Trump announces that 2020 will be about health care, Mueller’s team starts leaking, House Democrats fire their subpoena cannons, Wisconsin signals trouble ahead, and Bernie Sanders leads the field in fundraising and polling. Then former White House Senior Advisor Valerie Jarrett talks to Jon about her new book, “Finding My Voice.” Also – Pod Save America is going on tour! Get your tickets now: crooked.com/events.
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This is an unofficial transcript meant for reference. Accuracy is not guaranteed.
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welcome to ply save America, I'm John Ogden fry for later in the pod. My conversation with our friend and former senior White House advisor Valerie Jarrett, but a new book
finding my voice also,
after my interview with Valerie Stick around at the end of the podcast for another excerpt of our weekly pod. Save America. Kewene have a few questions there.
We've got a lot of news to get through today, as well from Trump's plan to make the next election about health care to the house. Democrats firing up those subpoena cannons to all the latest, two thousand and twenty news
also the next installment, an r pod save the candidate
series will be out on Friday. Tommy will be interviewing former HUD secretary and former San Antonio Mayor Holy and Castro right here, in LOS Angeles, also the paperback version of
the roads is book the world as it is, went on sale, Tuesday April. Second, it is a fantastic book. One of my favorite Obama books go by yourself, Benz Book if you have
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sponsor an organizer. Please go to organizing court two twenty dot com you can apply, you can donate. It is a great cause we
need to get field organizers in the field now so that
we have a democratic nominee, there's going to be a staff in place and there's going to be a young, diverse field of organizers who know what they're
doing this is a really important program. So please check it out all let's get to the news last week,
Donald Trump promised that he was moving forward in courts and legislatively to replace the affordable care act. This week, the president reversed himself and said that
quote: never planning a vote prior to the twenty twenty election on the wonderful health care package that some very talented people are now develop
For me in the Republican Party, it will be on full
play during the election as a much better and less expensive alternative to Obamacare. This will be a great campaign issue.
Will it Dan will campaigning on repealing the affordable care act, be a great campaign issue for Donald Trump, and why do you think he backed off his earlier promise to come up with an Obama care replacement before the election? Well, these two quest
very connected. No, it will not be a good issue and we know that because it was the centerpiece of the twenty twelve election which the Republicans lost. It was a centerpiece, the twenty eighteen election which there
with his last and so were you to make it a centerpiece.
Two thousand and twenty election. It probably does not bode well for Republicans the reason it Trump backed off of
in back to offset the right word. He pretended. He never said. The original thing, which is always a favorite trump tactic, is that
the Republicans had no interest in following trump off this cliff, which is unusual for them. I know, but Mitch, Mcconnell,
said that this was impressive in its dickishness
that he said he was be happy to look at any
health care legislation that Nancy Poulos Ian Donald Trump could agree on. That was it. That was a funny joke for Mitch. Mcconnell I mean I know, there's not known for jokes, so I mean my question about this is
First of all, the idea that Donald Trump has been coming up with a health care plan or is going to come up with a health care plan or that Republicans are going to put forward health care plan. I mean we've heard this now for how many years like
two thousand and ten even coming up with Obamacare alternatives like why did they
they can get away with continuing to say that there's going to be some magical, all turned
to a care that basically does what people like about. Obamacare protects, pre existing conditions,
all that good stuff and that somehow we we never see this well, it's impossible.
I think it is an impossible policy problem to solve, because you can't get rid of the parts of a bombing here that the Republicans hate I and keep the parts that they wanted that they profess to like. We don't actually like protections for pre existing conditions. You
You have to why you have to get as many people into the pool as possible in order to make it affordable to protect people with existing conditions. For
insurance company. So it's an apostle policy problem to solve.
You know I listen to you know you guys to talk about this a Monday before Trump Back track off of this. I think you're there's two elements
This one is, I do think he hears all the time that healthcare is the Republican's biggest problem democratic advantage and so he's sort of drawn to it like a moth to a flame,
but then there's also. He just has this politically self destructive instinct, which is:
insist on always following what seems like his best day with his worst day by you know, I think, is you said this on Monday grabbing the third.
And I think there was like oh I'm, doing really well Post mother report. According to all my friends on Fox NEWS, what can I do to mess that up I'm going to grab on health care again yeah, I mean the other thing too. Is he does.
Health care plan. They laid it out in terms of budget a few weeks ago. His administration did
he doesn't know that or didn't read it, but they can grow
The budget office nonpartisan score keepers in Congress. Looked at the proposed policy, that's in trumps proposed budget right now. The estimated the plan would cause millions of people to lose coverage. It would give states the option to let insurers out return to disk.
Being against patients with pre existing conditions, and it would allow states to give insurers the flexibility to decide what gets covered maternal care of maternity care. You know anything that they want
So. Basically, he does have a plan that he's proposing his budget and it's it. It's a bad plan. So
How how excited are republican politicians to make this a central issue in twenty twenty I mean didn't trump, basically end up with the worst of all options here, because he brought up healthcare,
He pretended that they were going to have a vote on it. You know sometime in
this year or early next year, and then he said no, no, I'm going to pump this until after the election,
by ensuring that the election itself will be about whether
or not, people want to repeal the affordable care act which we know they don't. I owe
see this answer, the Mcconnell treats Trump like parents treat toddlers which is
basically just promised on that terms, like I want health care, I want,
after one health care in Mcdonough like you, can have health care after the election.
The after the election right, it's easier to do that too do easier to delay gratification than to deny it and Trump being a toddler.
Decided to tell everyone that's what the plan was, which yes, it's the worst of all worlds, which is to say that.
If the Republicans take the house and Trump wins re election hit, the exact immediate result of that is a repeal of healthcare.
That's an are with the Democrats, would make it Republicans would try to a wide. But now
from his embraced it, and so it is in some ways if Democrats play their cards right here, a bit of a reprise of what Mcconnell very devious
did with the Garland nomination, which is to say to hang out this vote over the election, so that Republicans, who are uncomfortable with Trump.
Could give themselves a rationale for voting for Trump, which is I don't like trump? He see
terrible, he seems racist seems to be for this job. But
if he wins the next immediate result is we get to protect the balance of the court and so
is the Obamacare version of the garland effect on of twenty sixteen
but it will be out the Democrats to make
this argument and keep this story relevant for a very long time, which is challenging. Considering the fact that collectively as Americans we were,
able to hold last week's impeachable offenses in our heads for more than five minutes.
Yeah no know I mean, I think, you're absolutely right and I forget which story it was. But there was some focus group of, like you know: Obama, Trump voters and one of the people
you know I really like Donald Trump, but I might not vote for him in twenty
Just because I'm really worried that if I do I'll lose my health care again, you know like that. There's, there's sort of a a preconceived notion from a lot of voters, rightly so that Republicans and Donald Trump or just bad on Healthcare and Democrats are good. However, they feel about the parties and the individuals otherwise, and
and, I think that's a strength. Democrats have but, as you say, they have to figure out how to capitalize on that strength. And to that end you know
somewhere in the twitter stream of Trump.
Verbal diarrhea on healthcare was also an attack on Democrats. He said quote
everybody agrees that Obama CARE, doesn't work, premiums and deductible.
Far too high, really bad-
care. Even the
want to replace it, but with Medicare for all
could cause one hundred and eighty million Americans to lose their beloved private health insurance
Dan. How worried should Democrats be about this line of attack and what can we do to counter it? I don't say this:
often about Trump, but this is not unclever right. There is a there's sort of the health care debate in twenty twenty sort of operates around the following axis is there is.
Trump plan to repeal the affordable care act either by lawsuit or by legislation. There is the democratic plan to protect the ACA. There is a debate around
what comes after the ACA, whether that is a Sanders like Medicare for all plan, whether that is something like Medicare for America, which offers a buy in or something like a public option
what is the next step beyond that? And then there is the
plan to cut Medicare to buy near,
trillion dollars to pay for his tax cut for corporations, Wall Street and the wealthy.
And so how which part of that argument, you can draw the most
She too was determines. Democrats will be successful. There is
and if it is a verse, no ca ca. That is good for Democrats. If it is
No ACA verse Medicare for all verse, Medicare cuts. Democrats are going to have to argue the right point
personally that the,
Your cuts in the budget gave Democrats a huge advantage here, which is, I think it should be easier to argue about.
Saving Medicare to some people who don't have it then to cut Medicare from the people who do have it, and if Democrats can
focus on that then the years
after success here, but it is a lesson for Democrats that, regardless of whether you're for a Sanders plan or something
we know quote lesser than Trump is
to say, you're going to call one hundred and eighty million Americans off their health insurance. That is what Trump will do with what Fox will do with the Coke brothers will do that will be the outer bounds of the debate and look. We should
stipulate here that you know one hundred and eighty million Americans that wait where he's getting that number from. Is that
is the number of Americans who get health insurance through their employer right now, so
those Americans will not lose their health insurance under Bernie Sanders plan. Their private
Let's plan would go away and instead they would be enrolled in Medicare and by the way, not just the medic air that we know
now, basically sort of I'm a Medicare plus version where there aren't premiums there are deductibles and there aren't copays it's it's free health.
