Friday, February 14, 2020

The Election 2020 Update: It's Bernie, bitches

The nice thing about posting this today is not having to post about Biden collapsing, about bitter Liz spewing, about Amy Klobucop rising, BootEdge doing whatever he's doing, Money Bags apologizing, and the usual MSNBC frothing rants about soshulizm.  I really should mention Yang, Bennet, and Patrick dropping out, though.

Okay then.

Went to the Houston campaign office opening last night.  We got there right at 6:30; both front rooms were almost full.  Maybe 100 people, about ten of which were my shade of pink.  I went hypoglycemic and had to leave around 7 so I missed the opening speeches, but the music was getting loud and the crowd was festive.  Took some pictures, but none of them are as good as this.

Sanders' approach here in Deep-In-The-Hearta is straight into the barrios.

Austin's East End last night.  Details on McAllen for tomorrow.

He also made an appearance -- along with three other front-runners -- via teleconference at the LULAC forum in Las Vegas.

So some Latinxs (Latinxes?) are apathetic, but it doesn't look that way to me.

-- Bloomey rolled into H-Town for the Harris Democrats' JRR dinner, picked up Sly Turner's endorsement, spoke at the Buffalo Soldiers museum.  Trying to mend fences over stop-and frisk.  Doesn't seem to have gone too well.

As first reported in Monday's Wrangle, Bloomberg's hiring of every single political person in sight has become a fascinating story all its own.

Bloomberg entered the presidential race in November, and has since spent more than $300 million of his own money in his effort to secure the Democratic nomination. Much of the focus on Bloomberg’s historic spending spree has been on the TV ads he’s running in at least 29 states, helping boost him into the top tier in polls and driving up the price of air time for other candidates. Beyond pushing out his competitors, though, Bloomberg’s spending is having a shockingly disruptive effect on Democratic politics throughout the country: He is hiring armies of staffers and canvassers in nearly every state in the country at eye-popping salaries, poaching talent from other campaigns and progressive organizations that are now struggling to fill jobs. In just three months, the Bloomberg campaign has hired thousands of people to staff more than 125 offices around the country, the New York Times reported Thursday.


Progressive groups, local campaigns, and presidential operations are either losing staff to the Bloomberg campaign, or are struggling to hire people because the former mayor has picked so many political operatives and canvassers up, according to interviews, emails, and messages from dozens of people involved in hiring. Several of them spoke to The Intercept on condition of anonymity, either not to offend the biggest spender in political history, or not to expose publicly that they are having a hard time finding staff, which the public could perceive as suggestive of weakness.


During an interview this week on The Hill TV’s show “The Rising,” a senior adviser to Bernie Sanders, Chuck Rocha, said the campaign recently lost a staffer in South Carolina to Bloomberg.

“I’ve heard it in every state that we’ve been in,” said Rocha of the Bloomberg effect, adding that one staffer recently came to him and said, “‘Hey Chuck, I’m with Bernie, I’m gonna vote for Bernie, but I’m gonna go get this money, cuz he’s gonna double my salary and pay me till November and I’ve gotta pay my bills when this thing is over.’

And I was like, ‘Look brother, go do what you’ve gotta do. Out of respect, we’d still like your vote, and ask your mommy and daddy if they’ll vote for Bernie as well,’ and he goes, ‘Oh, no problem.’ That’s a real thing.”

The salaries being paid to Bloomberg staffers are well above market rates, and often come with housing included, as well as a laptop and an iPhone. One operative lured to Bloomberg’s office in New York said she observed a seemingly endless wall of iPhones stacked like bricks as far as she could see. Another said that Bloomberg offered a job to one operative who didn’t take it, but still received a laptop and iPhone from the campaign in the mail anyway, presumably by sheer dint of onboarding momentum. One progressive consultant in Arizona has lost multiple hires to Bloomberg and is having a hard time finding workers. “I have heard of new organizers being hired by Bloomberg and then saying they are secretly still knocking for Bernie,” the consultant said.

"We already know what you are; we're just negotiating the price".

That was not snark.

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