The Democrats/progressives 2020 Part II

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The Democrats/progressives 2020 Part I

Joe Biden’s VP Search Is Turning Into an Open Audition
By Gabriel Debenedetti
(New York) Formally, the committee members — former senator and lobbyist Chris Dodd, Delaware congresswoman Lisa Blunt Rochester, Los Angeles mayor Eric Garcetti, and former Biden aide and Apple government affairs head Cynthia Hogan — have quietly been seeking the counsel of high-ranking elected officials, labor leaders, and people close to Barack Obama, who has spoken with Biden himself extensively about the process. They’re looking for the pros and cons of the individual contenders, people familiar with the conversations tell New York, but also for information about what various party constituencies are interested in and concerned about. … many people close to Biden are convinced he will ultimately choose among Kamala Harris, Elizabeth Warren, and Amy Klobuchar — and many game their chances in roughly that order, though the ranking has shifted a few times in recent weeks, in their view, and likely will again.
… The omnipresent devastation of the pandemic has helped clarify the choice among at least some of the people around Biden. For one, multiple informal advisers cast doubt on the idea that he could choose a governor, since it’s unclear if she would have time to devote herself to campaigning amid the outbreak. “If you listen to Fauci, this is spiking in the fall, and if it spikes badly, Whitmer can’t be on the campaign trail,” warned Ed Rendell, a Biden friend and a former Pennsylvania governor and DNC chairman.
The imperative of finding someone who can seamlessly step into an executive disaster-management role in January has also dimmed the prospects of potential contenders who haven’t yet been elected to statewide office — like Abrams and Demings — in the eyes of some Biden whisperers. It’s increasingly likely, they say, that the tradition-bound Biden will keep a trend going: The party’s last six vice-presidential nominees — and 14 of its last 16 — were senators.
… But the close-readers’ consensus is that the nearest Biden’s gotten to tipping his hand may have been on a video call with supporters one Wednesday afternoon in early April. Roughly 50 high-powered backers …looked on as Biden thanked Harris for her support.

15 May
We have had suspicions about the Tara Reade story since it first surfaced
New Reporting Increases Doubts on Tara Reade’s Allegation Against Joe Biden
By Jonathan Chait
(New York) …three detailed reports — by Vox’s Laura McGann, PBS NewsHour, and Politico’s Natasha Korecki — have delved into Reade’s allegations. Neither reaches a definitive conclusion. But all of them on balance add a lot of grounds for skepticism. At this point, Reade’s allegation seems to me to be more likely to be false than true.

11 May
Joe Biden became the presumptive Democratic nominee by campaigning as a throwback — a comfortable, moderate Obama–era restorationist, making no special promises on the stump. That wasn’t just a strategy based on Democratic voters’ focus on electability, it was also a character trait. The former vice-president is an intuitive centrist who likes to be a dealmaker and doesn’t like being out ahead of things. But sometimes crises make strange personalities into world-historical figures, and inside the Biden campaign the presidency now looks very different than it did back in the primary: The candidate believes the country will be profoundly broken in January 2021, much worse than it was in 2009, and his job will be much bigger than Obama’s was then, indeed than any president’s has been since FDR. Or perhaps ever. Gabriel Debenedetti reports on how Biden is planning this imperial administration now from his Wilmington, Delaware, bunker — and trying to answer to a credible accusation of sexual assault, as well. — David Wallace-Wells, deputy editor, New York
Biden Is Planning an FDR-Size Presidency

3 May
Unexpected outcome in Wisconsin: Tens of thousands of ballots that arrived after Election Day were counted, thanks to court decisions
(WaPo) …tens of thousands of mail ballots that arrived after the April 7 presidential primaries and spring elections were counted by local officials — the unexpected result of last-minute intervention by the U.S. Supreme Court …  [and] a largely unexamined aspect of the court’s decision that temporarily changed which ballots were counted. Because of the order, election officials for the first time tallied absentee ballots postmarked by Election Day, rather than just those received by then — underscoring the power of narrow court decisions to significantly shape which votes are counted. Democrats think they have secured a game-changing precedent from the Supreme Court’s 5-to-4 order. In the past week alone, lawsuits bankrolled by Democratic committees have been filed in four states seeking similar postmark rules and citing the Wisconsin opinion to bolster their argument. More cases are expected in the coming week.

29 April
Trump to begin preparing for transition in case he loses in November
(PBS Newshour) … Biden has been discussing transition plans with former Delaware Sen. Ted Kaufman, a longtime top aide who was appointed to fill Biden’s Senate seat when he became vice president. Biden assured donors that he’s proceeding regardless of how Trump handles the matter.
The former vice president said he’s already considering his Cabinet secretaries and “sub-Cabinet” political appointees. Biden added that he has contemplated the unusual step of identifying some top Cabinet picks “even before we are able to win” so that voters will “have a better idea of what my administration will look like.”
The law requires presidential candidates and the General Services Administration to reach a memorandum of understanding that governs everything from the provision of federal office space to access to sensitive documents by Sept. 1, though generally it is reached sooner.
Transition teams begin vetting candidates for jobs in a future administration, including beginning the time-consuming security clearance process for likely appointees who need to be ready to take their posts on Inauguration Day.

13 April
If Biden Wins, He’ll Have to Put the World Back Together
His post-pandemic agenda will have to be a master class in redesign.
Thomas Wright, Senior fellow at the Brookings Institution and
Kurt M. Campbell, Former Assistant Secretary of State for Asia and the Pacific
(The Atlantic) If Joe Biden wins the election in November, he will likely be sworn in —perhaps virtually— under the most challenging circumstances since Harry Truman became president in 1945. The country will probably be in the end stages of a brutal pandemic and faced with the worst economy since the Great Depression. The Treasury will be significantly depleted. Millions of people will have lost loved ones, their jobs, much of their net worth. Hopefully a vaccine or an effective treatment will be closer to reality, and our national attention can shift to what comes next.
We judge our great presidents by how they managed harrowing trials and wars …. But many of the bigger and less historically rewarding challenges are what come immediately after —how to rebuild and remake the country and engage in the wider world. Think about Ulysses S. Grant and Reconstruction, Woodrow Wilson and the League of Nations, Truman and the architecture to wage the Cold War, George H. W. Bush and the collapse of the Soviet Union. Some failed; others succeeded. All faced enormous obstacles explaining what just happened, what had changed, and how we must adapt. This is the category of presidency that Biden, or Donald Trump if he is reelected, will find himself in.

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