That's what it is, but it would require a transition away from the plane,
do you have now into that plan now Medicare for all advocates would also say that you know if you get
turns through your employer. Today your employer can change,
insurance plan at any time and often does so. It's not like when you
Your current plan, now you are in control of what that plan is and when it changes, you are not your employers in control of that
so there is an argument to be made there, but you know
Also an argument to be made if you're for one of the other Medicare for all plans that offers a slower transition or offers a choice that okay, Donald Trump is proposing massive cuts to Medicare and to repeal health insurance for twenty million people. What Democr
proposing is, if you like, the healthcare. You have now great
if you want to enroll in Medicare like
ears have been rolled in Medicare for decades and decades. You can do that. No problem, if you're an employer that wants to
uh, you know enroll your employees in Medicare. You can do that too, and no charge you just roll right into the program. If you don't wanna. Do that? That's fine, too! That seems to me like a pretty
strong message and also a way to enroll a whole bunch of people who don't have health insurance or have health insurance. That's not working for them into Medicare. I think that's great. I also think
There are some things that democratic candidates can sort of agree on um. That would help win this argument with them.
Right right, which is first, is every candidate
can and say every day on the trail
what this election about is health care, that it is
Now, if Trump wins the healthy, affordable before act, characters gone, we should repeat that every single day
it is to the benefit recanted says it in it's important to make sure that that sinks in overtime
use the long run where we had to the election to our advantage here by drilling it into the public consciousness
second, I think we should also be highlighting Trump's plan to cut Medicare right. That is the best argument
his argument about Medicare for all, but
so think, Democrats should not demagogue each other's Medicare for all proposals. We should disagree about them. We should there should be a a around the policy detail,
but if not more moderate Democrats use right wing talking points to describe the Sanders
and or Medicare for America. I think that just does Trump a huge favor right
and for people on the left. If you
characterizing someone's position for a
or a slower transition period or a buy in or whatever else is somehow being in the pocket of farmer or insurance companies, also does Trump's business for them right like we, we should have a good.
Debate on the on the policy issues without making Republicans arguments against Democrats either that we are captive special interests or are trying to keep people off their health Kerr. Whatever that is, let's have a real debate around
the issues in that will that will get us in a better place, but if we do Trump's dirty work for him in the primary that's a huge problem.
And again. This all happens to be true, not demagogue. Each others plans right because on one end
talking about automatic enrollment of everyone in this country into a Medicare program that just takes place over
condition period of four years
on the other end you're talking about giving people the choice to
to enroll in Medicare. If they
and then in the middle, which is what Medicare for America is you're talking about
I rolling about half the folks who currently
Medicare and giving the other half of the folks a choice. So that's what it is and it's it's you know: they're different programs, there's benefits and drawbacks each of them, but they are all about giving more p
Paul the ability to enroll in Medicare in to get health insurance and to get affordable health insurance. That's what these plans are about, but yeah
to be talking about this every fucking day, and you know it's funny. The people who have like the one person who
this message right all the time is, every time Elizabeth Warren talks about health care and talks about health care plans. She always make sure to say
well before we talk about all of our plans and all the different plans. That Democrats have, let's just remember that
Trump, the Republicans are out there every day trying to take our healthcare care away. She starts every single healthcare answer like that, and I think you know every other Democrat should probably do the same thing before you start talking about your plan.
And when you go back to twenty sixteen, I think one of the things the many reasons that led to the horrible result. We got
also that there was this assumption that the affordable care act was safe right, we survive
multiple elections, it's five, the Republican Congress and multiple challenges Supreme Court. So it was that is sort the law of the land.
The salience of that issue was diminishing voters minds. We have the opportunity to make sure it's at the top of the agenda this time, because
it is at the top of his at this time, because the affordable care act will be gone if Trump wins. The problem is that the house- it's that simple. That is the reason for voting that as a reason, the end of
love, the democratic candidate, that we have, that you can understand how it can affect your life and the lives of members of your community or your family or whatever oh
percent and people people should know by the way too, it's not like if, if Trump wins again Trump wins again, there is a
very, very high likelihood that if he wins two hundred and seventy electoral votes
means he also had enough votes and Republicans had enough votes to take the house back because a lot of these house seats, we took by very small margins in a very good year for Democrats, and so, if it's a bad year for Democrats and Trump wins, it's very possible that Republicans, when the house back and then you're absolutely right, the affordable CARE act goes away. That is
who is on the line in twenty twenty. Alright, let's talk about the most openly corrupt and incompetent administration of our lifetime and what a democratic house is finally doing
but it earlier this week the House Oversight Committee issued subpoenas for information regarding the growing scandal over the trump
was handing out top secret security clearances to staffers who were determined to have security concerns by national security.
Officials, the House intelligence committee- is investigating potential illegal foreign donations to Trump's inaugural committee,
ways and Means Committee is now mobilizing to obtain Trump's tax returns from the IRS and the house. Judiciary committee voted to subpoena the full,
acted totally exonerating Muller Report, which we learned last night from the New York Times and the Washington Post is apparently far more.
Damaging to the president, then was suggested by the four page letter written by Trump's hand, picked attorney, general surprise, surprise
according to Mahler's own team? The report contain
quote alarming and significant evidence that the President of the United States obstructed justice
boy Dan, the subpoena. Can
things are out
fuse is lit.
Where did the slaves getting think I'm? I have no idea. I have no idea where it came from. I don't know if I saw it on twitter, I don't love. It said it who knows
there are some random person on twitter or love. It are the two most likely answers to that question. Yeah! That's where I get all my crazy things to say
let's start with the House Oversight Committee, which is investigating the security clearance scandal, as well as the administration's decision to add a citizenship question to the census forgot to mention that one. Why do you think house oversight chaired by Elijah Cummings started with these?
particular issues. What do you think? I don't know why, and I think there are totally fine issues I think in general Democrats have been.
Wrapped around the optics axle about all of the stuff that we
It really matters what order the letters go in or when we do things and I think we're
you too much time worrying about how people interpret the requests for information, then we are about how they're going to view the
sponsors to those requests to the actual information. I think these are really good the citizens. The citizenship question on the census is a huge prom,
It is a potentially massive undermining of democracy in a way it's a political power play that will last a deck
made by denying representation to mostly democratic leaning communities all across the country. So that's very huge. Have security clearance thing also be huge deal, but I still
here in April here and we've had the house for three months, and we,
we're moving slower than we need to be at, because Democrats have to recognize that the fund.
Reach. If you will about oversight of the Trump Administration is of greater political peril, then quote: unquote, overreach yeah. So let's take through some of these different issues.
With a security clearance scandal, as mentioned earlier, a whistleblower from the White House Office of Personnel named Trisha Newbold recently told the house oversight and Government Reform Committee that the White House handed out top secret clearances to at least
twenty five staffers, including Jared Kushner, who national security
was had already disqualified over security concerns. They discovered during their background check, including quote foreign influence conflicts of interest.
Concerning personnel conduct, financial problems, drug use and criminal conduct drain that swamp baby,
drain. It did you say shared Kushner, or did you say official one as he
note in the memo. Yeah
directly related to his father in law, individual one individual
I married into the one family
How how big of a deal is this scandal
and are you and are you persuaded by the official,
publican response that actually only four or five of these security clearances had been denied, for quote very serious reasons,
The rest of them were just sort of serious reasons not to give an individual with security concerns anything their background.
Whole thing is a little bit of a microcosm of
scandals in general, which is
this huge problem, that is beyond
we've ever possibly see? The answer is no, actually it's not as bad as you think. It's John
normally one of the biggest scandals you've ever seen, and so the fact that it's, if the original story was five white,
Officials have been granted security clearances over the objections of career professionals. It would be a massive
scandal that would dominate the news for six months. It's head at is the clinical exculpatory talking point for the Republicans it
This is a giant deal and it should be the subject of massive amount.
Investigation, both the process of
of politicizing the securitization process, but
so what it is and Jerrod Kushner's background a person who has access to the most.
We held secrets in them and the American Telligent community. What is it they cause such alarm? That is for someone who is the right hand of the president, and we should we need to know that answer and again, just so people know this: the reason that the FBI and national security officials in the
White House do a background check on their employees and try to find out about you know things like drug use, debt, financial problems, so personal conduct also is not because they want you to be an upstanding.
Even though they do, but they are worried that you will be subject to blackmail by foreign officials, foreign
foreign agents who say to you? Okay, well, you know all these secrets well
you know something about how much debt you owe or I hold the debt that you owe, or I know a secret about you and in less you tell me the secrets that you have access to in the United States government
I will release the secrets that I have on you. That is that that is the one of the primary reasons why people conduct such thorough background checks and also why, if, during your background check, you are honest about some of the, if
you had in your life? Sometimes the FBI and the White House say: ok well, at least you were honest about it, on the security clearance on the security forms and because you're honest and it's out there, then
it's harder for them to blackmail you so well, you know. Well let you get the security clearance, but the fact that there was a bunch.
I'll probably lie down there, walking SF eighty six, which is the form that you fill out when you're trying to work and get a security clearance, and they had all this concern
often their background foreign influence, criminal conduct, etc. I mean that
clearly set off a bunch of flags in the in the national security apparatus and they're pretty worried about it, and they don't want to give those people access to the most sensitive information that the United States government holds me just to put it.
Find fine on. It comes to Jared Kushner Jerrod,
filled out SF. Eighty six and he quote Unquote- forgot to include a meeting with Russians too.
Explore a secret back channel that would allow Jared Kushner in the Trump administration communicate with Russia outside of the I
here of the US law enforcement intelligence community that
slipped his mind? He was filling out his form where you list your contacts with foreign governments or foreign foreigners.
