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BeyondGeography's Journal
BeyondGeography's Journal
August 31, 2019

Nino Rota - Amore Per Tutti

August 30, 2019

Voters wait for hours in Elizabeth Warren's 'selfie' line. Is her strategy working?

Only a handful of people might have been jealous of 16-year-old Nathan Hall’s spot at the back of 2020 candidate Elizabeth Warren’s “selfie line” in Seattle on Sunday: the roughly 10 people waiting in line behind him, watching the thousands of fans who had secured sports ahead of them. But Wall, born and raised in Seattle, bounced from his left foot to his right with the excitement of someone about to meet a potential next president. “I think it's worth the wait,” he said.

...From start to finish, the "selfie line" took four hours. A few days earlier at her second-largest event -- a 12,000-person rally in St. Paul, Minnesota -- the "selfie line," misnamed because Warren staffers take the photos, took two hours and 20 minutes. A few days before that, a line after Warren's town hall in Los Angeles took three hours.

...Asked whether increasing crowd sizes might force changes to the "selfie line" strategy, a spokesperson for the Warren campaign declined to comment. For now, the candidate is staying committed to the time-consuming process, which she's told her staff and reporters that she finds "energizing."

...Wall, who described most Democrats as “really, really afraid to question Israel,” said he asked Warren if she planned to be as tough on Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Neyanyahu “in pressuring him to treat Palestinians like human beings” as she is day-to-day in her criticism of President Donald Trump and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.

“Her exact words, she said: 'Oh, god, yes.’ So, I was glad to get that answer from her,” Wall said afterward. “And it really was just awesome getting to meet her.”

...As he waited, a campaign volunteer on a microphone announced Warren had just hit her 50,000th photo of the campaign. For Wall, that showed a level of transparency. “She's not afraid to get out there and defend what she believes," he said, "and I think her supporters feel like they have a voice.”

More at https://www.google.com/amp/s/abcnews.go.com/amp/Politics/voters-wait-hours-elizabeth-warrens-selfie-line-strategy/story%3fid=65251043

August 28, 2019

USA TODAY/Suffolk JB 32 (+2) EW 14 (+4) BS 12 (-3), Steyer and Gabbard less than 1% each

...In the crowded Democratic contest, former Vice President Joe Biden retained a wide lead, at 32%, up 2 percentage points from the USA TODAY/Suffolk poll taken in June. But Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren moved up 4 points to second place, at 14%, and Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders dropped 3 points, now at third place with 12%.

...Only three other candidates received support above 2%: South Bend (Indiana) Mayor Pete Buttigieg and California Sen. Kamala Harris, each at 6%, and businessman Andrew Yang at 3%. At 2% were former Texas Congressman Beto O'Rourke and New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker.

Former Housing Secretary Julian Castro and Ohio Rep. Tim Ryan were at 1%. Below 1%, receiving the support of only one or two voters, were Colorado Sen. Michael Bennet, author Marianne Williamson, Hawaii Rep. Tulsi Gabbard and activist Tom Steyer.

...The contenders who did not receive the support of a single one of the 424 likely Democratic voters surveyed included Montana Governor Steve Bullock, New York Mayor Bill de Blasio, Maryland Rep. John Delaney, New York Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar, Miramar (Florida) Mayor Wayne Messam and former Pennsylvania Congressman Joe Sestak.

More at https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/elections/2019/08/28/2020-biden-leads-democrats-voters-dread-election/2120726001/

August 23, 2019

Rubin/WaPo: Trump's numbers should change the electability discussion

Trump may be a lot more vulnerable than you think

President Trump may have had the worst fortnight of his presidency. His most cringe-worthy moments came during his horrific visits to El Paso and Dayton, but his most revealing episodes came this week with his multiple outbursts and head-spinning reversals. He has been at his emotionally and mentally shakiest, and perhaps a growing share of Americans simply cannot ignore it.

The Aug. 15-19 Associated Press/NORC Center for Public Affairs Research poll found that just 36 percent of Americans approve of how Trump is doing his job, and 62 percent disapprove. He’s even in negative territory on the economy (46 percent approve, 51 percent do not), and draws at least 60 percent disapproval on health care, immigration, guns and foreign policy.

With similar findings, the latest Monmouth University poll tells us: “Trump’s overall job rating stands at 40% approve and 53% disapprove, which is similar to his 41% to 50% rating in June. ... The usual demographic clefts remain present — men are divided on the president’s job performance (49% approve and 43% disapprove) while women are decidedly negative (31% approve and 62% disapprove). White Americans without a college degree tend to approve of Trump (55% approve and 37% disapprove), while the reverse is true among white college graduates (38% approve and 57% disapprove).”

