We are an impatient people. We watch impatient old media. They create narratives because they are impatient. We listen to those tired narratives because we are so predictably impatient.
The old media hand wringing on the evening of the Iowa Caucus was a thing to behold. I spent my time watching their coverage screaming obscenities at the onscreen talking heads throughout the night. You’d have thought the cable networks had spent hundreds of thousands of dollars on their brand new sets and on their ominous, yet vaguely patriotic, “Decide Something 2020” theme music. Instead, we got a really bad remake of the 1970 Mary Tyler Moore Show election night blizzard episode “The Snow Must Go On”. Watch the original, it’s hilarious.
Old media had to wait, what, seventy-two hours, for an approximation of the final results of a CAUCUS, the first voting event in a line of fifty-seven or so (states, commonwealths, territories). They wanted to declare an ultimate winner THAT VERY NIGHT. How dare the Iowa Democratic Party hold a caucus like that. You know, with (very public) formulas and arcane rules. Yawn.
If you’ve ever participated in a caucus they’re all like that. [Raises hand: Missouri, 1992.] Forget that it took months for an “official winner” of the Iowa republican caucus several cycles back.
The 2020 Iowa Caucus was the best thing to happen to presidential politics in America in a long time. Maybe 2020 will be a final stake in the heart of this money sucking, faux populist, abomination of true Democracy.
Caucuses are inherently undemocratic while simultaneously being small “d” democratic. You can’t “vote” at will over a period of your choosing in the hours between 7:00 a.m. and 7:00 p.m. on the day of the caucus. You have to show up before they figuratively “lock the doors” at the appointed hour and then you have to stay for the duration to have your vote counted. Who does this cockamamie process exclude? I’ll wait.
Candidates spent tens of millions in Iowa. Several campaigns, with stellar candidates, ran out of resources and the approval of conventional wisdom long before the first vote was cast. That’s a tragedy for all of us. The candidates spent tens of millions of dollars in Iowa. Think about that.
It’s on us because we let this happen, election after election.
There’s a lot to be said for retail politics, the art and charm of presidential candidates getting out there and engaging voters one on one. Get over it. You don’t live there. There are a lot of Americans who don’t get that opportunity to engage with candidates who want to be their president, because somehow we’ve anointed two small states with a tiny percentage of voters (and low turnout) and with a minimal number of nominating delegates at stake to act as the final arbiters and gatekeepers of our viable and/or electable candidates for president.
Kamala Harris, Cory Booker, Julián Castro, to name a few, are no longer candidates. Tulsi Gabbard hangs on, still. I rest my case.
Senator Kamala Harris (D) [2019 file photo].
Senator Cory Booker (D) [2019 file photo]
Former HUD Secretary Julián Castro (D) [2019 file photo].
So, here we are, with eight or so candidates remaining in the Democratic Party presidential nominating process and old media chomping at the bit to create winners and losers narratives. The next two components of the process include another arcane caucus and an honest to goodness primary. We’ll see what happens. Old media will lazily build on their previous narratives or gaslight us all if they change them. Then it’s fifty-three or so primaries or caucuses to go. Get my drift?
In the meantime, a trend on social media:
Adam Best @adamcbest
#PresidentWarren is trending because despite her being 3rd in delegates, 3rd in most national polls and 2nd in endorsements, the media acts as if she doesn’t exist. So her supporters are dealing with this blackout by making sure voters know she’s still here and still kicking ass. 3:40 PM · Feb 17, 2020
Today, from Cory Booker’s (D) 2020 presidential campaign:
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 13, 2020
Cory Booker: I’ve made the hard decision to suspend my campaign for president.
Nearly one year ago, I got in the race for president because I believed to my core that the answer to the common pain Americans are feeling right now, the answer to Donald Trump’s hatred and division, is to reignite our spirit of common purpose to take on our biggest challenges and build a more just and fair country for everyone.
I’ve always believed that. I still believe that. I’m proud I never compromised my faith in these principles during this campaign to score political points or tear down others. And maybe I’m stubborn, but I’ll never abandon my faith in what we can accomplish when we join together.
I will carry this fight forward — I just won’t be doing it as a candidate for president this year.
It’s with a full heart that I share this news — I’ve made the decision to suspend my campaign for president.
It was a difficult decision to make, but I got in this race to win, and I’ve always said I wouldn’t continue if there was no longer a path to victory.
Our campaign has reached the point where we need more money to scale up and continue building a campaign that can win — money we don’t have, and money that is harder to raise because I won’t be on the next debate stage and because the urgent business of impeachment will rightly be keeping me in Washington.
So I’ve chosen to suspend my campaign now, take care of my wonderful staff, and give you time to consider the other strong choices in the field.
I’m proud of the ideas we brought to this Democratic primary and, more importantly, the values we championed throughout — that the only way we make progress is by bringing people together — even when we were told that our approach couldn’t win. Because our values must always be our values, even when that’s not convenient.
Over the past eleven months of this campaign, we rallied around bold ideas to tackle some of the biggest challenges we face as a nation. We moved the debate forward on gun violence — introducing a plan with the most aggressive gun safety measures our country had ever seen. We advocated for progressive, swift change to our criminal justice reform system. We fought to protect and strengthen reproductive rights and access to abortion. Together, we spoke out and stood up for people and communities that have been left out and left behind.
We never backed down from our commitment to being a campaign powered by the people. I’m so grateful to the supporters who invested time, money, and resources into building this organization. I’m forever indebted to you and your activism.