And so yes, there are
red flag or two in his
I imagine and again it's like
Kushner also has a lot of financial interest in a lot of financial interests abroad, and the question is when Jared Kushner is trying
but you know,
forge Middle EAST peace, which is doing a great job on or talk with the Saudis or talk with the Russians.
We we have every right to know whether he has
any financial benefit to making,
deals or certain agreements with these foreign powers, like the american people, have the right to know that. That's why you go through a security clearance background check, unfucking real. So let's talk about
voting to give its chairman, Jerry Nadler, the authority to subpoena Robert Mahler's full report Nadler, who the previous
given attorney general, William Barr until April second to release the report is
I'm saying that he won't use the subpoena right away and will be giving bar time to change his mind than what you think the strategy behind this is. Why would you give borrow more time?
I was originally. I had firing ready to fire off some hot tweets about this just out of pure frustration.
And then I saw a tweet from Andy Right who was an attorney in the owner, the White House Counsel's office. We were there working on these issues and he
Explain that the reason why the
who is authorized but not issued
that, was- and this is his conjecture, based on his experience, working on both sides of these conversations, both in the White House and on oversight committees on the hill
is that there is a there will be a legal battle over this, and it is important for the congressional committee
to show that it did everything it possibly could short of the subpoena before they get to the. So that's why there
always. A process of negotiation got a sort of
potentially comments on how these things are done, but you
to show that you tried to do everything before the subpoena and if you just issue
subpoena right away. Without that prevent sort of preparation work, then it's likely that you're not going to win in court, so this is Andy at least, believes and he's very, very smart about these things that it is about.
Ensuring that if this, if there were a legal challenge to this, as there probably will be that now, there's committee has the best chance to succeed. So I didn't send that week
you didn't so know it was, but it was going be good.
Give me very angry, I'm sure Brian boy,
sent to many way because- and I know he's he's annoyed about that so
Republicans on the Judiciary Committee voted against giving the other the power to subpoena the report, which is odd, because every House Republican voted to make the report public just last month.
Trump is also backtracked on his initial willingness to release the report that he says
Totale exonerates him very weak.
What could what could they possibly be worried about in releasing this full report? What do you think is going on it? So I don't know it seems
vicious. It is notable that Republicans, both pre during and post,
feel essentially no
they should be burdened by the position they held three days ago. So it does
It makes no difference to them that they said release
last week this week they say: don't really set now they're gonna be against the release of it. It just sort of it's all part of being republican. Is you have to have the part of your brain that that emits shame surgically removed prior to party
acceptance. I mean what do you? What do you think about the New York Times Washington, Post reports last night that molars team has been telling people
that they are quite annoyed in displeased with
William Bars four page letter that tried to summarize their report when, in fact, what we learn from these reports is that
His team had already written summaries of their report in front of each section and they wrote
believing that they would be released to the public almost immediately and yet William Barr did not do that.
William Barr said that even their summaries, the mothers team summaries
somehow had a grand jury, information or classified information, the summaries, but it's sort of
like why would mullers team write a summary that they believe would be released to the public? They contained classify
information or grand jury information seems a little odd. Hi,
a lot of thoughts on this? I really I mean first, let's just stipulate that we yelled at the press for writing the
Muller, you know clouds clear over Trump best day of Trump's life without ever having read the report in basing it on the four page summary of a man who did not believe the
special counsel had the authority to investigate the president questions like obstruction of justice, so
We added them for that. So, let's not go complete
opposite direction, not having read the report, but the general
Is no shit like when this
so obvious at the time that there was at least something more damaging to Trump
was in bars letter because,
Bob Miller, who is a man very careful in the were
that he says is in rights said he did not exonerate Trump on obstruction of justice, so that would lead you to believe
that there is a high likelihood that there's a lot of evidence suggests that I don't know,
address, for instance, would want to look at
in c see make their own judgment, and then there was. This part of the letter
that drives me insane, which is bar
essentially himself, not mauler clears Trump on obstruction,
yeah and everyone was like well Trump's in the clear, despite the fact that that is bars, opinion
It is bars position Disposition Department of Justice that Trump cannot be indicted,
states. So if you cannot charge trump, then you cannot clear him
simply offering your opinion on the evidence in your opinion, means nothing. The only people,
who can render a judgment on this is Congress and BAR is currently denying Congress access to the evidence to make said judgment.
So the other thing I would say about this is Hey Mother team,
Where were you last week like? Why did it take you a week?
let your concerns bubble to the top you,
free men and women. Now you can speak, you can leak like it would have been
better to not let us get. However, many weeks it's been since this came out,
for the bar summary to sink into the public consciousness before you decide to express your concerns
and even now I should say the sourcing on the post and the time stories is not molars team told the times or told
Washington, post there's an intermediary. It's mullers team has spoken to officials who have spoken to the post in the times, zero.
They're, very they're, clearly very nervous about leaking mullers team. Still I mean
it. It very well might be that they thought. Well, you know bar can have this four page stupid letter come out, but
things going to Congress soon anyway, and then, as the days tick by and bar
continues to withhold the report. They're starting to think oh fuck. Maybe
Maybe this isn't getting the Congress as fast as we thought it would be, and now
sky is going to his already framed the narrative and our work is going to be seen. As you know, our work is going to be buried, which seems like it's happening right now and look again
you said, let's not go overboard, the other direction, and I agree it.
It seems unlikely that there were
actually says. You know Trump
conspire with the Russians, and he did obstruct justice. Absolutely right like it. It's not like barn are smart enough to know that he
and get away with too much of a cover up, but he's
smart enough to realize that if he frames that, if he
in that letter in just the right way- and you know
by omission left out a whole bunch of really damaging.
For may shun about Donald Trump and
criminality and evidence of criminality, then, by the time the report
that, if you can just slow, walk it long enough, the narrow
about Trump being exonerated would already be set, and that, once the
does come out and Democrats start screaming about it, which we will. If there's bad in there, then
I will say just
bucking sore losers. Those Democrats just complaining about the support. The president's already been exonerated. Why can't we just move on that is very likely that bar could have done that very likely,
This is a very esoteric in painful sports reference, but do remember in the playoffs last year, when my Philadelphia 76ers seventy getting their getting kicked by your
Boston, Celtics and
in one of the governments. The sixers hit. What they thought was the game, winning three pointer as the clock was coming out and whoever runs the confetti cannon at wells. Fargo arena fired off a confetti cannon.
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how you feel about the exoneration parties that all of the Trump people
and which is like there was a hug between Kelly
in Conway and Sarah Huckabee Sanders. There was that nauseating New York time story that we talked about a few weeks ago about how they had all
parties and it's celebratory dinner parties as well.
Maybe it was a little early for those parties is what I'm saying lot of.
Ready on the court right now, Dan lot of Confetti parts of America's.
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all right. Let's talk
some two thousand and nineteen elections before
the twenty twenty elections in a special
election on Tuesday Democrat
Pennsylvania flipped, a state Senate district in suburban Pittsburgh, the Donald Trump carried by six points in twenty sixteen PAM
e vino one that seat that opened
weather incumbent Republican left to run for Congress last year. Unfortunately, Democrats got much tougher news in Wiscconsin, where a conservative state Supreme Court candidate, declared victory and erase that could have a significant impact on
that states politics for years. Brian Hagadorn is a coke brothers back candidate who is called.
And parenthood, a quote wicked organization, the NAACP, a quote disgrace to America and founded a school that bans gay students and teachers.
His liberal opponent, judge, LISA Neubauer still hasn't conceded, because the
could be within the margin for a recount, but regardless of
things play out. She underperformed significantly in a state, that's critical to the party's chances in twenty twenty Dan first before we get to what it means for two thousand and twenty. What does this?
Wisconsin now and in the future, it's terrible
it's this one was a real gut punch on a whole host of levels
and Tuesday night was a little bit of what it's been like to be a Democrat in the Trump era, which is
Really exciting good news, followed by some sort of devastating bad news like right back to back, and I was super excited about the Pennsylvania win and then I
started tracking their Wisconsin race, an ice on Neubauer was up, and then she wasn't- and I was waiting for Broward County to come,
and then I realized there was no broward I recognize is-
we done yet but prospects, don't look great and it effects the
the of Democrats to take control of this court, which has been in the Wisconsin Supreme Court, has been a huge problem.
Progressive policies, access to the polls union, organizing
Everything the Democrats care about. There's been this backstop at the at the cook, funded Wisconsin Supreme Court, and we needed to see to have a good chance to reverse the balance of that court in twenty twenty, when you would hope and expect that there would be a more pro and more democratic, leaning electorate than there was in the mid terms and in the special there's a there's certain people there's a four three conservative majority on the court:
now. This will make it five two conservative majority, which means that so there's another seat open in twenty twenty and it's the the the election is on the day of the democratic primary in Wisconsin. So you have a better electric. So what Democrats?
thing is when the one on Tuesday, when the one on two thousand and twenty-
and then they have a progressive majority in the Supreme Court. Now we won't have a chance to flip the Supreme Court until two thousand and twenty three, a liberal Supreme Court in Wiscconsin. What it could have done is it
of up held Governor Yvr, is veto over
whatever gerrymandered maps the legislature draws in twenty twenty one. So you have a conservative legislature in Wisconsin and the reason it's conservative is because the state.
Districts are very gerrymandered, and so they would come up with a
happened twenty twenty one, twenty one, we would just say it. I'm gonna veto veto that
go to the court and there was a liberal majority. Then the liberal majority probably hold the veto. Now that probably won't happen, which means we will have a gerrymandered wiscconsin for quite some time and
legislature has already tried to take power away from the democratic governor. It is very, very bad. So what happened in the selection like what it? What do you? What? Why
thought that Neubauer was going to win. There wasn't really a lot of polling, but she actually outspent her conservative counterpart
and yet you know he still. He still pulled it out.
