coverage for abortion and birth control

Warren calls on Congress to repeal the Hyde Amendment, allowing federal programs like Medicaid to pay for abortion care. She also calls for the passage of the EACH Woman Act, which would ban abortion restrictions in private insurance. And, she writes, “we should ensure that all future health coverage — including Medicare for All — includes contraception and abortion coverage.”

Advocates of reproductive justice, a holistic approach that considers abortion access as part of a spectrum of health and other issues, have long pointed out that the right to an abortion doesn’t mean much if a person can’t afford the procedure. Warren’s recommendations on insurance are aimed at ensuring abortion is affordable as well as legal.
A repeal of the Trump administration’s domestic gag rule

The Trump administration in March released a rule barring groups that provide or refer patients for abortions from receiving funding under Title X, which provides family planning funds aimed at low-income Americans. The rule would strip funding from Planned Parenthood, which currently serves about 41 percent of patients who get services under Title X, and reproductive health advocates say it will jeopardize low-income Americans’ ability to get contraception.

The rule has been blocked by the courts for now, but Warren calls for getting rid of it. “We must undo the current Administration’s efforts to undermine women’s access to reproductive health care,” she writes — “including ending Trump’s gag rule and fully support Title X family planning funding.”

She also mentions the reproductive justice movement directly, writing that the women of color who founded that movement “teach us that we must go beyond choice to ensure meaningful access for every woman in America — not just the privileged and wealthy few.”

“We must build a future that protects the right of all women to have children, the right of all women to not have children, and the right to bring children up in a safe and healthy environment,” she adds.

Warren’s recommendations are similar to those issued by Gillibrand on Thursday. Gillibrand also called for codifying Roe into statute and repealing the Hyde Amendment. And she went further by pledging to “create a funding stream to ensure reproductive health center access in every state and every region of the country.”

Much of what Warren and Gillibrand propose can’t be accomplished with the current makeup of Congress. But both have set themselves apart from much of the rest of the Democratic field by calling for specific and far-reaching changes in response to a growing push, from legislatures around the country, to overturn Roe.
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🗳️ Down Under Election Results
« Reply #1025 on: May 18, 2019, 09:09:36 AM »
Now the Aussies can build a Wall around Oz to keep out the Indonesians!  ::)

RE

Morrison Wins in Australian Election, Confounding Pollsters

The victory for Prime Minister Scott Morrison upset analysts’ expectations after six tumultuous years of conservative government. His Labor opponent, Bill Shorten, will resign his party leadership.


By The New York Times

    May 17, 2019

Highlights from the results:

    Morrison’s victory stuns Australia.
    Shorten concedes and resigns as Labor Party leader.
    Queensland could have cost Labor power.
    Former Prime Minister Tony Abbott has lost his seat.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison spoke in Sydney. “These are the quiet Australians who have won a great victory tonight,” he said.CreditDean Lewins/EPA, via Shutterstock
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Prime Minister Scott Morrison spoke in Sydney. “These are the quiet Australians who have won a great victory tonight,” he said.CreditDean Lewins/EPA, via Shutterstock
Morrison’s victory stuns Australia.

Scott Morrison, Australia’s conservative prime minister, won his first full term in office on Saturday, confounding expectations that the country’s voters were ready for a change in course after six years of tumultuous leadership under his party.

[Read our full report on what Mr. Morrison called a victory for “the quiet Australians.”]

The polls had pointed to a loss for Mr. Morrison’s right-leaning coalition for months.

With a handful of seats still looking too close to call, it remained possible that Mr. Morrison would have to lead a minority government, rather than retaining outright control.

But whatever the eventual margin of victory, his coalition’s performance amounted to another swell in the wave of populist fervor that swept President Trump into office and set Britain on a path out of the European Union.
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“I have always believed in miracles,” he said in his victory speech, adding: “Tonight is about every single Australian who depends on their government to put them first. And that is exactly what we are going to do.”

This election presented Australia, a vital American ally in the Asia-Pacific, with a crucial question: Would it remain on a rightward path and stick with a political coalition that promised economic stability and jobs, or choose change and the promise of greater action on climate change and income inequality?
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“Australians are just deeply conservative — wherever possible, we cling to the status quo,” said Jill Sheppard, a lecturer in politics at the Australian National University. “While we want progress on certain issues, we don’t like major upheavals.” — Damien Cave
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Offline RE

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The Democratic 2020 frontrunners are too old. And I say that as an old man myself
Art Cullen

Call me ageist, but I worry about the fact that Joe Biden, Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren will all be over 70 on election day


Sat 18 May 2019 11.52 EDT
First published on Sat 18 May 2019 11.08 EDT

Joe Biden leads most polls regarding the Democratic primary field.
Joe Biden leads most polls regarding the Democratic primary field. Photograph: Brian Snyder/Reuters

I became eligible for social security the week I realized new eyeglasses were needed to renew my driver’s license. I find myself remembering a bad date in 1978 and not remembering where I am supposed to be in 15 minutes. I need a little nap after lunch. I wonder whatever happened to rock’n’roll. Brother John and I review our surgeries past and planned, and begin to sound like our crazy uncles.
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It makes me wonder about age when surveying the presidential field. Trump, 72. Biden, 76. Sanders, 77. Warren, 69.

Nancy Reagan and Al “I’m In Charge” Haig were running the country while Ronald Reagan was asleep and losing his mental capacity in his second term, we later learned. Look what the Oval Office did to a young and vigorous Barack Obama, the one who practiced basketball with the Tar Heels.

Call me ageist. As someone who knows a psychologist I can attest that Trump is batty and losing it more each day. Bernie impresses as a grumpy and impatient Trotskyite, Biden as a familiar Irish pol who wants to hug you up and keep you warm, hearkening to days when unions had teeth and Scranton had steel. They confront a candidate written by Rod Serling for the Twilight Zone.

    Older people send their youth off to war when they have forgotten or rationalized its horror

Warren seems a pup in their presence. Young of mind, she is a fan of Game of Thrones. She is full of vim and vigor and maybe is no more likely to die of a stroke than Pete Buttigieg, 37. She could beat me in a foot race any day of any distance. But if she wins she will be 75 at the end of her first term – slightly older than Reagan at the end of his first four years.

Einstein and Edison were brilliant as old men. Mark Twain got sour and dour. Dwight Eisenhower was a fine president but seemed ancient when he departed office at 70. He left us with grave warnings about Soviet empire and US militarism. America was enthralled with a beautiful young couple, the Kennedys, and their playful children in the White House. JFK allowed us to turn from the Koreanwar to a future on the moon. He probably would have turned us out of Vietnam had he not been assassinated. LBJ quickly became an old man not to be trusted.

