Voice Expert: Anyone Can Be a Great Singer or Speaker

Roger Love, one of the world's leading authorities on voice, joined The Glenn Beck Program on Monday to talk about his fascinating career coaching singers, actors and executives --- and turning them into great singers and public speakers. His new book Set Your Voice Free: How to Get the Singing or Speaking Voice You Want, distills the best of his teachings and exercises, used successfully for over 15 years.

"What I realized after about 17 years of just working with famous singers was that there was no difference between singing and speaking, and that I could take someone's speaking voice and add a musicality to it and have it sound incredible," Love said.

The goal is to move people emotionally with your voice --- and no one is better equipped to teach that than Roger Love.

Listen to this segment from The Glenn Beck Program:

Below is a rush transcript of this segment, it might contain errors:

GLENN: Welcome to the program, Roger Love. Author of the new book Set Your Voice Free. Roger, are you there?

ROGER: I am here, and happy to be here.

GLENN: Will you do me a favor and just tell me quickly the story -- I think it's of Walk the Line, where the two actors, Joaquin Phoenix and Reese Witherspoon were really having a hard time and there were six weeks left, and they walked into your office. Can you talk about that at all?

ROGER: Absolutely. The story starts with neither of them knowing when they accepted the roles to star in Walk the Line, to play Johnny Cash and to play June Carter Cash, that they were actually going to have to sing, because neither of them think of themselves at that point in time as singers.

So I get the call from Reese. And the two of them have to record about 30 some odd parts of songs. And so I start working every day. And trying to make Joaquin sing like the iconic Johnny Cash is no easy feet.

GLENN: Right.

ROGER: But thank gosh he is an amazing actor. And the discipline that both of them had to go from working with me and starting as not really singers to doing an incredible job in the film, I look at that as being one of the greatest collaborations in my life, something that I'm very, very proud of. Because the result was that she won an Academy Award for a singing role. And he won multiple awards for a singing role. And where we started three or four weeks ago was not very much great singing.

GLENN: Seriously, it was three weeks working with you?

ROGER: Three weeks. About every day for a few hours.

GLENN: Holy cow.

ROGER: Believe me, I wish some of these pictures that I do like Crazy Hard -- I wish they would give me more time, but quite often, I'm thrown in at the last minute to say, "Hey, Rodge, can you make this person who is not really a singer sound incredible?"

GLENN: So let me ask you this question: Over the weekend, I sat down with one of my daughters, and I said, "Let's draw mountains together. Let's just draw, you know, some things. Let me show you a picture."

And she said, "Dad, I don't have any talent at all."

And I said, "Yeah, you can draw."

And she said, "No, I can't. The gene didn't pass to me."

And I said, "Yes, it did. We're not talking about genes. Just paint what you see." Or, "Just draw what you see."

So she drew. And it was very simple mountains. And it looked like a kid's drawing.

Then I went back and I said, "Honey, just draw with me now. See this part over here? See, it looks like this. And here's how you can do it."

Her painting or her, you know, oil thing.

ROGER: Masterpiece.

GLENN: Yeah, masterpiece. It went from third grade to 12th grade, just by seeing the technique. And I contend that 80 percent of, you know, an artist is just learning how to do it. That 20 percent is what makes you a star.

But everybody can pretty much do what they don't think they can do. Is it the same with singing or not?

ROGER: Yes. We think that we are born with a particular voice. Singing, speaking. All of a sudden if we're singing happy birthday and we sound better than everybody else and we get the first piece of cake, we think we're born with talent. Or if we have this nasal voice or really soft or aggravated, some kind of a weird voice, we think we're stuck with it because that's the sound that is coming out of the mouth. But I've spent my life showing people how simple it is to take what you like about your voice and what you don't like about your voice and add a little bit of technique and then sound like however you want.

So even a singer who is born with an amazing ability that Mother Nature gave them, if they don't work on their voice -- if they don't decide, "I want to sing. I love to sing," then they never become great.

And those people that were maybe born with a little less from Mother Nature, if they work a little harder and have that technique, they can ofttimes end up sounding better than the people that were born with a gift.

GLENN: Okay. So let me take it one more step. We were talking about millennials and how nobody is learning how to talk to each other.

ROGER: Right.

GLENN: Everything is virtual. Certainly, nobody is learning how to stand up in front of a crowd and speak.

Your book talks about that as well. What's the difference?

ROGER: The difference is -- and this is crazy. Can you imagine in the world that we're living right now that the number one fear in America is still speaking in public?

What an amazing world we must live in, if everyone is the most worried about speaking in public.

And what I realized after about 17 years of just working with famous singers was that there was no difference between singing and speaking, and that I could take someone's speaking voice and add a musicality to it and have it sound incredible.

And those sounds would move people emotionally when they heard someone speak. And once -- once you have those kinds of sounds come out of your mouth and you realize you have influence over people, that when you open your mouth, it's like you're singing someone's favorite song and all you're doing is speaking. You lose a lot of stage fright. You lose a lot of fear of speaking in public.

GLENN: You start to like it.

SIMON: Because you end up liking the sound of your own voice and you can't wait to show it off.

GLENN: I know that my son had to speak in church, so I worked with him on his talk. And I had him go find a joke that he wanted to tell at the beginning. You know, some sort of deal. And I worked with him on the joke. We practiced and practiced and practiced. And I knew, the minute he got that instant reaction that was positive back -- if he could just do that one thing right and really pull that off, he would like to speak.

He is terrified of speaking. Now, I could put him anywhere, and he would get up and start talking.

ROGER: So I love that story. If I go to a restaurant or you go to a restaurant and you don't think you're funny and you tell a joke and everyone laughs, then the next time you're having dinner the following week at a restaurant, maybe you'll bring out that same joke, maybe another one.

And if they laugh, by the next time you're at a restaurant, you think that you're the funniest person at the table, so you can't wait to be funny because you see how people react to you. And that's what I help people do just with speaking, to create sounds that people react to positively so that you can't wait to communicate, whether you're speaking to one person or whether you're speaking to 1,000 people.

GLENN: Okay. I have to be honest with the audience: The reason why Roger is on is because I believe in his work so much because I am a client of Roger's. He has brought me to a place to where, you know, I was in -- what the doctors would say is full vocal cord paralysis. And he has brought me out of that and helped me retain my voice. You have brought me from not being able to say a word, to being able to speak with my regular voice within 20 minutes.

And everybody I tell say, "That's not possible."

ROGER: Well, that is a joy that I could be a part of that and be a part of your family. So thank you for that opportunity.

The thing is that for years, I've been saying that the sounds you make are either making you healthy and happy, or they're making you unhealthy and unhappy.

GLENN: So how do you teach this in a book, Roger?

ROGER: Because it's not just a book. It's a book that goes along with a website that has 75 audio samples. And everything that I talk about in the book, you -- you also have me making the sounds, and then you're singing along with me and speaking along with me.

GLENN: So what you did for me -- and you made those little tapes for me, you've just used me as a guinea pig for your book.

(chuckling)

GLENN: So it's basically the same thing that you've done for me.

ROGER: Exactly right. The same thing that I've done for you and for singers like --

GLENN: Elton John.

ROGER: -- John Mayer and Selena Gomez this past year. And any -- and speakers like Anthony Robbins and Suze Orman, anyone that is having an issue with their voice and that I've realized that I could help them with a little bit technique that would make their voice healthy and then make it a lot more fun to use and a lot more fun to listen to.

GLENN: Okay. So I tried to explain what you do to a friend of mine who came up for Christmas. His name is David Osmond. I'm sure you recognize the name.

ROGER: Absolutely.

GLENN: Is David on the phone? Is David on the phone?

DAVID: Can you hear me?

GLENN: Yeah, David. Are you there?

DAVID: I'm here. Can you hear me?

GLENN: Yeah, can. David, meet Roger. Roger, meet David.

ROGER: Good morning, David.

DAVID: The man, the legend, the myth, Roger. What's up, buddy?

GLENN: So I asked David to come on because I could not explain to him what you do. David, explain your situation.

DAVID: Well, I've been performing my entire life, singing from so many different walks of life, as far as music goes, and continuing to do that. And now that I'm hosting TV shows and have a new big band going, music and voice is constant. And I noticed something was up this last fall. I could just feel something in my voice because I'm so connected to it.

And I approached my Uncle Donnie, who had some vocal challenges over the last couple years. He said, "Hey, check out this guy. Maybe you should just go get it looked at and see what's going on."

Sure enough, found on the left side of my vocal fold, this sizeable polyp that is just right on the underside and had vocal surgery to get that removed after different assessments and figuring out what I needed to do.

