Jonathan Swan: “On Tuesday, Joe Biden told his advisers he wanted to give a speech in South Carolina to address, and preempt, the mounting attacks on his record concerning race and civil rights. Sources close to Biden told me he was still rewriting the draft on Saturday in the car en route to Sumter, South Carolina, where he gave the speech to a mostly black audience.”
“Advisers say Biden was ready for Sen. Bernie Sanders to attack him on the debate stage for being insufficiently progressive, as his camp hinted it would come. Biden anticipated that busing might come up in the debate, aides said, but they said he did not expect Harris to misleadingly imply that he opposed the local voluntary busing that took her to school as a child.”
“Billionaire investor Tom Steyer, who in the last decade has been both the top Democratic donor in the country and the prime engine for pushing for the impeachment of President Trump, appears ready to become Democratic candidate number 26,” The Atlantic reports.
“Last week in San Francisco, Steyer told staffers at two progressive organizations he funds, Need to Impeach and NextGen America, that he is launching a 2020 campaign, and that he plans to make the formal announcement this Tuesday.”
No. Spend your money on getting more Democrats elected to the Senate. Fucking rich arrogant idiot.
In a campaign speech in South Carolina, Joe Biden defended the 1994 anti-crime law he played a primary role in writing,” CNN reports. But he “distanced himself from some of the key provisions of the law, including its billions in funding for states to build prisons.”
“He was misrepresenting his own record… Biden expressed unequivocal support, in both 1994 and in the years following, for the law’s billions in funding to build state prisons, including in his home state of Delaware.”
Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-CA) may be ending his campaign for president on Monday afternoon. His campaign announced a press conference Sunday night amid rumors the congressman will drop out of the race, the East Bay Citizen reports.
Last week, Swalwell’s campaign abruptly cancelled two days of independence day events in New Hampshire.
Playbook: “It’s well documented that Speaker Nancy Pelosi does not believe impeaching the president is smart politics. People around Pelosi have argued that it places vulnerable Democrats in a tough spot, and puts the House in jeopardy. She repeated her broader argument to Maureen Dowd in a column published in Sunday’s New York Times.”
“Well, per new GOP polling, she’s got a point… The National Republican Congressional Committee polled five battleground districts, and found impeaching President Trump to be exceedingly unpopular… In these five districts, impeachment support is somewhere between 29% and 35%, and opposition is in the high 50s and 60s.”
John Hickenlooper said “the vast majority of the problem with the campaign was me,” but promised to stay in the Democratic presidential race and become a better candidate, the AP reports.
Said Hickenlooper: “Certainly the vast majority of the problem with the campaign was me not being as good of a messenger as I need to be, but you can’t switch or trade in a new candidate.”
Hickenlooper acknowledged that “there’s just a bunch of skills that don’t come naturally to me” that are essential to campaigning — “like being a really good debater, being real smooth with wealthy donors.”
Politico: “With the first debates and two quarters of fundraising behind them, strategists with the leading Democratic campaigns and party operatives are beginning to rethink the conventional narrative of the 2020 primary.”
“Gone is the expectation of a massive candidate pile-up when the early states begin voting, and a long, drawn-out primary. Few are worried anymore about the prospect of a brokered convention. Instead, the campaigns are revising their strategic outlooks to account for a field that is dramatically winnowed well before Iowa voters go to the caucuses — perhaps to as few as eight candidates on Feb. 3.”
“Democrats in the early presidential contest states of Iowa and Nevada will be able to cast their votes over the telephone instead of showing up at their states’ traditional neighborhood caucus meetings next February,” the AP reports.
“The tele-caucus systems, the result of a mandate from the Democratic National Committee, are aimed at opening the local-level political gatherings to more people, especially evening shift-workers and people with disabilities, whom critics of the caucuses have long said are blocked from the process.”
“Beto O’Rourke is trying to revive his barely four-month-old presidential campaign—again,” the Wall Street Journal reports.
“After a shaky debate performance—the first opportunity the crowded field of Democratic candidates had to introduce themselves on a national stage—the former Texas congressman made his sixth trip to Iowa for Fourth of July week, driving 540 miles in an RV with his wife and three children. At carnivals, house parties, a baseball game and an Independence Day parade here, Mr. O’Rourke, who tried more national media appearances in May after stagnant early poll numbers, returned to the loosely structured, grassroots campaigning style he is known for.”
Former Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach (R) announced he is running for the U.S. Senate next year, the Wichita Eagle reports.
He is seeking the seat of Sen. Pat Roberts (R-KS), who announced he is not seeking re-election in 2020.
The Kansas City Star reports Kobach misspelled his own name on the forms filed with the Federal Election Commission.
Jonathan Bernstein: “It’s true that two amateurs, Marianne Williamson and Andrew Yang, have been treated to some extent as real candidates. That bought them each a spot in the first round of debates. But while the Democrats didn’t rig the rules against them (which I think they should have), the party has barely been tempted by either candidate.”
“There’s no reason to think it’ll be different for Steyer, who unlike Williamson and Yang can’t even claim to bring something to the field that wasn’t already there (Yang has a universal basic income plan, and Williamson has … well, she’s different than the other candidates, anyway). Steyer is part of the very liberal wing of the party? So are several current candidates. He cares about the climate? Even the moderates in this group say the same, and several have put forward well-regarded plans. If he doesn’t think Washington Governor Jay Inslee (who is running specifically on climate policy) is getting enough support, why not set up a pro-Inslee Super PAC?”
“The truth is that it probably doesn’t matter how long the tail of candidates at 2% in the polls is: The entire tail will presumably be cut off after Iowa or New Hampshire, if not sooner.”