Primarily Speaking

image of a cartoon version of me surrounded by rainbow letters reading HOW ABOUT NO, 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!

Senator Cory Booker continues to impress me with the way he talks about abortion rights. Here, in a statement regarding Georgia's extreme anti-abortion law, Booker not only uses his impressively uncaveated language but also connects abortion access to fair elections:
Make no mistake: This is a direct result of an undemocratic election. If we had fair elections with fair district lines, Georgia's leadership would look a lot different, and the women of Georgia would not be relegated to second-class citizenhood.

As president, I will fight to ensure that every voice is heard so that we don't have radical politicians imposing their agenda upon women they have not met and can never fully understand.

[Content Note: Video may autoplay at link] In other Booker news, the senator has launched a volunteer training program "that prioritizes teaching community organizing skills. The program, named the 'Justice Academy,' will be held in New Jersey and the four early voting states of Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada, and South Carolina. Volunteers participating in the eight-week program will learn community organizing techniques to engage supporters around a wide array of Booker's main campaign issues, including criminal justice reform, gun violence prevention, and health care."

That sounds a lot like Senator Kamala Harris' "Camp Kamala" program, and I love that multiple campaigns are taking steps to train volunteers, which will benefit the eventual nominee, whoever it is.

Speaking of Harris, the New York Times' Frank Bruni, who has what I'll charitably describe as a lackluster history of covering female candidates, has penned a column titled "The Mysteries of Kamala Harris," and obviously we can all agree that describing a candidate who is female, Black, and Asian as "mysterious" is definitely not at all sexist or racist. (That was sarcasm, in case I wasn't laying it on thick enough.)

He wonders why it is that she "has not yet received the sort of gushing star treatment from the media that Beto O'Rourke and Pete Buttigieg, two handsome and clean-cut Ivy League grads, have," and then observes that it's "a discrepancy that, I think, says as much about us [the media] as it does about her." INCORRECT. It says way the fuck more about you than it does about her.

In dudes writing head-scratching pieces about why female candidates aren't polling better news, I present this beauty at Vanity Fair about Senator Elizabeth Warren: "Elizabeth Warren Continues to Clobber Her Opponents in the War for Big Ticket, Eat-the-Rich Policies." The headline giveth, and the subhead taketh away: "'I got a plan' has become Warren's rallying cry. Yet she's still lagging in the polls."

Meanwhile, Professor Policy gets the Time cover story. Pretty cool!

image of Elizabeth Warren featured on the cover of Time magazine

Of course it opens with three paragraphs in which people, including the author, express SHOCK! that Warren isn't a fucking monster.
Voters encountering Elizabeth Warren on the presidential campaign trail these days often seem surprised. After a packed gathering at an elementary school in Concord, N.H., in April, a 40-something woman told me she had expected Warren to be more like Hillary Clinton but found them miles apart.

A college student who caught Warren's speech in Hanover said he was perplexed to learn that a woman once described by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce's political director as a "threat to free enterprise" in fact believes in entrepreneurship and markets. And at an event in a Portsmouth high school cafeteria, a retired teacher told me he'd heard Warren was a "Ted Cruz–like partisan" but instead found her charming. "She seems like a real doll," he shrugged. "Can I say that?"

Warren first rose to fame for her withering interrogations of miscreant bankers and evasive government officials during the financial crisis 10 years ago. Since then, powerful critics in the Republican Party, as well as her own, have painted her as too liberal, too divisive, too wonky, too "strident" — that freighted euphemism so often applied to assertive women. So when I sat down with the Massachusetts Senator on a recent Tuesday, in a windowless office in Washington, I shared those voters' surprise.
Jesus F. Jones.

Senator Bernie Sanders' campaign staffers officially "ratified a collective bargaining agreement last week, the first presidential campaign in history to do so, according to the campaign." Neat!

Mayor Pete Buttigieg "is the only top 2020 candidate not offering staffers health care yet." Yikes. That's not good. Especially since he "likes to say [on the campaign trail] that 'health care is freedom' and that if 'leaving your job means you're going to lose your health care, that means you're not free.'"

Beto O'Rourke just made a big hire: "The low-profile Democratic lawyer who played a central role in Barack Obama's and Hillary Clinton's election campaigns, and who literally wrote the book on the obscure and crucial art of delegate selection, has gone to work for Beto O'Rourke. There aren't many presidential campaign staffers whose hires are worth a news article, but the lawyer, Jeff Berman, is one of them." Notable get.

Joe Biden isn't worried about there being nearly two dozen Democratic candidates at this point: "'This field is going to be winnowed out pretty quickly,' Biden told reporters at a King Taco restaurant in Los Angeles." Get winnowed, Joe.

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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