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The current president has closed American darkness for much too long, if you can trust me, with the presidency. I'll be an ally of the light, not the darkness.
Welcome to Deconstructed, I'm Maggie Hassan. The Democratic presidential race is officially over this week at the very virtual Democratic convention. Former Vice President Joe Biden on his third attempt secured his party's presidential nomination. I'm a proud Democrat and I'll be proud to carry the banner of our party into the general election. So it's a great honor and humility. I accept this nomination for president of the United States of America, but how hard is it going to be for him to win in November against Donald Trump?
Did this week's convention make it any easier? And is the left on board with a Joe Biden Kamala Harris presidential ticket?
I need him to step up the same way that I've had to step up. And let me tell you, I hope that he's able to match my energy and let's work together.
That's my guest today, Corey Bush, the left wing insurgent who just defeated a 10 term House Democratic incumbent in St. Louis, Missouri, and is now heading for Congress. I'll also be joined by my good friend Tommy Vietor of Save America and the Obama White House to talk about the task facing the Democrats and their new and historic presidential ticket.
This is our moment, this is our mission history be able to say that the end of this chapter of American doctors began here tonight. As love and hope and light, join in the battle for the soul of the nation. And this is a battle we will win and we'll do it together. That was Joe Biden, the Democratic presidential nominee, speaking on Thursday night from Wilmington, Delaware, to a virtually empty room to a virtual to an online convention.
It was a solid speech, impressive. No gaffes, no mangling of syntax, no evidence of any mental or physical health issues. Then again, whatever issues he's accused of having, never, never forget he's running against this guy, person, woman, man, camera, TV.
But back to the Democratic convention. The Biden speech was a success. Was the convention itself a success? I guess time will tell. If they don't win the election in November, then probably no, it wasn't. But I think with conventions, it's important to work out what the goal is in terms of the short term goal, getting Joe Biden elected to the White House, getting Donald Trump out of the White House, assembling a coalition of voters that could even maybe take back the Senate from the Republicans come November in terms of that very short term, but very crucial political electoral goal.
The Democrats did what they had to do. Speaker after speaker reminded us of what's at stake, the importance of voting, the threat posed by Donald Trump. Michelle Obama delivered perhaps the speech of the week.
Donald Trump is the wrong president for our country. He has had more than enough time to prove that he can do the job, but he is clearly in over his head. He cannot meet this moment. He simply cannot be who we need him to be. For us, it is what it is.
Her husband, the former president, gave a rather emotional and necessarily urgent speech from the Museum for the American Revolution in Philadelphia.
I never expected that my successor would embrace my vision or continue my policies. I did hope for the sake of our country that Donald Trump might show some interest in taking the job seriously, that he might come to feel the weight of the office and discover some reverence for the democracy that had been placed in his care.
But he never did.
Bernie Sanders both endorsed his friend Joe Biden and went for the jugular.
Nero fiddled while Rome burned. Trump golfs. His actions fanned this pandemic, resulting in over one hundred and seventy thousand deaths and a nation still unprepared to protect its people. And of course, Senator Kamala Harris made history.
And years from now, this moment will have passed and our children and our grandchildren will look in our eyes and they're going to ask us, where were you when the stakes were so high?
They will ask us, what was it like? And we will tell them. We will tell them not just how we felt. We will tell them what we did.
Regular listeners of this podcast will know that I've been very tough on Harris's criminal justice record back in California as a prosecutor, very critical. But it was still amazing to see history being made this week with the first African-American woman, the first Indian American woman to join a presidential ticket in this country. And I say that as the child of Indian immigrants. One thing, though, I said a moment ago that the Democrats were clear about the threat posed by Trump, but on second thoughts, perhaps they could and should have been even stronger and much clearer about the nature of that threat, about the sheer unbearable cost of another term of Trump.
As Paul Waldman wrote in The Washington Post, quote, For all that has been good about this convention, it feels incomplete. It's like we're watching a Category five hurricane sweep over us while we say things are getting pretty windy out there. We might want to close the shutters. I'd prefer more Democrats use the F word in relation to Trump and his cronies. Yeah, fascism. This year's election isn't just Democrat versus Republican. It's small D Democrats vs. fascists still.
