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Hey, everyone, John Heilemann here and welcome to Hell and High Water, my podcast from the Recount and I heart radio with big ups to the one and only rizza for our dope theme music. The historic second impeachment trial of Donald Trump has come and gone and exercised without precedent in American history in ways too numerous to count, and one that ended with an outcome that was at once disturbing and outrageous and ominous for the future of our constitutional republic and its democratic foundations, despite having been a foregone conclusion from start to finish an exercise that was often gut wrenching and at times tear jerking.

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As the evidence of the sheer brutality and insidiousness of the insurrection at the US Capitol on January 6th was laid out in a shocking and vivid detail, an exercise that proved beyond a shadow of a doubt, the central and causal role that Donald Trump played in inciting that insurrection and proved it even to the most cynical, cunning and manipulative Republican in the Senate, i.e., Mitch McConnell, along with, I would venture to say, virtually every other GOP senator as well, the vast majority of whom proceeded to vote not guilty anyway, handing Trump his second impeachment acquittal, allowing him to escape any punishment for having flagrantly and utterly betrayed his oath of office, and demonstrating that despite Trump getting his ass kicked in November and being turfed out of the White House in exile tomorrow, Lago, the Republican Party remains fully and firmly in his grip.

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It was this last topic the political implications of the second Trump impeachment trial that I wanted to discuss on this week's podcast. And who better to call on for that conversation than the newly installed chairman of the Democratic National Committee, my friend Jamie Harrison.

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The state of the Democratic Party in twenty twenty one is fantastic. We are building back better.

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We are investing in all 50 states and we are going to win in 2022.

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Jamie Harrison is one of the brightest and fastest rising young stars in the Democratic Party today. He is forty five years old, born and raised in Orangeburg, South Carolina, raised by a single mother in hard pressed economic circumstances, but managed to get himself a scholarship to Yale University graduating in 1998 and then went on to Georgetown Law School, where he finished up in 2004. He is a protege of this man who is now one of the most well-known African-American politicians in the country.

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South Carolina Congressman Jim Clyburn noted for his role in helping Joe Biden win the nomination in 2020. Cliburn's mentorship helped Jamie Harrison to become the first black chairman of the South Carolina Democratic Party. He went on to become an associate chairman of the DNC under Tom Perez, at which point he decided to wage a longshot bid against Lindsey Graham in 2020. That was a campaign that very few people thought Jamie Harrison had any chance of winning at the outset. But suddenly, in the early going, Harrison caught fire and became not just a realistic challenger to Graham, but a genuine national figure breaking all South Carolina fundraising records by not just a little, but by a lot, as Democrats from coast to coast decided that they really wanted to see Lindsey Graham, not just one of the most reliable allies of Donald Trump, but also one of the most reliable and gratuitous and grotesque toadies to Donald Trump.

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Democrats around the country saying we've got to get rid of that motherfucker. So the money poured in. The race got close. One of the great moments of the 20 congressional elections was the senatorial debate between Lindsey Graham and Jamie Harrison in the middle of covid, in which Harrison erected a Plexiglas barrier between himself and Senator Graham for that televised debate, which had some symbolic power worthy of Saturday Night Live. And although Harrison ultimately ended up losing that race and not by a little, he managed to bounce back quickly after that defeat.

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When Joe Biden announced in January that he would become the new chairman of the National Party, that Harrison race against Lindsey Graham was important on a bunch of ways for Jamie Harrison and how he thinks about his new job. He saw in that race the power of Donald Trump up close and personal. It was a race where Graham's fealty to Trump paid dividends in the end. So if there's anyone who understands what genuine power Donald Trump has and can have with Republican voters, it's Jamie Harrison.

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But it's really the earlier experience as the South Carolina state party chair and the period after that. Working at the DNC, where Jamie Harrison learned about the power of grassroots organizing, Harrison has placed huge emphasis on both African-American votes in states that are not normally considered competitive and on rural voters that Democrats have largely given up on in the course of the last 20 years. And this very, very large emphasis on state party is not surprising, given that he is a state party chairman.

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He talks about Howard Dean all the time, someone who he admires because Dean was the person who first emphasized the importance of a 50 state strategy at the DNC. That is the model that Jamie Harrison says he is going to follow, something a lot of politicians say is a good idea and almost never do. A lot of Democrats like Jamie Harrison are hopeful that he will not just talk about a 50 state strategy, but will actually pursue it. Jamie Harrison, I talked on Saturday afternoon as the impeachment verdict was being rendered in the Senate and our talk got heavy, fast delving not just into what Harrison sees as the nuts and bolts of the political fallout from the trial in the impeachment writ large, but also the more existential stakes for the country.

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He talked movingly about the inescapable racial dynamics in play in. Terrible events of January 6th about his personal history, his relationship with Cliburn, his race against Graham and his ambitious plans for the party and the way that he represents a new generation with a new and different outlook on how you win elections and achieve progress in a rapidly changing America. As anyone who's seen Jamie Harrison on TV knows, he is normally a relentlessly effervescent presence. And while the circumstances under which we were talking this week left him a bit more subdued than usual, his intelligence, charm, decency and mental illness were very much on display in this conversation.

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So if you are feeling perhaps a little discouraged or deflated by the recent events related to Donald Trump, you owe it to yourself to sit back and listen to my friend Jamie Harrison, who radiates hope and optimism that his party and his country are heading to a better place, even if getting there means first getting through a whole lot of hell and high water.

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My dear colleagues, is there any political leader in this room who believes that if he is ever allowed by the Senate to get back into the Oval Office, Donald Trump would stop inciting violence to get his way? Would you bet the lives of more police officers on that? Would you bet the safety of your family on that would bet the future of your democracy on that?

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President Trump declared his conduct totally appropriate, so he gets back into office and it happens again, we'll have no one to blame but ourselves.

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That was the lead house manager, Jamie Raskin, as the prosecution's or rested its case this week in the second impeachment trial of Donald Trump. And we are here today with Jamie Harrison, the new chairman of the Democratic Party. Jamie, it's good to see you. Good seeing you, John. Thank you for having me.

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I know you, like everybody else in politics, have been consumed with watching this last week, this historic spectacle playing out on Capitol Hill. I'm curious, just at the start, like both legally and politically, how do you think the trial went for Democrats and for the country? Well, John, the way that I'm looking at this is, you know, sort of take my Democratic hat off and just as an American, we saw that video from the first day of the impeachment hearings.

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And I heard the words from Congressman Raskin about that day and in his interactions with this family, I mean, it shook me to my core. It was the nightmare that I lived through that we all lived through. And it was like being brought back to that nightmare to relive it all over again and to see it in aspects and in lenses that we hadn't seen before. And it was just as frightful. It was just as chilling. It was just as haunting to hear the screams from the police officers as they were being battered and crushed, to see the fear in the eyes of the people.