It's I just every every
I was hoping to see that would make me feel better about what happened to result of the political environment where, where by this happened, make you feel better about that as opposed to twenty twenty at implications were so famous.
First Coke Brothers, funny candidate, must have dramatically outspent the Democrats. I go look that up,
Roll spends two million dollars more than the conservative, in the sense that these are not quote unquote. Nonpartisan, races,
there was like? Oh maybe it was just democratic. You know turn out we're not
in special elections and new
or performed very well relative to previous judicial races. The
turn out among Republicans, was through the roof and
There was not an equivalent surge among Democrats like the one we saw in twenty eighteen to counteract that, and so it is very worrisome. It is a reminder that what happens in a mid term is interesting, but not necessarily indicative of what's going to happen in twenty twenty, and we have a lot
I work to do if we are going to win Wisconsin twenty slash. Twenty and all these other states like it. If there is a we have to presume through the roof, conservative trump base turn out and we're going to have to counteract that with through the roof,
Democratic turn out an winning a good number of independence in up for grabs voters. I think I think that that's extremely important I mean like if this wasn't a situation where
You know, Democrats just stayed home and they and they didn't care about the race they didn't come out. You know you could say right. We just boost our turn out to the levels that you know it was in the mid term, and that does not seem to be the case. It seems to be the case
You know, Democrats turned out like they did in last April, special election us to bring court seat election in Wisconsin and Republicans just they came out the March
the margins in the suburbs of Milwaukee, the republican margins were huge and we cannot. We cannot cannot. You know on the fact that any Trump voter Trump fan is going to stay home home twenty twenty twenty. We have to assume that they're all coming out and we have to get our base to turn out, but getting our base to turn out is absolutely necessary, but it is not sufficient. We have to win over independent voters,
after one over swing voters, we cannot win the election without doing that. We cannot- and this is the important this is the important caveat, so people take this out of context on Twitter. Is that winning over swing? Voters is not a call for more centrist or quote unquote, moderate ideas, that's not actually what we think actually think a compelling progressive, populist policy platform. The message is the
way to accomplish those two goals, but it is if we were in a popular election situation, you can't we could win by simply turning out more Democrats, then, because there are more Democrats and the Republicans country, but
unfortunately, and it's really stupid, but we have electoral college and therefore, in these midwestern states, where the democratic,
Bass is actually shrinking because young people are moving out in the states. Population is getting older and whiter. We have to do both and that's just how it is and you're right I mean, I believe, to a popular
aggressive economic message, can win over these independent swing. Voters
Edwin over those voters in twenty eighteen, because we made the election about health care. But that is the message of those voters have to hear from us. They have to hear about health care they
to hear about how Jp Morgan just got
or billion dollars from Trump's tax cut, like those messages, have to come from the mouths of democratic politicians to the ears of voters and there's a lot of shit in between that that can skip
through the message and they can't hear about democratic infighting, and they can't hear about people complaining about this and that and all the fucking bullshit that we talk about every day. They have to hear about health care, about the economy, about jobs, about tax cuts. They have to get that message and as Democrats, we do everything we can to make sure that message is directed to those voters and that it actually breaks through
voice very important. A lot of people were tweeting about the need for less coverage of twenty twenty and more cover.
Down ballot, races between now and two thousand and twenty. What do you think about that?
like yes, there needs to be much more coverage of down about races. I'm Skype
like I'm hesitant that the answer is to see yell at the press until they cover two thousand and twenty less for two reasons: one twenty twenty is important like who the
regrets pick to run against Trump is really really important and we
should be part of an important conversation, but also the air
Search, where political propaganda fide by Democrats cannot be some sort of change in how the press does their job. We have no control over that, so
I have to find a way both ads democratic operatives as people who who,
have a podcast at uh
me to come to you guys have as
democratic voters. How can we find ways to drive the conversation around the things we care about it to shine a spotlight on the things that get less attention from the traditional media and funnel the active is enerji into both,
wedding in two thousand and twenty picking the right nominee allowing people to be passionate about a democratic primary care they care about and when it was constant. I think we had in races like the one we just haven't gotten. So we have to spend some time thinking about that, but just like simply like yelling at the New York Times that they should cover democratic presidential candidates. Less is, I think, not the right prescription to what is a very real problem. Yeah I mean the most important thing is:
You know nominating a Democrat who can beat Trump in twenty twenty and it's not going to matter much what happens down ballot if we don't get that right. At the same
I'm it's absolutely correct that if all we do is figure-
who to nominate an concentrate on the
presidential election that you know. We will
attention to the down ballot races and that democratic president could have a real problem on their hands when they finally get into office and try to patch it. So,
both are important and we have to do both, but I do think like
The most important thing is whether we're talking about presidential level.
They were talking about Congress? Whether talking talking about the states talking about the
Did we want to get through being positive as possible as opposed to trying to
you know each other a live here is going to be very important to us, winning in
twenty up and down the ballot. So with that, the big
two thousand, and twenty news you've probably been hearing a lot about. Lately is the first quarter fund raising
Bernie Sanders is leading the field with eighteen
two million dollars raised since declaring his candidacy on February 19th, and that came from five hundred and twenty five thousand
individual donors and without
Any fundraisers come
is second she ray
twelve million dollars from one hundred and thirty eight thousand donors. In a little more than two months and about half of her total came
online donations, the restroom holding fundraisers Beto O'Rourke, is in third,
nine point four million raised over eighteen days from two
Eighteen thousand individual contributions. Don't know the number of donors yet, but that's also all
online without holding any fundraisers PETE in
with seven million million from one hundred and fifty eight thousand donors over a little more than two months and Elizabeth Warren's campaign said it reached its goal for the quarter, but hasn't yet announced its total, and we have not heard from the
Major candidates Dan: what's your reaction to these numbers and did anything interesting pop out at you all very good numbers right? I think it all of them should feel very good about what they did both in a short period of time, like better work, did a more constrained
but I'm like Bernie did Kamala Harris numbers are very good. I think we will have a sense of how good they are when
We see everyone else is numbers, and it's probably somewhat.
But no one else is, but their numbers out right
If you think your numbers are great, you put them out at a time and they'll get the most coverage and if you think, they're decorate, you wait till
everyone else puts there less ideal numbers out and you try to be stuck in the same story with them and so
I'm curious as what the differences between p boo digits number and you know
Angela Brander or Cory Booker, eight kids, that tells you something right and
So that's one two. I think the thing that sticks out
in my mind, is Bernie. Sanders is cash on hand number which he he has twenty million dollars cash on hand, which is a mind boggling sign, which means not
trust that he's raised a bunch of money, but he has been able
you spend it efficiently. 'cause they've done a bunch of big rallies, they've hired a lot of staff they've been
getting money? You know on Digital, this building and stuff like that, but they've been doing it in a way in which they still have a lot of
and the question will be theoretically in history,
The second quarter numbers are more interesting than the first, because people
a huge bump on their first day. They
have some set of supporters who can write
out checks. I come here three six million over twelve million offline. If I remember correctly- and so-
but like how what is or how much more, is our white bass and
Can you sustain that level of in racing success going forward? So that will be interesting, but all of these campaigns and can it should be very pleased with their resume.
It is notable that Kamala, Bernie and
all have heading into this race- the largest email list by far- and they clearly benefited from that from being smart enough to develop and nurture very successful fundraising list heading into a presidential campaign
What do you think about? I saw some people talking about this. You know first quarter of two thousand and seven Hillary Clinton Clinton raised
twenty six million dollars. Brack Obama raises
five million dollars. John Edwards raises fourteen million dollars.
Some people are saying: well, these numbers this time around, aren't as impressive as those numbers back in
and seven two reasons
yes, they might not be as impressive that don't have to do with. You know,
enthusiasm or whatever else is one there's many more candidates in the field. This time sort of splitting up the hall,
and to you know a bomb and Hillary did do a lot of those offline, high dollar fund raisers back in oh seven, and this time around you know the emphasis is on online grassroots, giving what do you think of
I think that's right. I also think, if you remember correctly back in seven there, a lot of people in the
traditional democratic donor bundler world, who would give to both Obama and Clinton?
right. They will max out in primary dollars to both
now there are so many candidates that it is much. I don't think you have people giving a lot of people giving to multiple candidates right, like big donors.
I'm I'm sure there are small dollar small donors have given ten two thousand and fifty
there's too much different candidates in the sense that you want to support them or in the case of people,
did she made a very clever play to get people to give to him to get him into the debates which,
go ahead, no trouble getting into 'cause. He had seven million dollars right so
I think the the
less it is a good thing.
There's less big money going around this time and you have two of the three candidates who was
I understand I have not held a single traditional fundraiser where you go to uh. You know some chicken dinner and shake hands with rich people. Take photos with rich people have done it basically all online or maybe direct mail, but not the sort of in person fund. Raising that has been a hallmark of campaigns for ever. Basically,.
And that's that's new right- the fact that you basically have Bernie Beto and Elizabeth Warren, even though we don't have her total, yet have not held a single high dollar fundraiser. Yet that, like that, doesn't usually happen,
it. Never it never happened. I don't know if what sort of fundraising, Bernie,
in two sixteen imagine yeah, maybe bring another. Remember there being like a small handful, but
yeah. I know more on the overall amount of his money was online. The ways in which campaigns are being funded has changed dramatically and for the better right, like I think we talked about this a few weeks ago about bye
that he has a massive rolodex of donors and he's very worried about being out online.
