AuthorTopic: Election Errata  (Read 122093 times)

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🗳️ Beto O’Rourke standing on countertops, explained
« Reply #945 on: March 23, 2019, 02:04:21 AM »
This was very original thinking by Beto.  Never been done before in a POTUS election, gets him tons of newz coverage and is great imagery.  Nobody else an do it now either, without being lablled a "Beto Copycat".

RE

https://www.vox.com/2019/3/22/18274294/beto-orourke-standing-on-countertops-tables

Beto O’Rourke standing on countertops, explained
His leading opponents are really old.
By Matthew Yglesias@mattyglesiasmatt@vox.com Mar 22, 2019, 9:10am EDT


O’Rourke is already tall. Why does he keep climbing on countertops? Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Beto O’Rourke likes to stand on countertops while campaigning for president.

It’s not a totally unreasonable thing to do. Normally at a political rally, the featured speaker would be up on an elevated stage just like any other kind of performer. But campaigning in the early primary states often features a lot of appearances in more intimate settings — house parties hosted by supporters or local notables, restaurants or coffee shop appearances, etc. There’s no stage in these kinds of places, but there generally is a countertop — so why not hop up and make your own stage?

Since everything’s a controversy in the crowded primary field, Beto’s countertop habit has launched a genre of critical takes.

Kelly Weill at the Daily Beast wrote a story titled “Baristas to Beto O’Rourke: Come On Man, Get Off Our Counters” which quoted Josh Wilson of Cohesive Coffee in Greenville, South Carolina, as complaining, “I’m sure he had a reason. But it seems like just standing would work. Beto seems to be trying harder and harder to find ways to show he’s an ‘Everyman.’”

Wilson notably was not complaining about the sanity impact of countertop standing or the extra work involved in cleaning, two concerns I’ve heard raised by Beto skeptics who aren’t professionals in the food service industry. Wilson is presumably aware that you need to clean your countertops in the course of doing business whether or not a presidential candidate stands on them — he just finds it generally obnoxious.

But while the whole countertop thing is, on one level, totally unimportant, on another level it represents the core of O’Rourke as a political phenomenon. It’s a move that blends his youthful cool-guy persona with an ability to effortlessly attract attention to himself, while also implicating the swirling currents of racial and gender privilege that surround his campaign.
Beto stands on lots of things

The canonical Beto pose is standing on a countertop, to the extent that there is even now a Beto Standing on Counters Twitter account.

A quick perusal of the account will reveal, however, that while O’Rourke surely does enjoy standing on countertops, he also stands on all kinds of other stuff. Here he is, for example, standing on a chair.

There is also clear documentary evidence of O’Rourke standing on tables to address crowds.

This habit has prompted no small degree of mockery, including from E. Eric Thomas, who says it “seems intended to improve sight lines and perhaps subliminally connote leadership” but in reality reminds him of the “cool English teacher who watched Dead Poets Society every weekend.”

The truth is it probably is mostly about the sightlines.

O’Rourke, like Donald Trump but unlike the other candidates in the field, was a showman before he was a politician — albeit in an obscure hardcore band rather than on a network reality television show. At 6-foot-4, he doesn’t really need to be standing on a tall object to be visible, but getting taller never hurts. The fact that it’s slightly goofy, meanwhile, makes it noteworthy. Candidates for presidents make stops to talk to small groups of people all the time. But now that “Beto standing on stuff” is an official thing, anyone can take a photo of Beto standing on stuff and it will circulate. Look at him standing there! The result is that lots of pictures of Beto making banal campaign appearances will circulate while equally banal appearances by his rivals tend to get ignored.

Trump ended up winning the GOP nomination in no small part because he dominated media attention.

Beto is no Trump in this regard, but G. Elliott Morris shows that he’s outpaced his rivals in securing television coverage, despite the crowded field.

Becoming a meme over something basically innocuous, in other words, is part of a pretty good strategy to hog as much attention as possible.

But it’s also true that, in its way, climbing up onto counters and standing on tables is a way of throwing some pretty sharp elbows.
Beto’s main rivals are old

Ronald Reagan was 69 on Inauguration Day and 77 when he left office eight years later. Bernie Sanders is already 77, Joe Biden is 76, and Trump is 72. It’s only in the context of the septuagenarian frontrunners and incumbent that Elizabeth Warren — who at 69 years old today would, if she wins, be the second-oldest president ever — comes across as a relatively youthful option. (Kamala Harris, at 54 years old, wouldn’t be cashing Social Security checks in office but would still be older on Inauguration Day than Barack Obama, George W. Bush, or Bill Clinton was.)

Beto, meanwhile, is 47. The age of the contenders is clearly a factor on voters’ minds as they assess the field, but it’s not really something that would be seemly or appropriate to raise directly.

Climbing up on top of various objects — like chatting with voters while literally running a 5k — is a good way of making the point more implicitly. It starts with getting Democrats who don’t necessarily have strong preferences about the 2020 candidates to just imagine the sheer joy of if Beto were the nominee watching him physically humiliate the prideful and loathsome Trump.

But once you have that image in your mind, it’s hard to forget that Bernie and Biden aren’t too spry either.
Women don’t jump on furniture

Another related question is how countertop shenanigans intersect with the gender dynamics vis-à-vis the women in the field. Politico’s David Siders suggested that maybe Kamala Harris or Elizabeth Warren should consider emulating some of Beto’s casual cool appeal.

Beyond the absurd implication that Harris (a former prosecutor) and Warren (easily the deepest thinker on policy in the Democratic Senate caucus) can’t or don’t speak without notes, the obvious question here is whether a woman could really scramble around on furniture and still be taken seriously as a potential leader.

O’Rourke is signaling that he’s not your typical politician, while women in politics are by definition not your typical politician and generally bend over backward to make sure they are presenting themselves as serious professionals in ways that might not be compatible with jumping up on a coffee shop counter.

Similarly, O’Rourke’s youth and cute family are political assets, but it’s difficult to imagine a mother leaving her three school-age children at home for a second extended campaign in two years and retaining an image as warm and friendly rather than alarmingly ambitious.

It’s not his fault that he can get away with certain things that some of his rivals probably couldn’t. His strengths are in contrast. With Biden, he presents a pretty clean case of young versus old; compared with Harris, Warren, Amy Klobuchar, and Kirsten Gillibrand, it looks to a lot of people like a very literal case of a brash young man asking to be promoted ahead of a bunch of better-qualified women.

The countertops themselves are not important, but in that sense, they simultaneously symbolize one of the great strengths of Beto as a candidate and also why the whole idea of his candidacy strikes other observers as a somewhat enraging display of privilege.
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🗳️ Beto O'Rourke a threat to Biden on his right and Sanders on his left
« Reply #946 on: March 24, 2019, 03:05:20 AM »
https://www.nbcnews.com/politics/2020-election/beto-o-rourke-could-be-threat-biden-his-right-sanders-n986426

Beto O'Rourke could be a threat — to Biden on his right and Sanders on his left
The Texas Democrat sent a message by campaigning this week in midwestern states that cost Democrats the White House in 2016.


Democratic presidential candidate Beto O'Rourke greets supporters after speaking at Gino's Cento Anno on March 18, 2019, in Cleveland.Tony Dejak / AP

March 23, 2019, 8:03 AM AKDT
By Lauren Egan and Alex Seitz-Wald

CLEVELAND — By the time Beto O'Rourke arrived at Gino's Cento Anno, a small dive bar popular with union workers, the TVs had been switched off Fox News and Wally Huskonen was ready to hear from someone other than the two men leading every poll of the 2020 Democratic presidential field.

"Biden is too old, and I am speaking as someone near his age," Huskonen, an 81-year-old ex-Republican, said earlier this week of former Vice President Joe Biden, 76, who is all-but-certain to enter the race soon. "Same with Bernie (77 years old). And the way Bernie (Sanders) talks about socialism…it's not the fact that he is talking about it, it's the way he talks about it."

"Beto's theme of bringing people together really resonates with me. This division is very unsettling," Huskonen added.
Beto O'Rourke on Ohio GM plant closure: 'Trump failed in his commitment'
March 19, 201904:34

If O'Rourke is to climb in the polls, his campaign minivan is on a collision course with one or both of the other white men atop the field — but which?

While Sanders' allies have worried that O'Rourke could eat into the Vermont senator's base of young progressives, Biden may end up being the one with the most to lose among mainline Democrats more concerned with electability than political revolution.

Instead of shoring up his progressive bona fides in the face of left-flank attacks, O'Rourke has emphasized a Biden-esque message of civility while making a case that he can win the White House by stumping in the very Midwest states that Biden allies argue "Middle-Class Joe" is most capable of carrying.

"Because he generates so much excitement, a lot of people think Beto is a real threat to Bernie Sanders," said Bill Press, a liberal talk radio host who has hosted meetings of Sanders' kitchen cabinet. "Actually, for that very reason, plus the fact that he's closer to Biden than Bernie on the issues, I think Beto's much more of a threat to Joe Biden."

"Some Democrats are asking: If you already have a more exciting, younger, centrist white male in the race, why do you need Joe Biden?" Press said.

O’Rourke might dispute the "centrist" characterization, noting he never backed away from liberal issues while running for Senate last year in Texas against Sen. Ted Cruz. And, as a presidential candidate, he's called capitalism "racist," vocally supported legalizing marijuana and spoken bluntly on immigration.

But those are the B-sides of his message.

The core of O’Rourke's stump speech is about inclusion, sounding more like Biden, who has been dinged by the left for speaking warmly of Republicans, than Sanders or Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., who portray their campaigns as us-versus-them fights against a corrupt political system.

The former Texas congressman has repeatedly declined to call himself a "progressive," saying he doesn't like labels, and refused to adopt ideological litmus-test issues, like Medicare for All.

"Let's make sure that before we are Democrats or Republicans, we see each other as Americans and human beings and treat one another accordingly," O’Rourke said in Cleveland, repeating one of his common refrains.
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And O'Rourke, who draws comparisons to Barack Obama on the stump, is even challenging one of Biden's chief assets — his association with the popular former president.

"People underestimate how difficult it is to run from the lead position," said Democratic strategist Chris Kofinis.

