Glenn interviews legendary sportscaster

GLENN: Third most listened to show in all of America. Hello, you sick twisted freak. Welcome to the program. We have Bob Costas that's going to join us here in just a second. I have to tell you, if you listen to this program, you know I don't know jack about sports. I don't watch it, I don't know anything about it, never have, never followed it. But Bob Costas is probably the one guy, in fact not probably, is the one guy. If I hear his voice, if I'm flipping around on the channels and I see or hear Bob Costas, I stop because, A, I know it must be important; and B, I know it's going to be entertaining. He's beyond a sportscaster. He is just a great storyteller. Bob Costas, is he on with us? Bob, welcome to the program.

COSTAS: Glenn, after that introduction, I refuse to go on with you. Couldn't you be any kinder to me?

GLENN: Well, not really. I don't think so. We spent hours working on that, Bob.

COSTAS: More than I deserve.

GLENN: I have to tell you, I don't know if you know this. I do not know anything about sports. So you're going to have to excuse me from the getgo.

COSTAS: I do know that because in the brief encounters we've had, the very first time I met you, that was sort of your apologetic introduction and I say the same thing, I'll say to somebody when, you know, you're out to dinner and one party or another in the group apologizes to me and says, I know nothing about sports. And not only do I honestly say no apologies needed but at times it's almost a respite because sports is such a common denominator, everybody has an opinion on the Super Bowl or whatever and sometimes I'm more than happy to talk about almost anything else.

GLENN: Yeah, you've got to be the kind of guy that's like a doctor. When you go to cocktail parties, everybody's like, hey, listen, I got this thing growing on my foot.

COSTAS: Right.

GLENN: And the doctor's got to be, oh, jeez, come on, I'm just -- more cocktails, please. It's got to be that way at times where you're just like, can we just stop talking to me about sports?

COSTAS: Yeah. And you know, not only does that happen, and it's almost always good-natured but someone will come up to me on a plane and they will say, Bob, who's going to win the final four? And then I give them my best guess and then they act pained like, oh, no, I wanted it to be UCLA, as if I knew. And I always said, look, if I knew for sure instead of just guessing like you'd be guessing, I wouldn't be on a night to St. Louis. I'd be on my way to Vegas.

GLENN: What's the worst Bob Costas star thing that's ever happened to you? Like we -- I saw you in the bathroom the other day and I remember reading Paul Newman and he said, "I'll never give autographs because I was standing at a your natural and somebody said, you're Paul Newman, can I have your autograph." So we were in the rest room. I didn't say a word, we were in the rest room because, you know, what is the worst Paul Newman, you know, kind of Bob Costas event you've had?

COSTAS: Gee. You've got me stumped now. Oh, I'll give you one and this isn't really the worst. It was actually endearing and entertaining. I'm sitting literally on a bus bench waiting for some NBC colleagues to pull up and pick me up after a practice, the Chicago Bulls practice during the Michael Jordan era and they were playing in Los Angeles and it was a hot Saturday afternoon and they had gone to get a car and I had kind of lingered behind and they were going to swing over and pick me up. So while I'm waiting for them, I sit down at the curve on a bus bench and a homeless guy comes ambling up and he looks as ragged as sometimes those folks do with four or five layers of clothes and he's wearing a Dodger cap and the L.A. insignia's black with grime and he's got sneakers with no laces and he sits down at the other end of the bench and I kind of glance at him and he glances at me and about five seconds go by and he says, so Bob, you think the Lakers have a chance? And now I'm talking to this guy who's homeless but apparently he's got a TV. And I say, well, you know, blah, blah, blah, stop Michael Jordan, whatever. I swear, Glenn, this story's true. And he says to me, so you live in New York, huh? And I said, well, I grew up in New York, I do a lot of work in New York but actually I live in St. Louis. And the next words out of this guy's mouth are, so help me, St. Louis, huh? Are they going to put a Lord and Taylor in that new Galleria there? A homeless guy. I'm mind boggled. So now, now Ahmad Rashad and Marv Albert pull over and they honk the horn and I say, hold on, I've got to interview this guy now. I've got to get to the bottom of it. And I have my own thoughts. I'm thinking maybe he's considering relocating to the midwest and wants to make sure his favorite stores are represented. And I ask him what the deal is and he says, you know, he's only temporarily down on his luck, a business major graduate of USC and every day he reads the business section of the L.A. Times and he had just read an article a few days before about how local economies were being boosted by the building of malls and Gallerias, first with the construction jobs as they went up and then with the service jobs after they open. And I guess the guy just tucked it away as a possible conversational ice breaker in case he bumped into someone from St. Louis who he recognized from doing basketball games on TV. And that's when I say to myself, you know, the switch is such a common denominator, it cuts across everything.