...Trump’s atrocious numbers should also inform Democrats’ decision about who is “electable.” The answer might be “anybody but Trump.” And while plenty of Democrats want to take no chances and go with the perceived “safe” candidate, the uptick in suburban women’s disapproval of Trump and their votes in the midterms might shift the definition of “electable.” The question should not necessarily be who is going to win white voters in the Upper Midwest, but rather who is going to win women everywhere. Harboring a karmic dream of a woman nominee ousting Trump, these are among the most engaged and enthusiastic voters. Perhaps the most electable presidential nominee, like so many of those elected Democrats in 2018, would be a woman with strong appeal to suburban women, college-educated voters, nonwhites and younger voters. As a reminder, three of the 10 candidates to qualify for the third debate are women.

More at https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2019/08/23/trump-may-be-lot-more-vulnerable-than-you-think/
August 21, 2019

The Summer of Warren

A profile in GQ. Some excerpts:

Julia Ioffe joins Elizabeth Warren on the campaign trail, where the surging senator has spent the season overcoming her campaign's wobbly start and getting down to business—trouncing debate foes, climbing in the polls, and somehow making a slew of policy plans feel exciting. Suddenly, she's winning over Democrats by making the grandest ideas sound perfectly sensible, including her biggest pitch of all: That she's the one to beat Trump.

...Tall and wiry, Warren visibly thrums with good cheer. She’s got that kind of pert friendliness stretched taut around a core of steel that some foreigners find confusing in certain willful Americans. But in Warren, both the chipper facade and the steel guts feel genuine: She is a very nice lady who will put up with exactly zero bullcrap. She carried a tiny banana smoothie and was dressed in her standard uniform: black slacks and a black shirt. On top of this neutral canvas, she usually wears either a simple jacket or a cardigan in a solid, bright color—professional but approachable and, as any TV producer will tell you, perfect for a screen. The cardigan on this day was a periwinkle number, which caught the lightly faded blue eyes behind her rimless glasses.

...There is a story Warren has been telling lately, one that explains how she learned the words that have come to define her career—first as a law professor, and more recently as a politician: mortgage, foreclosure, bankruptcy. Long before she encountered them as cold legal terms, those words had a more powerful meaning as the ones whispered late at night by her parents in Oklahoma. This was after her father’s heart attack, when he’d spend long stretches out of work. The family had sold off the station wagon, but it wasn’t enough to keep the creditors at bay. One spring day, 12-year-old Betsy found herself standing in her mother’s bedroom. “Laid out on the bed was the dress,” Warren nearly whispered to a crowd one scorching afternoon in Elkhart, Indiana. “Some of you in here know the dress,” she went on, scanning the predominantly silver-haired room. “It’s the one that only comes out for weddings, funerals, and graduations.” A faint and knowing “yeah” echoed where I sat. “And there’s my mom, and she’s in her slip and her stockinged feet, and she’s pacing and she’s crying. And she’s saying, ‘We will not lose this house. We will not lose this house. We will not lose this house.’ ” The audience was silent as she delivered the line, her voice crackling with tears.

Warren tells this story at each of her town halls, sometimes more than once a day, and every time she tells it, she is on the verge of crying. She doesn’t in the end, but people in the audience do. At every single event I attended, I saw people wiping away tears when she told the story. It was a masterful summoning of sentiment that calls to mind a method actor dredging up the same emotion in the same play, night after night, for a months-long run. American voters demand authenticity of their candidates, despite the obvious and calculated performance of a political race. I wanted to know what happens in that moment—how does Warren manage to move a crowd to tears despite the repetition? I wanted to ask her if what I heard in her voice was real.

“Because I’m back in that room,” she told me, her eyes suddenly brimming. “I can describe the shade of the carpet to you and the bedspread, and I’m there with my mother. And I’m not only there as the little girl standing in the doorway, I’m there in my mother’s heart.” Her voice dropped to a whisper, her eyes blinked away the extra moisture. “She was so frightened,” Warren went on, reprising the story of how her mother—who, at 50, had never worked outside the home—walked to the local Sears, got a minimum-wage job, and saved the family from foreclosure. “I knew how scary it was by the time I was standing in that doorway,” Warren said, her voice gravelly. “I’d heard her cry night after night after night, and I think that for kids sometimes, it’s harder to hear a parent cry, knowing they won’t do it in front of you. That’s really scary.”

That she elicited such empathy in that room in Elkhart was a special feat. It was a relatively conservative corner of a conservative state, and the audience was palpably cool to her when Warren took the stage. Several voters I spoke to before the event weren’t sure what to expect, and one man told me that, though he was curious about the Massachusetts senator, he was sure the country would not elect a woman. Warren said she could sense that the audience wasn’t with her when she started. “Well, it’s not like I walked in and said, okay, diagnosis: Here’s the problem,” she explained. “It’s in the room. And even as I’m being introduced, I can see faces—I’m kind of standing off to the side—and as soon as I got on stage, I thought, the people standing here want to know me better, they want to know who I am and why I’m here. So let’s slow down a little bit, let’s talk a little more, but we got there.” By the end of her speech, most of the able-bodied people in the room were up on their feet, their fists and cheers churning the air.

Her trick isn’t to just read the energy in the room, it’s to feel the people there. And like all of her plans and strategies, she leaves nothing to chance, ensuring that the faces in her audiences are lit, that the crowds are never obscured to her by the curtain of darkness one sees from a bright stage. “It’s very important to me to be able to see faces when I’m doing a town hall,” Warren said. “I don’t want to be in a theater where I’m on stage and the audience is in the dark. This is not a performance, this is a chance to engage, for all of us in the room to think about what’s happening to our country, to our lives, and I need to see faces when I’m talking through that.”

More at https://www.gq.com/story/the-summer-of-elizabeth-warren
August 20, 2019

Elizabeth Warren's First Campaign Event In Minnesota Draws Her Biggest Crowd Yet (12,000 people)

ST. PAUL, Minn. ― Sen Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass) on Monday drew in the largest crowd of her presidential campaign tour yet, attracting thousands of energized supporters to her town hall at Macalester College.

“Hello, Minnesota!” the 2020 Democratic presidential hopeful shouted as she took the stage Monday evening. “Dang, it is good to be here.”

Though the event was billed as a town hall, it more closely resembled a rally once Warren announced the audience Q&A portion of the event would be scrapped given the massive turnout. Her campaign estimated 12,000 people were in attendance.

A volunteer with the grassroots organizing group Minnesota for Warren told HuffPost that the event was scheduled to be held in the college’s field house but was moved outside given the large number of people who RSVP’d.

...The town hall held at the private liberal arts college in St. Paul marked her first campaign event in Minnesota. She’s the fourth Democratic presidential candidate (outside of Sen. Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota) to campaign in the North Star State.

“I hear her say, ‘I’ve got a plan for that,’ and she does,” said Nancy Docken, a 75-year-old St. Paul resident. “And she not only has a plan, but it’s thought out beyond just the first sketch of the idea ― there’s depth to it.”

More at https://www.huffpost.com/entry/elizabeth-warren-st-paul-minnesota-town-hall_n_5d5b1c9fe4b0f667ed6750ca


August 19, 2019

Warren offers public apology over claim to tribal heritage, receives standing ovation

SIOUX CITY, Iowa — Democratic presidential candidate Elizabeth Warren offered a public apology Monday to Native Americans over her past claim to tribal heritage, directly tackling an area that’s proved to be her biggest political liability. “Like anyone who has been honest with themselves, I know I have made mistakes,” the Massachusetts senator said at the start of her appearance at a forum on Native American issues in this pivotal early-voting state. “I am sorry for the harm I have caused.”

Her past claim to tribal ancestry, which culminated in her release of a DNA analysis last year, had drawn criticism from some Native Americans and dogged her 2020 campaign in its early weeks. But Warren, who last week released a detailed policy agenda to help Native Americans, has since climbed in the polls.

Warren drew a standing ovation from the audience at the kickoff of the two-day forum, which is drawing 10 of her White House rivals. The event promises to test Warren’s ability to move beyond the flap over her discussions of her heritage, for which she had previously apologized privately to the Cherokee Nation.

“I have listened and I have learned a lot” from conversations with Native Americans in recent months, Warren said, describing herself as “grateful” for the discussions.


Edited to add this quote from Rep. Deb Haaland (D-NM), who introduced Warren:

“I say the president who worships Andrew Jackson, who coddles white supremacists and defends Vladimir Putin, who cages children and freely admitted to assaulting women, is no match for a woman with a plan.”


August 16, 2019

Amusing find in this old Warren running for a train video

Joe Lieberman and his wife walk by starting at the 1:51 mark:

Nice catch by the commenter.

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