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‘Daddy, I don’t want to come back to Capitol Hill’: Raskin opens up about January 6 horror

WASHINGTON – The speech, delivered Tuesday to an elated Senate chamber, will be remembered on Capitol Hill, likely for a long time, for its appeal to still raw emotions following the mob attack in the workplace and courtroom jurors.

Rep. Jamie Raskin of Maryland, lead prosecution counsel in Donald J. Trump’s second impeachment trial, spoke about the horror of January 6: what it was like to hear “the most haunting sound that I’ve never heard “as members of a pro-Trump mob pounded” like a ram “on the bedroom doors of the house.

He spoke of seeing terrified colleagues. “All around me people were calling their wives and husbands, their loved ones, to say goodbye,” Raskin said. He recounted how his daughter Tabitha and a son-in-law were hiding under a desk in another lawmaker’s office. “They thought they were going to die,” Raskin said.

And he recounted how he apologized to Tabitha for the ugly experience she had endured just one day after the family buried her 25-year-old brother, Tommy, who died of suicide on ” saddest of our life ”. Mr. Raskin said he promised her the next visit to his office would be better.

“Daddy, I don’t want to come back to the Capitol,” Tabitha replied, her father said, fighting back tears.

Even at a time when the Capitol became numb with emotional appeals, it was an extraordinary speech. While there was a parade of additional prosecution lawyers and two defense attorneys who spoke on Tuesday and will become more familiar as the week goes on, it is Mr. Raskin, a Democrat from the Maryland suburb, which was the emotional centerpiece of the day. procedure.

The circumstances were, of course, remarkable: a second presidential impeachment trial for the first time in American history, held after he was removed from office at a location that was itself the scene of the crime. Armed members of the National Guard remained stationed throughout the Capitol complex.

As several of those listening wiped away tears, Mr. Raskin recounted the most searing and brutal footage of the day. He spoke of rioters beating a fallen policeman with a pole, his American flag still attached, using it “to harpoon him and hit him”, “ruthlessly, ruthlessly, tortured by a pole with a flag on it which he was defending with its very life. “

He described scenes that appeared to come from a distant land fighting savage insurgents, not from the heart of American democracy. “People died that day,” Raskin said. “The officers ended up with head and brain damage. People’s eyes were gouged out. An officer had a heart attack. An officer lost three fingers that day. Two officers committed suicide. “

He seemed to dwell on details that would resonate personally with the experience of his audience. “Members of Congress, at least on the House side, were removing their pins so that they could not be identified by the crowd as they attempted to escape,” Raskin said.

His voice calmed down as he made his point.

“Senators, this cannot be our future,” Raskin said. “This cannot be America’s future.”

Mr Raskin, a former constitutional law professor, opened his presentation with a violent video montage of news footage, ground speeches and a series of clips posted to social media by attendees.

The presentation was organized to show Mr. Trump as a sort of narrator for the reconstruction of events. It started with his speech to supporters at a “Stop the Steal” rally outside the White House that the president presented as the culmination of his long and false claim that he won the election.

The video showed Mr. Trump urging his supporters to come to Capitol Hill and then shots of the crowd in which his supporters were heard swearing to “take the Capitol” and “get the traitors back.” The scene then moved to the end and a clip of Mr. Trump provoking outside the White House.

“I love you,” Mr. Trump told his supporters in a short video, pointedly made to encourage them to leave Capitol and return home. “You are very special.”

The final image featured a tweet sent by Mr. Trump later that evening. “Remember this day forever,” he said.

Mr Raskin’s emotional appeal came after a long legal row in which he said Mr Trump and his lawyers were asking senators to create an illogical “January exception” that went against the intent of founders. Recreating the debates of the Constitutional Convention of 1787, Mr. Raskin argued that the Senate should not allow a president to become immune from conduct committed during his last month in office.

“Anyone can immediately see why it’s so dangerous,” he says. “It is an invitation to the president to do his best in whatever he wants to do on his way out of the door, including using violent means to lock that door, to hang on at all costs to the Oval Office and block the transfer of power. “

Mr Trump’s lawyers had argued that the entire trial was unconstitutional because he had already left office, denying the need for a procedure they claimed was designed to remove him from office.

In response, Mr Raskin said the events of January 6 were proof of the need for such a remedy: to deter an incumbent president from resorting to violence in order to remain in office.

“He would have you believe that there is absolutely nothing the Senate can do about it,” Raskin said, pointing to the footage in the montage. “No trial. No facts. He wants you to decide that the Senate is powerless at this point. It cannot be fair.

Mr. Raskin said the editors intended the exact opposite. They were perfectly comfortable with the dismissal of former officials, he said.

They chose to give the Senate “the exclusive power” to try “all indictments,” he said, citing the Constitution. “Everything means everything,” Mr. Raskin said. “There are no exceptions to the rule.”

Despite the graphic images Mr. Raskin used and the horrific events he described, his tenor was without partisan hard feelings or blame. He explained how colleagues from both parties offered his condolences to him on Jan.6 as he prepared for the speech he would deliver as Congress meets to certify the election results.