GLENN: Do you have any idea what's happened to this guy since?

COSTAS: You know, I offered him games the next night, I gave him tickets to the game and we have since lost, we have since lost contact. On another occasion I was having dinner in Little Italy and John Gotti and some of his henchmen came in, early 1990s and they had been sitting there just a couple of minutes and the maitre d' came up and said, Mr. Costas, Mr. Gotti would like to buy you a drink and I'm thinking, I may have had enough to drink already but this is in the category of an offer you can't refuse. And I said sure.

GLENN: Yes, sir.

COSTAS: Another bottle of Chianti. And they bring it over. I swear to you, I was with a bunch of friends. So I look over at them, I raise my glass and I say, Mr. Gotti, thank you. He says, Bob, I like your work. I'm thinking, now what am I supposed to say? I like your work, too?

GLENN: I'm a big fan, John.

COSTAS: I'm a big fan. Nice rubout at Sparks Steakhouse?

GLENN: That's great, that's great. Let me take you to Beijing for a second.

COSTAS: Yep.

GLENN: You know, you are going over. You're going to do the Olympics. What do you -- I mean, going back to Munich, this has the potential of being a real powder keg.

COSTAS: It does.

GLENN: What are your thoughts on this?

COSTAS: Well, we generally think -- hope this is true -- that regardless of the other problems that one of the byproducts of the kind of airtight government control that the Chinese exercise is that it's less likely than in some other places, less likely that there will be a specific act of terrorism directed at the games, not impossible but less likely. What seems --

GLENN: Do you think there could be not even, not even necessarily terror but some real bad riots or --

COSTAS: Yeah, there could be. That's just what I was about to say. There almost certainly will be political protests. Some of it will come from within China. Others may come from people outside who look at this as the single best chance to shine a meaningful light on whatever problems they have with the Chinese government. The IOC maybe should have taken this further into account when they granted the games to Beijing. Part of the argument at the time was, look, this is going to actually act as a spur to them to reform. They won't want to look bad on the international stage and this will help to further democratize and modernize their society.

GLENN: Are you going to be able to -- do you have any idea what the television contracts are like? Are you going to be able to cover that stuff if it's not live? Are you going to be able to take a camera out and cover anything that's happening around? Or are they going to shut you guys down?

COSTAS: Well, they talked about denying access to any journalist, denying access to Tiananmen Square among other places. I know negotiations are underway right now to see if they can get that lifted. NBC news is going to be there in full force, Nightly News, the Today Show, MSNBC, CNBC. So we certainly have the resources to cover not just the sports aspect but the news aspect and if the present tone continues or is even heightened, I don't see how you could possibly separate the two. We want to present the events and the pageantry because that is part of the Olympics but if the other sub text is there and it's kind of in our faces, then I don't think we can deny it. On the other hand if people tune in to watch the 100 meter dash final or the platform diving final and one guy in Row Z is holding up a placard of protest, I don't think you need to note that every single time. I don't think that the Olympics and prime time have to be Nightline or 60 Minutes. But when the politics kind of merges with the competition, then I think it's only common sense and responsible to cover that, too.

GLENN: I mean, in a way I feel -- and I feel torn because I think China is damn near evil, if not full out evil. It's kind of good that this has happened because people have gone along, seems like in America people are just like, oh, yeah, well, they're not that bad. Hey, they make products for us. This is a communist regime that is enslaving many of their people. It's not good. And this is a way really it's working out and I think what China was trying for. The people are starting to look at it and go, okay, wait a minute, maybe we shouldn't be involved. Do you think we should boycott the opening ceremonies or boycott all of it or just disregard?

COSTAS: We're not going to boycott all of it. I don't think that's going to happen. I think the President of Jimmy Carter's boycott with the '80 Moscow games of the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, the feeling is that it penalized a lot of athletes and it really didn't do much good. We understood what Carter's motivation was but the outcome didn't back up what his objective was. I think it's still possible that the U.S. and other nations could boycott the opening ceremony but I think President Bush's approach right now is that he would rather use it as a carrot to say, look, don't make me boycott this opening ceremony, don't make me join those nations that are already saying they are going to step aside. Make these changes, give me a good faith understanding that you are going to do some things that we'll be comfortable with and then I'll show up.

GLENN: I mean, Bob, they were sending us lead-covered toys and we didn't do anything. They were sending us toys covered in lead paint.

COSTAS: Yeah, you know, the whole world quivers at the thought of what happened if they were cut out of the Chinese economy.

GLENN: Yeah.

