Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA) “is adding several women of color to her presidential campaign team. … Emmy Ruiz, a political strategist who served as Hillary Clinton’s state director in Nevada and Colorado in 2016, will be a senior adviser to Harris. Ruiz will counsel the campaign on electoral, political and field strategy.
“Ruiz was a field director for the Democratic National Committee in Texas and Nevada in 2012 before serving as President Barack Obama’s Nevada state director during the general election. Her experience includes serving as political director of Annie’s List in Texas and campaign manager for comprehensive immigration reform at Organizing for Action.
“Missayr Boker and Julie Chávez Rodriguez will serve as co-national political directors. Boker was the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee’s campaign director in 2018, helping Senate Democrats’ campaign arm pick up seats in Nevada and Arizona. Boker has also served as assistant political director and PAC director for NARAL Pro-Choice America, where she managed issue advocacy campaigns and electoral strategy, and for an advocacy organization in Liberia that focused on reducing maternal mortality rates.” (Politico)
BERNIE. Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) “is off to a splashy start in his second run for president, quickly trumpeting a massive fundraising haul in his first 24 hours as a candidate, luring millions to his Tuesday announcement video and brawling with President Trump—signs of his potential to become a major factor in the Democratic primary.
“The initial surge and one-day receipts of $6 million reflect a resilience of support for the Democratic runner-up in 2016 and served notice to his competitors, who have so far been unable to create the same groundswell with their campaign launches.
“It also reinforced the strength of his established political base at a moment when other candidates are only beginning to introduce themselves to voters. That is an asset that could prove valuable, should the contest splinter the party into many different pieces.
“But Sanders, 77, also is confronting a radically different political landscape than the one he faced four years ago and potential obstacles toward regaining the surprising strength he showed in 2016, when he benefited from being the only serious opponent to the eventual Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton.
“This time, he is facing a crowded and diverse field of challengers who, if not able to match Sanders’s fundraising prowess, have demonstrated some financial strength and have played to overflow crowds in the early voting states. Some of them are doing so with the help of staffers and supporters who backed Sanders in 2016.” (Washington Post)
Along with the $6 million Sanders raised in one day, "another number he revealed Wednesday could prove crucial to his candidacy and a model for others: the $600,000 he said he's received from people who have signed up to automatically donate to his campaign each month.
“In a year's time--just as Democrats in Nevada and South Carolina weigh in on the presidential nomination -- this initial round of donors already will have contributed $7.2 million to Sanders' presidential ambitions -- with little effort or expense from his campaign. This ‘subscription’ approach to politics is an increasingly popular way for candidates to build a sustaining fundraising base.” (CNN)
BETO. “A Democratic group seeking to persuade" former Rep. Beto O’Rourke (D-TX) "to run for president will launch mobilization efforts on college campuses nationwide to coincide with what they believe will be his entry into the race by month’s end.
“The Draft Beto campaign, founded in December by former staffers to O’Rourke and to former President Barack Obama, is organizing 'Students for Beto' chapters on roughly 100 campuses in about 30 primary and general election states, said Nate Lerner, a Democratic strategist and co-founder of DraftBeto.org.” (Reuters)
BIDEN. “Conversations with aides” to former Vice President Joe Biden (D) “and others who’ve spoken with him in recent weeks present the idea of a Biden candidacy as not if but when. Since the start of the year it’s been like a ‘slow boil,’ as one aide put it, with Biden’s answer on whether to run moving in a steady direction toward yes, incrementally warmer with each passing day.
“Elected Democrats and key party figures who’ve spoken with Biden, in person or by phone, say he has been giving percentages of the likelihood of him running—from 70, to 80 and even more recently 90 percent. He speaks regularly with ... Obama, who is acting as a sounding board to his former running mate. And he’s even called several of his would-be opponents in the 2020 Democratic primary, congratulating them on their announcements and wishing them well even as he may soon face off against them.” (NBC News)
BOOKER. “Nearing the end of a lively town hall with hundreds of voters packed into an art gallery,” Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ) “surveyed the crowd and reassured them that his sunny, unity-first presidential campaign is also tough.
“‘People who think my philosophy is weak, come on,’ the New Jersey Democratic senator said, chiding those in his party who would try to simply ‘fight fire with fire.’ He later described himself to reporters as ‘someone who’s strong, who’s tough, who will fight for a cause and fight for people but also finds common ground.’
