Sanders co-chair says voting for Biden is like eating from a “bowl of [redacted]” … and Sanders delegates plan “a revolt” for the Democratic convention.
“Endorsing Joe Biden for president would be like eating a ‘bowl of [redacted]’, Bernie Sanders campaign co-chairwoman Nina Turner commented in an article that appeared in the Atlantic on Monday. […] While many Sanders supporters have backed Biden, some progressives have made clear their disappointment at having to vote for the more centrist candidate.” (National Review)
- What’s happening: The Sanders campaign co-chair compared voting for Joe Biden to, well, you’ve read the line twice now.
What we think is more noteworthy than the strong language is that it is not a private conversation recorded and made public, an older statement, or a “hot mic” (i.e. a microphone left on when the speaker doesn’t realize it).
This is from a media interview with The Atlantic, a major news outlet! You can read The Atlantic piece for yourself here, but please note the language is not redacted.
- What’s at stake: First, the media isn’t telling the biggest story in the 2020 election: the massive, and ever-widening, split in the Democratic Party — and how it could doom Biden’s electoral chances in November. If the Republicans were facing this level of in-fighting, it would be all the pundits talked about.
Second, this comes at the same time as Sanders delegates planning “a revolt” at the Democratic National Convention over the inclusion of Medicare for All in the party platform. Biden opposed Medicare for All in the primary; but progressive activists recently won a battle to advance the cause in the party.
In a broader vote last night, though, delegates voted down the addition of Medicare for All in the Democratic platform, as Sanders activists reported on Twitter. So if Sanders delegates keep to the plan as POLITICO reported, there may be a pledge to vote down the party platform at the convention.
So just over two weeks out from the national convention, Biden has…
(1) no VP, just media reports that he’s unhappy with his picks
(2) a powerful and openly hostile wing of his party, from its senior leaders (the Sanders co-chair) down to its activists
(3) a potential convention fight over what the Democratic Party stands for
… and the mainstream media hasn’t said a word.
- What else to know: Although Biden is the expected nominee, pledged delegates for his primary opponents are part of the Democratic National Convention, too. Biden has 2,627 delegates to Sanders’ 1,073.
So Biden is sure to win on the first ballot at the convention for the official nomination, but there are certainly enough Sanders supporters to have a significant impact on the proceedings, especially if they agree to unite against Biden and/or for Medicare for All.
New leader for the Biden VP pick: Susan Rice, UN Ambassador and National Security Advisor from the Obama Administration.
“The Biden campaign won’t comment on his potential running mates. But after word leaked that Rice is being vetted, buzz about the possibility has grown, spawning columns with titles like ‘The Case for Susan Rice.’ The chatter is loud enough that allies of others being eyed for the vice presidency are increasingly worried about Rice, especially because of her close ties to Biden, who, as Obama’s No. 2, had an office just steps away from hers.” (POLITICO)
- What’s happening: After a widely sourced POLITICO report yesterday that said Joe Biden’s personal relationship with a VP pick was highly important, there’s a new profile today of Susan Rice — with emphasis on her personal experience working with Biden during the Obama Administration.
- What’s at stake: Everyone — including, we think, Joe Biden — wants to know who the Democratic VP will be on the ticket this year. Stories ahead of the announcement are likely some combination of effective pitching and PR by the staff of potential VP picks and/or trial balloons floated by the Biden campaign.
Rice seems to match the personal qualities that Biden allies previously identified as important. But she was a key figure in the Obama Administration’s Benghazi scandal and Russia investigation, and she’s never been a candidate before.
Ultimately, we think the new stories about VP picks popping up daily with senior leaders on the left endorsing various choices is a sign that the Democratic Party is in disarray … and Biden hasn’t yet decided how (or if he can?) to unify and lead them.
- What else to know: We don’t usually think it’s proper to talk about politicians’ families, but since POLITICO noted at the top of its profile that Rice’s son is a “proud and active Republican,” we’re including it here too.
Young voters are on TikTok, but the campaigns and party committees can’t reach them due to security concerns.
“Joe Biden’s campaign has instructed its staff to delete TikTok — the Chinese-owned social media app — from their phones due to security and privacy concerns, according to a report.” (New York Post)
- What’s happening: Following both the Democratic and Republican National Committees “warning” staff about using TikTok, the Biden campaign has told staff to delete the Chinese-owned app from both their work and personal phones.
- What’s at stake: When the Trump Administration said it may ban TikTok over security concerns, it faced criticism. But now even the Democratic National Committee and Biden campaign have quietly announced that staff should delete the app for that reason.
TikTok also made headlines earlier in the 2020 election when TikTok activists claimed they submitted false ticket requests for President Trump’s Tulsa rally. In response, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (AOC) said of the activists, “Y’all make me so proud.”
TikTok is overwhelmingly popular with young and potentially first-time voters. (For context: think of how popular Facebook was with young Americans 10 to 15 years ago, and now increase that with the global reach of modern social media.)
If campaigns and their staff stop using the app due to security concerns, they’ll lose an important avenue to reach them.
- What else to know: Last week, the US Senate started the process to ban TikTok from Senate-owned devices. This could pave the way for a broader ban — and private companies, particularly in highly regulated or privacy-oriented industries, may follow suit if the trend continues.
George Clooney and President Obama are co-hosting a Biden fundraiser tonight.
“Former President Obama and actor George Clooney will participate in a virtual conversation and fundraiser for presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden’s campaign, according to two sources with knowledge of the event.” (The Hill)
- What’s happening: The Democratic National Committee and Joe Biden are enjoying another Hollywood-star-led fundraiser. But we’ll note the left’s highest fundraising event, which raised $11 million, didn’t top the $20 million President Trump raised in his virtual grassroots rallies.
- What’s at stake: Fundraisers with high-profile guests are a normal part of politics, and Clooney raised money for President Obama’s previous campaigns. But what we think is interesting is that it doesn’t seem that Biden will participate in the live event.
Biden has remained out of spotlight more than any other modern presidential candidate, turning down an interview with Chris Wallace earlier this week and releasing a live conversation with President Obama as a highly edited video days later.
- What else to know: Perhaps Biden is staying off-screen because his previous live, virtual events have been marred by gliches. But we’d say again: hiding a candidate from the voters likely isn’t the gift that his campaign strategists seem to think it is.