COSTAS: You've got a fifth of the world's population, an economy growing at the rate of more than 10% a year. Without Chinese involvement, if you were to remove that, think of the impact on the American economy and a number of American corporations who are already linked with China. So it's a complicated situation.

GLENN: Hey, let me change the subject to Tiger Woods who I think is the ultimate male. I mean, he's rich, he's good looking, he's a good guy, married to a supermodel, lives a lot of time on a boat. I mean, how sweet is that life?

COSTAS: You can find much to criticize about that.

GLENN: No, you really can't. Let me ask you this. I saw this story last week and it was in, I think Advertising Age or something like that. I didn't even know they did this. Is it really, is it like this with all golfers? This is right from an advertising agent. Nike has already scripted what Tiger Woods is going to wear each day at the Masters. Thursday it's a pink and khaki striped polo shirt with khaki pants, today is a mock black turtleneck with gray plaid pants. Saturday Tiger will wear a white striped polo shirt with black pants. On Sunday a magenta and pink polo with pink vertical stripes and black pants. He is wearing a white hat for the first three rounds and a black hat on Sunday. His wear will be available retail, blah, blah, blah. Final decision has also been made for what he's wearing at the U.S. open. Is it really that scripted for everybody?

COSTAS: Not for everybody. Most of the tough golfers have some kind of connection with one company or another and you'll see they're wearing caps or shirts that promote that company. But Tiger's in a world of his own. When Tiger isn't in a tournament or when he's not high on the leader board, the television ratings plummet. His mere premise jacks the television ratings up and he is -- Nike has taken to the -- I mean, they don't give Tiger Woods, "Hey, what do you wear, Tiger, you wear a large, an extra large, a medium, here it is off the rack." No, they make these things for him form-fitting. He is in perhaps the best physical shape of any golfer we've ever seen. They make these things almost like a superhero outfit for him. You can't take your eyes off of him. He just has such a striking physical presence and they know that in addition to selling golf equipment and what not, people are going to look at Tiger Woods and these outfits and say, hey, where do I get one of those. And Nike will happily sell it to you. The difference is you will not look like Tiger Woods once you put it on.

GLENN: Yeah. You know what, have you noticed he is starting to look more and more like his dad?

COSTAS: Well, I notice he's losing a little bit of hair, which is the one flaw maybe in his physical appearance. When he takes his hat off in celebration times, you can see that, but --

GLENN: I saw a picture. Look at -- let's see. This is the New York Times. Look at the sports page, front sports page of the "New York Times," him at the Masters. I think he is starting to look more and more like his dad. Maybe it's just the shot. Is he the most dominant athlete of all time?

COSTAS: You know, you can make a case that no one has ever been better at their sport than Tiger Woods. As great as Michael Jordan was and he won the six titles and all the scoring championships, I don't think other people felt like they had almost no chance to beat him. The other golfers know that if Tiger has his A game, they're cooked, that they're playing for second place. I don't know that Babe Ruth at his best or Wayne Gretzky at his best or whomever you want to note was better at their sport or as good at their sport as Tiger Woods at his best is to golf. Now, some people would argue that even though golfers clearly aren't athletes, they are not the same as Olympic athletes or basketball players or football players, that maybe it's in a different category. But if we consider them all the same, then I couldn't put anybody ahead of Tiger Woods.

GLENN: Bob, I have to tell you and I don't even know if I want the answer to this one. We had a guy on yesterday and he was introducing John McCain at a rally and he was talking about how heroes now are sports figures and, you know, there are real heroes out there, and sports figures are, you know, guys that, you know, they make money. That's their job. They are not real heroes. And he used Tiger Woods, he said, you take Tiger Woods, I got John McCain. Tiger Woods is probably an exception to that rule. He's a guy that I wouldn't mind my son looking up to because he's worked hard, he's really studied it. He has worked on his craft. He's a decent guy, et cetera, et cetera.

COSTAS: Yeah.

GLENN: Is he really that guy?

COSTAS: Well, I don't know him that well, but from what I know of him, I think he's certainly admirable in many ways. Some people criticize him as they've criticized other black athletes of his generation for not being as outspoken on social issues as some of their predecessors. You know, in that respect he's not a Muhammad Ali or a Bill Russell or a Jackie Robinson or Arthur Ashe or someone like that, although societal conditions have changed and maybe the issues aren't as stark now as they were then but that is one criticism that you'll hear of Tiger Woods or of Michael Jordan. You know, I'm always very reluctant to label a sports figure a hero. You know, when I was a kid, I loved Mickey Mantle. He was a baseball hero but even when I was 10 years old, I wasn't thinking to myself, how can I be like Mickey Mantle as a person. I didn't know Mickey Mantle as a person. He was my favorite baseball player and he was in that context a heroic baseball player. I think what you can do with sports figures is the best of them are metaphors for excellence and determination and you can take something from that. But I don't think you should make the leap that the whole array of human qualities automatically attach themselves to someone who's good at a game.

