NEWS AND OPINION:
Prognosticators are already pairing off potential Republican running mates for the 2024 presidential election, and the combinations of names are many. Now comes a noteworthy prediction for the Democratic side.
“Harris/Buttigieg 2024” has surfaced.
“The next presidential election is three years away. Recent reports about early concern over whether President Joe Biden will run for reelection in 2024 and about tension between potential 2024 rivals, Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg and Vice President Kamala Harris are, to some extent, standard Washington gossip that can be safely ignored. Still, there may be something more than that,” Lincoln Mitchell, a political analyst and consultant, writes for CNN.
Or the pair could join forces, Mr. Mitchell, also an adjunct researcher and associate professor at Columbia University, suggested in a new op-ed.
“A Harris-Buttigieg ticket would showcase two dynamic politicians and represent the breadth and diversity of the Democratic Party, and indeed the whole country, while not veering too far left and alienating key swing voters who Biden won in 2020,” Mr. Mitchell wrote.
“This ticket would be balanced with regards to geography: Harris is unmistakably Californian while Buttigieg is from Indiana, and brings with him a deep understanding of the Midwest,” he continued.
“Harris would be 60 years old on Election Day 2024, while Buttigieg would be 42, so there would be generational balance there as well. Both nominees represent important Democratic Party constituencies — Harris is an African American and Asian American woman, while Buttigieg is a gay man. This would help mobilize important parts of the Democratic base. However, both politicians are essentially moderates, so it would be hard for the Republican Party to effectively tar them as radicals, socialists or anything like that — something they would undoubtedly try to do,” Mr. Mitchell predicted.
He framed the potential team as “a balanced ticket with two rising Democratic Party stars.”
NOW THERE’S A THOUGHT
“Worrying is the new coronavirus variant,” declares Paul Mirengoff, a contributor to Powerline Blog.
That very well could be, now that the omicron variant has arrived on the public’s COVID-19 worry list, just as people were coming to terms with the dangerous potential of the delta variant of the virus.
“Much of the panic about the new variant stems from the fact that it has spread very quickly in Southern Africa. However, this might be because only about one-quarter of the population there has been vaccinated. We’re only speculating about this, though, because we don’t yet have much information on the vaccination status of those in South Africa who have caught the variant virus,” Mr. Mirengoff wrote.
“The bottom line, I think, is that we don’t really know how worried we should be about the new variant, but we shouldn’t be panicked about it,” he advised.
“Omicron” is currently the most looked up word in Merriam-Webster’s online dictionary — which advises that omicron is the 15th letter in the Greek alphabet, and that the first known use of the word in English was in the 15th century.
MEANWHILE IN TEXAS
Politics in Texas is a challenge to Democrats these days — ironically in the diversity department. Republicans are “rapidly diversifying its candidate pool” for statewide offices according to close observers.
“The GOP slate for statewide office includes two high-profile Latinos: Land Commissioner George P. Bush and former Texas Supreme Court Justice Eva Guzman, who are both running for attorney general. It also includes two Black candidates who have previously held state or federal office: former Florida congressman Allen West and state Rep. James White, who are running for governor and agriculture commissioner, respectively,” wrote James Barragan, who covers politics for the Texas Tribune.
“By contrast, the Democrats’ most formidable candidates are white — Beto O’Rourke, who is running for governor, and Mike Collier, Matthew Dowd and Michelle Beckley, who are running for lieutenant governor,” he said.
“The issue has caused consternation among some Democrats, particularly as they see South Texas and border communities, with large majorities of Latino voters, become a battleground for Republicans,” Mr. Barragan observed.
ON THE RADAR
The Supreme Court will hear an abortion case Wednesday, which marks the first such case in the high court since Justice Amy Coney Barrett was seated — making the court a 6-3 conservative majority on the bench.
The case — Thomas E. Dobbs, State Health Officer of the Mississippi Department of Health v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization — addresses a Mississippi law banning all abortions over 15 weeks gestational age except in medical emergencies and in the case of severe fetal abnormality.
“In this case, Mississippi is asking the Court to overturn the longstanding precedent of Roe v. Wade,” notes a helpful summary of what’s at stake from the Kaiser Family Foundation.
Conservative women are on alert. On Monday, Marjorie Dannenfelser, president of the Susan B. Anthony List — a conservative nonprofit group advancing pro-life legislation and activism — will host a virtual press conference of note.
She will be joined by Gov. Kristi Noem of South Dakota, Gov. Kim Reynolds of Iowa, and Nikki Haley, former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations. The ladies will parse out the pro-life movement and the role of state lawmakers in protecting the unborn.
The host organization — which stands by the state of Mississippi — has already launched a $2.5 million ad campaign as part of its $10 million campaign to educate Americans about the stakes of the Dobbs case.
POLL DU JOUR
• 29% of U.S. adults say abortion should “always be legal” with no restrictions; 9% of conservatives, 29% of moderates and 56% of liberals agree.
• 29% of U.S. adults say abortion should be “legal with some restrictions,” such as for minors or third trimester abortions; 21% of conservatives, 36% of moderates and 33% of liberals agree.
• 26% say abortion should only be “legal in special circumstances,” such as when the life of the woman is in danger; 43% of conservatives, 23% of moderates and 8% of liberals agree.
• 16% overall say abortions should be “illegal, and never allowed”; 26% of conservatives, 13% of moderates and 4% of liberals agree.
SOURCE: An Economist/YouGov poll of 1,500 U.S. adults conducted Nov. 20-23.
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