Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA) “now has a second staffer in New Hampshire as she prepares to make her first visit as a presidential candidate. … Meredith Shevitz is leaving a senior post in the office of U.S. Sen. Maggie Hassan to become New Hampshire political director for the Harris campaign. Shevitz will join state campaign director Craig Brown.” (WMUR)
Meanwhile, “Harris will hold town hall meetings in Charleston and Columbia as a part of a campaign swing through the Palmetto State this weekend.” (release)
MORE HARRIS. “[A]s district attorney of San Francisco," Harris "supported a city policy that required law enforcement to turn over undocumented juvenile immigrants to federal immigration authorities if they were arrested and suspected of committing a felony, regardless of whether they were actually convicted of a crime.
“Harris, who was San Francisco's district attorney from 2004 to 2011, sided with then-Mayor Gavin Newsom in a political fight over San Francisco's status as a sanctuary city that split the city's municipal government, with the mayor's office supporting the policy and the city's elected Board of Supervisors opposing it.”
“Harris' past position could open her up to attacks from immigration activists as well as the more progressive wing of the party as she seeks the Democratic nomination in 2020. The fight over the San Francisco policy was covered extensively at the time, but Harris' role has not been closely examined since she entered the national spotlight.” (CNN)
“When ... Harris considered places to launch her White House bid, she had options: Washington, where she serves in the U.S. Senate; Sacramento, where she served as state attorney general; San Francisco, where she began her political career as district attorney.
"She chose Oakland, where she was born, even though she lived next door in Berkeley until age 12, when Harris moved with her family to Montreal. (The latter would have been a no-brainer if she were running for Canadian prime minister.) … Not all, however, reveled in Harris’ celebratory moment. To some in Oakland, a city of tender pride, the homecoming rang false, like a distant relative showing up just long enough to pose for a smiling family portrait.” (Los Angeles Times)
KLOBUCHAR. Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) “will head to New Hampshire next Monday to answer questions at a town hall moderated by CNN's Don Lemon. The Democratic senator and presidential hopeful will take questions from likely New Hampshire primary voters at Saint Anselm College in Manchester, New Hampshire. The town hall will air at 10 p.m. ET.” (CNN) Klobuchar has also “joined the ranks of other Democratic 2020 presidential hopefuls who are rejecting campaign contributions from corporate political action committees. … In a brief statement … campaign spokeswoman Carlie Waibel said the Minnesota lawmaker is walking away from corporate PAC money.” (CNBC)
GILLIBRAND. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) “will return to New Hampshire this weekend for the second time in two weeks on a three-day presidential campaign visit. … The trip will be Friday through Sunday and include stops in Hanover, Keene, Dover and Exeter, with more stops expected. A detailed schedule will be released soon, the campaign said.” (WMUR)
“At a moment when women are ascendant in Democratic politics and polls show a record gender gap between the parties, Ms. Gillibrand and her advisers see an opportunity to ride a wave of women’s political energy right into the White House. While multiple women are serious contenders for president for the first time in American history, Ms. Gillibrand is the only one who is making running as a woman, for women, the central theme of her candidacy.
Whether her campaign is successful or not, Ms. Gillibrand’s approach will test how much views have changed on issues like discrimination, sexual harassment and female leadership, after two years of an administration that has embroiled the country in an emotional debate over gender bias.” (New York Times)
BETO. “The showdown between Donald Trump and Beto O’Rourke Monday night over the president's border wall unfolded at competing rallies with thousands of people in venues barely a block apart.
“But the events practically took place in parallel universes: One with rowdy MAGA-gear wearing Trump backers chanting ‘USA, USA!’; the other serenaded by a mariachi band before O'Rourke took the stage for a lengthy takedown—at times in Spanish—of the president's signature project.
“Welcome to 2020. O'Rourke has a long way to go before becoming Trump's general election opponent, but the clashing events showed the fight over immigration and border security is certain to keep electrifying Trump's voters— and animate the Democratic determination to make him a one-term president.” (Politico)
“If ... O'Rourke runs for president, he should thank President Donald Trump for the kick in the pants. For three months, O’Rourke had drifted in and out of public view, slipping slightly in public opinion polls as he vacillated on a 2020 bid.”
