Our weekly roundup of the news, notes and chatter about the prospects for the next Democratic presidential race:
New York Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand made news and won praise from liberal activists during a progressive organizing conference this week when she backed a financial transaction tax — aligning her with Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders.
It was the first time she’s endorsed the tax, and her answer surprised the organizers. Asked by Ricky Silver of Empire State Indivisible if she backs the tax, she responded, “I do.”
The so-called “Robin Hood tax” is a ).03 cent tax on every transaction on Wall Street. For Gillibrand – who at one point was seen as a champion of Wall Street – it positions her with progressive activists on a far-from-mainstream idea, and it comes as 2020 prospects are staking out issues where they can be seen as thought leaders.
She later said income inequality was the “greatest risk that we have to our democracy right now.”
“We have to change how we think about our economy and reward companies that actually invest in employees first,” she said.
The week ahead:
— Ohio Rep. Tim Ryan spoke at the Indiana Democratic Party’s dinner Friday night.
— Former Missouri Secretary of State Jason Kander speaks Saturday at the Iowa Democratic Party’s state convention. It’s all day at Hy-Vee Hall in Des Moines.
— Maryland Rep. John Delaney, the only declared 2020 Democratic candidate so far, holds an event at 7 p.m. Monday at Politics and Prose in DC for his new book,”The Right Answer: How We Can Unify Our Divided Nation.”
— President Donald Trump is planning a Wednesday rally in Duluth, Minnesota — where Sens. Tina Smith and Amy Klobuchar are up for re-election this year.
— California Sen. Kamala Harris will be in St. Louis for a 6:30 p.m. Thursday speech to the St. Louis County NAACP chapter. She’ll also receive a lifetime achievement award there.
— Next Saturday, former Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julián Castro will visit Iowa to speak at a Linn County Democrats fundraising event. The following day he’ll meet state legislative leaders and speak to organizers of the Iowa Brown and Black Forum, per The Intercept. One interesting note from The Intercept’s story: A co-founder of the Iowa Brown and Black Forum says he’s also heard from Kamala Harris and New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker.
— Washington state Gov. Jay Inslee, the chairman of the Democratic Governors Association, is appearing in Iowa next Friday and Saturday to campaign with Fred Hubbell, the party’s gubernatorial nominee there, and speak at the Democratic Hall of Fame dinner.
— Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren appears next Saturday in Nevada — her first early-state visit since Trump took office. She’s keynoting the state Democratic Party’s convention.
News and notes:
EARLIER PRIMARY DATE: A scoop from CNN’s Dan Merica: The Democratic National Committee has set the party’s 2020 convention earlier than it’s been in two decades — scheduling it for July 13 to 16. One key factor party operatives cited for the early convention: The 2020 primary could be particularly combative with a huge field of candidates, requiring more time for tensions to cool. This also means Democrats will wrap up more than a week before the 2020 Summer Olympics open on July 24 in Tokyo. In 2008 and 2012, the party’s convention took place after the Olympics.
OBAMA’S 2020 PROSPECT MEETINGS: Politico’s Edward-Isaac Dovere scooped that former President Barack Obama has held one-on-one meetings with at least nine potential 2020 candidates – including some big names in Warren, Joe Biden, Sanders and Deval Patrick, the former Massachusetts governor. Others who have recently met with Obama include former US Attorney General Eric Holder, who has leaned on Obama as a fundraiser for his redistricting group, as well as former New Orleans mayor Mitch Landrieu, South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg, Kander and Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti. Obama has also met with Cory Booker — but not recently. Dan Merica has more.
From the right:
SPICER’S NEW GIG: Sean Spicer, the combative former White House press secretary, joined the Donald Trump-aligned super PAC America First Action.