Primarily Speaking

image of a cartoon version of me smiling and holding the poop emoji wrapped in a pink bow, while standing in front of a patriotic stars-and-stripes graphic, to which I've added text reading: 'The Democratic Primary 2020: Let's do this thing.'

Welcome to another edition of Primarily Speaking, because presidential primaries now begin fully one million years before the election!

So, an informal poll of folks I know who are not diehard politicos but are all dedicated liberals who will vote for whichever Democrat is the eventual nominee revealed something interesting: Bernie Sanders is really going to struggle this time around, because of Donald Trump. By which I mean that two years of Trump has significantly eroded a lot of folks' tolerance for loud men with an outsized ego.

And among people to whom I've spoken, those who are inclined to believe that a white dude has the best chance of defeating Trump are looking at Pete Buttigieg to get the job done. He is, they told me, "likeable."

Sanders and his most aggressive supporters might regret having traded so heavily on the "likability" of candidates last time around.


Speaking of old white dudes, here are two headlines about Joe Biden that I saw back-to-back this morning: At CNBC, "Skeptical Democratic Donors Tell Joe Biden They Will Not Raise Funds for Him at the Start of the 2020 Campaign," and, at Politico, "Obama Donors Prepare to Power Biden's Campaign." Wow, bad news and good news for Uncle Joe! Donors are totally not going to support him, and donors are totally going to support him! I guess it makes sense since he is totally running for president, while also totally not running for president! The dual-dimension candidacy of Joe Biden sure is something!

Here is a nice story by Emily Heil at the Washington Post about how Ariana Grande "is turning her ongoing 'Sweetener' tour into a voter-registration drive, partnering with the nonprofit organization HeadCount to get concertgoers to complete the paperwork that makes them eligible to cast ballots in the 2020 presidential race." Awesome!

Please savor that lovely bit of election news for a moment, because this next bit covers Democrats' opponents and it is all terrible!

Voracious ego in an ugly suit Howard Schultz was on MSNBC this morning, and it sounds like he is really amping up the garbage he disgorges in defense of his (proposed? actual?) third-party run. Apparently, he claimed that "if Democrats win the 2020 election there is no proof anything will change, and he also said he has a path to win as an Independent." No and no. This fucking guy.

The only person more confident that they'll win in 2020 is Donald Trump, and that's because he knows he's got Vladimir Putin and the Republican Party on his side to put their thumbs on the scale.

On that note, Brad Reed at Raw Story reports that Republicans are resigned to Trump not winning the popular vote, but are convinced he'll win reelection care of the Electoral College. "[W]hile 'Trump's populist brand of partisan grievance' will isolate the majority of voters, they believe that it is 'an attitude tailor-made for the Electoral College in the current era of regionally Balkanized politics.'" Cool.

Reed notes: "Were Trump to lose the popular vote in 2020 while once again winning the Electoral College, it would mark the first time in American history that a president had held the office for eight years without winning either a majority or a plurality of the popular vote." What a fun democracy, where the loser gets to run the country for nearly a decade!

If that isn't an unassailable argument for abolishing the Electoral College, I can't imagine what would be.

[Content Note: Hate crimes] This is a chilling analysis to contemplate right as we're entering into campaign season once again: "We found that counties that had hosted a 2016 Trump campaign rally saw a 226 percent increase in reported hate crimes over comparable counties that did not host such a rally. ...Recent research also shows that reading or hearing Trump's statements of bias against particular groups makes people more likely to write offensive things about the groups he targets." This election is going to be scary. Shiver.

John Hickenlooper is still definitely running for president.

Talk about these things! Or don't. Whatever makes you happy. Life is short.

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