Joe Biden, Barack Obama, Steve Phillips discussed on Swing Left - How We Win
Outreach to various partner organizations to form alliances with other groups. That are going to help us. Meet that goal And so we're excited to work with them including democracy in color who were about to speak with. Steve Phillips about his organization to. Oh Nice Yeah Hon. And then of course swing left is is one of the participants along with indivisible and people for the American Way and Daily costs of was an ally of ours from the from the beginning in two thousand eighteen and an invaluable one so they're participating Stand up America The women's March Foundation and possibly a few more what a great group of of allied organizations. And what an ambitious goal this. This might be what we need to save the. Us Postal Service. I love it. So that's a great point We're excited about that too. It's convenient. Obviously we had no idea that there would be a need to drive a lot of support to the USPS but that is a a a convenient fact at the moment that the the this project gives people another reason as if they needed more to support at very important institution in our democracy. Yeah well I mean there's there's that Really dire need to support the postal service And also just where we are ad during the corona virus pandemic. This is something. Obviously you've been working on as you just explained for a number of years. Swing left has been working with you for a while as a way to get our volunteers from all over the country to reach the super states but now more than ever. It's giving volunteers of important ineffective thing to do from their living rooms and to think about ten million letters and started with one guy sitting at home writing a thousand letters to voters this idea that you had main. If there's ever a story that that talks about how what kind of impact? One person can make yours. Is that story? It's really powerful. Oh thanks it's It's nice to hear that It's still I pinched myself still thinking that it's shocking to me that that Through the power of the the mail and thanks to the leverage that you get from building software and thanks to all support from some really incredible people friends and allies that we've been able to build this thing and make it make it work but yeah I think that's That's it's it's been fun. It's been fun to work on the project and NCA grow this way she'll exciting so The website for people to go to is the big Sin Dot Org yes and specifically for for swing left's users it would be the big send dot org slash swing left excellent so everyone should go there and sign up and start writing letters. I think that's the idea Do I have that right? That is correct. That is what we are hoping that people do exactly. Okay got it. We'll do that excellent. We'll be reminding people over the next few months to good good good. Well thank you so much. This was awesome. Great to hear about how everything behind the scenes works. Yeah Thank you both Slama Fund to talk and we'll keep you posted on how it goes as we as we start to to rack up the the the boxes Had get ready for the fall. We'RE GOING TO GET THEIR. Ten million is ambitious but absolutely doable starting with all of our listeners. We're GONNA help you get there. I think so too. Thanks a lot. Steve Phillips is a national political leaders civil rights lawyer and senior fellow at the Center for American progress. He hosts the PODCASTS. Democracy and color with Steve Phillips founded the political organization democracy in color and is the author of the bestselling book. Brown is the new white. Thanks so much for joining us. Steve How are you? How is social distancing going for? You haven't been glad to be here. It's going fine. It's funny people. Were not funny at all but I guess people are talking about your personality. Impacting how you deal with it and that For introverts this is not really a bad situation at all Somebody puts on facebook. All you experts are crowding my me. Time with all these zoom meetings. Yeah we were interviewing Daddy Waller. Who is the creator of the show Mrs America about the era and ask you the same question? And she's like you know I'm kind of thriving I really hate going out in any way but Obviously tongue in cheek. Yeah I know. It's hard for some people to think about politics and elections right now. But the truth is the election is a little over six months away And the pandemic and the response to it have shown us that we really need to be paying attention so see. What are you focused on right now? Well one thing is to make sure we have an election right. I mean it's the the level of I was talking to somebody that how much are democracy is like hanging by. A thread is really very significant. It's it's you know starting with about starting with but Seymour recently right with the whole impeachment piece all the evidence laid out and then all these you know Senate Enablers being like yeah. Well it doesn't matter. It's fine to do that. And you take that and then the level to which they are exploiting this crisis to really try to drive down. Democracy is quite alarm. Mary saw most Intently in Wisconsin but even the comments afterwards right. You know the United States being like no. I don't like vote by mail fraud Even though he votes by mail and so the that I think the things to be most concerned about is. How much are we going to be able to even have? Because if there's any you know crack in the Our resistance against this. They're totally try to exploit that. So that's one of the biggest things and so that's that piece and then I think it's linked to this issue around. Are we going to be able to have the kind of turnout? That's going to be necessary to get this guy out of office and so they think things are somewhat related but fundamentally we've gotTa make sure people are inspired motivated and actually turning out in large numbers. Yeah well I mean speaking of turnout. You've carved out for yourself. Such a unique and important space in voter mobilization fundraising and especially lifting up the voices of the new American majority. How did you get started in this type of organizing work and when did you hone in and focus on race and progressive politics? Yeah it's Essentially questions I'm actually working on a piece for the nation Magazine right now. Looking at lessons that I learned that can be useful to people who were involved in Bernie Sanders and live with warrants campaigns. Right so my. My political baptism was the Jesse Jackson's presidential campaigns of the Rainbow Coalition efforts of eighty four eighty eight and Jesse talked-about. How old minorities come together? They comprise a new majority in. So actually I dedicated. People dedicated by book to was Reverend Jackson. And in that dedication I said that Who showed the world the power and possibility of a movement electro candidacy tied to the Movement for Social Justice