But one rather important gripe aside in terms of short term political calculation, in terms of the election season that is now upon us, the Democrats pulled off a pretty clean pretty to the point and effective convention. Joe Biden, who Donald Trump tried to suggest is hiding in some sort of nursing home, gave a pretty eloquent, passionate and at times moving speech. But then there's the long term stuff. Where is the Democratic Party heading? What's the plan?
If and when Joe Biden takes the oath of office on the 20th of January, what did we learn about the party's future this week? Well, there was the generational problem, a lot of the speakers and not just the presidential candidate represented the past, not the future. You had among the keynotes, two former presidents and two former presidential candidates, three out of four of whom are in their 70s. The left was represented by Bernie Sanders, 78, and Elizabeth Warren, 71.
And then you had AOC Congresswoman Alexandra Cosio Cortez given just 90 seconds to speak to the nation.
Good evening. Bienvenidos and thank you to everyone here today endeavoring towards a better, more just future for our country and our world in fidelity and gratitude to amass people's movement, working to establish 21st century social, economic and human rights, including guaranteed health care, higher education, living wages and labor rights for all people in the United States.
Shouldn't we have heard more from voices like hers? Where was elastomer? Ayanna Pressley? Why were there more? Never Trump Republican speakers than there were Latino speakers. Despite the undeniable importance of the Latino voting coalition to the long term Democratic Party political project, how is there space for Michael Bloomberg on stage, but not for Julian Castro? Bizarre offensive even. And remember his action in 2016? Well, this time around, there was zero Muslim speakers at a time when Muslims, including elected Muslims in Congress, are being hounded and demonized by the GOP like never before.
And then ideologically, what did this convention say about the Democrats and where they're headed ideologically? The platform on the one hand, as Bernie Sanders and others have noted, is very progressive, perhaps more progressive than any in. Modern history in terms of gun control and the minimum wage and childcare and the climate change goals, but also a platform with no mention of aspiration for Medicare for all, despite this pandemic, a platform that even quietly dropped both Biden and Harris, his personal pledges to get rid of fossil fuel subsidies and tax breaks.
So, yes, Biden may win the presidency. He's the favorite. But what will a Biden presidency look like? What will the Democratic led Senate and House look like?
Well, in a few minutes, I'll be talking to my good friend and a former guest on the show, Tommy Vietor, co-host of POB Save America and Save the World, and a former staffer on the Obama National Security Council. But first, who better to ask about the direction of the Democratic Party than one of its possibly rising progressive stars? Cory Bush, a progressive activist and leader in the Black Lives Matter movement who made her name in Ferguson protesting police brutality.
A single mother, a pastor, a nurse, became the latest leftwing outsider to shock the Democratic establishment earlier this month when she unseated William Lacy Clay Junior in Missouri's 1st Congressional District.
Clay's father held the seat before him, so Bush just toppled a 52 year political dynasty.
It is historic that this year of all years, yet we're sending a black working class mother.
Who's been fighting for life from Ferguson all the way to the halls of Congress? Bush is now expected to win the solidly Democratic district come November, which includes the city of St. Louis, and join the ranks of other rising progressive lawmakers like Jamal Bowman and Monder Jones, whom we interviewed on the show back in June. Cory Bush joins me now from St. Louis. Cory Bush, thank you so much for joining me on Deconstructed.
Yes. Thanks for having me. Let me jump straight in.
First of all, congratulations. What a victory. Have you recovered from that yet? You still a little bit shell shocked.
Still shell shocked. Might be this way for another month.
OK, another month is fine. Just come January. We need you ready to go, right? That's right.
So, I mean, the Democrats are getting ready for the November elections, not just the presidency, but obviously congressional elections. This week, the Democratic Convention concluded online this new virtual convention. It was a very different process to usual. If you'd been organizing, if Corey Bush had been organizing the Democratic Convention 2020 in the midst of a pandemic, what would you have done differently? What would you have done the same.
Oh, wow. So I think it would have looked a little different.
You know, I'm the kind of person that I'm all about, people being their authentic self know. And so some people, you know, have been able to do that. And then some people probably not so much trying to stay in the confines of what people deem as, I guess, dignified or presentable, you know, but so just regular everyday people, you know, a little more of that. Not everybody. You know, there are stories that people can tell about so many different issues.
But, you know, I just think pulling on people that are not the regular folks that you're used to hearing and seeing, you know, you know, this type of, you know, Democratic events and pulling a little more that way. Also, you know, where are disabled communities and how much are they represented? You know, where our Muslim community, how much are they represented? Our next community? They have so much more to offer.