"The real challenge for Biden and Sanders," he continued, "is going to be how do they keep people energized and excited about their candidacy, which really puts the onus on their ideas. Whereas for new candidates like Beto and (Kamala) Harris, it can be about their candidacy and their ideas."

Of course, Biden hasn't even entered the race yet and polling at this point is likely on his high name recognition.

"I honestly think it is way too early,” said Robert Wolf, the CEO of 32Advisors and a major Democratic donor who advised Obama and has been in touch with both the Biden and O'Rourke camps. “I do think that Beto's launch...from his fundraising intake to his road trip from Iowa to New Hampshire with stops in the 'Blue Wall' states, was quite incredible and you could see the grassroot excitement grow each and every day."

Older white voters who turned out to O’Rourke's events in the midwest nearly universally expressed fondness for Biden, but also concerns about the former vice president, even if they weren't fully sold on O'Rourke.

"I think Biden is smart and a superb human being, but I think we need new ideas," said Carolyn Harryman, who came to O'Rourke's first campaign event in Keokuk, Iowa, and said beating Trump is her biggest concern in 2020.

Sharon Quinn, a 70-year-old retiree from Scranton, Pennsylvania, Biden's hometown, worried what a run would do to the former vice president's family.

"Trump will eviscerate his family, his past, everything. I think he could be an excellent secretary of state, or something like that. We have a lot of fear for him if he runs," she said.

"Beto is a blank slate,” Quinn continued. "He has intellectual curiosity and authenticity that we're looking for."
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🗳️ The 3 Bs 🐝🐝🐝
« Reply #947 on: March 25, 2019, 02:04:27 AM »
Who gets the BIG Header Pic?  BETO!  Despite the fact both Bernie and Biden are ahead of him in the Polls.

It pays to be young and good looking.  Just ask JFK.

RE

https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2019/mar/24/beto-o-rourke-joe-biden-bernie-sanders-democrats-2020

The B-Team: are Beto, Biden and Bernie the best Democrats can offer?
US elections 2020

The party is diverse but it has a problem – beating Trump – and it may be that a straight white man is best placed to help

Josh Wood in Plymouth, New Hampshire

Sun 24 Mar 2019 06.00 EDT
Last modified on Sun 24 Mar 2019 06.03 EDT


Beto O’Rourke on a campaign stop. Photograph: Stephen Maturen/AFP/Getty Images

It was the kind of welcome of which some presidential candidates, campaigning for months, might have been jealous.
Who anointed Beto O'Rourke to be our political saviour? He did
Moira Donegan
Read more

Well before the former Texas congressman Beto O’Rourke arrived wearing a green Plymouth State University baseball cap, students and local Democrats had filled the large atrium where he was due to speak.

The town hall event was on a Wednesday morning, a time when students have classes and other people have work, potentially a recipe for sparse audiences here in the lightly populated foothills of New Hampshire’s White Mountains.

But O’Rourke draws crowds and cameras wherever he goes, despite his campaign being young, despite a lack of detailed policies and despite his having skipped the flirtatious trips to New Hampshire that are considered customary before a candidacy is announced.

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The field of Democratic candidates for the 2020 presidential nomination is the most diverse ever, filled with women, candidates from minority backgrounds and one openly gay man. The party’s base is diverse too, with four of 10 Democratic voters anticipated to be non-white. In 2008 and 2016, the party put forward a black nominee and a woman.

But three of the top-polling candidates for 2020 so far are white men: Vermont senator Bernie Sanders, O’Rourke and former vice-president Joe Biden, who has not even declared his candidacy. Does that present a problem?

In New Hampshire in recent days, Democratic voters who spoke to the Guardian laid out a simple answer. Yes, it would be nice to have a woman or a minority candidate but the focus must remain on removing Donald Trump from office. Whether the most electable candidate will be a woman or a member of a minority remains to be seen, but undecided voters are willing to consider a white man if he is determined to have the best shot at the White House.

“I think Democrats, myself included, are willing to wait for that [for a woman nominee] in order to simply win, to get Trump out of office,” said Marilee Lin, 54, a prep school teacher who watched O’Rourke speak in Plymouth. “At this point it’s kind of a pragmatic election. We’ll regress even further if we can’t win.”
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The first primaries are many months away and nothing is set in stone. Political scientists warn that poll numbers are tied almost solely to name recognition. At this point in the 2016 primary, Sanders was polling in the single digits against Hillary Clinton. Ultimately, he ran her close. Trump entered the Republican field in June 2015. He also started off with very low poll numbers.

What is certain is that the diversity of the Democratic field is making race, gender and sexuality – as well as the privilege associated with each – things white male candidates have no option but to talk about.

“No candidate can make it to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue and not talk about race,” said Rashad Robinson, executive director of the racial justice organization Color of Change.

“The Democratic nominee and perhaps the next president will have to demonstrate proficiency in bridging cultural divides so that electoral coalitions may be assembled across them,” said Michael Cornfield, a professor of political management at George Washington University.


Bernie Sanders is entering the race as a frontrunner this time around. Photograph: Richard Vogel/AP

O’Rourke has said it is “undeniable” he has benefitted from white privilege. In his stump speeches he is quick to get to racial and gender inequalities and the need to address them.

For some, though, he has become the poster child of white male privilege. He went to boarding school, then an Ivy League college. He was arrested twice, the second time for driving under the influence, but it does not seem to have derailed him as it might others. After he failed to beat Ted Cruz in a Senate race last year, he traveled across the country, publicly mulling whether he should run for president. When he decided he would, he told Vanity Fair he was “just born to be in it”.

“It’s impossible to imagine a female candidate for whom this approach could work,” wrote Danielle Tcholakian in the Daily Beast. “Can you imagine if Stacey Abrams went on a vision-quest road trip, joked that her spouse (who happens to be the primary breadwinner in the family) mostly raises her kids, then rambled at a camera for three and a half minutes to announce she is simply called to be president?”

Earlier this week, the New York Times asked Andrew Gillum, a black Florida Democrat who lost a race for governor, why he or Stacey Abrams, a black woman who lost a race in Georgia, did not run for president.

“There’s no doubt that O’Rourke enjoys a set of privileges in his decision making that other candidates don’t,” said Gillum.

    It’s not enough to sort of feel peoples’ pain. I’m not interested in a therapist
    Rashad Robinson, Color of Change

For Robinson, it’s not enough for straight white men to talk about their privilege: they need to understand it, he says, to show how they have confronted it and to display policies that will make the country more equitable.

“There’s nothing worse than someone explaining that they have privilege and then keep operating the same way they’ve always operated,” he said. “Voters more and more don’t want lip service, we don’t want you to stay on beat in our churches or tell us your favorite hip-hop album. We want you to be able to talk about what policies and what systemic changes you will make. It’s not enough to sort of feel peoples’ pain. I’m not interested in a therapist.”

The diversity of the field has also meant that men can expect to be asked if they will commit to appointing a female running mate, while there has been criticism of the apparent media fixation with the three white men at the front of the pack.

“I’m not disrespecting Beto but he’s getting a disproportionate amount of coverage,” said Pat Cantor, 60, a professor of early childhood studies at Plymouth State University. “I do think … that women candidates get a different kind of scrutiny and immediately the conversation goes to likability in a way it doesn’t with men.”

The website FiveThirtyEight, looking at coverage by CNN, Fox News and MSNBC, found that compared to other candidates, O’Rourke and Sanders saw “mountainous peaks in mentions” following their announcements.


Joe Biden waves after delivering remarks to the International Association of Fire Fighters Legislative Conference in Washington. Photograph: UPI/Barcroft Images

“There is no question that the media does not do an equal and fair job of covering women and minority candidates – that they ask them different questions, that they give them less attention and coverage,” said Matt Barreto, a professor of political science and Chicano studies at the University of California, Los Angeles and the co-founder of the polling firm Latino Decisions.

Barreto sees race potentially playing a major role in how minorities in the Democratic base choose to cast their ballots.
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“If your group does not have parity in terms of elected office of your population size, those voters tend to want to see more candidates from their race and ethnicity in politics because they feel they can relate and understand their community better and will do a better job representing them,” he said.

However, he added that he thought “beating Trump is the number one issue that Democratic voters are mentioning in polling and focus groups. I would imagine that’s where all the energy is going to be.”

That appears to remain the focus of many voters in New Hampshire. Gaye Fedorchak, 64, saw O’Rourke speak at a coffee shop in Laconia on Thursday. The audience spilled on to the sidewalk and the fire marshal had to end the event early.

While Fedorchak said she was also interested in Harris, former San Antonio mayor Julian Cástro and South Bend, Indiana mayor Pete Buttigieg, she said winnability would ultimately outweigh diversity when she decided who to support.
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🗳️ Beto O'Rourke campaigns from the top of a minivan
« Reply #948 on: March 26, 2019, 01:13:41 AM »
Next Up: Beto atop Skyscrapers.  Beto atop the Statue of Liberty?  Somebody has to Photoshop that one.

Best Publicity gimmick in DECADES!  Millenials gotta love this shit.

RE

<a href="http://www.youtube.com/v/BDuyGarqC94" target="_blank" class="new_win">http://www.youtube.com/v/BDuyGarqC94</a>
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https://www.texastribune.org/2019/03/22/beto-orourke-visits-six-states-first-week-presidential-campaign/

Beto O'Rourke's first week marked by furious pace, freewheeling style

The former El Paso congressman hit six states in the first seven days of his nascent White House bid, plowing through the ups and downs of the trail while maintaining a breakneck pace.

by Patrick Svitek March 22, 20191 PM
Republish


Audience members surround Democratic 2020 U.S. presidential candidate Beto O'Rourke at a campaign stop at Plymouth State University in Plymouth, New Hampshire. REUTERS/Brian Snyder
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LACONIA, N.H. — Beto O'Rourke popped out of a coffee shop here Thursday afternoon after the fire marshal cut short his event inside for attracting too many people — an unceremonious but perhaps fitting end to a 48-hour blitz of all 10 counties in New Hampshire.

"You are a whirlwind," one man gushed to O'Rourke as he navigated a gauntlet of selfie-seekers and leftover questioners on the sidewalk, aides hurrying him to his minivan so he could catch a flight to his next state. A handwritten index card propped on the console of the Dodge Grand Caravan reminded him he had an hour to get to the airport.

