Julián Castro @JulianCastro
The American people deserve to know the full truth about Russia’s interference in our democracy. The Special Counsel report must be publicly released in its entirety.
[….] 4:16 PM – 22 Mar 2019
If you’re reading this you’re probably not aware (judging by the site statistics) that we spent the past weekend on an Iowa road trip, covering two out of three 2020 presidential campaign events we intended to cover (sometimes the concession to cold weather, a blocks long walk with a load of equipment, and the fact that we’re not getting any younger weigh more than getting just a few more images).
Back to the beginning. Once Democratic Party candidates started announcing that they were running or their intention to run for President (and traveling) we started contacting campaigns – not as easy as you might think – so we could receive media notices. We’re a four hour drive from Iowa’s largest city and in past years, dating back to 2007, had regularly covered the Harkin Steak Fry (look it up in our archives) in Indianola. They’re all going to be in Iowa more than once before 2020, so why not?
If history is any indication, it’s a mixed bag. In 2008 and 2012 we managed to cover what we could in Missouri and surrounding states as we received notices. In the 2016 cycle, by the time the two major candidates in the Democratic Party primary finally started sending us media notices the Iowa caucus was long over.
So, we’ve sent requests for media notices (again, it’s not always easy to find out the “to who” part) and have started to receive them. At present six of the campaigns are sending us media notices. It’s like trying to sip from a firehouse. We’ve yet to receive notices or responses from a number of other campaigns. That’s okay – it’s either a result of our failure to contact the right person or their choice.
The dynamics of the two different candidate town hall events we covered this past weekend were very similar to the constituent town halls we covered in Missouri when Claire McCaskill (D) was still a senator. At least the later ones.
There’s a meeting room in a small town with the space to seat a hundred, maybe more, interested people. Media shows up early – well, we do. We check in and may ask a few logistics questions. The lighting can be adequate or stellar. We always mumble to ourselves about the light. There’s a portable sound system that the candidate may or may not use. The interested crowd gathers, may visit, and gets seated. The candidate is usually behind schedule (that’s normal).
Then the candidate makes remarks, takes questions from the audience, finishes speaking, and, in this age of smart phones and social media, remains for a few minutes to pose with attendees for selfies.
There may or may not be a press availability. It depends on the candidate schedule and other factors. We’re a Z-list blog.
After the event is done then it’s a matter of us downloading, processing, and choosing photos; downloading audio; transcribing audio portions; and then writing and posting the story.
We’ll take anywhere from 500 to 1500 images at an event. The audio recordings (two sources) can run up to an hour of content.
So, why bother? It’s why we exist. And for the same reasons. Old media (not so much individuals) does such a poor job. There aren’t enough people covering the content details of these events. Not that some corporate entities in the game have a lack of resources. We’re comparatively cost efficient – we try, but we’re pedaling as fast as we can.
Iowa. Why do we invest so much importance in the “first in the nation caucus”? Well caucuses are democratic and anti-democratic. You show up, stand your ground, and choose your candidate. Unless you’re a working person who can’t take off for those particular two or so hours on that day. Old media needs an answer and a narrative, and they need it quick. That’s their failing. And, there’s the matter of a diverse population in a diverse state anointing a candidate for a diverse nation.
We see that you’ve never been to Iowa.
You believe presidential campaigns start too early and take too long? We attribute that to your laziness and sense of entitlement.
There are a number of publicly spirited, intelligent, and immensely talented, experienced individuals running for President. There are others doing so who are none of the above. How are we all going to tell the difference if they’re not meeting with voters in small groups from state to state over the period of time from now to the Fall 2020 election?
Also, Donald Trump (r). I rest my case.
It is our impression that the Iowa voters who attend these events to vet candidates and who participate in the caucuses take their responsibilities very seriously. Would you want unengaged morons doing this instead? Of course, there are no guarantees that they’ll get it right in 2020. With a single exception (a right wingnut Bret Kavanaugh supporter) the Iowans we watched participate this weekend were cheerful, thoughtful, engaged, and polite.
And, if we are to judge the entire Democratic Party field of candidates from the two campaign events we witnessed this weekend we’ll be in the good hands of an experienced, intelligent, and compassionate nominee in 2020 who believes in doing the best for all Americans.
Reporter: “Where does [this candidate] stand with you?” Iowan: “Oh, they’re on my top twenty list.”
In the second leg of our Iowa presidential campaign road trip we left Altoona, Iowa early this morning for Cedar Rapids. There had been some overnight snow along Interstate 80.
Iowa [photo: Joan Ferguson].
Late this morning well over a hundred individuals (and quite a few media people) gathered in an upstairs meeting room in Cedar Falls, Iowa to hear from Senator Amy Klobuchar (D), a candidate for President in 2020.
Senator Amy Klobuchar (D).