You know, we have kids in cages, but are we how much are we talking about those kids in cages? You know, there's just so much. We talk about women. We're talking about women. And it was beautiful. But sometimes when women stand up and we have those rabble rousers, then people don't like us so much. So not everybody is happy that I'm walking into that. I could that I'll most likely be walking into Congress as a real rabble rouser, you know, but we celebrated it last night, so that's what I'm talking about.
Where are the activists?
Well, one thing Congress definitely needs is a few more rabble rousers, at least on the Democratic side. The let me ask you this. You mentioned regular everyday people. You are a nurse, an activist, a single parent, a pastor as well. I believe, whether enough people like you speaking at the convention.
And why not? Because we heard a lot of people in the videos of some very powerful testimony in some of the videos from activists, from the parents of victims of gun crime.
And that was very I thought, very beautifully and powerfully done by the Democratic Party. But in terms of actual keynote speakers, actual politicians, leaders, there weren't many people. There were the Clintons husband and wife that were the Obamas husband and wife team. There was obviously the candidate himself, Joe Biden, who spoke tonight, the vice presidential nominee, Kamala Harris historic nomination. But, you know, 60 seconds, 90 seconds, whatever ended up being not many other people representing the future of the party or everyday people.
I feel like, you know, we know you know, we give honor to the the work that people have done in their long history, but they always get the microphone. The Clintons are always getting the microphone. The Obamas, we honor the Obamas, you know, but let sometimes there are so many other great people in this country that have voices. Let's why don't we cut some of that time down and then bring up some of these some of these people who are doing all the groundwork, let me tell you.
But then but then, Corey, you'd have to give less time to Michael Bloomberg. And how could we do that? Well, he can pay for more time if he wants to pay for that time. Yes. That's a great fundraising idea.
Exactly. You know, that fund raiser. But, you know, I think that there are some you look, there are experiences that are happening in this country that should be highlighted. And the people are doing the work that that support people in the Democratic communities, support Democrats. Let me tell you, every time we hit that ground and we say black lives matter every time we face tear gas and rubber bullets, do you who is that affecting? And this is the work that our Democratic the Democratic establishment say that we were all supposed to be working on together.
So why aren't those voices being highlighted on that type of a stage? You know, to talk about it is one thing. And we and I commend Senator Harris for bringing it up in her speech. It was amazing. But what about having our voices there? Because I'm telling you, we have faced some things that they haven't, you know. So when does that voice make it to the stage?
It's interesting when people try and dismiss, quote unquote, identity politics are somehow unrelated to people's material existence. It's your identity that actually shapes. What you've experienced, how you've had to struggle in a way that a lot of people who lead both parties haven't had to struggle, including the guy in the White House right now. Let me ask you this.
I've got to ask the top of the ticket. I know you were obviously a supporter of Bernie Sanders. You campaigned for him. He was the only member of Congress to endorse your insurgency primary campaign. You wanted Bernie Sanders to be the candidate he wasn't. He's come out very strongly for Joe Biden. His friend this week gave a very powerful endorsement of Joe Biden and Kamala Harris this week. When you look at that ticket, you are not just a Bernie supporter.
You came to fame, as it were, as an activist in Ferguson against police brutality and racism.
How much damage damage is maybe not the right word.
How much concern will it cause people like yourself who are campaigning for the Democratic ticket in November, that when you go into communities, you are selling Joe Biden and Kamala Harris, who for all their many other virtues and advantages and pros, have the cons of being the architect of the crime bill and a former attorney general.
Yeah, it's difficult because the thing is, are we you know, I've worked hard for where I am and the voice that I have right now and having the trust of members of my community and, you know, members of the progressive community and to then and just an activist. And so to then say something, because we've been talking about it for a long time, you know what that crime bill has done to our communities and then to just say we're just going to pull back and now everything is well, I can't say that and I haven't said that I am going to be critical in this.
And it has to be OK to be critical of our president. If he becomes our president, it's OK to be critical of him because we have to hold him to the same standard as we will hold our local elected official. You know, I have a patio outside my home. I'm pissed off because, you know, because my older person, it that has to be OK because we have to get results. And so, yeah, it's difficult.
I'm putting my name and my reputation that I've worked hard for on the line. So I need him to step up the same way that I've had to step up. And let me tell you, me stepping up has been me putting my body on the line, almost losing my life if you can't match my energy and we got a problem. So I hope that he's able to match my energy and let's work together.
