#2020Vision: Kamala Harris fires the single-payer starting gun; Sanders on the trail; Castro's next move; Kander's early-state offices

Kasich, Hickenlooper pitch health care reform
Kasich, Hickenlooper pitch health care reform

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Kasich, Hickenlooper pitch health care reform 01:58

Washington (CNN)Our weekly roundup of the news, notes and chatter about the prospects for the next Democratic presidential race:

The Democratic Party's sprint toward a full embrace of single-payer health care is underway — and California Sen. Kamala Harris fired the starting gun.
In the final moments of her Oakland town hall, Harris snuck in an announcement that she will co-sponsor the "Medicare for all" bill that Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders will introduce in mid-September.
Hillary Clinton said 20 months ago that single-payer "will never, ever come to pass." But it's a different Democratic Party now, and the cause excites the base. Harris is part of a trio of Democratic 2020 prospects in the Senate — along with Massachusetts' Elizabeth Warren and New York's Kirsten Gillibrand — who expressed support for single-payer health care this summer. But she's the first of those three to attach her name to a specific bill.
    Harris, as a Senate homeland security committee member and California senator, will also be in the spotlight if the Trump administration makes a move in the days ahead to end the Obama-era Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program allowing "Dreamers" to remain in the United States.
    And Harris is hitting the fundraising trail, visiting Ohio next weekend to raise money for Sen. Sherrod Brown's re-election with events in Columbus on Friday and Shaker Heights on Saturday.

    News and notes:

    SANDERS ON THE TRAIL: In Iowa City on Thursday night, Sanders — who is on a tour promoting a new book — took on President Donald Trump on DACA, Trump's response to neo-Nazis in Charlottesville, Virginia, and more.
    "The African-American community and Jewish community was outraged when you have a president commenting on a march by Nazis and white supremacists who then declares, 'Well, there are nice people on both sides,'" Sanders said.
    On Labor Day, Sanders will head back to New Hampshire. He'll speak at a New Hampshire AFL-CIO breakfast in Manchester, then attend a Rights and Democracy New Hampshire rally in Concord.
    THE KASICH-HICKENLOOPER WORLD TOUR: Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper got a lot of attention Thursday when he and Ohio Gov. John Kasich rolled out a plan to address many of the health insurance system's glaring problems.
    What caught our eye was that three of the top Democratic 2020 names from the governors' ranks — Hickenlooper, Montana's Steve Bullock and Virginia's Terry McAuliffe — backed the plan. This comes at the same time Democrats in the Senate are increasingly talking about single-payer. Why the different approaches? Don't read too much into it. The three governors are seen as more moderate, yes — but they also have different priorities: They are actively overseeing health care systems in need of short-term solutions.
    JULIAN CASTRO'S NEXT MOVE: Former Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julian Castro is joining the faculty at the University of Texas' LBJ School of Public Affairs, where he'll start by leading a seminar series on policy development through the lens of housing.
    Is this just a pit stop on Castro's road to 2020? He recently launched his Opportunity First PAC and is working on a memoir due out next fall. He seems to see a lane for a Latino candidate — and some Democratic operatives say he's probably right. Castro is well-liked and was seen as an effective surrogate for Hillary Clinton. But the knocks on him are that he's too cautious and was too focused on his own political gain during the campaign.
    KANDER GROUP'S EARLY-STATE OFFICES: Let America Vote, Jason Kander's voting rights group, is opening field offices in five states for the 2018 elections. One note: Three of them — Iowa, New Hampshire and Nevada — are the first three states to vote in the Democratic presidential nominating process.
    Kander will spend Labor Day in New Hampshire at a barbecue hosted by Amherst County Democrats. Then he'll be in Iowa next weekend for a Cass County Democratic Party fundraiser. (The next day, South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg and Oregon Sen. Jeff Merkley headline the Progress Iowa Corn Feed.)
    FRANKEN SHOOTS DOWN 2020, AGAIN: Minnesota Sen. Al Franken has consistently been the hardest "no" of all Democratic 2020 prospects. He shot down the idea again to WCCO, saying: "That is nothing I want to do. I want to run for re-election. I want to represent Minnesota. I love my job and I want to represent Minnesota in the Senate."
    KLOBUCHAR IN IOWA: Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar picked up Hillary Clinton's proposal for automatic voter registration when Americans turn 18, saying she'll introduce a bill next week that would do just that during a lecture on women in politics at Iowa State University on Thursday night.
    "While we're at it, I think it would be nice to get rid of all that dark money in our politics," she said.
    WARREN AT THE KING CENTER: Elizabeth Warren visited The King Center in Atlanta this week for a friendly question-and-answer session with Bernice King, the daughter of Martin Luther King Jr. and Coretta Scott King. It was the latest example of Warren infusing racial and cultural messages into her usual economic arguments. Don't miss our dive into that evolution in Warren's recent speeches and outreach.
    DELANEY: 'A TIME FOR MODERATION': Maryland Rep. John Delaney, the only official entrant into the 2020 Democratic field, was in New Hampshire this week. At a fundraiser for the state Senate Democratic caucus, he previewed the direction he'd like to take the party in, saying: "There's a time for fighting, there's a time for partisan speeches, but there's also a time for moderation and for Democrats and Republicans to work together and get things done."
    SCHULTZ: SPEAK UP, POLS: Starbucks' Howard Schultz, long thought to have political ambitions and seen by Democratic operatives as a potential 2020 contender, in a Financial Times op-ed framed around a visit to Gettysburg, called on politicians to more aggressively confront bigotry. He wrote: "Not enough of our elected officials are using their voice with due force and eloquence to elevate the ideal of equality. ... And when meek words masquerade as moral courage, they are perceived as indifference and give the worst of human nature permission to flourish. All of us in positions of power — politicians, parents, chief executives and educators — must see ourselves as part of history's bigger picture and ask, 'What is my responsibility to the republic?'"

    The week ahead:

    — Monday, September 4: Bernie Sanders attends a New Hampshire AFL-CIO Labor Day breakfast at 9 a.m. ET and then a Rights and Democracy New Hampshire rally in Concord at 11 a.m. ET.
    — Monday, September 4: Jason Kander appears at an Amherst County Democrats barbecue in New Hampshire, starting at 3 p.m. ET.
    — Tuesday, September 5: Congress returns to Washington after its August recess.
    — Thursday, September 7: Hillary Clinton attends a fundraiser for Camp Olmsted at the Riverside Church in New York City. She'll discuss her faith and the 2016 election with Rev. Bill Shillady.
    — Sunday, September 10: Jeff Merkley, Pete Buttigieg and Center for American Progress head Neera Tanden keynote the Progress Iowa Corn Feed.
    — Sunday, September 10: Michelle Obama speaks at Beth El Synagogue in Minneapolis about her tenure as first lady, in a moderated forum kicking off at 7 p.m. CT.

    Before you go:

    Los Angeles mayor Eric Garcetti was in New Hampshire this week — but he also hasn't ruled out a run for California governor in 2018. ... Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan has picked his 2020 horse. He says if former Vice President Joe Biden runs in 2020, he'd offer to run Biden's campaign. ... Kirsten Gillibrand will lead the Democratic effort to overturn Trump's transgender troops ban, starting as soon as next week.