— Victoria Brownworth ?????? (@VABVOX) July 12, 2019
#NN19 opening keynotes beginning with an emotional denunciation of migrant detention. “We can’t close concentration camps with symbolic actions. It took a war to close the last ones.”
There’s a symbolic “cage” built by activists in the middle of the room. pic.twitter.com/8JX4HKjUEo
— Dave Weigel (@daveweigel) July 11, 2019
Any Jackals in attendance? Or planning to attend over the weekend? Honest curiosity — I’d like to get your impressions!
I can remember when ‘we’ all hoped NN would be the progressive answer to CPAC… but, as people warned at the time, even if we had the same deep-pocketed ‘donors’ as the Repubs, getting Democrats to work together is like herding cats. I’m holding on to the Good Thought that the many, many breakout panels are supporting and training local activists working on local issues, which Murphy knows is every bit and more as important as taking back the White House.
Dave Weigel, for the Washington Post:
… Four thousand or so liberal activists will spend the next three days here, gathering for the 14th annual Netroots Nation conference — the third with a presidential forum. In 2007, nearly every Democratic presidential candidate attended the conference in Chicago, staying for a debate and holding special sessions for attendees. In 2015, Bernie Sanders and Martin O’Malley (but not Hillary Clinton) sat for Netroots interviews in Phoenix, only to be interrupted by Black Lives Matter activists who protested the lack of a focus on racial justice in the questions.
This year, just a handful of the 25 Democratic presidential candidates will make the trek to Philadelphia. Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), a frequent speaker at the conference, will join former HUD secretary Julián Castro, Washington Gov. Jay Inslee and Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) at the Saturday presidential forum — and that may be it. With Warren’s exception, the highest-polling Democratic candidates will not be in Philadelphia. Joe Biden, whose campaign is headquartered in that city, will be in New Hampshire; so will South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete Buttigieg and Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.). Neither Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif) nor Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) will be attending, and the Sanders campaign says the candidate is off the trail completely this weekend, for unspecified reasons.
Sanders will have a surrogate, of sorts, at Netroots; former Ohio state senator Nina Turner, a co-chair of his campaign, will appear on a panel and join a solidarity protest with hospital workers. But the smaller footprint for presidential candidates is notable, and organizers say that Biden et. al. are making a mistake by skipping.
“Netroots attendees are the core activists of the party and will play a key role in determining who Democrats’ 2020 nominee will be,” said Carolyn Fiddler, the spokeswoman for Daily Kos, the group blog that founded the conference. “Candidates not in attendance are missing the opportunity to speak directly to this ultra-engaged group of voters and engage core progressives the issues they care about most.”