The TAKE with Rick Klein
The fights that would have been … never really went away.
Former Vice President Joe Biden was largely spared of can-he-heal-the-party anxieties due to the unusual timing of him wrapping up the nomination in the midst of a pandemic, followed by this national reckoning over race and policing tactics.
But progressive concerns about the direction of the Democratic Party are emerging. They are dominating down-ballot primaries coming up in states including Kentucky, Colorado and New York; one House race there even has Sen. Elizabeth Warren endorsing a challenger, and Hillary Clinton among those sticking with the incumbent.
The latest lobbying push for Warren to join Biden's ticket is predicated on the calculation that the former vice president needs to tack left to unite his party. Then there's the range of progressive groups -- black and Latino groups, along with organizations associated with Sen. Bernie Sanders' former campaign -- warning that Biden's police-reform proposals are insufficient for the moment.
"You cannot win the election without the enthusiastic support of Black voters, and how you act in this moment of crisis will play a big role in determining how Black voters -- and all voters concerned with racial justice -- respond to your candidacy," the coalition of some 50 organizations wrote to Biden.
Biden has resisted getting drawn into a debate over "defund the police," and has also hesitated on supporting reparations for black Americans. His proposed police reforms would go significantly farther than anything espoused by President Donald Trump, and Biden's campaign responded to his executive order Tuesday by saying "the burden is on President Trump and congressional Republicans to act."
Biden has had more flexibility than most recent Democratic nominees to put forward his vision of the party, after he secured the nomination with more party unity than was widely expected.
But part of his burden from here is to recognize the passions of the moment and the movements inspired to act. Some of the loudest voices are being directed at Trump, though efforts to get Biden's attention could matter more in November.
The RUNDOWN with MaryAlice Parks
Nearly three weeks after the death of George Floyd, Trump on Tuesday met with American families who have also had loved ones killed by police officers.
In signing his executive order, he made it clear that there is overwhelming support for some policing reforms, such as the banning of chokeholds in most incidences.
Of course, the president's actions this week will continue to be met with skepticism by those who have been deeply hurt and sidelined by his words in the past. At campaign rallies, the president used to joke about letting police be brutal with and mistreat protesters. Just a few weeks ago, in a tweet, he seemed to encourage police to misuse their authority and use lethal force against looters.
Ahmaud Arbery's mother described Trump as "compassionate," and said that while she does not believe his executive order is enough, it's a start.
The president offered preliminary support for the bill that Republican senators have been drafting and intend to unveil Wednesday morning, but the country is struggling with some deja vu. In the past, after crises, Trump has said he will back legislation -- on gun control, health care and immigration -- only to pivot and pull his support, even from Republican bills, at the last minute.
Trump called for unity in the Rose Garden Tuesday, but then went on to criticize President Barack Obama.
The fact is, this is a president who has repeatedly used racist language himself, and so healing and new trust after that will take time and Democrats will have to decide if passing any reforms with members across the aisle is better than passing none.
The TIP with Molly Nagle and John Verhovek
Biden is headed to the Philadelphia suburbs -- his third trip to the key swing state of Pennsylvania in recent weeks -- to deliver remarks and meet with small business owners on the challenge of getting back to work as the country continues to grapple with the coronavirus pandemic.
Biden's campaign, which has inched back onto the physical campaign trail throughout June, has sought to highlight the former vice president's plan to "reopen" the country safely as concerns over the virus continue, hoping to draw a contrast with Trump.
"Vice President Biden will discuss how President Trump has no plan besides hanging an 'open for business' sign to get Americans back to work, restore consumer confidence and re-open the economy," a Biden campaign aide said of his remarks.
But while the candidate has thus far been able to stay close to home in a critical battleground state amid the pandemic, excursions to some electorally critical states are butting up against a stark reality.
On Tuesday, the battleground state of Florida reported a record high one-day increase of COVID-19 cases, and the mayor of Miami put the city's reopening plan on hold. Meanwhile Arizona and Texas, two states Biden has insisted he can and will compete in this cycle, set new state records for coronavirus hospitalizations just this week.
BRINGING AMERICA BACK
Lockdown orders have limited in-person efforts to connect with potential voters. So those running for state and local races are relying on digital tools like Zoom calls and social media instead. Read this story and more by checking out Bringing America Back, an ABC News feature that highlights the day's top stories in economic recovery and medical preparedness amid the coronavirus pandemic.
ABC News' "Start Here" podcast. Wednesday morning's episode features ABC News White House correspondent Karen Travers who tells us what's in President Donald Trump's new executive order on policing and previews what the Senate Republicans could announce Wednesday. ABC News Transportation correspondent Gio Benitez explains how airlines are planning to ensure that passengers wear masks on flights. And, ABC News' Alex Stone tells us about the first company to plead guilty in connection with wildfire deaths. http://apple.co/2HPocUL
FiveThirtyEight Politics Podcast. Support for the Black Lives Matter movement has increased dramatically over the past few weeks. In this installment of the FiveThirtyEight Politics podcast, the team looks at whether public opinion on police and racism has moved in tandem. They also discuss the request from President Trump's re-election campaign that CNN retract and apologize for a poll showing him trailing former Vice President Joe Biden and ask whether the partisan positions on social distancing have broken down. https://53eig.ht/2N3pH1r
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