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The End of Thunderdoming?

Less than a half hour after President Biden announced on Twitter he was ending his White House bid he returned to Twitter to announce that he was endorsing Kamala Harris to be the nominee. She and everyone else in Democratic politics is going out of their way to stress that with Biden out of the race there will be an “orderly” and “transparent” process of choosing a new nominee. Harris, in her announcement, said she looks forward to “earning and winning” the nomination.

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A Small Matter of the Politics

This isn’t what I want to be discussing right now. But it’s so urgent that it’s necessary. Donald Trump and Chris LaCivita are about to hit Kamala Harris with an avalanche of racist and sexist attacks and a ton of slut-shaming. Democrats across the board need to be saying now what we all know, which is that this will bring out the very worst of Trump. Racism and sexism are his brand. Charlottesville is his brand. You can’t just be on the receiving end of this stuff. Trump is about to show the kind of gutter white nationalist and racist pol he is. Force the press and all observers to see this totally predictable move through that prism.

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BREAKING: Biden Ends Reelection Bid

I will just add a personal note here: This breaks my heart, even as I’ve come to the conclusion that it’s the right and really only path now possible for the country, for the Democratic Party and for Biden’s legacy. Joe Biden has been an extraordinary President under the most difficult of circumstances, managing to pass multiple pieces of historic legislation with what amounts to a tie Congress. There are comparable accomplishments abroad which I don’t have time in this brief note to enumerate. I also believe Biden’s a deeply good man. And I don’t think the two verdicts are unrelated. Terrible that his political career ends with this dismal, horrible three and a half weeks. But there’s time to see the larger arc of the story which remains a powerful one and a consistent one, and one that will need to be crafted and captured to find a campaign victory in November.


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Back To This

Yesterday CNN’s Sanjay Gupta published the most detailed set of questions about how little we know about the injury Trump suffered a week ago. It’s a very good piece and raises a lot of good questions quite apart from the ones I’ve been raising. But it was also notable for noting explicitly, if in passing, what I’ve been calling attention to for the last few days: that we still don’t know what actually caused Trump’s injury.

Here’s the quote from Gupta that caught my eye: “It’s not even clear that he was struck by a primary projectile from the rifle, a secondary projectile or a combination of both. Sometimes, it can be difficult to know without an in-depth evaluation.”

Just to explain the meaning, the bullet is the primary projectile. A secondary projectile is another flying object put in motion by the bullet — so a metal fragment, a shard of glass, etc.

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Pelosi Going Full Thunderdome?

Pelosi Going Full Thunderdome?

Politico and other outlets this morning are reporting the Nancy Pelosi has ‘voiced support’ for the ‘open convention’ approach to replacing Joe Biden if he steps aside. I find this more than a little surprising. To put it mildly.

Two thoughts occur to me.

The first is that in a chaotic and fevered moment like this you simply can’t believe everything you read. I don’t mean the stories are fake. I mean there’s a huge appetite for information and often not enough to fill it. So you get shards of information either fourth hand or badly out of context. This applies especially to a lot of the ‘King Lear’ reporting you’re currently seeing about Biden and the various things he’s ‘thinking’. Much of this reporting is really people on the 2nd or 3rd ring of Biden’s circle of advisors trying to figure out what’s happening or relaying what they’ve heard or surmised. Then this gets turned into a story with an official imprimatur and it’s rapidly woven into an official narrative of what’s happening. Suddenly there are lovers and haters of what ‘happened’ when it’s really not clear the thing happened in the first place.

In this case, though, the reporting seems more specific. Politico says this came up at a July 10th meeting of the California Democratic House delegation. In a discussion of next steps if Biden steps aside, Pelosi was apparently against anything that looked like party bosses making the decision rather than its voters.

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Ep. 333: Biden’s Out

Kate and Josh digest the news that President Joe Biden will drop out of the race, plus his endorsement of VP Kamala Harris.

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