GLENN: Bob Costas, what a pleasure to have you on. We'll talk to you again soon. Thanks, man.

COSTAS: Bye.

It's time for our April 29, 2019 edition of our Candidate Power Rankings. We get to add two new candidates, write about a bunch of people that have little to no chance of winning, and thank the heavens we are one day closer to the end of all of this.

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.

These power rankings include only announced candidates. So, when you say "WAIT!! WHERE'S XXXXX????" Read the earlier sentence again.

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.

20. Wayne Messam: 13.4 (Last week: 18th / 13.4)

CANDIDATE PROFILE

A former staffer of Wayne Messam is accusing his wife of hoarding the campaign's money.

First, how does this guy have "former" staffers? He's been running for approximately twelve minutes.

Second, he finished dead last in the field in fundraising with $44,000 for the quarter. Perhaps hoarding whatever money the campaign has is not the worst idea.

His best shot at the nomination continues to be something out of the series "Designated Survivor."

Other headlines:

19. Marianne Williamson: 17.1 (Last week: 17th / 17.1)

CANDIDATE PROFILE

Marianne Williamson would like you to pay for the sins of someone else's great, great, great grandparents. Lucky you!

Williamson is on the reparations train like most of the field, trying to separate herself from the pack by sheer monetary force.

How much of your cash does she want to spend? "Anything less than $100 billion is an insult." This is what I told the guy who showed up to buy my 1989 Ford Tempo. It didn't work then either.

Other headlines:

18. John Delaney: 19.7 (Last week: 15th / 20.3)

CANDIDATE PROFILE

Good news: John Delaney brought in $12.1 million in the first quarter, enough for fifth in the entire Democratic field!

Bad news: 97% of the money came from his own bank account.

Other headlines:

17. Eric Swalwell: 20.2 (Last week: 16th / 20.2)

CANDIDATE PROFILE

The Eric Swalwell formula:

  • Identify news cycle
  • Identify typical left-wing reaction
  • Add steroids

Democrats said there was obstruction in the Mueller report. Swalwell said there “certainly" was collusion.

Democrats said surveillance of the Trump campaign was no big deal. Swalwell said there was no need to apologize even if it was.

Democrats said William Barr mishandled the release of the Mueller report. Swalwell said he must resign.

Democrats say they want gun restrictions. Swalwell wants them all melted down and the liquid metal to be poured on the heads of NRA members. (Probably.)

16. Seth Moulton: 20.6 (NEW)

Who is Seth Moulton?

No, I'm asking.

Moulton falls into the category of congressman looking to raise his profile and make his future fundraising easier— not someone who is actually competing for the presidency.

He tried to block Nancy Pelosi as speaker, so whatever help he could get from the establishment is as dry as Pelosi's eyes when the Botox holds them open for too long.

Moulton is a veteran, and his military service alone is enough to tell you that he's done more with his life than I'll ever do with mine. But it's hard to see the road to the White House for a complete unknown in a large field of knowns.

Don't take my word for it, instead read this depressing story that he's actually telling people on purpose:

"I said, you know, part of my job is take tough questions," Moulton told the gathered business and political leaders. "You can ask even really difficult questions. And there was still silence. And then finally, someone in the way back of the room raised her hand, and she said, 'Who are you?' "

Yeah. Who are you?

15. Tim Ryan: 21.6 (Last week: 14th / 20.7)

CANDIDATE PROFILE

When you're talking to less than sixteen people in Iowa one week after your launch, you don't have too much to be excited about.

Ryan did get an interview on CNN, where he also talked to less than sixteen people.

He discussed his passion for the Dave Matthews Band, solidifying a key constituency in the year 1995.

Other headlines:

14. Tulsi Gabbard: 25.2 (Last week: 14th / 25.9)

CANDIDATE PROFILE

Tulsi Gabbard torched Kamala Harris in fundraising!!!!! (Among Indian-American donors.)

No word on who won the coveted handi-capable gender-neutral sodium-sensitive sub-demographic.

She received a mostly false rating for her attack on the Trump administration regarding its new policy on pork inspections, a topic not exactly leading the news cycle. Being from Hawaii, the state which leads the nation in Spam consumption, she was probably surprised when this didn't go mega viral.

Other headlines:

13. Andrew Yang: 27.2 (Last week: 12th / 27.1)

CANDIDATE PROFILE

Yang has a few go-to lines when he's on the campaign trail, such as: "The opposite of Donald Trump is an Asian man who likes math." Another is apparently the Jeb-esque "Chant my name! Chant my name!"