in the country? I was paying attention. And so what he show going from. Three and a half million votes eighty four to seven million votes in eighty eight four hundred delegates in eighty four to twelve hundred delegates in eighty eight highest second-place. Finisher ever to that time. I saw the electoral power of bringing the civil rights the Movement for social change into that space. And if I've been saying I've been trying to build a small are rainbow coalition ever since you have done amazing work and we're GONNA. We're GONNA talk a little bit about that but I wanted to talk about. One of you teased your nation piece which we should look out for. I WANNA recommend if people that they read your recent New York Times op. Ed where you came out strong favor for one particular running-mate Bird Joe Biden Tell us how you came to your suggestion and so y yeah well. It's more than suggestion. My wife was asked me about it the other day. What I really just start doing looking at the data shows about the electoral strength of the various people who are being considered. And so there's a little bit of polling data which is somewhat predictive about what constituencies relate. But I looked at was the past electoral performance and so we have exit. Poll data from how the candidates did with various with electric overall and then the various subsectors. And so you. And there's several of the people who are considered you have the state of four so it stays Abrahams come Harris Catherine. Cortez Masto Whitmer as with Warren Klobuchar and so looking at all of that comparing all that what really stands out in the areas where Biden is weakest which is young people and African American enthusiasms distinctive getting support but not for large numbers of American voters and Latinos. An all of those measures looking at how the races were won. And what the data shows Stacey? Abrams actually comes out ahead of all the other competitors all of those areas Not least of which was really surprised to find in Georgia was particularly surprised to find Alabama had lost young people in Georgia by three percentage points when he ran in two thousand eight Abrahams one young people by twenty five points when she ran in two thousand eighteen so she outperformed Obama with young people. And then you match that. How weak Biden is with young people? That's what really made the case compelling to me looking at the numbers that Abrahams is Pr- track record is significantly superior to all of the other people being considered. It's interesting I was. I listened to your podcast. Where you go into depth on on the vice presidential hopefuls or or you know possibilities and I was wondering in Kamala Harris case if she hadn't been running against Loretta Sanchez if she perhaps would have done. Better With the Latino vote in California. Yeah in some ways that. That's that's a good deep dive. You did do the question. Did you know I was looking at it? Did that does come up. And so it is a l- on one hand. It's a different It's it's a more skewed a certain extent because it was too Democrats against each other to women of Color Democrats running against each other and so I think that that is fair in terms of the Latino piece that has to be running against the white republican she probably would have had stronger numbers What is notable is that Sh she was her numbers among African Americans. While strong are not safety Abram strong right so she got seventy nine percent African Americans Abrahams Ninety three percent. So that's what I did feel like. That comparison held up. Also Stacey. Abrams organizers her. Entire crew are just amazing. The They they have been an example to organizers all over the country so that's an exciting component to add to the Biden campaign as well. That would be nice if you're lifts the Biden's ears. Let's talk about the new American. Majority who are they? And how are they transforming our political landscape right now right so this was the this? Was the most difficult part of my book to write in a second. Chapter is who is an American majority and then it was it. Is it psych one point? We were like well. How granular do you get right? Because there are like fifteen different Asian nationalities like twelve or thirteen different Latino nationalities. Remember at one point. My editor says the shepherds both too long and too short sound quite illuminating. It's true I can cut a lot out because it's really could be a whole book. So essence that way about most podcast interviews by the way is true so really what the motivating factor to write my book sense of alarm about how people had not properly understood. The Obama Victory An Obama victory since two thousand eight two thousand twelve and so Lodges Logical but self evident to me right having come out of the Rainbow Coalition. Seen that efforts seeing that the Obama was an extension of that effort of mobilization of orders of color and progressive whites but there was too little appreciation of that in the certain democratic and progressive spaces so I really wanted to try to break down and quantify and clarify what was the essence of what Obama's coalition was. So that's what I mean by new American majority of particularly looking at The two thousand twelve numbers is that Obama got five million fewer white votes in two thousand twelve in two thousand eight. I think a lot of people got caught up or you know inspired by the hope and change making history but then I was a lot of people dropped off by two thousand twelve thousand twelve. That's where I feel like well. These are the folks who are more core progressive whites who actually stuck with him so at its at its broadest strokes. It's roughly eighty percent of people of color and thirty seven thirty nine percent of whites together. That's majority of the people in the country. It's a majority of the eligible voters and that was the about just Adama majority by the way that's also the majority that gave three million more votes Clinton than trump which is something we forget often. Actually I don't forget it. It makes me sad everyday people with carry ourselves with the sense that trump has majority support. And I think that that's why I keep reminding folks that this is not a majority president that But he he acts like he has all the support but in point of fact he doesn't very important remember in fact Mitt Romney actually got more votes than Donald. Trump did right. Yeah and particularly place like Wisconsin. Right that Romney got more votes than trump did and so that's a critical component to understanding what happened to twenty sixteen is that it was not that all these people defected voted for trump. Is that the democratic vote. Dropped right I mentioned your your latest episode of the podcast where you dissect some VP hopefuls. If people haven't listened to your podcast yet. Do you have a favorite episode that they should start with l?.