By people like Bernie, better out in Comilla who have larger lists, and I think that's great. The democratization of campaign funding is a step in the right direction towards a you know, a more equitable, better, cleaner system we have is. We have to get the public financing and something better than what we have, but it is better than relying only on people who can write. You know to,
as a dollar checks to support your campaign so at the risk of lighting or mentions on fire. I have a question
Bernie is leading the pack and fundraising got half
million donors pulling in about twenty to twenty five percent
definitely in Iowa and New Hampshire, while everyone else is in single or low double digits, except for Joe Biden very big exception who hasn't yet entered.
Yes, as of right now is Bernie Sanders the front runner it has to be absolutely has to be and his he has
very clear path through the early states, in the sense that
almost one Iowa last. I man crushed in New Hampshire, so he's got. Tremendous
you kick. You cannot discount the idea that he could win both.
When you win the first two it you get a pretty
big head of steam to head into the other
Since he has clearly the money to compete,
across the country and a very fired up engaged donor,
and I say dinner, not just in terms of people give
five dollars, but people showing up engage supporter showing put rallies volunteer
etcetera, so he would have to be at this current moment. The been of the front runner.
Or a phone or how you think he has tremendous strength and it should not be discounted by anyone.
Yeah. He also has very very high
Billy ratings among democratic voters he's.
More voters, second choice than any other candidate right now, according to polls, you know there was a lot of talk in twenty sixteen and
a lot of truth to it that he had problems with black voters this.
I'm around he's winning about twenty percent of the african american vote in a far more divided field. In twenty sixteen
and importantly, it's about the same amount of votes that he's winning overall
So those are all the strengths the counterargument needs.
Who made yesterday he said Bernie, is back down to polling around twenty percent. That's not that strong for someone with one hundred percent name recognition
in my opinion, he's one of the four most likely people to win the nomination, but he's certainly not an odds on favorite or really a traditional front rudder, especially given he trails Biden would
Think about that and what are the other obstacles you see to Bernie capturing the nomination I mean Nate is right, and
That Bernie has, we believe, a very
I floor on his support in a alosia
and I say low ceiling. Only because he's is one hundred percent name id, so your room for growth is theoretically
faster than someone who has thirty percent name id or sixty percent name id
and so people, if they know you they theoretically made a decision about you, it's easier to win someone over who doesn't yet,
see you then, when someone over who knows you and has already decided to support someone else, so the
argument in that counter argument is that in a multi candidate field, his high flow
There is more than enough to win the chat,
he is two twin challenges. I think one
whichever candidate has, which is pulls, at least at this point of indicated. That Democrats want someone who can win and can Bernie make a argument that,
Seventy something year old self identified. Democratic socialist from Vermont is the
Most electable Democrat.
And he is an argument to make. He is made,
already on the stump. It is, you know a
his team is actually making it since the twenty sixteen election of the argument that he would have won over a lot of those Obama Trump voters that left the party to in twenty sixteen because of his populist economic argument,
So he's going to win that argument, the second one is the same thing that contributed to his defeat in twenty. Sixteen
Which is, he is doing well
you point out. The african american voters, but can he
do well enough to not get blown out in the delegate race in a two per
right, and so this is an important thing to understand about how you become the nominee, which is democratic. Delegates are allocated allocated proportionally by congressional district
and in most cases a lot of districts have even number of delegates, and so any
Five thousand two hundred and forty eight race, or a five thousand three hundred and forty seven race you're, going to most like
in any individual district split those delegates to to right.
There are a lot of districts because of gerrymandering populate
Rancic Cetera that are heavily african American.
And what happened for Obama in two thousand and eight eight Hillary Clinton, two doesn't sixteen is Hillary. Clinton was winning. Those african american districts by
forty, you some cases fifty point so she's taking most of the delegates there. So if
He can't do better than he did against.
Individual Democrat, among
Can american voters he's gonna
into a wall that will prevent him from getting a delegate lead in a two person race. Now in a multi candidate field, that could be very different, but if Hillary Clinton Earth a democratic opponent,
Bernie Sanders is keep it has a similar lead among after american voters. I don't think Bernie Sanders can win, and so that he's gonna have to be able to do better. Their education c K.
And they seem to be focused on it, but that still remains a challenge when it comes to
actual work of getting the delegates. You need to win the nomination yeah I mean, I think he.
Sanders also by the way has probably the highest unfavorable ratings among Democrats of anyone in the field, even though he's got very good favorable ratings- and this is this- is this- is also
comes with having nearly one hundred percent name id in the field. People have made up their minds about Bernie Sanders and in
general election. When you pull general election voters he's got
higher unfavorable ratings as well, so he has those challenges, and that is, I think, one reason why you see him he's. Maybe
one of the only Democrats out there right now, who's running who's, really focusing on
electability argument, which is interesting from the you know, the sort of lefty social
and it is out there making electability argument all the time he
talking about how many of his donors are registered. Republicans
any of his donors are registered independence, he's tweeting out huh
Those of general election match ups against Trump. That show him beating trump. By a few points, like he's really trying to
Our home, this electability message because I think
Sanders. People realize that you know there is
an unfavorable ratings issue, both among Democrats and among voters in the general electorate. But I also think by the way that it's like it has been
under estimated, or at least not talked about that much by pundits have so much
of this race is depend primary race. Could
dependent on the sheer composition of the
number of candidates in the field right like who wins
Bernie Sanders is hanging on to twenty percent. In a ten person field. He
doing a lot better than Bernie Sanders hanging on to twenty percent in a four person field. Right, that's very obvious, but it's just it's interesting that the number of candidates we've better, actually compare
for this nomination really
does matter, because if you have Joe Biden,
jumping in the race and he's sitting there at twenty five percent,
twenty five percent Bernie sitting there on twenty five percent and if there was like
getting all the rest of the votes. Then you know both
might have trouble winning, but instead there's like four candidates. Five candidates were splitting up the rest of the vote
therefore you could see possibly like burn
invite going the distance, but again it is very early in sort of two more things about this. One
I understand exactly why Bernie Sanders is making in his campaign are making me like the Billy argument so aggressively. I do think that electability and some
it is better show not told in the sense
right demonstrate electability in the things you do not by telling everyone you're electable. I think that
your argument becomes electability, then you're not really making a true argument for some. It seems almost offensive in my view and then the
thing, is to your point about the size of the field,
reason why, like there's been
comparison to the Trump to the Republican, two thousand and sixteen field in the sense
you're. All these can it's a state into the end that allowed
to succeed, but there is a difference in how Democrats and Republicans allocate delegates and pick their nominee.
Republicans do winner. Take all so Trump benefited from all these other people being in the race. Taking two percent three percent away
from a Rubio or a cruise, whoever else worthy Trump Alternative Democrats
in the sense that there is you have to
a threshold to get delegates in a lot of places, and so there could be
eighteen. People in the races, but all if only two or three of them are pulling at a decent number
It's really only a three person race as it becomes delegates.
In about two thousand and eight, when we were running in Iowa
there. A lot of people in that race, Kucinich bite in
Richard Richardson, all these people, but only Clinton Obama
in Edwards were able to get any real number of delegates out of Iowa in so you,
question will be how people in the race, but how many people are doing well enough,
to be in some sort of top tier to actually get delegates and where those delegates come from
does that make sense? I'm going to spend a lot of time next year being pretty nerdy about delegates, but I sort of front ran that today its import
and look that's why you know some of these campaigns. I remember Kamala Harris is campaigns. How did this you know art?
think about, like even hiring people who know delegate math right like having someone in your campaign who knows the party,
is the party rules knows the
get math is extra,
they're important, even though
sounds like a thing as thing as this race goes on, because this becomes a you know this could become. You know, trench warfare,
delegate by delegate and all these in all these states, and it could go on for a long time and so knowing like you said, which, which congressional districts you can sort of score the extra couple delegates out of becomes of the utmost important of this race.
Ten, I loved the as a small,
I loved that staff release from
here's. Our campaign managers are communications director here
some guy was like Robert clinical Delegate,
Bob Smith, any question of who he was his nickname included. The word delegate it. So we should hire
and I'm sure he's great, but it
it's a sense of savviness both that they hire that
and that they thought to make sure we knew that they hire that person last question
it in terms of what we are just saying that showing electability might be better than talking about it.
Snooze announced this week. It will host a town hall featuring Bernie Sanders on April 15th in Pennsylvania.
It's going to be moderated by Brett, Baer and Martha Maccallum, and its focus will be about the economy and jobs
Why would Bernie do this and is it a good idea.
I presume the answer is electability that he's so can show. He can go anywhere to make his argument and then his argument can be persuasive to fox viewers, which is a proxy for.
Rule white people who supported. I assume that's the reason
in my personal view, is. It is a huge strategic error for Democrats to Granton Impro Modar of legitimacy on a Trump propaganda network that fuels political division and white nationalism in this country. I am one hundred percent against doing that. I think it was right for Democrats not to do
base there. I don't, frankly, don't think Democrats, you waste our time on it. A lot of people in the party disagree with me on this Elizabeth Warren included, polluted, who is talked about? Who has done some stuff on facts. Clearly, Bernie does
so there is a debate on this, the other side. There is another side to it. He thinks it's the right thing to do to go into the lion's den and try to reach these Fox news viewers through fax, I presenting this people wrong, but you know, but the world decide. I mean I do so I I I I agree with you. I do think there is a slight difference between you know, granting fox and
choose a democratic debate which, as we all know, I think, is a fucking terrible idea going on a typical fox show signing up as a
tribute for Fox NEWS. I think all of that is garbage and there's a difference between like spending a couple minutes with Tucker Carlson you're.