Yang continues to be one of the more interesting candidates in this race, essentially running a remix of the "One Tough Nerd" formula that worked for Michigan Governor Rick Snyder.

I highly recommend listening to his interview with Ben Shapiro, where Yang earns respect as the only Democratic presidential candidate in modern history to actually show up to a challenging and in-depth interview with a knowledgeable conservative.

But hidden in the Shapiro interview is the nasty little secret of the Yang campaign. His policy prescriptions, while still very liberal, come off as far too sane for him to compete in this Stalin look-alike contest.

Other headlines:

12. Jay Inslee: 30.4 (Last week: 11th / 30.4)

CANDIDATE PROFILE

If you read the Inslee candidate profile, I said he was running a one-issue climate campaign. This week, he called for a climate change-only debate, and blamed Donald Trump for flooding in Iowa.

He also may sign the nation's first "human composting" legalization bill. He can start by composting his presidential campaign.

Other headlines:

11. John Hickenlooper: 32.2 (Last week: 10th / 32.0)

CANDIDATE PROFILE

John Hickenlooper was sick of being asked if he would put a woman on the ticket, in the 0.032% chance he actually won the nomination.

So he wondered why the female candidates weren't being asked if they would name a male VP if they won?

Seems like a logical question, but only someone who is high on tailpipe fumes would think it was okay to ask in a Democratic primary. Hickenlooper would be better served by just transitioning to a female and demanding other candidates are asked why they don't have a transgendered VP.

Other headlines:

10. Julian Castro: 35.7 (Last week: 9th / 36.2)

CANDIDATE PROFILE

Lowering expectations is a useful strategy when your wife asks you to put together an Ikea end table, or when you've successfully convinced Charlize Theron to come home with you. But is it a successful campaign strategy?

Julian Castro is about to find out. He thinks the fact that everyone thinks he's crashing and burning on the campaign trail so far is an "advantage." Perhaps he can take the rest of the field by surprise on Super Tuesday when they finally realize he's actually running.

Other headlines:

9. Kirsten Gillibrand: 38.1 (Last week: 8th / 37.8)

CANDIDATE PROFILE

Gillibrand wants you to know that the reason her campaign has been such a miserable failure so far, is because she called for a certain senator to step down. The problem might also be that another certain senator isn't a good presidential candidate.

She also spent the week arm wrestling, and dancing at a gay bar called Blazing Saddle. In this time of division, one thing we can all agree on: Blazing Saddle is a really solid name for a gay bar.

Other headlines:

8. Amy Klobuchar: 45.1 (Last week: 7th / 45.5)

CANDIDATE PROFILE

Klobuchar is attempting a run in the moderate wing of the Democratic primary, which would be a better idea if such a wing existed.

She hasn't committed to impeaching Donald Trump and has actually voted to confirm over half of his judicial nominees. My guess is this will not be ignored by her primary opponents.

She also wants to resolve an ongoing TPS issue, which I assume means going by Peter Gibbons' desk every morning and making sure he got the memo about the new cover sheets.

Other headlines:

7. Elizabeth Warren: 45.3 (Last week: 6th / 46.0)

CANDIDATE PROFILE

Elizabeth Warren is bad at everything she does while she's campaigning. I don't really even watch Game of Thrones, and the idea that Warren would write a story about how the show proves we need more powerful women makes me cringe.

Of course, more powerful people of all the 39,343 genders are welcome, but it's such a transparent attempt at jumping on the back of a pop-culture event to pander to female voters, it's sickening.

We can only hope that when she's watching Game of Thrones, she's gonna grab her a beer.

Other headlines:

6. Cory Booker: 54.9 (Last week: 5th / 55.5)

CANDIDATE PROFILE

Booker is tied with Kamala Harris for the most missed Senate votes of the campaign so far. He gets criticized for this, but I think he should miss even more votes.

Booker is also pushing a national day off on Election Day—because the approximately six months of early voting allowed in every state just isn't enough.

Of course, making it easier to vote doesn't mean people are going to vote for Booker. So he's throwing trillions of dollars in bribes (my word, not his) to seal the deal.

Bookermania is in full effect, with 40 whole people showing up to his appearance in Nevada. Local press noted that the people were of "varying ages," an important distinction to most other crowds, which are entirely comprised of people with the same birthday.

Other headlines:

5. Robert Francis O’Rourke: 60.2 (Last week: 4th /62.6)

CANDIDATE PROFILE

Kirsten Gillibrand gave less than 2% of her income to charity. The good news is that she gave about seven times as much as Beto O'Rourke. Robert Francis, or Bob Frank, also happens to be one of the wealthiest candidates in the race. His late seventies father-in-law has been estimated to be worth as much as $20 billion, though the number is more likely to be a paltry $500 million.