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You know, the stories I heard from his former colleagues who ran into their offices and barricaded their doors with furniture and tried to shapen weapons out of pens and scissors and to see these members of Congress taking oath to be impartial jurors when in essence, they have ignored that. You know, there is nobody on this face of this planet who wants these for years to end more than I do. And to see these members continue to kowtow to their leader and to put him above and beyond their oaths of office and why they were sent to Washington, D.C., is it's appalling and sad.

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I was down there in Washington.

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What would be up there in Washington for where you live? Down there from Washington from where I live for the whole week and spend some time on Capitol Hill this week talking to senators who were. You know, in one sense, the whole thing is so predictable, right? We all thought that it would largely split along party lines and that all Democrats would vote to convict Trump and almost all Republicans would vote to acquit him. And that's where we ended up here.

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But this kind of goes to your point, which is even Republicans who are going to vote to acquit the president because they say this is an unconstitutional proceeding. He's no longer a sitting president or the First Amendment covers all kinds of speech. And you can't really say that he's, strictly speaking, incited this riot because he didn't tell people to march on the Capitol and kill a police officer and et cetera. Even those Republicans were shook by what they saw.

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They knew that it was bad on January 6th and they knew that they were in jeopardy. But really, only this week, watching the security camera footage did they realize how close they came to bodily peril. And it makes it all the more amazing that the vast majority, the Republican Party, is still like, yeah, OK, whatever. Moving on, let's vote to acquit this man. You know, they watch the president of the United States throw the vice president to the fucking mob.

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Right? I mean, Mike Pence, the most loyal, devoted servant of Donald Trump over the last four years. And Trump was like, I don't fucking care if you live or die, man.

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Sometimes you wonder, am I just in some nightmare? Am I dreaming or is this actually real? If you would take this situation to its worst conclusion. It would shook our democracy off of its foundation. And just think about it, these people, many of them were out for blood, they wanted to assassinate Cheal murder, the speaker of the House and the vice president of the United States. That was the intent. And the dismissal of the stuff by people like Lindsey Graham is just galling.

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It's a waste of time, what is a waste of time? What is a waste of time? You got to hold folks accountable for the actions that they take, because now we are setting a precedent. Now we're saying you can be a president if you're in the last month of your presidency and you do anything, it's OK. It doesn't rise to the level and we'll be all right with it. The hypocrisy here is it's just amazing, and now you hear these various arguments.

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Oh, my God, it's just it's so crazy. Well, you can't do it while it's not in the office.

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Well, you know, Mitch McConnell controlled the schedule at that time. If he thought it was rose to that level, why didn't he schedule the hearing, been doing that point, but he didn't want to bring the Senate back, but now that's the argument for why you don't do it. You know, again, it's a sad testament to where we are as a nation, that you have some folks of this ilk who don't believe in the Constitution, you know, folks who claim to wrap themselves in the flag and to patriotism.

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And they are the patriots. Patriots of what? Not of America. Not of following the constitution of this great nation. I don't think many of them have actually read the Constitution, because if they did, they wouldn't be doing what they're doing right now. We played that audio. Raschein was basically saying the reason we need to convict Trump is that he's still a clear and present danger if we don't convict him and then rule that he can no longer federal office again, there's a chance he'll run for office again in twenty, twenty four.

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He's talking about it already. And Ted Lu got up and said, you know, I'm not worried about Trump winning. I'm worried about Trump losing. If he loses, he just do the same thing again. He's proven he can do it once. Is there some reason why we shouldn't assume that he could do it again? Like one Democratic senator I talked to this week said to me that I knew that there was an insurrection, but it wasn't until watching the case and seeing my Republican colleagues reaction made me realize the insurrection is still happening now.

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You know, Donald Trump is still staging an insurrection against the United States right now. He's still holding these Republican senators political prisoners. He still claims he won the election. He still claims the election was stolen. He still claims Joe Biden is an illegitimate president. In all of these Republicans who are voting to acquit or his political prisoners, the insurrection is ongoing. It didn't stop on January 6th. And that chilled me to my bones. When I heard it, I was like, yeah, that's right.

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That's right. That's what's going on here.

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You know, John, I remind folks of the words on May 2016. If we nominate Trump, we will get destroyed and we will deserve it from Senator Lindsey Graham. And we are seeing it play out each and every day. This is a party that is a dumpster fire right now, they are a hot mess. I mean, it's galling just to take a look at somebody tweeted, do they have a moral compass? No, it's part of the reason why they're so lost at this point in time.

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And it's just really sad to see and I don't see this as a partisan. I'm saying this is American. I mean, I think it's important to have a vibrant two party system in this country. It really is. It's sort of a natural check and balance right to keep the other side honest. But it is sad to see what's going on in the Republican Party and with people who I used to respect, because I thought that at the end of the day, they would put what was in the best interests of the nation ahead of their own individual interests.

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And it's sad to see that I was wrong. And I think so many Americans across this country feel the same way.

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You know, the first impeachment was a year ago and it was very narrow. Public opinion was the country was split right down the middle, you know, forty eight, forty nine, right on a knife's edge. The polling in this one has been a little bit more, you know, non trivially more in favor of conviction. You've seen a lot of polling that has the number at like fifty six percent for conviction. Saw that an ABC News Ipsos poll we saw in a CBS News YouGov poll, you saw a Monmouth poll.

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And in truth, as you've gotten further along in time, the number in favor of conviction has gone up. More information, more of the case, more of the video has made more people think that Trump should be convicted. And yet, even knowing those numbers, you still see the Republican Party not bending, not budging on this, you know, with the exception of a handful who voted to convict. That's obviously the case that intra party politics are what's driving them.

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It goes back to the thing of Trump holding them as political prisoners. Just talk about that a little bit about, you know, what you think the implications of that are. You said you thought it was important for there to be a healthy two party system. The Republican Party right now is being driven not by popular opinion. That's not what they care about. What they care about is another set of political dynamics within their own party, because if they cared about just what the country thought, they would be much more inclined to vote for conviction.

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Instead, they're obsessed with their own internal dynamics. So just talk about that a little bit and what that means for the Democratic Party going forward. I want I want to be like perverse about this, but a great opportunity, you know, to have as an opponent a party that's that much wrapped around its own axle and catering to its right wing to such an extreme degree.

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Well, I just recently read on this week that the Republicans, since all of this went down, have lost one hundred and forty thousand or so registered Republicans, people who were registered Republicans that decided to change their registration. And I'm sure it's probably even more than that. You know, certain states like South Carolina, we don't register by party. So I'm sure the numbers are even greater. And so my job is to chair the Democratic National Committee is to make sure that we roll out the red carpet, these folks, to give them a home of a party that is sensible, a party that is fighting to address the issues that people care about, that they're struggling with on a day to day basis while these guys, you know, go and cincher each other and condemn each other and threaten each other.