A week into his long-anticipated presidential bid, hectic scenes like this one have become familiar but telling of O'Rourke's early approach to the campaign trail — constantly in motion, barreling through the good and the bad, chaos and controversy. His first week saw a series of undeniable highs — monster fundraising, overflow crowds — as well as several less flattering chapters that found him expressing contrition for various missteps or confronting skeptics at his no-holds-barred events.

"I know that we have not done an event where folks cannot ask questions or make comments or level criticisms at me," O'Rourke told reporters earlier Thursday in Manchester. "I’m getting better along the way. I have a long way to go, and that’s very clear to me, but I am grateful for the opportunity. I’m going to make the most of it."

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Free of a day job, the former El Paso congressman seems determined to set the pace for the rest of the field with 10 months until voting begins, even if he will not acknowledge it. Asked in Manchester if the breakneck speed of his launch tour — complete with scenes of him leaping atop restaurant counters to speak — was meant to send a message to older opponents about his energy, O'Rourke responded with typical earnestness, saying he and his supporters will "never define ourselves in contrast to others."

Yet O'Rourke's itinerary speaks for itself. By the end of Thursday — one week into his run — he had visited six states, beginning in Iowa and crossing the Midwest to New Hampshire, holding dozens of events across them. After two days in New Hampshire, he was in South Carolina on Friday for a day and a half and then headed to Nevada for another day and a half. On March 30, he will return to Texas to not only kick off his campaign in his hometown but also hold similar rallies in Houston and Austin later that day.

As he has zoomed across the country, O'Rourke has been effectively testing whether the freewheeling style of his Senate campaign can withstand the rigors of a presidential race. The hallmarks of the 2018 bid have been abundant over the past week: the candidate driving himself from town to town, relying largely on the same two travel aides, broadcasting his appearances on Facebook Live, taking audience questions at every stop and entertaining reporters' questions at almost every turn.

There have been initial signs of a more professional effort — he appears to have an advance staff in place, for example — but it is not lost on even O'Rourke supporters that an early challenge of his 2020 campaign is scaling up what he did in 2018. It was the thrust of a question that Peggy Magner posed to O'Rourke on Saturday in Independence, Iowa, and while his answer reverted to familiar themes of showing up everywhere and talking to everyone, the 69-year-old retiree walked away hopeful that O'Rourke is prepared to take his statewide campaign national.

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"I think Texas is a huge state — I mean, you're talking about 200-and-some counties. You're talking 99 in Iowa," Magner said. "And I think the way he did it and the way he organized it from the ground up — I think it could really work. But of course it depends on who he hires to be with him. He is the magic behind it."

When it comes to staffing, it remains to be seen just how much things have changed from O'Rourke's Senate campaign, when he kept a small inner circle and largely served as his own strategist. He told reporters on the first day of his presidential bid that he will "rely on the wisdom, perspective and experience of a lot of people," including those from his Senate campaign as well as some fresh faces. "That's exciting to me — and I need it," he said.

Yet a week into his candidacy, O'Rourke had not named a campaign manager, somewhat unusual for such a high-profile contender. "We're working on it," he told reporters in Independence, hours later maintaining that "there are a number of people working together" to run the campaign. CNN reported Thursday night that O'Rourke was set to hire veteran Democratic strategist Jen O'Malley Dillon to lead his bid, but neither the candidate nor his campaign confirmed the news.
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Navigating the issues

O'Rourke's flurry of events — combined with his willingness to take questions from both attendees and reporters at virtually every one of them — has subjected him in a short time to a battery of thorny yet ascendant issues in the Democratic primary, as well as more clear-cut litmus tests. O'Rourke's responses ranged from vague to blunt.

In Durham, New Hampshire, on Wednesday, he said he does not support a universal basic income, which is being pushed by upstart rival Andrew Yang, who wants to give American adults $1,000 a month. And earlier that day in Conway, New Hampshire, O'Rourke expressed skepticism when asked about a proposal by another opponent, Elizabeth Warren, to break up Big Tech companies.

"I think the best way to approach the fact that people become products on these platforms ... is to regulate them more seriously and perhaps to treat them a little bit more like a utility," O'Rourke said. "I'm not sure if having five more Facebooks ... makes as much sense as regulating them, given the power that they have."

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On a host of other issues du jour, O'Rourke expressed an almost instinctive openness.

Abolish the Electoral College? There is "a lot of wisdom" in that. (In his Senate campaign, he called for the "direct election" of the president.)

Lower the voting age? "I'm open to the idea."

End the filibuster? "I think that's something that we should seriously consider."

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Change the Supreme Court? It is worth debating whether to add more justices and give them term limits, but he is "more partial" to the latter.

Republicans were keeping close watch as O'Rourke navigated the knottier issues, particularly when it came to abortion. He sidestepped a number of questions across multiple states involving late-term abortion, including his personal feelings toward it, saying each time he trusts women to make decisions about their bodies.

On some other issues dominating the primary, O'Rourke's positions have become gradually clearer over the week as voters and reporters have pressed him. On reparations, O'Rourke initially gave a fuzzy answer Thursday in Iowa, alluding to talks he had about the issue with civil rights leader Bryan Stevenson, whom O'Rourke said argued there must first be a national conversation confronting America's racist past. But under questioning six days later in New Hampshire, O'Rourke revealed that he had asked Stevenson about reparations and that "he does not believe — and I don't believe — that should be the primary or initial focus of the conversation."

O'Rourke has also offered increasing clarity on health care, speaking more and more favorably about a proposal called Medicare for America that he claims would eventually get the country to universal health care without immediately axing people's employer-sponsored insurance. He gave his most precise pitch for the legislation Thursday in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, where an audience member asked him if he would support Medicare for All — a single-payer system — over Medicare for America. Both are good proposals that achieve universal health care, he said, but Medicare for America, "I think, gets us there more quickly than any alternative that I've seen."

O'Rourke's work-in-progress platform has not thrilled everyone.

"When are we going to get an actual policy from you instead of platitudes and nice stories?" a woman bluntly asked him Tuesday in Pennsylvania, to which O'Rourke insisted he is "trying to be a specific as I can." He pointed to a number of issues where he has prescribed specific solutions, such as Medicare for America when it comes to health care.

Other people who heard O'Rourke in his first week were more understanding.

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"I do think there's a bit of a lack of specifics, I think, but I also think, you know, we're two years out," said Sam Sands, a 30-year-old research fellow at the University of New Hampshire who saw O'Rourke there Wednesday. "There's a lot of time to build policy and understand it. And I really like this plan that he has of sort of going around and listening to everybody first."
"The campaign is part of the message"

While O'Rourke stood out for how he conducted his Senate campaign in a red state like Texas, he and other 2020 candidates are facing new, mounting pressures to run their races more consistent with progressive values. He acknowledged as much Thursday in Manchester, telling reporters he thinks "the campaign is part of the message."

Accordingly, O'Rourke said over the last week that he would be "very supportive" of unionizing his campaign if employees wanted to, something rival Bernie Sanders' campaign has already done.

He has also confronted the new standards that Democrats are seeking to create when it comes to campaign finance, an issue where he was already relatively ahead of the curve. Asked in Iowa if he would join rival Elizabeth Warren in swearing off high-dollar fundraisers — events where four-digit checks are typically solicited — he did not rule them out but said he was not planning to hold such events.

He also got a similar taste of scrutiny Monday when he announced that his campaign had raised $6.1 million in its first 24 hours. It was an astonishing number that surpassed Sanders' first-day haul, but it quickly prompted questions — most vocally from Sanders supporters — about the details of how many donors fueled that haul. O'Rourke responded to the questions Wednesday by announcing he had received over 128,000 "unique contributions" for an average donation size of $47, an announcement that did little to quiet skeptics who questioned why he had not released his number of individual donors like Sanders did. O'Rourke promised to release that figure as his New Hampshire trip concluded Thursday but has not done so yet.

When it comes to campaign finance, he has also been getting questions about whether he will take contributions tied to the fossil fuel industry, to which he has responded by reiterating his longtime policy against accepting PAC or lobbyist money. Yet the answer leaves open the possibility that O'Rourke could accept large donations from executives — not uncommon for candidates from both parties in oil-loving Texas — something he took a pledge against in the Senate race and was apparently found to have violated.

"Yes, there are employees of the oil and gas industry, just as there are employees of every single industry under the sun, from you name it — people are contributing to us," O'Rourke said in Manchester.

Aside from campaign finance, questions have continued to follow O'Rourke about his privilege as a white man in the 2020 field — and he has continued to own up to it. After the New York Times published an interview Wednesday in which Florida Democrat Andrew Gillum, who like O'Rourke, gained national attention last year for a spirited yet failed bid for statewide office, said O’Rourke “enjoys a set of privileges in his decision making" that others do not, a reporter asked O’Rourke in Conway, New Hampshire, if Gillum had a point. “Yes,” O’Rourke said with little hesitation.

He was also quick to repent when asked about reports — including one by CNN on Wednesday — that reprised comments he made as a congressional candidate in 2012 saying the country needs to consider means-testing Social Security.

"You asked the question has my mind changed on that — absolutely," O'Rourke said to a reporter in Conway. "I think I've become a lot smarter from listening to the people that I've represented in Congress and others that understand this issue better than I do."
"Is that a negative?"

Perhaps no aspect of O'Rourke's nascent campaign has stood out more than his travel, though. While he made his debuts in the traditional early voting states after skipping them while considering a White House bid, the midwestern locales he visited in between were particularly significant. They were part of the "blue wall" that President Donald Trump toppled in 2016, and O'Rourke brought tough love for his party to the region, saying Democrats get what they deserve when they do not show up.

He had particularly good timing in Ohio, which he visited a day after Trump lashed out on Twitter at local union official David Green over the recent closure of General Motors' Lordstown facility. O'Rourke met Monday with Green, praising him in a conversation broadcast on Facebook Live for taking the high road in response to Trump's attacks.

Green was not the only local leader that O'Rourke consulted as he crossed the Midwest. He spoke by phone Monday with Ohio U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown, who considered his own presidential run earlier this year but decided against it. And as O'Rourke headed to New Hampshire, he dialed up U.S. Rep. Ann Kuster and other elected officials from the Granite State, getting advice on how to talk about the opioid crisis and New Hampshire's efforts to combat it, making note of the conversations at public events afterward.

