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Westlake Legal Group > Presidential Election of 2020

Seth Moulton Ends 2020 Presidential Campaign With a Warning

Westlake Legal Group 00moulton-out-facebookJumbo Seth Moulton Ends 2020 Presidential Campaign With a Warning United States Politics and Government Presidential Election of 2020 Moulton, Seth W Massachusetts

Representative Seth Moulton of Massachusetts is dropping out of the presidential race, ending a candidacy that emphasized Mr. Moulton’s centrist politics and military service but gained no traction with Democratic primary voters.

Mr. Moulton, 40, said in an interview that he had no immediate plans to endorse another candidate, but he warmly praised former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. Mr. Moulton planned to announce the end of his campaign in a formal speech before the Democratic National Committee on Friday.

Mr. Moulton suggested that most of the other Democratic candidates were also laboring in vain at this point, with only a tiny few — Mr. Biden and Senators Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders — remaining as real competitors for the nomination. He warned in the interview that if Democrats were to embrace an overly liberal platform, it could make it harder for the party to defeat President Trump.

“I think it’s evident that this is now a three-way race between Biden, Warren and Sanders, and really it’s a debate about how far left the party should go,” Mr. Moulton said.

[The next Democratic debate is one poll away from being held over two nights (again).]

Mr. Moulton said he would run for re-election to the House, representing a coastal district to the north and east of Boston. Several other Democrats filed to run for his seat while Mr. Moulton was a presidential candidate, and he is likely to face a contested primary.

Mr. Moulton said he would also relaunch his political action committee, Serve America, to promote issues related to veterans and the military. Those issues, he said, were not “getting the attention they deserve” in the presidential race.

With Mr. Moulton’s departure, the sprawling Democratic field will shrink to 21 candidates.

He is the fourth Democrat to leave the presidential race this summer, following Gov. Jay Inslee of Washington, former Gov. John Hickenlooper of Colorado and Representative Eric Swalwell of California. Mr. Hickenlooper announced on Thursday that he would run for Senate, while Mr. Inslee and Mr. Swalwell are running for re-election to their current posts.

A combat veteran who served in the Iraq War, Mr. Moulton campaigned on themes of strengthening national defense and promoting public service, and criticizing Mr. Trump for damaging the country’s most vital alliances. In May, he revealed that he struggled with post-traumatic stress disorder after returning from war, and called for new policies to attend to the mental health issues of soldiers and veterans. Stanley McChrystal, the retired general who led American forces in Afghanistan, endorsed Mr. Moulton’s campaign.

But Mr. Moulton entered the race late, in a strategic choice he now concedes was a mistake. He announced his candidacy in late April, days before Mr. Biden became a candidate and overshadowed much of the rest of the Democratic field.

Failing to attract any substantial support in polls, Mr. Moulton did not qualify for inclusion in any of the televised debates, which required candidates to meet certain benchmarks in polling and financial support.

“Candidly, getting in the race late was a mistake,” Mr. Moulton said. “It was a bigger handicap than I expected.”

While Mr. Moulton said he would not “cry about the D.N.C. rules being unfair,” he said the party’s debate setup was not “a smart system to choose the best nominee to take on Donald Trump.”

[The next Democratic debate is one poll away from being held over two nights (again).]

He mentioned Gov. Steve Bullock of Montana, a fellow moderate who has also strained to reach the debate stage, as another candidate disadvantaged by the debate restrictions.

“I’ve always said that veering too far left could result in us losing this election, and that Trump will be harder to beat than most people think,” Mr. Moulton said.

He pointed to health care as an issue where some Democrats were at risk of alienating voters with calls to eliminate private insurance. Voters, he said, were “on the side of strengthening Obamacare” rather than implementing a single-payer system.

Asked if that made him a Biden supporter, Mr. Moulton did not exactly say no.

“I’m not going to endorse anyone right away, but the vice president is a mentor and a friend and I think he’d make a great president,” Mr. Moulton said, adding, “Anybody in this race will be better than Donald Trump and I will enthusiastically support whoever the nominee is.”

[Bill de Blasio is trailing in the polls. Will he be next to drop out?]

First elected to the House in 2014, Mr. Moulton made a name for himself as an insurgent in and outside of the chamber. He won his seat by defeating an incumbent Democrat, John F. Tierney, in a primary election, and played a rebellious role in the Democratic caucus as a scathing critic of Speaker Nancy Pelosi, alienating senior lawmakers and influential Democratic women in the process.

His appetite for rebellion stirred speculation that he would consider a 2020 primary challenge to Senator Edward J. Markey, a fellow Democrat. Mr. Moulton opted to run for president instead and said this week that a Senate candidacy was off the table.

Mr. Markey is facing a potential challenge from Representative Joseph Kennedy III.

“I haven’t, honestly, been paying attention to that debate,” Mr. Moulton said of the brewing rivalry, “but I’m the product of a primary. I think primaries are healthy.”

Mr. Moulton, who became a father last fall, said he had no regrets about the campaign except his late entry, and said he hoped his infant daughter would one day see him as having done “everything I could to defeat Donald Trump.”

For now, Mr. Moulton said, “she’ll just see her dad around a lot more.”

Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

Inslee Out. Hickenlooper Out. De Blasio? Town Hall May Be Last Gasp.

He’s entrenched toward the rear in fund-raising totals. He rejects the validity of the various polls showing him at zero percent.

And he also acknowledges that he will probably not qualify for the third Democratic presidential debate next month.

Yet Mayor Bill de Blasio refuses to “accept the premise” of questions about the wisdom of his continued candidacy, even as other candidates who shared his political standing, like Gov. Jay Inslee of Washington and the former Colorado governor, John Hickenlooper, dropped out of the crowded Democratic field this month.

Instead, the mayor persists in the belief that he has a story worth telling — and that his stewardship in New York City should be viewed as a way to cast light on how the nation can recover from a Trump White House.

On Sunday, Mr. de Blasio may get his last best chance to tell his story, when he appears on a one-hour town hall on CNN at 7 p.m. in New York; Ana Cabrera will serve as the moderator, and 100 likely primary voters from the region will make up the audience.

Which Democrats Are Leading the 2020 Presidential Race?

June 14, 2019

Westlake Legal Group democratic-polls-promo-1560481207024-threeByTwoSmallAt2X-v6 Inslee Out. Hickenlooper Out. De Blasio? Town Hall May Be Last Gasp. Trump, Donald J Primaries and Caucuses Presidential Election of 2020 Polls and Public Opinion Politics and Government New York City Democratic Party de Blasio, Bill CNN

Jim Crounse, a senior adviser to Mr. de Blasio’s campaign, called the town hall a “big opportunity” for the mayor, who has already hosted 65 town-hall style meetings during his six years as mayor of the country’s largest city.

“Unlike the debates, where quick responses were required, a town hall format will allow the mayor to tell his story, articulate his message and interact with people,” Mr. Crounse said.

But even if Democratic voters approve of Mr. de Blasio’s vision, there is evidence that they do not believe that he should be the candidate to execute it.

“Exposure is not his problem,” said Douglas Muzzio, a public affairs professor at Baruch College. “You can turn people off with exposure as well as turn them on.”

The mayor participated in the first two Democratic debates, and he has made regular appearances on MSNBC, Fox News, CNN and on other nationally televised programs.

He has already tried to grab voter attention by making President Trump his foil. He recently spent 40 minutes speaking with one of the president’s strongest supporters in the media, Fox News host Sean Hannity, in a raucous televised interview.

In recent days, Mr. de Blasio has sought to capitalize on his police commissioner’s decision to fire the police officer whose chokehold led to the death of Eric Garner, an unarmed man whose repeated “I can’t breathe” pleas helped galvanize the Black Lives Matter movement.

On CNN, the mayor called it a “never-again moment.” On MSNBC, he said the episode taught him that the Justice Department is not “dispensing justice anymore,” and that city police forces need to adopt de-escalation strategies. And at his news conference hours after the decision was announced, the mayor paraphrased Martin Luther King Jr., saying we should use the Garner death to try to “transform the suffering into progress.”

Still, Mr. de Blasio reported just over 6,600 donors on his last campaign finance filing and he remains at 1 percent or less in most polls, including a recent CNN poll. A poll in May from Quinnipiac University found that the mayor had the highest unfavorability rating among the Democratic candidates at 45 percent.

“I don’t know if he’s turning people off, but he’s not turning them on,” Professor Muzzio said.

And when poor weather forced the mayor to cancel a trip to a labor conference in Iowa on Wednesday, a technical glitch turned his video call into a made-for-social media moment: The pitch of his voice was altered into “Alvin and the Chipmunks” territory.

Fellow Democrats from New York say that the mayor must find some way to use the CNN town hall to give voters a reason to donate to his campaign, and boost his poll numbers ever so slightly.

“It’s going to be a test of whether or not he can say something that is so newsworthy that it can give him the same bump that a good debate would, since it doesn’t look like he’ll make the next debate stage,” said the Rev. Al Sharpton, a former presidential candidate and host of a show on MSNBC.