So I literally, about a month ago had vocal surgery to get that removed. And it is -- it is scary having to go down there and have this surgery procedure done, knowing that this -- this is my lifeblood. This is what I do.

STU: And they didn't know for sure if you would ever be able to sing again.

So I said to him, "You've got to talk to Roger Love." Not for a -- you know, not for physical stuff, but to -- to -- he -- I don't know how you do it, Roger, but you can hear it in somebody's voice when they sing.

DAVID: Well, first, let's tell the audience -- and I honestly, just talking again this week, this last week because I was silent for the last month. Just complete vocal rest.

GLENN: Right.

ROGER: Man, thank you for sharing that. Let me tell the listeners that -- so that they understand a little bit of what that is.

If you're a guitar player and you're always playing the guitar and you're rubbing your fingers against the springs --

DAVID: Hello?

GLENN: Hang on, David. Go ahead, Roger.

ROGER: What happens, if you're a guitar player and you're rubbing your fingers against the strings and you play a lot, you basically start to develop like callouses on your fingers so that the body thinks it's protecting you so that it doesn't rub off your fingers and you don't you don't get all bloody --

DAVID: I can't hear.

ROGER: So it's normal for guitar players. But what most people don't understand is, this happens all the time to singers. And if you're singing a lot or if you're doing any kind of straining or you're singing hard songs, or even if you're speaking in a way that creates a little bit of pressure on the vocal cords, the body can create these little lesions, these little growths on the vocal cords, thinking it's protecting you.

GLENN: It's actually destroying the voice.

Roger, I got to take a quick break. See if we can fix this technically because he can't hear you. But I had to put you two together because David is -- I just think David is remarkable and a really nice guy. You are remarkable and a really nice guy. I had to get you two together. If you want to learn from the guy who literally everybody who is anybody has worked with, how to speak, how to sing, his name is Roger Love. He's got a new book out called Set Your Voice Free. How to get the singing or speaking voice that you want. I work with him and have for years. He is truly remarkable. Roger Love, Set Your Voice Free, available everywhere now. Back in a minute.

First, have you noticed -- have you noticed what officials are saying? Officials are saying, "Gee, now, looks like rate hikes are going to come." Looks like maybe we're going to have stop all this printing.

Oh. Oh, okay. That was the headline in the Wall Street Journal over the weekend. Rate rises more of them coming. Officials suggest in 2017, they could see three more interest rate increases. This comes after the fed has already raised it once. This is the first time they've done it in a long time. Things could go unstable.

This is uncharted territory, unless you look to history. And every time in history this has happened, it hasn't gone well. Maybe this time is different.

I have a hard time with that. I'd like to look at history to see -- at least be able to gauge the percentages of being able to survive what you're currently doing. Has anybody else survived before? The answer to that is no.

Are you prepared for whatever may come your way is this call Goldline now. And look at your portfolio. In your IRA, maybe you can take 10 percent of your IRA and transfer that to gold. Physical gold that you can hold in your own hand. Call 866GOLDLINE. 866GOLDLINE or goldline.com.

[break]

GLENN: I blew it. I broke -- yeah.

Oh, hello. Welcome to the program. Sorry.

Got busy. I couldn't get the phones to work the way they were supposed to work. My apologies to David and Roger. But now they're on the phone with each other, and they're actually going to talk to each other. That's the important thing. The name of the book is Set Your Voice Free by Roger Love. And, you know, I sat there with David Osmond. And he just looked at me and, you know, just quietly said, "Scary. It's really scary to think I'll never sing again." You know, and he has MS and has been -- he has had a really, really tough year.

So his MS flares up. He gets a polyp on his vocal cords. He's got a new wife and family.

You know, it's not -- I mean, they're busting -- he's busting his butt to make ends meet.

PAT: He's got a new wife? He traded in the old one?

GLENN: Yeah. He traded -- yeah, yeah. She was getting some high miles on her.

No. She -- you know, but it's a young -- you know, they've been married, what? Seven years or so.

PAT: Yeah. Yeah.

GLENN: Yesterday, can you believe this, 17th anniversary for my wife and I.

STU: Wow.

PAT: Congratulations.

GLENN: Seventeen years has gone by so fast.

That's crazy.

JEFFY: It has gone by fast.

STU: I mean, that would have been a bet to take, she was going to stick around this long. I mean, what are the odds you'd got out of that? 2030 to one? You would have been very wealthy.

GLENN: Yeah, very wealthy. Very wealthy.

What about the next 25 years? Or next 20 years?

STU: I'd still take it.

GLENN: You'd still take it.

At some point -- at some point, she's got to -- you're saying, she's got to pull the chute.

STU: I think even Goldline would say even that's a better investment than --

GLENN: Yeah. Thank you for that, Stu.

STU: You're welcome.

GLENN: Thank you.

So let me go back to the millennial conversation that we were having, and that is millennials are walking into their job -- many of them with very low self-esteem. And safe zones. And never been challenged. And told they'll never be hurt. All lies. All of those things lies. Thinking that it's just going to be easy. You get the trophy. They're walking in with low self-esteem because they got the trophy and they know they didn't deserve the trophy.

You're not so special. You know, billion of people alive today. More tomorrow. And have come before you that were pretty special. You? No. It's what you do that is going to make you special, make you stand out.

Let's go to Josh in Indiana. Go ahead, Josh.

CALLER: Hey, thanks for taking my call.

GLENN: You bet. You're a millennial?

CALLER: Yeah, I'm 24 years old.

GLENN: Okay.

CALLER: So thanks for taking my call.

You know, I was to a certain degree coddled and didn't really know it at the time, and, you know, my parents were doing their best. But, you know, I think a lot of it was just afraid of real life. So it started off that they -- I'm sober three, almost four years now. So I did drugs. Failed out of college. Moved back home. Did the whole millennial thing.

PAT: Wow.

CALLER: But I finally looked up. And I'm a long-time listener of your program. And I had to learn a lot of lessons the hard way, but I think what, you know, millennials need is we need strong American values.

PAT: Hang on a second.

GLENN: Hold on, Josh. Hold on because I want to delve into your story a little bit more. Back in a minute.

(OUT AT 9:31AM) the

GLENN: Let's go back to Indiana and Josh who is a millennial. You're how old, 25, Josh?

CALLER: Hey, still here.

GLENN: Yeah, are you 25?

CALLER: Twenty-four.

GLENN: Twenty-four.

And you were raised like pretty much everybody else was raised. You know, you're special, and here's your trophy and everything else.

And then you said that caused a breakdown and you started into alcohol and drugs.

CALLER: Well, the thing about it is, you know, I was listening to you guys. A lot of the generation, the millennials, we are looking for our why and our purpose. And, you know, high school, that's not real life. And college, you know, that's also not real life. So it took me a lot of time to sort out what's reality and what's not reality.

GLENN: What do you mean by that? That it's not real life.

CALLER: Well, you know, in high school, it's a whole different system. And in college, it's a whole different system. And you get out in the real world and you start paying bills and you can't necessarily stay up till 2:00 a.m. on the weekends and party and live that kind of lifestyle. And so for me, I got into drugs and alcohol at a young age. Do that. And it really took -- go ahead.

GLENN: So then what turned you around? Because we were talking about this, that I don't believe that -- and this is a real -- a broad generation. Of course, there will be exceptions to every rule.

But generally speaking, people don't make a change in their life until there's a problem. And, you know, the millennials are walking into the world with the lowest self-esteem of any generation ever. And it's because they realize we're kind of a fraud. We didn't actually earn these trophies. We didn't really have to work for it. And so they are looking for something meaningful in their life.

What was the -- what was the turning point for you? And how did you grab a hold of your life?

CALLER: Sure, yeah. For me, it was hitting rock bottom. Getting kicked out of my parents' house and having to make it on my own. But it's tough love. That's what Americans need to provide for the millennials, whether it's the parents or the corporations. You know, it's a good shakedown. And for me, I had to fall back on good values, American values from my parents, that they tried to teach me. But I had to basically reject a lot of -- a lot of the stuff you hear in college and a lot of the stuff you hear in high school.

PAT: So your parents finally said, "Okay. You've been here long enough. You need to go."

CALLER: Yeah.

PAT: And where did you go?

CALLER: Well, I moved out into a halfway house myself.

PAT: Did you really?

CALLER: Yeah. Had to stay sober, go to AA meetings, get a job at Waffle House.

PAT: Wow. Wow.

CALLER: Get a job at Wendy's. Pay my own bills.

PAT: Wow.

STU: That's a lot of living for 24 years old.

GLENN: Good for you.

PAT: Yeah, you've been through some stuff.

GLENN: Good for you. Good for you.

PAT: So are you making it now? Are you doing well?