Some of those calls came as he drove himself Tuesday from State College, Pennsylvania, to Keene, New Hampshire, a seven-hour trek that exemplified the do-it-yourself ethos of O'Rourke's Senate campaign that will be tested on the national stage. He ended up arriving over an hour late at his Keene event, where the crowd thinned out a little as attendees were encouraged to follow his journey on Facebook Live. He nonetheless received an enthusiastic reception when he got there and stuck around afterward for a long photo line.

So far, O'Rourke's unorthodox roadshow appears to have drawn far more fans than detractors. Among the fans: Dubuque County, Iowa, Recorder John Murphy, who hosted O'Rourke for a house party Saturday and offered a full-throated endorsement.

"The one knock I heard of Beto from a friend of mine that's a consultant — he said he doesn't run a typical campaign," Murphy said. "And I scratched my head and thought, 'Is that a negative?'"
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🗳️ Beto O'Rourke and the proliferation of white privilege accusations
« Reply #950 on: March 28, 2019, 03:53:18 AM »
https://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-47712096

Beto O'Rourke and the proliferation of white privilege accusations

    27 March 2019

<a href="http://www.youtube.com/v/iLr8EmgxAJY" target="_blank" class="new_win">http://www.youtube.com/v/iLr8EmgxAJY</a>

Media captionInside the mind of White America

The meaning of the term white privilege has evolved over the decades along with the way it is used and by whom, as James Jeffrey explains.

At its simplest level, white privilege is walking into a pharmacy and finding the Band-Aids only match the skin tone of white people. At another level, it's the term increasingly being applied as a political weapon to bash opponents, as Beto O'Rourke, one of the latest to join the race for the Democratic presidential nomination, is learning.

"Beto's bizarre campaign rollout drips with white male privilege, the kind of navel-gazing, self-involved behaviour a woman or person of colour could never get away with," intones a recent advertisement by The Club for Growth, a conservative anti-tax group that supports President Trump's re-election.

The Club for Growth is not alone is accusing Beto of benefiting from having been "born with a blue-blood pedigree, the scion of a prominent family," and having a nigh-on billionaire father-in-law, Bill Sanders (so successful he became known as the "Warren Buffet of real estate").

Beto's mother actually dated Sanders before she met and fell in love with one of his friends, Pat O'Rourke, Beto's father, a politician. Beto has joked about the incongruity of his parents meeting on a date with his wife's father.
ADVERTISING

On the one hand, this slice of family history offers a good dinner-party tale of serendipity, though it could also serve as a parable of the insularity of the moneyed class that is the source of increasing scorn in America today, fuelling the derogatory application of "white privilege".

Even Beto has spoken of his white privilege after being criticised in the media for his self-indulgence in taking off on a long road trip in the wake of his Texas Senate race defeat to Ted Cruz, leaving his wife looking after their three children.

"Absolutely, as a white man, there is so much privilege built into that," Beto said, while adding he still felt it was necessary for his well being after such a disappointing defeat.
Media captionWho is Beto O'Rourke?

The exact origin of the terminology "white privilege" is unclear. Before the Civil Rights Act of 1964, "white privilege" was less commonly used but generally referred to legal and systematic advantages given to white people in the US, such as citizenship and the right to buy a house in the neighbourhood of their choice.

But after discrimination persisted for years following the Civil Rights Act, the idea began to gain traction that while privilege was more psychological - a subconscious prejudice compounded by white people's unawareness of holding this power - exerting itself in the everyday advantages that whites experienced.

    Should the term racist be re-defined?
    Blackfishing: Women pretending to be black
    How America moves beyond its racist past

Peggy McIntosh is often mentioned as having brought the phrase into wider public discourse with her 1988 essay White Privilege: Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack, in which she described it as an invisible force that white people needed to recognise, its manifestations ranging from seeing only your race represented on television, to navigating life without being racially profiled or unfairly stereotyped.

"I find attention to these terms that are born in academia and then become the flavour of the day troubling sometimes, as they can be used in pretty facile and accusatory ways," says Kevin Foster, an educational anthropologist in the African and African Diaspora Studies department at the University of Texas at Austin.

"But, at the same time, by using these terms and concepts, they are getting introduced to more people, sometimes for the first time, so whereas before people might not have had the language to express something they were instinctively aware of for years, now they go: Oh, I get it, that's white privilege!"
Media captionOne thing Americans find hard to talk about

But with conservative groups now using the term for political gain - all of Club for Growth's endorsed candidates for 2020 are white men - it begs the question of who gets to make the accusations?

Race doesn't necessarily come into who can call out white privilege, says Foster, who is African American. He notes that just as his being male doesn't mean he should refrain from calling out bad behaviour by other males, a white person can identify an incidence of white privilege by another person and take them to task.

"Privilege is not pejorative, but it should be accounted for," Foster says.

"All power to Beto for going on that road trip after his Senate race, as that sort of thing is exhausting - of course he should have done it if he needed to. If you have access to a vaccine you are not going to not take it because others can't - but, and this is the point, afterwards you should try and ensure it can be extended to others."

The way many people move through society involves a whole intersection of privileges - gender, religion, sexuality, class - some more subtle than others but all of which provide advantages in terms of access to power and resources, says Frances Kendall, author of Understanding White Privilege: Creating Pathways to Authentic Relationships Across Race.

"People know how to use it, but they wouldn't call it privilege - they call it normal life," Kendall says. "Historically, white countries have put at the top of their agendas issues that have greater acceptance."

She says this is one of the reasons she was astonished by the marriage ceremony of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle.
Media captionUS Bishop wows with address at the royal wedding

"It was like a miracle," Kendall says. "Here were all these black people, with gospel singing and a black Episcopal bishop - not exactly a normal sight in an English Anglican church."

In America, the recent college admissions cheating scheme, in which wealthy parents used both economic and social capital to solve a problem - securing their children's admission to elite colleges - served an example of an entitled elite conditioned to get what it wants, with the lengths they were willing to go creating a parody of 21st-century privileges run amok.

"That sort of cynical exercise of privilege is ugly," Foster says. "Though here it was more a case of class privilege - they were all rich."

    Celebrity parents in bizarre 'cheating' scandal
    This is how WE got into an elite college

Beto clearly has class privilege - in addition to his white and male privileges - though almost all politicians have some sort of combination of privileges, and as they must do, Kendall says, if they are to have any chance of succeeding.

This feeds into America's somewhat contradictory relationship with privilege. Its "decision to throw off the British monarchy was accompanied by a new social ethos that rejected privilege on account of birth or family or station," says David Greenburg, a professor of history and journalism at Rutgers University.

At the same time, though, the country has a long history of embracing politicians who came from privilege, including Robert Kennedy, with whom Beto has been compared, and who also ran for the Democratic presidential nomination in 1968.
Image caption President-elect John F. Kennedy stands at the center of his large family, with brother Robert to his right

"No one would have said Bobby Kennedy enjoyed 'white privilege' because the buzz phrase didn't exist then," Greenburg says. "He was born into a family of wealth and influence - that's what privilege properly means. And while some people held it against Bobby - and against Jack Kennedy before him - most Americans look at not where you come from but what you stand for.

"Like Theodore Roosevelt and Franklin Roosevelt, the Kennedys had liberal values. Their policies helped the poor and others who were struggling. Their records in office rebutted allegations that they were servants of their own class interests."

Beto doesn't have a similarly successful record in office to draw on, critics point out. Furthermore, Beto stands among a crowded field of Democratic candidates emerging that includes progressives, women and people of colour. Combined with how privilege is increasingly being reappraised, this all leaves Democrats - and voters - with a decision to make about what Beto represents.

On the one hand, he and his wife are one of the most appealingly modern families in the run for the 2020 presidency: they employ social media to great effect, broadcasting much of their lives in real time, while Beto's propensity for jumping on cafe counters and high-octane energy on the campaign trail has a galvanising impact on crowds wherever he goes (as did Bobby Kennedy).

At the same time, his affluent white traditional family makes it less clear whether he is a vision of the future or a reflection of a past that carries a lot of baggage in the current climate.

"Being a straight white man could be something of a liability for Democratic candidates this time around," political analyst CR Douglas told KUOW, a Washington state outlet. "The energy in the party is with youth, it's with women, it's with minorities."
Media captionStarbucks staff got "unconscious bias" training, but what is it?

But Greenberg notes that while many Democrats may be pleased about the growing racial and ethnic diversity within their party, that doesn't mean they are comfortable about making the likes of skin colour a "litmus test" for a presidential candidate.

The fact is, says Tom Wood, a political scientist at Ohio University, who heralds from Australia, the elasticity that characterises the emergence of political candidates in America is utterly at odds with the way politics works in his homeland and the UK.

"How candidates are selected in the UK usually involves decades of loyal service to the party, be it Labour or the Tories, after which you are offered to run for a safe seat," Wood says. "The American system is amazing in how open it is, and of course it's this element that gave us Donald Trump."

He notes the parallels between the large field of Republican candidates that Trump emerged from in 2016 and the increasing pool of Democratic candidates, and how the latter might throw up another surprise challenger out of left field.

America is the consumerist society, and similarly, voters like to be able to consider their options, though it remains to be seen if and how the "white privilege" factor influences the outcome.

"I admit, when I look at two people, and one of them has been through this and that to get where they are, and the other has done well but had a gilded safety net, then I don't think they have the same credibility," Foster says.

"That doesn't mean I write off the latter, but I do want to know their insights, how they move through the world and account for things they haven't experienced."
Who will take on Trump in 2020?

So Beto O'Rourke is in. But who else has a shot at becoming the next president?
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https://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-47712096

Beto O'Rourke and the proliferation of white privilege accusations

    27 March 2019

<a href="http://www.youtube.com/v/iLr8EmgxAJY" target="_blank" class="new_win">http://www.youtube.com/v/iLr8EmgxAJY</a>

Media captionInside the mind of White America

The meaning of the term white privilege has evolved over the decades along with the way it is used and by whom, as James Jeffrey explains.