Older people send their youth off to war when they have forgotten or rationalized its horror. That’s what this old man learned as a young man. Civilization seemingly always has been run by old chiefs who can’t pick up the sword any more.

Younger people who have to fight them generally clamor to end wars. And women. War would be rarer if women ran the world.

But we are talking, in the main, about three old white men. At least the national cable media are. Biden nearly has the nomination cinched, to hear it told.

Beto O’Rourke, 46, is talking about climate change as if it were the end of the world – which it will be, if we don’t do something urgently. The current occupant, between golf rounds, says it all is a hoax. John Delaney, 56, describes new technology that pulls carbon out of the air. Julián Castro, 44, exhorts us in specific terms about how to protect young immigrants in Storm Lake, and engage them to help build this community.

Biden and Sanders have not been here yet. Warren has – twice – and she has a mind like a steel trap. She has all the progressive planks of Sanders and then some. But many say that she is unelectable – and an old warhorse who waxes about the promise of socialism, or the days of wine and roses with Barack, is a completely sensible alternative.

Mayor Pete may be too young and not experienced enough. He captures young imaginations. You might say the same about Eric Swalwell, at 38. He is talking about guns in a way that Biden and Sanders do not. Tim Ryan, 45, might understand the contemporary economics of Scranton and Youngstown better than either of them. My son, Tom, understands young Latino people in Storm Lake better than I do because he knows a lot more of them. He also probably has a better grasp on the future than I.

My main concern is whether to start collecting social security, and whether I can afford the health insurance until Medicare kicks in three years hence. If I were president, I would approve Medicare for people at 50. But I am not 75 yet. Old people set the rules – Nancy Pelosi is 79 – and got us into the mess we are in. It wasn’t 40-year-olds wishing for dependable health insurance. Now, about that nap …

    Art Cullen is editor of the Storm Lake Times in Iowa and won the 2017 Pulitzer Prize for Editorial Writing. Cullen is the author of the book, Storm Lake: A Chronicle of Change, Resilience, and Hope
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Re: Election Errata
« Reply #1027 on: May 19, 2019, 04:08:28 AM »
Not being religious anymore AMEN to what the author said seems inappropriate. But I'll say it anyway. AMEN, old people should get out of politics (except maybe for voting). If any survive the coming climate catastrophe it won't be old dogs like you (RE) and I. A few young people might make it to the coming new stone age. Let them have a chance to get elected and salvage something for the future.
AJ
Nullis in Verba

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Re: Election Errata
« Reply #1028 on: May 19, 2019, 08:09:21 AM »
Not being religious anymore AMEN to what the author said seems inappropriate. But I'll say it anyway. AMEN, old people should get out of politics (except maybe for voting). If any survive the coming climate catastrophe it won't be old dogs like you (RE) and I. A few young people might make it to the coming new stone age. Let them have a chance to get elected and salvage something for the future.
AJ

The problem here of course is one of demographics with an aging population.  60% of the electorate is Old People.  They tend to vote for names and faces they are familiar with, most old folks aren't like you and me who think the decisions need to be handed off to people who might actually survive this clusterfuck.

However, the millenials appear to be getting more active and vocal, and that may translate into "surprising" results to the Pollsters, who likely get their data from old time registered Demodopes when they do their phone canvassing.

Again, only time will tell on this.  The primaries should be quite entertaining, and the Dem National Convention may rival the action of the '68 Convention.  That was the one Dan Rather got slugged at. lol.

<a href="http://www.youtube.com/v/ddrKLqpH5AA" target="_blank" class="new_win">http://www.youtube.com/v/ddrKLqpH5AA</a>

RE
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Re: Election Errata
« Reply #1029 on: May 19, 2019, 12:37:35 PM »
Not being religious anymore AMEN to what the author said seems inappropriate. But I'll say it anyway. AMEN, old people should get out of politics (except maybe for voting). If any survive the coming climate catastrophe it won't be old dogs like you (RE) and I. A few young people might make it to the coming new stone age. Let them have a chance to get elected and salvage something for the future.
AJ

The problem here of course is one of demographics with an aging population.  60% of the electorate is Old People.  They tend to vote for names and faces they are familiar with, most old folks aren't like you and me who think the decisions need to be handed off to people who might actually survive this clusterfuck.

However, the millenials appear to be getting more active and vocal, and that may translate into "surprising" results to the Pollsters, who likely get their data from old time registered Demodopes when they do their phone canvassing.

Again, only time will tell on this.  The primaries should be quite entertaining, and the Dem National Convention may rival the action of the '68 Convention.  That was the one Dan Rather got slugged at. lol.

<a href="http://www.youtube.com/v/ddrKLqpH5AA" target="_blank" class="new_win">http://www.youtube.com/v/ddrKLqpH5AA</a>

RE

50 years ago and I remember it like yesterday. A nice companion piece to the police riot staged outside of the convention hall.
At the end of the clip. Uncle Walter talks about "impediments to the free flow of information" around the convention. We were all so innocent, once.
"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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🗳️ Bye, Bye Beto?
« Reply #1030 on: May 22, 2019, 02:51:37 AM »
https://www.thedailybeast.com/beto-orourkes-fizzle-latest-sign-is-opposition-research-requests-have-died-off

Latest Sign of Beto O’Rourke’s Flameout: Opposition Research Requests Have ‘Died Off

The noticeable downtick in interest could signal trouble for Beto’s once hotly anticipated campaign.
Hanna Trudo
05.21.19 5:03 AM ET


Photo Illustration by The Daily Beast/Getty

In the days leading up to Beto O’Rourke’s presidential campaign, a top Republican opposition research firm was brimming with requests from political reporters angling for dirt.

America Rising, a political action committee that shared details of its internal inquiries with The Daily Beast, said the asks came from a dozen or more reporters and ranged from broad questions to more tailored points of interest.
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But 10 weeks after O’Rourke’s official launch, those requests are virtually nonexistent.

“The requests for oppo on him have completely died off,” a staffer at the oppo group said.

The lack of oppo requests suggests a larger problem looming over O’Rourke’s campaign: a visible decline in public interest. Once elevated to the top of Democratic watch-lists, the former congressman is now registering in single digits in several national polls, nosediving from 12 percent in a Quinnipiac poll conducted in March to just 5 percent in the same survey in April.

And while he’s beginning to roll out new hires in key voting states, some say he’s already fallen behind other candidates whose field operations have been interfacing with voters for months.

