S3E5:2020 Candidates debate! Our take on Sanders, Warren and Buttigieg

Like many progressive podcasts out there today we begin opinion and analysis of the 2020 candidates as the race for President on the democratic side begins.

Last season we gave our view of the 2020 candidates here, here and here.  But a lot has changed since then. 

Controversy has hit Mayor Pete in his hometown of South Bend, Indiana where he is the sitting mayor.

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Meanwhile as one falls, another rises.  Elizabeth Warren got good news today. 

The senator from Massachusetts saw her poll numbers go up in two important polls.  The Morning Consult Poll and Emerson Poll both see Warren rising to a solid number three closer than ever to Sanders.

One year anniversary

Our thoughts on these issues and more, as we hit the one year mark! There are a lot of progressive podcasts to choose from. Thanks for choosing ours.


Progressive podcasts: Pete Buttigieg

Nothing else matters

A police officer shooting where an unarmed black man was killed by a cop who turned off his body cam, has Pete Buttigieg doing damage control.

Anyone listening to this podcast knows we just spent four episodes discussing race and policing in America. So I do not envy the mayor, and to his credit he has taken the issue head on.

In his home state South Bend Indiana, the presidential candidate is facing harsh criticism for his handling of the shooting.  

Many commend Pete Buttigieg for stepping away from the campaign trail to address this issue in both a speech and a town hall on Sunday. But it appears to be doing no good.

The African American residents of South Bend are disappointed with his response.  Politico agrees with me that the ordeal may be a make or break for his campaign.

“this crisis does is it gives us a window into the kind of president he would be, for better or worse,” said Rep. Don Beyer (D-Va.), who endorsed Buttigieg this spring and said he thinks the mayor has done well so far. “How does he react in a crisis, [that’s] when the real personality comes up.”

On top of his unpopular response, by leaving the campaign trail the mayor’s rocket propelled momentum is slowing.  He has had to cancel a policy roll out in California because of it.

In addition, it is another line of attack, another question that is going to be thrown at the mayor during the televised debates.  

His response to the audience in Florida could turn things around or be the final nail in his coffin.

Progressive podcasts: Elizabeth Warren

The campaign taketh away and it giveth

As the mayor struggles, Elizabeth Warren gains. 

Multiple reports say she is being seen as a comprise candidate between those who hate Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders.

As the soaring national debit is being called a “crisis” Warren’s focused and almost geek-like plans may be what the nation needs especially if the country falls into recession or we have a war. 

Even those critical of the senator appear to have changed their tunes.  As I mention in today’s podcast, Third Way, which is not backing a candidate, once called her candidacy a “disaster”.  

But now they have had a change of heart:

“I don’t agree with ‘Medicare for All.’ I don’t agree with free college, … [But] her consumer protection policies are great. I think she has a good infrastructure plan,” said self-described moderate Democrat Reagan Gray, a health care policy and political consultant attending the Third Way conference. “I absolutely know and believe people are taking a second look at her. She now seems to be getting herself away from the Bernie Sanders grouping. People are taking a second look at her and saying, ‘Hmm. Some of her policies are good. Maybe she isn’t like Bernie.’”

Meanwhile the PCCC (progressive change campaign committee) has gone all in for Warren.  Adam Green the founder has made it his mission to get Biden voters to switch to Warren.  

Green has stated they have collected testimonials from voters in California, Georgia and Ohio who have made the switch from Biden to Warren.

And she appears to be nipping at the heels if listening to progressive podcasts are any measure.

The only question will be – has she peaked by gaining momentum too soon?

Who believes in socialism

If Bush’s brain, Karl Rove is to be believed, Bernie Sanders can beat Donald Trump in 2020.

Lest we forget, it was only a few months ago when the democratic socialist went on Fox News and wiped the floor with the conservative moderators.

As Dara Lind reported:

After Sanders answered an audience question about why government-provided versus private-sector health care by outlining his health care proposal, Baier decided to poll the audience about it, asking people if they’d prefer it to their current, private-sector-provided health insurance. (That frame evokes Barack Obama’s famous promise that “If you like your healthcare, you can keep it” — something conservatives and Fox News frequently point to as a symbol of Obamacare’s broken promises.)

The poll … did not go the way Baier appears to have thought it would.

Sanders socialist Medicare For All plan appeals to many of the Fox News voters. Surprise!

But what a difference a few months can make.  

After a speech on what democratic socialism is, Sanders has not gotten closer to the former vice president, but instead has gotten closer to Warren who is coming on strong from behind.

What happened?

Well, after the very successful town hall on Fox, he went to She the People event and bombed.  

We forgot to mention this on the podcast, but this is perhaps when Warren and Mayor Pete started making inroads on Bernie’s numbers.

Observers at the Root believe Bernie has a black woman problem (we know one such black woman was moderator Joy Reid). From the Root:

During an appearance Wednesday at a presidential candidates’ forum sponsored by She the People, a group that looks to push more women of color to the polls, Sanders was booed, heckled and looked a lot like he’d just bought a white women into his pro-black mother’s house, The Washington Post reports.

Sanders gave canned answers and struggled to win over the crowd of informed women, who have not only proven to be the backbone of the Democratic Party but have also proven to continuously show up and show out.

During one of the more polarizing moments, host Aimee Allison asked Sanders what he would do to fight white supremacist violence. Instead of approaching the question head on, Sanders decided to dive into his usual “I marched with Dr. King” speech, which is becoming Sanders’ standard “some of my best friends are black” response.

“I know I date myself a little bit here, but I actually was at the March on Washington with Dr. [Martin Luther] King back in 1963,” Sanders began, and the women in the crowd began groaning, one person even shouted “We know!”

“And,—” Sanders tried to continue, but the crowd was still jeering when Sanders, a full-fledged white man no matter how leftist he believes himself to be, wagged his finger at a room full of women of color. I couldn’t see the crowd, but I’m assuming that loud noise I heard from the clip was the collective snatching of earrings being taken off simultaneously as hair was pulled back from their faces.

If Bernie, like Mayor Pete, cannot get their numbers amongst blacks up, they will not make it very far to the nomination.

Cheat sheet

Take a look at this quick cheat sheet from Politico on where the candidates stand on the issues here.

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