Editor's note: We couldn’t be more proud of one of our teammates, Isaac Rose-Berman, who penned his first op-ed this week in USA Today: “How college students can bridge American divides: 'Study abroad' in Alabama or New York.” Please give it a read, and share far and wide!
“A new CNN poll conducted by SSRS after Biden's announcement [last] Thursday shows 39% of voters who are Democrats or Democratic-leaning independents saying he is their top choice for the nomination, up from 28% who said the same in March.” CNN
“16 Democratic candidates have now qualified for the first two primary debates this summer.” FiveThirtyEight
The left is not keen on Biden, highlighting other qualified candidates.
“In my conversations with voters — even those who said they felt strong affection for Mr. Biden — it was pretty clear that practicality, not passion, was the driving force in their support for the former vice president. It was a sentiment that seemed to transcend age, gender and ideological orientation… [But] pragmatic support is generally not the stuff of winning presidential bids. (See: Romney, Mitt; Clinton, Hillary; Kerry, John.) Of course, given how badly Democrats want President Trump out of office, that instinct to follow their hearts could certainly play out differently this cycle. But with 21 candidates running (oh hey, Senator Michael Bennet!), voters certainly have plenty of time to play the field.”
Lisa Lerer, New York Times
“In the country’s most diverse candidate pool ever, with several people running on ambitious plans to remake systems of power that have facilitated the exploitation of generations of Americans, Biden has stepped in to add—what, exactly? A promise to return the country to the good ol’ days? He doesn’t seem to realize, or care, that those days weren’t all that good for massive swaths of the electorate. Instead of attempting to chart a bold American future, Biden is peddling a gussied-up version of America’s past.”
Christina Cauterucci, Slate
By contrast, “Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren is dominating the ‘ideas primary.’ In the age of tweet and Trump, Warren is betting that voters want substance. Though she’s often grouped ideologically with Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders, Warren has gone far beyond the core agenda derived from his 2016 challenge, issuing a new policy plan virtually every week. Warren’s bold structural reforms seek to transform a system she sees as rigged for the wealthy and well-connected—one many voters view the same way.”
Robert L. Borosage, The Week
“Warren believes in eliminating tax ‘getaways’ for the ultra-wealthy, empowering people of color, ensuring that every citizen has the right to vote, and abolishing the Electoral College so every vote counts. She wants to begin a Green New Deal that banishes subsidies for fossil fuel companies, shore up our legal system so all Americans can truly have ‘equal justice under law,’ support family farmers so they can compete fairly with big corporations, and break up big tech companies… Warren can fulfill the promise of Obama’s ‘Yes We Can,’ with the added oath: ‘I’ve got a plan.’ We need only show up for her to make it so.”
Elis de Guerre, Independent
Others note that “Sens. Kamala D. Harris (D-Calif.) and Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) may have had their breakout moments of the campaign on Wednesday… Both former prosecutors, the pair of Senate Democrats once again (see their exchanges with Brett Kavanaugh during his Supreme Court confirmation hearing) demonstrated their ability to perfectly grill a Trump administration official… Biden on Wednesday pledged to visit all of Iowa’s 99 counties, an intensive and time-consuming process that would be decidedly harder for a sitting senator. But Harris and Klobuchar illustrated the power that comes from going toe-to-toe with top officials on live TV, the closest anyone will come to debating Trump himself until fall 2020.”
Jacqueline Alemany, Washington Post
Regarding the Cadillac tax, “high-premium employer-based plans raise the cost of health care for everyone by encouraging the overconsumption of expensive services. This means that even Medicare and Medicaid face higher prices. Quite aside from its benefits for the health-care market, the Cadillac tax would also have the effect of expanding the tax base and making the tax code more efficient. It would raise revenues by about $15 billion a year… Rather than killing or delaying the Cadillac tax, Democrats should be trying to make it operational. The tax would raise revenue, lower costs, increase the efficiency of the tax code and give the Obamacare individual market its best chance at success.”
Karl W. Smith, Bloomberg
“The two issues with which he is most often associated, support for a balanced budget and opposition to free trade, put him at odds with both of our major political parties. An old-fashioned, soft-spoken Southerner, he nevertheless held views on so-called ‘social issues’ that would be to the left of the mainstream of the Republican Party, both then and now. He was a fervent supporter of the Vietnam POW/MIA movement in the late '80s and early '90s, but he was not in any sense a hawk. Never mind 2003. Perot opposed the first war in Iraq in 1990… Perot's death should be mourned by all Americans who regret the fact that it is no longer possible to make reasoned, non-ideological arguments about questions of public import, and by the devolution of our political life into mindless partisan squabbling.”