CALLER: I am. I'm in school full-time. I hold a full-time job myself. Self-employed. And looking to get my degree here and get a job in the health care career.

PAT: Good for you.

GLENN: Good luck with that.

What is -- how is your self-esteem?

CALLER: You know, I -- I had to find my own purpose. It's a lot better now, you know, now that I'm sober and not have cloudy judgment anymore. But I think it's just going to take some time for a lot of millennials to find their self-worth and to make it on their own. And definitely don't need to be coddled by anybody. A good shakeup is really what's needed.

PAT: That's great.

GLENN: Please check in with us again. I'd love to hear how you continue to do. Thanks so much, Josh.

CALLER: Sure thing. Thanks for having me.

PAT: Halfway house, man, that's tough.

STU: Yeah, that's tough love. That's real

GLENN: And the no offices and all of that.

STU: Oh, God.

JEFFY: Oh, God.

STU: We know you are willing to do the no offices. We are aware of this fact. We work with you. We got it.

GLENN: So I'm willing to do that. But I'm not willing to coddle -- I'm not as a company willing to coddle.

STU: No.

GLENN: We'll change with the times. I like that atmosphere much better as a creative atmosphere.

STU: Yeah.

GLENN: However, you still have to do it.

PAT: Right.

GLENN: You don't do it --

PAT: You can't -- you can't stay. Right?

GLENN: No, you can't stay. You hurt everybody else.

PAT: Right. Yeah.

STU: If you get upset, will you be able to maybe shut down for the day?

GLENN: No, you're pretty much -- get over it.

STU: There's some interesting --

PAT: And you treat everybody else like crap because you're having a bad day? Is that right?

GLENN: No, you're pretty much, get out. And leave the bean bag chair here.

STU: Let me give you a couple of examples.

How is the left dealing with the current environment?

GLENN: Yeah.

STU: This is difficult. And these aren't all millennials. Look at this. It's amazing to see this. And it's so easy to mock. But maybe there's something different here.

GLENN: Your first instinct was to mock?

STU: My first instinct was to mock. But I'm trying to be good here.

Eric Holthaus (phonetic), this is his Tweet storm from this weekend: I'm starting my 11th year working on climate change, including the last four in daily journalism.

Today, I went to see a counselor about it.

PAT: Oh, wow.

STU: I'm saying this because I know many people feel deep despair about climate, especially post election. I struggle every day. You are not alone.

PAT: How much did you struggle over the weekend when it was 11 degrees in Dallas, Texas?

STU: Really freaking cold.

PAT: It was so warm, it had got cold.

GLENN: Now, Pat's first instinct was to mock.

STU: Right.

GLENN: And I'm not saying that's not necessarily a healthy instinct.

PAT: I'm not ignoring that instinct right now.

GLENN: Right.

STU: All of these I want to mock and react viscerally to. I will admit.

GLENN: May I say my fifth instinct is to say you would feel that way had you been living in the last eight years in that bubble of, it's always going to be this way, our side won. Shut up everybody who disagrees with us.

STU: Right. The other party is a regional party that will never win another national election.

GLENN: Correct. And now you're feeling like we felt. So I can relate to you.

STU: So let me give you -- so this is one way of handling it. He says, "There are days when I literally can't work. I'll read a story and shut down for the rest of the day."

PAT: I mean, come on.

JEFFY: Come on.

PAT: How often do we read stories that piss us off, that offend us? Every day, all day.

GLENN: Okay. Let me ask you this. We're sitting here today. What is it? January 6th, 8th? Ninth?

JEFFY: Ninth. National championship day.

GLENN: January 9th.

PAT: That's a good point.

GLENN: We're sitting here January 9th, and we are just a few days away from the Hillary Clinton nomination.

PAT: January 9th. You mean -- like if she won.

GLENN: If she won --

PAT: Yeah.

GLENN: I bet you there would be a lot of people in our audience who would be like, "I can't function."

STU: I think that's true.

GLENN: I do. Look how we were in '12.

STU: They wouldn't go see a counselor.

PAT: We survived Obama twice. Nobody shuts down. I mean, nobody just stays home.

JEFFY: Right.

STU: Right. Republicans --

JEFFY: Barely go to work.

STU: Republicans -- conservatives deal with these problems in different ways.

GLENN: I agree.

STU: The liberal way to handle it is you go and you shut down and you see a counselor about it. That's not how a conservative is going to handle it.

PAT: Yes.

GLENN: I think there are a lot of conservatives, including me, that after Romney in '12, I was like, "I don't know this country. I don't want to look at the news."

STU: Yeah.

PAT: Sure.

JEFFY: But we did come into work every day.

GLENN: We forced ourselves to do it. But there was a lot of people who said, "I unplug. I'm out. I'm out." Now, that's not the same as shutting down and not being able to work, but honestly --

PAT: Not paying attention to the news for a while though. That's different than --

GLENN: But honestly, you work as a climate change activist. That's what you're doing every day. I can see you saying, "Well, why am I doing this?"

PAT: That's a stupid job to begin with. That's a dumb job to begin with.

GLENN: Okay. All right. That's bringing people together. That's good. Like it. Like it. Okay.

JEFFY: He knows it's dumb.

STU: He goes on to say, we don't deserve this planet. There are many days when I think it would be better off without us. And then he says, cue climate denier trolls, which I think is us.

PAT: Climate denier trolls. It's definitely me. Yeah.

GLENN: I don't think the world would be better off without humans.

PAT: It's just so insane.

STU: Yeah, and it goes -- it's a fairly lengthy thing. But, "I don't feel like I make a difference," which is what you were talking about with millennials.

GLENN: And what we felt like. Nobody is listening to me. I can't make a difference.

STU: You feel powerless. You feel like nothing matters. Your relationships suffer. You feel guilty for not doing more, but what the hell am I supposed to do? Write another blog post?

Our Secretary of State is the F-ing Exxon CEO.

Now, as funny as that is to mock, think of how we felt when people like Jeremiah Wright were associating with Barack Obama and they won somehow, and the country embraced that regime.

GLENN: Yes. Yes. Yes.

STU: And you had this guy who was saying, "We need to cling to our God and our guns as president of the United States."

GLENN: How many times did I say seriously, "I'm going to the mountains. What we're doing is not making a damn bit of difference. I'm going to the mountains." There's nothing different from what he's saying, except it's the other side and so we can laugh.

STU: Right.

GLENN: Which we shouldn't do. Because it's the other side.

Pat's like, I know we shouldn't, but I'm going to.

PAT: Exactly.

GLENN: So we may spend the last hour just mocking that guy.

(laughter)

STU: There's two other approaches too that we should get to as well.

GLENN: All right. Hang on just a second. Let me -- I want to read a -- I got a Christmas card from somebody. And I -- this is just the nicest -- this is just the nicest thing.

Dear Glenn, I can't believe it's the end of another year. For SimpliSafe, this year has brought continued growth, both from our loyal customers and our headquarters here in Boston. Eight years ago this month, we sold our first three SimpliSafe systems. I remember taking those orders myself, programming those systems, packing and shipping those first three orders myself. Today, I'm proud to say that this Black Friday, we sold 20,000 systems. It took 200 full-time UPS trucks to deliver those systems

PAT: In one day.

GLENN: Over 200 people on the phones to keep up with all of the orders.

As I watched the UPS trucks leaving our warehouses and walked the call center floor, I was reminded that we wouldn't be here without you and your audience.

As a thank you for your continued partnership, we made a donorship in your honor to Operation Underground Railroad.

Wishing you peace, success, continued joy. Blah, blah.

PS, I thought you might appreciate holding on to a little piece of our shared history. Enclosed is the first fully functioning camera prototype. You helped us build it. Thanks again.

STU: Oh, wow.

GLENN: So they sent me this prototype of their security camera that is now out.

I remember them bringing this to my office years ago and saying, "This is what we're working on. We're going to change the way home security is done." And I remember saying, "So what are you -- no wires. Everything is Bluetooth. Everything, you'll be able to do yourself and then explaining the vision to me and thinking, "This is fantastic."

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(OUT AT 9:49AM)

GLENN: Let me go to Rebecca in Ohio. Hello, Rebecca, you're on the Glenn Beck Program.

CALLER: Hey, Glenn.

GLENN: How are you?

CALLER: Good. How are you?

GLENN: Very good.

CALLER: So I wanted to call in because actually the interview that you had been sharing, I had actually seen a few days ago. And not only am I a millennial. I'm 25 years old. But I'm also a senior photographer. And I think many of the issues that you guys covered today, I guess I didn't notice them until it was brought to my attention.

Over the last few years, I've been doing senior photographer. And it seems like year after year, the communication during the sessions, when I'm trying to talk with my client, has become less and less.