“I would never call one thing a make-or-break moment,” Mr. Sharpton added. “But I can’t see how, even after this, he has an easy path forward.”

If Mr. de Blasio was in need of a role model, he could refer to March 10, the date of Mayor Pete Buttigieg’s CNN town hall. Mr. Buttigieg, the mayor of South Bend, Ind., was a relative unknown before his CNN appearance; afterward, he received hundreds of thousands of donors and a deluge of attention.

“It was the singular most game-changing moment on the campaign,” said Lis Smith, a spokeswoman for the Buttigieg campaign who formerly worked for Mr. de Blasio’s first mayoral campaign. “Overnight, it launched him from being an unknown quantity to being in the hunt with U.S. senators and a former vice president in the polls.”

Ms. Smith’s free advice: Prepare, but don’t overprepare. You don’t want too many answers that seem scripted. Be clear about what you are bringing to the table that the Democratic Party and the country need.

“The stage is yours for an hour. There are no bells and whistles, no other candidate to parry with,” Ms. Smith said. “There’s no one to hide behind.”

Even if Mr. de Blasio should falter, his candidacy may continue simply because he lacks the immediate political alternatives that some of his peers have. Mr. Hickenlooper announced that he is running for the Senate in Colorado. Steve Bullock, the Democratic governor of Montana, who will appear in his own CNN town hall that will air just before Mr. de Blasio’s, is also doing poorly in the polls, and Democratic leaders have urged him to drop out and run for the Senate.

If Mr. de Blasio abandons the presidential trail, he will simply return to New York, where he will serve out the last 16 months of his mayoralty, before vacating the office because of term limits. At the moment, that prospect seems far from the mayor’s mind.

As long as he has a chance to speak with voters, “anything can happen because we are in the age of social media,” he said on Thursday, echoing comments from the previous week.

“I think things move now on social media that a day or two can make a huge amount of difference,” he said then.

“The only thing I’d say to you is,” he added, “as more candidates drop out, there’s more opportunity for everyone who remains.”

Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

Joe Biden’s Poll Numbers Mask an Enthusiasm Challenge

PROLE, Iowa — Joseph R. Biden Jr. is coasting in the national polls. Surveys show him ahead of his Democratic rivals in hypothetical matchups against President Trump. He has maintained a lead in Iowa all summer, despite facing months of controversies over his record and his campaign missteps.

But less than two weeks before Labor Day, when presidential campaigns traditionally kick into high gear, there are signs of a disconnect between his relatively rosy poll numbers and excitement for his campaign on the ground here, in the state that begins the presidential nominating process.

In conversations with county chairs, party strategists and dozens of voters this week at Mr. Biden’s events, many Democrats in Iowa described a case for Mr. Biden, the former vice president, that reflected shades of the one his wife, Jill Biden, bluntly sketched out on Monday. “You may like another candidate better, but you have to look at who is going to win,” she said, citing Mr. Biden’s consistent lead in early surveys.

The first ad of Mr. Biden’s campaign, released this week in Iowa, flashed some of his positive poll results against Mr. Trump on screen, and voter after voter cited those numbers in outlining their support for him, saying that defeating the president was their most urgent priority.

ImageWestlake Legal Group 21biden-enthusiasm3-articleLarge Joe Biden’s Poll Numbers Mask an Enthusiasm Challenge Warren, Elizabeth Sanders, Bernard Presidential Election of 2020 Iowa Democratic Party Biden, Joseph R Jr

There are signs of an enthusiasm gap among Iowa voters. “He’s doing O.K., but I think a lot of his initial strength was name recognition,” one county chairwoman said.CreditTom Brenner for The New York Times

That stands in stark contrast to the way voters explain their support for candidates like Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, who drew 12,000 people to an event this week in Minnesota, Iowa’s northern neighbor, or Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont, who also draws large crowds and maintains a core base of die-hard fans.

They and others trail Mr. Biden in most polls and face plenty of their own skeptics, but they also have followings rooted in zealous support for their ideas rather than the political calculus that many voters describe in assessing Mr. Biden.

The former vice president certainly has devoted fans, in Iowa and around the country, and continues to enjoy good will and respect from Democratic voters.

But the risks of a campaign argument that is heavily reliant on strong poll numbers, which can be fickle in a tumultuous election, were on vivid display throughout Mr. Biden’s trip to Iowa, as voters repeatedly emphasized that their support for him was closely linked to what they perceived as his strength against Mr. Trump.

It’s a case they make even as polls have shown several other candidates, namely Mr. Sanders, Ms. Warren and Senator Kamala Harris of California, running strongly against Mr. Trump, and as strategists caution that such theoretical matchups are hardly predictive of an election that’s more than a year away. The polls at this early stage are also partly a reflection of a candidate’s name recognition.

“If there would be a horse leading right now for me, it would probably be Biden, because all the polls indicate he would beat Trump handily,” said Rick Spellerberg, 57, as he waited to see Mr. Biden address a group of voters gathered in a gazebo in Prole, a small rural town, on Tuesday afternoon.

Mr. Spellerberg, of Prole, said that he was “still open” to other candidates and that he was planning to see former Representative Beto O’Rourke of Texas speak afterward.

Asked how Mr. Biden had been doing, Mr. Spellerberg replied, “He hasn’t been doing anything wrong, let’s put it that way.”

Later that day, Mr. Biden addressed another group gathered on a muggy lawn in front of a picturesque barn in Urbandale, as large flies zoomed overhead. Attendees frequently said that Mr. Biden was one of their top two or three choices — again, citing the polls.

“Basically whoever can beat Donald Trump, but I think Biden has the best chance,” said Cheryl Wheeler, 66, of Urbandale. “He’s in the lead, and a proven leader.”

She said she “probably would stick with Biden,” but noted, “I’ll go vote for whoever can do it.”

Samy El-Baroudi, 56, of Des Moines, called Ms. Warren “absolutely amazing, a brilliant woman, brings great ideas.” But Mr. Biden is his current first choice — followed by Ms. Warren and Senator Cory Booker of New Jersey.

Mr. Biden is “human, very electable, which is a major concern,” said Mr. El-Baroudi. “Very real and very sincere, he speaks from the heart. Sometimes that means you put your foot in your mouth. Isn’t that what they liked about Trump?”

A Monmouth University poll from this month showed Mr. Biden leading with the support of 28 percent of likely Iowa caucusgoers — virtually unchanged from the same poll’s results from April.

But Patrick Murray, the director of Monmouth’s Polling Institute, who recently spent time in Iowa, said those numbers did not give the full picture of Mr. Biden’s support in the state.

The Biden campaign points out that his lead in the polls has been durable, despite a summer of controversies.CreditTom Brenner for The New York Times

“I did not meet one Biden voter who was in any way, shape or form excited about voting for Biden,” Mr. Murray said. “They feel that they have to vote for Joe Biden as the centrist candidate, to keep somebody from the left who they feel is unelectable from getting the nomination.”

And JoAnn Hardy, the Democratic chairwoman of Cerro Gordo County, Iowa, where most of the Democratic candidates recently attended the gathering known as the Wing Ding dinner, attributed Mr. Biden’s lead in part to simply being well-known.

“He’s doing O.K., but I think a lot of his initial strength was name recognition,” she said. “As the voters get to meet the other candidates, he may be surpassed soon. I would not be surprised.”

Asked who was poised to do that, she replied: “Elizabeth Warren has the most incredible organization in this state. I could see it being Warren.”

Some of Mr. Biden’s allies view Ms. Warren as his most significant threat in Iowa for now, aware of the extensive organization she built early, her surge in the Monmouth poll and other polls here this summer, and her ability to connect with progressives who traditionally play an important role in the caucuses.

But representatives for the Biden campaign argued that several candidates have risen this summer, only to see their numbers fall back down to earth. His position as poll-leader has been steady up to this point, they stress, though his favorability rating has dipped since he re-entered the political arena, and his advantage has ebbed in some early-state polls.

Video

Westlake Legal Group 25bidenrunsHFO1-videoSixteenByNine3000 Joe Biden’s Poll Numbers Mask an Enthusiasm Challenge Warren, Elizabeth Sanders, Bernard Presidential Election of 2020 Iowa Democratic Party Biden, Joseph R Jr

Joseph R. Biden Jr. was a two-term vice president and spent 36 years as a senator. But his front-runner status in the Democratic primary will be tested by the party’s desire for generational change.CreditCreditMaddie McGarvey for The New York Times

“We reject the premise that the only reason Biden is doing well in the polls is because of name recognition,” said T.J. Ducklo, Mr. Biden’s national press secretary. “Voters have genuine affection for Joe Biden. They know him and his character, which is why their support for him has been so durable in the face of relentless attacks by all of his primary opponents.”

Yet there have also been self-inflicted controversies. His trip to Iowa earlier this month was marred by multiple gaffes, a dynamic that dominated coverage of the visit and gave some Democrats here pause.