So let me ask let me ask you something specific about criminal justice reform. We did a show we did a deconstructed episode last year, which upset a lot of people on Kamala Harris record in California as a prosecutor went through some of the kind of misdeeds, I would argue, that happened on her watch.
A lot of people say, look, it's not fair to go back to whatever she was doing. Then look at her record. Now in the Senate, she's been very progressive, one of the most progressive voting records in the Senate, I think second only to kind of Warren. I think even ahead of Elizabeth, depending on which number of study you look at, she's up there in the top three, top four most progressive senators. She's saying the right things, as you just mentioned a moment ago, about the need for reform in this area.
How would you judge your you're an activist, as you say.
You put your body on the line. There's a lot of armchair warriors out there. There are a lot of people like me sitting in studios recording shows saying, well, you know, what's her record like?
What do you do you trust her, do you think? You know what? Whatever she did in the past, I believe her when she says now she's on our side, she's going to fix this thing.
You know, I believe anyone can evolve, you know, and she's shown that she has been showing that, you know, that she's there, she's listening, you know, and. But is she all the way there? You know? But I don't think that any of us will totally 100 percent agree with everything that that a politician is saying or doing is no different than we don't agree with everything our partner, our children do. So that that's that.
But we also can I can not overlook people who were hurt or people who were how their lives, people who had their lives changed in such a negative way, you know, based upon whatever her policies were or any actions from her office. You know, I can't just overlook that because those are regular folks just like me. You know, I'm for what I saw back in the 90s, my friends going away. You know, I have friends who went to jail.
They never came back. They're still in jail. Now, you know, when I think about the crime bill, when I you know, and so I think about my friends who are protesters who have to go up against prosecutors that they don't have a shot, you know, so they're thinking about what what she did in her past. We still have to fix it. We still have to say those people matter. If I can't, I can overlook that.
So given you kind of given your tone in kind of where you are, you're now going to your soon to be an elected House Democrat. But as you say, you're also an activist who's had friends, family directly affected by this. When you're campaigning now come November, not just for your own house seat, but for the Democratic presidential ticket. And I'm assuming you like Bernie Sanders, like me, like a lot of people listening to the show, Bernie think.
I think that, you know, I think that at the end of the day, getting rid of Donald Trump is is number one is the number one goal.
It has to he has to be got rid of. But then you hear the pushback from some on the left, you know.
You've heard it, I've heard I get a lot on Twitter when I say, you know, how about do you think Biden is Trump's much worse? People say, you know what, the plague on both their houses, I'm not voting for either. I'm staying at home. They're all the same. And it doesn't help us to vote for the lesser of two evils. What do you say and I'm intrigued to know, what do you say to voters who say that to you?
I feel like those same groups of people that I was just talking about, when we talk about our black community, rednecks community, are Muslim community children in cages. All of these are disabled, are housed, you know, every marginalized group that we have, their lives become even worse if he if he has four more years. So we have to get him out because it's not just about him. It's about his administration and it's about other leaders across the country that look to him like a father, looked to him like he is.
This great example, starting with my own governor. You know, we have to get those people out. And so the way to get them out is to not have this more and more fire to the hatred that's that's going on all over this country. But when you when you knock him out of his seat, then you also move out those other people that are hurting our communities. I cannot a very good four more years because he's been doing some really, really, like, wacky stuff in his seat.
He's been acting like he's the only voice, you know, and so we cannot allow him to just to just run amuck.
It's a very good point you make there about about the link between him and the rest of the country and the rest of his party. Noam Chomsky, when I interviewed him recently, he was making the point that, look, at the end of the day with a Biden, at least you've got someone you can pressure, someone you can reason with something, someone whose behavior you can change. With Trump, you've got nothing. Yeah. He talked about the importance of putting pressure once you've elected Biden and Harris.
I think people are going to be reassured that there are more people joining the quote unquote, squad in Congress to put pressure on Biden. Harris, from the left, are you looking forward to joining the squad with AOC and Ayanna Pressley in L.A.? Omar Rasheeda Taleb. And it's not just you. That's Jamal Bowman and others heading for Congress in January. I am.
I'm looking forward to it so much. I'm already like in the space in my mind, you know, like we're doing this and I've already talked with all of them. And, you know, we you know, they're amazing. I can't wait to just really be a part of the team and then pull in more twenty twenty two.
