The snow is white. Many of the houses are white. The majority of the people are white; this is the third-whitest state in the union. New Hampshire, especially in winter, is overwhelmingly, inescapably white.
The only nonwhite person I could see at the Salt Hill Pub in Newport was one of Elizabeth Warren’s press aides. The Salt Hill Pub was a between-events stop—not on the schedule, a late addition shared with select members of the media. People ate quesadillas or chicken wings out of plastic baskets lined with checkered paper as they waited for Warren: straight couples with small children, older attendees wearing cable-knit sweaters, a lot of beards, which ranged from blond to white.
欧洲杯投注Those in the know were told that Warren would arrive at four in the afternoon. She entered at 4:05, wearing a long red cardigan. “It was exactly three years ago this weekend that Mitch McConnell tried to throw me off the floor of the Senate for reading a letter from Coretta Scott King,” Warren said. On February 7, 2017, during the Senate confirmation hearings on Jeff Sessions’s nomination as Attorney General, Warren read from a letter that King had written three decades earlier, about Sessions’s racism. At Senate Majority Leader McConnell’s instigation, the Republican majority voted to stop Warren, on the grounds that she was impugning a senator’s reputation. Later, Senator Jeff Merkley, of Oregon, was able to finish reading the letter into the record.
欧洲杯投注The incident is best remembered, however, for a remark McConnell made: “She was warned. She was given an explanation. Nevertheless, she persisted.” The phrase became a hashtag, a T-shirt, and even the title of a children’s book by Chelsea Clinton. Invoking it at Salt Hill Pub allowed Warren to pivot to the topic of her gender, or, rather, to the question of so-called electability—which seems to be related to the question of why Warren has fallen behind in the polls lately. “What is interesting to me,” Warren said, “is people asking, ‘Can a woman win?’ . . . The world has changed since 2016. . . . Remember what happened the very next day after he was inaugurated?” Warren was referring to Trump and the Women’s March, which “is still going on.” The numbers, she said, showed that women beat men in competitive elections. “In the nineteen-sixties, they said we couldn’t elect a Catholic, and the Democratic Party nominated a Catholic anyway. In 2008, they said we couldn’t elect a black man, and the Democratic Party nominated a black man anyway.” Will the Democratic Party nominate a woman in 2020, to give American voters a chance to redefine “electability” once again? This is the question she asked, although not in so many words.
欧洲杯投注Then one of her campaign staffers signalled that it was time to go. Warren begged to be able to take questions, and got permission to field two. The routine appeared both well-rehearsed and sincere: Warren loves to take questions. First up, an older man, wearing a collarless shirt, a tweed vest, and plaid pants, had more of a comment than a question. “I don’t think it’s that a woman can’t get elected,” he said. “It’s that something has happened in the electorate.” Warren responded with a spark of recognition. “I think that a country that elects Donald Trump is a country that has serious problems,” she agreed. “It’s not like we were on the right track and then Donald Trump got elected. It’s a sense that something doesn’t work, and this has been going on for decades.” The something that doesn’t work is the economy, which favors corporations and billionaires and drives tens of millions of others into poverty, and a government that facilitates this growing inequality and injustice.
欧洲杯投注“It’s this disillusion that just goes deeper and deeper, that the government just isn’t working for the people,” Warren continued. “It’s not only an economy that doesn’t work, it’s a democracy that doesn’t work. . . . What Donald Trump has done is he’s taken a democracy that was already in trouble and made it so much worse—and it’s also an opportunity.” It’s an opportunity to remake the country, introduce free college and universal health care, and cancel most student debt.
欧洲杯投注Despite the prior agreement with her staffer, Warren took a third question, from Abigail Kier, a health-care administrator and volunteer city councillor from Claremont, a neighboring town with a population of fourteen thousand. Kier was there with her husband, Matt, a chemistry doctoral student at Dartmouth, and their two-year-old son, Curtis. She asked about Warren’s plans for rural communities. Warren acted like she had been waiting for this question all her life. “What I have loved about being able to run for President is that I have been able to go out and learn stuff,” she said. She has learned, for example, that keeping rural hospitals open is the most important part of keeping people living in rural communities, and that the availability of high-speed Internet is essential to creating economic opportunities in rural areas. And she has also grown ever more convinced that her proposed two-per-cent wealth tax, which would create federal funds for such essential services as child care and schools, would go a long way toward making rural communities more vibrant. Cancelling student debt would help, too, because it would liberate people from needing to stay near higher-wage jobs in bigger cities, and allow those from rural areas to return home.
The fourth, entirely bonus, question came from Birdie, the four-year-old daughter of the local activist and state-senate candidate Jenn Alford-Teaster, who was hosting the event. “When this is over, do you know that you are supposed to get into the car?” Birdie asked. This question, apparently unplanned, was Warren’s perfect cue to get into a car that would take her to Lebanon, where she would hold her second big rally of the day.
Both Kier and Alford-Teaster told me that they have publicly endorsed Warren. “Warren has been here consistently,” Alford-Teaster said. “She has small working groups. She really knows what she is talking about. And she is the only one who consistently answers the call.” Most primary candidates, apparently, don’t show up for in-between events at roadside restaurants—though in the final days before the primary, Bernie Sanders, Andrew Yang, and Michael Bennet also stopped nearby.
The Democratic-primary process has existed in more or less its present shape for less than half a century, or just long enough that Party members can imagine no other way of selecting a nominee. The process lends itself to a particular kind of coverage. Journalists approach the primaries the way they approach sports: by making predictions, trailing the presumed winners, and proving their mettle by switching tracks, nimbly, on time. When polls and conventional wisdom predict that a candidate is likely to win, this begets more coverage, which exerts its own pressure on polls and conventional wisdom, which in turn feeds coverage. This kind of horse-race reporting is standard practice, and yet it is also standard for voters to disparage it and aspire to an alternative. A preferred alternative, it is generally agreed, would be to focus on the candidates’ issues rather than the dynamics of the race. This is a more complicated proposition than it seems.