Two governors join the race for the Democratic nomination for the presidency in 2020, Jussie Smollett was indicted on 16 felony counts relating to his hate crime accusation that is now being treated as a hoax, and a revelation in an earlier story on Venezuela. This is the last week in review.
2020 Democratic Field Grows
Two governors, Jay Inslee of Washington and John Hickenlooper of Colorado, joined the 2020 field, but with vastly different messages. Inslee, a former member of the US House and a 6-year incumbent, is focusing on addressing climate change as his primary issues, while Hickenlooper is modeling himself as more of a moderate. While Inslee is the only one making climate change the only issue of his campaign, several senators running have backed Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s Green New Deal, so he may find little support.
Hickenlooper, on the other hand, is one of the few moderates running, and with staffing concerns for Senator Amy Klobuchar damage her brand, and with Joe Biden not yet in the race, Hickenlooper could actually gain a serious share of support. With progressive support so splintered, maybe there’s an inside track to the nomination for the former Colorado Governor. His name ID also isn’t terrible, with it being floated last year as the possible counterpart to a John Kasich independent run. Hickenlooper will probably make the debate stages, and from there, anything could happen. I’d give him something like 15-1 or 20-1 odds, compared to Inslee, who I’d give 40-1 at best. Still an outside shot, but with a real path to victory, which few can claim.
Jussie Smollett Indicted
A grand jury returned a 16-count indictment against the actor from “Empire” who claimed to have been beaten by two MAGA-supporting white supremacists one cold night in Chicago. He had initially only been charged with one count of disorderly conduct, and obviously, this is a dramatic increase in potential penalties for Smollett. He was charged for both the initial report and the return interview he had with police. He likely will not face jail time if he pleas, but he does still maintain his innocence (and victimhood), so perhaps he is willing to face trial.
Venezuelan Burning of Food, Aid a hoax?
Two weeks ago, the White House, some media, and Senator Marco Rubio reported that Venezuelan forces burning food trucks sent from Colombia by the World Central Kitchen. In new footage, it appears the fires were actually started by a protester’s Molotov cocktail, and not by loyalist forces. I would like to apologize for my own reporting, in which I assumed Rubio, the WCK, and the White House were being truthful. It appears as though the Colombian government doctored footage to exclude the initial flame, which would mean they knowingly deceived US officials and the public. Rubio and the White House likely did not know this. If they did know this, and still pushed doctored footage with the intent of justifying further action against the Venezuelan government, that is indeed worrying.
You can read more from Andrew Bartholomew on Think Liberty here.