“I felt the feeling of being out of agony,” said Mr. Raskin, shortly before that day took its turn.

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‘Don’t kill me’: others talk about Agent Who Knelt’s abuse of George Floyd

Mr. Chauvin, who was fired, said through his lawyer that his handling of Mr. Floyd’s arrest was a reasonable use of authorized force. But he has been the subject of at least 22 internal complaints or investigations during his more than 19 years in the service, only one of which resulted in disciplinary action. These new interviews show not only that he may have used excessive force in the past, but that he used surprisingly similar techniques.

The four people who recounted their meetings with Mr. Chauvin had a history of trouble with the police, mainly for traffic and non-violent offenses.

Ms. Code’s arrest took place on June 25, 2017. In one file, Mr. Chauvin’s attorney, Eric J. Nelson, said the officer had acted correctly in the case, responding to “a crime violent in an unstable situation ”. He said that “there was nothing unreasonable or unauthorized about Mr. Chauvin’s actions.”

Ms Code’s mother had accused her of attempting to suffocate her with an extension cord, according to the arrest report. Ms Code said in an interview that her mother was spinning the cord and she simply grabbed it.

She said she left the house to cool off after the fight and that when she returned, Mr. Chauvin and his partner had arrived. In prosecutors’ description, based on Mr. Chauvin’s report and body camera video, Mr. Chauvin told Ms. Code that she was under arrest and grabbed her arm. When she pulled away, he first pulled her to the floor, face, and knelt on top of her. The two officers then picked her up and carried her outside the house, face down.

There, prosecutors said, Mr. Chauvin knelt on the back of the handcuffed woman “even though she offered no physical resistance.”

Ms Code, in an interview, said she had started to plead, “Don’t kill me.

At that point, according to prosecutors’ account, Mr. Chauvin told his partner to restrain Ms. Code’s ankles as well, even though she “was not physically aggressive.”

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Biden will not budge on Senate obstruction. Why don’t the progressives push it?

President Biden moved swiftly in his early days to begin implementing his agenda, signing executive orders and outlining new actions aimed at raising the economy, tackling climate change, and closing the racial wealth gap. But his most important move might actually be a reaffirmation of an old position – that the Senate should protect the filibuster, the 60-vote threshold that for years prevented expansive legislation, including on issues it he is now seeking to resolve.

Progressive growls over filibuster increased this week after Minority Leader Senator Mitch McConnell initially refused to agree to basic house rules of operation unless Democrats agree to uphold procedural tactics. But that remained only a growl, reflecting the desire of progressives to avoid intra-partisan warfare at the start of Mr. Biden’s term and their belief, shared more widely in Washington, that his hand could eventually be forced.

Some argue that Mr Biden, and Senate resisters, will accept the idea once a popular bill is blocked by Republicans, like the John Lewis Voting Rights Act, named after the late civil rights hero. last year. Others believe Mr. Biden’s desire to be seen as a transformational president will overwhelm his instinct as a Washington traditionalist.

“We have to recognize that the Senate has fundamentally changed since the time President Biden served,” said Senator Ed Markey of Massachusetts, a progressive who endorsed the elimination of filibuster. “And it was impossible to move forward on big problems.”

“You cannot be unrealistically nostalgic for a time that does not return,” he added. “The Senate is not returning to a previous state.”

Mr. Biden’s pledge to keep the Senate obstructed is reminiscent of the political debates that animated the Democratic presidential primary. At that point, candidates including Senators Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, Bernie Sanders of Vermont and Kamala Harris of California – Mr Biden’s eventual vice president and vice president – expressed openness to the elimination. filibuster or have directly called for its removal.

Their logic was informed by years of congressional blockade under former President Barack Obama and by the scale of the challenges the country faced: Big problems need big solutions, they argued, and filibuster. was a blockade to progress. Mr Biden himself has expressed some willingness to rethink his position last summer, under pressure to unite the party’s ideological wings and defeat Donald J. Trump.

“It will depend on their stubbornness,” Biden said of Republicans at the time.

Now in power, it appears he has closed that window – a reflection of a campaign focused on working across party lines and his history as a negotiator in Washington respectful of bipartisan civility.

With the Senate split 50-50 between Democrats and Republicans, that could allow Mr McConnell and a small group of moderate voices to block almost any piece of legislation. This could doom Mr. Biden to the same fate as his Democratic presidential predecessor, who accused Republican obstructionism of blocking a more robust liberal agenda.

Mr Markey said he was convinced that if Mr Biden began to meet the same fate, he would come to support a procedural change in the Senate.

“Deal with the Senate as it exists today,” Mr. Markey said. “And I believe that when and if the key elements of its program are blocked, the administration will see how the obstruction is a hindrance.”

He added: “It is an obstacle to progress and justice.”

Still, progressive activist groups and liberal lawmakers have largely held their own in response to Mr Biden’s stance, responding more with a shrug than a rallying cry. In interviews, several leaders said it was too early to push to remove the filibuster. They also argued that Mr Biden would change his mind once his promise to “build back better” was confronted with the full reality of Congressional partisanship.

