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Episode 5: A Silver Bullet and a Healing Spray

In this installment we examine Warren and Sanders' positions post Nevada and Super Tuesday. Bernie claims to have the backing of the Democratic party, while Warren seems to have pivoted to an unusual social media strategy. How will this affect the 2020 campaign?

Original Script

Every weekday, we hear a different version of the same story, the same person talking to the same group of people in a very similar way. And every week, it’s different.

This week, we’d like you to hear what it’s been like to watch a video recorded over and over again, and over and over again, and over and over again. It’s called “The Daily” and it’s about to be released on the same day. I’m Alex Burns. This is “The Daily” with Alex Burns.

It’s Thursday, January 7.

I love this. It is the most emotionally draining, intellectually exhausting, and most politically illiterate thing I’ve ever done.

Ok.

In last night's Democratic debate in Nevada, Bernie Sanders got into a little bit of a spat with Elizabeth Warren, who, as you might expect, seemed to have no problem targeting Sanders as a flip-floppy candidate.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

BERNIE SANDERS: In this campaign, there is no question the front-runner is me. And that is Bernie Sanders. And I'm going to give you a big chunk of his plan.

Well, you know, look. I think that Bernie Sanders has a plan for everything. I think he has a plan for everything. And I think that really is the best way to describe it.

And we've seen that the kind of line-by-line, close questioning of his policy point-by-point so far has been really effective at getting voters to hear more of what they've already heard from him.

And we should say he did do that in fairly large numbers. He did do that in a pretty large number of people.

And also, he was asked about the idea that he was kind of the underdog.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

BERNIE SANDERS: Well, I have the backing of the majority of the Democratic Party. My plan is to make, if we elect me president, the point of the machine will be to eliminate the Democratic majority.

So is there any question, though, that he has a plan for everything? Is it the question, then, of whether he has a plan for everything?

I think we can probably assume that there is a way for him to, you know, basically have a policy for everything, if you will. Why he's not talking about that is a mystery.

Yeah. So let's talk about Elizabeth Warren on this. She's the current front-runner and, to some extent, the person who has been leading the debate and the person who has the most to gain from this campaign. So let's talk about that.

And a lot of people have been wondering whether or not she's going to run or whether she's going to pivot and run on, you know, big, progressive things and talk about more of a populist vision or whether she's going to pivot and talk about sort of her own policies. And she did that in a post on Medium earlier this week.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

ELIZABETH WARREN: I want to talk about the money.

MODERATOR: If you're going after the money, do you have a plan for doing it?

WARREN: I don't have a plan, but I will.

You can hear that as a challenge.

I mean, is - is that - does that answer your question?

Of course, of course, of course. Of course, of course, the money is what's - is an elephant in the room.

WARREN: We get no money, and we don't have a plan, and we're going to just say, we're not going to fight.

Well, there's a Vox post on this. It points out that it is very difficult to have a plan for the Sanders campaign because they do not have plan after plan for him. He's not going to be the nominee. They do not have any particular plan for the best way to win the election.

She was looking for a foil to Bernie Sanders.

All right. So it is a tricky position for her. It is a tricky position for her. She has to balance being the most electable candidate and also, I think, being the most populist candidate to the point that she's been sort of forced to live by those two responsibilities.

And then the question is, you know, how do you do it? How do you get out from under the old system and convince these people who wouldn't otherwise vote?

Yeah. You know, I think the way to do it is not to say that there's a silver bullet and a healing spray that will make your voters' hearts mend, right? I think the way to do it is to say - you know, I have always believed that - but, you know, I've also always been skeptical that this will just turn on its head like a bunch of rust. It will cause real damage. And here's what I've been talking about for the last five years - this is going to be incredibly disruptive.

There's a polling out there that says, 90 percent of Americans say that the economy is just fine. Good job. We're fine. Why is this? It's the first time in American history that you are 90 percent of Americans don't say that. Or 45 and a half percent say that the economy's fine, but the country's not in good shape. And it's the first time in American history that we have a president of the opposite party saying that. It's going to be incredibly disruptive.

Yeah. I mean, the last thing I can really add if this were an urban legend, and if it were a big, American TV show, then you can really use it as a prop. You can get some laughs. But I don't think it's there.

We are going to take a quick break. And when we get back, we will talk about what this means for the 2020 campaign.

Here's what else you need to know today.

You know what? This has been an incredible week in the district. I mean, Amazon's parent company, Amazon, has said that the company will be stepping down when one of its employees, the company's founder and C.E.O. of Amazon, is forced out of the company.

In a letter released late Monday night, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos defended his role, saying that former Amazon employees have been harassing the company’s lawyers and that Bezos personally tried to stop it.

BEZOS: I wrote my letter. I said it. I kept the account of our discussions so that they could have it, they couldn’t. I am deeply distressed that my valued employees have not participated in the conduct to be of the company's highest reality, which is that I will resign at the end of the current fiscal year, and that the decision together with our board of directors would go to the heart of what it is today.

That’s it for “The Daily.” I’m Michael Barbaro. See you tomorrow.