And so when I'm, you know, photographing them, I'm trying to get to know them, they kind of stare down at their feet. They don't know what to say. They're becoming more awkward.

And at first, I thought, maybe it was just me. Maybe, you know, I'm not catering to them in a certain way.

But then afterwards, they would contact me on social media and go, "Oh, my gosh, I loved my session. And they would write these amazing reviews."

And I'm thinking, "Oh, my gosh, well, I thought that went horrible," but I guess that they find their confidence in the technology, and they find themselves expressing themselves better through technology and social media, more than even in person. Like, I can rarely get eye contact.

JEFFY: Oh, yeah.

GLENN: Wow, that's disturbing.

PAT: Interesting. And, yeah.

GLENN: Yeah, disturbing.

CALLER: Yeah, and it's gotten worse.

Like, you know, I started in 2010. And it seems like this year has been the worst.

Now, I love them to death. They're all very sweet. They're actually a lot better than the teenagers that I grew up with, when we were their age.

They aren't caddy anymore. They're not so critical. They're actually very loving, and they're very understanding and stuff. But it seems like, you know -- like you guys had been saying, they get their confidence through social media. And it seems like maybe they can express themselves better that way.

GLENN: Well, it's a safe zone.

CALLER: Yeah, absolutely.

GLENN: They know they won't encounter any kind of pushback, and they don't know how to say the things to people's faces.

JEFFY: Yeah, they haven't developed that at all.

GLENN: None. There's --

PAT: So when they get the pushback, they don't want to hear that. And that's why they're developing safe zones in colleges and all of that.

JEFFY: Right.

GLENN: But that's being empowered. I think they would take it if the adults in the classroom would say, "Sorry, dude, that's the way it is. Now, fight back. Come on. Deal with it. Show me the other side."

PAT: That's the way it is. That's life. Right. Deal with it.

CALLER: Yeah, you're not making it okay anymore to be wrong and to listen and to be understanding. It's like that's an embarrassment and that's awkward. It's like you have to be perfect in all aspects. And that's why on social media, they can delete that picture. They can, you know, backspace on their message before they send or post or anything like that.

GLENN: Yep.

PAT: Uh-huh.

GLENN: You know, it's amazing, I got a picture book from my daughter, who has my two grandchildren, for Christmas.

CALLER: Aw.

GLENN: And I looked at all the pictures, and they were beautiful. It was perfect. Then I went back and looked at some of the pictures, you know, from our family.

PAT: Uh-huh.

GLENN: Very few of them are perfect.

JEFFY: Oh, yeah. No way.

GLENN: I mean, they're usually somebody looking very dorky in the picture. That's real life. You know, that is what we are failing to teach is, there isn't a PhotoShop for life.

As we move along this endless primary season, we implement our first major adjustments to our power rankings model. Because of all the changes on the model itself, we'll keep the write ups short this week so that we can get an update posted before we hit the second round of debates.

There are now 40 separate measures of candidate performance which are summarized by the 0-100 score that helps us makes sense out of this chaos.We also have a new style of graphs, where the section highlighted in blue will show the progress (or lack thereof) made by each candidate over the life of their campaign.

In this update, we have our first campaign obituary, a couple of brand new candidates (when will it ever stop) and plenty of movement up top.

Let's get to it.

In case you're new here, read our explainer about how all of this works:

The 2020 Democratic primary power rankings are an attempt to make sense out of the chaos of the largest field of candidates in global history. Each candidate gets a unique score in at least thirty categories, measuring data like polling, prediction markets, fundraising, fundamentals, media coverage, and more. The result is a candidate score between 0-100. These numbers will change from week to week as the race changes. The power rankings are less a prediction on who will win the nomination, and more a snapshot of the state of the race at any given time. However, early on, the model gives more weight to fundamentals and potentials, and later will begin to prioritize polling and realities on the ground. If you're like me, when you read power rankings about sports, you've already skipped ahead to the list. So, here we go.

See previous editions here.

Campaign Obituary #1

The Eric Swalwell Campaign

California State Congressman

April 8, 2019 - July 8, 2019

Lifetime high: 20.2

Lifetime low: 19.5

I ended my initial profile on Eric Swalwell with this:

"There's a certain brand of presidential candidate that isn't really running for president. That's Eric Swalwell."

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It's now more true than ever that Swalwell isn't running for president, because he has officially dropped out of the race.

To any sane observer, Swalwell never had a chance to win the nomination. This was always about raising his profile with little downside to deter him from taking money and building a list of future donors.

In one of many depressing moments in his FiveThirtyEight exit interview, he noted that one of his supporters told him he definitely thought he'd eventually be president, but it wasn't going to happen this time. (This supporter was not identified, but we can logically assume they also have the last name Swalwell.)

Swalwell did outline a series of reasons he thought his ridiculous campaign might have a chance.

  1. He was born in Iowa. After all, people from Iowa will surely vote for someone born in Iowa, even if they escaped as soon as possible.
  2. He had what he believed was a signature issue: pretending there was no such amendment as the second amendment.)
  3. He's not old.

It was on point number three where Swalwell made his last stand. In an uncomfortably obvious attempt to capture a viral moment that would launch his fundraising and polling status, Swalwell went after Joe Biden directly.

"I was 6 years old when a presidential candidate came to the California Democratic Convention and said it's time to pass the torch to a new generation of Americans. That candidate was then-Senator Joe Biden." This pre-meditated and under-medicated attack, along with Swalwell's entire campaign future, was disassembled by a facial gesture.

Biden's response wasn't an intimidation, anger, or a laugh. It was a giant smile that somehow successfully communicated a grandfathery dismissal of "isn't that just adorable."

Of course, headlines like this didn't help either:

Eric Swalwell is going to keep comparing the Democratic field to 'The Avengers' until someone claps

The campaign of Eric Swalwell was pronounced dead at the age of 91 days.

Other headlines:

Eric Swalwell ends White House bid, citing low polling, fundraising

Republicans troll Swalwell for ending presidential campaign

Eric Swalwell Latest 'Cringe' Video Brags About Omar Holding his 'White' Baby

Eric Swalwell's message to actor Danny Glover is 'the cringiest thing I've ever seen in a hearing'

Eric Swalwell's 'I Will Be Bold Without The Bull' Bombs

25. Joe Sestak 11.0 (Debut) Former Pennsylvania State Congressman

Joe Sestak is a former three-star admiral who served in Congress for a couple of years in the late 2000s. Besides his military service, his most notable achievement is figuring out a way to get Pat Toomey elected in a purple state.

With Arlen Specter finally formalizing his flip from Republican to Democrat in 2009, he was expected to cruise to reelection. However, Sestak went after him in the primary, and was able to knock him off in the by eight points. Sestak then advanced to face Republican Pat Toomey in the general election. He lost by two points during the Tea Party wave election of 2010.

Needless to say, losing to the former president of the fiscally conservative Club For Growth isn't exactly an accomplishment that is going to help Sestak in the Democratic presidential primary.

Unfortunately, with the current state of the party— his distinguished service in the Navy probably isn't helpful either.

Other headlines:

Joe Sestak on the issues, in under 500 words

Joe Sestak, latest 2020 candidate, says it's not too late for him to gain traction

Sestak aims to 'heal the soul of America' with presidential bid

Joe Sestak Would Move the US Embassy 'Back Out of Jerusalem'

24. Mike Gravel: 12.5 (Previous: 24th / 15.3) Former US Senator from Alaska

CANDIDATE PROFILE

Gravel was able to get celebrities and other candidates to send out pleas to raise funds in effort to get above 65,000 donations and qualify for the second debate.

We may never know if it was grift or incompetence, but Gravel probably should have known that crossing this line made no difference. He'll still be yelling at the TV when the debate starts.

Other headlines:

Gravel meets donor threshold to qualify for Democratic primary debate

Gravel spends a bit of cash to run an ad against Joe Biden in Iowa

Mike Gravel: Why the American People Need Their Own Legislature

Mike Gravel Is the Anti–Joe Biden

23. Wayne Messam: 12.7 (Previous: 23rd / 15.8) Mayor of Miramar, FL

CANDIDATE PROFILE

Messam has made no impact in this race so far, and has fundraising numbers that don't even get into the six digits, let alone seven. He's not really running a campaign at this point, so there's no real downside in staying in for now.

Other headlines:

Wayne Messam: Money Kept Me Out of the First Democratic Debate. Will It Keep Me Out of the Second?

22. Seth Moulton 17.2 (Previous 20th / 21.5) US Rep. from Massachusetts 

CANDIDATE PROFILE

Seth Moulton is the invisible man on the campaign trail. Most people don't even know who he is when they're talking to him. His appeal to the Democratic party is heavily flavored with his military service and appeal to patriotism.