    BOOM TO BUST
    Beto Blew It
    Margaret Carlson

America Rising, which has cornered the market on opposition research on the nearly two dozen presidential contenders, has tracked what it considers a steady decline in the public’s interest in O’Rourke.

The Republican National Committee, known for slinging insults about Democrats into mainstream consciousness, has not received any requests from reporters for O’Rourke information in recent weeks, according to a senior official.
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Typically, a high level of curiosity in revealing a candidate’s political past is one indicator of their perceived viability. And a noticeable downtick in interest could signal an enthusiasm gap between where O’Rourke started and where he’s ended up in two months.

O’Rourke, himself, seemed to acknowledge the flagging interest in a recent  interview with MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow.

“I recognize I can do a better job also of talking to a national audience,” O'Rourke said. “I hope that I’m continuing to do better over time, but we’ve been extraordinarily fortunate with the campaign that we’ve run so far.”

His next big chance will be Tuesday night, when he’ll appear in his first CNN town hall at 10 p.m. from Drake University in Des Moines. The network has previously hosted such events for several of his rivals, giving a boost to some lesser-known candidates early into their campaigns. On Monday, O’Rourke told reporters he would participate in a Fox News town hall, a general-election strategy favored by some 2020 hopefuls as an attempt to reach voters beyond the traditional Democratic base.
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But according to an analysis shared with The Daily Beast by Media Matters, a nonprofit that tracks right-wing coverage, even Fox News’ daily mentions of O’Rourke online have visibly declined since he announced his bid, indicating that he may no longer be considered a serious threat as a Democratic contender.

O’Rourke’s campaign sees it differently: “From my perspective there’s been no decline of oppo to respond to,” a source within the campaign said. Press requests from print and television outlets, including bookers in charge of getting candidates on the air, have not declined since the launch, the campaign source added.

While it’s still early to plot ad buys—the Iowa caucuses are nine months away—a source who tracks ad information for multiple political campaigns says that O’Rourke’s failure to get into that world early coincides with a frenzied campaign that’s no longer top-of-mind for voters.

“It fits with an overall theme of his campaign being a little disorganized,” the source who analyzes political ads said. “He had such a moment in 2018 but it seems to have fizzled out.”

While no pollsters or ad makers have been hired, a source within O’Rourke’s campaign first told The Daily Beast that they have been in initial discussions with various polling, data, and analytics firms, as well as outfits who do campaign ads. Bringing on a pollster had not previously been a top priority, the source said, adding that the campaign has been focused on talking to voters in 154 town halls and traveling to 116 cities.

O’Rourke has made recent inroads on the political staffing front, bringing on Jen O’Malley Dillon, Jeff Berman, and Rob Flaherty, top talent from Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama’s campaigns, among other recent national and state hires. But he has missed out on other high-level talent who wandered to other campaigns, multiple sources said.

Meanwhile, other presidential campaigns have already hired staffers who previously worked with or expressed interest in O’Rourke. Shelby Cole, a top O’Rourke aide who helped him raise an eye-popping $80 million during his Senate campaign, joined California Sen. Kamala Harris’ team as its digital fundraising director. Emmy Ruiz, who served as Clinton’s state director in Nevada and Colorado in 2016, was thought to be seriously weighing joining O’Rourke before he announced, according to multiple Democratic sources unaffiliated with current campaigns. She later joined Harris as a senior adviser.

One top Democratic operative admitted to eyeing O’Rourke for months, but changed candidate loyalty after reading his announcement article in Vanity Fair.

“I was definitely interested in him back in January and February,” the veteran operative said, who has since joined another presidential campaign in a top position.   

“The Vanity Fair story fed a fear I had, which was that he was a little too fly-by-the-seat-of-his-pants,” the veteran operative said. “I just felt that he hadn’t totally thought this through. So that kind of soured me on him.”

—Asawin Suebsaeng contributed reporting for this article.
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🗳️ Elizabeth Warren Gains Ground in 2020 Field, One Plan at a Time
« Reply #1031 on: May 29, 2019, 12:26:52 AM »
How about an Uncle Joe - Auntie Liz ticket?  Does that beat Trumpovetsky?

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https://www.nytimes.com/2019/05/28/us/politics/elizabeth-warren-2020.html

Elizabeth Warren Gains Ground in 2020 Field, One Plan at a Time


Senator Elizabeth Warren speaking at a campaign stop in Salem, Iowa, on Sunday. After five months as a presidential candidate, she is showing signs of success at distinguishing herself in a packed field.CreditCreditTamir Kalifa for The New York Times

By Thomas Kaplan and Astead W. Herndon

    May 28, 2019

NEWTON, Iowa — To the crowd of Iowans gathered in a school gym on Saturday night, Senator Elizabeth Warren made a request: They should pose a question to the other presidential candidates who come to Iowa seeking their vote.

“Ask them: Where do you get your money?” she said. “Are you getting it from a bunch of millionaires?”

For Ms. Warren, the question highlighted one of the sharpest contrasts she has drawn with most of her top rivals for the Democratic presidential nomination: She has sworn off holding private fund-raisers with wealthy donors. “The best president money can’t buy,” signs and T-shirts for her campaign say.

“I like that very much,” Cheryl Scherr, 63, said afterward, “because that means that she’s not beholden to anybody.”

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After five months as a presidential candidate, Ms. Warren is showing signs of success at distinguishing herself in a packed field. She has inched higher in national polls and, at events within the last month, consistently overshot the campaign’s expected amount of attendees.

She has been propelled in part by a number of disruptive choices, most notably the breakneck pace at which she introduces policy proposals. That has helped keep her in the news, put pressure on rivals and provided more opportunities to shore up her campaign’s once-lackluster fund-raising.
One of Ms. Warren’s slogans, “the best president money can’t buy,” calls attention to a key theme of her presidential bid.CreditTamir Kalifa for The New York Times
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One of Ms. Warren’s slogans, “the best president money can’t buy,” calls attention to a key theme of her presidential bid.CreditTamir Kalifa for The New York Times

Other decisions have helped her with her party’s progressive flank. Ms. Warren was quick to call for the impeachment of President Trump, a view shared by many Democrats. She refused to participate in a town hall event on Fox News, a channel that is reviled on the left. She has also been the only major candidate to call for student debt cancellation, and about 250,000 people have used a tool on her website that allows visitors to calculate how much of their debt her plan would eliminate.

The website experienced a large surge in visitors after the billionaire Robert F. Smith made national headlines last week when he pledged to pay off all the debt for the graduating class at Morehouse College in Atlanta.

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But Ms. Warren’s recent strength also highlights the volatile nature of the campaign’s early stages, and how much any candidate must do to overtake Joseph R. Biden Jr. — whose name recognition and status as a former vice president have placed him comfortably in the role of the front-runner.