He's made millions from a family company investing in fossil fuels and pharmaceutical stocks, underpaid his taxes for multiple years, and is suing the government to lower property taxes on a family-owned shopping center.

He's also all but disappeared. It's a long race, and you don't win a nomination in April of the year before election day. If he's being frugal and figuring out what he believes, it might be a good move.

But it's notable that all the "pretty boy" hype that Bob Frank owned going into this race has been handed over to Mayor Pete. Perhaps Beto is spending his time working on curbing the sweating, the hand gestures, and the issues with jumping on counters like a feline.

Other headlines:

4. Pete Buttigieg: 62.9 (Last week: 3rd / 62.9)

CANDIDATE PROFILE

When we first put candidates in tiers earlier this year, we broke everyone into five categories from "Front Runners" to "Eh, no." In the middle is a category called "Maybe, if everything goes right," and that's where we put Pete Buttigieg.

Well, everything has gone right so far. But Mayor Pete will be interested to learn that the other 19 candidates in this race are not going to hand him this nomination. Eventually, they will start saying negative things about him (they've started the opposition research process already), and it will be interesting to see how Petey deals with the pressure. We've already seen how it has affected Beto in a similar situation.

The media has spoken endlessly about the sexual orientation of Buttigieg, but not every Democratic activist is impressed. Barney Frank thinks the main reason he's getting this amount of attention is because he is gay. And for some, being a gay man just means you're a man, which isn't good enough.

When you base your vote on a candidate's genitals, things can get confusing.

Other headlines:

3. Kamala Harris: 68.6 (Last week: 1st / 69.1)

CANDIDATE PROFILE

There are a couple of ways to view the Harris candidacy so far.

#1 - Harris launched with much fanfare and an adoring media. She has since lost her momentum. Mayor Pete and former Mayor Bernie have the hype, and Kamala is fading.

#2 - Harris is playing the long game. She showed she can make an impact with her launch, but realizes that a media "win" ten months before an important primary means nothing. She's working behind the scenes and cleaning up with donations, prominent supporters, and loads of celebrities to execute an Obama style onslaught.

I tend to be in category 2, but I admit that's somewhat speculative. Harris seems to be well positioned to make a serious run, locking up more than double the amount of big Clinton and Obama fundraisers than any other candidate.

One interesting policy development for Harris that may hurt her in the primary is her lack of utter disgust for the nation of Israel. There's basically one acceptable position in a Democratic primary when it comes to Israel, which is that it's a racist and terrorist state, existing only to torture innocent Palestinians.

Certainly no one is going to mistake Harris for Donald Trump, but a paragraph like this is poison to the modern Democratic primary voter:

"Her support for Israel is central to who she is," Harris' campaign communications director, Lily Adams, told McClatchy. "She is firm in her belief that Israel has a right to exist and defend itself, including against rocket attacks from Gaza."

Just portraying the rocket attacks as "attacks" is controversial these days for Democrats, and claiming they are responses to attacks indicates you think the Jeeeewwwwwwwws aren't the ones responsible for the start of every hostility. Heresy!

Someone get Kamala a copy of the 'Protocols of the Elders of Zion' before she blows her chance to run the free world.

2. Bernie Sanders: 69.2 (Last week: 2nd / 68.3)

CANDIDATE PROFILE

If Bernie Sanders hates millionaires as much as he claims, he must hate the mirror. As a millionaire, it might surprise some that he donated only 1% to charity. But it shouldn't.

It's entirely consistent with Sandersism to avoid giving to private charity. Why would you? Sanders believes the government does everything better than the private sector. He should be giving his money to the government.

Of course, he doesn't. He takes the tax breaks from the evil Trump tax plan he derides. He spends his money on fabulous vacation homes. He believes in socialism for thee, not for me.

Yes, this is enough to convince the Cardi B's of the world, all but guaranteeing a lock on the rapper-and-former-stripper-that-drugged-and-stole-from-her-prostitution-clients demographic. But can that lack of consistency hold up in front of general election voters?

If Bernie reads this and would like a path to credibility, clear out your bank account and send it here:

Gifts to the United States
U.S. Department of the Treasury
Funds Management Branch
P.O. Box 1328
Parkersburg, WV 26106-1328


Other headlines:

1. Joseph Robinette Biden Jr.: 78.8 (NEW)

Joe has run for president 113 times during his illustrious career, successfully capturing the presidency in approximately zero of his campaigns.

However, when the eternally woke Barack Obama had a chance to elevate a person of color, woman, or anything from the rainbow colored QUILTBAG, he instead chose the oldest, straightest, whitest guy he could find, and our man Robinette was the beneficiary.