Good luck with that Seth.

Other headlines:

Moulton: Buttigieg Was a Nerd at Harvard

Moulton: Democrats shouldn't go on 'moral crusade' against Trump

Moulton talks reclaiming patriotism from Trump, Republicans

Moulton: 'Trump is going to be harder to beat than many Democrats like to believe'

Presidential candidates hear challengers' footsteps at home

21. Tim Ryan 18.4 (Previous: 18th / 24.3) US Rep. from Ohio

CANDIDATE PROFILE

Tim Ryan's first debate performance was so bad he lost about a quarter of his score with this update. He's not without a plan to get that support back though. He wants to bring hot yoga to the people.

Other headlines:

Tim Ryan on CNN: Trump 'clearly has it out for immigrants'

Ryan Falls Way Behind in Q2 Fundraising Race, New Poll

20. Marianne Williamson 20.7 (Previous: 21st / 20.6) Author, Lecturer, Activist

CANDIDATE PROFILE

Williamson is not going to be the nominee for the Democrats, but if you throw a debate watch party, she might supply the most entertainment. So much so, Republicans have started to donate to her campaign to keep her in future debates.

Other headlines:

"I call her a modern-day prophet": Marianne Williamson's followers want you to give her a chance

Williamson Uses Anime to Explain 2020 Candidate's Holistic Politics

What Marianne Williamson and Donald Trump have in common

Marianne Williamson's Iowa director joins John Delaney's 2020 campaign

19. John Hickenlooper 22.5  (Previous: 11th / 32.0) Former Gov. of Colorado 

CANDIDATE PROFILE

Hickenlooper has been shedding campaign advisors at a relatively furious pace as he admits "there's just a bunch of skills that don't come naturally to me" when it comes to campaigning.

Probably best to pick another line of work.

Other headlines:

Hickenlooper defends campaign fundraising to The Onion: 'The race is wide open'

WP: 'You are who?' The lonely presidential campaign of John Hickenlooper

Gary Hart Warns John Hickenlooper Against Campaigning On Bipartisanship Message

Hickenlooper refuses to condemn protesters who hoisted Mexican flag at ICE facility


18. Michael Bennet 27.4 (Previous: 14th / 28.8) US Senator from Colorado

CANDIDATE PROFILE

Michael Bennet is a bit of a boring no name, but give him credit for actually trying to differentiate himself from the field. He's one of the only candidates willing to criticize his socialist opponents from the center, calling out the open borders crowd and student debt. Obviously this has no chance of success in the democratic party, but at least he's trying.

Other headlines:

George Will touts Bennet to beat Trump in 2020

Bennet: America doesn't know what the Democratic Party stands for

17. Steve Bullock 28.3 (Previous: 16th / 27.7) Gov. of  Montana 

CANDIDATE PROFILE

Bullock's biggest moment of his campaign, and quite possibly his only important moment , will come in this round of debates. He missed the first round, but squeaks in for round two after Eric Swalwell decided to take his zero percent and go home.

Bullock has a theoretical argument that doesn't look half bad on paper, but it seems impossible for another "moderate*" to make noise with Biden still hanging around.

(*-None of these moderates are actually moderate.)

Other headlines:

For Democratic presidential hopeful Steve Bullock, it's all about the 'dark money'

Steve Bullock hates 'dark money.' But a lobbyist for 'dark money' donors is helping his campaign.

Steve Bullock looking to introduce himself as someone who won in Trump country

Bullock said he's not one to eliminate all student-loan debt

Steve Bullock raises $2 million for 2020 bid in second quarter, campaign says

Lowering of state flag at capitol draws criticism

15. John Delaney 29.5 (Previous 19th / 20.3) Former US Rep. from Maryland 

CANDIDATE PROFILE

The power ranking model likes Delaney more than voters seem to like him. He continues to pour his own money into the race and at some point you have to believe someone in his life stops him from setting his cash on fire.

He did steal a key advisor from Marianne Williamson's campaign, which doesn't seem like a path to success.

Other headlines:

Delaney: "Non-Citizens Are Not Covered By My 'Better Care' Plan, But…"

Delaney says he opposes decriminalizing border crossings

Undaunted by low polling, John Delaney keeps his show on the road

Delaney presidential campaign theme: fix what's broken, keep what works

14. Andrew Yang 30.0 (Previous: 15th / 28.3) Attorney and Entrepreneur 

CANDIDATE PROFILE

Before the campaign started, if you would have said Yang would be in the middle of the pack at this point, he probably would be happy with that result. His embrace of quirky issues like banning robocalls, giving everyone free cash, and spending $6 billion to fix the nations malls is enough to keep him in the news.

His fundraising was decent, and he remains an interesting and thoughtful candidate. But, Yang has a better chance of dropping out and running on a third party ticket than winning in this Democratic Party.

You do have to wonder how long it will be before the word "Math" moves from his campaign slogan to the reason he needs to drop out.

Other headlines:

Andrew Yang Is Targeting The 'Politically Disengaged' To 'Win The Whole Election'

You can't turn truck drivers into coders, Andrew Yang says of job retraining

Yang's plan to give $1000 a month to everyone is popular with young, poor Democrats

13. Jay Inslee 31.4 (Previous: 12th / 30.4) Gov. of Washington state

CANDIDATE PROFILEf

Expect Inslee to capture the king-czar-chancellor role of the new climate police or whatever draconian nightmare the actual Democratic nominee creates if they win.

In the meantime, he should try to avoid cringe inducing nonsense like this.

Other headlines:

Presidential hopeful Jay Inslee says Trump's immigration policies will 'end his presidency'

Crowd roars for Elizabeth Warren, Jay Inslee follows to tepid applause

Inslee on listening to Carole King, wanting an anchor tattoo

Inslee Says He Tried to Arrest Fleeing Republicans


12. Tulsi Gabbard 33.4 (Previous: 13th / 28.8) US Rep. for Hawaii 

CANDIDATE PROFILE

Tulsi Gabbard really wants to be Joe Biden's vice president. Or, at least, she wants to hold an important role in his cabinet, like Secretary of Defense.

Gabbard has been running interference for Biden, aggressively going after Kamala Harris for her very successful but substance free bussing attack, while hammering Harris as not qualified to be President. These have been among the harshest criticisms levied by any candidate in the race so far, and there is definitely a purpose to all of it. Her presence in the same debate as Biden and Harris should be something Harris prepares herself for. Expect incoming fire.

Along with Yang, Gabbard remains among the most interesting Democratic candidates to Republicans and Libertarians, which is not helpful to her chances of actually winning the Democratic party nod.

Other headlines:

Gabbard says Harris used "political ploy" to "smear" Biden on raced

Which U.S. Wars Were Justifiable? Tulsi Gabbard Names Only World War II

Tulsi Gabbard Says It's A 'Good Thing' Trump Met With Kim Jong Un

Gabbard Sympathizes With Amash, Says the Two-Party System Sucks

Tulsi Gabbard Files Bill To Study Hemp's Uses For Just About Everything

Gabbard: '14-year-old girl hacked into a replica of Florida's election system'

11. Tom Steyer 33.5 (Debut) Billionaire hedge fund manager

Tom Steyer is a Democratic billionaire that has spent millions plastering his face all over MSNBC for the past two years begging people to consider impeaching Donald Trump.

The campaign power ranking model loves Steyer's potential because of his unlimited money and theoretical ability to put together a serious campaign team.

All of this is theory at this point though, as the millions spent so far has lead to a giant pile of zilch. If he's serious enough, he should be able to buy his way into the low single digits, and squeak his way into a debate or two.

Steyer's billionaire status isn't an obvious fit as the party of inequality attempts to take down Donald Trump. But, he does have legitimate movement credibility, tons of cash to buy support, and a long developed immunity to embarrassment—so the sky is the limit.

Other headlines:

Tom Steyer on the issues, in under 500 words

Tom Steyer announces 2020 bid, reversing course

Why We're Not Treating Tom Steyer As A 'Major' Candidate (Yet)

Steyer banks on South Carolina in 1st presidential bid stop

10. Kirsten Gillibrand 37.1 (Previous: 9th / 36.7) US Senator from New York

CANDIDATE PROFILE

There is probably no candidate that enters the second round of debates more clearly in do-or-die mode than Gillibrand. With headlines like "The Ignoring of Kirsten Gillibrand" lighting up her feed, she needs something big to happen, and fast. Her performance in the first debate wasn't actually horrible, but still went unnoticed.

She has zero percent in lots of polls, and that includes all of the benefits she says she's received from white privilege. Imagine if she didn't have that going for her.