Ms. Warren has become a favorite candidate among the activist left and is the subject of a viral tweet or video on a seemingly daily basis, but she still trails Mr. Biden by double digits in polls and does not seem to have broken through in New Hampshire, the critical primary state that neighbors her Massachusetts home.

Her ability to raise money over the long haul also remains a major question mark. In the first quarter of the year, before Mr. Biden entered the race, her fund-raising lagged that of four other candidates: Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont, Senator Kamala Harris of California, former Representative Beto O’Rourke of Texas and Mayor Pete Buttigieg of South Bend, Ind.

Still, interviews with more than two dozen attendees at Ms. Warren’s campaign events in Iowa over Memorial Day weekend suggested that her steady stream of policy proposals was getting voters’ attention. Her “I have a plan for that” campaign slogan has become a rallying cry for supporters.
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Ms. Warren greeting supporters in Fairfield, Iowa. Her succession of policy proposals appears to be getting the attention of voters.CreditTamir Kalifa for The New York Times
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Ms. Warren greeting supporters in Fairfield, Iowa. Her succession of policy proposals appears to be getting the attention of voters.CreditTamir Kalifa for The New York Times

“That’s going to be her big selling point,” said Joel Williams, 20, a college student who went to see Ms. Warren in Oskaloosa on Sunday. “The specifics that really go to the heart of people’s frustrations with the system as it is.”

“She’s got it all laid out,” said Susan Conroy, 71, a retired lawyer. “She’s got plans, and people are hungry for knowing, ‘Well, what are you going to do about it?’”

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Several recent national polls have placed Ms. Warren at the front of the pack of candidates who are clustered behind Mr. Biden and Mr. Sanders. Ms. Warren has gained ground in polls over the past several weeks, while support for Mr. Sanders dipped after Mr. Biden joined the race.

At her events during a three-day visit to Iowa, Ms. Warren wove together the story of her upbringing in Oklahoma with a walk-through of her plans to achieve what she calls “big, structural change,” before taking a handful of questions.

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

“She was totally comfortable talking about any topic that anyone brought up, and you can tell she loves it,” said Frank Broz, 37, a small-business owner who went to see Ms. Warren in Fairfield. “I feel like any one of those topics, she could have spent another two hours on. That’s very persuasive to me.”

He added of her White House bid, “She has the energy to say, ‘I’m not just willing to do this; I’m dying to get in there.’”
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Three members of the Skriver family at Ms. Warren’s event in Salem. Her visit over the weekend was her seventh trip to Iowa this year.CreditTamir Kalifa for The New York Times
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Three members of the Skriver family at Ms. Warren’s event in Salem. Her visit over the weekend was her seventh trip to Iowa this year.CreditTamir Kalifa for The New York Times

Ms. Warren’s visit over the weekend was her seventh trip to Iowa this year, and her campaign has established a robust presence in the state, with more than 50 paid staff members. Over the past two months, she has also spent more money on Facebook ads in Iowa, an estimated $34,000, than any other candidate, according to Bully Pulpit Interactive, a Democratic communications firm.

In recent national polling, Ms. Warren has shown particular strength with liberals, college-educated voters and those who are paying close attention to the presidential race. In a survey released last week by Quinnipiac University, she was the most popular candidate among Democrats who are very liberal, with support from 30 percent of those voters, compared with 22 percent for Mr. Sanders.

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Sophia Coker-Gunnink, 23, who works for a nonprofit and went to see Ms. Warren in Ottumwa, supported Mr. Sanders in 2016. But this time around, she favors Ms. Warren.

“The main thing for me is the plans that she has that are just more thought out,” she said.

Ms. Warren shows no sign of slowing down on that front. Her campaign is expected to release another major policy proposal within the coming week, timed around a trip to Michigan and Indiana — the 19th and 20th states she will have visited during the campaign’s early stages.

Ms. Warren’s campaign has also caught the attention of several liberal groups and unions. Top leaders at the Service Employees International Union, the influential labor group with almost two million members, have pointed to Ms. Warren’s ascendance as a reason to slow their primary endorsement process, according to people familiar with the deliberations.

Some leaders at S.E.I.U. wanted to back Ms. Harris early in the primary season, these people said, particularly after her campaign’s strong initial rollout, but the fluid nature of the race has the group’s leaders echoing many rank-and-file Democrats, who feel it is too early to choose sides.
Ms. Warren still faces the long-term challenge of growing her support to include a broader population of Democrats, including by attracting more nonwhite voters as well as moderate voters.CreditTamir Kalifa for The New York Times
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Ms. Warren still faces the long-term challenge of growing her support to include a broader population of Democrats, including by attracting more nonwhite voters as well as moderate voters.CreditTamir Kalifa for The New York Times

Ms. Warren still faces the long-term challenge of growing her support to include a broader population of Democrats, including nonwhite voters as well as moderates. And she faces obstacles in multiple directions: In addition to competing with Mr. Sanders for voters on the party’s left flank, she faces stiff competition from other candidates to emerge as an alternative to Mr. Biden, whose centrist campaign could appeal to a broad swath of Democratic voters.

Like others in the race, she is dealing with the so-called electability test, as voters assess which candidate they believe is best suited to defeat Mr. Trump — a calculation that can include gender bias in a country that has never elected a female president. Some online supporters have even taken to calling her “Likable Liz” in an attempt to rebuff notions she is only a policy wonk.

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“I think she is somebody who could be a great candidate,” said Ann Visser, 62, a retired high school teacher who saw Ms. Warren in Oskaloosa. “I think there are some hurdles. I think that we have to get over this idea that a woman cannot be the president of the United States.”

Then there is the looming question of Ms. Warren’s fund-raising. Her decision to swear off high-dollar events distinguishes her in the sprawling field and dovetails well with one of the main planks of her campaign platform, which focuses on fighting corruption.

“Now is the time that Democrats had better be walking the walk, not just talking the talk,” Ms. Warren told the crowd in Newton after urging them to ask other candidates whether they were getting their money from millionaires.

At the same time, the decision carries risks for the financial viability of her bid. Ms. Warren is counting on online donors to sustain her campaign operation for the long haul, even as other candidates like Mr. Biden, Ms. Harris and Mr. Buttigieg pile up campaign cash from big donors in addition to online contributors.

For now, Ms. Warren has financial leeway because she transferred about $10 million to her presidential bid from her Senate account. But she struggled with early fund-raising, and her campaign burned through cash in the first quarter of the year, building a payroll that was far larger than that of any other Democratic candidate.

