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In Nevada, Expect The Gloves To Come All The Way Off

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Is Elizabeth Warren on the ropes? Some of her Democratic challengers think so, but she vows to fight on — and is looking all the way to Super Tuesday. Will she make it? Will I make it to my vacation?

Opponents Target Warren After Her Bad Night In N.H.

Sen. Elizabeth Warren talks to supporters on primary night in Manchester, N.H. (Robin Lubbock/WBUR)
Sen. Elizabeth Warren talks to supporters on primary night in Manchester, N.H. (Robin Lubbock/WBUR)

Expect the gloves to come all the way off in next week’s Democratic primary debate in Nevada — with the main target being Sen. Elizabeth Warren.

Warren talked about unity in her speech after Tuesday’s primary in New Hampshire — and promised to fight on to Super Tuesday and beyond. But her distant fourth-place finish has her opponents sensing blood in the water.

Sources from the campaigns of several of her competitors told me Warren’s weak showing in her home turf of New England — especially given her strong organizing operation and large number of staffers — spells the beginning of the end. And they intend to try to hasten her exit by ramping up advertising and giving strong performances in the Feb. 19 debate in Las Vegas.

Touting fundraising boosts, the campaigns of the top three finishers in New Hampshire — Sen. Bernie Sanders, former South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg, and Sen. Amy Klobuchar — have already publicly announced aggressive ad buys ahead of the Feb. 22 Nevada caucuses.

Warren is also rolling out ads in Nevada, but she had to pull ads in South Carolina — a crucial state that votes after Nevada — to do so.

Still, Warren’s campaign manager Roger Lau said in a memo to supporters this week that Warren is “poised to finish in the top two in over half of Super Tuesday states (eight of 14), in the top three in all of them,” predicting that the field will winnow after March 3 — with Warren still standing.

Moulton Grills OMB Official On Trump’s Proposed State Department Cuts

Rep. Seth Moulton, D-Mass., questions Office of Management and Budget Acting Director Russell Vought on Feb. 12, 2020, in Washington. (Alex Brandon/AP)
Rep. Seth Moulton, D-Mass., questions Office of Management and Budget Acting Director Russell Vought on Feb. 12, 2020, in Washington. (Alex Brandon/AP)

Rep. Seth Moulton, vice chair of the House Budget Committee, blasted proposed State Department funding cuts yesterday at a committee hearing on the Trump administration’s proposed budget.

“The president’s former Secretary of Defense [James] Mattis said, ‘If you don’t fund the State Department fully, then I need to buy more ammunition,’ ” Moulton said to acting U.S. Office of Management and Budget Director Russell Vought. “Why does this budget do the exact opposite, cutting the State Department by 21%?”

“Because there’s a difference between diplomacy, which we fully fund, and foreign aid, which we think we have gone on too long with providing,” Vought said.

Moulton said on a recent trip to Vietnam, U.S. military officers were “asking for more development money.”

“Does Donald Trump know more than our military officers on the ground?” Moulton asked.

Vought said there has been an increase in spending in some diplomacy efforts, but “we think it's high time that we get out of the situation where we pay for statues to Bob Dylan in Mozambique and other wasteful spending.”

“I think the president ought to spend some more time in Vietnam on the ground,” Moulton said. “It might teach him a little about what development and diplomacy does for our military.”

Pressley: Vote On Equal Rights Amendment Protects ‘Our Collective Humanity’

Rep. Ayanna Pressley, D-Mass., left, and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., listen as U.S. Census Bureau Director Steven Dillingham testifies during a hearing of the House Committee on Oversight and Reform on Capitol Hill Wednesday in Washington. (Alex Brandon/AP)
Rep. Ayanna Pressley, D-Mass., left, and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., listen as U.S. Census Bureau Director Steven Dillingham testifies during a hearing of the House Committee on Oversight and Reform on Capitol Hill Wednesday in Washington. (Alex Brandon/AP)

Rep. Ayanna Pressley called today’s House vote on a resolution to eliminate the 1982 deadline for states to ratify the Equal Rights Amendment, which bars discrimination based on sex, “a vote for the preservation of our collective humanity.”