Other headlines:

Gillibrand: I'd Tell Concerned Coal Miner the Green New Deal Is 'Just Some Bipartisan Ideas'

Struggling in White House bid, Democrat Gillibrand seeks bump in Trump country

Gillibrand Annoyed by Question About Immigration 'Reversal'

9. Robert Francis O’Rourke 40.7 (Previous: 6th / 52.8) Former state Rep. from Texas

CANDIDATE PROFILE

The free fall continues for Betomania.

When campaigns show signs of death, reporters start to write long profiles that aim to tell the story of the demise, or launch the amazing comeback.

Politico's headline (What Beto O'Rourke's Dad Taught Him About Losing) probably wasn't all that helpful.

Beto did secure Willie Nelson's vote though, meaning he can now count on 2 votes, assuming his "Republican" mother votes for him.

Other headlines:

Welcome to America—It's a Hell Hole!

A desperate Beto O'Rourke goes for broke, claims America was founded on white supremacy

Beto O'Rourke finds 'personal connection' to slavery, argues for reparations to unite 'two Americas'

Beto boldly vows not to prosecute people for 'being a human being'Rebooto O'Rourke

Fact Checker: Has Beto O'Rourke visited the most Iowa counties? No.


Beto O'Rourke: Let's Forgive All Student Loan Debt For Teachers

8. Amy Klobuchar 42.9 (Previous: 8th / 41.9) US Senator from Minnesota 

CANDIDATE PROFILE

Klobuchar has been a massive underachiever so far, but is still sticking around in that third tier of candidates. Along with Beto, Booker, and maybe Castro— they aren't exactly eliminated, but can't seem to catch fire. Or even get warm.

Klobuchar would serve herself well to focus on the fundamentals and avoiding desperate pleas for attention if she wants to remain in the Biden VP sweepstakes. Or she could totally shake things up by throwing binders at her opponents in the debate.

Other headlines:

Klobuchar: I Don't Support Open Borders Like Warren, Castro

Deportation raids are about distracting from issues: Amy Klobuchar

Klobuchar hoping 'nice' finishes first

Sports bookmakers put Klobuchar as "heavy underdog" in presidential race

7. Julian Castro 43.2 (Previous: 10th / 34.5) Former Secretary of Housing and Urban Development

CANDIDATE PROFILE

Castro is a good example of how overblown debates can be. His first debate performance was quite solid, but did more to sink Robert Francis O'Rourke than actually help his own candidacy.

One more good debate performance should be enough to get him into the next round of debates, as he has already passed the donor threshold. Polling, however, has been elusive. Perhaps there is a swath of America that is uncomfortable voting for a Castro for president, like say, all of south Florida?

Still, in a field of a zillion candidates that have shown no potential, he stands out as a long shot with a punchers chance to make some noise. This is reflected with a nice bump in his score for this update.

Other headlines:

Julián Castro Doubles Down On Decriminalizing Migration: Repeal Felony For Reentry, Too

Julian Castro: 'Instead of breaking up families, we should break up ICE'

Bill Maher rips Julián Castro for remark about abortion for trans women

Julián Castro declines to hold baby

Julián Castro can't speak Spanish

Julian Castro wants to solve homelessness by 2028

A consulting firm made specifically to prevent sexual harassment is providing Castro and other 2020 campaigns advice and training

5. Pete Buttigieg 65.8 (Previous: 2nd / 68.8) Mayor of South Bend, IN

CANDIDATE PROFILE

There probably isn't a campaign that has been more bizarre than Mayor Pete. He was a complete nobody to the public, though as we initially noted, he had support from a bunch of Obama era celebrinerds.

This helped him rise to a top tier candidate with all the money and momentum to make a run at the nomination. Since then we've seen a complete fizzle. He is using the cash to build the infrastructure to make himself a serious candidate, and he should last a while, but he probably must win Iowa to have a chance at the nomination.

Also, finding one African American who will vote for him would be nice.

Other headlines:

Pete Buttigieg goes on hiring spree after top fundraising quarter.

Buttigieg, Struggling With Black Voters, Releases Plan to Address Racial Inequities

South Bend police call out Buttigieg for sending pizza rather than apology after race comments

CNN's Axelrod Rips Buttigieg: Blacks Doing Worse Under His Leadership

Only Pete Buttigieg gets standing ovation from Corn Feed audience

New Republic Drops Out Of Climate Forum Over Backlash To Pete Buttigieg Op-Ed

Pete Buttigieg says it's "almost certain" we've had gay presidents

Pete Buttigieg Sets Hollywood Fundraisers With Ellen DeGeneres, Chelsea Handler and More

4. Elizabeth Warren 70.4 (Previous: 5th / 53.4) US Senator from Massachusetts 

CANDIDATE PROFILE

Looking back at my initial analysis of this field, I'd say it's played out pretty closely to what I expected. Warren has surprised me though.

In an election where beating Trump is the most important characteristic for democratic voters, she seems to be grown in a lab to lose to him. She comes across as a stern elementary school principal who would make kids terrified to be called into her office, because she'd bore them to death by reading them the handbook.

Her DNA kit roll out was so catastrophic, I assumed democrats would see that her political instincts are awful. When put under the intense pressure Trump is sure to bring, she's going to collapse, and I figured democrats would recognize that.

Instead, she's in the top tier. This rise has been legitimately impressive for Warren.

It's also a dream come true for Donald Trump.

Other headlines:

The Activist Left Already Knows Who It Wants for President

Netroots Nation was the day Elizabeth Warren became president of the American left

Elizabeth Warren pledges to decriminalize border crossings

Warren plans to increase annual refugee admissions nearly 800 percent from FY2018

Warren, Biden Campaigns Appear to Find Loophole Around Paid Internships

Warren says she'll push to end Israel's 'occupation'

Warren staffer: 'I would totally be friends with Hamas'

Elizabeth Warren reintroduces legislation requiring corporations to disclose climate risk exposure

Elizabeth Warren Wants Reparations For Same-Sex Couples

Elizabeth Warren proposes executive orders to address race and gender pay gap

This is how Elizabeth Warren plans to close the pay gap for women of color

How much would a wealth tax really raise? Dueling economists reflect new split in Democratic Party

Elizabeth Warren Brings Ad Buying In-House

Elizabeth Warren says she raised $19 million in the second quarter of the year

3. Bernie Sanders 71.1 (Previous: 3rd / 67.2) US Senator from Vermont

CANDIDATE PROFILE

Sanders has fallen slowly but steadily in the polls the past couple of months, and while not every metric yet reflects it, the socialist wing seems more likely represented by Warren.

That being said, Bernie holds her off for third place. Warren and Bernie have reportedly struck a truce to not attack each other, an arrangement which benefits Warren far more than Sanders.

Bernie's machine and name recognition continues to keep him near the top of the heap, but one wonders how long that lasts as name recognition for other candidates get higher, and Iowa gets closer.

No matter if he wins or loses, he's moved the Overton window of the party in a dramatic way. And don't underestimate the appeal of his Medicare-for-all-humankind dream. Bernie may be too old and cranky to see socialized health care into the end zone, but he has advanced that ball much further than he had any right to.

Other headlines:

Bernie Sanders has 'deep sense of satisfaction' his positions are now 'centrist' among Dems

Bernie Sanders: I Will Cancel All $1.6 Trillion Of Your Student Loan Debt

Sanders hits back at Biden over criticism of 'Medicare for All'

Bernie Sanders: Nancy Pelosi shouldn't 'alienate' freshmen House Democrats

Why Sanders Wanted His Meeting With a Rabbi Kept Secret

Bernie Sanders Says Being the First Jewish President Would Be 'Another Barrier Broken Down'

Liberal billionaire calls Bernie Sanders a 'Communist' and 'a disaster zone'

Blackstone's Byron Wien: Markets are terrified of far-left Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren

Antiwar candidate Bernie Sanders faces backlash over the $1.2 trillion war machine he brought to Vermont

The time Bernie Sanders ranted about baseball in a low-budget film

Bernie Sanders shows off sword Ross Perot gave him

Bernie Sanders Raises $18 Million in 3 Months, Trailing Buttigieg

2. Kamala Harris 79.2 (Previous: 4th / 65.9) US Senator from California 

CANDIDATE PROFILE

Harris has given back a good chunk of her post debate bounce, which is to be expected. While she rockets to number two in the power rankings, there are a few things to worry about.

The difference between Warren and Harris is notable. The candidates are nearly tied in most polls, but much of the strength of Harris is based on one spectacular moment. Warren alternatively seems to have a lower ceiling, but a stronger foundation.

The good news for Harris is she does incredibly well among voters that are actually paying attention, while her weakness lies with those who haven't really tuned in yet.