On his visit this week, he was frequently flanked by teleprompters, though he often walked away from them. He misstated the dates of the assassinations of Martin Luther King Jr. and Robert F. Kennedy in a passing remark, something the Republican National Committee seized on.

Still, there are plenty of voters who adore Mr. Biden, praising his experience and his empathy.

“Joe Biden is stability for me, stability and common sense,” Peggy Halterman, 65, of Martensdale, said, describing him as akin to “a member of the family.” She added, “I don’t care about his gaffes. It’s the person inside.”

An “Iowa 4 Biden” sign in Prole, Iowa. “If there would be a horse leading right now for me, it would probably be Biden,” one voter there said, stressing that he was “still open” to other candidates.CreditTom Brenner for The New York Times

After a slow organizational start, Mr. Biden’s campaign now appears to have the largest operation in the state, employing about 75 staff members there, both by its count and according to the outlet Iowa Starting Line, which tracks staff hires. The Warren campaign, which has been praised for its creative ground game, claims more than 65 staff members in Iowa.

“We plan to win here, and so that’s why we’ve got such a huge staff,” said Jake Braun, Mr. Biden’s Iowa state director, adding that around 60 of the staff members are devoted to field operations and that the number of volunteers has increased each week. There are 13 offices in the state so far, with plans to keep growing, he said. And Mr. Biden is regularly landing new endorsements in Iowa, including Michael Gronstal, the former majority leader of the State Senate, and several prominent Democrats who supported Mr. Sanders in 2016.

Like Dr. Biden and some of Mr. Biden’s supporters, Mr. Braun cited the polls when asked how Mr. Biden would maintain momentum as other candidates become better-known — and potentially viewed as more viable.

“We are doing better than everybody else in a lot of these key states we need to win,” he said, before going on to describe the coalition Mr. Biden is seeking to build, including outreach to independents, students, white working-class people and people of color.

Yet for all the talk about polls at Biden events, in his own ad and from his own team, Mr. Biden himself, who often insists that he’s more focused on the “marathon” of the campaign, struggled to discuss the issue this week, offering seemingly contradictory statements about how much attention should be paid to polling.

“I notice you didn’t ask me why I’m ahead in all the polls still,” he said in an exchange with a reporter on Tuesday. “I notice you didn’t ask me about how I feel about the new CNN poll. I notice you don’t ask me those things.”

Asked by another reporter if polls should be ignored, Mr. Biden replied, “You already do, so it’s O.K.”

But, he added, “These polls will go up and they will go down. I’ve got to come out here and I’ve got to earn the support of these people.”

More reporting on the Democratic primary
Jay Inslee, Dropping Out of 2020 Race, Will Run for Governor Again

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Westlake Legal Group merlin_157917789_bc41b3c0-9908-4070-8295-f191719b1d47-threeByTwoSmallAt2X Joe Biden’s Poll Numbers Mask an Enthusiasm Challenge Warren, Elizabeth Sanders, Bernard Presidential Election of 2020 Iowa Democratic Party Biden, Joseph R Jr
Elizabeth Warren Wants Wells Fargo to Explain Fees on Closed Accounts

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Westlake Legal Group 21warren1-threeByTwoSmallAt2X Joe Biden’s Poll Numbers Mask an Enthusiasm Challenge Warren, Elizabeth Sanders, Bernard Presidential Election of 2020 Iowa Democratic Party Biden, Joseph R Jr
Democrats to Union Members: The Economy Is Failing You

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Westlake Legal Group 21dems-economy-sanders-threeByTwoSmallAt2X Joe Biden’s Poll Numbers Mask an Enthusiasm Challenge Warren, Elizabeth Sanders, Bernard Presidential Election of 2020 Iowa Democratic Party Biden, Joseph R Jr
The Next Democratic Debate Is One Poll Away From Being Split Over Two Nights (Again)

Aug. 21, 2019

Westlake Legal Group merlin_158732421_f6f35d01-c4a2-41fa-937b-8ca6ddc084be-threeByTwoSmallAt2X Joe Biden’s Poll Numbers Mask an Enthusiasm Challenge Warren, Elizabeth Sanders, Bernard Presidential Election of 2020 Iowa Democratic Party Biden, Joseph R Jr

Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

Julián Castro Is the 10th Candidate to Qualify for the Next Democratic Debate

The former housing secretary Julián Castro on Tuesday became the 10th Democratic presidential candidate to qualify for the next round of debates, after a new national poll showed him earning 2 percent support.

The poll, conducted for CNN by SSRS, a research firm, was the fourth qualifying poll to show Mr. Castro having cleared that hurdle. He had already met the other qualifying standard set by the Democratic National Committee by receiving donations from more than 130,000 people.

In qualifying for the third set of debates, Mr. Castro joins nine other candidates who have also done so: former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr.; Senator Cory Booker of New Jersey; Mayor Pete Buttigieg of South Bend, Ind.; Senator Kamala Harris of California; Senator Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota; former Representative Beto O’Rourke of Texas; Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont; Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts; and the entrepreneur Andrew Yang.

Video

Westlake Legal Group 14castro-videoSixteenByNine3000 Julián Castro Is the 10th Candidate to Qualify for the Next Democratic Debate Presidential Election of 2020 Democratic Party democratic national committee Debates (Political) Castro, Julian

The former San Antonio mayor entered the presidential race in January and has had a tough time distinguishing himself from a crowded field of Democratic candidates. But Julián Castro is proving his strength is going head-to-head with his opponents.CreditCreditTodd Heisler/The New York Times

“With two standout debate performances, Secretary Castro has been building momentum for his candidacy,” his campaign manager, Maya Rupert, said in a statement. “He has never wanted to be a ‘flash in the pan’ candidate, but rather has continued to build support and momentum by leading the field on critical issues and showing voters every day why he’s the best candidate to go toe-to-toe with Donald Trump.”

Candidates are required to both have 130,000 unique donors and register at least 2 percent support in four polls in order to make the cut for the next debates, scheduled for Sept. 12 and 13 in Houston — though it is not yet clear whether there will be one night of debates or two. The candidates have until Aug. 28 to reach those benchmarks.

All of the candidates who qualify for the debate stage in September will also make the cut for the following round of debates, in October.

Mr. Castro, who is also a former mayor of San Antonio, released a new ad last week in which he sharply criticized President Trump and accused him of inspiring the mass shooting in El Paso this month that left 22 people dead. The ad aired on Fox News in Bedminster, N.J., while Mr. Trump was vacationing there, and shortly before the CNN poll was conducted.

More reporting on the Castro campaign
Why Julián Castro’s Obama Moment Didn’t Last
As a young mayor, he was given a prime-time speaking spot at the 2012 Democratic Convention. He is still trying to see how far that star turn can take him.

Aug. 18, 2019

Westlake Legal Group 14castro-threeByTwoSmallAt2X-v2 Julián Castro Is the 10th Candidate to Qualify for the Next Democratic Debate Presidential Election of 2020 Democratic Party democratic national committee Debates (Political) Castro, Julian

The new CNN poll also helped Representative Tulsi Gabbard of Hawaii inch closer to debate qualification. Like Mr. Castro, she earned 2 percent support in the poll, leaving her just two surveys short of meeting the D.N.C.’s standard; she has already surpassed the donor threshold. Ms. Gabbard left the trail last week in order to fulfill her obligations with the National Guard, and is scheduled to resume campaign activities this Sunday.

Tom Steyer, the former hedge fund investor turned impeachment activist, needs only one more qualifying poll to make the cut for the debates, having already met the donor standard. When he entered the race in July, his team said he planned to spend at least $100 million on the race. In the weeks since, he has spent millions of dollars on internet and television ads that have helped him attract donors. He received 1 percent support in Tuesday’s CNN poll.

Senator Kirsten Gillibrand of New York, who received less than 1 percent support in Tuesday’s poll, is the only other candidate still shy of making the cut who has earned 2 percent support in any qualifying poll. She has amassed more than 100,000 individual donors.

No other lower-tier candidate in the 23-person field is particularly close to making the debate stage. Gov. Jay Inslee of Washington announced Monday that he had crossed the 130,000 donor threshold, but he needs to earn 2 percent support in four polls in the next week to qualify.

And on Tuesday, the self-help author Marianne Williamson announced that she had also met the donor requirement, but like Mr. Inslee, she needs to earn 2 percent in four qualifying polls.

Mr. Castro, who has focused his campaign around issues like education and immigration, was buoyed by a strong performance in the first debate. He confronted Mr. O’Rourke over his immigration policy and argued for decriminalizing border crossings — a stance many of his rivals have since adopted.

Mr. Castro saw an uptick in fund-raising after the first debate, but his performance in polling has continued to hover in the low single digits.

The CNN poll released Tuesday had Mr. Biden in the lead with 29 percent of Democrats or Democratic-leaning voters selecting him as their first choice for the nomination. Mr. Sanders finished next with 15 percent support, essentially tied with Ms. Warren, who had 14 percent.

