An LA Timesman in Washington. Then: The domestic policy upheaval in the Age of Trump and traveling the nation to chronicle the 2020 election. Now: Politics. Energy. Money. Climate. Food. Cannabis. Techies. The West.
After four years of being relentlessly targeted by a Republican president who worked overtime to bait, punish and marginalize California and everything it represents, the state is suddenly center stage again in Washington’s policy arena. California is emerging as the de facto policy think tank of the Biden-Harris administration and of a Congress soon to be under Democratic control.
It was a crowded primary field and Tony Evers, running for governor, was eager to win the support of officials gathered at a Wisconsin state Democratic Party meeting, so the candidate did all the usual things: He read the room, he shook hands, he networked. The digital fence enabled Evers’ team to push ads onto the iPhones and Androids of all those attending the meeting.
Even in an intrigue-filled capital accustomed to shadowy visitors with vague intentions, one that recently took up residence at a very fancy address here is particularly unnerving. It arrived without warning and refuses to leave. It moves slowly but stubbornly, like some members of Congress. Government scientists are still trying to sort out if it is friend or foe.
Earlier this summer, as President Trump assembled online activists at the White House to thank them for their role in getting him to the Oval Office and – Trump predicted – keeping him there, one guest didn’t rush to claim credit. Los Angeles-based Prager University, a registered charity, is legally prohibited from politicking.
When Bernie Sanders takes the stage or gets behind a microphone, he seldom surprises — the presidential candidate’s policy-heavy script is so familiar that crowds at his rallies often know what line is coming next. “No, no, I’ll boo,” Rep. Rashida Tlaib of Michigan declared from an Iowa stage a few weeks ago as a moderator tried to discourage booing when the name “Hillary Clinton” came up.
The war on drugs had erupted, apartheid was raging, Jesse Jackson would soon make the campus a staging ground for his inaugural presidential bid. Running for student office in 1982 at Howard University — the school that nurtured Thurgood Marshall, Toni Morrison and Stokely Carmichael — was no joke.
As Democrats hastily rewrite their playbook for the pandemic era, targeting voter anxieties that now include medical testing, corporate bailouts and collapsing supply chains, one chapter is proving unexpectedly resonant. The financially imperiled post office — long a punching bag for the right — has become a surprisingly potent and resilient symbol for a fractured Democratic Party anxious for unifying causes.
After all the promises that fundraising-as-usual was behind them and that charming the wealthy over canapes would take a backseat to chatting with regular human beings, Democratic presidential candidates spent a lot of time this summer in the Hamptons. Martha’s Vineyard, Brentwood, and the well-manicured estates of Silicon Valley, too.
Bernie Sanders sounded awkwardly gringo in naming the Latino politician he thanked for introducing him, and he bungled the Spanish title of his own event, dropping the “con” from “Unidos con Bernie.”. Yet it only seemed to endear “Tio Bernie” to the Latino voters gathered in this Iowa town to see him.