Brian Fallon, the former Hillary Clinton 2016 campaign press secretary, said most activists expected Mr Biden’s initial opposition and incorporated it into their strategies. He predicted Democrats would tie a possible all-out push on eliminating filibuster to a widely supported bill rather than tackling the problem in a vacuum. And for some senators – and the president – it is important that the elimination of filibuster be seen as a last resort.

“Mr. Biden’s rhetoric remains united and conciliatory,” Mr. Fallon said. “But he’s governing in a way that makes me think he’s focused on getting results and having a big impact.”

Mr Fallon added that he was optimistic that before too long Mr Biden and his administration would recognize the need to get rid of the filibuster.

Waleed Shahid, spokesman for Justice Democrats, a progressive group that backs primaries against more centrist House Democrats, said the stakes in that fight would define Mr Biden’s presidency. His group has not sought to pressure Biden or the Senate Democrats who blocked the removal of the filibuster.

“We have a unique opportunity to make major improvements in people’s lives, and there is no real way to do it without allowing the majority to rule in the Senate,” Shahid said. “Democrats are really on the rise. If they don’t reform the filibuster, they could waste this moment.

As the majority party, Democrats could act to remove the filibuster and force a rule change on a simple majority vote – a move known as blowing up the “nuclear option” – if the 50 members remained together and Vice President Harris cast the deciding vote.

But many Congressional Democrats are reluctant to go that route, giving Mr. Biden sufficient political cover, at least for now.

The moderate Democratic senators who are central to the party’s chances of maintaining a majority – such as Joe Manchin III of West Virginia and Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona – have firmly reiterated their intention to maintain filibuster. When asked if there was a scenario that would change his mind, Mr. Manchin replied, “None. A spokeswoman for Ms. Sinema told the Washington Post that she was “not prepared to change her mind.”

Even among liberal senators, in battlefield states, and in secure blue seats, there is little fervor to remove the obstruction that existed in the Democratic presidential primary. Senators Jon Ossoff and Raphael Warnock of Georgia, whose victories earlier this month delivered Democrats’ dreams of a united government, largely avoided the question. Senator Dianne Feinstein of California, one of the most liberal states in the country, has often expressed suspicion of ending the tradition.

The minority party has often used filibuster to thwart signature items on the majority party’s agenda, and some Democrats worry that without it they won’t be able to stop Republicans the next time they go. they will control the Senate.

Resistances cloud the shifting political winds of the Democratic caucus and the growing consensus among the grassroots that the party must take a firm stand on Republican obstructionism and stop giving hope for compromise.

Faiz Shakir, a political adviser to Mr Sanders who also worked for Harry Reid, the former Senate Majority Leader, said Mr McConnell’s initial refusal to agree on the operating rules could have helped opponents long-term filibuster by giving Democrats a first look. opposition, their agenda will be confronted.

Mr Shakir recounted the 2013 efforts by Mr Reid to eliminate the use of filibuster against all presidential candidates except those in the Supreme Court, who faced a lack of initial support, even among Democrats. Building consensus took time, Shakir said.

“There is no doubt in my mind that Schumer and his staff know all the Democrats who are reluctant to end the filibuster,” he said. “They will spend time working them.”

The desire to eliminate filibuster was once seen as a shaky debate among Washington insiders, until Republican opposition to Mr. Obama’s agenda brought the issue to the fore. Calls to end the filibuster intensified under Mr. Trump’s administration, when Republicans scrapped it for Supreme Court candidates and upheld Justice Neil M. Gorsuch.

In July, supporters received a major boost from Mr. Obama, who presented the tactic as a “relic of Jim Crow” during his eulogy for Congressman Mr. Lewis from Georgia.

Mr Reid, who once supported continued filibustering, now contends that Republicans have exploited tactics to advance an unpopular agenda. “It will not hurt the Senate,” he said in a recent interview. “The Senate will be fine. The congress will be very good.

Some believe Mr. Obama’s change is a foreshadowing of the road Mr. Biden could take, even though the two come from very different political backgrounds. Mr. Obama was a newcomer to Washington at the time of his rise to the presidency, though he sought to show deference to Capitol Hill rules. These rules are woven into the bones of Mr. Biden, a byproduct of nearly half a century as a lawmaker.

Adam Jentleson, another former aide to Mr Reid who recently wrote a book on Senate transformation, said: “You have to be fundamentally delusional to think that McConnell is preparing to lead Republicans into a renaissance of bipartisan cooperation.

He doesn’t think Mr. Biden is.

“There will be a clear choice between reform or failure,” Jentleson said. “And I am convinced that faced with this choice, Biden will make the right decision.”

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Some lawmakers say they don’t feel safe because of the behavior of their colleagues during the siege on Capitol Hill.

Ms Pressley echoed Ms Ocasio-Cortez, write on twitter that she didn’t feel safe with some lawmakers.

“The second I realized that our ‘safe room’ from the violent white supremacist mob included treacherous, white supremacist, anti-mask members of Congress who were inciting the crowd in the first place, I walked out,” he said. Mrs Pressley said.