Mr. Buttigieg and Ms. Harris came in next, both with 5 percent support. Ms. Harris had earned 17 percent support when the CNN survey was last conducted in late June, immediately following a standout performance in the first debate.

The poll was conducted Aug. 15 to 18 and surveyed 402 Democrats and Democratic-leaning independents who are registered to vote. It had a margin of sampling error of plus or minus 6 percentage points.

Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

Julián Castro Qualifies for the Next Democratic Debate

The former housing secretary Julián Castro on Tuesday became the 10th Democratic presidential candidate to qualify for the next round of debates, after a new national poll showed him earning 2 percent support.

The poll, conducted for CNN by SSRS, a research firm, was the fourth qualifying poll to show Mr. Castro having cleared that hurdle. He had already met the other qualifying standard set by the Democratic National Committee by receiving donations from more than 130,000 people.

In qualifying for the third set of debates, Mr. Castro joins nine other candidates who have also done so: former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr.; Senator Cory Booker of New Jersey; Mayor Pete Buttigieg of South Bend, Ind.; Senator Kamala Harris of California; Senator Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota; former Representative Beto O’Rourke of Texas; Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont; Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts; and the entrepreneur Andrew Yang.

Video

Westlake Legal Group 14castro-videoSixteenByNine3000 Julián Castro Qualifies for the Next Democratic Debate Presidential Election of 2020 Democratic Party democratic national committee Debates (Political) Castro, Julian

The former San Antonio mayor entered the presidential race in January and has had a tough time distinguishing himself from a crowded field of Democratic candidates. But Julián Castro is proving his strength is going head-to-head with his opponents.CreditCreditTodd Heisler/The New York Times

“With two standout debate performances, Secretary Castro has been building momentum for his candidacy,” his campaign manager, Maya Rupert, said in a statement. “He has never wanted to be a ‘flash in the pan’ candidate, but rather has continued to build support and momentum by leading the field on critical issues and showing voters every day why he’s the best candidate to go toe-to-toe with Donald Trump.”

Candidates are required to both have 130,000 unique donors and register at least 2 percent support in four polls in order to make the cut for the next debates, scheduled for Sept. 12 and 13 in Houston — though it is not yet clear whether there will be one night of debates or two. The candidates have until Aug. 28 to reach those benchmarks.

All of the candidates who qualify for the debate stage in September will also make the cut for the following round of debates, in October.

Mr. Castro, who is also a former mayor of San Antonio, released a new ad last week in which he sharply criticized President Trump and accused him of inspiring the mass shooting in El Paso this month that left 22 people dead. The ad aired on Fox News in Bedminster, N.J., while Mr. Trump was vacationing there, and shortly before the CNN poll was conducted.

More reporting on the Castro campaign
Why Julián Castro’s Obama Moment Didn’t Last
As a young mayor, he was given a prime-time speaking spot at the 2012 Democratic Convention. He is still trying to see how far that star turn can take him.

Aug 18, 2019

Westlake Legal Group 14castro-threeByTwoSmallAt2X-v2 Julián Castro Qualifies for the Next Democratic Debate Presidential Election of 2020 Democratic Party democratic national committee Debates (Political) Castro, Julian

The new CNN poll also helped Representative Tulsi Gabbard of Hawaii inch closer to debate qualification. Like Mr. Castro, she earned 2 percent support in the poll, leaving her just two surveys short of meeting the D.N.C.’s standard; she has already surpassed the donor threshold. Ms. Gabbard left the trail last week in order to fulfill her obligations with the National Guard, and is scheduled to resume campaign activities this Sunday.

Tom Steyer, the former hedge fund investor turned impeachment activist, needs only one more qualifying poll to make the cut for the debates, having already met the donor standard. When he entered the race in July, his team said he planned to spend at least $100 million on the race. In the weeks since, he has spent millions of dollars on internet and television ads that have helped him attract donors. He received 1 percent support in Tuesday’s CNN poll.

Senator Kirsten Gillibrand of New York, who received less than 1 percent support in Tuesday’s poll, is the only other candidate still shy of making the cut who has earned 2 percent support in any qualifying poll. She has amassed more than 100,000 individual donors.

No other lower-tier candidate in the 23-person field is particularly close to making the debate stage. Gov. Jay Inslee of Washington announced Monday that he had crossed the 130,000 donor threshold, but he needs to earn 2 percent support in four polls in the next week to qualify.

And on Tuesday, the self-help author Marianne Williamson announced that she had also met the donor requirement, but like Mr. Inslee, she needs to earn 2 percent in four qualifying polls.

Mr. Castro, who has focused his campaign around issues like education and immigration, was buoyed by a strong performance in the first debate. He confronted Mr. O’Rourke over his immigration policy and argued for decriminalizing border crossings — a stance many of his rivals have since adopted.

Mr. Castro saw an uptick in fund-raising after the first debate, but his performance in polling has continued to hover in the low single digits.

The CNN poll released Tuesday had Mr. Biden in the lead with 29 percent of Democrats or Democratic-leaning voters selecting him as their first choice for the nomination. Mr. Sanders finished next with 15 percent support, essentially tied with Ms. Warren, who had 14 percent.

Mr. Buttigieg and Ms. Harris came in next, both with 5 percent support. Ms. Harris had earned 17 percent support when the CNN survey was last conducted in late June, immediately following a standout performance in the first debate.

The poll was conducted Aug. 15 to 18 and surveyed 402 Democrats and Democratic-leaning independents who are registered to vote. It had a margin of sampling error of plus or minus 6 percentage points.

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Jill Biden, Stressing Trump Matchup, Makes a Blunt Case for Her Husband

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Jill Biden laid out the political calculus of her husband’s presidential campaign in extraordinarily blunt terms on Monday, directly acknowledging that some voters may prefer other candidates but urging them to support Joseph R. Biden Jr. anyway, in an effort to defeat President Trump.

As Mr. Biden, the early poll leader, works — and sometimes struggles — to excite a Democratic base that has moved left since he last ran for office, Dr. Biden, campaigning in New Hampshire, called on Democrats to prioritize perceived electability over enthusiasm for individual contenders or their policies.

“You may like another candidate better, but you have to look at who is going to win,” she said, addressing a gathering of educators. “And if education is your main issue, Joe is that person.”

“Your candidate might be better on, I don’t know, health care than Joe is, but you’ve got to look at who’s going to win this election,” Dr. Biden said. “And maybe you have to swallow a little bit and say, ‘O.K., I sort of personally like so-and-so better,’ but your bottom line has to be that we have to beat Trump.”

Her remarks were first reported by NBC News.

A Biden aide noted that Dr. Biden had also said that many people in the room were not sold on her husband — a suggestion that she was simply trying to persuade.

“I know that not all of you are committed to my husband, and I respect that, but I want you to think about your candidate, his or her electability, and who’s going to win this race,” she said, pointing to polls showing Mr. Biden with consistent leads.

Mr. Biden has indeed led both national and state polls throughout the summer, though he has seen his leads in Iowa and New Hampshire slide in some surveys, and his overall favorability rating has dipped as a presidential candidate. He will return to Iowa on Tuesday for another campaign swing.

His campaign is slated to start airing its first television ad on Tuesday, part of what his team said was a “high six-figure” ad buy aimed at several Iowa media markets over the next few weeks. The one-minute spot, called “Bones,” hits some of the same electability themes that Dr. Biden had raised.

“We know in our bones this election is different,” the ad says. “The stakes are higher. The threat more serious. We have to beat Donald Trump, and all the polls agree, Joe Biden is the strongest Democrat to do the job.”

Many political strategists caution that it is far too early for general election matchup polling to be predictive of the outcome in November 2020. Still, Mr. Biden’s allies have pointed to several surveys that do show him ahead of his rivals in matchups against Mr. Trump nationally or in key states including Ohio.

He and his allies often argue that of all of the Democratic candidates running, his more centrist approach, potential appeal to independents and longstanding ties to labor would help him win back states Mr. Trump won in the industrial Midwest.

Dr. Biden’s unvarnished emphasis on pragmatism reflected that bet, even as many other candidates believe that the way to defeat Mr. Trump is by energizing young voters, particularly younger voters of color, through boldly progressive policy proposals.

“Electability is not only the most important issue, it’s virtually the only issue,” Dick Harpootlian, a South Carolina state senator and longtime friend of Mr. Biden’s, said about Dr. Biden’s remarks.

Asked whether he perceived the comments as an acknowledgment of enthusiasm challenges for Mr. Biden, Mr. Harpootlian replied: “This is not an admission of anything. It’s an admission that he is the strongest person to beat Donald Trump. That’s all it is.”

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After Lobbying by Gun Rights Advocates, Trump Sounds a Familiar Retreat

WASHINGTON — Days after a pair of deadly mass shootings in Texas and Ohio, President Trump said he was prepared to endorse what he described as “very meaningful background checks” that would be possible because of his “greater influence now over the Senate and over the House.”

