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2020 Election — Democratic Candidates Are Being Treated Unfairly. Do We Care?

South Bend mayor Pete Buttigieg during the Democratic primary debate at Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles, Calif., December 19, 2019. (Mike Blake/Reuters)

Weird things happen during Democratic presidential primaries.

Most conservatives have no interest in a highly functional Democratic National Committee, and perhaps some spotlighted the actions of the DNC in 2016 entirely out of cynical motives, in order to exacerbate divisions within the party. But I suspect some conservatives genuinely think it’s unjust for a party committee to turn over its financial decision-making to the front-runner’s campaign, as the DNC did for the Clinton campaign in the 2016 cycle. You don’t have to agree with Sanders’s decisions or even like him to believe that it is fundamentally unfair for the organization running the nomination process to effectively be a secret financial subsidiary of one candidate.

You don’t have to love Pete Buttigieg to believe that the charge from New York Times reporter Binyamin Appelbaum that he’s “been on the front lines of corporate price fixing” is unfair guilt-by-association. In late 2017, Canadian grocery chain Loblaws admitted to price-fixing on bread from 2001 to 2014. Buttigieg worked at McKinsey consulting, and for six months in 2008 he worked for Loblaws as a client. He described the work in his autobiography, “spending my weekdays in a small, glass-walled conference room with three colleagues in a suburban office park, building models to compute how much it could cost to cut prices on various combinations of tens of thousands of items across hundreds of stores, in every part of the country.” Loblaws said that Buttigieg’s consulting work had nothing to do with the scandal. If you want to oppose Buttigieg because you simply don’t trust any business consultants, fine, but don’t blame Buttigieg for a scandal that started well before he arrived, lasted long after he left, and where there’s no evidence he knew about any of it.

Hillary Clinton jumped into the Democratic primary to declare that Tulsi Gabbard is “ the favorite of the Russians.” Conservatives have wondered just what the heck Andrew Yang has to do to get more questions during the nationally televised Democratic debates. Elizabeth Warren claimed that Bernie Sanders had told her that a woman couldn’t beat Trump, and a CNN moderator acted as if it was a proven fact during the debate, even after Sanders vehemently denied it.

Many conservatives and many Republicans believe that the political world is unfair and slanted against them in a million different ways, large and small. Party establishments build high barriers to get on the ballot, and then take action to protect incumbents who already enjoy significant advantages. The media plays favorites, treats their preferred candidates with kid gloves, and deliberately misconstrues innocuous comments to demonize the candidates they don’t like. When their preferred candidates mess up, members of the press mobilize to explain that the criticisms is overblown, that Republicans are pouncing, and that the real question is whether the GOP is in danger of overreaching. Post-primary endorsements are withheld by spoilsport losing candidates.

During Democratic presidential primary season, we see every bad habit, conscious and subconscious bias, unfair written and unwritten rule, and unjust instinct that always exist, except that during this period, all of these are factors in fights of Democrats against other Democrats.

But the progressives who see unfair advantages of a center-left establishment rarely come away with the realization that maybe all those conservatives had a fair point in their past complaints. And the many on the right largely see a giant indistinguishable glob of “the Left” even though the Bernie Bros, the Warren feminists, the Biden establishmentarians, and the Mayor Pete wine-cave donor class all have pretty disparate outlooks and priorities.

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New York Times’ Elizabeth Warren, & Amy Klobuchar Endorsement — Thanks for Nothing

The headquarters of the New York Times is pictured on 8th Avenue in New York, February 5, 2008. (Gary Hershorn/Reuters)

Imagine how self-important you’d have to be as an institution to decide that the public so craves your political advice and opinion that you need to air an hour-long program dedicated to sharing your painstaking deliberations over who ought to be the Democratic presidential nominee.

