April 21, 2019

Searching for Obama 2.0

“Kamala Harris was dubbed the “Female Obama” even before she announced she was going to “pull off an Obama-sized feat in 2020,” as McClatchy put it when the California senator formally entered the Democratic presidential primary this week. Now, her campaign envisions replicating the coalition that backed Barack Obama’s 2008 primary upset: “Asians, Latinos and other voters of color, as well as educated white liberals” and young voters.

Julián Castro has the same idea. After the 44-year old grandson of Mexican immigrants announced his candidacy, his brother Joaquín predicted that he would have “strong support” among Obama voters because “his message resonates” with them.

Julián Castro’s fellow Texan Beto O’Rourke was also touted as Obama’s natural political successor. “He’s Barack Obama, but white,” said one anonymous donor to POLITICO, marveling at O’Rourke’s Senate campaign and his online fundraising haul.

Other candidates, still waiting in the wings, can be expected to eye the Obama coalition for themselves. If Cory Booker or former Attorney General Eric Holder enter the race, surely more Obama comparisons will be made. Nobody would confuse Joe Biden for Barack Obama, but he does have the unique credential of having been Obama’s vice president and would hope to impress his voters. Bernie Sanders, who won over young white progressives but not older African-Americans in 2016, has been spending more time in front of black audiences ever since.”

Read more

JJ Editor's Daily Picks

"After five years of war with the Islamic State, the biggest problem for the winners is coping with the losers. The aftermath has produced one of the world’s most perplexing postwar challenges..."

"What do we mean when we say that the “soul of the city” is under threat? Often, it’s really about politics, nostalgia, and the fear of community change."

"...the pendulum of history never stops moving. Indeed, one of the few constants of history is unceasing change. While we seem to be heading in one direction, we must remember that there will surely be pauses, turns, and reversals."

""Homecoming: A Film by Beyoncé," premiered early Wednesday and it was the fulfillment of all the ancestors' hopes and dreams. Beyoncé also dropped "Homecoming: The Live Album.""

"Seven in 10 adults ages 18 to 34 received financial support from their parents in the last year, including more than half of those in their early 30s. Almost three in five millennials said they couldn’t afford their lifestyles without the support."

"Social media influencers have helped turn public lands into tourist-infested swamps. And one cantankerous man is fighting back."

"One particular myth that attached itself to Ledger was that his death was somehow a result of immersing himself in the character of the Joker."

"In 2018, for the second year in a row, American publishers released fewer translated titles: 609 books were published, down from 650 in 2017 and the industry high in 2016 of 666."

"Egg freezing had become so routine among my single peers that when I hit 35, I never thought twice. Here’s what I wish I had known."

"When it comes to Passover cuisine, most home cooks know to avoid wheat, oats, rye, and other forbidden ingredients. But what consumers might not realize is just how much cotton they eat during the holiday."

"A masked figure looms over your recumbent body, wielding power tools and sharp metal instruments, doing things to your mouth you cannot see."

"Passover is a holiday that commemorates the Jewish people escaping slavery in Egypt. It is often referred to as the “festival of freedom.” My Passover in prison was at a place called the Wallkill Correctional Facility..."