But after discussions with gun rights advocates during his two-week working vacation in Bedminster, N.J. — including talks with Wayne LaPierre, the chief executive of the National Rifle Association — Mr. Trump’s resolve appears to have substantially softened, and he has reverted to reiterating the conservative positions on the gun issue he has espoused since the 2016 campaign.

Speaking to reporters on Sunday as he departed from New Jersey and returned to Washington, Mr. Trump said he was “very, very concerned with the Second Amendment, more so than most presidents would be,” and added that “people don’t realize we have very strong background checks right now.”

He also echoed the standard response to mass shootings delivered by the N.R.A., which since 1966 has pushed the government to focus on the mental problems of the gunmen rather than how they were able to obtain their guns. “I don’t want people to forget that this is a mental health problem,” Mr. Trump said. “I don’t want them to forget that, because it is. It’s a mental health problem.”

At a rally in Manchester, N.H., last week, he noted that “it is not the gun that pulls the trigger, it is the person holding the gun,” paraphrasing a decades-old bumper sticker slogan from the gun rights group.

Mr. Trump’s turnaround is the latest example of the president ultimately capitulating to the views of his populist white and working-class political base, and it came after N.R.A. officials flooded the White House, Congress and governors’ offices around the country with phone calls since the back-to-back mass shootings on Aug. 3 and 4.

White House officials insisted that Mr. Trump would shift back again toward supporting more aggressive legislation in the fall, when lawmakers return from their August recess. But they also said Mr. Trump had sounded less aggressive in private over the past week in discussions about possible gun legislation, a change that coincided with the N.R.A. mounting a full-court press.

For now, Mr. Trump’s response to the most recent mass shootings, which together resulted in the deaths of 31 people, has followed a pattern similar to the one that played out after the February 2018 mass shooting in Parkland, Fla., where 17 students and staff members were killed at a high school.

After the shooting, Mr. Trump expressed support for universal background checks, keeping guns away from mentally ill people and restricting gun sales for some young adults. But that support quickly evaporated after a late-night Oval Office meeting with N.R.A. officials. Mr. Trump later threatened to veto a background check bill.

“We’ve seen this movie before,” Senator Chuck Schumer of New York, the Democratic leader, said in a statement. “President Trump, feeling public pressure in the immediate aftermath of a horrible shooting, talks about doing something meaningful to address gun violence, but inevitably, he backtracks in response to pressure from the N.R.A. and the hard right.”

Mr. Schumer reiterated that the way forward is for the Senate to vote on a bipartisan universal background checks bill already passed by the House.

“I pray that the president will listen to the 90 percent of the American people who support universal background checks,” Speaker Nancy Pelosi said in her own statement.

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A vigil outside the National Rifle Association headquarters in Fairfax, Va., in response to mass shootings this month.CreditAnna Moneymaker/The New York Times

A White House spokesman declined to comment on the record, but said Mr. Trump’s latest comments did not constitute a reversal of anything he had said before.

Some aides to Mr. Trump claimed that his comments on Sunday did not signify a change of position and that he was simply engaging in a public negotiation with Mr. Schumer and Ms. Pelosi, to get them to back off their support for a universal background check bill and compromise.

But Mr. Trump has not spoken to Ms. Pelosi or Mr. Schumer since Aug. 8, their aides said, when he told them that he “understood” their interest in moving quickly to pass a universal background check law in the Senate. And his Capitol Hill allies have told Mr. Trump directly that he will need to push hard if he wants to see something done, and that a bipartisan move would require him to engage in extensive arm-twisting of fellow Republicans, the type of legislative politicking he has had a mixed record of success with and interest in during his presidency.

One top Republican aide said that unless the president gave lawmakers cover on background checks, it was not clear what could be accomplished.

Democrats, who have watched Mr. Trump play to his base in recent months, with his frequent attacks on four Democratic congresswomen of color, as well as on Representative Elijah E. Cummings, Democrat of Baltimore, said spearheading any significant action on gun legislation now would seem to run counter to his re-election playbook.

Some gun control advocates hoped the calculus would be different for Republicans on Capitol Hill.

“If I were a Republican senator up in 2020, I’d be asking myself three things,” said John Feinblatt, the president of Everytown for Gun Safety, a national group that advocates tougher gun laws. “How many women are in my state who expect me to be voting on gun safety, how many young people are expecting me to do something to protect them, and how bad the dumpster fire is over at N.R.A. headquarters.”

Mr. Feinblatt also noted that he had never seen the N.R.A., which is under investigation by attorneys general in New York and Washington, D.C., and mired in legal battles and internal riffs, seem “weaker.” He said Republicans were “looking at the polls, and certainly looking at the suburbs and balancing that against whether the N.R.A. has any muscle left.”

In private, Mr. Trump has echoed Mr. Feinblatt’s bleak assessment of the N.R.A. But aides have warned him that its members are among his voters, and they may be less attuned to the internal drama at the organization than to its mission statement.

Officials at the gun rights group have been looking to show it still has muscle amid a series of stories about its finances and management, and responding to Mr. Trump has given them an opportunity to do that.

Officials at the organization would not directly comment on discussions with the president or his staff. But Andrew Arulanandam, a spokesman for the group, said, “If anyone looks at it from a very logical standpoint, they’ll realize that the sound bite remedy being offered by many just won’t work.”

He said that what was required was “enforcement of laws” and shoring up “our mental health system.”

Behind the scenes, Ivanka Trump, the president’s elder daughter and senior adviser, has been talking to lawmakers like Senator Joe Manchin III, Democrat of West Virginia, helping out a depleted White House legislative affairs team that has recently had major departures.

Ms. Trump favors passing legislation on background checks, but her involvement on the issue is not welcomed by most Republicans, who privately say the perception of her as a liberal voice in Mr. Trump’s circle will not help them sell more aggressive measures in their states. Ms. Trump and her husband, Jared Kushner, departed Bedminster last Thursday, leaving Mr. Trump without one of the voices in his inner circle pushing him on the issue.

Instead, Mr. Trump spoke with gun rights advocates, who flagged for him a weekend shooting in Philadelphia that wounded six police officers as an example of an incident that they said tougher gun measures would not have prevented. The shooting, they said, had more to do with the mental health of the assailant.

At Bedminster, Mr. Trump also spent time with Senator Lindsey Graham, Republican of South Carolina, who has been pushing for “red flag” laws, which allow guns to be taken from individuals who may be a danger to themselves or others. But such laws are seen by gun control advocates as relatively insignificant measures.

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Why Julián Castro’s Obama Moment Didn’t Last

The night before Julián Castro delivered the keynote address at the 2012 Democratic National Convention for President Barack Obama’s re-election, he had eaten by himself at the T.G.I. Friday’s not far from the Time Warner Cable Arena in Charlotte, N.C.

No one recognized the 37-year-old mayor of San Antonio. As the other delegates party-hopped around Charlotte, Mr. Castro studied his notes over dinner and went to bed by 9 p.m. He wanted to be well-rested before giving the biggest speech of his political career — a speech that he and his family now remember as transforming everything.

“The next morning, when we walked down the street, he was just mobbed,” said Mr. Castro’s twin brother, Joaquin, who is a United States congressman. “It was this instantaneous example of how things can change so quickly.”

Mr. Castro’s speech, in a prime-time slot, burst him onto the national stage, just like the one that had catapulted Mr. Obama to superstardom in 2004. Mr. Castro symbolized a new moment in American politics: The grandson of a Mexican immigrant with a fourth-grade education, the young mayor talked about his family’s story, one so common for millions of Latinos and yet almost nonexistent at the highest level of national politics. “My family’s story isn’t special,” Mr. Castro said. “What’s special is the America that makes our story possible.”

The applause was raucous. The reviews were overwhelmingly glowing (“A Political Star is Born” and “A Latino Obama?” the headlines read). People started to recognize Mr. Castro, even if they often confused him for Joaquin. On the way back to San Antonio, a fan stopped him in a men’s room at the Atlanta airport to shake his hand. (“He wanted to shake my hand in a men’s room!” Mr. Castro said. “I couldn’t believe it.”) Political pundits declared the Castro brothers the future of the party.

“He was this kind of phenom and, you know, was this symbol of the growing diverse country,” David Axelrod, Mr. Obama’s chief strategist, said of Julián.

Party leaders waited for him to seize on his “Obama Moment.” And waited. And waited. And waited.

The keynote, as it turned out, became a turning point that didn’t quite turn him.

Now, as Mr. Castro seeks the Democratic nomination for president, he finds himself in a completely different political landscape. In 2012, both parties were courting Latino voters, and an incumbent Democratic president needed help softening his image as the “deporter in chief.” Today, the incumbent Republican president is pushing to build a wall between the United States and Mexico and has separated thousands of migrant families at the border.

Mr. Castro must convince his party that his Latino appeal, his record, his relative moderation and, most important, the themes he laid out in that 2012 speech — family, the immigrant experience, the importance of education — will resonate across a nation more divided than when he had his first star moment.