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It's time for folks to do grown up business. And that's what Joe Biden is focused on right now, is doing the business of the American people, because for four years it hasn't been done. And if there are folks out here that are listening to this and you are a Republican and you are disgusted with where your party is going, and you're just looking for a group of people who will welcome you and open you, we may not agree on everything, but at the end of the day, you know, I know that I represent a party that loves this country, a party who understands the flaws of this nation, but at the same time is going to roll up their sleeves to address those flaws, to make life better for each and every American.

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And that's what the Democratic Party is all about. I don't know. And I don't even recognize the other party that used to be the Republican Party.

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You know, one hundred thirty nine House Republicans, thirty nine, OK, all but a very small handful voted on January 6th against certifying the Electoral College final Electoral College results after the capital was sacked by a insurrectionist mob who wanted to kill them all. They still walk back in the chamber one hundred and thirty nine and tried to overturn the election results and voted for autocracy, tried to throw out democracy, tried to say that they wanted to install Donald Trump as a tyrannical dictator rather than accepting the certified vote of the United States in the presidential election.

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Are those votes you can hang around the neck of Republicans in the coming election? Is or is that going to be a thing that by the time we get to twenty, twenty two, you're going to be like we've got to focus on education, health care. The issues that affect the real lives are real people and not this thing that might seem very abstract to people two years from now. How do you balance that out if you're the Democratic Party right now?

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Well, John, I think you can do both. I think you can focus on those issues and talk about those issues and deftly. But I think you can also paint the picture for the representatives that people currently have because, you know, you read in the history books and you see on the news in other nations these types of things going on. And I think most Americans think, well, that's over there, that'll never happen here. But we came very close to that this election cycle.

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And so we have to constantly and I believe it's an obligation on on our side to remind people of those who are in power and the actions that they took to destabilize the democracy here in the United States. I understand that health care and education and all those things are important. But, John, if our democracy had fallen despite the importance and significance of all of those things. I mean, that would be the least of our concerns. And so we cannot just allow this to go by and say, oh, well, you know, that just happen.

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You have to remind the voters about it.

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You have to remind them that they were willing to neglect their oath of office, all out of loyalty to one man. And that one man was more important than their constituents were, more important than the Constitution, the United States, more important than democracy that we have in this great nation. And they don't deserve to be in office. They don't.

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You said a second ago something I agree with, which is that it is to be desired that we have two functional parties, at least two functional parties in the United States of America. We don't want one party rule, Democrats not. That's a recipe for another kind of tyranny. So, you know, we would like to see a healthy competition between reasonable, civically legitimate, respectful and respectable ideologies. So we don't have that right now. So this brings me to a question about bipartisanship, which is this question much discussed in Washington these days, because Joe Biden is who Joe Biden is.

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And, you know, you you operate in South Carolina. You're not a left wing hyper progressive. There's a reason why South Carolina Democrats voted for Joe Biden, you know, and why particularly black Democrats in South Carolina overwhelming for Joe Biden, because they thought he was a guy who had a history of being moderate and pragmatic and progressive, but moderate and pragmatic and reaching across the aisle. And Joe Biden wants to reach across the aisle. But there's now a question that's being debated pretty avidly in Washington, which is what is the right definition of bipartisanship?

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If you have a totally dysfunctional Republican Party, the vast majority are going to vote to acquit Donald Trump on the Senate side. In the House side, the vast majority don't even accept Joe Biden as a legitimate president. And they still believe in the big lie. Is that a party you can work with? I had Democratic senators again this week say to me that as they sat there looking at Josh Hawley, sitting up in the rafters with his feet up on the desk doing crossword puzzles rather than paying attention to the to the arguments of the House managers when they saw Ted Cruz and Mike Lee and Lindsey Graham go off and confer in private with the president's lawyers rather than being neutral jurors.

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These are moderate Democrats I was talking to who normally pride themselves on being able to work with Republicans there. Like I do not speak to my Republican colleagues. I was so furious with what I saw this week. How do you work with that party? Is there even possible to work with that party or do you need a new definition of bipartisanship that goes beyond the confines of Washington getting names on bills and getting votes? How do you think about that?

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Listen, I think in the end of the day, you work with the reasonable, rational people that are left in the party. And there definitely some of those folks, you know, you have to applaud Mitt Romney in a few of the others for Lisa Murkowski, for at least trying to find some common ground. You know, I'm a big believer that and now I've always thought this I believe in a little less so now with today's Republican Party. But I thought that in the end of the day that even though our paths were different, the destination was the same.

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How could we build a greater America for all of our people? And I thought, yeah, we could come at it in different ways, but I thought that's the commonality. That's the thing that made us Americans. I don't believe it for for the majority of the Republican Party in the Congress today. And when the members of Congress have disrespect for the Constitution and the rule of law and order and justice, then you can expect much more from some of their followers.

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And that's what you see right now today. You know, John, when I go to Washington, D.C. and I drive down Pennsylvania Avenue at night and get doughnuts lit up, I get goose bumps, man.

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Because I know the power of the police, I know the power to change lives, the power to bring hope into communities, and it all is under that dome and all can happen right there. These guys, I don't know what they see. I don't know what they feel. Is it just a paycheck? Maybe it is. Is it just so they can get a fancy pen and a license plate that says they're a member of Congress? Maybe that's what it is.

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Or a free trip to go overseas. Maybe that's it to or to swim in the Senate swimming pool? I don't know. But it's not love of nation. It's not love of country. It's not because they believe in the Constitution of the United States, because if they did, then they would not be behaving in the manner that they are right now. I want to raise one last set of issues here about the politics of impeachment before we move on, but this is a relatively big topic that I've been really meditating on a lot in this last week because it was really noticeable.

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You know, some of this new footage you saw some of the first people to reach the Capitol, people carrying Confederate flags. And the racial element of this insurrection is never been far from the surface. It's a white supremacist mob that took over the Capitol. And we're trying to invalidate the votes of tens of millions of black voters. But I got home last night from my trip this week to D.C. and I saw that one of my favorite things that happened had happened, which is Dave Chappelle had dropped a new video on Netflix.

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So I want to play a little Dave here. This is a relatively long clip. It's from a video called Redemption Song, talking about January 6th. Just a little trigger already for anybody here who gets upset about these kind of things. Dave Chappelle does use the N-word a fair amount. Anybody that's familiar with Dave knows that. But you might hear that a couple of times in this video. So let's play Chappelle here for Jamie Harrison.

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We'll talk about on the other side. On January six, well, American citizens stormed the Capitol. You know, I'm from Washington, D.C., a lot of my friends growing up on Capitol Hill, police officers, I said, what did you do that day? What do we do? We were kicking crackers down the steps like motherfucking 300 mega. Trying to save our country. Oh. Watch the tapes, watch that crowd that told Colin Kaepernick he can't kneel during a football game, try to beat a police officer to death with an American flag.

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Look at this.

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Who's the terrorist now that they're looking for? It's you, not me. Not my black Muslim, and it's you. Who are they militarizing? The police force. They didn't call the National Guard on my black ass.