Senator Amy Klobuchar (D): [on education]…there are many paths to success in this country. There isn’t just one pat to success. And I see immigration reform as a part of this as well. Uh, we need workers in our factories, in our fields. We’ve got people here that are working in the shadows, right, and I believe comprehensive immigration reform is the answer. Just to give you a sense, the President always talks about it with security. Yes, we want to have security at the border. Not his wall, okay, that’s not what we need.[….][comprehensive immigration reform]… hundred fity-eight billion dollars in savings on that bill that passed the Senate, in ten years. People come out of the shadows, pay their taxes, hundred fifty-eight billion dollars in savings. Think about how that would help with the debt, think about how that would help our country. I see this as an economic issue. Twenty-five percent of our U.S. Nobel laureate were born in other countries. Nearly seventy of our Fortune Five Hundred company CEOs, state from a while back, born in other countries. Immigrants don’t diminish America, they are America….
…when they say there’s an urban rural divide. I will not do it. I go [in Minnesota] not just where it’s comfortable, I go where it’s uncomfortable. I visit every single county every year. I meet with Republicans, I meet with Independents, I meet with Democrats. I have people yell at me, I have people hug me. I don’t care. I think you have to get out there and you have to listen to people….
…and then I see these words on the wall [at the Carter Presidential Library], um, that they put up there, and this is before Trump. [….] Now it is so meaningful. It was Mondale, looking back at their four years….And the words on the wall said this: “We told the truth. We obeyed the law. We kept the peace.” And I think that is a minimum that you should expect from any President and Vice President. And that is, that you try to keep the peace, and that you tell the truth, and you obey the law. And that is what I promise you I will do.
Early in the afternoon Senator Klobuchar walked in the Cedar Rapids St. Patrick’s Day parade with Linn County Democrats.
Early this evening over a hundred indivuduals gathered at a winery across from the balloon field in Indianola, Iowa to hear from Senator Cory Booker (D), a candidate for President in 2020.
Senator Cory Booker (D)
Senator Cory Booker (D): …So, I want to end by telling you hope, and why this has been two of the most hopeful years of my life. Because hope is the active conviction that despair will not have the last word. When there was the Muslim ban I, I ran out to Dulles Airport because I was a lawyer and I heard that they were detaining people without access to lawyers. And I got to Dulles Airport and the concourse was full of one of the most beautiful things I’ve ever seen as an American. Hundreds and hundreds of Americans piling into that concourse demanding justice, demanding the release of detained people. And every time a Muslim family not from this country emerged out of the gate everybody erupted into songs. Singing patriotic songs. There were guys with yarmulkes…cheering Muslims coming off a plane. That’s America. [….] Hope is the active conviction that despair will not have the last word. [….][after the inauguration] …And so I went home that night, and I’m telling the truth, I’m being seduced by despair now, I curl up in a ball and I’ve got a headache, I’m worrying. And the next morning I wake up to a chorus of Miss Virginia Jones’s, millions of women from coast to coast, said to me, Cory, despair will not have the last word. I’m bringing the hope. Hate won’t have the last word, I’m bringing the love. Sexism won’t have the last word, I’m bringing the equality. They said to me, Cory Booker, as if they were pointing to me…this is not a time to curl up, it’s not a time to shut up, it’s definitely not a time to give up. It’s time to get up. It’s time to rise up. It’s time to speak up. And so I ask you all right now, in this moral moment in our country what will we do? Each and every one of us has the power to make change in greater ways than we think. We’re stronger than we know. We’re more beautiful than we realize.[….] This is a moment now where we need the best of who we are. We need our traditions, the ones that go back to Birmingham, Selma. The ones that go back to Stonewall. And Seneca. When American gathered together and said our country is going wrong we’re going to make it right. I want to ask everybody in this room right now. I want you to caucus for me, but whatever you do, between now and six hundred days from now, what ever you do, don’t let this election be small. Don’t let it be about just one man and one office. Don’t let it be just about what you’re against. Let this be the moment in American history that we can again revive ideals of civic grace. That we call upon our neighbors to have a more courageous empathy for those people who are hurting, those people who are left out, those people who can’t afford their healthcare, those people who are getting starved in public education. Let this be a moment where we not just show courageous empathy, but we revive ideals of love and seek a loving community. If we can make this a big election, a big moment for America, yeah, we’re in the pit but we can go to the palace.[….] Well, it’s time for this generation to dream again. Dream that we can save this planet from peril. Dream that we can have cathedrals of learning for our kids. Dream that we can have healthcare for all. It’s time for defiant dreams.
Daring dreams. And bold dreams. And if we dream together, and work together, and struggle together, and turn common pain into common purpose I promise you, we won’t just elect a new president in the White House, we will as a whole, as a nation, we will rise. Thank you.
Senator Elizabeth Warren (D) has formed a 2020 presidential campaign exploratory committee.
Senator Elizabeth Warren (D) [2016 file photo by Jerry Schmidt]
Senator Elizabeth Warren (D): In our country, if you work hard and play by the rules, you ought to be able to take care of yourself and the people you love. That’s a fundamental promise of America – a promise that should be true for everyone.
Growing up in Oklahoma, that promise came through for me and my family. After my older brothers joined the military and I was still just a kid, my daddy had a heart attack and couldn’t work. My mom found a minimum wage job at Sears, and that job saved our house and our family. My daddy ended up as a janitor, but he raised a daughter who got to be a public school teacher, a law professor, and a Senator. We got a real opportunity to build something.