Matthew Walther, The Week
The right is focused on Biden, given his lead in the polls.
The right is focused on Biden, given his lead in the polls.
“What made Biden’s announcement bounce so large? One could say he took a page from Trump by focusing his announcement on what angered his party the most. Biden focused almost entirely on opposition to Trump and examples of some of the most controversial moments of the Trump presidency, particularly his response to the 2017 white nationalist rally in Charlottesville.”
Arnon Mishkin, Fox News
“Biden is not only leading, but he’s leading across all demographics. He gets 39% of women voters and 25% of younger voters. And yet the political chattering class keeps telling us he’s not young enough and hip enough to appeal to the Millennials. But the most important stat is this: 56% of voters think Biden has the best chance to beat Trump. And that is going to be the most important issue in 2020.”
Merrie Soltis, Washington Examiner
Skeptics, however, argue that “Biden is a candidate who was best suited to run for the nomination not in 2020 but in 2016, when he could have run as someone to safeguard Obama's legacy. He has been out of office for four years, after working in Washington continuously for over 40 years. His candidacy will have to rely on looking back in time when most Democratic voters want to lookforward. Biden is an establishmentarian in a populist wave fueled even more by resentment over the right-leaning populism behind Donald Trump's ascendancy. He is, to put it bluntly, an old white male politician in a party that puts identity politics at the core of its message.”
Edward Morrissey, The Week
“Biden’s entry into the race for the Democratic presidential nomination has opened up a division in the party, and it’s not just about the candidates’ demographic characteristics or policy records. It’s about their view of our country. Biden’s left-wing critics think he’s soft on the banks and on accused sexual harassers. But they also think he’s soft on America itself… There are plenty of reasons to oppose Biden, from his spotty record on due process to his bad judgment on foreign policy. But he’s not going to pay a price for being too rosy-eyed about America, and he shouldn’t.”
Ramesh Ponnuru, Bloomberg
“[Biden’s] problem is simple: He has a record. That record is long and checkered. And that means that Biden has spent the first months of his undeclared campaign apologizing… The power of positive thinking trumps years of experience. After all, you don't have to worry about what Mayor Pete Buttigieg has done since he's never done anything. But you do have to worry about Joe Biden's record being rehashed. That's why Biden's best weeks may be his first weeks. As his record reemerges, as other Democrats dig into his past for dirt,Biden will have to get used to saying he's sorry and then hope that Democratic voters choose to take him back.”
Ben Shapiro, Daily Wire
“Former vice president Joe Biden declaring that the figures running the Chinese government are ‘not bad folks’ and that ‘they’re not competition to us’ has to be the most jaw-dropping assessment of a world power since Gerald Ford’s 1976 assessment that ‘There is no Soviet domination of Eastern Europe and there never will be under a Ford administration.’”
Jim Geraghty, National Review
“NBC and MSNBC embraced Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts in the first debate of Democratic presidential candidates Wednesday night, treating her like the star of the show. The debate led off with Warren, who had a huge popularity advantage from the start… NBC anchor Savannah Guthrie started it off sounding more like Warren’s press secretary. ‘You have many plans – free college, free child care, government health care, cancelation of student debt, new taxes, new regulations, the breakup of major corporations,’ Guthrie said, before teeing up an economy question. Guthrie even used Warren’s plan to break up tech companies as the foundation for a question for Sen. Cory Booker of New Jersey… the round-robin final comments also ended with Warren, as Maddow asked her for the ‘final, final statement.’ That let NBC bookend the entire debate with Warren and Warren.”
Dan Gainor, Fox News
“President Trump should be happy. As much as Warren is articulate, obviously intelligent, and energetically supported by Democrats, she would also be far easier to defeat than Joe Biden… Considering Trump's economy, the president is well placed to defeat Warren.”
Tom Rogan, Washington Examiner
A libertarian's take
“Why did Modi pick this moment to do something so radical? Violence in Kashmir had been trending downwards for the last year, after all. The main reason, besides President Donald Trump's alarming offer to mediate a settlement, is that he wanted a distraction from India's mounting economic woes. India's GDP growth dropped from over 8 percent to 5.8 percent over the last year, and it is widely expected to dip further. Just as ominous has been the crash in consumer demand. India's usual problem has been an insufficient supply to meet its voracious appetite for vehicles, cell phones, and other similar goods. But sales figures for all consumer goods have posted a precipitous decline, slamming businesses that are dramatically scaling back investments.”
Shikha Dalmia, Reason
Burger King 'Unhappy Meals' capture all the feels from pissed to YAAAS.