So you're an optimist despite everything we're seeing in the country right now.
Absolutely. Because I just won. OK, yeah. You can't get better than last year. You know, so many people, so many people on this show that question. Are you an optimist, Cornel West. I asked them all. Are you. That's the best answer I've had cause I just won. That's a great answer. And I hope there's many more similar victories. Cory Bush, thank you so much for taking time out to join us on Deconstructive.
Thank you. Have a great one.
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That was Corey Bush, Democratic nominee for Congress from Missouri's 1st District.
Joining me now for a slightly different perspective is someone our listeners know very well, co-host of Pod Save the World, co-host of Pod Save America, and former Obama National Security Council spokesperson Tommy Vietor. Tommy, welcome back to Deconstructed. Great to be here. Thanks for having me, Tommy. Democratic Convention.
Did it do what it was supposed to do on the can?
I think so many. I mean, look, I was really nervous going into this. I thought it could be a disaster because it was all brand new. But I think they told a story about Joe Biden that helped you get to know him as a human being. You got to know the first lady. You had major speeches each night. They drove news. I'm I'm shocked at how well I think this went to them.
Yeah. There were no major gaffes or, you know, technical problems or even things that people thought didn't work. It was it all went really smoothly. And I was tweeting earlier tonight, you know, do you miss don't you just just miss competency? Just I mean, let's see how the GOP convention goes next week. I see Mitch McConnell not even turning up. Yeah, but it'll be interesting to see how they execute in relation to this. And, you know, I'm someone who works in TV is part of what I do is interesting to see that it was executed in quite a powerful way at times.
There were some powerful moments.
You know, I guess I should have known that this would be an option, because, of course, if you've a great documentary film crew, tell a story about a human being where you see their life and, you know, you get to know them as human. Yeah, of course, that's could be more powerful than like, you know, that 15 speech of the day by a congressman.
Indeed. I mean, I miss the audience in the crowds, but I think they do add atmosphere. But on the other hand, for sure, the the restraint here keeping things succinct to the point, you know, moving swiftly from one thing, another did work. I was just speaking to Corey Bush earlier in the show, the new kind of progressive star having won her primary. And she made a very good point about how, you know, something that was missing for her.
It was there in the kind of video, tributes and video interviews. But, you know, regular everyday people up there. You know, just before Biden spoke, we had Michael Bloomberg, a billionaire ex Republican, somebody, you know, said you don't need the X.
And, you know, you got Bill Clinton, Hillary Clinton. You're your former boss, Barack Obama, Michelle Obama, John Kerry. Was there enough people representing ordinary people and be the future of the party?
Well, so I think what's interesting about this year is some of those powerful videos we all got to watch together are normally played in the hall, but all the networks and convention coverage cutaway away, talks over it with punditry.
It's like you actually saw those stories for once. So it felt so refreshing and great. I look, I agree with Congressman elect Bush that the more people from organized labor, the better. The more you're speaking directly to humans or you're talking directly to people with people who look like them or have their problems. That is to me, the most powerful part of the convention. And I always think you can have more of that. Yes, less Mike Bloomberg, always less Mike Bloomberg, always less.
That should be the motto for anyone in politics. OK, I'm going to do a quick rapid fire around. Yes.
Just so we can get a sense of where we both stand. I'll give you can give your answer. I'll give my answer. Best speech of the week.
I'm biased, but I thought Michelle Obama's was. It's just so stunning to come from her as ever.
We're in agreement. I agree. I think it's Michelle Obama. I tweeted earlier this week that, you know, it was only in 2016 that I realized that she's she may actually be a better speaker than her husband. They were 2016. Her speeches were amazing. And this week, what a way to open the convention. So, yeah, great.
If only she ran. Can you imagine? I imagine I would you know, I'd love to love to, Bernie. Michelle Obama would be in a great company.
It would have been a dream thing. You have to take her at her word, which is like, I hate politics. Like, Oh yeah, you do.
Who would it be to the top of that ticket as well? OK, most powerful moment of the week.
I mean, the video about Adi Barkan, I mean, yes, it brought me to tears.