At its simplest level, white privilege is walking into a pharmacy and finding the Band-Aids only match the skin tone of white people. At another level, it's the term increasingly being applied as a political weapon to bash opponents, as Beto O'Rourke, one of the latest to join the race for the Democratic presidential nomination, is learning.

"Beto's bizarre campaign rollout drips with white male privilege, the kind of navel-gazing, self-involved behaviour a woman or person of colour could never get away with," intones a recent advertisement by The Club for Growth, a conservative anti-tax group that supports President Trump's re-election.

The Club for Growth is not alone is accusing Beto of benefiting from having been "born with a blue-blood pedigree, the scion of a prominent family," and having a nigh-on billionaire father-in-law, Bill Sanders (so successful he became known as the "Warren Buffet of real estate").

Beto's mother actually dated Sanders before she met and fell in love with one of his friends, Pat O'Rourke, Beto's father, a politician. Beto has joked about the incongruity of his parents meeting on a date with his wife's father.
ADVERTISING

On the one hand, this slice of family history offers a good dinner-party tale of serendipity, though it could also serve as a parable of the insularity of the moneyed class that is the source of increasing scorn in America today, fuelling the derogatory application of "white privilege".

Even Beto has spoken of his white privilege after being criticised in the media for his self-indulgence in taking off on a long road trip in the wake of his Texas Senate race defeat to Ted Cruz, leaving his wife looking after their three children.

"Absolutely, as a white man, there is so much privilege built into that," Beto said, while adding he still felt it was necessary for his well being after such a disappointing defeat.
Media captionWho is Beto O'Rourke?

The exact origin of the terminology "white privilege" is unclear. Before the Civil Rights Act of 1964, "white privilege" was less commonly used but generally referred to legal and systematic advantages given to white people in the US, such as citizenship and the right to buy a house in the neighbourhood of their choice.

But after discrimination persisted for years following the Civil Rights Act, the idea began to gain traction that while privilege was more psychological - a subconscious prejudice compounded by white people's unawareness of holding this power - exerting itself in the everyday advantages that whites experienced.

    Should the term racist be re-defined?
    Blackfishing: Women pretending to be black
    How America moves beyond its racist past

Peggy McIntosh is often mentioned as having brought the phrase into wider public discourse with her 1988 essay White Privilege: Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack, in which she described it as an invisible force that white people needed to recognise, its manifestations ranging from seeing only your race represented on television, to navigating life without being racially profiled or unfairly stereotyped.

"I find attention to these terms that are born in academia and then become the flavour of the day troubling sometimes, as they can be used in pretty facile and accusatory ways," says Kevin Foster, an educational anthropologist in the African and African Diaspora Studies department at the University of Texas at Austin.

"But, at the same time, by using these terms and concepts, they are getting introduced to more people, sometimes for the first time, so whereas before people might not have had the language to express something they were instinctively aware of for years, now they go: Oh, I get it, that's white privilege!"
Media captionOne thing Americans find hard to talk about

But with conservative groups now using the term for political gain - all of Club for Growth's endorsed candidates for 2020 are white men - it begs the question of who gets to make the accusations?

Race doesn't necessarily come into who can call out white privilege, says Foster, who is African American. He notes that just as his being male doesn't mean he should refrain from calling out bad behaviour by other males, a white person can identify an incidence of white privilege by another person and take them to task.

"Privilege is not pejorative, but it should be accounted for," Foster says.

"All power to Beto for going on that road trip after his Senate race, as that sort of thing is exhausting - of course he should have done it if he needed to. If you have access to a vaccine you are not going to not take it because others can't - but, and this is the point, afterwards you should try and ensure it can be extended to others."

The way many people move through society involves a whole intersection of privileges - gender, religion, sexuality, class - some more subtle than others but all of which provide advantages in terms of access to power and resources, says Frances Kendall, author of Understanding White Privilege: Creating Pathways to Authentic Relationships Across Race.

"People know how to use it, but they wouldn't call it privilege - they call it normal life," Kendall says. "Historically, white countries have put at the top of their agendas issues that have greater acceptance."

She says this is one of the reasons she was astonished by the marriage ceremony of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle.
Media captionUS Bishop wows with address at the royal wedding

"It was like a miracle," Kendall says. "Here were all these black people, with gospel singing and a black Episcopal bishop - not exactly a normal sight in an English Anglican church."

In America, the recent college admissions cheating scheme, in which wealthy parents used both economic and social capital to solve a problem - securing their children's admission to elite colleges - served an example of an entitled elite conditioned to get what it wants, with the lengths they were willing to go creating a parody of 21st-century privileges run amok.

"That sort of cynical exercise of privilege is ugly," Foster says. "Though here it was more a case of class privilege - they were all rich."

    Celebrity parents in bizarre 'cheating' scandal
    This is how WE got into an elite college

Beto clearly has class privilege - in addition to his white and male privileges - though almost all politicians have some sort of combination of privileges, and as they must do, Kendall says, if they are to have any chance of succeeding.

This feeds into America's somewhat contradictory relationship with privilege. Its "decision to throw off the British monarchy was accompanied by a new social ethos that rejected privilege on account of birth or family or station," says David Greenburg, a professor of history and journalism at Rutgers University.

At the same time, though, the country has a long history of embracing politicians who came from privilege, including Robert Kennedy, with whom Beto has been compared, and who also ran for the Democratic presidential nomination in 1968.
Image caption President-elect John F. Kennedy stands at the center of his large family, with brother Robert to his right

"No one would have said Bobby Kennedy enjoyed 'white privilege' because the buzz phrase didn't exist then," Greenburg says. "He was born into a family of wealth and influence - that's what privilege properly means. And while some people held it against Bobby - and against Jack Kennedy before him - most Americans look at not where you come from but what you stand for.

"Like Theodore Roosevelt and Franklin Roosevelt, the Kennedys had liberal values. Their policies helped the poor and others who were struggling. Their records in office rebutted allegations that they were servants of their own class interests."

Beto doesn't have a similarly successful record in office to draw on, critics point out. Furthermore, Beto stands among a crowded field of Democratic candidates emerging that includes progressives, women and people of colour. Combined with how privilege is increasingly being reappraised, this all leaves Democrats - and voters - with a decision to make about what Beto represents.

On the one hand, he and his wife are one of the most appealingly modern families in the run for the 2020 presidency: they employ social media to great effect, broadcasting much of their lives in real time, while Beto's propensity for jumping on cafe counters and high-octane energy on the campaign trail has a galvanising impact on crowds wherever he goes (as did Bobby Kennedy).

At the same time, his affluent white traditional family makes it less clear whether he is a vision of the future or a reflection of a past that carries a lot of baggage in the current climate.

"Being a straight white man could be something of a liability for Democratic candidates this time around," political analyst CR Douglas told KUOW, a Washington state outlet. "The energy in the party is with youth, it's with women, it's with minorities."
Media captionStarbucks staff got "unconscious bias" training, but what is it?

But Greenberg notes that while many Democrats may be pleased about the growing racial and ethnic diversity within their party, that doesn't mean they are comfortable about making the likes of skin colour a "litmus test" for a presidential candidate.

The fact is, says Tom Wood, a political scientist at Ohio University, who heralds from Australia, the elasticity that characterises the emergence of political candidates in America is utterly at odds with the way politics works in his homeland and the UK.

"How candidates are selected in the UK usually involves decades of loyal service to the party, be it Labour or the Tories, after which you are offered to run for a safe seat," Wood says. "The American system is amazing in how open it is, and of course it's this element that gave us Donald Trump."

He notes the parallels between the large field of Republican candidates that Trump emerged from in 2016 and the increasing pool of Democratic candidates, and how the latter might throw up another surprise challenger out of left field.

America is the consumerist society, and similarly, voters like to be able to consider their options, though it remains to be seen if and how the "white privilege" factor influences the outcome.

"I admit, when I look at two people, and one of them has been through this and that to get where they are, and the other has done well but had a gilded safety net, then I don't think they have the same credibility," Foster says.

"That doesn't mean I write off the latter, but I do want to know their insights, how they move through the world and account for things they haven't experienced."
Who will take on Trump in 2020?

So Beto O'Rourke is in. But who else has a shot at becoming the next president?

You knew this was coming. No big surprise. The emerging left can't be led by a white guy. Has to be a gay or a person of color, and preferably a woman.

Dead on arrival, as far as voters are concerned. What a farce. Makes me wan't to vote with my feet, but I don't see anywhere worth moving to....
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Dead on arrival, as far as voters are concerned. What a farce. Makes me wan't to vote with my feet, but I don't see anywhere worth moving to....

He got 48.3% of the vote in TX in aheavily Repugnant State.

RE
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Dead on arrival, as far as voters are concerned. What a farce. Makes me wan't to vote with my feet, but I don't see anywhere worth moving to....

He got 48.3% of the vote in TX in aheavily Repugnant State.

RE

He could win the election. It's the primary that is the biggest threat. He's probably the Dem candidate I dislike the least.
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Dead on arrival, as far as voters are concerned. What a farce. Makes me wan't to vote with my feet, but I don't see anywhere worth moving to....

He got 48.3% of the vote in TX in aheavily Repugnant State.

RE

He could win the election. It's the primary that is the biggest threat. He's probably the Dem candidate I dislike the least.

It turns on how many millenials he gets to register.  He will appeal to the young white voters with a lot of college debt.  There are a lot of them.

The fact he can raise as much money as he does over the internet demonstrates where his base of support is.  It's Gamers living in Mom's basement.

RE
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🗳️ Beto O'Rourke is 2020's John Edwards
« Reply #955 on: March 29, 2019, 01:53:10 AM »
https://theweek.com/articles/830794/beto-orourke-2020s-john-edwards

Beto O'Rourke is 2020's John Edwards

W. James Antle III

Beto Orourke and John Edwards.
Illustrated | STEPHEN MATUREN/AFP/Getty Images, Amanda McCoy/Getty Images, koksikoks/iStock, slavadubrovin/iStock

March 28, 2019

In a Democratic presidential contest so far defined by two septuagenarians, former Texas Rep. Beto O'Rourke may be the first fresh face to break through to national recognition. So why does he remind me of the past?

