Primarily Speaking

image of a cartoon version of me raising my arms and grinning next to colorful text reading 'SUPER FUN TIMES,' 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!

Let's start with some rousing words from Senator Cory Booker!

Video of Booker in a car, speaking directly to camera: "This is Cory Booker; I'm in the car on the way to South Carolina." Video of cheering supporters. Video of Booker onstage: "Hello, South Carolina!"

Video of news anchor saying, over scenes of cheering supporters: "The biggest thing I noticed about Cory Booker since I got here is, not that yard signs mean everything, but he has a crowd out here. It looks like he has a really good on-the-ground organization."

Video of Booker speaking passionately onstage, interspersed with images of him interacting with supporters: Beating Donald Trump gets us out of the valley, but it does not get us to the mountaintop. I'm running for office because I believe that we as a people can get to the mountaintop. I'm not running because of what we're against; we as a party must stand up for what we're for.

We are for, in the United States of America, once and for all, healthcare being a right for all Americans. We are for every job in America having a living wage, the right to organize, the right to retire with security. We are for public education and making sure that public school teachers are paid what they are worth and raising their salaries. We are for ending the school-to-prison pipeline. We are for standing up to make sure that we don't stick our head in the ground on climate change, but this is a nation that leads us out of this crisis.

Video of Booker speaking at a different event to a cheering crowd: And so, to me, we are all in this together. As James Baldwin wrote to Angela Davis when she was incarcerated, "If they come for you in the morning, they come for me at night." We now have to fight.

This election is about women! This election is about low-income people! This election is about minorities! This election is about all of us! And that's how I'm gonna fight!

This is about liberty and justice for all, and we will win!
May it be as you say, Senator!

* * *

Politico says it has "the most comprehensive guide anywhere to the issues shaping the 2020 Democratic presidential primary," so if you want to check out where the candidates stand on the issues, head on over to check it out!

* * *

I would never presume to say at this point that any of the major candidates are definitely out of the race, but I will say that Senator Bernie Sanders is not looking good. Let's put it this way: If I had to represent his campaign using emojis, it would just be three grimace faces followed by a fart emoji.


It's not that Sanders doesn't still have lots of committed fans — he certainly does! (just look at my Twitter mentions!) (j/k never look at my Twitter mentions!) (save yourselves!) — but he doesn't have any momentum at the moment. He's not picking up new supporters, and he's losing old ones.

But, more importantly, he's not being talked about by the political press as a frontrunner or even a serious challenger. He's not really being talked about much at all. Which is partly because Sanders isn't doing anything new. ("We get it, Bernie." — Literally everyone.) But it's also because the race, at this moment (and that could certainly change), is between Joe Biden and Senator Elizabeth Warren.

I mean:

Matt Viser at the Washington Post: Once the Poorest Senator, 'Middle Class Joe' Biden Has Reaped Millions in Income Since Leaving the Vice Presidency.

Michelle Goldberg at the New York Times: Joe Biden Doesn't Look So Electable in Person.

Marc Caputo at Politico: Joe Biden Keeps Stepping in It – and Voters Couldn't Care Less. (We'll see about that.)

Ali Vitali at NBC News: Elizabeth Warren Jumps Out to a Big Lead in MoveOn Poll.

MJ Lee at CNN: [Content Note: Video may autoplay at link] 'Every One of the Decisions Is Her Decision:' Inside Elizabeth Warren's Policy Factory.

Sabrina Tavernise at the New York Times: How Elizabeth Warren Learned to Fight.

It's not looking good for Biden at the moment, which provides an opening for Sanders at the debate, where they'll take center stage together on night two. And, of course, the political press loves building up female candidates only to destroy them, so Warren won't enjoy such generally positive coverage forever. She's been through several love-hate cycles with the political press already.

But, unless he makes some spectacular moves, Sanders isn't going to recover from this wane. 🤞

* * *

Senator Kamala Harris is talking about the census: "Here's what's at stake with the 2020 census: Our entire democratic system requires an accurate population count. If the Trump administration is allowed to add a citizenship question, millions are at risk of going uncounted and unrepresented. SCOTUS cannot allow this to happen."

Senator Amy Klobuchar is maintaining her terrific Twitter habit of straight-talking this administration's bullshit: "FYI (in case you missed it, it was because they wanted you to): The Trump Administration continues to suppress research and hide the climate science."

Mayor Pete Buttigieg weirdly dodges the Daily Beast's Stonewall questions:
Buttigieg did not respond to these four questions sent to him by The Daily Beast: When and how did you first hear about the Stonewall Riots and what did you make of them? What is their significance for you? How far have LGBT people come since 1969? What would you like to see, LGBT-wise, in the next 50 years?

Instead, Buttigieg sent this statement:

"In the 50 years since Stonewall, it's been extraordinary to see the awakening of the LGBTQ+ community. As the first out elected official running for president, it's hard to believe how quickly these changes have come to our society, but also hard to live with just how much work remains ahead of us.

And in those 50 years we've seen a remarkable transformation: the awakening of an identity that learned how to exert political force and issue a moral call for our nation to do better when it comes to equality. I'm proud to be a part of that, standing on the shoulders of giants in a tradition that goes back to Stonewall and before, and I'm eager for the gains to be made on the road ahead."

And Rep. Tim Ryan reminds us that even our crappiest candidates (SORRY, TIM RYAN!) are still pretty great:

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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