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TOP OF MIND TODAY…
The campaign for the Democratic nomination has moved at warp speed over the past 10 days, and on Tuesday night it reached a decisive turning point. Barring something unforeseen, Democrats now know that former vice president Joe Biden will be the party’s nominee to challenge President Trump in November.
Biden scored a group of victories over Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) on Tuesday, adding to the overwhelming — and unexpected — successes of a week ago on Super Tuesday. He romped in Mississippi, where he was expected to romp. He won handily in Missouri, where Sanders came agonizingly close four years ago. Most important, Biden won where Sanders could not afford to lose, in the general election battleground state of Michigan.
Biden remains well short of the 1,991 pledged delegates needed for a first-ballot victory at the national convention in Milwaukee in July. But with Tuesday’s results, he has solidified his lead in the delegate battle and, with the states that will hold their primaries in the next two weeks, that advantage inevitably will grow. Sanders has little time and few delegates remaining to be selected to have much chance of changing the trajectory.
Here’s more from The Washington Post on Biden’s biggest Tuesday victory in Michigan. Four more states — Arizona, Florida, Illinois, and Ohio — will cast ballots next Tuesday. Sanders lost all four states in 2016 to Hillary Clinton.
As Chris Cillizza writes for CNN, the big question now is about how long Sanders will remain in the race:
The Joe Biden who took the stage in Philadelphia on Tuesday night to celebrate a series of victories including in the critical state of Michigan was a far cry from the exuberant comeback kid who had snatched victory from the jaws of defeat a week earlier on Super Tuesday.
This Biden was more measured, more magnanimous and more conciliatory. There was no gloating or boasting. And everything — from Biden’s tone to the speech he delivered — was all aimed at convincing Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders that the time had come to end his primary challenge.
“I want to thank Bernie Sanders and his supporters for their tireless energy and passion,” Biden said. “We share a common goal. Together we’ll defeat Donald Trump. We’ll defeat him together. We’ll bring this nation together.”
Biden and Bernie Sanders are still scheduled to debate on Sunday in Arizona.
► President Trump is getting hammered politically for his administration’s response to the coronavirus outbreak. Even the conservative publication National Review is calling out Trump:
So far in this crisis, Donald Trump himself has obviously failed to rise to the challenge of leadership, and it does no one any favors to pretend otherwise…
…The failures of leadership at the top, however, show no sign of being corrected. In a serious public-health crisis, the public has the right to expect the government’s chief executive to lead in a number of crucial ways: by prioritizing the problem properly, by deferring to subject-matter experts when appropriate while making key decisions in informed and sensible ways, by providing honest and careful information to the country, by calming fears and setting expectations, and by addressing mistakes and setbacks.
Trump so far hasn’t passed muster on any of these metrics. He resisted making the response to the epidemic a priority for as long as he could — refusing briefings, downplaying the problem, and wasting precious time. He has failed to properly empower his subordinates and refused to trust the information they provided him — often offering up unsubstantiated claims and figures from cable television instead. He has spoken about the crisis in crude political and personal terms. He has stood in the way of public understanding of the plausible course of the epidemic, trafficking instead in dismissive clichés. He has denied his administration’s missteps, making it more difficult to address them.
The number of coronavirus cases in the United States has now surpassed 1,000.
Trump is still scheduled to be in Colorado on Friday for a fundraiser to benefit Sen. Cory Gardner (R-Yuma).
► Columbus Day in Colorado will be replaced with Frances Xavier Cabrini Day, barring an unexpected veto from Gov. Jared Polis. As The Denver Post reports:
The state legislature gave final passage Tuesday to a bill that would replace Columbus Day with a new state holiday, on the first Monday of October, in honor of Frances Xavier Cabrini.
It is believed that the proposed Cabrini Day would be the first paid state holiday recognizing a woman anywhere in this country…
…Lead bill sponsor Adrienne Benavidez, D-Commerce City, has been trying for years to abolish Columbus Day, which she calls “a festering sore.” Previous failed bills proposed to replace with the day with Colorado Day, Indigenous Peoples’ Day or an Election Day holiday, but those and other concepts were met with bipartisan resistance and with outrage from some in Italian Americans who take pride in Columbus Day.
Honoring Cabrini — an Italian American and the patron saint of immigrants — was a compromise palatable to Benavidez, her fellow Democrats and to many of those who’ve opposed previous bills.
Get even more smarter after the jump…
IN CASE YOU ARE STANDING NEAR A WATER COOLER…
► Connecticut Sen. Chris Murphy is trying to get ahead of President Trump’s likely attempts to sabotage the Presidential candidacy of Democrat Joe Biden. As Greg Sargent explains for The Washington Post:
Murphy has formally asked the inspectors general at numerous government agencies to review whether those agencies are selectively cooperating with efforts by Trump’s allies in Congress to launch “investigations” to damage Biden — while refusing cooperation with Democratic oversight efforts directed at Trump.
It’s a reasonable line of inquiry. Senate Republicans are set to take a big step forward with their probe of Hunter Biden, the former vice president’s son. They have sought extensive documents from many agencies in pursuit of this. Those agencies appear to be cooperating.
Yet some of these same agencies either faithfully obeyed Trump’s corrupt demand that they refuse any and all cooperation with House Democrats’ impeachment inquiry, or continue to stiff-arm other Democratic oversight efforts.
So Murphy is asking the inspectors general at several agencies — including the State, Treasury and Homeland Security departments — to investigate this double standard.
► Democratic lawmakers are working on proposals to preserve low-cost or free preventive health care in the event that the Affordable Care Act is dismantled by the U.S. Supreme Court.
► Senate Bill 181, the oil and gas regulation bill passed by the state legislature in 2019, is not the reason that oil and gas companies with Colorado operations are losing their shirts at the moment. It’s the global economy, stupid.
► Former Congresswoman Gabby Giffords was in Aurora on Monday to back Democrat John Hickenlooper’s campaign for U.S. Senate and to praise his support of gun safety measures. On Wednesday, Hickenlooper announced the endorsements of State Rep. Tom Sullivan and State Sen. Rhonda Fields. From a press release:
Following a rally in Aurora this week with Congresswoman Gabby Giffords, two more gun safety leaders have announced their endorsement for John Hickenlooper’s campaign for U.S. Senate. Colorado State Senator Rhonda Fields and State Representative Tom Sullivan worked with Hickenlooper to take on the NRA and pass common-sense gun safety laws in Colorado, including universal background checks and limiting high capacity magazines, and they are now backing Hickenlooper’s effort to take that fight to Washington, D.C.
► American Bridge is including Colorado in a new five state advertising campaign targeting vulnerable Republican Senators for supporting President Trump and his proposals to cut Social Security and Medicare:
► RTD is moving closer to making cuts to rail and bus services in an effort to deal with a persistent shortage of drivers.
► The Colorado Independent has more on a Government Accountability Office report showing that the Trump administration failed to justify moving the headquarters of the Bureau of Land Management to Grand Junction.
► Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor has recused herself from Colorado’s “faithless electors” case because of her friendship with Polly Baca, one of the original respondents in the case.
► Colorado lawmakers are advancing legislation to require more monitoring of pollutants from Suncor.
► Colorado appeared to be an early leader in the race to land the home of the new Space Force military branch, but that search has now been restarted. Colorado Springs remains the temporary home for Space Command.
Your Daily Dose Of ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
► Former Democratic Presidential candidate Andrew Yang has endorsed Joe Biden.
► Rush Limbaugh, raving lunatic.
► Please consider lobbying electronically for the time being.