Joe Biden, Congresswoman Bass, Cuba discussed on Press Play with Madeleine Brand

Automatic TRANSCRIPT

She's rocketed to the top of Joe Bond's short list for vice president. Biden, the presumptive Democratic nominee, is expected to announce his VP pick and the next week or so here to talk about basses record and her 16 year career in politics is Edward Isaac Deveare, staff writer for the Atlantic Welcome. Great to be here. Well, first off. How did Bass become a leading contender to be Biden's pick for vice president in such a short period of time? I think for some outside observers, this kind of came out of nowhere. I think for most inside observers that came from including for Carrie, Ambassador self They first looked at her is maybe someone to consider throwing the mix, and then, as they talked to her more they saw fits with her record things that she's worked on in her time in the California Assembly and in Congress of the last 15 years. And some personal connections to the situations that the United States is in. She worked as a physician's assistant during the AIDS crisis in Ella. She worked as a community organizer during the years before the riots and 92 then afterwards eso those sorts of things. It's really resonate and then their personal connections, too. Hide in that have really made a connection as well. And that's always mattered. And Joe Biden and most importantly, probably is that Karen Bass lost her daughter in a car accident. So it's a situation that has some echoes of what happened by the of course, Biden's daughter and wife when they were killed in the cracks and right after he was elected to the Senate. In 1970 to his daughter was an infant at that point, But there is this connection through tragedy that makes a difference for Joe Biden often and in talking to people. It's talk a little bit about her political record here, which is really under the microscope specifically her time in Cuba. Apparently Congresswoman Bass spend part of the seventies working there. What was she doing in Cuba? The first trip she took there was in 1973. She was 19 years old. She was a young activist already getting involved in organizing in her community. She was like a lot of young activists on the left of that point. Very ah, Connected to and interested in all sorts of different issues that for many of them led back to Cuba and connected to Cuba and one or the other. Seeing the Cuban revolution is some level of and I ideal or or at least on inspiration in one way or another. She went there at first is a member of something called the vents around most brigade, which was a group that was founded by people who were involved with the student. The GS Students for a Democratic society and was in collaboration with the Castro government brought a number of young activists. They're on almost annual. There were a little bit more frequent than annually at the beginning trips to Cuba. Tio have what is sort of like a cultural exchange. But that was suspected of having much more than that by a lot of people in Washington at the time. If we kind of moved now to the present day here, How could this play out for her in Florida if she has picked as the VP candidate? Well, one way or the other. The connection to the Castro government is something that still has resonance for a lot of Cuban Americans on also for Latinos and ah, wider sense than just Cuban Americans, because that that sphere of influence of Castro really important in Latin America. And often rejected by many in Latin America, especially those who come to the United States. There is a sense that in Florida, particularly although other states as well. That that could lose votes for Joe Biden and a really important way, especially his. Biden has been aiming more and more of last couple weeks on months to put Florida in play in a way that it really was not expected to be before the pandemic, But because of the handling of the Corona virus by President Trump and by governor Rhonda Santa's in Florida is close. Trump Ally There has been movement in a really significant way, according to the polls that we've seen away from Trump and making Florida a state that Joe Biden could win. If Joe Biden can win Florida and Donald Trump loses Florida it becomes really, really difficult to see what Donald Trump's paths of the presidency would be within the Electoral college. And that's a big part of the reason why Hide this focus on Florida, and why this issue of Karen Bass in Cuba has even more importance. Yes. I mean a lot of big questions there. If we keep kind of following her timeline here, you mentioned that she worked as a community activist. But then, ultimately, how did she end up getting into politics? But she was. It's a rare thing, actually, for something to be as involved in community activism as bass wass and not go into elected office earlier, she didn't get elected to her first position until she was 51 years old. From 19 been involved in organizing their community. She eventually has to sort of get talked into running for an assembly seat in Los Angeles and decides to run for it runs asked men get talked into running for speaker of the Assembly on she would been moving up in other leadership positions, but was talked into running for speaker. Decides to do. It is elected speaker of the Assembly. She as then one of the speakers during those really tough budget years in California, when there is a huge shortfalls of money, and then her time she was term limited to speaker and then was Encouraged again to run for costume. It's gets elected to the House search, working her way up in the house and is now the chair of the Congressional Black Caucus. She's on allies, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. She is a member of Congress who most people have never heard of. Probably before these last couple weeks of the vice presidential speculation being around her, but is actually one of those that that has built a pretty Solid power base within the house. Well, here she is now, potentially at the top of the list, And you know, one of Biden's perceived weaknesses as a candidate is that he doesn't have support from the progressive wing of the party. This is something we hear a lot so In your mind. Does bass fill that gap in excite kind of more liberal voters in the way that someone like Elizabeth Warren might? What do you think? There is definitely a sense of tree could do that. She has a lot of connection personal connections to some of the leaders within Congress. Among the progress was people like Ro Khanna cards from Northern California who is one of Bernie Sanders. Cochairs has said that he would love to have her as the running mate Ilan Omar, the freshman member Congress from Minnesota. Who is member of the squad. She has spoken to me about how she sees Bass is a mentor. She built up a lot of respect from the people that she was working with. Including a lot of the people who were on the moor Bernie Sanders Wing of the party, and that has given her even more trust from those sorts, folks, too. See her as an important ally is she is well known in the among progressives as Bernie Sanders, or listen for in O R number of other people, Definitely not. But among the leadership people who could validate for her and say this person makes me feel really comfortable. It does seem like she will have a lot of that potential if she is the pick. Isaac did there was a staff writer at the Atlantic. We appreciate the time thank you. Traveling.

Coming up next