Ms. Ocasio-Cortez and Ms. Pressley are both members of “The Squad,” a group of four progressive women of color in Congress. They have been verbally attacked by the Conservatives and the President for their policies.

Rep. Lauren Boebert, Republican of Colorado, drew criticism from Democrats for tweet about the location of President Nancy Pelosi during the attack, despite reports that lawmakers were instructed by security officials not to reveal their whereabouts. Ms. Boebert subsequently dismissed the gravity of his actions.

“They accuse me of having tweeted live the presence of the speaker after she was safely evicted from the Capitol, as if I was revealing a big secret, when in fact this withdrawal was also being broadcast to television, ”Ms. Boebert said in a statement. Monday.

In the week leading up to the Capitol siege, Ms Boebert, an ardent gun rights activist, posted an ad stating that she would take her Glock with her on the streets of Washington, including on her way to work. . On her way to the House chamber for the impeachment vote on Wednesday, Ms Boebert caused a spectacle as she pushed her way through metal detectors, which were installed as part of heightened security measures after the attack , and ignoring the police who asked him to stop. .

Ms Boebert and other freshman Republicans, such as Georgia’s Marjorie Taylor Greene and North Carolina’s Madison Cawthorn, have questioned or outright flouted guidelines designed to protect lawmakers from violence, intruders or the coronavirus.

“I didn’t know if I was going to make it to the end of this day alive,” Ms. Ocasio-Cortez said during her livestream. “Not just in a general sense, but also in a very, very specific sense.”

Luke broadwater contribution to reports.

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Don’t let the pandemic stop your hits

Experts fear that vaccination rates may have fallen further during the pandemic, as is the case with children, if older people were reluctant to visit doctors’ offices or pharmacies.

Financial and bureaucratic obstacles also hamper immunization efforts. Medicare Part B completely covers three vaccines: influenza, pneumococcus, and, where applicable, hepatitis B.

Tdap and shingles vaccines, however, are covered under Part D, which can make reimbursement for physicians difficult; vaccines are easier to obtain from pharmacies. Not all Medicare beneficiaries purchase Part D, and for those who do, coverage varies by plan and may include deductibles and co-pays.

Still, older people can access most recommended vaccines free or at low cost, through doctors’ offices, pharmacies, supermarkets and local health services. For the benefit of all, they should.

Here’s what the CDC recommends:

Influenza An annual injection in the fall – and it’s not too late yet, as the flu season peaks from late January through February. Depending on the strain circulating, the vaccine (ask for stronger versions for older people) prevents 40 to 50 percent of cases; it also reduces the severity of illness for those infected.

So far this year, influenza activity has remained extremely low, possibly due to social distancing and masks or because closed schools have prevented children from spreading it. Manufacturers have shipped a record number of doses, so perhaps more people have been vaccinated. In any case, fears of a flu / Covid “twindemic” have not yet materialized.

Still, infectious disease experts are urging older people (and anyone over six months old) to get vaccinated now. “The flu is fickle,” said Dr. Schaffner. “It could take off like a rocket in January.”

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A Thanksgiving myth debunked: people don’t fight for politics

Dr Klar said her research indicated that this trend is in part driven by the fact that since the second wave of the feminist movement in the mid-20th century, women have engaged more directly in politics – and have become more likely to put a priority on finding a husband with whom they agree politically.

The same goes for parents and their children. On issues of partisanship and political opinions – including a measure academics call the “racial resentment scale” – young people are much more likely to hold opinions similar to their parents than they were. in the mid-1970s and even in the 1990s.

As a result, Dr Tedin said at the Thanksgiving table, “If there is a disagreement, almost everyone in the nuclear family – mom, dad and kids – will be on one side, and the cousins will be on the other side. “

But most of the time, they are likely to meet on tiptoe. “Polarized politics increases avoidance within families,” he said. “You might think that a polarized policy means they’re going to fight on Thanksgiving, but no, it’s the other way around. Polarized politics increase the pressure to avoid conflict over the holidays. “

The tendency to avoid conflict doesn’t necessarily mean that disagreement is inevitable if the conversation turns to politics. Matthew Levendusky, a professor at the University of Pennsylvania who studies political polarization, said that when these types of conflicts arise, they don’t necessarily risk turning into hostile. And whether difficult or easy, Dr Levendusky added, these conversations are fundamental to how a democracy works – especially in an age when social media and cable news often highlight the most extreme elements. of each part.

In 2016, Dr Levendusky published a study showing that people tended to greatly overestimate the differences between the two parties. “We asked people where their position is and where they think the average Republicans and Democrats stand,” he said. “Basically they thought the parties were twice as far apart as they actually are, on a wide variety of issues.”

He is now working on a book on how people with different perspectives might overcome their political animosity. Just talking to each other, he said, is key to bridging the gap – and it’s often not as painful as people expect. This is because most Americans are not deeply ideological, so political disagreements are not very important to them. To complete the search for the book, he and his collaborators summoned about 500 study participants from all political backgrounds and invited them to talk about politics.