“But Trump’s appearance in O’Rourke’s hometown on Monday night served to elevate the former Texas congressman as a potential rival. And as Trump confronted O’Rourke at a campaign-style rally on an issue central to both of their political identities—immigration and the border wall—O’Rourke seized the opportunity to re-establish his footing.” (Politico)
ABRAMS. Although former Georgia Gov. nominee Stacey Abrams (D) “has yet to be included in any 2020 polls in our database, if she did enter the presidential race, she could inspire plenty of excitement around her campaign. Abrams is a progressive, 45-year-old, African-American woman who served as the Democratic leader in the Georgia House of Representatives for six years. That background means she could appeal to both the party’s left and establishment wings, not to mention those voters who believe the party should move on from nominating older white men.
“But if she were to embark on a presidential campaign, Abrams would likely face several challenges. The 'lanes' she’d be running in are quite crowded with candidates who are already busy building donor networks and relationships with activists in early-primary states. For example, in a national campaign, Abrams could not necessarily bank on carrying African-Americans, who have been her base in Georgia, since voters may have a dozen candidates to choose from, including at least two other black candidates, one of whom is a woman. And despite her fame, Abrams has never won an election for any office higher than state representative; it would be unprecedented for a career politician to earn the party nomination with so little experience. Abrams’s most challenging obstacle may not even be specific to her. In such a crowded primary field, even a front-runner is more likely to lose than to win.” (FiveThirtyEight)
BLOOMBERG. “This should be Michael Bloomberg’s moment. No presidential prospect has done more to confront climate change than the billionaire Democrat, who measures his progress in the metric tons of carbon emissions he’s helped eliminate. But as climate change surges to forefront of the 2020 Democratic primary, no issue better illustrates Bloomberg’s political challenge. A onetime Republican, the pragmatic former New York mayor is struggling to find his place among the increasingly bold ambitions of his adopted political party.”
“Virtually every top Democratic White House contender embraced the so-called Green New Deal immediately after it was released last week. The nonbinding resolution outlined ambitious plans to cut all greenhouse gas emissions to net zero over 10 years while instituting massive investments in wind and solar production, energy-efficient buildings and high-speed rail that could make air travel obsolete. Bloomberg was not among the cheerleaders. He welcomed more focus on climate change, but questioned the ambitious plan’s feasibility.” (AP)
BROWN. Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH), at the Christian Science Monitor breakfast, said “he’s not ready to jump in” to the presidential race yet, adding that he will still make his final decision at the end of March. “I think they all have compelling messages,” Brown said. “Some more than others. Nobody worries me.”
When asked about the Green New Deal, Brown said he supports “a Green New Deal” and called climate change “one of the most important moral issues of our time,” but would not make any firm endorsements of current legislation. Brown: “I’m not gonna get in the position of every time somebody has a good idea or a big idea that I have to talk in great detail about my position on it…. I know the easy thing to do is say yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, but I don’t know if that serves my constituents.” (Hotline reporting)
BULLOCK. Montana Gov. Steve Bullock (D) will return to Iowa this Friday and Saturday. His staff has been making calls in the state over the past few days, per source directly familiar (Hotline reporting)
DE BLASIO. New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio (D) “is making moves toward a possible run for president, soliciting City Hall staffers with national political experience and preparing to travel to the early primary state of New Hampshire this week. … After a visit to Harvard's Kennedy School to discuss his time as mayor this Thursday, de Blasio will travel the next morning to Nashua, N.H. There he will meet with Mayor Jim Donchess and may chat with locals at a diner.” (Politico)
DELANEY. Former Rep. John Delaney (D-MD) “now has official headquarters in New Hampshire. The Democratic candidate for president opened the office on Canal Street in Manchester Monday night.” (WMUR)
MOULTON. In his first major speech since making public that he is exploring a presidential bid, Rep. Seth Moulton (D-MA) laid out three major planks of his defense and foreign policy platform: a thorough examination of weapons systems, rethinking arms control to account for modern weaponry like drones, and evaluating U.S. troop commitments and missions. (Hotline reporting)
SCHULTZ. “According to John Paul Rollert, adjunct assistant professor at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business,” former Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz “has certainly nailed ‘management 101’ given his success at Starbucks. But that doesn’t necessarily translate to working well with Congress.
Rollert: "When you can’t replace people or promise them an increase of salary, you fall back on pure powers of persuasion. I don’t know whether Schultz has such powers, but the fallacy that many CEOs labor under when they enter government is the belief that government can be run like a business. It can’t. Democracy is not a business, especially when coupled with American system of divided powers." (The Guardian)