Democratic candidate or if I can Sean Hannity or any of those losers and
Town hall, where you know Brett, Bear who's still pretty concert
if ask you, since I was a six on the Trump loyalty skill forever, that's ready to fix that yeah. He's he's not he's not quite a ten. It is a six. But having repair ask you some questions, but then you know getting the getting. The ants
questions from a town hall, even if the town hall is filled with a lot of Republicans and being able to get your message.
Out to you know a bunch of viewers most
more trump fans that are never going to vote for you, but yeah there may be.
Do people who voted for Trump and or like yeah.
Not so much about him in two thousand and twenty, maybe you can reach a few people. I still think
generally, I would you know, as you said, the most precious resource on a campaign is
time. I might use my time in other ways if I was on a campaign, but I see less harm in holding a fox
town Hall Van doing the typical Fox news circuit. You know, I mean, I think, like people to judge
on Fox news. Sunday didn't interview with Chris Wallace. You know, maybe that did him some good too. I don't know it's
I don't know if I would send my candidate on that, but I don't think it's quite the same as hosting a fuckin' democratic debate on that network. Oh yeah
I I don't like that. Those are two of those are great huge gradations of difference,
If I were to make the strategic argument for Bernie why? He would why you
this is every candidate is doing a CNN town Hall on MSNBC Town Hall, with Chris Hayes, which are getting good attention. I think they're great things that both those networks are doing.
To expose Democrat
through their candidates to give them a chance to have a longer
discussion about the issues. It's like obviously serve some candidates very well. Kamala Harris is the most watched of all of them. People to judge, obviously
got a chance to extend his pod, save America pump by doing said, town Hall, but
by Bernie. Doing Fox he's going to get more attention from it is going to get more coverage. I'm sure it's going to get a lot of eyeballs, just because there's a spectacle of a Democrat on Fox,
the early years of Obama. We this is trick we used to use. That was a huge advocate of it. I talked about this a lot of my book, but I can't to
was a terrible mistake, but there is an argument which is you want?
you're not doing this. Just for the fox viewers. You're doing this for an event that we covered by lots of press in lots of press will cover this, because it has that lions den atmosphere to it and so
like that. Is it like. That is why you, as a camp,
you may decide to allocate those that those valuable resources to this right. Ok, alright,
when we come back, we will have my interview with Valerie Jarrett author of the brand new book
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on the blood today, former senior advisor to Barack Obama and the author of the new book, finding my voice, my journey to the West Wing and the path forward, Valerie, J.
Well, hello there. It's so nice to have you here. I can't believe you're here and all this, I'm I'm I wasn't in the studio. You got to really take a peek. It's like a real thing. It's like a you, you guys are all grown up.
We are all grown up like I've known you, since you were young sort of that sort of algorithm like a touch of grey hair there. I know there's too much gray, it's really good in there. Now, that's ok,
so you've written this wonderful book. The book actually starts in Utah
about your childhood in IRAN, where you were born and spent time as a kid, how did your childhood their shape your views of what it means to be an american and also of that country profoundly anile, if their child is five, but
I went back pretty frequently until I graduated from high school and when we were there, it was in the MID fifties and we lived on a hospital compound with physicians families from around the world, and it was a time when I was in the United States had far better relationships with IRAN than they do today. Right and their health department was trying to recruit physicians, to help share best practices back and forth, not a one way street by
both ways and my dad really couldn't find a job in the medical field at a teaching institution in the United States, where he was making what his white counterparts were making any of my marble
z, I think, and so they take off for this other part of the world. But what I learned there favs SS number one that I can walk into a room and find something in common with anyone in the room I play with children with and share language. We are from the same country. We worked it out, yeah players play with kids, and so I
with that expectation. So that's one thing. The other thing I learned that people who haven't lived out of the United States don't fully appreciate. It is like how much we have going for us here in America and my mom had
boil everything I drank she had to peel everything I ate. I mean the diseases that you could get there or deadly compared to what we have here. The poverty was such that we've never seen
here in America, and so I think that it gives you a better appreciation for what we have not to mention the civil liberties that we have here and then. The final thing, I would say is, I believe the United States is already the greatest country on earth
the only country on earth yeah. We can actually learn a great deal outside of our shores and I think that perspective on the world. I gave it a
very early age, and it's actually the first conversation I had with Barack Obama in one thousand nine hundred and ninety one. He talked about Indonesia right
and we had very similar experiences an I think. It's shaped our outlook of both domestic policy and foreign policy, so you say that you had not really considered a career in government or politics. Now when did that change, and why did it
well. I changed because I was miserable nothing like a little good misery to get. You know to be able to think about what am I going to do next? So what are you doing on time? Is practicing law at a big law firm? I went for one big law firm to another in Chicago. I was on the 79th floor of what was then the Sears Tower magnificent view: Lake Michigan sailboats the whole nine yards, and I would turn my best back to the door and I would cry- and I would say what in the world am I doing
and, at the same time I was in the middle of a dreadful marriage. I had had my daughter best thing. I ever did
and I would steer hurricane news all the time is now my turn on- is that c n and I'm so proud of her, and she also
do the swirl in her career away from the private law firm, and I just would think we'll? Am I actually doing something in the course of the day? That's going to make Laura proud of me and the answer was a resounding. No. I wasn't really good at my job. I hated this time sheets. I hate everything about it and Harold Washington had just been re elected mayor of Chicago
second term, and with that he also now had control of the City council and had a really good friend had left his law firm gone to work for the city, and he said to me what I'll never forget he said. You'll feel a part of something bigger and much more important than yourself and you love Chicago. So why don't you want to do something to get back to
And it resonated with me- and so I take this big leap of faith I leave behind the big paycheck and the fancy office
go to city hall. My boss takes me to my office, which is really a cubicle with a window facing the average an I thought you know this is where I want really yeah. I felt like it was the right place to be now
you first met Michelle Obama than Michelle Robinson when you interviewed her for a job and Mayor Daley's office right? Yes, what were your first impressions of Michelle, and
her husband, so my first impression of her when she walked in as she's, obviously quite striking and she had on all black hair, pulled back, barely any
looks me right in the eye shakes my hand and sits down
She saw my resume on her desk and she never mentioned a thing that was in it and she told me her story about growing up on the south side of Chicago her father. You know working class, family yeah, his disability, being a precinct captain how that kind of Peter in
system in public service and that she faced the same thing. She was bored to tears that are law firm and she thought there must be something more for me in life than this. So I gave her job on the spot. I was so blown over. I don't have any
to give her a job. But I just said you: we have to hire you
and so the for to be sociopath,
in in the mayor's office. I was deputy chief of staff, and so we were staffing up the mayor chief of Staff's office,
and so a few days later, I was talking to Her- and I said well now that I have got permission to actually give you the job offer. What do you think and she said well, my fiance doesn't think it's such a hot idea. So I said well who the hell is your fiance, and why are we here?
and she said well. His name is Barack Obama and he started his career as a community organizer on the south side of Chicago
and he's concerned like here. I am going straight from a fancy law firm into the fire, no stop in the frying pan. The way I had because I practiced law for the city for four years before going to the mayor's office, and she said he wants to know who's gonna be looking out for me. So would you have dinner for doesn't dinner with the two of
And I wisely said yes really important at and she did eventually come work with me
and you and Barack Obama became fast friends from that first enter. The three of us became friends, yeah Anne had
things in common Michelle's parents were very much like mind. You know deeply in love, very supportive of their children, happily married and and what Brock and I shared was really this kind of unusual childhood that had taken us around the world and back. But let all three of us to the south
Chicago so fast forward to the two thousand campaign
I bet you that's right. That's where we met with them. What what was the most difficult part of that campaign for you
and do you remember the moment when you thought I think we could really win this like? I think he could really
I remember exactly that moment, so I think the other, the most difficult part first get out of the way, so the most difficult part for me, I think, was riven right yeah, because I considered an existential threat to the campaign. It was so inconsistent with his persona and what I think I've been so you know
lying beginning when he gave that speech at the convention back in two thousand and four, and I knew he had to explain it and explain it in a way where people could understand and appreciate. It, hopefully learn a little bit in the process, but it was painful and
If we fretted about it, but will remember a great deal: yeah,
wonder how it was from your side of things 'cause from my side of things. It was, I remember, seeing everything break on Friday
remember like where I was number every second of that, and then I remember him doing all those cable appearances that Friday night and it was also when he was like the same day. He was meeting with the ad board on Reddit Co. It was the same as a bad couple days and then then I remember just waking up Saturday and getting on the senior staff call and act saying all he wants to do this speech on race. He wants to do it by Tuesday,
this is my flash before your eyes yeah that was yelling at everyone and then I remember you know acts like well, let's
work on it ourselves and we'll go to the office, and the two of us sat there, and I was like we can't do this
he's got, it he's got to do it, and then I remember talking to Obama that Saturday night for like an hour- and he sort of you know he's like. Oh, I have
stream of consciousness, thoughts about what the speech should say and then he had like one
on a to be, but then I remember he said you know, I have a great story, I'm thinking about
ending it with that Valerie yeah,
this advisory told me. So how is that?
rear end. Well,
It was the perfect FED and he had used that story once before. As you remember when he spoke at Ebenezer Baptist Church Right, odd, Martin Luther King's birthday, and it was a story of the
one of his campaign workers from
Carolina who'd grown up in Florida, a young white woman who told a story about her mother having cancer and ending up in bankruptcy, because you couldn't pay your bills and didn't have adequate insurance and how
hope that Barack Obama, whose mother had a similar illness, would really fight for people like her mom and his mom.