O'Rourke gives off a very John Edwards vibe. No, not in a creepy, sex scandal sort of way. Edwards' unconscionable philandering while his wife was dying of cancer will always occupy its own space in unhappy memories of primary campaigns past. But there are similarities in the political personae and positioning of the two Democrats that are hard to ignore.

Edwards totally reinvented himself between his two presidential campaigns. He ran in 2004 as a centrist, and, at the time, that seemed to be the best opportunity for the North Carolina senator to carve out a space in the Democratic field. It worked well enough that he was tapped to be John Kerry's running mate on the losing ticket. But Edwards swung left four years later, running as a "Two Americas" anti-poverty progressive when that became the better strategy.

O'Rourke has made a similar shift. When he launched his first congressional campaign back in 2012, the Texas Democrat made a pitch to Republicans in his state: He was a savvy centrist who could work across the aisle to achieve the entitlement reforms fiscal conservatives held dear. "To win their backing, Mr. O'Rourke opposed ObamaCare, voted against Nancy Pelosi as the House Democratic leader, and called for a raise in the Social Security eligibility age," The Wall Street Journal reported of that year.
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But six years on, O'Rourke transformed himself into a full-throated liberal to win national progressive backing in his campaign against Sen. Ted Cruz. The conservative Texas Republican was an inviting target to Democrats nationwide, helping O'Rourke raise $80 million. O'Rourke plans to tap that same donor base for his presidential bid, so he now touts progressive mainstays like Medicare for All, the Green New Deal, and legal late-term abortion.

In both his failed Senate race and now the Democratic primaries, O'Rourke aims to fulfill the progressive dream of turning Texas blue (though he lately appears sympathetic to abolishing the Electoral College, which would make Texas less important to Democrats' national plans). Though he didn't win statewide in 2018, he was competitive enough against Cruz last year to make the feat plausible, if not probable.

That brings up another similarity with Edwards: Yes, Edwards at least won his Senate race (once). But just like O'Rourke, he ran as a presidential candidate with a questionable claim to be able to turn a red state blue. Whatever he told donors, Edwards was unlikely to win a second Senate term and did not help Kerry in North Carolina in 2004.

O'Rourke and Edwards are also both gifted speakers. Edwards was a successful trial lawyer, while O'Rourke boasts star power on the stump, which might be needed in the crowded 2020 primaries and against reality TV President Donald Trump. But like Edwards before him, he struggles with authenticity in the minds of voters not captivated by his charms, whatever Vanity Fair may enthuse about his supposed "preternatural ease."

In the end, O'Rourke may follow Edwards' path to his undoing. Edwards became the third wheel in an epic clash of Democratic titans Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton, both of whom would ultimately win their party's nomination. O'Rourke could very easily have the same problem against those leading septuagenarians, former Vice President Joe Biden and Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.).

Given the dynamics of the 2020 race, which features a much larger field than recent Democratic primaries, O'Rourke may have an even tougher challenge than Edwards did. If a lane opens for a lesser-known candidate, will it be a third white male? Sens. Kamala Harris of California, Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota, and Cory Booker of New Jersey are all attractive options who actually made it to the upper chamber of Congress. And Warren in particular boasts far stronger progressive credentials than O'Rourke, though she may have missed her moment by waiting too long to run. South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg is perhaps the freshest face of all.

The big question is how much Democratic primary voters want to scrutinize candidates' records. We've already seen opposition dumps about Harris' history as a prosecutor, Booker's dalliances with the pharmaceutical industry, and Klobuchar's temper with her staff. But in 2004, relatively obscure and moderate Vermont Gov. Howard Dean became a liberal darling — completely upstaging Edwards for months — due to his passionate opposition to the Iraq War. Obama likewise had a shorter record than Clinton, but his anti-Iraq War bonafides probably helped put him over the top in 2008.

Democrats may decide they like O'Rourke's youthful image, combined with a reliably progressive platform and soothing, un-Trumpian rhetoric about bringing the country together. Or they might decide he's an Edwards-like pretender they should shun in favor of more seasoned options. Only time — and primary results — will tell.
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🗳️ Uncle Joe is a Groper
« Reply #956 on: March 30, 2019, 01:15:35 AM »
Uncle Joe can kiss his chances for the nomination goodbye.  #MeToo will take him out.

RE

https://www.vox.com/policy-and-politics/2019/3/29/18241598/joe-biden-lucy-flores-touching-women-media-history-explained

Lucy Flores isn’t alone. Joe Biden’s got a long history of touching women inappropriately.


Joe Biden delivers a speech in Dover, Delaware, on March 16, 2019. Bastiaan Slabbers/NurPhoto via Getty Images

The media gave Biden a pass for years. It won’t in 2020.


By Laura McGannlaura.mcgann@vox.com Mar 29, 2019, 5:15pm EDT

Democrat Lucy Flores was preparing to give one of her final stump speeches in a race for lieutenant governor in Nevada when she felt two hands on her shoulders. She froze. “Why is the vice-president of the United States touching me?” Flores wondered.

Flores recounts her experience with Joe Biden in a first-person essay for New York Magazine, describing an incident in 2014 where Biden came up behind her, leaned in, smelled her hair, and kissed the back of her head.

“Biden was the second-most powerful man in the country and, arguably, one of the most powerful men in the world. He was there to promote me as the right person for the lieutenant governor job. Instead, he made me feel uneasy, gross, and confused.”

New York Magazine reached out to a Biden spokesperson, who declined to comment.

Flores’s experience isn’t unique. It is no secret in Washington that Biden has touched numerous women inappropriately in public. It’s just never been treated as a serious issue by the mainstream press.

Biden’s been caught on camera embracing a female reporter from behind and gripping her above her waist, just below her bust. At a swearing-in ceremony for Defense Secretary Ash Carter, Biden put his hands on the shoulders of Stephanie Carter, Carter’s wife, and then leaned in and whispered into her ear. (He’s whispered into many women’s ears.) He’s also touched women’s faces and necks during other photo ops. Once at a swearing-in ceremony for a US senator, he held the upper arm of the senator’s preteen daughter, leaned down and whispered into her ear, as she became visibly uncomfortable. Then he kissed the side of her forehead, a gesture that made the girl flinch.

It’s all out in the open. News outlets wrote about these incidents. But the stories ran under light-hearted headlines like, “Photo of famously friendly Joe Biden goes viral” or “Here’s Joe Biden being Joe Biden with Ash Carter’s wife” or “Joe Biden: Sex symbol?,” a piece that I edited and now regret.

Ideological media outlets did write some critical pieces during the Obama era. At the Federalist, Mollie Hemingway questioned whether liberals would tolerate the same conduct from a conservative. At Talking Points Memo, Alana Levinson criticized liberals for giving him a pass.

But, overall, Biden got a pass from the political media.

Times have changed. Reporters now would look twice at a new politician who is handsy on camera. They’d ask questions about it and likely look into his private conduct. And women like Flores are taking big risks and speaking out.

Biden avoided scrutiny in the past, but if he wants to be the next president he’ll face pressure to account for his actions.
Joe being Joe

The Onion satirized Biden in 2009 in a viral article that cemented Biden’s image of a lovable everyman.

Real Biden remembers his working-class Scranton roots. Onion Biden washes his Trans Am on the White House lawn. Real Biden is handsy with women. Onion Biden is a womanizer: ‘Hey, hot stuff, looking good,’ [Onion] Biden told a passing aide. ‘Would you know where I could get a little bucket and sponge action? My mean machine needs to be cleaned.’

The images bled together over the years into the persona of Uncle Joe. When he dropped an F-bomb on a live mic, it was a classic Joe moment. When he made one of his many gaffes, it got added to numerous lists written in good fun. And when he did kind of creepy things to women at public events, well, that was just Joe being Joe, too.

All of those frames made appealing pitches just a few years ago. Editors would be happy to get a “lovable Uncle Joe strikes again” story. The environment is not the same now. Certainly the media is not nearly perfect when it comes to covering gender and power. But in the era of #MeToo, there is far less appetite for a story that makes light of a candidate behaving badly toward women.

As Flores writes, this conduct matters. “I’m not suggesting that Biden broke any laws, but the transgressions that society deems minor (or doesn’t even see as transgressions) often feel considerable to the person on the receiving end. That imbalance of power and attention is the whole point — and the whole problem.”

This is especially true in a context where Biden will be running against several women as well as defending a decades-long record of policymaking that’s involved past positions at odds with current Democratic Party orthodoxy.
Biden once said a woman should not have the “sole right to say what should happen to her body”

Biden, 76, arrived in Washington at the age of 30. His substantial public record includes a mixed history on women’s issues, a legacy that makes his in-person conduct even more worthy of discussion.

Lisa Lerer unpacked his history on abortion for the New York Times, reporting that Biden, who is now pro-abortion rights, has not been a solid liberal on the issue for his whole career.

In the Reagan era, Biden voted for a bill in committee that the National Abortion Rights Action League called “the most devastating attack yet on abortion rights.” Biden, who is Catholic, said at the time: “I’m probably a victim, or a product, however you want to phrase it, of my background.” He called the decision “the single most difficult vote I’ve cast as a U.S. senator.”

Biden also held the opinion that the Supreme Court went “too far” in deciding Roe v. Wade. In an interview in 1974, he said he did not think a woman should have the “sole right to say what should happen to her body.”

Biden declined to speak with Lerer for her article, so we don’t know exactly how and why he evolved on Roe. A spokesperson for Biden did not respond to an email asking for comment.

In his years in Washington, though, Biden has voted for pro-abortion rights bills. He’s championed the Violence Against Women Act. And he’s spoken forcefully about the problem of sexual violence.
Democrats need to figure out whether they want to clean house

If Biden runs, he’ll occupy a lane in the Democratic primary as the “normal” candidate — a likable white guy who won’t lose it on Twitter, or pander to Russia, or throw children in cages at the border.

As Democrats grapple with the intense desire to beat Trump in 2020, many are anxious that a woman will have a tough time beating him because of sexist attitudes still held by some voters. Perhaps, the thinking goes, it’s better to go with the kind of leader that Americans are used to. Biden, who was in office for eight years under Obama, could fit that bill.

