Surprise! We’re also a podcast now! Each week, Maya Reter and I will do basically what I did with this column, discuss 2020 news – potentially with guests. But don’t worry; the print version of the column will continue. Now, it’ll just be a condensed version of the discussion on the podcast. We’re very focused on the preservation of print journalism.
First up this week, Reps. Alexandria Occasio Cortez and Ilhan Omar endorsed Senator Bernie Sanders for president. The two are members of the group of four freshmen young liberal congresswomen known as the Squad (a name Maya did not previously know but was delighted to learn). Their endorsements are notable because AOC in particular is a big name for the younger breed of the far left wing of the Democratic Party, and Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders are currently competing for the title of The Left Wing Democrat in this primary. Endorsements from AOC and Omar may help Bernie hold onto this title, even as Warren is gaining ground and becoming a front runner.
Up next, we discussed the ages of candidates. The three front runners are all age 70 or older. On the other end of the spectrum, Pete Buttigieg, the current fourth-place candidate, is 37. Meanwhile, the rest of the field is in their late forties and fifties. Although Andrew Yang is of indeterminate age. Maya thinks he’s in his thirties. Frantic googling reveals that he is 44.
Next, Pete Buttigieg’s (gimmick) fundraisers. Maya is intrigued by his (second) pizza fundraiser, which encourages his supporters to donate to enter for a chance to be flown to South Bend, Indiana and have a pizza dinner with him. Maya loves this idea because it’s called Pizza with Pete, which not only has solid alliteration, but is also a name pun. (Pete-za with Pete. Get it?) I, on the other hand, am intrigued by his Hamilton fundraiser. Similar to Pizza with Pete, supporters can donate to enter themselves in a raffle for an opportunity to see the Tony-award-winning musical Hamilton with Chasten, Buttigieg’s husband.
This just seems a little strange to us. The pizza party makes sense because it gives supporters an opportunity to sit down with the candidate and discuss issues and policy ideas. The Hamilton fundraiser, on the other hand, just gives a supporter the opportunity to go to the theater with the candidate’s husband. It would make marginally more sense if people were going with both Pete and Chasten, but as it stands, it’s just Chasten, which just seems odd. But who knows? Maybe people will get really excited to go see a musical that came out 4 years ago and has greatly diminished in cultural relevance.
To blatantly steal from the WBEZ/NPR show Wait, Wait Don’t Tell Me, at the end of each show, Maya will tell me three stories from the past week, two true and one false, and I’ll try to guess which one is false. Then she’ll read me a limerick with the last rhyme missing, and I’ll try to fill it in. But you’ll have to listen to the podcast to hear that segment.
That’s all for this week. Read the column. Listen to the podcast. Do both. Do neither. Either way, we’ll be back next week with more 2020 news.