Primarily Speaking

image of a cartoon version of me meditating in a garden accompanied by text reading 'deep breaths,' pictured 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!

Here is a good piece on Senator Elizabeth Warren by Ed Kilgore: "Slowly and Persistently, Elizabeth Warren Is on the Rise." I like the concluding paragraph: "For now, though, Warren's 'She Persisted' catchphrase fits her campaign quite well. She's broadly admired in her party, and has a quality of toughness that is the next best thing to a lead in trial heats as evidence she can go toe-to-toe with the sinister incumbent. She will always be vulnerable to someone younger or flashier catching fire as caucus and primary voters prepare to start voting. But if that doesn't happen, she should have her chance to compete and win."

I have a feeling that, when it come time to cast votes, "young and flashy" isn't going to drive people to pull the lever when they think about defeating Donald Trump. I suspect, and hope, that Warren will have her chance to win.

Wouldn't it be something if the Democrat to beat Trump had a campaign slogan given to her by Mitch McConnell in a fit of misogynist pique?

[picture the biggest grin slowly opening across my face as I contemplate that possibility]

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At Politico, Michael Kruse writes about "The Secret of Bernie's Millions."
In a strict, bottom-line sense, Sanders has become one of those rich people against which he has so unrelentingly railed. The champion of the underclass and castigator of "the 1 percent" has found himself in the socio-economic penthouse of his rhetorical bogeymen. This development, seen mostly as the result of big bucks brought in by the slate of books he's put out in the last few years, predictably has elicited snarky pokes, partisan jabs, and charges of hypocrisy. The millionaire socialist!

Sanders himself has been impatient to the point of churlish when pressed about this. "I wrote a best-selling book," he told the New York Times after he recently released the last 10 years of his tax returns. "If you write a best-selling book, you can be a millionaire, too." Asked on Fox News if this sort of success wasn't "the definition of capitalism," he bristled. "You know, I have a college degree," he said.

Based, though, on a deeper examination of his financial disclosures, his tax returns, property records in Washington and Vermont, and scarcely leafed-through scraps of his financial papers housed here at UVM, Sanders' current financial portrait is not only some stroke-of-luck windfall. It's also the product (with the help of his wife) of decades of planning. The upward trajectory from that jalopy of his to his relative riches now — as off-brand as it is for a man who once said he had "no great desire to be rich" — is the product of years of middle-class striving, replete with credit card debt, real estate upgrades, and an array of investment funds and retirement accounts.
That sounds about right. Bernie Sanders: Financially Savvy Revolutionary!

As I've said before, I don't care that Bernie Sanders is a millionaire. (To be honest, I always assumed he was, as most career politicians are.) What I do care about a great deal, however, is the fact that Bernie Sanders consistently fails to hold himself to the same standards he encourages his supporters to hold other people.

On the subject of his own personal wealth, Sanders consistently reminds me of the proverbial anti-abortion activist who protests outside a clinic every day until the day they show up with an appointment because their daughter needs an abortion. Their circumstances are different! Except for how they aren't.

* * *

Glad to see Senators Kamala Harris and Kirsten Gillibrand making the case once again for protecting the integrity of our elections.

Wish there was much more of this. I really hope it comes up during the debates and is given serious time.

* * *

Senator Cory Booker is building out his campaign team: "Cory Booker bolstered his presidential campaign staff Thursday by rolling out more than a dozen new national team members, including a national policy director, a chief technology officer and a research director. The new staffers include a human resources director and additional digital and analytics personnel with backgrounds in the Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama campaigns."

Julián Castro has made a big promise about campaign donations: "Since day one, my campaign refused contributions from PACs, corporations, and lobbyists. Today I announced we're also refusing contributions from oil, gas, and coal executives — so you know my priorities are with the health of our families, climate, and democracy."

Governor Jay Inslee is funny:

Mayor Pete Buttigeg, asked if he is ready to deal with Donald Trump on the debate stage, says: "I have a fair amount of familiarity with bullies. I am gay; I am from Indiana." Oof. It's eminently possible to talk about the scourge of homophobic bullying without suggesting that Indiana is somehow uniquely homophobic. And, to be frank, I am quite annoyed that he is demonizing the state while he continues to maintain that Mike Pence is somehow a decent person deep down in his heart or whatever, when Pence oversaw a vile homophobic agenda in contravention of the will of a majority of Hoosiers. He needs to rethink this messaging.

Mayor Bill de Blasio is running a campaign that no one wants — except for New Yorkers who are amused AF by it: "It's perversely thrilling to watch someone who absolutely will not win — the groundhog De Blasio dropped in 2014 has a better chance of beating Trump — still attempt this long shot. In a race that's so high stakes, it provides the purest form of comic relief — a chance to pause and revel in one man's complete refusal to read the signs. Three-quarters of his city's residents don't want him to run. (Just before he announced, according to NY1 political reporter Grace Rauh, a jogger passing by Gracie Mansion at the time yelled 'I can't believe it. Nobody wants it.') His lack of charm is so stark for a politician that it's almost inspiring." Ouch lol.

Joe Biden is probably somewhere drafting his plans to have a butt-chugging contest with Donald Trump in Philly.

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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