Biden has been through a lot, much of it of his own making. Forget about his plagiarism and propensity to get a nostril full of each passing females' hair, his dealings while vice president in both Ukraine and China are a major general election vulnerability— not to mention a legal vulnerability for his children. But hey, win the presidency and you can pardon everyone, right?

His supposed appeal to rust belt voters makes him, on paper, a great candidate to take on Trump. The Clinton loss hinged on about 40,000 voters changing their mind from Hillary to Donald in a few states—the exact areas where victory could possibly be secured by someone named "Middle Class Joe" (as he alone calls himself.)

No one loves Joe Biden more than Joe Biden, and there's a relatively convincing case for his candidacy. But we must remember this unquestionable truth: Joe Biden is not good at running for president.

He's a gaffe machine that churns out mistake after mistake, hoping only to have his flubs excused by his unending charisma. But, will that work without the use of his legendary groping abilities? Only time, and a few dozen unnamed women, will tell.

Also, yes. Robinette is really his middle name.

If only Karl Marx were alive today to see his wackiest ideas being completely paraded around. He would be so proud. I can see him now: Sprawled out on his hammock from REI, fiddling around for the last vegan potato chip in the bag as he binge-watches Academy Awards on his 70-inch smart TV. In between glances at his iPhone X (he's got a massive Twitter following), he sips Pepsi. In his Patagonia t-shirt and NIKE tennis shoes, he writes a line or two about "oppression" and "the have-nots" as part of his job for Google.

His house is loaded with fresh products from all the woke companies. In the fridge, he's got Starbucks, he loves their soy milk. He's got Ben & Jerry's in the freezer. He tells everyone that, if he shaved, he'd use Gillette, on account of the way they stand up for the Have-Nots. But, really, Marx uses Dollar Shave Club because it's cheaper, a higher quality. Secretly, he loves Chic-Fil-A. He buys all his comic books off Amazon. The truth is, he never thought people would actually try to make the whole "communism" thing work.

RELATED: SOCIALISM: This is the most important special we have done

Companies have adopted a form of socialism that is sometimes called woke capitalism. They use their status as corporations to spread a socialist message and encourage people to do their part in social justice. The idea of companies in America using socialism at all is as confusing and ridiculous as a donkey in a prom dress: How did this happen? Is it a joke? Why is nobody bursting out in laughter? How far is this actually going to go? Does someone actually believe that they can take a donkey to prom?

Companies have adopted a form of socialism that is sometimes called woke capitalism.

On the micro level, Netflix has made some socialist moves: The "like/dislike" voting system was replaced after a Netflix-sponsored stand-up special by Amy Schumer received as tidal wave of thumb-downs. This summer, Netflix will take it a step further in the name of squashing dissent by disabling user comments and reviews. And of course most of us share a Netflix account with any number of people. Beyond that, they're as capitalist as the next mega-company.

Except for one area: propaganda. Netflix has started making movie-length advertisements for socialism. They call them "documentaries," but we know better than that. The most recent example is "Knock Down the House," which comes out tomorrow. The 86-minute-long commercial for socialism follows four "progressive Democrat" women who ran in the 2018 midterms, including our favorite socialist AOC.

Here's a snippet from the movie so good that you'll have to fight the urge to wave your USSR flag around the room:

This is what the mainstream media wants you to believe. They want you to be moved. They want the soundtrack to inspire you to go out and do something.

Just look at how the mainstream media treated the recent high-gloss "documentary" about Ilhan Omar, "Time for Ilhan." It received overwhelmingly bad ratings on IMDb and other user-review platforms, but got a whopping 93% on the media aggregator Rotten Tomatoes.

This is exactly what the media wants you to think of when you hear the word socialism. Change. Empowerment. Strength. Diversity. They spend so much energy trying to make socialism cool. They gloss right over the unbelievable death toll. BlazeTV's own Matt Kibbe made a great video on this exact topic.

Any notion of socialism in America is a luxury, made possible by capitalism. The woke companies aren't actually doing anything for socialism. If they're lucky, they might get a boost in sales, which is the only thing they want anyway.

We want to show you the truth. We want to tell you the stories you won't hear anywhere else, not on Netflix, not at some movie festival. We're going to tell you what mainstream media doesn't want you to know.

Look at how much history we've lost over the years. They changed it slowly. But they had to. Because textbooks were out. So people were watching textbooks. It was printed. You would bring the book home. Mom and dad might go through it and check it out. So you had to slowly do things.

Well, they're not anymore. There are no textbooks anymore. Now, you just change them overnight. And we are losing new history. History is being changed in realtime.