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Virginia Democrats overjoyed at Biden’s win don’t seek carbon copy

ANNANDALE, Virginia – Katherine White has spent countless hours this year organizing voters to support Joseph R. Biden Jr. for president.

One of the millions of suburban women who became politically active for the first time after Donald J. Trump was elected in 2016, Ms White is among the coterie of Biden voters who are treating her victory by reflecting on what go follow.

She won’t have to wait long – the Virginia gubernatorial contest for 2021 is already underway, with three main Democratic candidates declared and two more planning to enter the race as early as next week. The big question Ms. White and other Democrats in Washington’s northern suburbs are now asking is whether the political model of Biden – a stable and experienced white man – is what they want from Democrats in Washington. post-Trump era.

Mr Biden’s victory was fueled by suburban voters, especially women like Mrs White, who were motivated during the primaries and general elections by what they saw as the existential threat of a second term for President. Without Mr. Trump on the ballot, Ms. White and other liberal suburban women are looking to see the Democratic Party field more candidates who look like them – and they’re not interested in waiting any longer.

“We’re beyond what the nation was looking for when they elected Biden, I think Virginia is beyond that,” said Ms. White, 56, whose organization, Network NoVA, serves as a collective. to dozens of liberal groups in the Washington suburbs. . “This is where we need to lead; that we don’t need a white man to bring us back to get us elected. We can do it in Virginia.

Fairfax County, which includes Mrs. White’s hometown of Annandale, has grown into a generation of a place George W. Bush brought in the 2000 presidential election to one of the Democratic strongholds. most reliable in the country. Fairfax gave Mr. Biden 70 percent of his vote, a higher percentage than the party’s traditional battlefield state strongholds in Milwaukee County, Wisconsin, or Wayne County, Michigan, which includes Detroit.

In nearby Arlington and Alexandria, more than 80% of voters chose Mr Biden. Loudoun County, a battleground as recently as 2016, gave Mr Biden 61% of his vote and Mr Biden transported Stafford County, the first time a Democratic presidential candidate there has won since 1976.

Northern Virginia is expected to provide about half of the vote in the June Democratic primary for governor of Virginia, a race that for months has included two black women – Jennifer McClellan, a 15-year-old state legislator; and Jennifer Carroll Foy, a member of the House of Delegates first elected in 2017 – and Justin Fairfax, Lieutenant Governor of Virginia, who is also black.

Virginia law prohibits governors from seeking consecutive terms. Outgoing governor, Democrat Ralph Northam, served as Mr McAuliffe’s lieutenant governor and in February 2019 was caught in a cascading scandal when he apologized and then later denied having posed in black on a photo that appeared in the directory of his faculty of medicine. At the same time, Mr. Fairfax was accused by two women of sexual assault years earlier. He denied the allegations.

Interviews last week with more than a dozen Democratic activists in northern Virginia revealed a group of voters delighted at Mr. Biden’s success and yearning for him to keep campaign promises to stop the spread the coronavirus, tackle income inequality and racial justice disparities, and reverse the Trump administration’s environmental policies.

But he also found an eager electorate to move beyond Mr. Biden’s America’s soul healing policy and set a marker for progressive politics in a Virginia that Mr. Biden wore over. by 10 percentage points. This result has given every Democrat questioned the certainty that whoever wins the primary will win the general election next November.

The two Republican candidates announced in the race are Kirk Cox, former speaker of the House of Delegates, and Amanda Chase, a state senator in the mold of Mr. Trump.

“I never doubted that there would be a problem getting Joe Biden elected in Virginia,” said Joanne Collins of Reston, Va., Who is a leader of a local chapter of Indivisible, the organization of progressive base that started after the 2016 Election. “It didn’t even cross my mind. And I think the governor’s race will be similar.

Robbin Warner, who formed an organization that sent more than 460,000 postcards to voters this fall, said his volunteers were excited about the prospect of Virginia electing its first female governor after an unbroken streak of 73 men that began with Patrick Henry and Thomas Jefferson.

“We love our Jennifers and are very excited to have two wonderful women running,” she said. “They are capable, they are articulate, they are responsive, they understand Virginia. That’s what we were so excited to work on, bringing in more progressive ideas, more grassroots ideas, with a focus on women.

The problem for the two women running for governor is that, as happened in the presidential primary, they threaten to cancel each other out, leaving a wide voice for Mr McAuliffe among voters who appreciate his experience. of governor at a time when the country is in difficulty. to fight against the coronavirus and resuscitate an economy which, by the time of the June primary, will have been battered by the pandemic for more than a year.

“Trump’s demise won’t change the fact that people’s kids are not in school and jobs are gone, and they’re going to look for people who can solve these problems,” said Dan Helmer, a lawmaker from the democratic state. who represents western Fairfax County and is not aligned in the governor’s race.

Although Mr McAuliffe has not yet entered the race, assistants to candidates already in the race have long assumed his entry into the race and wasted little time in settling his potential political responsibilities. Virginia’s turnout in 2013, when Mr. McAuliffe was elected governor, was just 43%, among the lowest turnout numbers in modern state history. The only time Virginia Democrats nominated a black candidate for governor, in 1989, 67 percent of the state’s registered voters turned out to elect L. Douglas Wilder, the country’s first elected black governor.