So far, however, Mr. Castro has mostly languished in polls, eclipsed first by another Texan, Beto O’Rourke, and then by another mayor, Pete Buttigieg. He is currently one qualifying poll away from earning a spot in the September debate.

Some Democrats wondered earlier this year whether Mr. Castro’s problem was that he peaked too soon. One challenge was that there was no clear path forward from the Charlotte convention. His most logical next step, running for statewide office, was all but impossible given his home state: Republicans had dominated Texas politics for more than two decades. The state was changing — by the 2020 presidential election, the Democratic-leaning Latino population could turn it purple. But back then, Mr. Castro seemed stuck.

In 2014, he became Mr. Obama’s housing secretary. Two years later, he stumped for Hillary Clinton and was floated as a potential running mate. Last year he published a memoir, the kind that maybe-presidential candidates often publish. (“In the spirit of a young Barack Obama’s ‘Dreams From My Father,’” the book’s description reads.)

After Mr. Castro’s solid performance in the first presidential debate in June, Democrats asked his finance chair, Scott Atlas, a lawyer in Houston, where he’d been hiding Mr. Castro. Mr. Atlas would go red in the face reminding them of his 2012 speech. “I said, ‘He’s been hiding in plain sight!’”

ImageWestlake Legal Group merlin_60474364_f3544a57-c0fe-4ffd-bfdc-3fc290d6c2f2-articleLarge Why Julián Castro’s Obama Moment Didn’t Last United States Politics and Government Presidential Election of 2020 Democratic Party Castro, Julian

Julián Castro’s record as mayor of San Antonio earned him national praise. CreditMichael Stravato for The New York Times

Even before the speech, Mr. Castro’s record as mayor, particularly his success implementing a universal pre-K program, had earned him national praise. At a 2010 forum on economic development at the White House, Mr. Castro, who was 35 at the time, looked so young that Mr. Obama joked that he thought he was an intern. “This guy’s a mayor?” he asked.

Two years later, Mr. Obama’s re-election campaign saw that his path to defeat Mitt Romney relied on high Latino turnout to hold Nevada and Colorado.

This would be a challenge for the president, who faced criticism from immigration activists and Latino advocacy groups over aggressive deportation policies and his failure to make progress on overhauling the immigration system.

Mr. Obama’s campaign manager, Jim Messina, crunched the numbers and called the White House from the campaign’s Chicago headquarters to report that the re-election effort had a Latino problem.

In June 2012, Mr. Obama announced an executive action to protect some young undocumented immigrants, known as Dreamers. (It also helped that Mr. Romney had stumbled by saying he favored “self deportation.”) The campaign needed something else, though, recalled Frank Sharry, the executive director of America’s Voice, an immigration advocacy group. The Democratic Party, he said, was asking, “Who is the Obama-like Latino who can electrify the convention?”

Enter Mr. Castro, in one of the most coveted speaking gigs in American politics.

Mr. Obama’s speech at the 2004 convention, a rebuke of a divided red and blue America under President George W. Bush, had been such a sensation that it laid the groundwork for his 2008 presidential campaign. Before the 2012 convention, Mr. Castro hadn’t ever delivered a speech using a teleprompter.

“I’d never been in front of a national audience before, and this would be 19,000 people in the arena and another 25 million watching, so it was literally stepping up to a different league,” Mr. Castro recalled.

The Obama campaign had polled how several potential keynote speakers might go over, but Mr. Castro’s personal narrative — the single mom, the bootstraps, the journey from public schools in a poverty-stricken, predominantly Hispanic area of San Antonio to degrees from Stanford and Harvard — seemed like the best message.

“The Latino thing was important to us because that was one place where we had to run up the numbers against Romney,” Mr. Messina said. But mostly it was Mr. Castro’s biography that appealed. “He was the Latino version of Barack Obama — at least in his story, if not the talent.”

Mr. Castro took a break from rehearsing his keynote speech with his wife, Erica, and daughter, Carina, in Charlotte, N.C.CreditLisa Krantz/San Antonio Express-News

In July 2012, Mr. Messina called Mr. Castro in San Antonio to offer him the keynote address at the upcoming convention. Mr. Castro sent an aide out to scramble around South Texas to find the nearest teleprompter so he could begin to practice.

The Obama campaign sent a couple of speech coaches to run through practice sessions in Charlotte. “He’d start delivering it and they’d say, ‘Don’t yell into the mic,’ and, ‘Don’t lean back and forth from the mic,’” recalled his communications director at the time, Jaime Castillo.

Mr. Castro told Mr. Messina that he wanted to write his own speech, or at least most of it. Ever the student, he studied the greatest hits of convention speeches. There was Ann Richards’s 1988 address (“Poor George, he can’t help it — he was born with a silver foot in his mouth”), Mario Cuomo’s 1984 speech (“This nation is more ‘A Tale of Two Cities’ than it is just a ‘shining city on a hill’”), and, of course, Mr. Obama’s in 2004 speech (“There’s not a liberal America and a conservative America; there’s the United States of America”).

“The common theme that connected them was the way you communicate your personal story, your aspirational vision for the future of the country — those things never go out of style,” Mr. Castro said.

The campaign largely agreed to leave it to the Castro brothers, but they did cut “this idea of infrastructure of opportunity we’d both been talking about for a while because they thought it sounded too technical,” Joaquin Castro said. The brothers convinced the Obama campaign to leave the line about the American dream being “not a sprint or even a marathon, but a relay,” passed from one generation or another — a line Julián Castro uses often in his 2020 campaign.

Mr. Castro was introduced by his twin brother, Joaquin, at the convention in 2012.CreditDoug Mills/The New York Times

Mr. Castro divided his remarks into three parts: First, there was the story of growing up the son of a single mom, raised partly by his grandmother Victoria, who had left Mexico when she was a child and worked as a maid most of her life, “barely scraping by, but still working hard to give my mother, her only child, a chance in life so that my mother could give my brother and me an even better one.” Then, he criticized Mr. Romney, delivering the red meat that the party and re-election campaign demanded. (“Mitt Romney, quite simply, doesn’t get it.”) Finally, he told voters why they should choose Mr. Obama.

He’d done several rehearsals on the stage, but 30 seconds after Joaquin introduced him, Mr. Castro clutched the podium, felt the heat of the bright lights and thought he might pass out. (He later confessed that to Mr. Obama, who said that he, too, felt faint before his 2004 keynote.) Mr. Castro got more comfortable as he went on. Watch it on YouTube and you can see his hands unclenching, his expression soften. By the time Mr. Castro concluded, reciting the Spanish words his grandmother had whispered to him — “Que dios te bendiga,” may God bless you — the room roared.

“It didn’t launch him the way it did Barack Obama,” Mr. Messina said. “But he gave a very good speech that was good for us and, for a moment, he was this very big thing nationally.”

In his 2020 campaign, Mr. Castro has led the party left in the immigration debate. He was the first candidate to propose repealing a section of the immigration laws that criminalizes illegal border crossings. It’s a position that some Republicans believe can be used against the Democrats in a general election where “decriminalization” likely won’t play as well as a proposal framed simply around ending family separations. But almost all of the major Democratic candidates have followed Mr. Castro’s lead on border crossing policy, reflecting both where primary voters stand on the issue and a desire to draw a sharp contrast between the party and President Trump’s views.

“Our current president, for whatever reason, has decided to paint brown people as dangerous and dirty and unwanted, so we need brown people represented,” said Patti Solis Doyle, a Democratic operative and one of Mrs. Clinton’s campaign managers in 2008.

The Castro brothers believe that the current climate makes the echoes of that first major speech and their family’s story even more potent. They dusted off the 2012 keynote address to prepare for the first Democratic primary debate in Miami.

During the debate, as his opponents spoke, Mr. Castro scribbled on a notepad a closing statement that was essentially a 47-second distillation of his 20-minute convention speech. He repeated the story of his immigrant roots, and he declared that the nation would soon say “adiós” to Mr. Trump. “There is a direct line between what I talked about in 2012 and what I am campaigning on in 2019,” Mr. Castro said.

Mr. Castro and Senator Cory Booker during the Democratic presidential debate in Miami in June.CreditDoug Mills/The New York Times

Online donations in the two days after the June debate spiked 3,255 percent from the previous two days, according to the campaign. Caucusgoers started to show up in greater numbers to his town halls in Iowa. The merchandise on his website inspired by the Mexican lottery started to sell out.

“Before the debate, people said, ‘I don’t know why you’re doing this. This guy isn’t ready for prime time,’” Mr. Atlas, the lawyer and finance chair, said. “After the debate, they said, ‘I take it back! I take it back!’”

Mr. Castro delivered a less standout performance in the second debate in Detroit. But he is optimistic about his chances to make the September debate stage, in his home state of Texas. His mom, Rosie, said her son, who doesn’t look or act like most of his opponents, has an advantage. “He’s a calm guy. He’s not a good ol’ boy. He’s not a back slapper. He’s quiet and introspective and likes to read,” she said. “People always end up underestimating him.”