Next, imagine you’re so self-important that not only do you air such a program, demonstrating your inflated notion of how badly everyone craves your political opinion, but you also decide to conclude your deliberation by offering only a prevarication: “In a break with convention, the [New York Times] editorial board has chosen to endorse two separate Democratic candidates for president: Amy Klobuchar and Elizabeth Warren.”

As I put it on Twitter after the announcement yesterday, the Times correctly deduced that the only thing more progressive than endorsing one woman for president is endorsing two.

I think our own Jim Geraghty got it exactly right in his Corner post earlier today analyzing this non-decision from Times:

All in all, this reads like an editorial board that largely wanted to endorse Klobuchar, but who recognized that not endorsing Warren would be seen as driving a stake into the heart of her candidacy. The board may also have concluded that endorsing only Klobuchar would be a “waste,” as the prospects for the Minnesota senator don’t look good. (She’s still not hitting double digits in Iowa, where she’s focused almost all of her recent attention.) Without saying so explicitly, the Times offered two separate criteria: their favorite candidate, and their favorite candidate with a realistic shot at winning the nomination.

Even before this rather absurd spectacle that the Times treated us all to yesterday evening, I don’t think very many Americans were breathlessly awaiting the paper’s conclusion. I have a hard time believing that any sizable percentage of the primary or general electorate casts his or her vote based on the determination of any newspaper editorial board, even one with the readership of the New York Times. (Never mind the fact that the paper hasn’t endorsed a Republican for president in more than six decades.)

But after this double endorsement, the Times board has underscored precisely how silly it is for a gaggle of media elites to tell Americans how they ought to vote — especially when they themselves can’t even make up their minds.

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Biden pulls ahead in new Iowa poll

There’s some indication that Warren and Sanders suffered fallout from their recent spat — including during and after last week’s debate — over whether a woman could beat President Donald Trump. Warren contended Sanders told her in a private 2018 conversation that he did not believe a woman could win, which Sanders denied.

When asked if there was a candidate they would not support based on the debate,
12 percent of those surveyed said Warren and 11 percent said Sanders. The next highest was billionaire Tom Steyer at 4 percent.

When asked who would best represent the interests of rural Iowa, Klobuchar was the clear favorite with 29 percent.

Also in the survey, Democrats were asked what they would do if their first choice in the caucuses were not viable. While 75 percent said they would realign with another candidate, 17 percent said they would remain uncommitted and 4 percent said they would go home.

“It is significant the 17% [who] say they will remain uncommitted and may indicate that uncommitted will be viable in several precincts,” a statement from the group says.

Of those who choose another candidate, Biden received 24 percent support, Buttigieg received 21 percent, Warren received 16 percent, Klobuchar received 7 percent, and Sanders received 6 percent.

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EXCLUSIVE: The Trump Victory Team Has Knocked On A Million Doors

The Trump victory team, a joint fundraising committee between President
Donald Trump’s 2020 presidential campaign, and the Republican National Committee (RNC) announced a major milestone Monday.

The Trump victory team knocked on its one millionth door Monday in the crucial swing state of New Hampshire, the committee announced. (RELATED: Trump Campaign, RNC Raise More Than $100 Million In Second Quarter)

We are proud of the money we have raised, and even prouder of the infrastructure that that money has enabled us to build. Our permanent, data-driven ground game is unmatched and will be the key to our success this November,” RNC Chair Ronna McDaniel told the Daily Caller.

(Photo credit: MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images)

Even as House Democrats have spent the past year moving to impeach the president, the Trump campaign and the RNC have continued to pull in record fundraising hauls. (RELATED: Impeachment Proceedings Usually Move Swiftly, But Democrats Are Playing It Slow)

Most recently, the joint fundraising committee between the Trump campaign and the RNC raked in $154 million in the fourth quarter of 2019, and reported roughly $195 million cash on hand headed into the 2020 election year.

“Our millionth door knocked marks a major milestone in our path toward victory as our grassroots army continues to spread the message of President Trump and Republicans’ winning agenda,” McDaniel said.

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