Background Briefing: March 7, 2019
Are Talented Democratic Candidates Discouraged By the Crowded Field?
We begin with Ohio’s Senator Sherrod Brown deciding not to run in the crowded field of potential Democratic presidential candidates, joining a growing number of hopefuls who have dropped out, notably Oregon Senator Jeff Merkley, former Attorney General Eric Holder, Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Hillary Clinton. Robert Creamer, a long-time political organizer and strategist and author of “Stand Up Straight: How Progressives Can Win”, who is a partner in Democracy Partners and has been a Democratic consultant in the last three presidential campaigns, joins us. We will discuss whether talented candidates are being discouraged from entering the race because it will be too difficult to stand out, particularly on debate stages that may be so crowded that the field will have to be split into two with primary debates run on consecutive nights. And since Governor Jay Inslee of Washington State has already indicated he wants to make the urgent need to deal with global warming his signature issue, we will assess whether there is a value in having important issues aired, even if it gets in the way of having the cream rise to the top.
In Spite of Old Divisions, New Democratic Talent Will Emerge
Then we examine further whether at perhaps the most critical juncture of recent American history, when it is imperative for the political opposition to find a candidate who can defeat Donald Trump to save the country and the world from further damage and greater disaster, the Democrats are already blowing it out of the gate with too many hopefuls crowding out promising candidates. Matt Angle, who directs the Texas Democratic Trust and the Lone Star Project and was Executive Director of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee and the Executive Director if the House Democratic Caucus, joins us to discuss whether even if old divisions resurface, new talent will emerge.
Reps. Omar and Tlaib are Lightning Rods Who Will Change the Israel-Palestinian Debate
Then finally we examine the distraction underway in the House with needless arguments among Democrats over anti-Semitism versus Islamophobia following reckless statements by new young House members which have been gifts handed to Republicans to demagogue and derail important legislative agendas like H.R.1 while taking attention away from the groundbreaking passage of gun control legislation. Lara Friedman, the President of the Foundation for Middle East Peace, joins us to discuss how Congresswomen Omar and Tlaib are lightning rods no matter what they say, but inevitably they will stimulate a different debate on Israeli-Palestinian issues rather than the narrow debate the Israeli right and their right wing backers in the U.S. want to impose.