At some point, Harris has to clean up her mess of a policy package, which includes supporting a Bernie style Medicare for All without the Bernie style middle class tax hikes-- a combination that even the left admits makes no sense.

Quotes like this still feel way too accurate, "She's the easy-to-listen-to, poorly defined identity candidate." This needs to be sorted out eventually if she's actually going to win.

Other headlines:

It's Hard To Have A Conversation With Kamala Harris When She Doesn't Even Know What She's Talking About

Kamala Harris: Immigration Raids Are 'A Crime Against Humanity', there are 'babies in cages'

Harris doubles down on criticism of Biden's busing comments on The View

Mother Jones: Kamala Harris Wants to Bring Back Busing? Really?

Kamala Harris's Call for a Return to Busing Is Bold and Politically Risky

Race is 'America's Achilles' heel,' Harris tells African-American group

Kamala Harris claims her campaign is being targeted by Russian bots, also says she's not a plan factory

Harris proposes $100 billion plan to increase minority homeownership

What's Kamala Harris's record on Israel?

Kamala Harris Called Young People "Stupid" in 2015

Kamala Harris lags behind top-tier candidates in Q2 fundraising

Utah man arrested after alleged scheme to plan fake Kamala Harris fundraiser

1. Joe Biden 80.8 (Previous: 1st / 82.3) Former US Senator from Delaware and Former Vice President

CANDIDATE PROFILE

Biden's polling has mostly rebounded to his pre-debate status and he remains the favorite to be the nominee.

He can't survive too many more performances like his first debate however, and he needs to show voters that he can stand up to the heat President Trump is going to bring. In other words, don't get smoked again, fall over on your walker, or look like your dentures are going to fall out in the middle of a debate.

This is a real test for Biden's candidacy. He's had time to prepare, and he's had time to stretch the old muscles. No more excuses.

If Joe can get spry, he probably wins the nomination. But, that is far from a sure thing.

Other headlines:

NBC/WSJ poll: Biden tops 2020 Democratic field...

Joe Biden Decides He Doesn't Need to Stay Above the Fray After All

Biden campaigns as Obamacare's top defender

Biden says Democrats haven't been straightforward about 'Medicare for All'

Biden under fire for mass deportations under Obama

Biden refuses to apologize for high deportation numbers during Obama years

Joe Biden's campaign office opens in Philly with a protest, not a party

AOC: Segregationist controversy and debate performance raised question Biden could be too old for office

Are Biden's Apologies Killing His Electability Argument?

Liberal activists at Netroots Nation bet Joe Biden drops out of race

Joe and Jill Biden have made $15M since leaving White House

How Joe Biden, who called himself 'the poorest man in Congress,' became a multimillionaire

Penn Paid Joe Biden $775,000 to Expand Its "Global Outreach" … and Give Some Speeches

Biden: 'Occupation is a real problem'Joe Biden raised $21.5 million in second quarter, campaign announces

Joe Biden: I Promise To 'End The Forever Wars In Afghanistan And Middle East'

Joe Biden promises to 'cure cancer' if elected president

No, stealth Obamacare won’t fix the failed status-quo

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Another day, another proposed fix to a pressing national problem by a Democratic presidential hopeful. Former Vice President Joe Biden has positioned himself as the "moderate" leader of the Democratic Party, putting pressure on him to come up with a "sensible" alternative to Sen. Sanders' (I-Vt.) Medicare for All plan. But Biden's healthcare proposal, released July 15, doubles down on flawed, top-down solutions without offering any new ideas. Presidential hopefuls should instead pledge to unleash market innovation and lower healthcare prices for all.

Of course, a former vice president will inevitably find it difficult to make a clean policy break from the administration he has repeatedly hailed and defended. Biden's tenure as vice president made him into a second-tier political rockstar, and it makes sense that he's reluctant to separate himself from former President Obama's Affordable Care Act (aka "Obamacare"). It's also no surprise that "Bidencare" preserves Obamacare's disastrous expansion of Medicaid, the federal government's insurance program for low-income Americans. His plan even provides a public option for residents of states that have not expanded Medicaid. Perhaps more surprising, or just disappointing, is how thoroughly the Democratic orthodoxy has embraced government medical insurance even at gargantuan cost, despite little evidence that it'll work.

RELATED: Medicare for all: Obamacare was only the first step

Back when he was a heartbeat away from the presidency, Biden vigorously defended Obamacare, criticizing Republican governors for failing to expand Medicaid and predicting that all states would eventually see the light. That never quite happened (as of now, 17 states wisely refuse to expand health insurance targeted at low-income Americans). But the Obama administration tried to cajole red and purple states into expanding the Medicaid eligibility threshold "up to 138 percent of the poverty level." Nevertheless, states such as Texas, Florida, and North Carolina wisely considered the evidence that Medicaid was breaking the bank — without helping the poor get access to the care they needed.

This evidence isn't just based on one or two stray studies produced by the "right" think-tank. In June 2018, Health Affairs published a blockbuster analysis of 77 studies on Medicaid's effectiveness, and the results may be disappointing for fans of government-provided insurance. Around 60 percent of the studies included in the meta-analysis found that health status and quality of care failed to improve for low-income patients after Medicaid expansion. The analysis also finds that a majority (56 percent of studies) found no improvement in the financial performance of hospitals post-Medicaid expansion. This finding contradicts claims by Obama, Biden and co. that Medicaid expansion would shift patients from the emergency room to doctor's offices, lowering system-wide costs.

These findings are scandalous for an expansion program that costs federal taxpayers at least $70 billion per year. How could all of this money be failing to improve outcomes? Plausibly, the types of institutions that accept Medicaid are larger facilities that aren't as great at delivering quality health-care as smaller offices? The copious paperwork and documentation required by the program don't really allow smaller facilities the bandwidth to deal with Medicaid in an efficient manner. Yet this documentation is necessary to curb rampant fraud in the program that costs taxpayers tens of billions of dollars each year.

Greater Medicaid funding and corresponding anti-waste measures fail to address the cancer undermining the healthcare system: sky-high drug prices and expensive medical equipment.

Greater Medicaid funding and corresponding anti-waste measures fail to address the cancer undermining the healthcare system: sky-high drug prices and expensive medical equipment. Instead of pushing for ever-higher government spending, a President Biden could push for a streamlined Food and Drug Administration approval process for drugs and medical devices, which would keep medical costs down and give a green light to innovators everywhere. The cost to develop a single medication is now more than $2 billion, and an onerous FDA approval process costs lives by being too risk-averse.

Presidential hopefuls such as Biden should also pledge to work with states to roll-back "certificate of need" laws, which force medical institutions to jump through countless barriers to expand their facilities and invest in new services. It's not just hospitals and their patients that suffer from these needless laws; Harvard medical scholar David Grabowski sums up the evidence that these laws make nursing homes far worse and costlier than they need to be. Getting rid of these laws nationwide would give patients and consumers far more options when shopping around for the care and facilities they need.

The price problem gripping the American healthcare system simply won't go away while regulatory barriers and onerous approval processes continue to stifle the sector. Presidential hopefuls such as Biden can make a dent in this problem by supporting market reforms, instead of doubling-down on failed government healthcare.

Ross Marchand is a Young Voices contributor and the director of policy for the Taxpayers Protection Alliance.

Thomas Jefferson and John Adams both fulfilled their goal of living to see the 50th anniversary of the signing of the Declaration of Independence. Then, both died later that day — July 4, 1826. Adams was 90. Jefferson was 83.

Because of their failing health, Jefferson and Adams each declined many invitations to attend July 4th celebrations. Adams sent a letter to be read aloud at the 50th Independence Day celebration in his local town of Quincy, Massachusetts. He wrote that the Declaration is:

... a memorable epoch in the annals of the human race, destined in future history to form the brightest or the blackest page, according to the use or the abuse of those political institutions by which they shall, in time to come, be shaped by the human mind.

It's remarkable how well the Founders understood human nature and what could happen to the United States. It's the postmodern mindset that increasingly rules the U.S. now. It has infected our institutions and untethered us from the bedrock principles of the Declaration. In its place? Hypocritical and vitriolic partisan righteous indignation.

Less than a century after Adams' and Jefferson's deaths, the most serious attempt to undermine the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution came from America's 28th president — Woodrow Wilson. He wrote:

Some citizens of this country have never got beyond the Declaration of Independence.

As if that's a bad thing.

During Wilson's career as a college professor, he thought deeply and wrote extensively of his contempt for our founding documents. His issue with them formed the core beliefs of Progressivism that are still alive today.

