What to look for at today’s Democratic presidential Q&A

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First, a big Texas welcome to the eight Democratic presidential candidates in Houston today. They will be attending the She the People forum at Texas Southern University.

The headliners

Kamala Harris, Amy Klobuchar, Elizabeth Warren, Tulsi Gabbard, Bernie Sanders, Julian Castro, Beto O’Rourke, and Cory Booker will take the stage individually for a Q&A session throughout Wednesday afternoon. Joe Biden, who is expected to announce his candidacy tomorrow, and Pete Buttigieg will not be in attendance.

The topics

The Mueller report and the growing calls for Trump’s impeachment are top of mind. But House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is going slowly. “[W]e’re not there yet,” she said earlier this week.

Setting aside the impeachment elephant in the room — the 2020 election might be the cleanest, maybe even quickest, way to get Trump out of the White House, by the way – here are a few things we’re interested in around today’s forum.

  • Who speaks to the issues of concern to women of color the most convincingly and genuinely? That’s what the forum is for, after all.
  • What is each candidate’s overall national message? This isn’t about policy – it’s about big-picture vision, rationale for running, and motivating voters. Obama’s was hope and change. Trump ‘s was drain the swamp (ha). Elevator pitch matters.
  • Many issues are important right now, including health care. Everything is bigger in Texas and that includes our uninsured rate – the highest in the nation. Health care is an economic and social justice issue wrapped into one and, still, a total winner for Democrats.
  • Besides fellow Texans O’Rourke and Castro, which tailor their comments to Texans? Why should Texans vote for X candidate?

A shout out to the Texas Organizing Project, a local sponsor of the forum. We grabbed some footage of Michelle Tremillo, TOP’s executive director profiled in Texas Monthly’s “power issue,” on the importance of today’s event.

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