And Mr. McAuliffe, like Mr. Biden, has a long political record that will look different in 2021 than he was when he was governor. In 2015, Mr. McAuliffe ended the issuance of Virginia license plates bearing the Confederate flag but, like many of the state’s leading Democrats at the time, opposed the removal of Confederate statues in Richmond, the state capital.

“It’s part of our heritage,” he said at the time. “That’s who we are in Virginia. And it’s an important part of our heritage. The flag is different. In 2017, after white nationalists marched on Charlottesville, Virginia, Mr. McAuliffe changed his mind and called for the monuments to be destroyed.

Mr. McAuliffe’s supporters describe him as the strongest hand to lead the state during what is expected to be a health and economic crisis. And his aides point out that his Political Action Committee was the state’s biggest donor to the Democratic Party in the 2019 election, when Democrats reversed control of the state Senate and the House of Delegates.

And Mr McAuliffe’s aides are certain to call for the support of Mr Biden, who at a campaign rally in March in Norfolk called Mr McAuliffe “the former and future governor of Virginia.” (A Biden aide declined to say whether the praise constituted endorsement.)

Monique Alcala, former chair of the Virginia Democratic Party’s Latino Caucus, was a supporter of Senator Elizabeth Warren in the 2020 presidential primaries before accepting a position as director of Biden’s coalitions for Virginia. Now she said Mr. McAuliffe was the best choice because he knew how to run the Virginia government.

“As we deal with unprecedented challengers with Covid, as we face economic uncertainty, people will be looking at her experiences as governor,” said Ms Alcala, who lives in Alexandria. “They’re going to want someone with leadership experience in a crisis, and I think Terry will do it.”

Yet among the throng of activists in Northern Virginia who were women, valuing Ms. Alcala’s experience is offset by the prospect of electing the Commonwealth’s first female governor.

“It would send a real message to Virginia and maybe the country that Virginia is on a different path,” said Heidi Zollo, who opened an indivisible chapter in Herndon, Va., After the 2016 election.

Ms Zollo supported Mr Biden in the 2020 primary because she saw him as having the best chance of beating Mr Trump. She now wants the Virginia Democrats to nominate either Ms. McClellan or Ms. Carroll Foy, she said, to “show that we take women and women of color seriously and that we would be confident and comfortable. in their leadership.

And Lisa Sales, who is the chair of the Fairfax County Commission for Women, said she “loves and adores” Mr. McAuliffe, but the time has come for Virginia to elect a woman to the post of. governor.

“The only way to solve our problems is to have more women in power,” she said. “This idea that a white man is the most eligible is a false premise. The election of a female governor is long overdue. White men should get behind women, and men should get behind women, especially women of color.

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Georgia is a purple state, but don’t expect centrist politicians

PERRY, Georgia – Republican Senate candidates in Georgia are spending tens of millions of dollars on an almost entirely negative publicity campaign, adopting a strategy to undermine the Conservative base instead of reaching a cross-section of voters in the hope of generate a participation rate sufficient to win two critical votes that will decide control of the Senate.

Indeed, despite the loss of President Trump here, the early days of the campaign in the second round races are very similar to the months before them. Sitting Republican Senators Kelly Loeffler and David Perdue have filled the airwaves with scathing attack ads seeking to portray Democrats as radicals fundamentally opposed to the country’s fundamentals and warning that the Democratic grip on the Senate would usher in a wave of socialism.

The two senators haven’t run a single positive ad between them, and two outside groups aren’t backing them either, according to ad tracking company Advertising Analytics. The breathtaking advertising campaigns and demonization of the Liberals reflect the stakes for the Republican Party and its constituents as they attempt to deny Democrats full control of the White House and Congress.

Mr Perdue said at a rally in Perry, Ga. Last week that his Democratic opponent, Jon Ossoff, was a “trust fund socialist who lives off his family’s money making documentary films that no one never watched ”.

And even though he recognized the dark tenor of the breed, he presented himself as a victim of negativity, rather than a participant.

“I don’t know if my mom was alive today that she would even vote for me, with all this negative publicity,” he joked.

At the rally, where the two candidates ran alongside Senator Tom Cotton of Arkansas, Loeffler said Democratic victories “would literally break the fabric of what makes our country the greatest in the world.”

The second round of Senate elections on Jan.5 will determine whether President-elect Joseph R. Biden Jr. will begin his administration with a unified or divided Congress.

If the two Democratic candidates, Mr. Ossoff and Reverend Raphael Warnock, win and get a 50-50 split in the Senate, ties could be broken by Vice President-elect Kamala Harris, and many more political options would be on the table. table for Democrats. If Mr Perdue or Ms Loeffler prevails, Republicans could block major legislation.

But it is the way the candidates present themselves that caught the attention of voters and policy makers, with an avalanche of political publicity descending upon the state; The $ 231 million poured so far into television commercials during what will be an approximately two-month second-round campaign has exceeded spending in all of the Senate primary and general elections combined.