And so she tells his story in this room and we're going around the room and everybody was supposed to tell their stories. So I would address my comments to meet their interests and we get about two slash three of the way around an this older black. I said I don't need to hear from you, I'm here 'cause of Ashley, and it was such the
symbolism of what the campaign was all about. People who would never ordinarily meet coming together and developing these bonds of trust, which is why I think our field organizer effort was
important, because those people in the room knew Ashley.
Stranger. I may have been a senior adviser to the campaign yeah, but they were going with someone they trusted, and so the symbolism of that, I think, was really
and so then when did you think? Ok, we might win this. Oh, so
I thought we would win it an I actually, never look back other than that deep gulp in New Hampshire.
When he won Iowa, because I thought I was a stretch, an
if Iowa state- that's like you know, ninety plus percent white would go for this Africa.
American named Barack Hussein Obama. In the midst of really
the Hillary Clinton phenomena right, I thought that's pretty darn
good right, and so I figured if he could do that- that
really signal to the rest of the country that he was credible and electable yeah and I will say
yeah. I was stunned, as I know, we're here with New Hampshire. We were all in that hotel together going what the heck is going on here.
But I remember- and I think you were there- we got on the elevator and Michelle Bomb was very unhappy and he looked at her and he said you know it can't be too easy right. You can
too easy, and I thought yeah good luck, buddy, that's and it was- and it was not meant by seven months of primary later that came yes, we can and ready in the news the eyes and later that night when he spoke to our volunteers and then the next day in Boston yeah. It actually was
shot in the arm, and it was a kick in the pants which I think we needed right. So we get to the White House or in the middle of two wars, potentially a second great depression crises every day an I don't know if you felt this, but suddenly you know we're in these rooms, with all of these very experienced experts right have been dealing with this for awhile, where you ever reluctant to speak up and make your voice heard. And how did you?
find the confidence to basically say you know I deserve to be here in my opinion deserves to be heard. Well, you're right, we had the smartest people he could find and I think he'd be the first to say going into that crisis. He knew he needed to surround himself by the best in the
Yes, but I also knew that he was interested in hearing from a variety of different perspective,
So I'm not an economist. I have run a business though, and I know how important certainty is to the business community
and I know how important was that if we thought that the economic crisis was going to have a bad impact on business, the people who have always been suffering and vested in we're going to suffer even more so and so thinking of that
keeping them top topping center. I knew it was important to him, and so I think tone starts at the top and I think he set the kind of tone where all voices are important and I think also obviously having a pre existing relate
with him? Write me a comfort level, but as you'll remember, there was a time when the women were shying back and I think
I said two wars, economic crisis, with a lot going on and there was a lot of testosterone flowing, and I often wonder whether the guys were feeling a slightly intimidated by as well as well, but it did have more of an impact on the women.
He seized on that and what he said to them. I think, is a important message which is, if you're, not speaking up, then it's not about you. It's about your ideas and what your ideas add to the equation, and even if I don't agree with you, you're going to make me think about it
I'm a perspective I didn't have before yeah, and so him reinforcing that, for I think all of us was helpful and I never tried to profess to be an expert in a field that I'm not
expert in, but I also know that it's not all about. You know, research, an evidence and it's some of it's about how you feel- and I remember he was great at going around the room and making sure that every single person in the room who said what do you think
someone in the back. What do you think? I think that's that law professor in him right and you can also read the room so
I can remember so many times you would see the young person and they were like they'd be on the azure. They see it and they wanted to say something, but they didn't feel it and he would just lean in yeah and then he would give them positive reinforcement and it send a message to everybody. This is a safe place and I will I, he being the president will make better decisions if they are informed by a whole variety
yeah, and I think that also added to the integrity of the decision making process. So even if we didn't start out agree
with where he ended up. You felt good about the process we felt like your voice was heard. What do you say to people who argue you know? President Obama didn't didn't do enough right
We, we get the public option or no one went to jail for the for the banking crisis or we didn't do enough on housing, knowing
that when we were there, we were trying our hardest. But how? How do you talk to people about what look? First of all, he did not let perfect be the enemy of the good, the seven presidents before him to try to get healthcare passed and failed yeah, and we simply didn't have the votes for
public option right and he's a pragmatist, and so his view is all right. Yeah sure we might want that. But if we can't get it done, do we do nothing and just kind of hold our breaths to get what we want and let twenty million people go without healthcare and people not be covered for pre existing conditions?
all the other benefits, or do we say, let's make progress where we can and come back and fight another day, and I think he was very good at seeing the
possible pushing the envelope 'cause. There were people who said forget about
together. If you arrive all right yeah when, when Scott Brown, one that see well it's all over and they were people who said just, do children aren't in it and he was determined to try to push for as much as he could possibly get, and I think that's important now for
blue and an I get. Nobody went to prison. I get. Why did you get immigration reform done? Why didn't you get criminal justice reform Don? Why couldn't you
Guns out of the wrong hands and what I say is look we had eight years and we ran full speed ahead
I think, never lost sight of why we were there. He never put his short term political interests ahead of what he thought was good for a country which is why he was willing to use political capital to get the health care bill passed.
And so you just say, look when you're in those jobs. You know that people are going to always wish you could have done more. We wish we could have done more, but I feel very confident that we did the best we could on the tough deck. It was a very tough
so I had a Cory Booker on the other day and we were debating about whether to get rid of the filibuster and because he had previously said that you know he thought it was important. We should keep it and my view is. I came into that White House believing you know Brock about his message that we could work.
Together, we can work with the other side and then eight years of watching over never broke femur never broke right now, and I wonder how you think about that now and what you think like does the next president have the ability to work with the Republican Party or how do you deal? How do you deal with this Republican Party going forward? Like happy with
Republican Party is like nothing. I've ever seen before. I know Republicans who don't recognize their own party and they hijacked in a sense. I think the
only way we deal with the current situation is by everybody. Realizing their responsibility to engage and vote, and not just vote would be informed. With your vote, hold people accountable
fall in love with a candidate but really fine out
what's the matter. What are they made of? Will they blink, while they waiver,
I forget why they're there and I think it was important that we got caught trying 'cause Brock Obama did come in and say I am going to
across the aisle and I'm gonna try and look at all the amendments we made to the affordable care act, trying to get one republican vote for it and they wouldn't, but I think it was important for his.
Inclusive vision of America to show that he wasn't just the president of the people who elected him. He was the president of the entire country and I think that still resonates with people right. The majority of the people. The problem is so many of them,
but we don't vote right. It's a big part of what I want to do over the next well, several years, not just the presidential election is to help people understand why they have to engage our democracy.
Is only going to be as good as we demand that it be, and if we don't, then the special interest will come out
the reason why we haven't done anything to have universal background checks pass through.
This is because the NRA put so much money on the table and unless
Members of Congress feel as much heat from their constituents as they feel benefit coming from special interest groups like the NRA, then they're going to sit on there
an in states where people have galvanized and organized you've seen change and we need to bring their change to Washington what what specific qualities in character traits are you looking for in the next president? Well, I believe still believe that we need a president that governs for all of America. That has a message. That's an inclusive message where we appreciate
richness of our diversity, and we don't try to focus on our differences but focus on what we have in common and that we're looking to have a better.
Standing of each other. The way our country has always improved, as at market arc of the moral universe has moved.
Is when we understood each other better. If you look what happened around rights for the Lgbtq Community, so now I'm very proud of on his watch, and I remember the day that marriage equality was announced by the Supreme Court and he gave a speech, and he said you know, I'm almost like this feel like a thunderbolt
but we have to remember the decades of hard work that went into it yeah, and so I want. I am looking for a candidate who appreciates the fact that it is hard work. It's not a popularity contest. You do need to win, but after you win, you have to do what you think is right and it is hard to do what is unpopular once your president, and it is tempting to just play your base right, because you get the positive reinforcement from your base.
Yeah, but that's not the job. So I'm looking for somebody who yes can inspire and motivate people to want to participate in there
Chrissy, but who is also prepared to make some very tough calls
and, as you know, President Obama would always joke like how come. I don't get the easy decisions coming across my desk and well, I don't know we took.