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It's you. That's what white people did, they felt what black women feel for four hundred years, for 30 minutes, stormed the Capitol and rubbed this shit on the walls that carried a fucking Confederate flag to the rotunda. The Confederate Army didn't even do that motherfucker's. He went very far. It was a simple question. Do you have a country or not?

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And you said, no, my God, man, when quite the pickle, aren't we?

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We're in quite the pickle in. I mean, I would say the racial front center of what happened, but Chappelle lays it right out there, you know, that's it. And I'm curious how you think about this, because it's not avoidable. I mean, we were talking about Pence earlier when you saw that noose that they erected.

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It was for Mike Pence. But it's obviously loaded with every you know, that's a that's a hangman's noose out there, man. I swear you don't have a question.

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I want you to talk about it like reckoning with this element of it, because it's not something you can duck and it leaves a mark as we go forward, right?

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It does leave a mark that day just left with so many emotions. You see the storming of the Capitol. You see the treatment of these folks who are storming the Capitol, juxtapose you see the treatment of folks who are peacefully marching. Just because they believe black lives matter, right, that the contrast in was right. Yeah, people were spreading, you know, excrement all over the walls of the U.S. Capitol. And who was cleaning it up? You know, there are folks who left that chaos and left with their lives.

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They're black folks who are just trying to go to work. Stopped by the police. And then their families are going to funerals the next day, I mean, there are so many issues that we need to deal with right now. So many inherent inequities that we see in our society. And I think it all came to roost and was on display with the chaos that we saw on January 6th. And these folks who just want to wipe it away, Lindsey Graham and so many of these Republicans, they did this to Raphael Warnock also.

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All of these guys who ran these ads against Democrats, particularly black Democrats, because they run some of these ads against John AFSA, but they pointedly ran them against Rafeal, why not this images about defunding the police, not respecting police officers, A, B, C and D, we stand by a blue blue lives matter in all the light. Rafaelle and I both don't believe in defunding the police. Lindsay even had this sheriff in Greenville who ran this ad that said, you know, Jamie's going to get elected and we're going to have mobs and riots and all of the place is going to burn.

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And this guy basically said it was the fault of the Capitol Hill Police for this insurrection in an ironic man.

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It's really, really amazing, the hypocrisy. And again, it goes back to it, John, that these people will say and do anything.

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In order just to have political power and political relevance and they are for you until they are against you, there is no moral compass, there is no moral backbone, there's no loyalty to anything other than themselves and their political power.

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And that is sad and that's extremely dangerous. And so, you know, the American people had a choice in November. They had a choice in January. Well, in two years from now, they're going to have another choice. Do you stick with people who have sold you out before and we'll sell you out again? Where will you actually invest time and energy to find some people and it can be Democrats or Republicans who will actually stand up for their oath and actually work on behalf of the American people.

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And I hope in the end of the day that the American people make the right choice. That is a good place for us to take a break and I'll just say, you know, it's a really grim thing. And Chapell, I mean, that image of a white supremacist insurrectionist mob sacking the U.S. Capitol in an attempt to disenfranchise tens of millions of black voters shitting on the walls, smearing their excrement all over the place, and then having black workers at the Capitol having to clean it up.

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I mean, it could not be more vivid. How the truth truly terrible. Racial animosity implications are connotations just right there. It's just a giant, huge racist stain on the history of the country in that moment. And yet, as depressing as it is and the pickle that Dave Chappelle describes are like there's all kinds of signs of hope. And one of them is Jamie Harrison's, the new chairman of the Democratic Party. And another other, Raphael Warnock is a black Democrat, elected to be a senator from the state of Georgia.

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So we can turn the corner here from the darkness that this moment brings and realize that right side by side with it. There are some moments of brightness at the same time. So let's take a break and sell some soap and then we'll come back and talk about the life of Jamie Harrison on Helen Highwater.

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I have often said that what we are seeing here is the closing of the Book of the Old South and the emergence of what I call the New South, one that is bold, that is inclusive, that is diverse. I think Lindsey Graham is a relic of that also. You've heard some of the statements that he's made, the jokes about, you know, the good old days of segregation or the fact that, you know, if you're an African-American, you can go anywhere as long as you're conservative.

[00:34:11]

You know, we need a center that can represent all the people in South Carolina, regardless of you're a Democrat or Republican or independent, whether you're black, white or Latino, if you're conservative or liberal. I mean, that's that's what senators are supposed to do. And this guy has tried every opportunity to pull us apart instead of bringing us together. So that was a clip from a television program on Showtime called The Circus. The question that that was the answer to was me asking Jamie in his race with Lindsey Graham, If you win this race, what does it mean?

[00:34:45]

And unfortunately for Jamie, the answer didn't matter because Jamie didn't win that race. We're going to talk about your whole political history here, Jamie. But let's just start with that. Know you got your ass kicked in. There was a lot of people who thought that you were right. You raise a shit ton of money. We'll talk about that.

[00:34:59]

You were closing the polling. And then when the election day came, at least on the numbers, the cynics were proven right. Lindsey, when he won comfortably in that race, that was the lesson you just laid out. If you won, what the lesson would be, what's the lesson of the fact that you lost and you lost? Not in a super tight race?

[00:35:15]

Yeah, well, I guess this is why he's ripping Donald Trump, because it was Donald Trump that carried Lindsays.

[00:35:21]

But over the finish line, you know, we saw a turnout here in South Carolina, but we've never seen before. But it happened to be on the Republican side. So Donald Trump in twenty sixteen, he beat Hillary Clinton by 14 points. Donald Trump won with one point one five million votes. I got one point one million votes in twenty twenty.

[00:35:43]

So only fifty thousand short of what Trump got just four years earlier, where he beat Hillary by 14 points. So we did what we thought we needed to do, but we had no idea that the turnout would be what it was in terms of Trump supporters. And when they turned out, they voted straight party Republican ticket, 900000 people voted straight party ticket. So and that was an increase by 17 percent from the four years prior. And Lindsey benefited from that.

[00:36:12]

Folks in South Carolina don't love Lindsey Graham Hill. Half of them don't like him, but he benefited because he had an R behind his name. Now, what it does, it means this. No Democrat in South Carolina before me had ever gotten over a million votes. Barack Obama had gotten the most, I think was eight hundred sixty five thousand votes. So we added almost two hundred thousand plus more votes to the column for a Democrat. That's progress.

[00:36:38]

And what we saw in Georgia was when Stacey Abrams lost, she didn't say, you know, I give up, I'm not going to fight anymore.

[00:36:47]

No, she got back up. She dusted herself off and she committed herself to doing better the next time around. Well, that's what we're doing in South Carolina, that, yes, I may have put one point one million cracks in the red Republican wall, but hell, we ain't given up. So Tim Scott and Henry McMaster and Lindsey Graham. And five years from now, if you think that you aren't going to have any competition, you're drinking or smoking something that's pretty strong because you are.