But Biden would still have to present a clear contrast to Trump. While Biden has not been accused of sexual assault (as Trump has a dozen times) and there are no tapes of Biden on the Internet joking about grabbing women by the genitals, there are tapes of Biden behaving inappropriately. One man’s behavior is far worse, but that doesn’t excuse the other.

Democrats are conflicted about what to do about this category of behavior. It’s not the same as what other men of the #MeToo movement have bee accused of, but it’s also not what liberals want to endorse. Sen. Al Franken’s resignation is still controversial for this reason. Some Democrats feel the party is putting itself at a disadvantage against Republicans, who let the president get away with far worse than any accusation Franken faced.

Flores confronts the issue of whether some bad behavior is okay, forcing us to consider what these seemingly small incidents are really like. “The vice-president of the United States of America had just touched me in an intimate way reserved for close friends, family, or romantic partners — and I felt powerless to do anything about it.”

The Democratic Party is more than half women. More women than ever in history ran as Democrats in the 2018 elections — and won. They outperformed their male peers. They were central to Democrats retaking the House. Women are leading the sustained resistance to Trump. The party should be committed to making sure that women and girls participate in government and politics to their fullest potential. The party needs them.

The question is whether the party needs a president who disrespects them.
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🗳️ “AOC sucks” is the new “Lock her up”
« Reply #957 on: March 30, 2019, 01:47:42 AM »
https://wwwhttp://www.doomsteaddiner.net/forum/Themes/doom1/images/bbc/italicize.gif.vox.com/policy-and-politics/2019/3/29/18287033/alexandria-ocasio-cortez-trump-rally-hillary-clinton

“AOC sucks” is the new “Lock her up”

The right’s attacks on Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez mirror criticisms of Hillary Clinton.

By Emily Stewart Mar 29, 2019, 12:20pm EDT


Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez ahead of the 2019 State of the Union address in Washington, DC. Zach Gibson/Getty Images

“AOC sucks” might be the new “Lock her up,” and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez the Democratic boogeyman conservatives are looking to hold up in place of Hillary Clinton.

Ahead of President Donald Trump’s rally in Grand Rapids, Michigan, on Thursday, Donald Trump Jr. took to the stage to introduce his father and rile up the crowd. While he was at it, he took some swipes at the Congress member from New York and her promotion of the Green New Deal.

“Think about the fact that every mainstream leading Democratic contender is taking the advice of a freshmen congresswoman who three weeks ago didn’t know the three branches of government,” Trump Jr. said of Ocasio-Cortez. “I don’t know about you guys, but that’s pretty scary.”

The crowd began to chant, “AOC sucks!” as Trump Jr. smirked. “You guys, you’re not very nice,” he said. “And neither is what that policy would do this country.”

    Donald Trump Jr. blasts Ocasio-Cortez: "Think about the fact that every mainstream, leading Democratic contender is taking the advice of a freshman congresswoman who three weeks ago didn’t know the three branches of government...that’s pretty scary"

    Crowd chants: "AOC sucks!" pic.twitter.com/Qh4TmyVSFi
    — Ryan Saavedra (@RealSaavedra) March 29, 2019

Ocasio-Cortez, 29, has had a meteoric political rise since she defeated the incumbent, Joe Crowley, in her district’s Democratic primary in 2018. She is one of the most recognized names in American politics, even outpacing some 2020 presidential contenders, and she is constantly in the headlines, whether for mentioning raising tax rates, highlighting the influence of money in politics during a congressional hearing, or just having a funny tweet.

Of course, not all of the chatter about Ocasio-Cortez has been so flattering, especially on the right. AOC bashing among some conservative circles and media outlets has become near obsessive. Where she lives, what she wears, how much money she has have all been points of discussion. Republicans were quick to seize on her rocky rollout of the Green New Deal and are constantly looking for angles of attack. Fox News and the New York Post have been eager to pounce.

It’s not all that different from the way Republicans treated Clinton, who for decades they held up as a villain, a woman who is somehow simultaneously unfit for the position she’s attained and a dangerous, malicious threat. The right’s animosity for Clinton isn’t fading — at that same Thursday Trump rally, chants of, “Lock her up,” also broke out. But conservatives are creating a sort of villainous HRC 2.0 out of AOC right now.
The right is very into going after AOC

There doesn’t seem to be much about Ocasio-Cortez conservatives aren’t interested in scrutinizing, whether in her personal or political life.

Conservative pundits have often tried to undercut Ocasio-Cortez’s working-class image by implying that she’s secretly rich or that her background isn’t what she says it is. Soon after she was elected in November 2018, Washington Examiner opinion writer Eddie Scarry tweeted a picture of Ocasio-Cortez from behind and remarked that her “jacket and coat don’t look like a girl who struggles.” The same month, Fox News ran a story about how much money was in her bank account. The New York Post has run stories about her riding in a car and where she lives.

It’s not all that different from some of the coverage Clinton has received throughout her career. In the summer of 2016, for example, the New York Post wrote about Clinton’s wardrobe. “[A]n everywoman she is not,” the Post declared, noting that Clinton had worn a $12,495 Giorgio Armani jacket at a speech.

(To be sure, going after the way women dress in politics is nothing new — as Vox’s Anna North wrote last year, it’s the rule, not the exception.)

But at every turn, Republicans appear hell-bent on going after Ocasio-Cortez, much in the same way they did to Clinton for years.

Philip Bump at the Washington Post found that Fox News mentions Ocasio-Cortez more than any likely or already-declared 2020 presidential candidates besides Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA). From January 1 to February 16 of this year, Fox talked about Ocasio-Cortez more than it did Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT).

The New York Post, which, like Fox News, is under the control of conservative Australian billionaire Rupert Murdoch, has also covered Ocasio-Cortez breathlessly. Joe Pompeo at Vanity Fair noted that the Post has always taken “glee in skewering progressives,” and it’s recognized a huge opportunity in Ocasio-Cortez:

    “A.O.C. is the new Trump bump,” a second Post source told me, noting that coverage of her is consistently among the top-performing stories on nypost.com. In the past six days alone, the Web site has published 24 A.O.C. articles about everything from her ties to Bernie Sanders, to a former Greenpeace president calling her a “pompous little twit,” to a joke she made, apparently in reference to the Post, about using paper: “I need to admit something to you all. Frankly, I don’t know how my environmental reputation can recover.”

AOC and HRC are criticized for inauthenticity, but in different ways

It’s hard not to see parallels with Clinton in all of this.

Republicans have for years held Clinton up as a villain, and even after her 2016 defeat, she’s still a huge topic of conversation on the right. Vox’s Alvin Chang in 2018 delved into Fox News’s ongoing obsession with Clinton and found that the outlet was still covering her more than other cable news outlets by a wide margin.

A lot of the criticism of Ocasio-Cortez has a similar tone to the attacks on Clinton: that she is somehow inauthentic. With Ocasio-Cortez, the angle is that she is somehow secretly rich and posing as a working-class Latina from the Bronx. With Clinton, it’s that she’s always out to get ahead and has a contrived political façade covering up whatever the “real Hillary” is.

Ocasio-Cortez, thus far, has largely been able to avoid the contentions of inauthenticity creeping their way into the mainstream. Clinton couldn’t. Purportedly objective journalists and outlets have described her as a “very much camouflaged woman” and openly discussed her “authenticity problem” for years.

It’s demonstrative of the complexities of being a woman in the public eye and, specifically, in politics. Because American culture doesn’t see women as natural politicians in the same way it does men, it’s easier to perceive a wide array of things about them as unnatural.
Attacks took a toll for Clinton. And they might for Ocasio-Cortez, too.

The time in the spotlight took a toll on Clinton’s favorability among Americans. While as secretary of state she had high approval ratings, they fell after her presidential run, and she remains an unpopular figure.

Ocasio-Cortez’s polling numbers are also pretty bad, as Vox’s Zack Beauchamp laid out this week:

    A Quinnipiac poll released on Thursday morning found that 23 percent of Americans had a favorable view of the member of Congress, while 36 percent had an unfavorable view — a -13 overall approval rating. Thirty-eight percent hadn’t heard enough about her to have an informed opinion.

    This new poll isn’t a one-off finding. Three prior surveys — one in January from Morning Consult, one in February from Fox, and a third in mid-March from Gallup — all found that more Americans had negative views of AOC than had positive ones.

Beauchamp, and Ocasio-Cortez herself, chalks some of her unpopularity up to negative coverage on the right. Yes, some of her proposals are pretty drastic and therefore polarizing, but, as Ocasio-Cortez put it, that “Fox News has turned into ‘AOC TMZ’” isn’t helping.

The first-term Congress member has shrugged a lot of the scrutiny off. In an interview with the New Yorker’s David Remnick, she joked, “Apparently, I am a cow dictator,” a nod to the right’s contention that the Green New Deal will involve entirely eradicating cows.

During the same interview, she reflected on the constant criticism of her.

“It feels like an extra job,” Ocasio-Cortez said. “I’ve got a full-time job in Congress and then I moonlight as America’s greatest villain, or as the new hope. And it’s pretty tiring.”

Clinton, in a 2017 interview with Remnick, has also offered up a reflection of the years of attacks on her. She struck a similarly defiant but weary tone.

“I’ve thought a lot about this,” Clinton told Remnick. “And for whatever combination of reasons—some I think I understand, and others I don’t—I am viewed as a threat to powerful forces on both the right and the left. I am still one of the favorite subjects for Fox TV. With the return of [Steve] Bannon to Breitbart, we’ll see him utilizing that publication. It’s because I do speak out, and I do stand up.”
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“AOC sucks” is the new “Lock her up”
« Reply #958 on: March 30, 2019, 10:06:23 AM »
Quote
With Clinton, it’s that she’s always out to get ahead and has a contrived political façade covering up whatever the “real Hillary” is.

There's no debating that shes is a patronizing and arrogant politician out of the "old mold".
Just listen to her speak, look at that rictus she seems forced to display. That's out, that's 'passé'.
She made peace with the lobbying system and the money in politics when the 2008 GFC should have been a clear signal that all politician would from now on do well to drop the bullshit; that excessively contrived, soft, bland language punctuated by phony slogans.

I remember that she fell for the criminal Irak war, and that she seems intent on justifying it as pragmatism when asked why the U.S. shows suspicious imperial zeal in military intervention in resource or strategically important countries, that "America looks after its interests". 