It was very powerful and added someone who doesn't agree with Joe Biden on health care. But it's such a powerful tribute and made the case from a progressive point of view. For me, the most powerful moment I thought was the woman from Arizona who talked about a 65 year old father who died from covid. Oh, yeah, because I want us to Trump. And there was that line, right, that she said his only preexisting condition was that he trusted Trump and he paid for it with his life.
That was an extraordinary line, extraordinary line.
And then you think about how many people that must apply to in this country. I mean, she's brave enough to come on TV and say it, but there must be so many families across this nation that thinks if only my husband, father, uncle had not been watching Fox News and not be listening to this president, the biggest disappointment of the week.
I mean, look, this will not surprise you. I don't think Bloomberg should have gotten that much time. I get the bipartisan message on some of the other nights like I'm not a big John Kasich fan. That speech didn't blow me away. But I get I get what purpose it serves. I'm not sure that. Bloomberg served a purpose tonight. Yeah, and I agree with you again, I think that was just I don't think the bigger reason it was a disappointment is because you pair that with AOC getting 97 seconds and you think, yes, how is this a party that is focused on the future?
If it is putting Michael Bloomberg up on the last night and giving him more time than Alexander prosecutors who, whether you agree with your politics or not, definitely represents the party.
Was it Michael Bloomberg? Does what made you laugh the most?
So, like, I felt like it was a pretty heavy convention, you know? I mean, Julia Louis-Dreyfus was great. I thought the music was great. They were uplifting moments. Maggie, Maggie Rogers is great, but I don't remember laughing on that part.
Did you? I would love the but I did laugh today, which is why I asked you this question. Did you see the clip? We'll play it for the listeners. The clip of all of the senators chatting on Zoome earlier today and Cory Booker. Ask Bernie Sanders, what is my girlfriend like you more than me referring to us referred to as asking the question we've all been wondering about Rosario Dawson of politics.
Still, Berdy ask about Cory Booker confirming it there, which did make me chuckle that me too.
That whole segment was very funny. And I was like, oh God, oh God, this is going to be awkward. It's like seven of them former candidates and using boxes. But it was actually a surprisingly nice conversation and they all like interesting things to say.
Indeed, indeed. Amy Klobuchar was. And every time I see Amy Klobuchar, I think, well, thank God Kamala Harris, you know, whatever I think about Kamala Harris, at least it's not Amy Klobuchar.
You served in the Obama administration, right? You were in the National Security Council spokesman in the first term.
What kind of president is this guy, Joseph Biden, going to be if he wins?
I'm skeptical that he's going to be a great president or even a good president. And I'll tell you why not just because I disagree with his views on way to the left of him, but not nothing to do with that for a moment. It's I'm worried about his governing style, what he's pitching as his. You know, tonight we heard about that great message of I'm going to be the president for all Americans with little great politicians have to say that.
But we do know from him and his aides and advisers and spinners that they're not just harking back to kind of nostalgic bipartisan bullshit. They really believe that they can do deals with Mitch McConnell once Trump is gone. I think that's mad. And I worry that the Republicans are going to run rings around President Biden. Am I wrong to worry about that?
Look, I worry about exactly the same bucket of issues. I don't I don't worry about his empathy. I don't worry about his smarts intelligence. I don't worry about. I think also you can move on policy to a to a place that's more progressive. I do. You know, I read a quote today, I think is by Chris Coons, The New York Times saying, you know, if Mitch McConnell is messing around for six months and we can't get anything through because he then what to think about getting rid of the filibuster like six months, six weeks.
You can't undo what happened 200 days, 200 days.
We need to come out of the gate fast. They need something big on climate change. They need to do something big on restoring the Voting Rights Act and voter access. Generally, there's a million things they need to do immediately while you have the maximum political capital. There should be no sitting around waiting. I hope I hope they get that. And you know, the messaging around bipartisanship, it works. It's good. Do it through the election. But no, we're not running away from.
Yeah. If it was just an election. Exactly.
If it was just an election thing, I'd be fine with it. He's got to say what he's going to say. But if the idea is that he actually thinks, you know, oh, you know, there were some quotes in Dylan Matthews as Vox piece this week from people saying, you know, it's going to be, but we're going to work. It's just not going to happen.
And I also wonder, where was he for eight years when that same party pre Trump was, you know, saying we're going to make him a one term president, et cetera, et cetera. It's just I just think it's madness and it's not the way you deal with bullies either.
No, I'm just. Kamala Harris, vice presidential nominee, historic vice presidential nominee.