Working families today face a lot tougher path than my family did. And families of color face a path that is steeper and rockier, a path made even harder by the impact of generations of discrimination.
I’ve spent my career getting to the bottom of why America’s promise works for some families, but others who work just as hard slip through the cracks into disaster. What I’ve found is terrifying: these aren’t cracks that families are falling into – they’re traps. America’s middle class is under attack.
How did we get here? Billionaires and big corporations decided they wanted more of the pie, and they enlisted politicians to cut them a fatter slice. They crippled unions so no one could stop them, [….] dismantled the financial rules meant to keep us safe after the Great Depression, and cut their own taxes so they paid less than their secretaries and janitors.
After Wall Street crashed our economy in 2008, I left the classroom to go to Washington and confront the broken system head on.
We created America’s first consumer watchdog to hold the big banks accountable.
I never thought I’d run for office – not in a million years. But when Republican Senators tried to sabotage the reforms and run me out of town, I went back to Massachusetts and ran against one of them – and I beat him.
Today, corruption is poisoning our democracy. Politicians look the other way while big insurance companies deny patients life-saving coverage, while big banks rip off consumers, and while big oil companies destroy this planet.
Our government’s supposed to work for all of us, but instead it has become a tool for the wealthy and well-connected. The whole scam is propped up by an echo chamber of fear and hate designed to distract and divide us. People who will do or say anything to hang on to power point the finger at anyone who looks or thinks or prays or loves differently than they do.
But this dark path doesn’t have to be our future. We can make our democracy work for all of us. We can make our economy work for all of us. We can rebuild America’s middle class – but this time, we gotta build it for everyone.
No matter where you live in America, and no matter where your family came from in the world, you deserve a path to opportunity. Because no matter what our differences, most of us want the same thing: to be able to work hard, play by the same set of rules, and take care of the people we love.
That’s the America I’m fighting for, and that’s why today I’m launching an exploratory committee for president. But the outcome of this election will depend on you.
In the last two years, millions of people have done more than they ever thought they thought they would to protect the promise of America. And here’s what we learned: if we organize together, if we fight together, if we persist together, we can win – we can and we will.
Growing up in Texas, America wasn’t just my home, my country. It was also a promise — a promise that my family could have a better life.
My grandmother, Victoria, came here when she was seven years old. She never made it past the fourth grade, but she taught her family the value of hard work. Cleaning other people’s houses, taking care of their kids, cooking their food. It wasn’t an easy life. It was her gift to her daughter. And eventually, to my brother and me.
My mom, Rosie — she’s the strongest person I’ve ever known. First in our family to graduate from college. One of the first Chicanas in the history of San Antonio to run for city council. And a single mom. Teaching my brother and me that if you want to make a change in your life, in your community, you don’t wait. You work. “Make your future happen,” she’d say to us.
So we did. My brother and I went to San Antonio public schools, then college, then law school. Two generations after my grandmother arrived here with nothing, my brother was a Member of Congress and I served in President Obama’s cabinet.
That’s America for you. This is a place where dreams can become real.
No matter where we’re from, we’re united by the same daily needs — a good job, a good education for our kids, good health care, an affordable place to live. The need to be acknowledged for our contributions, not for our gender or who we love. We all hope our children have clean air to breathe and clean water to drink. We all hope they can worry about their studies, not their safety.
So, I’m taking a lesson from my mother — if we want to see a change in this country, we don’t wait. We work. We make our future happen.
I’ve spent the last several years traveling around America and listening to people’s concerns. Mothers from Arizona, college students in Iowa, teachers in Florida. It doesn’t matter where we come from — we want the same things. We want to do right by our families. We want America to keep its promises. And I believe we can.
I believe we can make a promise to the next generations: that if you do the work to go to college, you should graduate without a mountain of debt.
I believe we can make a promise to our seniors: that you can count on a life of dignity after you’ve spent your life providing for your family.
I believe we can make a promise to our planet: that it will still be here for our children’s children’s children to enjoy.
I believe we can make a promise to people with black and brown skin, people who wear turbans and hijabs and yarmulkes, that you can walk down the street in your community — in any community — and feel safe.
I believe we can make a promise to all Americans: If you’re sick, you can go to the doctor. If you work hard, your kids can get ahead.
And I believe we can make a promise to immigrants who spend a lifetime imagining how it will feel the day they arrive in America: We have room for you. We welcome you. Our destinies are united.
Americans are ready to climb out of this darkness. We’re ready to keep our promises. And we’re not going to wait — we’re going to work.
That’s why I am exploring a candidacy for President of the United States in 2020. I’ll be talking with folks over the next several weeks and will make an announcement about my plans on January 12, 2019 here in Texas.
I never thought, when I was growing up on the west side of San Antonio, that I would be speaking to you about this today.
My name is Julián Castro and I know the promise of America.
You think Julián Castro isn’t familiar with Iowa? The date that photo was taken at the Harkin Steak Fry in Indianola, Iowa was on September 15, 2013. 2013.