Friday, March 20, 2020

Race for the White House Update

-- Anybody seen Joe Biden this week?  Is he in quarantine?  Extreme social-distancing?

Can he be bothered to make a statement about COVID-19?

-- So much for that "Russian asset" crap.  On the other hand, I hope she hasn't somehow managed to compromise the presumptive nominee, in three-D chess/Manchurian fashion.

Hawaii Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, whose unsuccessful but unstopping campaign for the Democratic presidential nomination seemed to have slipped the normal bounds of political narrative and public opinion, startled her supporters and whoever else was still watching on Thursday when she suspended her candidacy and endorsed former Vice President Joe Biden.

In a video statement, a beaming Gabbard said that, in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, she had concluded that her duty was to serve in Congress and to await a possible call-up to active duty with her state’s National Guard.

The Democratic primary voters had chosen Biden, Gabbard said, and she had faith in his character. ...

As with everything else she has said and done, Major Gabbard exits with some observers parsing the meaning of her words (is "offering my full support" an endorsement or not?) and the intention of her actions.  Relative to her lawsuit against the 2016 standard-bearer:

“It should have been for $50 billion,” she told NBC News. “This is who I am. And so to so directly dismiss the value, the honor, the loyalty and sacrifices, not only for me, but for any service member in this country, it can't go unchecked.”

A few last words.

That acrimony, and Gabbard’s idiosyncratic positions, had led to speculation about a third-party spoiler candidacy. At various times, in various segments of the politics-consuming public, she was criticized or praised for being a committed anti-imperialist, or an apologist for the brutality of the Syrian regime, or a vector for Russian mischief, or a sympathizer with Indian Hindu fascism, or the most genuine leftist in the race, or a secret far-right theocrat.

Yet in the end, though her video included praise of Bernie Sanders and one more repetition of her standard denunciation of “regime-change wars,” Gabbard seized the banner of normalcy and party discipline before either Sanders or Elizabeth Warren did. It was the most surprising thing left for her to do.

Whose workout videos will we miss the least?  Hers or John Delaney's?

Update: Mike Bloomberg breaks what's left of his promise to keep staffers employed through November in battleground states.  Texas politicos will recall -- or won't forget -- he furloughed them earlier.  Now he's contributing to the nation's unemployment rate, firing everybody else and donating the remaining $18 million to the DNC.

Bloomberg had hired his campaign's field staff with the assurance that they would have jobs through the November election, even if he dropped out of the race -- which he did, on March 4, while throwing his support behind former Vice President Joe Biden. The DNC plans to use the money from Bloomberg to hire their own staff, although NBC News' Maura Barrett notes that "the campaign is encouraging everyone [not involved in the transition of a few battleground state offices] to apply to the DNC," despite them also being advised that the pay would not likely be the same.


Bloomberg's $18 million transfer to the DNC is far more than the legal limits for individuals, but campaigns are allowed to make unlimited transfers to political parties. As of March 5, the New York Post reports that the Bloomberg campaign had 2,400 paid staff members in 43 states.

-- Bernie is still raising money.  Just not for his campaign.

No comments: