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SOUTH BEND, Ind. — Pete Buttigieg, the young Midwestern mayor whose presidential bid has been an unlikely early focus of attention from Democratic voters and donors, kicked off his campaign on Sunday and proclaimed his hometown’s revival was the answer to skeptics who ask how he has the “audacity” to see himself in the White House. At a rally inside a partly rebuilt factory, once owned by the automaker Studebaker and now being turned into glass-sheathed offices for tech and other businesses, Mr. Buttigieg said, “I ran for mayor in 2011 knowing nothing like Studebaker would ever come back, but that we would, our city would, if we had the courage to reimagine our future.” If elected, Mr. Buttigieg, a 37-year-old Rhodes scholar and veteran of the war in Afghanistan, would represent a series of historic firsts: the youngest president ever and the first who is openly gay. He said he was motivated to run despite his youth because of an urgency to correct the course of the Trump administration on climate change, health care and immigration. “This is one of those rare moments between whole eras in the life of our nation,” Mr. Buttigieg said, adding, “The moment we live in compels us to act.’’ [Pete Buttigieg’s college writings reveal the roots of his 2020 campaign.] He painted a picture of a hopeful future rooted in Midwestern values, contrasting his focus on a better life in 2030, 2040 and 2054 — the year he would be the same age as President Trump is today — with what he called Mr. Trump’s appeal to “resentment and nostalgia.” And he invoked his marriage to his husband, Chasten Buttigieg, as one of the blessings of American freedom, but one that feels fragile in the current climate. “Our marriage exists by the grace of a single vote on the U.S. Supreme Court,’’ Mr. Buttigieg told a crowd of several thousand people. “Nine men and women sat down in a room and took a vote, and they brought me the most important freedom in my life.” Though Mr. Buttigieg is a political progressive, his main message is the claim to leadership of millennial Americans, those he says will be on “the business end” of climate change, who grew up with school shootings and who supplied most of the troops in America’s wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Little known just two months ago, Mr. Buttigieg has won support and financial backing through a blitz of television interviews in which he has given earnest, nuanced responses that make liberal points without raising the temperature. “We’re all excited about what’s happening downtown — the black community, poor folks, Hispanic people,” she said.
(MINNEAPOLIS) — Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar on Sunday joined the growing group of Democrats jostling to be president and positioned herself as the most prominent Midwestern candidate in the field, as her party tries to win back voters in a region that helped put Donald Trump in the White House. I will focus on getting things done. I don’t come from money. She has drawn support from voters in urban, suburban and rural areas, including in dozens of counties Trump won in 2016. The field soon could expand to include prominent Democrats such as former Vice President Joe Biden of Delaware and Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders. “I don’t know that coming from Minnesota gives her any advantage with Iowans.” Klobuchar, 58, is known as a straight-shooting, pragmatist willing to work with Republicans, making her one of the Senate’s most productive members at passing legislation. “We worked across the aisle to get the federal funding and we rebuilt that I-35W bridge — in just over a year. That’s ordinary people doing extraordinary things,” she said. When Klobuchar asked Kavanaugh whether he ever had had so much to drink that he didn’t remember what happened, he turned the question around. Kavanaugh later apologized to Klobuchar, whose father is an alcoholic.
As Democrats calibrate their political messaging in advance of the November midterm elections, Senator Tammy Duckworth cautioned her party not to become too starry-eyed about the success in New York of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who won an upset primary victory this week. Trump taunts Democrats over calls to abolish Ice: 'They'll never win another election' Read more While Ocasio-Cortez’s platform of Medicare for all and free college tuition might work in New York’s 14th congressional district, said Duckworth, the junior senator from Illinois, her brand of Democratic socialism would not work in the Midwest. “I think that you can’t win the White House without the Midwest,” Duckworth told CNN’s State of the Union. And I believe that what we’re really seeing is just a movement for healthcare, housing and education in the United States.” Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@Ocasio2018) A major point of my campaign: in the safest blue seats in America, we should have leaders swinging for the most ambitious ideas possible for working-class Americans. She won a decisive Senate election victory in 2016 against a Republican incumbent who had swooped on a seat vacated by Barack Obama in 2008. Trump anti-abortion supreme court pick 'not acceptable', says Collins Read more Duckworth said Ocasio-Cortez’s appeal was likely limited to her district, which bridges the Bronx and Queens. “I think that we, as legislators, need to listen to our constituency and get out there. She pounded the pavement, and she was out there talking to every one of her constituents. “She turned out her voters and reflected the needs of her district.” Duckworth said the same of Joe Manchin of West Virginia, Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota and Joe Donnelly of Indiana, Democratic senators in states that voted for Trump who are thought likely to support his forthcoming supreme court pick. The three red-state Democrats “vote in whatever they need to do to take care of the people of their state”, Duckworth said.
Labor unions are trying to take back politics in the Midwest. On Labor Day — designated a federal holiday in 1894 to honor America’s labor movement — at least eight Democratic candidates will hold rallies in five Midwest cities to tell workers just how far the country has veered from its pro-labor roots. In Iowa, Republicans rolled back an increase in the minimum wage in March. Each candidate will center their campaigns on their support for a $15 minimum wage, progressive health care, and pro-union policies. Cathy Glasson, a registered nurse and union leader in Iowa who will officially announce after Labor Day her campaign for governor in 2018, said that before this year, she had never considered running for elected office. We had raised the minimum wage in five counties in Iowa and this administration literally took money out of the pockets of Iowans — 85,000 Iowans were affected by the rollback here.” Like other first-time politicians throwing themselves into 2018, Glasson has been a union member for decades and will prioritize the need for more American workers to join unions and employee associations. One of the country’s largest labor unions, SEIU and its Fight for $15 arm — a national campaign to raise the minimum wage to $15 — will announce Monday a push to elect labor-friendly candidates in 2018 in the Midwest states where unions once held tremendous power. Republicans in Wisconsin have gerrymandered the state so they do not fear losing their seats, Bryce noted, but the union movement is going to latch onto policies that he believes will resonate with voters across party lines, like wages and health care. “It’s the right thing to do but it’s also going to help create jobs,” he said. “By collecting and pooling union members’ money, we are a force to be reckoned with in politics, and so the intentional attack on unions in the state of Iowa and the Midwest and beyond is intentional to silent the voice of everyday workers that need to have a voice in politics.” Bryce agreed that if unions do not get involved now, the Trump administration could decimate the labor movement to a point of no return.