Democratic Field Shrinks to 21: This Week in the 2020 Race
“I’m not going to be the president,” Mr. Inslee conceded. He announced shortly after that he would seek a third term as governor.
Mr. Inslee drew an outpouring of praise this week for spotlighting climate issues with his candidacy. He spoke with my colleague Lisa Friedman about the attention he received immediately after exiting the race.
“To start with zero national name recognition, it’s gratifying to hear people say these things,” he said. “I’m actually more convinced than I was two days ago that the public, or at least those who were paying attention to this issue, recognize that we were able to move the ball down the field.”
Mr. Hickenlooper will seek to challenge Senator Cory Gardner, a Republican, in a contest that Democrats view as a must-win if they have any hope of flipping the Senate in 2020.
Seth Moulton exits the race
A day later, Representative Seth Moulton of Massachusetts, a third-term congressman who focused his campaign on national security, announced he too would end his bid for the Democratic nomination for president.
Despite campaigning for months, Mr. Moulton, 40, never gained traction with the electorate. He failed to earn even 1 percent support in any of the dozens of polls that would have helped qualify him for the debates.
In an interview with my colleague Alex Burns, he argued that if Democrats embraced an overly liberal platform, it would be harder 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.
CreditTom Brenner for The New York Times
Candidates promise to uplift Native American communities
Several 2020 Democrats paid a visit to Sioux City, Iowa, on Monday and Tuesday to take part in a presidential forum on Native American issues and explain how they planned to uplift Native communities.
The two-day forum was hosted by Four Directions, a Native American voting rights group, and the Native Organizers Alliance. Among the candidates who took part: Julián Castro, the former housing secretary; Senator Kamala Harris of California; Senator Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota; Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont; and Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts.
Ms. Klobuchar announced that she had received the endorsements of three Native American leaders and outlined several policy priorities, including bolstering communication between tribal officials and federal agencies, pushing for the passage of legislation that would address violence against Native American women and girls and connecting every household to the internet by 2022.
Ms. Harris also picked up an endorsement, pledged to support the right of tribal self-governance, and promised to increase communication with tribal leaders as president.
“There is work we need to do,” she said via live-streamed video, “that is about not only restoring tribal land but also acknowledging the historical trauma that has resulted from those many years of violence and, frankly, crimes.”
The forum gave Ms. Warren with an opportunity to issue a direct, public apology for her past claims of Native American ancestry.
“I know that I have made mistakes,” said Ms. Warren, who was met with a standing ovation when she took the stage. “I am sorry for harm I have caused. I have listened and I have learned a lot, and I am grateful for the many conversations that we’ve had together.”
Sanders releases plans to strengthen unions and fight climate change
The labor plan, which Mr. Sanders discussed at the Iowa AFL-CIO convention, seeks to double union membership, raise wages and strengthen the middle class.
Mr. Sanders said he would guarantee that all workers had the right to unionize and ensure that the National Labor Relations Board would certify unions if a simple majority of workers were in favor of forming one. He also promised to repeal the “Right to Work” provision, ban the practice of permanently replacing striking workers and establish federal protections against the firing of workers for any reason other than “just cause.”
Mr. Sanders outlined his plan to combat climate change the next day in Paradise, Calif., the site of a massive wildfire that killed 85 people last fall. It amounted to a $16.3 trillion blueprint, the most expensive proposal from the field so far.
The plan declares climate change a national emergency and calls for the United States to eliminate fossil fuel use by 2050. It envisions building new solar, wind and geothermal power sources across the country, and it commits $200 billion to help poor nations cope with climate change.
Mr. Sanders said his proposal would “pay for itself” over 15 years and create 20 million jobs in the process.
In other policy news:
Ms. Warren offered up an expansive criminal justice plan that seeks to reduce mass incarceration. She called for various investments that would help combat homelessness, end the school-to-prison-pipeline and fund diversion programs for substance abusers. She also argued for repealing the bulk of the 1994 crime bill, ending cash bail, and increasing oversight on law enforcement, along with many other measures.
Mr. Sanders also released a justice and safety plan, which called for banning the use of facial recognition software by police departments, raising the age of adult criminal liability to 18 and allowing certain areas to be set aside where people could legally inject intravenous drugs.
Senator Kirsten Gillibrand of New York released a plan to tackle what she called a “mental health crisis in America.” She said she would expand community and school-based health centers, increase reimbursement for nontraditional treatments and require insurance to cover mental and behavioral health.
Similarly, Mayor Pete Buttigieg of South Bend, Ind., laid out his vision to improve mental health care and fight opioid addiction. Mr. Buttigieg promised that by creating parity among insurers for mental health and addiction coverage and investing in what he called “healing and belonging” grants, 1 million deaths would be prevented by 2028.
Former Representative Beto O’Rourke of Texas announced a “21st Century Labor Contract” to support workers’ rights. As part of the contract, he promised that all workers would be able to join a union, get paid a living wage and have access to a fair labor market.
Senator Michael Bennet of Colorado called for a $500 billion investment in American workers over the next 10 years. Mr. Bennet said he would expand tax credits, strengthen unions and seek to pass laws that ramp up how the government responds to signs of recession.
Mr. Castro released a “Protecting Animals and Wildlife” plan (for which, yes, the acronym is PAW). The plan proposes making animal cruelty a federal crime, strengthening animal welfare standards in factory farms and banning the testing of cosmetic products on animals.
Two other fun things
My colleagues analyzed the campaign rally playlists for nine Democratic candidates and President Trump.
As it turns out, the music they chose tells you a lot about their values, their political messages, and their “real” selves.
And finally …
Can you tell Elizabeth Warren and her doppelgänger apart?
Ms. Warren was at a town hall in Saint Paul, Minn., this week when she met Stephanie Oyen — a local resident who arrived in a blue blazer and clear glasses.
If you can’t figure out who’s who, don’t fret — many people at the event couldn’t either.
“It got weird very fast,” Ms. Oyen, above left, told the Minneapolis Star Tribune, adding that she eventually ditched her costume and “hid behind a tall guy” because she felt bad about causing confusion.