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‘Electability’ Dominates the Democratic Primaries: The Politics Daily

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Elizabeth Warren might be a little too liberal on some things,” one voter told my colleague Russell Berman. “More okay for me, less for the country.”

Beltway chatter would have you believe that electability is all about voters’ pining for an old-school moderate (or more cynically, a much older white man with a long political resume), but is that really how Democrats are deciding whether a candidate is electable?

Political insiders are getting it all wrong here, argues Ronald Brownstein—voters are hashing out decisions based on a candidate’s personal qualities (honesty, integrity, compassion, strength, competence) more than anything else. Sure, Biden is the electability pack leader for now, but that doesn’t mean that Warren and other 2020 hopefuls have no chance of dethroning him from that spot.

— Saahil Desai


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🏛️ AND THEN THERE WeRE 10

(Lucas Jackson / Reuters)

Gerontocracy 2020: What lessons can Malaysia’s 94-year-old prime minister provide to the array of 70-somethings running for president? Follow a terrible incumbent, practice mindfulness, and doom any successors, Jonah Blank writes.

How El Paso Changed Beto: The former representative from Texas told Edward-Isaac Dovere that the shooting in his hometown forced him to radically rethink his approach to the presidential election. And while much of his campaign seemed like a “rolling existential crisis” before the August 3 mass shooting, his team still hopes voters will see the Beto 2020 train headed in a different direction now.

A Foreign Policy for the Left: While discussion of foreign affairs has not dominated the Democratic primary, the two candidates who have discussed their doctrines, Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren, are still lacking: “However, when you drill down, the two presidential candidates are difficult to pin down on whether they oppose military intervention on principle or, if not, under what conditions they might support it.”


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🇺🇸WHAT ELSE WE’RE WATCHING

Impeachment? Let us count the ways: Even though congressional Democrats don’t seem to agree on whether Trump should be impeached, the ones who have backed a probe can’t seem to choose which of his apparent offenses should be the focus of investigation, Russell Berman and Elaine Godfrey report.

Memory, all alone in the spotlight: While the 1994 federal crime bill is now a nightmare for Joe Biden, the progressive wing of the Democratic Party has forgotten the overwhelming support it had when Bill Clinton signed it into law, writes Todd S. Purdum. That liberals like Cory Booker rightly point out the harm it caused communities of color, but forget that the bill was backed by many black leaders at the time, is a testament to how short the American political memory is.

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SNAPSHOT

(Jose Cabezas/ Reuters)

The Supreme Court ruled that the Trump administration can begin requiring migrants arriving in the U.S. to first seek asylum in another country on their way. The rule would affect migrants at the U.S. southwestern border from countries such as Honduras and El Salvador (but not Mexico).



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