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Julián Castro’s Obama Moment

The night before Julián Castro delivered the keynote address at the 2012 Democratic National Convention for President Barack Obama’s re-election, he had eaten by himself at the T.G.I. Friday’s not far from the Time Warner Cable Arena in Charlotte, N.C.

No one recognized the 37-year-old mayor of San Antonio. As the other delegates party-hopped around Charlotte, Mr. Castro studied his notes over dinner and went to bed by 9 p.m. He wanted to be well-rested before giving the biggest speech of his political career — a speech that he and his family now remember as transforming everything.

“The next morning, when we walked down the street, he was just mobbed,” said Mr. Castro’s twin brother, Joaquin, who is a United States congressman. “It was this instantaneous example of how things can change so quickly.”

Mr. Castro’s speech, in a prime-time slot, burst him onto the national stage, just like the one that had catapulted Mr. Obama to superstardom in 2004. Mr. Castro symbolized a new moment in American politics: The grandson of a Mexican immigrant with a fourth-grade education, the young mayor talked about his family’s story, one so common for millions of Latinos and yet almost nonexistent at the highest level of national politics. “My family’s story isn’t special,” Mr. Castro said. “What’s special is the America that makes our story possible.”

The applause was raucous. The reviews were overwhelmingly glowing (“A Political Star is Born” and “A Latino Obama?” the headlines read). People started to recognize Mr. Castro, even if they often confused him for Joaquin. On the way back to San Antonio, a fan stopped him in a men’s room at the Atlanta airport to shake his hand. (“He wanted to shake my hand in a men’s room!” Mr. Castro said. “I couldn’t believe it.”) Political pundits declared the Castro brothers the future of the party.

“He was this kind of phenom and, you know, was this symbol of the growing diverse country,” David Axelrod, Mr. Obama’s chief strategist, said of Julián.

Party leaders waited for him to seize on his “Obama Moment.” And waited. And waited. And waited.

The keynote, as it turned out, became a turning point that didn’t quite turn him.

Now, as Mr. Castro seeks the Democratic nomination for president, he finds himself in a completely different political landscape. In 2012, both parties were courting Latino voters, and an incumbent Democratic president needed help softening his image as the “deporter in chief.” Today, the incumbent Republican president is pushing to build a wall between the United States and Mexico and has separated thousands of migrant families at the border.

Mr. Castro must convince his party that his Latino appeal, his record, his relative moderation and, most important, the themes he laid out in that 2012 speech — family, the immigrant experience, the importance of education — will resonate across a nation more divided than when he had his first star moment.

So far, however, Mr. Castro has mostly languished in polls, eclipsed first by another Texan, Beto O’Rourke, and then by another mayor, Pete Buttigieg. He is currently one qualifying poll away from earning a spot in the September debate.

Some Democrats wondered earlier this year whether Mr. Castro’s problem was that he peaked too soon. One challenge was that there was no clear path forward from the Charlotte convention. His most logical next step, running for statewide office, was all but impossible given his home state: Republicans had dominated Texas politics for more than two decades. The state was changing — by the 2020 presidential election, the Democratic-leaning Latino population could turn it purple. But back then, Mr. Castro seemed stuck.

In 2014, he became Mr. Obama’s housing secretary. Two years later, he stumped for Hillary Clinton and was floated as a potential running mate. Last year he published a memoir, the kind that maybe-presidential candidates often publish. (“In the spirit of a young Barack Obama’s ‘Dreams From My Father,’” the book’s description reads.)

After Mr. Castro’s solid performance in the first presidential debate in June, Democrats asked his finance chair, Scott Atlas, a lawyer in Houston, where he’d been hiding Mr. Castro. Mr. Atlas would go red in the face reminding them of his 2012 speech. “I said, ‘He’s been hiding in plain sight!’”

ImageWestlake Legal Group merlin_60474364_f3544a57-c0fe-4ffd-bfdc-3fc290d6c2f2-articleLarge Julián Castro’s Obama Moment United States Politics and Government Presidential Election of 2020 Castro, Julian

Julián Castro’s record as mayor of San Antonio earned him national praise. CreditMichael Stravato for The New York Times

Even before the speech, Mr. Castro’s record as mayor, particularly his success implementing a universal pre-K program, had earned him national praise. At a 2010 forum on economic development at the White House, Mr. Castro, who was 35 at the time, looked so young that Mr. Obama joked that he thought he was an intern. “This guy’s a mayor?” he asked.

Two years later, Mr. Obama’s re-election campaign saw that his path to defeat Mitt Romney relied on high Latino turnout to hold Nevada and Colorado.

This would be a challenge for the president, who faced criticism from immigration activists and Latino advocacy groups over aggressive deportation policies and his failure to make progress on overhauling the immigration system.

Mr. Obama’s campaign manager, Jim Messina, crunched the numbers and called the White House from the campaign’s Chicago headquarters to report that the re-election effort had a Latino problem.

In June 2012, Mr. Obama announced an executive action to protect some young undocumented immigrants, known as Dreamers. (It also helped that Mr. Romney had stumbled by saying he favored “self deportation.”) The campaign needed something else, though, recalled Frank Sharry, the executive director of America’s Voice, an immigration advocacy group. The Democratic Party, he said, was asking, “Who is the Obama-like Latino who can electrify the convention?”

Enter Mr. Castro, in one of the most coveted speaking gigs in American politics.

Mr. Obama’s speech at the 2004 convention, a rebuke of a divided red and blue America under President George W. Bush, had been such a sensation that it laid the groundwork for his 2008 presidential campaign. Before the 2012 convention, Mr. Castro hadn’t ever delivered a speech using a teleprompter.

“I’d never been in front of a national audience before, and this would be 19,000 people in the arena and another 25 million watching, so it was literally stepping up to a different league,” Mr. Castro recalled.

The Obama campaign had polled how several potential keynote speakers might go over, but Mr. Castro’s personal narrative — the single mom, the bootstraps, the journey from public schools in a poverty-stricken, predominantly Hispanic area of San Antonio to degrees from Stanford and Harvard — seemed like the best message.

“The Latino thing was important to us because that was one place where we had to run up the numbers against Romney,” Mr. Messina said. But mostly it was Mr. Castro’s biography that appealed. “He was the Latino version of Barack Obama — at least in his story, if not the talent.”

Mr. Castro took a break from rehearsing his keynote speech with his wife, Erica, and daughter, Carina, in Charlotte, N.C.CreditLisa Krantz/San Antonio Express-News

In July 2012, Mr. Messina called Mr. Castro in San Antonio to offer him the keynote address at the upcoming convention. Mr. Castro sent an aide out to scramble around South Texas to find the nearest teleprompter so he could begin to practice.

The Obama campaign sent a couple of speech coaches to run through practice sessions in Charlotte. “He’d start delivering it and they’d say, ‘Don’t yell into the mic,’ and, ‘Don’t lean back and forth from the mic,’” recalled his communications director at the time, Jaime Castillo.

Mr. Castro told Mr. Messina that he wanted to write his own speech, or at least most of it. Ever the student, he studied the greatest hits of convention speeches. There was Ann Richards’s 1988 address (“Poor George, he can’t help it — he was born with a silver foot in his mouth”), Mario Cuomo’s 1984 speech (“This nation is more ‘A Tale of Two Cities’ than it is just a ‘shining city on a hill’”), and, of course, Mr. Obama’s in 2004 speech (“There’s not a liberal America and a conservative America; there’s the United States of America”).

“The common theme that connected them was the way you communicate your personal story, your aspirational vision for the future of the country — those things never go out of style,” Mr. Castro said.

The campaign largely agreed to leave it to the Castro brothers, but they did cut “this idea of infrastructure of opportunity we’d both been talking about for a while because they thought it sounded too technical,” Joaquin Castro said. The brothers convinced the Obama campaign to leave the line about the American dream being “not a sprint or even a marathon, but a relay,” passed from one generation or another — a line Julián Castro uses often in his 2020 campaign.

Mr. Castro was introduced by his twin brother, Joaquin, at the convention in 2012.CreditDoug Mills/The New York Times

Mr. Castro divided his remarks into three parts: First, there was the story of growing up the son of a single mom, raised partly by his grandmother Victoria, who had left Mexico when she was a child and worked as a maid most of her life, “barely scraping by, but still working hard to give my mother, her only child, a chance in life so that my mother could give my brother and me an even better one.” Then, he criticized Mr. Romney, delivering the red meat that the party and re-election campaign demanded. (“Mitt Romney, quite simply, doesn’t get it.”) Finally, he told voters why they should choose Mr. Obama.

He’d done several rehearsals on the stage, but 30 seconds after Joaquin introduced him, Mr. Castro clutched the podium, felt the heat of the bright lights and thought he might pass out. (He later confessed that to Mr. Obama, who said that he, too, felt faint before his 2004 keynote.) Mr. Castro got more comfortable as he went on. Watch it on YouTube and you can see his hands unclenching, his expression soften. By the time Mr. Castro concluded, reciting the Spanish words his grandmother had whispered to him — “Que dios te bendiga,” may God bless you — the room roared.