[00:37:19]

Whatever they're drinking and smoking, I'd like to get some I don't know about this front. Well, you know, you know, you and I, you and I live different lives. So, Jamie ah, Harrison, what's the R stand for?

[00:37:29]

I can't find it anywhere online. You hide. My middle name is Ricardo. Ricardo. Yes. Like Ricky Ricardo. Yeah.

[00:37:35]

My name is Jamie. It's spelled Jérémy which is himI and in Spanish. So Hineman Ricardo.

[00:37:42]

Wow. Yeah I know. I love that. That's great. I like that name. Where does all that Spanish come from?

[00:37:47]

You know, my mom was 16 when she had man so I know she probably saw it in some book or something like like oh that looks nice.

[00:37:58]

So born and raised in Orangeburg, South Carolina, and, you know, got yourself to Yale as an undergraduate, got yourself to Georgetown as a law student, went along that trajectory. You know, Orangeburg, not a place that sends a lot of kids to Yale and and Georgetown, not none, but not it's not like a feeder. Yeah. Typical feeder to those August institutions. Just tell me a little bit about, you know, when the politics bug bit Jamie Harrison.

[00:38:20]

Yeah, well, I think the first bug was watching Jesse Jackson give a speech in 1980 Democratic Convention. And, you know, Reverend Jackson's from Greenville, South Carolina. So and. That was a big deal, and he had run for president before, but it was a big deal for him, this black man, to say real quick, yeah, you were born in nineteen seventy six, which means that you were 12 when you saw Jesse Jackson give that speech.

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And I just want to place that in time. The bug bit at age 12, not even a teenager when you first got excited about politics. Yeah, yeah.

[00:38:50]

And even before that, you know, I would watch the news regularly with my grandfather. My grandfather didn't have a lot of education, but he loved the news. You watched it religiously when he got home from work. We watched the local news and then the evening news. He was big on Dan Rather and then Tom Brokaw.

[00:39:06]

He bounced back and forth between the two of them. But I would watch with him because in my house we had one TV and if you wanted to watch TV, you were going to watch what he wanted to watch.

[00:39:16]

So I would sit there and peppering questions about the presidents and what they were doing.

[00:39:22]

Now, my grandfather, you know, retrospect, my grandfather probably didn't know half of what he was talking about, but it sounded good to me.

[00:39:29]

And then the Clinton-Gore campaign and Cliburn's campaign in 92, that's when I really started volunteering for the first time.

[00:39:37]

And I actually got a chance to talk to President Clinton the other night for probably about 30 minutes. And one of the first times I told him it was his race that really actually gave me that extra truth about being politics because his story was so similar to my own, you know, growing up in, you know, rural Arkansas and his mom, you know, issues and family and all. But then going to Georgetown and Yale Law School, I could really relate to it.

[00:40:05]

And so in his youth and vitality, along with Al Gore, it really sparked my interest. So when I got into college, I knew that I wanted to do something in the political world. And the rest is history in terms with the tilings. And Jim Clyburn and.

[00:40:20]

Yeah, yeah, it's fair to say, you know, for a lot of people who aren't political junkies. Right. A lot of people got to know Jim Clyburn really just in 2020 and such an instrumental role in helping Joe Biden at a moment when his campaign was dead, the Clyburn endorsement. You know, people in politics would say there are many real machines left, you know, or like someone cannot just their endorsement matters because it's in a newspaper.

[00:40:41]

But it's nice bump. Like Jim Clyburn, you get an endorsement. Jim Clyburn, South Carolina, you were going to get a bunch of votes. Yeah. In a legit way. He's someone who, you know, the African-American community in your state looks up to Congressman Clyburn and takes his lead in a lot of cases. So that was a big moment. You are a Clyburn protege, right? It's fair to say there's a big tribe of Clyburn proteges, but you are definitely a someone who was schooled in politics that needed Jim Clyburn using my political debt.

[00:41:05]

And what does that mean? If you had to explain to people what you've learned being schooled, be at the knee of Jim Clyburn, what have you learned taken from that? How does that guided you?

[00:41:15]

John, I love Jim Clyburn in his late wife, Jim Clyburn, just like I was biologically theirs. He has done so much for me and he's done so much for the people here in South Carolina. It's not about the headlines for him. It's about the work he always told me on the Hill. He said, Jamie on the hill there, show horses in their work horses. You need to be a workhorse. And loyalty is also something that is very, very important to Jim Clyburn, knowing your history is equally important to Jim Clyburn.

[00:41:46]

And so I learned so much about who I was as a young black man who was born in South Carolina. You know, I learned that before there was Brown versus Board of Education. That was Briggs versus Elliott. That was the very first case that went to the Supreme Court about desegregating our school system. And the case should have been called Briggs versus Elliott instead of Brown. But that's a whole nother story for another time. But you learn that working in Jim Clapper's office and I can't see how important he is to me, to the state, to the Democratic Party, and I hope he goes down as one of the greatest South Carolinians that ever lived because he has really had a tremendous impact on the state, on the lives of the least of these in our society.

[00:42:29]

Know Cliburn's most famous endorsement will, I think, go down in history now as Joe Biden. But I would say in the list of great Clyburn endorsements while we could, I was about to go up in the in the other direction and talk about Cliburn's role in the 2008 campaign.

[00:42:43]

Believe 2008, there is an endorsement of Bill Clinton was was a little bit problematic for for Hillary Clinton's name. But we won't talk about that. We'll talk about the second most important endorsement of Jim Clyburn, which was the endorsement, Jamie Harrison, for the state party chairmanship in 2013, when not only did you have Jim Clyburn in your corner, but you also had my third favorite South Carolinian in your corner, Dick Carpooling, a former chair of the South Democratic Party.

[00:43:08]

Now, I just would like to say a little bit of, well, not just a, quote, machine, but a man who exemplifies another side of south like Jim Clyburn is like if everybody's got a double and an angel on their shoulders, you know, Jim Clyburn is the angel.

[00:43:20]

Dick is the is the devil on your shoulder. Right. Who exemplifies a kind of not the noble side of South Carolina politics.

[00:43:27]

And I will say, if they heard me saying this, he would love he would absolutely love it. He's the down and dirty. Side of South Carolina politics, which is a not trivial part of South Carolina politics, but you had the angel and the devil both on your side when you ran for for the state chairmanship and you managed to get that gig. Tell me about how about running that race when that race and how important it was in the trajectory that landed you where you are today?

[00:43:52]

That was really important.

[00:43:53]

A really important, I think, cornerstone to my career being chair of the South Carolina Democratic Party, because I learned so much it ended up not being a race. I don't think anybody ran against me.

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To be honest, I was going to run against somebody who's got clobbered on the other side because it is a fool's errand.

[00:44:12]

But it was great because you're right, having both Clyburn and Dick brought together the Democratic Party here in South Carolina and really gave me the type of foundation I needed to begin to make the fundamental changes that we needed to make to strengthen the party and its infrastructure here.