She cited discrimination women, particularly women of color, still face when it comes to wages and opportunity despite the Constitution’s existing protections of equal rights.

“But this isn’t an accident – the American Constitution is sexist by its very design,” Pressley said on the House floor yesterday. “This country’s laws have historically treated us like second-class citizens – depriving us of the right to vote, enter most jobs, and to own property.”

Virginia became the 38th state to ratify the amendment last month, which would have reached the threshold but for the deadline. That move spurred lawmakers to try to lift the deadline on the amendment, which was first proposed in 1923.

The House vote will be mostly symbolic. The measure is not expected to pass the Senate.

4 More Things:

Democratic presidential candidate former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg speaks to reporters after a campaign event on Jan. 27 in Burlington, Vt. (Mary Altaffer/AP)
Democratic presidential candidate former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg speaks to reporters after a campaign event on Jan. 27 in Burlington, Vt. (Mary Altaffer/AP)

— Bloomberg campaign blitzes the Bay State: While most presidential candidates focus on early primary states, Mike Bloomberg’s campaign is opening offices all over Massachusetts. Bloomberg, who was born in Brighton and grew up in Medford, yesterday opened offices in Brookline, Fall River, Quincy and Lowell.

Pressley endorses Mass. delegation mates — and an Illinois Dem. primary challenger: Pressley announced several endorsements in congressional races this week, including a primary challenger to one of her Democratic House colleagues. Marie Newman got Pressley’s backing in her bid to unseat Rep. Dan Lipinski (D-Ill.). Pressley, who won her own primary challenge in 2018, is also backing five other Democrats who are either running for open seats or for reelection, including Bay State Reps. Katherine Clark and Jim McGovern.

— Markey holds Green New Deal town hall: Sen. Ed Marley will hold a town hall meeting on the Green New Deal tonight at Somerville High School at 6:30 p.m. He'll be joined by state and local officials, including Mayor Joseph Curtatone.

— Kennedy launches 'Joe I Know': Rep. Joe Kennedy, who is challenging Markey for his Senate seat, is releasing a series of “Joe I Know” videos featuring residents and local leaders from Massachusetts who have worked with Kennedy on policy issues, to pass legislation and on the campaign trail. And there’s a hashtag.


WHAT I'M READING

  • America May Be Nearing The End Of The Roe Era (The Atlantic)
  • The New Hampshire Results Signal A Long Nationwide Democratic Battle (The New Yorker)

WHERE'S WARREN?

Warren speaks to supporters during a campaign event at West High School in Iowa City, Iowa. (Jesse Costa/WBUR)
Warren speaks to supporters during a campaign event at West High School in Iowa City, Iowa. (Jesse Costa/WBUR)

Warren is already looking ahead to Super Tuesday. Tonight, she rallies in Arlington, Virginia — one of the 14 states that will hold primaries on March 3.

Then she’s off to Nevada, where caucuses are set for Feb. 22. This weekend she’ll hold get-out-the-vote town halls in Las Vegas and Reno. On Monday, she’ll host a town hall in Henderson, and next Friday she’ll join former HUD Secretary Julián Castro in Las Vegas.

The U.S. Senate is in recess next week.


NUMBER OF THE WEEK

$1,422
The amount that Reason to Believe, a PAC that supported former Gov. Deval Patrick’s presidential bid with an $1.8 million ad buy in New Hampshire, spent per each of the 1,266 votes Patrick got in the state. Patrick suspended his campaign yesterday.


PARTING NOTE

Next week, Boston to the Beltway will take a little breather. It’ll be back in your inboxes Feb. 27. In the meantime, check out some other WBUR newsletter goodness. Also, I’ll be on Here & Now tomorrow to talk about the latest in politics, so tune in!

Related:

Kimberly Atkins Twitter Senior News Correspondent
Kimberly Atkins is a senior news correspondent for WBUR, covering national political news from Washington, D.C., with a New England focus.

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