There is no race to the center, despite Georgia voting for a Democratic presidential candidate for the first time in decades and turning out to be a true battleground state. Republicans, who are the favorites in both races, reproduce most parts of Mr. Trump’s message without him on the ballot. Democrats seek to build on Mr. Biden’s message of pragmatic unity and his electoral formula: a multiracial coalition fueled by urban and suburban areas of the state.

In campaign events and debates, as well as on the airwaves with over 27 different commercials currently airing, candidates run furiously to motivate their own bases instead of keeping voters happy. Both sides bet the house on turnout, not persuasion.

Ms Loeffler ran almost entirely negative advertisements against her opponent, Mr Warnock, accusing him of being “anti-police” and “radical”. The few commercials she has run that showcase her track record begin with a warning: “Don’t believe the liberal lies.” Mr Warnock did not run any purely negative publicity, preferring less contrasting advertisements like those comparing his health care record with his own, and he produced a list of positive advertisements about his life story and his platform.

Mr. Perdue also fueled the negative environment. So far, his campaign has run 100% negative ads, including ones that deal with his opponent, Mr. Ossoff, a “radical liberal” who wants to bring about “horrible change.”

Mr. Perdue refused to debate Mr. Ossoff during the second round. At the rally, Perdue said Republican voters should not focus on the politics of this election, an explicit admission that his outreach was only directed at members of his own party. He led Mr Ossoff in the first round of voting in November and is betting a similar coalition will succeed in the second round, when political strategists believe Democratic turnout could plummet.

“I don’t need you to worry about the problems – you already have,” he says. “We’ve pleaded this with these other guys before. What I need you to do now is just pray to God that we vote. “

The advocacy highlighted how, even in purple states, moderate politicians – especially those on the right – are a dying race. In crucial presidential battlefields, including Georgia, Republican candidates have clung to Mr. Trump, staking their futures on his ability to find new conservative voters in rural, predominantly white areas, rather than reclaiming them. suburban moderates that he sometimes repelled.

The Perdue campaign and the Senate Leadership Fund, a super PAC linked to Senator Mitch McConnell, the majority leader, combined for more than $ 3 million in attack ads in the past week alone. An advertisement from the Senate Leadership Fund, on which the super PAC spent $ 1.8 million in just four days, notes that Mr. Ossoff is simultaneously beholden to the liberal wing of the Democratic Party and big business.

Phil Hall, a 67-year-old retiree who attended the rally, said he appreciated the Republicans’ willingness to call what he believed Democrats were “heading towards socialism and global elitism.”

Mr Hall particularly liked that Ms Loeffler and Mr Cotton urged Georgia Republican Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger to step down, as Mr Hall does not believe Mr Biden won the state this month -this.

“Notice my words: there are handkerchiefs in the air,” Mr Hall said, repeating unsubstantiated allegations of voter fraud.

The Democratic candidates in Georgia have tried to project themselves as above the fray by presenting themselves as pragmatists in the mold of Mr. Biden.

Yet Mr Warnock and Mr Ossoff are a far cry from the light Republican figures their party once named in Georgia. As the state’s demographics change, with an influx of non-white residents, white college graduates, and immigrants, Democrats have growing hopes that they can win statewide elections by forming a coalition of Atlanta commuters, people of color and young voters of all races. .

On the same day that Republicans gathered in Perry, Democrats hosted an exit-voting event in the part of the state that showed the biggest change between the 2016 presidential election and this cycle – the outer suburbs from Atlanta.

State Representative Miriam Paris, Democrat, read a statement at the event that made clear the party’s political direction.

“We need Jon Ossoff and Reverend Raphael Warnock in the Senate to bring Covid-19 under control, bring real economic relief to small businesses and working families, and protect the 1.8 million Georgians with pre-existing conditions,” said she declared.

Democratic challengers agree with their Republican counterparts that their election would mark a change in Washington, but they argue it would be good for Georgians.

“Change has come to Georgia and change is coming to America,” Ossoff said at the Democrats rally Thursday in Jonesboro, south of Atlanta.

Indeed, the national focus on Georgia offers a window into the future of both political parties. Democrats seek to maintain their coalition of urban voters and commuters, avoiding accusations by Republicans that the party has become too progressive. Neither Mr. Ossoff nor Mr. Warnock have endorsed proposals like single-payer health care or expanding the size of the Supreme Court, but Republicans are trying to tie them to fringe elements of the Democratic Party.

The Republican Party is at war with itself, fueled by Mr. Trump’s refusal to accept the election results.

The campaign of Ms Loeffler, one of the wealthiest members of Congress, is a vivid example of the country’s political evolution. Once seen as a business-oriented Republican who stayed away from cultural issues, she has evolved into a Mr. Trump-style culture warrior.

As she takes on Mr. Warnock, who is the pastor of the historic Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta and seeks to become the state’s first black senator, her strategy has stood out for her tone on issues of race and from police.