Mr. Biden, in particular, has relied on traditional high-dollar fund-raisers in the early days of his presidential bid. Ms. Warren declined to name names when asked by a reporter if she believed any specific candidates were not “walking the walk,” as she had put it.

“I know the race that I’m running,” she said, “and I’m proud to be running it.”

Thomas Kaplan reported from Newton, and Astead W. Herndon from New York.

Follow Thomas Kaplan and Astead W. Herndon on Twitter: @thomaskaplan and @AsteadWesley.
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🗳️ First debate sparks Democratic scramble
« Reply #1032 on: May 30, 2019, 05:17:53 AM »
This is one I WILL watch!  Great theater in the making!  :icon_sunny:

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https://www.politico.com/story/2019/05/30/democrats-debate-2020-1346883


Uncertainty over the first debate amid a crowded Democratic field is unsettling candidates accustomed to more control over their circumstances. | Joe Raedle/AFP/Getty Images

2020 elections
First debate sparks Democratic scramble

Candidates still don’t know whom they will be debating against, or even which day they’ll be on the stage.

By DAVID SIDERS, NATASHA KORECKI and ELENA SCHNEIDER

05/30/2019 05:05 AM EDT
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Qualifying for the first Democratic presidential debate was the easy part. Now comes the challenge of preparing for it.

With the first debate in Miami now less than a month away, at least half-dozen major candidates have begun to block out time or lighten their schedules to prepare.

In telephone calls and conference rooms, advisers are peppering them with potential questions. The candidates are practicing tightening their answers, cognizant of the seven to 10 minutes of total speaking time they expect to be allotted. And they are watching clips of the 2016 Republican presidential primary debates to familiarize themselves with the dynamics of debating on a crowded stage.

All of it is taking place under the expectation that the first debate will represent the most significant milepost of the campaign to date, a make-or-break event that will likely lead to the first winnowing of the crowded 23-candidate primary.

For candidates accustomed to far more control over their circumstances, the run-up is proving to be an unsettling experience.
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“This is not a scenario that any of them have been in,” said Philippe Reines, a longtime Hillary Clinton confidant who played the role of then-candidate Donald Trump in Clinton’s debate preparations in 2016. “It’s almost like a particle accelerator … It becomes a group dynamic that you can’t really control.”

Few candidates, if any, have debated 9 other rivals before. None of the contenders knows yet whether they will appear on June 26 or June 27 — as many as 20 candidates will be split over two debates on successive nights — or even whom they will be debating against. Those dynamics are combining to create a deep sense of uncertainty and frustration surrounding an evening likely to be marked by the largest national viewership yet of the campaign.
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One campaign adviser to one top-tier campaign likened the unknowns surrounding the debate to a “black box.” An adviser to a different campaign said, “It definitely hurts how one prepares for a debate, especially since it’s your first introduction on the national stage … It’s tough when there is a ton of pressure to meet thresholds, and we can’t get more than two weeks to know who we will be on stage with.”

The campaigns plan to participate in a conference call on Thursday with Democratic National Committee officials, where questions about debate logistics and format are expected to be addressed.

But the candidates are unlikely to know on which night they will appear until about two weeks before the debate — and some candidates will continue to sweat out whether they will qualify at all.

In interviews with about a dozen campaigns, advisers said they are beginning to intensify their preparations. Several officials said they would hold campaign run-throughs with multiple people acting as proxies for rival candidates, though perhaps not with a full complement of nine actors representing nine candidates. Others are trying to anticipate from which opponents they might expect crossfire.
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Mayor Pete Buttigieg and Sen. Kamala Harris are among those who recently started focusing on debate preparations. An aide to Sen. Elizabeth Warren told POLITICO that while it’s still too early to intensely strategize for the debate, it’s also a challenge “when we don't know who we will be on stage with until a few days out” and said it would be “hard to have a moment” with 10 people competing for airtime.

Another campaign highlighted the difficulty of not knowing who else would share the stage, saying staffers who would otherwise study old debate tapes of potential competitors to “get in their heads” are instead presenting a composite of multiple challengers in practice sessions.

"We’re preparing for a cross-section; there a lot of candidates who have similar positions on the big issues, we know where a lot of our peers are coming from,” an adviser to California Rep. Eric Swalwell said.

For lesser-known candidates such as Swalwell, the debates present an opportunity to gain a much-needed step in the primary.
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Ten Republican presidential candidates share a stage in Aug. 6, 2015, in Cleveland. Democratic candidates are expecting a similarly jam-packed situation when debating season starts in June. | John Minchillo/AP Photo

Washington Gov. Jay Inslee has hired a debate director, Geoff Potter, and he and his advisers have held initial calls about how to approach the first debate. Unlike a congressional, gubernatorial or U.S. Senate debate — where the resulting media coverage can be more significant than the debate itself — millions of viewers are expected to be watching next month, amplifying the significance of a live performance.

In a recent call among Inslee’s advisers about the upcoming debates, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush’s criticism of President Donald Trump as a “chaos candidate” in 2016 came up as an example of how one-liners can fall flat. Several other candidates have made similar calculations, with one adviser to a lower-tier candidate saying, “You can’t be artificial about this … Voters see through it when candidates deliver a zinger.”

John Delaney, the former congressman from Maryland, has been watching recordings of both the Democratic and Republican primary debates in 2016. His communications director, Will McDonald, noted that, “For most people, this is going to be the first or second time they’re tuning into this contest.”

Advisers for campaigns that are clustered at the bottom of polls said part of their focus in the upcoming weeks will be navigating how lesser known candidates can distinguish themselves without coming across as combative.

Advisers to multiple candidates suggested that they are preparing to draw contrasts in the debate — but more likely with the rest of the Democratic field as a whole, not one any candidate in particular.

“Maybe you have three minutes in a debate, four minutes, what are you going to do? Are you going to try to swing for the fences, the way [Marco] Rubio did going after Trump? Or are you going to attack somebody else?” asked Stuart Stevens, the chief strategist for Republican Mitt Romney's 2012 presidential campaign. “It’s just an impossible situation … The Lincoln-Douglas debates, it wasn’t Lincoln, Douglas, Johnson, Smith, Harris, Fitzgerald, O’Reilly. It was Lincoln-Douglas.”

Lamenting the format, Stevens said the debate will not resemble a debate as much as a “multi-candidate press conference.”

“It’s crazy,” he said.