[00:44:30]

And I learned a lot I learned a lot about the party and where we were and where we need to go. And that's now the foundation for what I'm doing at the DNC now.

[00:44:40]

So you win that race and you're in the gig for a few years there. And then, you know, you start thinking about the bigger stage. Right. And put yourself forward as a candidate for the Democratic National Committee's chairmanship in 2016. And that race did not turn out with you in the job. It was a dream deferred. It turned out yet another one cycle time president being the chairman. Not surprising that you didn't get it. You were young young man running for that job, you know, interested in what you learned in the process of putting yourself forward for that job, not getting it.

[00:45:11]

What did you learn from that race that helped you to get yourself in the position where you basically got it this time by acclamation? Joe Biden wanted you in the gig. But like, I just curious what you learned from running about how the DNC works, about the various factions, about the various constituencies, the stakeholders that you feel like you learned from that failed race that now informs your view of how you're going to do the job, which we'll talk more about a little later.

[00:45:37]

Well, one of the things I also learned is about who you have back you, right? I guess I learned that in 2013, but I learned it again in 16, 17. I mean, Tom had the support of President Obama and Vice President Biden and the entire Obama establishment and coupled with the fact that he was a great labor secretary and had his own bona fides, but that really pushed him forward. You know, in that race, he had Keith Ellison, who was supported by Bernie Sanders.

[00:46:06]

He had Mayor Pete, now Secretary Pete, who was also in that race, Ray Buckley and myself, you know, a number of folks were running. And so it was a very divided race for a while. And then it just got down to QIf representing progressive and Bernie Sanders world and Tom representing the Obama world. And in the end, President Obama weighed in and Tom prevailed.

[00:46:31]

But, you know, I learned a lot about our party politics and that there were still some very deep divisions within our party that really needed some leadership to help bring them all together. And so I spent those four years working with, you know, progressives, conservatives, moderates and everybody in between. And the remarkable thing is, as I approach my race and, you know, didn't win, but then Joe Biden started my name, came up as someone for the DNC, that the support came from folks who ran the gamut in terms of the political spectrum.

[00:47:08]

So from folks who supported Bernie to people who supported Hillary and Joe Biden, they all supported me being the next DNC chair. And so I hope that my being chair can continue to bring our party together, keeping us focused on the mission of getting more Democrats elected.

[00:47:26]

I mentioned your race against Lindsay. We started a kind of at the end like what the lesson was for all the people who wonder why Lindsey Graham is Lindsey Graham. You know, how he went from being the fiercest Trump critic in the party to being the most pathetic? I would say I'll use that word. Lackey, Trump lackey. The answer is, you know, the race against Jamie Harrison, right? You just pointed to it at the top.

[00:47:49]

He said his loyalty did pay off. He did not have to face a primary challenger, which Trump could have inflicted on him. He evaded that challenge.

[00:47:56]

And then when it came to Election Day, he had all the enthusiasm and energy of Trump supporters in the state and he ended up winning.

[00:48:03]

But it is the case, right, that at the same time, this is one of these races where a star was born on your side. And I'm not just blowing smoke up your ass. The reality is that like most people outside of politics, they know who you were until you ran that race. And all of a sudden, because Lindsey Graham was such a national lightning rod, you became a national figure by challenging him. You raised an ungodly amount of money.

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And Yodlee, really, it was ungodly.

[00:48:30]

What was the total would you end up raising in the end? One hundred and thirty three million.

[00:48:33]

And what was the most that that any candidate ever raised before in the history of South Carolina running for a Senate race?

[00:48:40]

Was it like 17? Yeah, yeah. So you're talking about almost 10x more than anybody ever raised before in the South Carolina Senate race, 130 million dollars. If you live in a small state in America, you'll know what I mean when I say this. But having hundred thirty million dollars to run a Senate race, a statewide race in South Carolina, it's almost too much money.

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It's not like you can you can't even spend it really well.

[00:48:59]

Lindsey raised one hundred and nine million, and then Mitch McConnell put in, I think, about 30. Right. Right.

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But I mean, you were at the point at the end where you couldn't find like there was no advertising left to buy. There were no billboards that were available left in the state you to put your picture on. That's how ubiquitous you were on TV, print, digital sides of buildings, you know, driving around the state with your face plastered on mean there was nothing left to buy in terms of advertising by either one of you guys, right? Yeah.

[00:49:27]

I mean, that was so saturated that it was ridiculous. I remember watching Saturday Night Live once and I saw six of my ads in the hour and a half of them.

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Right. So every commercial break there was a Jamie Harrison and it was just too much. Yeah, it was to look at.

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The obvious answer to this is there are a handful of Republicans who in a very intense election where everything was nationalized, you know, whether it was Susan Collins or Mitch McConnell or Lindsey Graham, I would say those three became big national races because they were symbolic of things that Democrats across the country really wanted to put an end to different things. In those cases, Lindsey was a different kind of carrot than Susan Collins, but still they became nationalized races. That's why the money poured in.

[00:50:09]

But from your point of view, what was it like to experience that, to experience that degree of national attention, that degree of national energy, the checks coming across the transom? I mean, it must have been like sort of surreal.

[00:50:22]

It was surreal because we did not expect it at all. We didn't anticipate it at all. But, you know, I just had a really good staff. They prepared and built a foundation just in case this race actually popped. Because, you know, the thought was if this would catch fire, because when we started off, we were much behind Mark Kelly and Amy McGrath in terms of their fundraising. And I mean, my first quarter raised two hundred and fifty thousand dollars.

[00:50:50]

Right. But we were just like the little engine that could every quarter. The goal was to best the quarter before and to get closer to Lindsay and eventually surpassing him because the Republicans here thought I had no shot, none.

[00:51:04]

They thought we would never get anywhere close with Lindsay on the fundraising front. But we built a foundation and we made our case and we actually had good stuff.

[00:51:15]

I mean, from our TV ads to our mail to our radio spots. And it was hopeful. And I think all of those things together made it a race that really popped. And so, you know, I I will never experienced anything like that ever again, probably. But it was amazing.

[00:51:33]

And I can tell you the most transformative thing for me, John, was the hope that we gave people to this very day. I get parents who come up to me and say, you know, I can't tell you the impact that you had on my kid. My kid still is walking around saying, I'm Jamie Harrison and I approve this message. We gave people hope like they haven't had in a very, very long time. And I think those are seeds that will sprout, you know, may not be two years from now, but four years and six and eight years.

[00:52:04]

And we will see that New South emerge that I talked about.

[00:52:07]

You're a very thoughtful guy. And I know beyond the political analysis you gave at the outset, which is like what did it say? That Lindsay won and said that there was a giant turnout. Trump motivated. As we know, Trump shocked all of us who got more votes in twenty twenty than he got in 2016. A lot of people think that was possible given the way he governed. And in South Carolina, he turned on the juice. Right.