Is she now, if Biden wins, of course, is she de facto America's next president? I got seriously attacked by the cave the other day for suggesting I suggested on the day he nominated her. The AOC may have to delay her own presidential ambitions through 2024 to 2028 to avoid facing off against Paris. And people lost their minds.
But seriously, Kamala Harris is in it compared to other vice presidents.
You know, she's much closer to the Oval Office, I would argue, than any previous vice presidential nominee in our lifetimes.
I agree. I mean, look, I think that she has been vaulted to the top of the Democratic Party and she would be, you know, the heir apparent, the pole position.
I don't know what how to describe it, but certainly it will be who wants to come out in primary? A sitting next.
Exactly. A sitting vice president who's also, you know, the first black American woman vice president as well. Who wants to do that?
No, I mean, Jon Favreau, your your partner in crime over God save America, said he got I saw some lefties were pillorying him the other day on social media because he pointed out what is I mean, empirically true. If you believe all the studies of people's voting records, she is one of the most progressive members of the Senate, you know, up there with Warren and even Sanders on some votes. Can she, whatever progressive bona fides she's built up in the Senate.
Since, you know, since being a prosecutor in California, can she use those progressive credentials as progressive votes on everything from Medicare for all to Yemen, can she use that to pull Biden a little bit center left?
That's an interesting question, because I do think if you're looking ahead to the future and we're not we're not seeing that pejorative way above everyone's human, you'll know that you're taking and then executing on those positions will be important for your political future. So maybe you can make an argument that it gets even more incentive to people in that direction.
That's true. If she's preparing to kind of win the party in 2024 and has an eye on keeping people out of the race.
Let me ask you this.
We all know that, you know, the end of the day, conventions make no difference to the final election outcome in terms of, you know, the kind of change the result. But we're only human, as you mentioned a moment ago. So as a human being, not as a kind of political pundit, are you more or less optimistic at the end of this week than you were at the beginning of this week, that we might see an end to the Trump era come November?
I'm more optimistic. I mean, I think the thing I've been concerned about in this race for a long time was we have a strong anti Trump message. Everyone only cares about the coronavirus. But if you look at polls, people don't really know who Joe Biden is. They're not necessarily voting for him. They don't know all the things he stands for. I think this was the cleanest shot possible at telling his story. Now, we'll see if that bears out in polling in the next couple of weeks.
Like, I don't really care about a convention bounce. I want to see Biden's favorable favorability rating go up. I want to see other indicators where people are saying, OK, I'm coming out and voting for him versus against Trump. But I think that's a success here.
There was that poll a few days ago which said the majority of Democratic voters were saying the main reason, the number one reason there was a plurality or majority can't remember saying the main reason they voted for Biden, not Trump. And on the other side, it was because I think Trump's a great leader, the Clinton folks.
You're right that he definitely, definitely needs it. But I'd also like to see him. Actually, I know this is an unpopular view in some parts of the liberal media, but I'd like to see him go harder on Trump. I just idea that they've gone hard on Trump. They could have been much, much harder this week. And even tonight in his speech, he held back. He could have gone for the jugular much on especially on the coronavirus.
There was a moment where he talked about the national testing plan that he would bring in order not to say, you know, I'd like to say while the president was freaking playing golf as people died, you know, as Bernie said in his speech, which I like that line, but, yes, I hope they'll I hope they really ramp up their attacks on Trump going forward. They have to.
Yeah. Look, I mean, I think those things are what I want to hear, too, right? They're very satisfying. They also happen to be true.
I think that a lot of people I think that a lot of people who do focus groups and polling with sort of soft Trump voters or independent voters find it like language like I don't blame him for the virus getting here, but I do blame for how he's responded since I think that plays better with them than being harsher. And so I think you heard that kind of throughout the week. But I hear you. I hope you're right.
I don't think this country can survive another four years of Trump being there. That's my view. Tommy, thank you so much for joining me.
Thank you for having me. Always fun. That's our show, deconstructed as a production, a first look, media and The Intercept. Our producer is Zach Young. Our theme music was composed by Bart Warshaw. Betsy Reed is The Intercept editor in chief and Ahmedi husband. You can follow me on Twitter at Mediaa hasn't if you haven't already, please do subscribe to the show so you can hear it every week. Go to the intercept dot com forward slash deconstructed to subscribe from your podcast Platform of choice, iPhone, Android, whatever.
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