Only seven candidates have qualified for the next Democratic debates, according to the New York Times.
They are: Joe Biden, Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, Pete Buttigieg, Kamala Harris, Cory Booker and Beto O’Rourke.
That’s less than a third of the 24 ‘major’ Democrats in the field. To qualify, Democrats need 130,000 individual donors, and to have broken 2% in at least four polls.
Apparently three others are close: Julian Castro, Andrew Yang and Amy Klobuchar, but that would still mean ABC cutting the debate schedule to one night. (There’ll just be one debate if 10 or fewer candidates qualify.)
Of the 14 Democrats not mentioned above:
Only three candidates have even a single qualifying poll to their name: the impeachment activist Tom Steyer (2 polls), Representative Tulsi Gabbard of Hawaii (1) and former Gov. John Hickenlooper of Colorado (1).
August 28 is the cut off point for Dems to achieve the qualification quota.
Kamala Harris has picked up an endorsement this morning, from Michigan congresswoman Brenda Lawrence. Harris attended an event held by Lawrence, whose district includes much of east Detroit. That’s handy, I guess, given Michigan’s importance in the presidential election, although Michigan is one of the later states to vote in the actual Democratic primaries.
According to FiveThirtyEight’s endorsement tracker, Harris is second to only Joe Biden in endorsements from governors, senators, representatives and suchlike. Interestingly, Cory Booker is third, making up a podium of centrists.
Pompeo criticizes China after meeting
Secretary of state Mike Pompeo earlier today criticized China’s actions in Asia, after meeting his Chinese counterpart for the first time this year amid political tension between the two countries.
He spoke out against Chinese “coercion” of southeast Asian neighbors in disputes over the South China Sea and the People’s Republic’s dam-building on the Mekong River, which causes problems for countries down-river.
Pompeo spoke at a meeting in Bangkok, Thailand, of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), Reuters reports.
After meeting China’s top diplomat, Wang Yi, Pompeo said both countries wanted to improve ties that have soured on issues ranging from trade, US sanctions on Chinese telecoms giant Huawei, issues over Taiwan and the busy South China Sea waterway.
“We are working with them on many fronts,” Pompeo said. “But we are also very candid about the places we are hoping China will behave in ways that they are not behaving today and we talked about each of those as well.”
Kelly Knight Craft to be US ambassador to UN
Donald Trump has congratulated this morning Kelly Knight Craft after her confirmation by the Senate, over Democrats’ objections, to become the new US ambassador to the United Nations.
The President praised her on Twitter this morning.
During the congressional confirmation process, Craft struggled to allay Democrats’ concerns about her family’s significant investments in the fossil fuel industry, though notably she separated herself from the president on the topic of the climate crisis. Craft believes fossil fuels and human behavior contribute to the crisis. The planet is facing critical issues such as dangerous global heating, now, an alarming increase in severe weather patterns.
On climate change, “Let there be no doubt,” she said, as reported yesterday by the Washington Post.
White House on the call with Putin
Don’t hold your breath, here’s the latest statement from the White House:
President Donald J. Trump spoke with President Vladimir Putin today and expressed concern over the vast wildfires afflicting Siberia. The leaders also discussed trade between the two countries.”
Some on the interwebs see this as a strong overture/naked appeal for fully restored bilateral relations between the US and Russia.
Candidates look fresh as daisies
Senator Kirsten Gillibrand of New York, Senator Michael Bennet of Colorado and Senator Kamala Harris of California all appeared on CNN’s New Day breakfast news program this morning shortly after the 7AM mark, after what must have been very little sleep.
Maybe that’s not so surprising but what was astonishing was how refreshed they looked. Not even a tiny snack bag under the eye, not a hair out of place, eyes twinkling. TV make-up can only cover so much.
Gillibrand walked up on to the little CNN TV stage, which they’ve set up in a half-indoors, half-outdoors style outside the debate venue in Detroit, with a large cup of coffee but looking utterly impeccable in a blue dress and with sharp answers.
And Harris and Bennet were laughing. Of course they all denied it was a cage fight/Hunger Games contest the night before, that the first 20 minutes was lost in a wonk forest on healthcare and they ate each other, not the Republicans. But you’ve got to hand it to these three for their energy.
When the CNN hosts asked Harris how she was coping on no sleep, she cheerily cited the Godfather and said it was “the business we’ve chosen.”
For all the amazing analysis of last night’s event, check out my colleagues’ stories leading our US online front page today. Here’s our Sabrina Siddiqui’s main story.
I honestly can’t promise that this pic matches Harris’s quote. But here’s the inimitable Marlon Brando, and it’s The Godfather, so.
•Donald Trump initiated a call with Vladimir Putin on Wednesday, the Kremlin says, in a move Putin hopes will restore “fully fledged bilateral relations”. The White House did not initially reveal the call had taken place – news instead coming from the Russian foreign ministry’s Twitter feed. Russia said Trump had offered “help and assistance” in fighting wildfires in Siberia. The White House belatedly confirmed the call on Wednesday night.
•The main Democratic candidates are cooling themselves off (probably) after last night’s debate. Some (Joe Biden) will be happy they don’t have to do this again for five weeks, while the likes of Cory Booker, who put in a good performance, probably wish they could go again sooner. Many of the contenders we’ve seen over the last two nights won’t be debating again at all, given the stricter requirements for the 12 September debate. Fewer than half the main contenders have qualified so far.
•The Guardian’s panelists were largely unimpressed with the debate spectacle. Joe Biden was ailing on climate change, Kate Aronoff reckoned, while Jessa Crispin lamented that the stage was made up of: “Lackluster candidates all around.” Our man David Smith says the Democratic party is yet to find the one, which “will suit Donald Trump just fine”.