One rival everyone is preparing for — and who will not appear on stage — is Trump. He’s widely expected to tweet his reactions to the debates as they unfold, and Democratic strategists said it’s possible the debate’s moderators will ask some questions based on his tweets. For Democrats who have benefited politically from provoking the president in the past, the possibility of engaging with him in real time is widely viewed as a potential boon.
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But several candidates are also preparing to defend themselves against criticism of their records. That could potentially come from other candidates — but more likely, their advisers believe, in the form of challenging prompts from the debate’s moderators. In part for that reason, several campaigns pointed to the proliferation of televised town halls as their most significant practice for the first debate.

“I think preparing for a debate is just like preparing for a town hall,” Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand told POLITICO recently. “You just want to be able to articulate what you’re for in a way that is concise, which is harder for me, and direct.”

Asked if she had been drilled on giving shorter answers by her staff, she said, “Not yet.” However, she added, “But I did practice it in my first town hall with MSNBC because every break we had, the producer would say, ‘OK, those were great answers, but shorter, shorter, shorter.’ I was like, ‘OK, OK, OK!’ So I think for my second town hall, CNN, I think, if you watched it, you’d see that the answers were shorter. So I’m getting better.”

Several advisers to candidates outside of the top tier said they hope to be on stage with former Vice President Joe Biden or Sen. Bernie Sanders — the two top polling contenders — either to guarantee they’ll get the most eyeballs, or to convey an immediate contrast. One adviser of a second-tier candidate relished the thought of being on stage with Biden: “I can offer you the younger alternative of what you’re looking at right now.”

“I want to be next to Joe Biden so the country can Google ‘who’s the Asian man next to Joe Biden’ and then they will discover Andrew Yang,” little-known entrepreneur Andrew Yang said. “I think that’s the ideal. I’ve done the math and I have approximately an 8 percent chance of standing next to Joe Biden.”

Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) told reporters in New Hampshire recently, “It’s going to be really interesting because you’re going to have so many people, and it’s luck of the draw which night you’re going to be, who you’re going to be standing next to — maybe going to be really tall, don’t know.”

The front-runners are feeling pressure in a different way than those still trying to make an introduction to a national audience. With so much attention on their age, Sanders and Biden cannot have a Rick Perry-like forgetful moment. Biden will be expected to be the adult in the room. And Warren’s reputation as a policy wonk means she’ll have added expectations to drive the discussion or at least have well thought out responses to most questions.

As the front-runner, Biden is widely considered the most likely to face a pointed challenge from his competitors in the debate. But advisers to many of his rivals remain wary of attacking him too sharply. Even if a competitor could wound Biden in the debate, in a multi-candidate field it is unclear who would benefit.

“In 2016, if Bernie attacked Hillary and he landed a blow, it’s possible those people came to Bernie,” Reines said. “And if Hillary landed a blow on Bernie, people came to her. Now you have a situation where Liz Warren might take a shot at Bernie Sanders, because they’re kind of fighting for the same pool, and a voter says, ‘I don’t like Bernie’s answer, but I don’t like the way Warren asked it, so I’m going to take a hard look at Kamala.’”

He said, “You’ve got a little bit of a Whac-A-Mole situation, and that’s going to play out on stage.”
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🗳️ Beto O'Rourke says Biden "absolutely wrong" on abortion stance
« Reply #1033 on: June 06, 2019, 02:25:57 PM »
Beto probably should pull out and go for the Senate.  He can win that one.  Not sure how long he can wait to do that though.  Until the due date though, he's better off running for POTUS, he'll get more press and name recognition.

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https://www.cbsnews.com/news/beto-orourke-cbsn-interview-today-biden-absolutely-wrong-on-hyde-amendment-support-2019-06-05/

Beto O'Rourke says Biden "absolutely wrong" on abortion stance

By Caitlin Huey-Burns


Updated on: June 6, 2019 / 12:21 AM / CBS News

Watch Elaine Quijano's full interview with Beto O'Rourke in the player at the top of the page.

2020 Democratic presidential candidates were quick to pounce on Joe Biden's support for the Hyde Amendment, which bans federal funding for abortions in most cases, though they were reluctant to call him out by name. But in an exclusive interview with CBSN's Elaine Quijano on Wednesday, former Rep. Beto O'Rourke went further than his fellow competitors and said Biden's stance on abortion was "absolutely wrong."

"I hope Joe Biden rethinks his position on this issue," O'Rourke said. "Perhaps he doesn't have all the facts. Perhaps he doesn't understand who the Hyde Amendment hurts the most...lower income communities, communities of color. I would ask that he rethink his position on this."
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O'Rourke has taken pains on the campaign trail to avoid criticizing fellow Democratic contenders, and has made civility a cornerstone of his message. But the news on Wednesday that the former Vice President still backs the Hyde Amendment, which O'Rourke and other 2020 Democrats want to repeal, opened up another significant divide between Biden and the rest of the field.

While Biden supports abortion rights, he is also a staunch Catholic who invokes his faith on the campaign trail. When asked by an ACLU volunteer at a campaign event recently whether he would commit to supporting the repeal of the Hyde Amendment, he agreed. Yet his campaign said he misheard the question and that he still supports the amendment, which prohibits federal funding for abortions except in cases of incest, rape or the life of the mother. The funds are usually distributed through Medicaid. Several 2020 contenders, O'Rourke included, say the amendment would disproportionately impact low income women and women of color, and have called for a repeal.

O'Rourke's response comes as the former Texas congressman is rebooting his presidential campaign after a lackluster start. Part of that effort includes releasing policy proposals, from immigration reform to addressing climate change. On Wednesday, O'Rourke introduced a sweeping voting rights proposal on that aims to increase registration by 50 million, with the goal of boosting voter turnout to 65 percent.

The plan also calls for term limits for some federal offices -- including an 18-year term limit for Supreme Court justices. Several 2020 candidates have called for reforming the high court in response to recent federal and local decisions, and vacancies that have shifted the ideological makeup of the judiciary.

But O'Rourke disagreed with some proposals put forth by other candidates to expand the number of seats on the court, after saying he might consider it earlier this year. "I don't know if that's the right way," he told CBSN. "That further entrenches or enshrines the partisanship we're seeing play out in the court right now."

O'Rourke's plan would establish Election Day as a national holiday and implement same-day and automatic voter registration, including pre-registration for 15- and 16-year-olds.

O'Rourke would also call on Congress to pass legislation that allows people without identification to vote. He's also proposing a constitutional amendment to institute a 12-year term limit for both the House and Senate, in an effort to inspire more people to run for office.

The former congressman also told CBSN he would support the Democratic challenger to his former House colleague, Republican Will Hurd, in Texas' 23rd Congressional district. O'Rourke was criticized in 2018 for not endorsing Gina Ortiz Jones, who ended up losing by less than a thousand votes. O'Rourke and Hurd are friendly, and the two garnered national attention in 2017 for live streaming their drive together from Texas to Washington when weather canceled their flights.

