2020 Democratic Race
February 27, 2020

Two days before California joins 13 other states to parcel out a huge number of delegates in the Democratic presidential race, Sen. Bernie Sanders will appear in Los Angeles with Public Enemy Radio, plus comedian Sarah Silverman and TV legend Dick Van Dyke, the Sanders campaign announced Wednesday night. They even made a poster for the March 1 rally.

Sanders already hosted The Strokes at a rally in New Hampshire, and adding Public Enemy, Silverman, and Van Dyke plants cultural flags in every decade back to the 1960s. Sanders doesn't have a corner on the market: TLC performed at a Tom Steyer rally, John Mellencamp cut an ad for Mike Bloomberg, and John Legend stumped for Sen. Elizabeth Warren on Wednesday night in Charleston, South Carolina.

Democratic primary voters should pick their candidate based on the issues and all that, but Chuck D is a good get and that's a great poster for Sanders. Peter Weber

February 24, 2020

The Democratic presidential candidates spread out across the country, with several rivals questioning the electability of Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) in a bid to slow his momentum after his decisive win in the Nevada caucuses. Former South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg said in Virginia that the progressive Sanders would alienate moderate voters Democrats need to beat President Trump in November, The New York Times reports.

Former Vice President Joe Biden, who placed a distant second in Nevada as Sanders claimed victory in his third straight state, told CBS News' Face the Nation, "The Russians don't want me to be the nominee," adding, "they like Bernie." Sanders said polls showed he could beat Trump, and he blamed the "corporate media" for fueling suggestions he couldn't. Harold Maass

February 19, 2020

Former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg turned 78 years old last Friday. That makes him the same age as his top rival for the Democratic presidential nomination, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), and six months older than former Vice President Joe Biden.

Everybody is expected to pile on Bloomberg in Wednesday night's Democratic debate in Nevada, and Sanders tested out his salvos in a CNN town hall on Tuesday night. But age isn't the only thing Bloomberg and Sanders have in common. Neither has been a Democrat for most of the past two decades, and both have had two coronary arterial stents inserted near their hearts to relieve blockages.

Sanders, who had a heart attack in October, said Tuesday night he won't release his full medical records. After getting out of the hospital, he had said "the people do have a right to know about the health of a senator, somebody who's running for president of the United States — full disclosure." But on Tuesday, Sanders said the three letters he released from doctors equal "a detailed medical report," and when pressed on whether he plans to release his medical records, he said, "I don't think we will, no."

Bloomberg disclosed his 2000 heart operation for the first time in 2007. In December, he released a letter from his longtime physician, Dr. Stephen Sisson at Johns Hopkins in Baltimore, attesting that Bloomberg is "in outstanding health," though he developed an irregular heartbeat called an "atrial fibrillation" last year and is treating it with blood thinners. Bloomberg "has had normal cardiac stress testing annually" since he had the stents inserted in 2000, Sisson wrote, and the artery has not become clogged again.

"Heart problems are extremely common in older adults," The Associated Press notes. Nevertheless, an NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll released Tuesday found 53 percent of voters have "some reservations" or are "very uncomfortable" with a candidate who had a recent heart attack. Peter Weber

January 12, 2020

Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) is "disappointed" in the talking points being distributed to volunteers working with the Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) campaign, and she hopes Sanders "reconsiders" using them.

Politico obtained a copy of the Sanders campaign script, which volunteers reference while speaking with potential voters. It focuses on several of his fellow Democratic presidential candidates, including former Vice President Joe Biden and Pete Buttigieg. For Warren, volunteers are given the option of saying: "I like Elizabeth Warren. In fact, she's my second choice." They are then instructed to bring up their "concern" about her, primarily that she is "bringing no new bases into the Democratic Party."

"I was disappointed to hear that Bernie is sending his volunteers out to trash me," Warren told reporters on Sunday. "Bernie knows me and has known me for a long time. He knows who I am, where I come from, what I have worked on and fought for, and the coalition and grassroots movement we're trying to build." She added that in 2016, "we all saw the impact of factionalism," and she hopes "Bernie reconsiders and turns his campaign in a different direction."