I will be doing everything in my power to elect the eventual Democratic nominee for president, whomever that may be, and to elect great Democrats to the Senate and up and down the ballot. 2020 is the most important election of our lifetimes — we have to beat Donald Trump… but beating Trump is the floor, not the ceiling.
We must remember that throughout the campaign to come, and as we work to build a more just America in Trump’s wake. It’s activists like you who are going to be so important in this election and I feel so lucky to have you on my team.
We may have not reached our ultimate goal, but over the last year I’ve had the pleasure of meeting so many incredible, inspiring, engaged people all over this country, and I am more confident now than ever that together we will rise.
# # #
Senator Cory Booker (D) with Iowa Public Television interviewer David Yepson. [2019 file photo]
“…Cory 2020 needs to raise an additional $1.7 million by September 30 to be in a position to build the organization necessary to continue competing for the nomination. Without a fundraising surge to close out this quarter, we do not see a legitimate long-term path forward…” – campaign memo sent to supporters and media – Cory2020
Senator Cory Booker’s (D) presidential campaign is one of about a dozen from which we receive media notices. Since March we’ve been able to cover a few of his campaign appearances in Iowa – we count him as one of the many excellent and credible Democratic Party candidates running for the party nomination for president. There are a few others who we encounter (or don’t bother to cover – you can figure it out) who we believe could be a disaster for the party, but would, in every case, be a damn sight better for the country than the current occupant in the White House.
Senator Booker, and at least ten other candidates, far exceeds that low bar.
Still a significant period out from the first votes (caucus or primary) to select the party’s nominee, it would be a disservice, up to a point, to those voters across the country who have a much later primary or caucus for the field of candidates to narrow because of lower than expected candidate fundraising numbers. Gaffs, policy missteps or differences, other issues, fine. Money? Important, but not the most important.
Senator Cory Booker (D) – Ankeny, Iowa – July 15, 2019.
This was good news for Democratic Party voters – yesterday, a press release from Senator Cory Booker’s (D) presidential campaign:
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 22, 2019
Rise Together Day 1: Cory 2020 Sees Best One-Day Online Fundraising Haul of Campaign To Date
Cory 2020 is nearly 18% toward $1.7 million goal after Day 1 of critical 10 day period
Raises $300,000+ in one day after warning that if fundraising trajectory doesn’t change by Sept. 30, campaign will not be able to build organization necessary to win
Newark, NJ — Cory 2020 saw its best single-day online fundraising haul after alerting supporters in an urgent memo on Saturday morning that the campaign did not see a legitimate long-term path forward in the presidential race without a fundraising surge before September 30th.
“The stakes couldn’t be higher for the future of our campaign, and we’re absolutely blown away by the response on day one,” said Cory 2020 Campaign Manager Addisu Demissie. “People really stepped up and responded — clearly there is a desire to keep Cory in this race and help us build our organization in a way that puts us on a path to win the nomination.
“We made significant progress toward our $1.7 million goal yesterday — it was the best single online fundraising day of our campaign, bigger than even the launch of this campaign on February 1. There’s a long way to go but today showed us that, when we come together, we can tackle tough challenges. That’s how we’ll win this primary, that’s how we’ll beat Donald Trump, and that’s how we’ll change this country and change the world”
Totals for Saturday, September 21, 2019:
Percent toward goal: 17.7%
Total Raised: $300,495.79
Total Raised Online: $278,950.00
Total Donations: 8,403
Comparison to yesterday: 31.62 x bigger
# # #
We don’t know if Senator Booker’s campaign will succeed in reaching their ultimate fundraising goal. The point is, he’s trying and people are responding. That says a lot about the quality of the candidate and his voice, the confidence of voters, the quality of the Democratic Party field, and the abysmal record of the current occupant of the White House
As part of an Iowa road trip covering the 2020 Presidential Campaign and Democratic Party candidates I sent an RSVP to a press notice about an appearance by Senator Cory Booker (D) in Ankeny, Iowa scheduled early (relatively, as campaign events go) this morning. Covering the event was going to be easy – for me it was on the way back to Missouri from the previous day’s event at the exact driving time I would have been there anyway.
On first notice from the campaign the format of the event wasn’t clear to me. By the time of the event I realized I would be covering a live taping of the first of a series of structured presidential candidate interviews (with submitted audience questions) leading up to the 2020 Iowa Caucuses.
Since this was a live taping of television public affairs program the press ground rules for covering it were specific and strict. Media/press were issued credentials, we were stationed in a media room with a live feed (audio and visual), we could not live stream (this program will be broadcast on Iowa Public Television later this week), and we would be escorted and accompanied individually into the venue for still photography for brief periods during the event – this so as we would not inadvertently interfere with camera lines and audio. Oh, and no tripods.
About fifteen minutes before the start of the event a representative of Iowa Public Television asked me if I would act as the pool still photographer. This changed the dynamics of my coverage. On one hand, as a photographer I get more access (accompanied) time in the venue, but it’s also now more important and necessary that I am successful at getting usable images because they are going to be shared with everybody. I would not be able to monitor my audio recording of the event, nor would I be able to pay undivided attention to portions of the hour long taping a I prepared and sent my pool still images.
Some of the images:
Iowa Public Television announcer.
Senator Cory Booker (D) with Iowa Public Television interviewer David Yepson.
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.