"I will very likely support the nominee in that rce. I'm a big fan of Gina," O'Rourke told CBSN. "I don't want to put my thumb on the scale...but should she be the nominee I will be supporting her."

O'Rourke, who is from the border town of El Paso, has also made immigration a central piece of his campaign. He told CBSN that President Trump's proposed tariffs on Mexico "is about the dumbest idea, economically, the president has come up with."

He also responded to a new Quinnipiac University poll out Wednesday that showed 60 percent of Democrats in Texas want him to abandon his presidential race to run for Senate against Republican incumbent John Cornyn. "I think they want to see Texas represented in the United States Senate by someone who represents our values," he told CBSN. "I'm a known quantity....when they get a chance to meet some of these contenders, like MJ Hager, they are going to be very pleased."

First published on June 5, 2019 / 11:09 PM
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🗳️ Watching Elizabeth Warren Come Alive
« Reply #1034 on: June 07, 2019, 12:33:20 AM »
Now they're fawning over Liz.  ::)

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An Elizabeth Warren rally in Cincinnati on May 11. Maddie McGarvey/Slate

Watching Elizabeth Warren Come Alive

After the heartbreak of 2016, she’s making some women believe that a woman could actually win the presidency.

By Dahlia Lithwick
June 06, 20191:48 PM

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The photos were all over the internet on election night of 2016. They went viral in the bad way, and they all looked something like this: Women, standing in a crowd of other women, hands over their mouths, tears on their cheeks, as they realized that Hillary Clinton had lost to Donald Trump, the man who bragged about treating women like garbage. Those photos had come immediately on the heels of the other photos, also inescapable, taken earlier that day: Women posed outside of public schools, and churches, and rec centers, wearing pantsuits and beaming into the camera with elated looks that said, I just voted for the first woman to be president of the United States! That whiplash? That immense distance between the two sets of photos, between the historic, thrilling high of the morning and the gut punch of the night that followed? It’s a feeling millions of women have been processing ever since.

In all the soul searching that came in the months after November 2016, it didn’t take long for that feeling to turn into a question: Would it be insane to run a woman—any woman—against Donald Trump in 2020? As my friend Michelle Goldberg put it six months after Trump had won, “many American women want to break the male lock on the presidency, but they also want to save the republic, and it’s all too possible that those two goals are at odds.” We had all just witnessed a highly qualified woman lose the presidency to a carnival barker. Why, with the stakes growing ever higher, would we even consider trying it again?

Which brings me to Elizabeth Warren and the women who love her.
Mindy Nagel and Adelina Nagel pose for a portrait after hearing Sen. Elizabeth Warren speak at Bogart's in Cincinnati on May 11.
Mindy Nagel and Adelina Nagel at the Warren rally in Cincinnati.
Maddie McGarvey/Slate

Warren seems to be surging in the polls this month. It is certainly true that a lot of men are proving to be stalwart fans and a lot of women are lining up behind other candidates, for once having the option to pick between other women running for president, including Kamala Harris, who is neck and neck with Warren in several polls. But a few months ago I started to notice a boomlet of sorts, women who were willing to fall in love with Warren, just as they had with Clinton, and women who feel that Warren alone can redeem the insult Clinton sustained. To be clear, Elizabeth Warren is not Hillary Clinton. Comparing them distorts and diminishes their unique accomplishments and formidable skills. And yet: Even taking into account the late-breaking Comey effect and the years of Clinton family baggage, it has always been utterly obvious that part of Clinton’s loss was due to misogyny—a misogyny that, if anything, has only become more apparent in the years since.
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America, it seems, suffers an enduring baked-in disdain for women that we somehow continue to feign surprise at, even through the Brett Kavanaugh hearings, and the unhealthy fixation on Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, and the state abortion crackdowns. Which is why I’ve been struck by the number of women I encounter who are attempting to reframe the swirling questions of “electability” and let go of the trauma of 2016 so they can fall hard for another qualified, competent female candidate. Do they really believe that the woman Trump has already nicknamed, insulted, and lured into an unforced error could win this thing?

I wanted to see for myself, to understand the allure of Warren, and to figure out how women are thinking about her. Plus, it would make this whole infuriating question of whether a woman is ever going to be “electable” much simpler, I thought, if she happened to be a natural at this campaigning thing. She isn’t, as it turns out, a natural at the kind of straw-boater-and-bunting idea of campaigning we’ve internalized over a century of watching white male candidates eat steaks in Iowa. She is something rather different.
Elizabeth Thuranira and Caroline Lembright pose for a portrait in Cincinnati on May 11.
Elizabeth Thuranira and Caroline Lembright at the Warren rally.
Maddie McGarvey/Slate

At a mid-May campaign event in Fairfax, Virginia, I watched as Warren jogged out onto the stage and wheezed through the first few moments of her remarks. She has a big, forced window-washer wave, and as she launched into her prepared autobiography she referred to her father, over and over again, as “Daddy.” (I am not quite sure how we are supposed to be throwing off the patriarchy if we are still referring to our fathers as “daddies” into our late 60s.) But here is the part that is striking: Warren absolutely came alive when she started taking questions from her audience. Explaining incredibly complex policy problems in a perfectly coherent way turns out to be Warren’s superpower. And while I went in dubious that Warren’s policy-minded campaign could ever compete with the charisma-driven, Father-Knows-Best performances of presidential candidates from Ronald Reagan to Bill Clinton, let alone the supercharged persona of Donald Trump, I realized that I was completely confused about the nature of political charisma itself.
Democratic Presidential candidate Sen. Elizabeth Warren speaks at Bogart's in Cincinnati, OH on May 11, 2019.
Democratic presidential candidate Elizabeth Warren
Maddie McGarvey/Slate
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Two articles of faith must be addressed here: One is that watching and scoring and fighting about the Democratic primary this early in the season is silly and quite possibly futile, particularly considering the almost-hilarious number of candidates (perhaps not such a bad thing when you recognize how much this field has broken out of the white male monopoly). The other is that Warren has had a very good couple of weeks. Her polling numbers show her narrowing the gap behind Joe Biden and—perhaps more importantly—catching up with Bernie Sanders. Warren has been generating a constant stream of news, thanks to her capacity for releasing a detailed new policy initiative nearly every week and her willingness to, for instance, call Fox News “a hate-for-profit racket.” She took a strikingly strong stand on Trump and impeachment, linking him to the same systemwide corruption with which she had cudgeled Fox. And as one state after another passed abortion bans that were retrograde and cruel, Warren rolled out comprehensive abortion reforms that would bolster reproductive rights nationwide, even if Roe v. Wade were overturned by the Supreme Court.