Sanders called the situation "a little bit of a media blow up, who kind of wants conflict." Warren is "a very good friend of mine," he continued, and "we have hundreds of employees. Elizabeth Warren has hundreds of employees. People sometimes say things that they shouldn't have. You heard me give many speeches. Have I ever said one negative word about Elizabeth Warren? No, of course I didn't." Catherine Garcia

December 9, 2019

Axios' Mike Allen sat down with former Vice President Joe Biden for Sunday's Axios on HBO, and he noted that when asked about potential running mates recently, Biden mentioned several women but didn't name Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.). Biden said sure, he would add Warren to the list, but even talking about vice presidential picks is "presumptuous" at this point. "The question is, would she add me to her list?" he added.

Allen also addressed the elephant in the room, asking Biden what he believed his son Hunter was doing "for an extraordinary amount of money" on the board of Ukrainian gas company Burisma while he was vice president. "I don't know what he was doing," Biden said. "I know he was on the board, I found out he was on the board after he was on the board. And that was it." "Isn't this something you want to get to the bottom of?" Allen asked. "No, because I trust my son," Biden said. "There's nothing on its face that was wrong. Look, if you want to talk about problems, you know, let's talk about Trump's family. I mean, come on."

What "guardrails," Allen asked, would President Biden "have to be sure that your son, your brother Jimmy, doesn't do anything to trade on the family name?" "They will not be engaged in any foreign business because of what's happened in this administration," Biden said. "No one's going to be seeking patents for things from China. No one's going to be engaged in that kind of thing."

Biden refused to speculate on whether older voters are wary of Mayor Pete Buttigieg's sexual orientation, but he did say he's happy Mayor Pete has a husband.

Allen also brought up a "powerful piece" in The Atlantic about whether Biden's "childhood stutter" explains his gaffes or apparent memory lapses. "I don't think of myself as continuing to stutter," Biden answered. "Look, the mistakes I make are mistakes," he added, but at least his "debilitating" and "humiliating" childhood stutter taught him empathy. Watch below. Peter Weber

December 2, 2019

Montana Gov. Steve Bullock (D) ended his presidential run on Monday, explaining in a statement that "while there were many obstacles we could not have anticipated when entering this race, it has become clear that in this moment, I won't be able to break through to the top tier of this still-crowded field." Bullock had some success when he jumped in the Democratic presidential race in May, raising $2 million in his first six weeks and qualifying for the July debate. But his candidacy, premised on his ability to win red states without sacrificing progressive ideas, captured attention while never quite catching fire.

Bullock also affirmed Monday that he will not run for Senate, despite appeals from national Democrats to challenge Sen. Steve Daines (R-Mont.). "While he plans to work hard to elect Democrats in the state and across the country in 2020, it will be in his capacity as a governor and a senior voice in the Democratic Party — not as a candidate for U.S. Senate," communications director Galia Slayen told The Washington Post.

Bullock, 53, is the latest Democratic governor to bow out of the race, following Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper, who is running for Senate, and Washington Gov. Jay Inslee, who opted to seek a third term. Former Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick, who just announced his candidacy, is now the only Democrat in the race with gubernatorial experience. Peter Weber

December 2, 2019

You may not have been aware that Joe Sestak, a retired three-star admiral and former congressman from Pennsylvania, was running for president as a Democrat. Well, as of Sunday, he isn't anymore.

Since launching his "long-shot bid" in July, "Sestak struggled to gain name recognition, was left with zero percent support in most polling, and had not qualified for any of the Democratic debates," Politico notes. "He said in his statement on Sunday that without the 'privilege of national press,' he could no longer ask people to sacrifice resources for his campaign." There are now 17 Democrats vying for the nomination and two months before the first votes are cast. Peter Weber

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