RELATED: 'Good Morning Texas' joins Glenn to get an inside look at Mercury Museum

You have to write down what actually is happening and keep a journal. Don't necessarily tell everybody. Just keep a journal for what is happening right now. At some point, our kids won't have any idea of the truth. They will not have any idea of what this country was, how it really happened. Who were the good guys. Who were the bad guys. Who did what.

As Michelle Obama said. Barack knows. We have to change our history. Well, that's exactly what's happening. But it's happening at a very rapid pace.

We have to preserve our history. It is being systematically erased.

I first said this fifteen years ago, people need clay plots. We have to preserve our history as people preserved histories in ancient days, with the dead see scrolls, by putting them in caves in a clay pot. We have to preserve our history. It is being systematically erased. And I don't mean just the history of the founding of our country. I mean the history that's happening right now.

And the history that's happening right now, you're a problem if you're a conservative or a Christian. You are now a problem on the left, if you disagree and fall out of line at all. This is becoming a fascistic party. And you know what a fascist is. It doesn't matter if you're a Democrat or a Republican or an independent. If you believe it's my way or the highway, if you believe that people don't have a right to their opinion or don't have a right to their own life — you could do be a fascist.

Christianity might seem pretty well-protected in the U.S., but that's not the case in many parts of the globe.

On Easter Sunday, suicide bombers made the news for killing 290 innocent Christians in Sri Lanka and injuring another 500. On Tuesday, ISIS claimed responsibility for the massacre. Of course, the Western world mourned this tragic loss of life on a holy day of worship, but we forget that this isn't an isolated incident. Indeed, Christians are discriminated at extreme levels worldwide, and it needs to be brought to light. And whenever we do highlight brutal persecutions such as the Easter bombings in Sri Lanka, we need to call them what they are — targeted attacks against Christians. Sadly, many of our politicians are deathly afraid to do so.

RELATED: Hey media, there is absolutely a war on Christians!

A 2018 Pew Research Center study found that Christians are harassed in 144 countries — the most of any other faith — slightly outnumbering Muslims for the top of the list. Additionally, Open Doors, a non-profit organization that works to serve persecuted Christians worldwide, found in their 2019 World Watch List that over 245 million Christians are seriously discriminated against for their religious beliefs. Sadly, this translates into 4,136 Christians killed and 2,625 either arrested, sentenced, imprisoned, or detained without trial over the year-long study period. And when it comes to churches, those in Sri Lanka were merely added to a long list of 1,266 Christian buildings attacked for their religion.

These breathtaking stats receive very little coverage in the Western world. And there seems to be a profound hesitation from politicians in discussing the issue of persecution against Christians. In the case of the Sri Lanka bombings, there's even a reluctance to use the word "Christian."

After the horrific Pittsburgh Synagogue and New Zealand Mosque shootings, Democrats rightfully acknowledged the disturbing trend of targeted attacks against Jews and Muslims. But some of these same politicians refer to the Sri Lanka bombings with careless ambiguity.

So why is it so hard for our leaders to acknowledge the persecutions Christians face?

Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, for instance, certainly did — calling the incursions "attacks on Easter worshippers." Understandably, the term confused and frustrated many Christians. Although, supporters of these politicians argued the term was appropriate since a recent Associated Press report used it, and it was later picked up by a variety of media outlets, including Fox News. However, as more Democrats like 2020 presidential candidate Julián Castro and Rep. Dan Kildee continued to use the phrase "Easter worshippers," it became clear that these politicians were going out of their way to avoid calling a spade a spade.

So why is it so hard for our leaders to acknowledge the persecutions Christians face? For starters, Christianity in democratic countries like the U.S. is seen differently than in devastated countries like Somalia. According to Pew Research, over 70% of Americans are Christian, with 66% of those Christians being white and 35% baby boomers. So while diverse Christians from all over the world are persecuted for their faith—in the U.S., Christians are a dominant religion full of old white people. This places Christians at the bottom of progressives' absurd intersectional totem poll, therefore leaving little sympathy for their cause. However, the differing experiences of Christians worldwide doesn't take away from the fact that they are unified in their beliefs.

By refusing to name the faith of the Sri Lankan martyrs, politicians are sending a message that they have very little, if no, concern about the growing amount of persecution against Christians worldwide.

Martyrs don't deserve to be known as "Easter worshippers." They should be known by the Christian faith they gave their lives for. Decent politicians need to call the tragedy in Sri Lanka what it is — a vicious attack on the Christian faith.

Patrick Hauf (@PatrickHauf) is a writer for Young Voices and Vice President of Lone Conservative. His work can be found in the Washington Examiner, Townhall, FEE, and more.