Election 2020 Open Thread: Reverend Barber’s PPC Moral Congress

Kara Vogt reports for Mother Jones; Chelsea Janes (and Dave Weigel) for the Washington Post:

The Poor People’s Campaign is a clergy-led effort to revive the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.’s push to focus attention and resources on poverty. At the group’s forum in Washington, about 10 of the Democratic presidential candidates showed up to make their case on fighting poverty.

The Rev. William Barber II, a founder of the campaign, asked attendees not to cheer or hiss, but rather to greet all the candidates with polite applause. Even in this subdued setting, however, the response to Biden was noticeably muted, and he left the stage to applause that was less enthusiastic than that which greeted him…

Joy-Ann Reid, an MSNBC host who moderated the session, asked Biden how he would pass his plans through a stubborn Congress — in particular, how he would work with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), who makes little secret of his satisfaction at blocking Democratic initiatives.

Biden bristled at the suggestion that his approach was misguided. As he wound through his response, Biden moved nearer to Reid, who was seated, and leaned over her.

“Joy-Ann, I know you’re one of the ones who thinks it’s naive to think we have to work together,” Biden said. “The fact of the matter is, if we can’t get a consensus, nothing happens except the abuse of power by the executive branch. Zero.” He added that “you can shame people into doing the right thing.”

Biden’s suggestion that he could persuade McConnell to cooperate prompted skepticism from those who have interacted with McConnell…


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Friday Morning Open Thread: Kamala Harris Does the Work

It’s not sexxxay, by Media Village Idiot standards, but going out and asking people for their vote is the very heart of old-time politics:

The “Reckoning Crew,” a group of 100 predominately black female activists, announced its endorsement of the California Democrat on Thursday. The group, led by Bernice Scott, organizes in the rural part of Richland County, the state’s second biggest county…

Black voters made up 61% of South Carolina’s Democratic primary electorate in 2016; 37% identified as black women and 89% of them voted for Clinton over Sanders.

For her part, Harris has her own built-in network of black support that rose from her undergraduate years at Howard University, a historically black college in Washington, and sorority Alpha Kappa Alpha Inc., whose members she constantly singles out for selfies and makes time for conversation at various campaign events…

Scott first met Harris at a February town hall in in Columbia and said the way Harris presented herself clinched the endorsement.

“The way she shook my hand and talked directly to me,” said Scott, one of the first black elected officials in Richland. “The way she presented herself and handled herself, and talked about the way she was brought up — right there in my mind, I said I was going to support her.”

But the final approval from the Reckoning Crew came last Sunday morning during their weekly meeting, a day after Harris had delivered a forceful defense of her record as a prosecutor. Harris, who served as California’s attorney general and San Francisco’s district attorney, has faced attacks from the left because of it…

“Everybody was all piped up about her speech. They were really impressed and they felt that it was worth going out there and fighting for,” she said, adding that “our goal is to win South Carolina for Ms. Harris.”

The group, which fits the demographic of the types of voters Harris must win over, has already helped set up the campaign’s South Carolina headquarters and build volunteer efforts…


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Thursday Morning Open Thread: Elizabeth Warren Is Having A Moment

Yes, I would be embarrassed by my obvious selection bias, but right at this moment in time it’s easier to find interesting stories about Warren than about her worthy competitors. So, if you have links to share concerning Harris, Buttigieg, Klobuchar, Booker, O’Rourke, Gillibrand, et al — even Joe Biden! — please leave a comment, or contact me at annelaurie (dot) bj (at) gmail (dot) com, TIA.

(Besides, the alternative for today’s early-morning uplift was the Steve King / Diamond & Silk ‘press conference’ fiasco.)

Paul Waldman, at the Washington Post, “Why Elizabeth Warren is surging”:

Overinterpreting small movements in polls is always dangerous, but if she does continue to rise — and right now she looks like one of the only Democratic candidates who is gaining support — there are some particular reasons why, reasons that may help us understand what primary voters are thinking and how the media are shaping the race…

… Warren, a senator from Massachusetts, is drawing some of the largest crowds as she campaigns across the state. Those attending her events testify to her skill in winning people over, her ability to describe policy challenges through effective storytelling, and her seemingly inexhaustible energy and enthusiasm.

Then there’s the role of the media. For a variety of reasons, Warren has become the favored candidate of the liberal opinion-writing elite. Even those (such as myself) who aren’t endorsing any candidate have been complimenting Warren for a while, writing and talking about her in ways that may be having an impact on how everyone else sees her and her candidacy…

There’s something else Warren has that wins respect from those who have covered lots of campaigns, and winds up producing better media coverage in subtle ways: A clear, coherent message of the kind most of the other candidates are lacking.
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Late Night Schadenfreude Open Thread: Bad News for the Sanders Campaign

“Figures lie and liars figure!…”


In other words: When Biden announced, Sanders lost 8 points, which he has since regained. Of course, his numbers could continue to improve… but since March, Elizabeth Warren has gone from 4 points to 15. And she’s trending!


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Wednesday Morning Open Thread: Don’t You Think He Looks… Tired?

(Jim Morin via GoComics.com)
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