In 1911, before he was elected President, Wilson said in a speech:

I do not find the problems of 1911 solved in the Declaration of Independence ... It is the object of Government to make those adjustments of life which will put every man in a position to claim his normal rights as a living human being.

See what he does there? He completely inverts the Declaration — he's saying, you don't have inherent rights until government puts you in a position to claim them. That's the heart of Progressivism.

In a later speech, Wilson said:

If you want to understand the real Declaration of Independence, do not repeat the preface.

Wilson did not think the equality, natural rights, and consent-of-the-governed parts of the Declaration defined the proper role of government. He preferred the Declaration's list of grievances because they addressed specific problems. That's what he thought government existed to do — solve problems for people. And since people's problems change over time, so should the Constitution and government to keep up with the times.

Wilson said:

No doubt we are meant to have liberty; but each generation must form its own conception of what liberty is.

We hear this sentiment echoed all the time today: follow your heart, find your truth, etc.

Another key to Wilson's Progressive theory of government was human evolution. He thought that because humans were now more enlightened, they could be trusted not to abuse government power. The Declaration's committee of five (Adams, Sherman, Franklin, Livingston and Jefferson) would've laughed Wilson out of the room.

It's hard to believe that less than 150 years after the signing of the Declaration, the U.S. president — Wilson — was saying this:

We are not bound to adhere to the doctrines held by the signers of the Declaration of Independence: we are as free as they were to make and unmake governments. We are not here to worship men or a document. Every Fourth of July should be a time for examining our standards, our purposes, for determining afresh what principles, what forms of power we think most likely to effect our safety and happiness. That and that alone is the obligation the Declaration lays upon us.

Wilson was so effective at imposing his philosophy on government that he forever diverted the U.S. presidency away from the Constitution. Progressives have kept Wilson's torch alive ever since.

Progressives are still hostile to the Declaration of Independence because of this idea of “historical contingency" which holds that truths change over time. Progressives think the “self-evident" truths of the Declaration are outdated and may no longer apply. And that means the Constitution based on those truths may no longer apply either. Wilson and Progressives especially don't like the whole separation of powers thing, because it hinders the fast action they want out of government. They want a justice warrior president who will bring swift change by fiat.

The current trend in attacking the Declaration and Constitution is to tear down the men who wrote them. In late 2015, students at the University of Missouri and the College of William & Mary, placed notes all over the statues of Thomas Jefferson on their respective campuses. The handwritten notes labeled Jefferson things like, “racist," “rapist," “pedophile" (not sure what that one's supposed to mean), “How dare you glorify him," “I wouldn't be here if it was up to him," and “Black Lives Matter."

That is the handiwork of students who are blinded by self-righteous victimhood and can't see the value and merit that the Declaration still holds for us today. After these incidents, Annette Gordon-Reed offered a reasoned defense of Jefferson. Reed is a respected history professor at Harvard Law School, who also happens to be a black woman. She wrote:

I understand why some people think his statues should be removed, but not all controversial figures of the past are created equal. I think Jefferson's contributions to the history of the United States outweigh the problems people have with aspects of his life. He is just too much a part of the American story to pretend that he was not there ... The best of his ideals continue to influence and move people. The statues should be a stimulus for considering all these matters at William & Mary and the University of Missouri.

At the opposite end of the spectrum from Woodrow Wilson's disdain for the Declaration of Independence, Abraham Lincoln loved it. If there is one overarching theme in Lincoln's speeches, it is the Declaration. Lincoln pointed the nation back to the Declaration as a mission statement, which ended slavery and preserved the Union.

Unlike Wilson, who recommended leaving out the Preamble, Lincoln considered it the most vital part. To Lincoln, the self-evident truths were universal, timeless, and more important than the list of grievances. Lincoln wrote that these truths were:

... applicable to all men and all times ... that today, and in all coming days, it shall be a rebuke and a stumbling block to the very harbingers of reappearing tyranny and oppression.

In a speech Lincoln gave in 1861, shortly after he was first elected president, he said:

I have never had a feeling politically that did not spring from the sentiments embodied in the Declaration of Independence… I have often inquired of myself what great principle or idea it was that kept this Confederacy so long together. It was not the mere matter of the separation of the Colonies from the mother-land, but that sentiment in the Declaration which gave liberty, not alone to the people of this country, but, I hope, to the world, for all future time.

Lincoln went on to say that he would rather be assassinated than see the nation forfeit the principles of the Declaration. His Gettysburg Address is a brilliant, concise renewal of the Declaration:

... that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom — and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.

We cannot assume that this radical idea of freedom will always be embraced by Americans. It has found hostility on our shores every step of the way. The Declaration's principles must be continually defended. Because while humans do have certain unalienable rights that are endowed by our Creator, there is darkness in the world, and for some strange reason humans, while valuing freedom, also seem to have a natural bent toward tyranny. That's why we must understand and discuss the Declaration. It's not alarmist. It's not a quaint history lesson. It's a reality, right now, that the fundamental principles of the Declaration are under attack. The Founders would have undoubtedly shuddered at most of the rhetoric from last week's Democratic presidential debates. Left to its own mob devices, even America would turn its back on freedom.

Shortly before his death in 1826, 90-year-old John Adams was asked to recommend a toast that could be given in his honor on July 4th. Adams didn't hesitate. He suggested, “Independence Forever." The small group of visitors silently glanced at each other for a moment, before someone asked Adams if he'd like to add anything else. Adams shifted forward in his chair, leaned on his cane, stared intently at the men, and replied, “Not a word."

China is having its Boston Tea Party moment

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Freedom. It usually begins as a whisper. A secret passed on between patrons at a secluded bar or private meeting. And no matter how hard the tyrants may try and stop it, no matter how many dams they throw up to try and contain it, the whispers eventually become a flood. Sometimes it takes longer to break through, but it's the same EVERY TIME. Liberty and freedom always wins. It's an unstoppable force that knows no immovable object.

For us it was exactly 243 years ago to this month that those whispers became a flood. A group of ragtag colonists took on the world's only superpower —and won. Our forefathers proved it — freedom refuses to recognize tyranny as an immovable object. The world was forever changed.

And I can't help but see the poetic justice as more whispers became a flood, defying their own immovable object, just three days before all of us were buying fireworks to celebrate our Independence Day. But this time it was just off the coast of mainland China.

Last week over a MILLION protesters filled the streets in Hong Kong. Literally a FLOOD of humans looking for one thing — freedom. They stormed the government building that is the equivalent of their Congress. They smashed windows, broke down doors, and a photo was taken that I think just might be the picture of the year.

A British colonial flag, a symbol thrown out when Hong Kong was given back to China, was draped — BY THE PROTESTORS — over the chair of their head of government. I can't restate how historic this actually is. The people of Hong Kong, with a population that is over 90 percent ethnic Han Chinese, are saying to the mainland that they prefer colonial rule over the tyranny of the Chinese government. Leftists would tell you that communism is the remedy for colonialism, but for those living in the dark shadow of communism, they actually prefer colonial rule over what they now face.

The local Hong Kong government is caught between the immovable object of the Chinese communist government, and the unstoppable force of liberty.

When Hong Kong was given back to the mainland, China agreed to allow them a few freedoms that the rest of the Chinese don't enjoy. They're free to engage in protest against the government and they maintain a legislative body — both of which are outlawed on the mainland. But, as every tyrannical oppressor always does, China has been looking to reel that in. Most recently, China attempted to make it possible to extradite dissenters back to Beijing. The result? The quiet whispers of freedom, the secrets told in private at clandestine meetings, became a flood of millions in the streets.

On July 3rd, police began a crackdown. More than 13 people have been arrested so far. If China eventually gets their way, those 13 people will no doubt be the first of many to be extradited over to the mainland. Their crime? The dream of freedom. As of right now, the extradition law has been temporarily delayed. The local Hong Kong government is caught between the immovable object of the Chinese communist government, and the unstoppable force of liberty.

History has shown who will win in the end. Yesterday, over 200,000 protestors gathered at the high speed train station that links mainland China to Hong Kong. The message was just as clear as the British colonial flag hung inside their legislative building. For our forefathers it was symbolized with the Gadsden Flag and the phrase “Death To Tyranny." The message is simple: “we will not be ruled. Freedom knows no immovable object."

News of the protest movement has been censored in mainland China, but how long will they be able to contain THEIR OWN whispers with over two hundred thousand freedom lovers camped out at the bridge between Hong Kong and mainland China? How long before those whispers spread to secret meeting locations in Beijing or Shanghai? How long before that cascades to the Christian and Muslim minorities that are tired of being rounded up and thrown into camps?

We might have just witnessed the Chinese version of the Boston Tea Party. July 4th is still a long way away for them, but — as it does time and time again — freedom and liberty always win in the end.