“Booker is trying to be the nation’s healer and warrior. After launching his campaign this month with a warm pitch to restore America’s “common purpose,” he’s talking more about confrontation. That approach during a recent three-day swing through the early-voting state of New Hampshire seemed to acknowledge that optimism will only carry him so far and that some Democratic voters outraged by ... Trump’s agenda want more.” (AP)
ENDORSEMENTS. “In a show of home-state strength, 52 New Jersey Democratic officials announced their endorsement of" Booker. "The long list of endorsements includes the formal backing of Gov. Phil Murphy, First Lady Tammy Murphy, Lt. Gov. Sheila Oliver, Sen. Robert Menendez, every Democratic member of the U.S. House from New Jersey, the New Jersey Senate president, the New Jersey Assembly speaker, all four Democratic county executives, Newark Mayor Ras Baraka and every member of the Newark city council, and all 21 county Democratic party chairs.” (release)
CASTRO. Former HUD Secretary Julian Castro (D) "will make four campaign stops in Northwest Iowa on Friday and Saturday. … Friday events include an 11 a.m. stop at Cronk’s Restaurant, 812 Fourth Ave. South, in Denison, a 4 p.m. event at Town Square Coffee Shop. 125 Central Ave. Northeast, in Orange City, and 6 p.m. at a private residence in Sioux City. The latter is sponsored by the Truman Club of the Woodbury County Democratic Party, which hosts house parties with presidential candidates and potential candidates. Saturday's event in Storm Lake will be held at 10 a.m. at Better Day Cafe, 518 Lake Ave. North.” (Sioux City Journal)
DE BLASIO. “Ever since Amazon decided to withdraw its plans to build a corporate campus in New York City, Mayor Bill de Blasio has been in attack mode. He criticized Amazon for abandoning New York, characterizing its decision as an example of ‘the 1 percent dictating to everyone else.’ He ridiculed the company for not having the patience to work through community opposition, suggesting on NBC’s ‘Meet the Press’ that it showed the maturity of someone who ‘took their ball and went home.’
“The comments represented an abrupt shift for the mayor, who had helped entice the company to come to Queens, and had recently met in Albany with Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo to strategize how they might help push aside the political hurdles that stood in the company’s way.”
“For Mr. de Blasio, the aggressive posture toward Amazon, a company that has been criticized by the left for its opposition toward unions and its cooperation with federal law enforcement officials, may be a calculated political risk worth taking.” (New York Times)
DELANEY. Former Rep. John Delaney (D-MD) “will return to New Hampshire in early March for his 15th visit since 2017. The two-day swing will include a town hall event with the Greater Nashua Congregation at Temple Beth Abraham in Nashua on March 4 and stops the following day.” (WMUR)
GABBARD. Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI) “defended her non-interventionist foreign policy stance in an interview on ABC's ‘The View’ Wednesday, deflecting criticism painting her as an apologist of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad by citing her own military service and the outcomes of those living in affected countries.
“Gabbard … an Iraq War veteran who holds the rank of major in Hawaii's National Guard and is currently in her fourth term in the House of Representatives, argued further that the money spent on such conflicts could be better channeled towards domestic goals.” (ABC News)
GILLIBRAND. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand's (D-NY) “presidential exploratory committee has hired two more senior Iowa staffers as she grows her campaign staff prior to the Iowa caucuses next year. The New Yorker hired Casey Clemmons as her Iowa caucus director. He worked for the Iowa Democratic Party in the final months of the 2018 campaign. Prior to that, Clemmons was a field director for Florida gubernatorial candidate Gwen Graham's primary campaign and worked in Illinois for Gov. J.B. Pritzker's primary campaign.”
“Haley Barbour has been hired as the political director. She recently worked as the deputy finance director of Fred Hubbell's gubernatorial campaign. Hubbell, a Democrat, came up short in his 2018 bid against Republican Gov. Kim Reynolds.” (Des Moines Register)
Gillibrand will make “her first visit to the Lone Star State as a presidential candidate. Gillibrand will be making two public appearances, first touring the WE Over Me Farm at Paul Quinn College, a historically black college in Dallas, and will deliver remarks to the students. The next day … Gillibrand will visit the Ann Richards School for Young Women Leaders in Austin, where she will speak with the students about the importance of women leaders and her career in public service.” (release)
KLOBUCHAR. The South Carolina Democratic Party announced Wednesday that Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) “will hold a meet-and-greet at 5 p.m. Saturday at the Columbia home of Carol and Don Fowler.” (The State)
STEYER. Mega-donor Tom Steyer (D) “will host a town hall in Baltimore" on Monday "to urge" Rep. Elijah Cummings (MD-07) "and members of Congress to act quickly and remove Trump from office.” (release)
SWALWELL. Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-CA) “will return to New Hampshire next week as he continues to strongly weigh a run for the Democratic presidential nomination. Swalwell will speak to a Politics and Eggs breakfast Monday morning at the New Hampshire Institute of Politics. He’ll then head to Durham to speak to UNH undergraduate business students and attend at meet-and-greet hosted by the UNH Democrats at the Memorial Union Building.” (WMUR)