[00:52:27]

That's the political analysis. From the standpoint of you having thought and reflected on the race, what's the hard lessons that you draw in two different respects. One is, what would you tell Lindsays next challenger? Like the key things like this is what I would say to you about how to beat this guy next time.

[00:52:46]

See what I'm saying to myself. Breaking news here today, Jay Barazan. Well, whoever that person is, whether it be you or somebody else, what would you say about the hard lessons you learned about how to take him on next time? And what do you think the more generalized lessons you learned from running a very competitive, very well financed, very high profile race that you would give to some of the candidates that you're going to be talking to all the time heading into 2020 to bunch of Senate races?

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You're going to be talking to a lot of challengers out there.

[00:53:20]

One of the more general lessons you learned.

[00:53:22]

Well, John, for me and this is not being braggadocios all I think we ran a better campaign. And Lindsey Graham, I don't think Lindsey Graham beat us. I think Donald Trump got more votes out than Lindsey Graham. You know, I beat him in those debates and not just me feeling that everybody else, including many journalists, telling me that, you know, there was one guy on that debate stage that ran for president and he didn't win the debate.

[00:53:50]

And so we ran a better campaign. We had better ads. We had all of that better than Lindsey Graham. The only thing that we didn't have was a president who could turn out, you know, a few hundred thousand more votes. And so I don't think I would change anything that we did on that race. Partly what we have to do is we have to improve the brand of the Democratic Party so as to make people more open to and not believe the craziness that they hear from the other side.

[00:54:19]

You know, just on the defunding the police issue, as I mentioned earlier, you know, my grandfather served in the police department for 40 years in Detroit. I don't believe in defending police. I said that multiple times, but people believed it because the brand was so damaged here that they would believe anything like that. And so I think the thing that I would encourage candidates is that not only do you have to put out your message, but you really have to help to rebuild and build a stronger brand for our party as you run these races going forward.

[00:54:52]

That is excellent advice and I agree with every word of it. And let's take a quick break. We'll come back to the third part of the podcast.

[00:54:58]

We're going to talk a little bit more about what Jamie Harrison sees for the future of the Democratic Party as we head into the midterm elections of twenty twenty two and then the twenty twenty four elections. Lots to talk about there when we come back after this break on. Helen, our. Your home is more connected than ever. So when one kid is schooling the competition. Got it. The other is getting schooled, the mitochondria is the powerhouse of the cell and your stream in a webinar for work and the latest episode of your favorite show.

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Here's Exposure one ready? I'm excited to be leading this party right now on behalf of Joe Biden and Kamala Harris and particularly in contrast to the other side, you know, normally I've seen these articles out that it talks about Democrats in disarray, but it really is the Republican Party that's in disarray right now. They are leaderless. There is so much infighting in their party and Democrats are unified. We are unified. I've talked with the heads of the DGA, the D, Triple C, and we are going to work in concert together to make sure that we sustain the majorities that we have and we grow those majorities in twenty, twenty two.

[00:57:30]

And the way that we do that is through organizing. We saw the power of organizing when we won states, Georgia and Arizona. We're going to continue to do just that everywhere across this nation. So I'm excited about the prospects as we move into twenty, twenty two.

[00:57:46]

So that was the man himself, Jamie Harrison, on becoming the new chairman of the Democratic National Committee. We're back with him on how and our water. And Jimmy, I want you to say right now on this air, for the record, who's the first person who went on national television and said that James Harrison would be the next chairman of the DNC?

[00:58:03]

Who? It was you, John.

[00:58:06]

It was you. That is correct. I might pull a muscle here patting myself on the back because I was on TV like it might have even been before the election was called for.

[00:58:14]

Joe Biden saying that Jamie Harrison would be the next chairman of the DNC.

[00:58:17]

So I my soothsayer credentials are impeccable. You know, you've said in every interview I've seen you give since you got the job, we're going to have 50 state strategy. I've not ever heard a Democratic National Committee chairman who's not said we're going to have 50 state strategy going back to Howard Dean, 50 state strategy, something everybody says that nobody really does. Those are a lot of money in politics, but money is still finite. It's still limited. And so usually DNC chair say we're going to a 50 state strategy and then they put money where it's best used and they don't put money where it's not helpful.

[00:58:45]

Make the case for why you're really going to run a 50 state strategy as DNC chair.

[00:58:50]

Probably because I've been the only DNC chair that it's actually been a state party chair. I mean, that's the first step. And I understand the importance of state parties and why they have to be strong. And as you know, as long as you've known me, I've talked about the need to invest in the South. Well, you can throw a ton of money at the south, but unless the state party organizations are healthy and strong, then it is not going to end up being successful.

[00:59:16]

You know, Stacey Abrams just wrote a great op ed the other day. In the heart of that is, you know, shoring up state party organizations. That's part of the key, turning a red state, purple or blue. So we're going to invest resources in our state parties. We're going to make assessments, know one of the things that I know as being a state party chair, all state parties are not equal. They are not the same.

[00:59:38]

And so they have different needs. And so you can't take a cookie cutter approach in order to strengthen state parties because some parties have different deficiencies. And so we are going to take a very comprehensive approach, will do SWOT analysis of each of our state parties and figure out their strengths, their weaknesses and the opportunities to really have them grow and to be vibrant. I want to make sure there's a certain quality that we have in all of our state parties and that they have the resources to bring to bear to support their candidates.

[01:00:08]

It is just not good enough to have a great candidate that can raise some money if that candidate has to do their job as a candidate and also the job of a state party. It's just hard to be able to pull off a victory with that type of system. And so I believe it's crucial for us to get more Georgias in Arizona. And in order to do that, we have to start investing now in some of these areas where I think we can grow and be vibrant, growing things.

[01:00:34]

I've heard you say that, you know, state parties obviously important to invest in. And I've heard you make the explicit contrast of saying it's important not just to be focused on rock star candidates. I want to just push you on that a little bit, because obviously candidate quality matters a lot like a rock star, certainly in this age, where being a brand, given the importance of low dollar, given the importance of Internet fundraising, if you're not a brand and you can't sell it, you have some trouble.

[01:00:59]

Right. So you want to make a distinction here between when you say don't just focus on a rock star candidate, you're not downplaying the importance of candidate quality. No, not at all.

[01:01:09]

I mean, you want to have good candidates. You don't want to have crap you can.

[01:01:12]

But at the same time, they're just basic, fundamental things that have to work on the state party apparatus.

[01:01:18]

You can be a great unit and you can be Jamie Harris and Stacey Abrams, Andrew Gillham, Beto O'Rourke or what have you. But if your state party apparatus is not strong, if there are a lot of holes, if they can't do the things that legally only state parties can do, it makes it increasingly more difficult to win and to pull off a victory.

[01:01:40]

And so that is where I think we can all focus our energy and do better. And that's what we're going to focus on at the DNC. We have seen Arizona and Georgia. I want to just you can do these relatively quickly, right? There are those states that are now purple states or are those states that are going to look increasingly like blue states.