A Loeffler ad shows a class of predominantly white students reciting the Pledge of Allegiance as a narrator intones, “This is America. But will it still be if the radical left controls the Senate?

Another ad features a now famous clip of Reverend Jeremiah A. Wright Jr., once pastor to former President Barack Obama, delivering a sermon describing the country’s past oppression of racial minorities which included the phrase “God damn America” “.

In the past, Mr. Warnock has suggested that the sermon fit into the “Black Church tradition of truth”. Ms. Loeffler’s ad says Mr. Warnock “celebrated anti-American hatred” and replay Mr. Wright’s sermon clip twice in 30 seconds.

She also mentioned Mr. Wright during his speech at the rally. Within 45 seconds, Ms. Loeffler linked Mr. Warnock to Mr. Wright; Fidel Castro, the former Cuban leader; Stacey Abrams, former Democratic candidate for governor of Georgia; George Soros, the Liberal megadonor; Chuck Schumer, the Senate Minority Leader; and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, the Progressive Champion – one of the biggest hits from villains to Tories.

“You can join the cocktail tour if you stand in line,” Ms. Loeffler said. “If you are a liberal you can be very popular in Washington. I have no interest in being popular in Washington. I’m all about Georgia. “

The relentless attempts by Mr. Trump and other Republicans to make unsubstantiated allegations of voter fraud and erode confidence in the electoral system loom in the run-off. The Tories have targeted anyone who recognizes the loss of Mr. Trump in Georgia, including Mr. Raffensperger, the Secretary of State.

Dave Adcock, a 70-year-old Republican at the event in Perry, said the only way he would trust the Senate race results was if Mr. Raffensperger resigned, calling him a RINO, or a Republican from name only, who had “botched the whole damn thing.”

A moment later, he deplored the degradation of political discourse and civility.

“Over the years, I hate that it boils down to insults,” Mr. Adcock said.

Astead W. Herndon reported from Perry, Ga., And Nick Corasaniti of New York.

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Video: ‘More people can die, if we don’t coordinate,’ Biden says

new video loaded: ‘More people are at risk of dying, if we don’t coordinate,’ Biden says

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‘More people are at risk of dying, if we don’t coordinate,’ Biden says

On Monday, President-elect Joseph R. Biden Jr. gave a briefing on his economic agenda, focusing on his plans to unveil a vaccine and fight the coronavirus.

We all agreed that we wanted to get the economy back on track. We need our workers to get back to work with the virus under control. We are entering a very dark winter. Things are going to get a lot harder before they get easier. It requires making every effort to fight Covid so that we can safely open our businesses, take back our lives, and put this pandemic behind us. It’s going to be tough, but it can be done. When we build back better, we will do it with higher wages, including a minimum wage of $ 15 across the country, better benefits, stronger collective bargaining rights – you can raise a family. This is how we are rebuilding the middle class better than ever. This is how we make sure workers are treated with the dignity and respect they deserve. More people could die if we don’t coordinate. Look, as my chief of staff Ron Klain – who looked after Ebola – would say, the vaccine is important. It is of little use until you are vaccinated. So how do we get the vaccine? How do you get over 300 million Americans vaccinated? What’s the game plan? It’s a huge, huge, huge undertaking to do that, to put those who need it most first, to navigate through them and to cooperate with the World Health Organization and the rest of the world. to deal with it.

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Antitrust regulations will change under Biden, but don’t expect a revolution.

Joe Simons, chairman of the Federal Trade Commission, said Thursday that monopolies could “crush” smaller competitors by buying them, a possible wake-up call ahead of the agency’s expected lawsuit against Facebook.

The statement highlights how the agency’s antitrust approach could change under a Biden administration, as the Democratic Party’s left wing pushes for even stricter enforcement, the DealBook newsletter reports.

A debate has raged between the more laissez-faire conservatives and the so-called “hipster antitrust movement” seeking a more aggressive overhaul of competition policy, especially with regard to Big Tech.

President-elect Joseph R. Biden Jr. should seek a balance between these competing ideologies.

The five FTC commissioners are currently three Republicans and two Democrats. Democrats, Rohit Chopra and Rebecca Slaughter, often oppose the “permissive” treatment of companies by the majority, and one of them could become the new head of the agency. Indeed, the House Committee on Energy and Trade recently urged Mr. Simons to “immediately stop work on all partisan and controversial points”, noting that the leadership “will undoubtedly change.”

FTC commissioners have staggered terms and need Senate approval, so balancing might take time. In any case, experts say the political climate is not ripe for an aggressive political overhaul.

David Vladeck, a law professor at Georgetown University and former director of the FTC’s consumer protection unit, said that while “antitrust laws have not worked very well in the digital economy,” he doubted that a revolution was desirable or possible.

Likewise, Eleanor Fox and Harry First of New York University, who recently introduced new rules to curb Big Tech, said there was plenty of room for consensus in the ideological milieu, balancing nuanced views. on efficiency and market consolidation.

And Sean Royall, former deputy director of the FTC’s competition bureau who is now a partner at legal giant Kirkland & Ellis, said: “The changes we expect are pretty moderate overall.”