Warren is, in brief, almost painfully serious precisely because she is banking on public seriousness, running on the notion that bread and circus have had their day, and it is time now to save the republic. Warren is hoping voters are willing to engage with a persona that is competent and sober, qualities they persistently say they value when speaking to pollsters but tend to reject in favor of charisma at the ballot box. But she is proof that competent and sober does not have to mean cold and impersonal on the trail.

At the Fairfax campaign stop, Warren tells some thousand people who have shown up to hear her, a crowd visibly dominated by women, that her lifelong dream was to be a teacher—a dream she lived up to as a special education teacher and a law professor before becoming a United States senator and, now, a candidate for president. This is something some of the Warren think pieces tend to miss: Warren is an extraordinary educator. We misread her as a detached wonk when she’s actually a brilliant translator of complex ideas. Watching her on the stump, you come to realize that it’s not so much the fact that she knows a lot of technical and complicated things that truly excites her fans, it’s that she can explain them to you.
Leesha Thrower waits in line at the Bogart's stop on May 11 in Cincinnati
Leesha Thrower waits in line in Cincinnati.
Maddie McGarvey/Slate

Warren shines in her unscripted Q&As precisely because she isn’t trying to please the Unknowable American Electorate of 2020. She is just trying to answer whatever the questioner is asking in the moment. She knows how to subordinate her own narrative to that of the interlocutor, but she also knows how to use her narrative to empathize with a questioner’s individual concerns. Warren knows what it’s like to be poor. She knows what it’s like to be a paycheck away from insolvency. She knows what it’s like to have family members serve in the military. She knows what it’s like to love someone addicted to opioids. She understands how it feels to almost lose your house to foreclosure. This isn’t “I alone can fix it” stuff. It’s “let me help you fix it.” In the most tender exchange at the Fairfax rally, she tells a young man that she also knows how it feels to lose faith in government. And then she goes on to explain how we got here and what she’d do to get us out.

People think Warren is a wonk because it’s apparent that she spends plenty of time elbow-deep in policy. But really, she’s the polar opposite of a wonk. She’s not a political ambassador of policy for policy’s sake. She’s a politician who is hoping to bridge the gap between policy arcana and citizens who keep falling behind. And every time she releases a new policy, millions of people learn something new about how government works.

Talking to people who attended Warren rallies in Fairfax and Cincinnati, one theme that kept coming up is how nobody should have been fooled by Donald Trump. In the eyes of these voters, it’s all perfectly clear: He isn’t rich, he isn’t smart, he doesn’t care, and he doesn’t even like us much. For so many of the women I talked to, one of the main reasons Trump is frightening is because he can’t seem to see or imagine anything beyond his own limited experience. Time and again, they told me that they don’t need charm (even as they insist that Warren is likable). What they need is information, and an ally, and a plan. A recent college graduate at the Fairfax rally told me she couldn’t imagine a life untethered from debt. But she had just been online checking Warren’s calculator to determine what sort of loan relief she’d be eligible for under the candidate’s plan.
People listen to Democratic Presidential candidate Sen. Elizabeth Warren speak at Bogart's in Cincinnati, OH on May 11, 2019.
The crowd at Elizabeth Warren’s Cincinnati event.
Maddie McGarvey/Slate

Do I worry that Elizabeth Warren isn’t fantastic on the stump? I do. But Warren doesn’t seem to care much about being loved. She cares a lot about explaining where things fell apart. So her campaign goes to tiny blue-collar towns in tiny red states she cannot hope to win, and she talks about opioid addiction with Trump supporters who have never met a presidential hopeful and may never meet one again. The labor here is about connecting the dots more than lighting crowds on fire.

Watching this play out on the trail, I couldn’t help but think of an idea Rebecca Solnit recently explored in a piece about our possible newfound resistance to “great men” theories of governance. Solnit suggests that we may be finally tiring of:

    the hero as an attention-getter, a party-crasher, a fame-seeker, and at least implicitly a troublemaker in the guise of a problem-solver. And maybe we as a society are getting tired of heroes, and a lot of us are certainly getting tired of overconfident white men. Even the idea that the solution will be singular and dramatic and in the hands of one person erases that the solutions to problems are often complex and many faceted and arrived at via negotiations.

What Solnit is holding out as the new ideal of leadership is not, by any stretch, exclusively female. But it is an idea less tethered to goose bump–y speeches, or the kind of charisma that leaves an audience thrilled yet unable to recall any idea actually expressed. We’ve now elected two “charismatics” in a row to the presidency, and the model Warren is building, while not lacking in surface polish, surely doesn’t coast on it. Her campaign is less TED talk than graduate seminar. And her “students” become evangelists of her big ideas more than evangelists of her.
Elizabeth Warren crouches to speak with a child at Bogart's in Cincinnati on May 11.
Warren in Cincinnati.
Maddie McGarvey/Slate

I don’t know whether Elizabeth Warren can win the Democratic primary. I’m not yet certain a woman can win at all. A country that is OK prosecuting women who miscarry isn’t really a country I recognize, much less one I can believe in. Worse, I shudder at the implication that Warren, the woman, will do all the grueling legwork of educating voters about corruption, and banking, and unions, and debt, so that some man in a glittering cape might swoop in and charm our socks off next summer.
Women are often told they react emotionally to candidates, while men are meant to admire and appreciate complex policy. Warren is disrupting that paradigm.

Women are often told they react emotionally to candidates, while men are meant to admire and appreciate complex policy. Warren is disrupting that paradigm. She leans less on charisma or charm, or even emotion, than on that elaborate PowerPoint she keeps stowed in her head. It’s a different approach from the men out in front of her. A warm and effusive Joe Biden has been coronated the favorite without having to break a sweat. Bernie Sanders has long had some of the most loyal supporters around, in part because he is so unabashedly “himself.”

But the women who come to these early Warren rallies like being addressed by an adult as adults. At a time when America has devalued teachers, empathy, expertise, and planning for the future, Elizabeth Warren serves as one reminder of what we have lost. It doesn’t mean the voters will necessarily throng to her side. It just means that the women I spoke to, and more and more of the women I know, don’t mind being educated about how everything went so terribly wrong in their political lifetimes. Elizabeth Warren can explain it, and has a plan for it, and believes she can fix it. It’s not glittery, and it may not make your heart beat faster in a stadium. But in a world of noise and bluster, her clarity has its own sort of charm.
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