“It didn’t launch him the way it did Barack Obama,” Mr. Messina said. “But he gave a very good speech that was good for us and, for a moment, he was this very big thing nationally.”

In his 2020 campaign, Mr. Castro has led the party left in the immigration debate. He was the first candidate to propose repealing a section of the immigration laws that criminalizes illegal border crossings. It’s a position that some Republicans believe can be used against the Democrats in a general election where “decriminalization” likely won’t play as well as a proposal framed simply around ending family separations. But almost all of the major Democratic candidates have followed Mr. Castro’s lead on border crossing policy, reflecting both where primary voters stand on the issue and a desire to draw a sharp contrast between the party and President Trump’s views.

“Our current president, for whatever reason, has decided to paint brown people as dangerous and dirty and unwanted, so we need brown people represented,” said Patti Solis Doyle, a Democratic operative and one of Mrs. Clinton’s campaign managers in 2008.

The Castro brothers believe that the current climate makes the echoes of that first major speech and their family’s story even more potent. They dusted off the 2012 keynote address to prepare for the first Democratic primary debate in Miami.

During the debate, as his opponents spoke, Mr. Castro scribbled on a notepad a closing statement that what was essentially a 47-second distillation of his 20-minute convention speech. He repeated the story of his immigrant roots, and he declared that the nation would soon say “adiós” to Mr. Trump. “There is a direct line between what I talked about in 2012 and what I am campaigning on in 2019,” Mr. Castro said.

Mr. Castro and Senator Cory Booker during the Democratic presidential debate in Miami in June.CreditDoug Mills/The New York Times

Online donations in the two days after the June debate spiked 3,255 percent from the previous two days, according to the campaign. Caucusgoers started to show up in greater numbers to his town halls in Iowa. The merchandise on his website inspired by the Mexican lottery started to sell out.

“Before the debate, people said, ‘I don’t know why you’re doing this. This guy isn’t ready for prime time,’” Mr. Atlas, the lawyer and finance chair, said. “After the debate, they said, ‘I take it back! I take it back!’”

Mr. Castro delivered a less standout performance in the second debate in Detroit. But he is optimistic about his chances to make the September debate stage, in his home state of Texas. His mom, Rosie, said her son, who doesn’t look or act like most of his opponents, has an advantage. “He’s a calm guy. He’s not a good ol’ boy. He’s not a back slapper. He’s quiet and introspective and likes to read,” she said. “People always end up underestimating him.”

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In Economic Warning Signals, Trump Sees Signs of a Conspiracy

Westlake Legal Group 18dc-memo-facebookJumbo In Economic Warning Signals, Trump Sees Signs of a Conspiracy United States Politics and Government United States Economy Unemployment Trump, Donald J Treasury Department Recession and Depression Presidential Election of 2020 Powell, Jerome H News and News Media Navarro, Peter Kudlow, Lawrence A International Trade and World Market Federal Reserve System China

President Trump, confronting perhaps the most ominous economic signs of his time in office, has unleashed what is by now a familiar response: lashing out at what he believes is a conspiracy of forces arrayed against him.

He has insisted that his own handpicked Federal Reserve chair, Jerome H. Powell, is intentionally acting against him. He has said other countries, including allies, are working to hurt American economic interests. And he has accused the news media of trying to create a recession.

“The Fake News Media is doing everything they can to crash the economy because they think that will be bad for me and my re-election,” Mr. Trump tweeted last week. “The problem they have is that the economy is way too strong and we will soon be winning big on Trade, and everyone knows that, including China!”

Mr. Trump has repeated the claims in private discussions with aides and allies, insisting that his critics are trying to take away what he sees as his calling card for re-election. Mr. Trump has been agitated in discussions of the economy, and by the news media’s reporting of warnings of a possible recession. He has said forces that do not want him to win have been overstating the damage his trade war has caused, according to people who have spoken with him. And several aides agree with him that the news media is overplaying the economic fears, adding to his feeling of being justified, people close to the president said.

The claims provide a ready target to help Mr. Trump deflect blame if the economy does tip into recession. But whether they could truly insulate the president on what could be a significant issue of the 2020 election after he has so conspicuously wrapped himself in the good economic news of the past two years remains an open question, and he and his advisers have sought to tamp down concerns that a downturn is on the way.

“Our economy is the best in the world, by far,” Mr. Trump tweeted on Sunday. “Lowest unemployment ever within almost all categories. Poised for big growth after trade deals are completed.”

“I don’t see a recession,” he told reporters later on Sunday before leaving his private golf club in Bedminster, N.J., for Washington. But he added that if the economy slowed down, “it would be because I have to take on China and some other countries,” singling out the European Union as among those treating the United States “very badly.”

The president’s broadsides follow a long pattern of conspiratorial thinking. He has claimed, without evidence, that undocumented immigrants cast millions of ballots, costing him the popular vote in the 2016 election. During the campaign, he predicted that the system might prove to be “rigged” if he did not win. He conjured up a “deep state” conspiracy within the government to thwart his election and, more recently, his agenda. And he has said reporters are trying to harm him with pictures of empty seats at his rallies.

The attacks come as the economy has begun flashing some warning signs, despite unemployment near historic lows and relatively high marks by voters on Mr. Trump’s economic stewardship. Global growth has been slowing. Last week, stock markets plunged as the yield on the 10-year Treasury note briefly fell below that of the two-year Treasury note, an unusual situation known as an inversion of the yield curve that is considered one of the most reliable leading indicators of recession in the United States.

And signs of damage from Mr. Trump’s trade war with China have been mounting.

In some conversations, the president has been preoccupied with the trade war, as well as with how to handle the pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong, according to the people who have spoken with him. “I’d love to see it worked out in a humane fashion,” Mr. Trump told reporters on Sunday, referring to potential retaliation against the demonstrators by China. “It does put pressure on the trade deal,” he added.

Mr. Trump also indicated that the Chinese tech giant Huawei, which his administration sees as a national security threat, might not receive an extension of a reprieve that allows American companies to supply it with certain goods despite a ban on such trade.

“Huawei is a company we may not do business with at all,” the president said, casting doubt on reports that the reprieve, which is set to expire on Monday, would be extended.

On Sunday, his advisers battled any notion that the trade war could be harming the economy. Peter Navarro, a top trade adviser who has urged the president on in his trade war, dismissed a study from researchers at Harvard, the University of Chicago, the International Monetary Fund and the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston that showed that the cost of Mr. Trump’s tariffs had “fallen largely on the U.S.,” not on China and other countries, as the administration has asserted.

“There’s no evidence whatsoever that American consumers are bearing any of this,” Mr. Navarro said on CNN’s “State of the Union,” insisting, despite abundant data to the contrary, that “they’re not hurting anybody here.”

While maintaining that any turmoil in the economy is overstated, Mr. Navarro and Larry Kudlow, the White House economic adviser, also said the Federal Reserve had slowed economic growth, mirroring Mr. Trump’s criticisms.

Mr. Kudlow, appearing on “Fox News Sunday,” said that the state of the economy under the Trump administration “is kind of a miracle, because we face severe monetary restraint from the Fed.”

Mr. Navarro, appearing on CBS’s “Face the Nation,” blamed the Fed for raising interest rates “too far, too fast,” adding that “they have cost us a full point” of growth in gross domestic product.

Mr. Trump has also struck an increasingly strident economic tone.

“You have no choice but to vote for me because your 401(k), everything is going to be down the tubes” if Democrats win, he told a crowd at a campaign rally in Manchester, N.H., last week. “Whether you love me or hate me, you’ve got to vote for me.”

The rally was one a few departures from a relatively low-profile period during a nearly two-week trip to his club in Bedminster, where he typically spends part of August. He also took official trips to El Paso, Tex., and Dayton, Ohio, after the gun massacres there, and he went to Pennsylvania ostensibly to talk about energy sources, but instead delivered remarks indistinguishable from those at one of his rallies.

But the dyspeptic diatribes came in spurts, and the president whipsawed between frustration and freewheeling meetings and golf outings, including one on Saturday with the president of the P.G.A. and the chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission, according to two people familiar with his playing partners. Still, Mr. Trump was frustrated by the news media’s coverage of his rally in New Hampshire. He repeatedly complained about misleading pictures of empty seats, or that attendance at the arena had beat Elton John’s record crowd there, but no one was covering it.

Long-serving aides say that Mr. Trump understands that presidents face harder re-election battles in a bad economy, and he has made the issue central to his presidency.

But even as he returns to Washington facing new pressures, Mr. Trump did not seem to anticipate a quick resolution to the trade war. “The tariffs have cost nothing, in my opinion, or certainly very little,” in terms of pain to American consumers and businesses, Mr. Trump insisted, adding that “China is eating the tariffs.”

“China would like to make a deal,” he said. “I’m not ready.”

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