[01:01:59]

They're going to be Virginia, Colorado. Is that where those states are headed or are they headed more to being like North Carolina, which continues to be genuinely purple?

[01:02:06]

Well, I think they are going to be in the near term battleground states, you know, the constant push and pull that you have. And eventually you want to get them to the points where they're Virginia. But given the demographics in those states, in the near term, they're going to be battleground purple states where you can't take anything for granted. You know, you've got to fight hard, you got to invest and you got to keep pushing.

[01:02:28]

And what are your list? If I asked you, what are the next Georgia and Arizona is like, what are three states where you look and you say these are the states that have been red, that could quickly be purple? You know, what's the next horizon of those states? You know, a lot of people talked about South Carolina. Third, Markos Moulitsas last night on television talking about Mississippi. Yes. Given the demographics there.

[01:02:48]

So I want to hear what you think where the next horizon is for things from red to purple.

[01:02:53]

Well, I think Texas is it has to be number one. I mean, just see the movement in Texas right now. And I tell you on the presidential level, when Texas goes, I'm sorry for the Republican Party. I mean, that is is that sorry.

[01:03:09]

Not that sorry. That are just kind of fake. Sorry, but but but Texas has to be number one. I really do believe it.

[01:03:19]

And I do think there are states in the south. I think Mississippi is one of I mean, 40 almost 40 percent of the state's registered voters are African-American. And with that sizable African-American population, you get registered, organized, mobilized, and then to the polls and then you make some inroads into your white rural communities. And I think you can by talking about and setting up roots in those communities. I think South Carolina is in the mix as well.

[01:03:47]

I really do believe South Carolina is one of those states. I mean, demographically, you look at South Carolina, I mean, in terms of presidential elections, I mean, how we've been sort of where Ohio has been on past few years, to be quite honest. And so I think there's some possibility I mean, even as early as the governor's race here in South Carolina. Right. Coming up, I think, you know, that race will be closer than many people would think.

[01:04:14]

Are you feeling good? I know you mentioned just now rural and black Democrats, superimportant world whites and black Democrats are a real focus of yours as you look at the Senate map. Right. Just for the record, we got thirty four Senate races.

[01:04:26]

It's now 15 Democratic incumbents in 15 Republican incumbents because we have four senators have announced retirement, 20, 22, all Republicans, Rob Portman in Ohio, Richard Burr, North Carolina, Pat Toomey in Pennsylvania, and Richard Shelby in Alabama. Tell me how you see that map. It looks like those retirements are helpful and it looks like the map is getting better. It was not necessarily a super friendly Democratic map, but it's getting friendlier. Yep, it is getting friendly.

[01:04:52]

And I think it's a pretty decent map for us. I believe that what we can do is push back on this narrative that, you know, we lose when the White House is controlled by one party. I think we can make our own history in this election cycle, particularly given the disarray on the other side of the aisle. I believe that we can invest, we can organize and we can grow our majorities. You know, the you know, redistricting is going to make it a little more difficult in the House.

[01:05:19]

But I think we keep the house and I think we have more seats to the Senate.

[01:05:23]

But one last big question here and then I'm going to let you go. I know you got one of those Harrison children in the background. Well, yes, exactly. Howling for his papa.

[01:05:32]

So in their moms by my wife's like, where are you?

[01:05:36]

So we have a situation where, you know, we've talked a lot about the Republican Party and its problems right now, its existential problems, its demographic problems, et cetera. You would concede, would you not concede that Democrats have their own challenges? And the reality is that apart from at the presidential level, 20, 20 was not a great year, wasn't a terrible year, but it was a great year for Democrats. And Democrats did underperform, you know, lost some seats in the House and didn't take the number of seats in the Senate.

[01:06:03]

The people hoped that they would. And there's this ideological thing that is real. There's a some degree of a chasm between the progressive wing of the party and the moderate wing of the party. Talk about the real challenges that you see yourself facing. They are not the kind of challenges I would say Republicans face, but they are real. And I'd like you to talk a little bit about what you see as the primary ones.

[01:06:22]

Well, look, first I would say is the twenty twenty eight was a successful year for Democrats because not only did we win the White House when we didn't control it, we also took back control as a result of the race. So, yes, we lost some ground in the House, but we still kept the control over it. So I'll take that any day over the reverse. It just Astronema McDaniel, which which he preferred. And, you know, listen, we are a big and die.

[01:06:48]

First party. And we are a big tent party, and I believe diversity is our greatest asset, is our greatest strength. But along with diversity comes great challenges means we all don't come from the same place. We all don't think alike about everything. You know, we don't see the world in the same way about everything.

[01:07:07]

But that's OK. If we can pull all together, the end product will be much better and much stronger as a result because of that diversity. You know, if there's any thing that Democrats have to juggle is how do you juggle being a diverse party? You know, Democrats from New York look at the world differently than Democrats from South Carolina or South Carolina. Democrats look at it differently than those in Montana or San Francisco. We all come from different cultural places and have different environments in the places we are from.

[01:07:39]

But there is some common ground and commonality. Democrats believe that there should be health care available and affordable and accessible for everybody, how you come about that is different with some folks. And some folks want Medicare for all. Some want the Affordable Care Act. Some people are just, you know, somewhere in between. And so I think we just can't get caught up on the details and just have to keep our heads focused on the goal.

[01:08:06]

I have about five hundred more questions, but I'm not going to ask them because it's time for you. It's time for you to go take care of those kids of yours. I am grateful to be here with you on this historic day. We now have a final outcome in this impeachment fifty 43 years ago, which gives us an acquittal needing the two thirds. Just for the record, Richard Burr. The surprise vote today, Richard Burr voting to convict the president, along with Bill Cassidy, Susan Collins, Lisa Murkowski, Ben Sasse, Mitt Romney and Pat Toomey.

[01:08:36]

So your neighbor, Mr. Senator Burr, decided to do the right thing, even though Mitch McConnell in the end decided to do what he apparently thinks is in his best political interest.

[01:08:47]

But that's the outcome at the end of this historic impeachment. It's good to, like I said, always. Jamie, it's always incredible. Pleasure to be with you and get to. Thank you to see your face.

[01:08:56]

Helen Highwater is a podcast from the Recount and I hurt radio. Thanks again to my friend Jamie Harrison for being here. If you like this episode of Hell or High Water, please subscribe to the podcast and leave a nice rating for us in the Apple podcast app. That's how people find out what we are doing here. I am your host and the executive editor of the recount, John Heilemann. Bruce Weinstein is a co creator of Hell and High Water.

[01:09:16]

Lisa Jackson and David Wilson engineered the podcast. Justin Trimmel and Diana Roten handled the research. Stephanie Stender is our host producer sorry. Sopher is our producer and Christian Fidel Castro. Russell is our executive producer.

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