Fuck her.

Ocasio-Cortez seems authentic, no doubt ... but she seems to perceive NO MORE THAN A THIRD OF OUR PREDICAMENT. Half at best.
So she's vehemently opining on matters she has INSUFFICIENT KNOWLEDGE ABOUT.
THAT'S SUICIDAL
You do the work, you come prepared and then you may pose your candidacy for the Leader of the Most Powerful Nation on Earth. You don't just fuckin' wing it ...
When her knowledge shortcomings start to appear left in right, she will have done more damage to the cause than  her mere candidacy could ever mend.
The country is divided enough, you should go out of your way not wedge everyone further back in their entrenched position.

I still believe that nothing short of third party that offends the Left the Right and Center has any hope of garnering meaningful popular support... ... once the Situation is carefully exposed... 
Man can do what he will, but he cannot will what he wills.
­~ A. Schopenhauer

Offline Eddie

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Re: 🗳️ “AOC sucks” is the new “Lock her up”
« Reply #959 on: March 30, 2019, 10:38:48 AM »
https://wwwhttp://www.doomsteaddiner.net/forum/Themes/doom1/images/bbc/italicize.gif.vox.com/policy-and-politics/2019/3/29/18287033/alexandria-ocasio-cortez-trump-rally-hillary-clinton

“AOC sucks” is the new “Lock her up”

The right’s attacks on Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez mirror criticisms of Hillary Clinton.

By Emily Stewart Mar 29, 2019, 12:20pm EDT


Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez ahead of the 2019 State of the Union address in Washington, DC. Zach Gibson/Getty Images

“AOC sucks” might be the new “Lock her up,” and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez the Democratic boogeyman conservatives are looking to hold up in place of Hillary Clinton.

Ahead of President Donald Trump’s rally in Grand Rapids, Michigan, on Thursday, Donald Trump Jr. took to the stage to introduce his father and rile up the crowd. While he was at it, he took some swipes at the Congress member from New York and her promotion of the Green New Deal.

“Think about the fact that every mainstream leading Democratic contender is taking the advice of a freshmen congresswoman who three weeks ago didn’t know the three branches of government,” Trump Jr. said of Ocasio-Cortez. “I don’t know about you guys, but that’s pretty scary.”

The crowd began to chant, “AOC sucks!” as Trump Jr. smirked. “You guys, you’re not very nice,” he said. “And neither is what that policy would do this country.”

    Donald Trump Jr. blasts Ocasio-Cortez: "Think about the fact that every mainstream, leading Democratic contender is taking the advice of a freshman congresswoman who three weeks ago didn’t know the three branches of government...that’s pretty scary"

    Crowd chants: "AOC sucks!" pic.twitter.com/Qh4TmyVSFi
    — Ryan Saavedra (@RealSaavedra) March 29, 2019

Ocasio-Cortez, 29, has had a meteoric political rise since she defeated the incumbent, Joe Crowley, in her district’s Democratic primary in 2018. She is one of the most recognized names in American politics, even outpacing some 2020 presidential contenders, and she is constantly in the headlines, whether for mentioning raising tax rates, highlighting the influence of money in politics during a congressional hearing, or just having a funny tweet.

Of course, not all of the chatter about Ocasio-Cortez has been so flattering, especially on the right. AOC bashing among some conservative circles and media outlets has become near obsessive. Where she lives, what she wears, how much money she has have all been points of discussion. Republicans were quick to seize on her rocky rollout of the Green New Deal and are constantly looking for angles of attack. Fox News and the New York Post have been eager to pounce.

It’s not all that different from the way Republicans treated Clinton, who for decades they held up as a villain, a woman who is somehow simultaneously unfit for the position she’s attained and a dangerous, malicious threat. The right’s animosity for Clinton isn’t fading — at that same Thursday Trump rally, chants of, “Lock her up,” also broke out. But conservatives are creating a sort of villainous HRC 2.0 out of AOC right now.
The right is very into going after AOC

There doesn’t seem to be much about Ocasio-Cortez conservatives aren’t interested in scrutinizing, whether in her personal or political life.

Conservative pundits have often tried to undercut Ocasio-Cortez’s working-class image by implying that she’s secretly rich or that her background isn’t what she says it is. Soon after she was elected in November 2018, Washington Examiner opinion writer Eddie Scarry tweeted a picture of Ocasio-Cortez from behind and remarked that her “jacket and coat don’t look like a girl who struggles.” The same month, Fox News ran a story about how much money was in her bank account. The New York Post has run stories about her riding in a car and where she lives.

It’s not all that different from some of the coverage Clinton has received throughout her career. In the summer of 2016, for example, the New York Post wrote about Clinton’s wardrobe. “[A]n everywoman she is not,” the Post declared, noting that Clinton had worn a $12,495 Giorgio Armani jacket at a speech.

(To be sure, going after the way women dress in politics is nothing new — as Vox’s Anna North wrote last year, it’s the rule, not the exception.)

But at every turn, Republicans appear hell-bent on going after Ocasio-Cortez, much in the same way they did to Clinton for years.

Philip Bump at the Washington Post found that Fox News mentions Ocasio-Cortez more than any likely or already-declared 2020 presidential candidates besides Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA). From January 1 to February 16 of this year, Fox talked about Ocasio-Cortez more than it did Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT).

The New York Post, which, like Fox News, is under the control of conservative Australian billionaire Rupert Murdoch, has also covered Ocasio-Cortez breathlessly. Joe Pompeo at Vanity Fair noted that the Post has always taken “glee in skewering progressives,” and it’s recognized a huge opportunity in Ocasio-Cortez:

    “A.O.C. is the new Trump bump,” a second Post source told me, noting that coverage of her is consistently among the top-performing stories on nypost.com. In the past six days alone, the Web site has published 24 A.O.C. articles about everything from her ties to Bernie Sanders, to a former Greenpeace president calling her a “pompous little twit,” to a joke she made, apparently in reference to the Post, about using paper: “I need to admit something to you all. Frankly, I don’t know how my environmental reputation can recover.”

AOC and HRC are criticized for inauthenticity, but in different ways

It’s hard not to see parallels with Clinton in all of this.

Republicans have for years held Clinton up as a villain, and even after her 2016 defeat, she’s still a huge topic of conversation on the right. Vox’s Alvin Chang in 2018 delved into Fox News’s ongoing obsession with Clinton and found that the outlet was still covering her more than other cable news outlets by a wide margin.

A lot of the criticism of Ocasio-Cortez has a similar tone to the attacks on Clinton: that she is somehow inauthentic. With Ocasio-Cortez, the angle is that she is somehow secretly rich and posing as a working-class Latina from the Bronx. With Clinton, it’s that she’s always out to get ahead and has a contrived political façade covering up whatever the “real Hillary” is.

Ocasio-Cortez, thus far, has largely been able to avoid the contentions of inauthenticity creeping their way into the mainstream. Clinton couldn’t. Purportedly objective journalists and outlets have described her as a “very much camouflaged woman” and openly discussed her “authenticity problem” for years.

It’s demonstrative of the complexities of being a woman in the public eye and, specifically, in politics. Because American culture doesn’t see women as natural politicians in the same way it does men, it’s easier to perceive a wide array of things about them as unnatural.
Attacks took a toll for Clinton. And they might for Ocasio-Cortez, too.

The time in the spotlight took a toll on Clinton’s favorability among Americans. While as secretary of state she had high approval ratings, they fell after her presidential run, and she remains an unpopular figure.

Ocasio-Cortez’s polling numbers are also pretty bad, as Vox’s Zack Beauchamp laid out this week:

    A Quinnipiac poll released on Thursday morning found that 23 percent of Americans had a favorable view of the member of Congress, while 36 percent had an unfavorable view — a -13 overall approval rating. Thirty-eight percent hadn’t heard enough about her to have an informed opinion.

    This new poll isn’t a one-off finding. Three prior surveys — one in January from Morning Consult, one in February from Fox, and a third in mid-March from Gallup — all found that more Americans had negative views of AOC than had positive ones.

Beauchamp, and Ocasio-Cortez herself, chalks some of her unpopularity up to negative coverage on the right. Yes, some of her proposals are pretty drastic and therefore polarizing, but, as Ocasio-Cortez put it, that “Fox News has turned into ‘AOC TMZ’” isn’t helping.

The first-term Congress member has shrugged a lot of the scrutiny off. In an interview with the New Yorker’s David Remnick, she joked, “Apparently, I am a cow dictator,” a nod to the right’s contention that the Green New Deal will involve entirely eradicating cows.

During the same interview, she reflected on the constant criticism of her.

“It feels like an extra job,” Ocasio-Cortez said. “I’ve got a full-time job in Congress and then I moonlight as America’s greatest villain, or as the new hope. And it’s pretty tiring.”

Clinton, in a 2017 interview with Remnick, has also offered up a reflection of the years of attacks on her. She struck a similarly defiant but weary tone.

“I’ve thought a lot about this,” Clinton told Remnick. “And for whatever combination of reasons—some I think I understand, and others I don’t—I am viewed as a threat to powerful forces on both the right and the left. I am still one of the favorite subjects for Fox TV. With the return of [Steve] Bannon to Breitbart, we’ll see him utilizing that publication. It’s because I do speak out, and I do stand up.”

Painting AOC with the "Hillary brush" is just the typical new Trumpian way to turn every enemy from a real person into a cypher, a  symbol of of the entrenched elites.

I see her much more in the way you just described. What she is, is a lightweight, elected in an easy district for a socialist to find support, and now she's stepping on to a national stage where "socialist" is easily morphed by the Trumpites into "communist" and where her brown-ness will work against her more than it works for her in some quarters.

She's also already being used by the people who pushed her election. The campaign manager issue is the sort of thing that similar politicians have been plagued by. She thinks she's fighting for what's right, while the people behind her are fighting for a piece of the pie. I expect her to continue to be elected to her district and make the same kind of noises she's making now, but she will be largely ineffective, and will eventually become corrupted by money, just like all the rest. The idea that reformers are themselves immune to corruption is a myth. History proves it.

President? No way.

« Last Edit: March 30, 2019, 12:36:27 PM by Eddie »
What makes the desert beautiful is that somewhere it hides a well.

 

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