That is, we just re the several hard thing here, our heart is accent hard. Things are really hard and it takes a certain internal constitution to deal with that. In a way, were your temperament is steady and it's it's a lot harder to not react in anger than it is to pop off, and I'm looking for somebody who has some self control in a temperament and inclusive nature and who's going to really try to make sure that our country is a land of opportunity for all Americans, and I don't see that happening right now. Obviously, you writing a book about finding your own voice. What advice would you give to candidates running about finding their own voice? You know what be authentic, yeah, the don't worry about, looking at every single thing and how it pull tests before you, you leadership is about me-
I think people not just mirroring back what you're hearing, particularly not marrying back what you're hearing, which is not aspirational in I mean that's kind of easy to meet people where they are, if they're in the doldrums yeah. Your goal should be to lift them up and inspire them to move our country forward and so I'll my advice- and I I met with several of the folks who are running- and I said two things to them: number one be authentic to yourself and
be prepared for people to criticize some of what they learn about you, but even those who are critical- and certainly Barack Obama got this. There are a lot of people who said, I might disagree with you, but I like you, I feel like I know you. I respect you yeah you are authentic, so you've got to be that and then the other thing I'd say is, I have said, is: keep your eye on the prize. Do not beat each other up so much in the primary there. We go into the general election bloodied and one of the advantages of so many of them being cohorts in the Senate is that they're, actually friends and I think that that has a natural creates a barrier to trying to beat each other up. But I think we have
they really keep our eye on the prize and that's that's the general election. You think you ever run for office. I don't think so. No, no I've been tempted in the past yeah. I haven't said very often, but when Mayor Daley was trying to decide whether to run for one slash three term, if he hadn't run, I'm pretty sure I would happen didn't want to run against him love him. He was my boss and I couldn't beat him
but I might have run for mayor there an when I first met Barack Obama, people, often
yeah. What was your impression of him? Twenty eight years ago, an I thought,
he's so talented, maybe just maybe one day, he'll be
that was like the ceiling. I could ever have imagined for him, so that was a goal, and then I toyed ever so briefly with throwing my name and they had to take his place when he left the Senate.
At this stage of my life, I've, really what I enjoy is helping the next generation and
I've had a lot of experience both at the state. Local and federal level, both in politics and, more importantly, in public service, and so if I can help people who are thinking of running for office get inspired to to do so and help them with the benefit of these years of experience, I find that really exciting and it doesn't have to just be the youngest of the people, and I was very active and Stacey Abrams
and then, and also and you're gonna think they're just super stars, Lord Underwood, from my home town of Willis yeah there last week to Naperville. Isn't she a rock star, I'm so proud? She was in our administration as well, and a two run, as is running a campaign, the whole of the whole, the whole perfectly good sense, and so that that just makes me really happy running for office. I don't think is in my cards by learn, never say never because I also said I would never ever under any circumstances.
Work for the federal government, and then here we are. Thank you so much for
My pleasure, thanks for having me on the book, is finding my voice my journey to the W wing in the path forward. Please
so by its fantastic, read: Valerie thanks for coming by,
it's a lot and congratulations to everybody around the studio. Iraq. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Okay, as promised an excerpt of our weekly LIVE Q and a
this week. It was Tommy and me and as always, the questions were asked by Priyanka error Binti of what,
hey fame and you can check out our live stream QA a every Wednesday at one pm Pacific. You can go to youtube dot com, slash crooked media and check it out. Smash that subscribe button, ask a simple.
Options will give you some answers. Our first question here is about debates on going between Democrats over policy, implementations, there's health,
our environmental policy it? How do we?
Voters and not experts evaluate who has or what is the best plan for going forward. It's a great question box, dot com yeah,
but you know, obviously
stories in at places like box, and you know if the New York Times will do stuff, washer pose Buzzfeed. There's all kinds of places will have good deep dive into what a lot of these policies me
I would say, is a voter. You sort of evaluate two different things. One is do I like this policy. Do I feel like this is a good idea like after after you know, figuring out what what it is, an understanding it,
I think the second big thing is: what is the likelihood that this can be achieved
What is an has this candidate offered a path to achieve this policy to pass this policy right, and so you know there's different ways of doing that. Some of these candidates will say I can achieve this policy
all through an executive order. So I won't even need Congress. Well, that's great! That will happen pretty fast. As soon as that person gets elected president others will you know most of the policies they will put forward have to be passed through Congress, and then you have to ask yourself: how is this policy going to be passed through Congress?
If Democrats control it like will be able to get republican votes, if not we'll be able to do enough, you know like I do you think the filibuster yeah sure, and so were the
This is leading main no, it's like
if you're out there saying I'm going to pass Medicare for all, and but you also are not will
to eliminate the filibuster, for example- that's Bernie Sanders position.
You're not really going to pass Medicare for all. You know it also Cory Booker
Vision with you seem to suggest he would get rid of the filibuster, but I think he made a kind of backtrack later he's going back and forth is lower, but yeah and and and in fairness to their candidate, because I've been tough on all of them. On the filibuster thing, a lot of this is up to the Senate Democrats right. The president can't order the Senate
to get rid of the filibuster. So talk to chuck Schumer right, talk to
the Senate Democrats, because you know, if they don't get rid of it, then
but nothing's happening, but Mitch Mcconnell, I think, is on the floor today. It just happened drinking the amount of time that we are asked to deliberate to deliberate from judge from thirty hours to that, so that he can use. Many is many through the Senate as possible, right yep, that's correct
they seem to be cool with making some of these changes. Yes, oh and then the other thing that you should use to evaluate these policies is: does the candidate have a plan to finance these policies to pay for them?
because I think we would all agree that Democrats are probably cared too much about deficits over the last several decades, and so we shouldn't worry about you know if we are investing in an important policy, whether it's teacher pay weather
with care and we think we're going to get a good return on that investment. It's fine for the deficit a couple little bit, but there's a point where, where you actually have to finance something yeah, I have to pay for you can't just increase the deficit forever. We could. We should be in some trouble there. So
so figure out how they're going to pay for it. Some of them are going to pay for it with raising taxes on the wealthy. Some of them are going to tell you how they're going to pay for it
I think that's another way to evaluate these policies.
This next question from Nathan, he wants to know what changes you would make to the format of primary debates. His idea is to get rid of the audience so candidates don't have to play for applause or pull questions directly from campaigns published platforms rather than horse berries. What do you guys think would make primary debates more affective, specially looking at ours where it's like the first one, I think, is bill.
Twenty candidates, like gonna gonna, be crazy. I say Nathan's idea about getting rid of the audiences are a lot of that. I love that I plan to the applause is just Nathan for Dnc Chair, because it's not just that.
Candidates play to the audience, but then, if you're watching just naturally, if a- but if you see
lot of applause for one candidate and another one doesn't get as much applies. Then
oh, the other candidate better, but all they might have done, is just like they packed the fucking thing yeah or they might have delivered a dumb zinger about Donald Trump and that doesn't fucking matter. You know, I think,
The my having the moderators be policy experts activists even could improve upon some of these debates, because sometimes some some journalists do a fantastic job. With these debates I should say, but sometimes
Any other questions tend toward. What are you going to do now that you only raised two million in Q1 yeah
you know and they're more horse racing questions, ask questions
it's good when Moderat Yrs encourage debate among the candidates, but it would be great if they try to do that on policy to the greatest extent possible. Not like
I don't know, horse personality attacks or yeah whatever watch the latter stage.
Hillary Clinton, Obama, debates to see what
to do and then we'll just reverse it Jess and did the the debate in South Carolina between talk about many other Clinton and John Edwards was so nasty and none of us, I'm sure our friend in the Clinton campaign with us at the same day
thing left that debate feeling good about what happened, was the one that spawned the Youtube sensation ya get some yeah, but that would have Charlie gets in that was fairly Gibson and Stephanopoulos and Clinton going to put that in the stream. That was also a nasty one nasty debates in two thousand and eight all
This is in the fund section, but it's a little it's like also kind of serious. Where do you guys go to get your news? How do you stay informed twitter?
Why am I not as much as I hate to her I'm addicted to it, because it is the best? I think it's the best way to get news up to the minute, every single second there's that there's nothing
which is actually a better way of still using twitter nozzle. I talked about this before gives you the top news
that, are being shared by most of your followers, but you don't have to have the
lying anger of twitter. You can just see the stories I laid out for what a day and then, of course, our select channel about news.
Yeah we get ready. Everyone is just putting in new stories in our slack channel here doing that's hard yeah. We can't win. So I put
Only or crooked media pays for the New York Times Washington, Post Wall Street Journal. I think we pay for the New Yorker
pay for Boston Globe online,
so yeah I mean we try to
scan the best articles.
Weekly basis. I don't know it's great
long for the days of newspapers. The never was like a real newspaper reader, but it was hell,
Sometimes it get a sense of proportion.
You would like. Having your time, you see, what's on the front page and flip open and that's international section. First there's a bunch of shit. You wouldn't necessarily,
that and then you get the politics and yet to domestic and then opinion. I think it's a good way to do it and the place
Alright, don't get my news anymore, since I've moved to LOS Angeles is television. Now I never watch that we have televisions in the office. We instantly there's a big event.
We rarely have the monster someone funny who's like going to show up on tv into an interview yeah. We watched the scene in town halls yeah. We do that. I think a number of so that was a lot of armor. We we air, play various power points
that's always the grounding music, video and Arianna Grande yeah. We did. That was a big big about our office. A brief aside for all the people.
The the showrunner for veep tweeted about how, in the first episode they accidentally land in the wrong city- and he said
story sounds familiar Barack Obama. We bought a few. Yes
Remember that event we either for that someone on Allen's winner, I was on the plane I heard about it because as a Chicago, but as soon as I saw veep on Sunday, I thought that that was based on us
just in cedar rapids and then with you, you're slacking snowstorm in here, like I,
Goes down in
Irvin in Reggie, you get off the plane with Obama and they look around and like. Where is everybody and they landed in DES Moines.
How the hell does that happen.
I don't know how happens that would be a
That happened today
What are and all gas big gaffe. This is the first one recover. The end of the
campaign. Thank you to Valerie Jarrett for joining us today, and we will see you next week bye. Everyone.
Transcript generated on 2019-11-09.