#2020Vision: Biden's Anita Hill apology; Gillibrand's rising star; The Rock

Our weekly roundup of the news, notes and chatter about the prospects for the next Democratic presidential race:...

Posted: Dec 16, 2017 3:20 PM
Updated: Dec 16, 2017 3:20 PM

Our weekly roundup of the news, notes and chatter about the prospects for the next Democratic presidential race:

Former Vice President Joe Biden is dealing head-on with a major moment in his past that increasingly looks out of step with the cultural reckoning over sexual assault and harassment: his handling of Anita Hill's allegations during Clarence Thomas's Supreme Court confirmation hearings.

"I wish I had been able to do more for Anita Hill," Biden told Teen Vogue. "I owe her an apology."

As Vice's Eve Peyser recently pointed out, Biden's role as Senate Judiciary Committee chairman during Hill's 1991 testimony alleging sexual harassment by Thomas -- where, in retrospect, Biden is almost universally seen as having done too little to defend Hill from Republican criticism -- is one of several major obstacles Biden would have to confront if he runs in 2020. Politico's Edward-Isaac Dovere examined the Hill hearings more than two years ago as Biden considered a 2016 campaign. Hill herself recently told The Washington Post that Biden still doesn't get what he did wrong.

Biden has spoken of his regrets about the Hill hearings before, but the apology, CNN's Chris Cillizza rightly notes, is perhaps the biggest tell yet that he is positioning himself to run for president in 2020.

So is Biden running?

"If, in a year from now, if we're ready, and nobody has moved in that I think can do it, then I may very well do it," he said on ABC's "The View" this week.

On the same show, he also movingly comforted Meghan McCain, whose father, GOP Sen. John McCain of Arizona, is battling brain cancer.

Another piece of Biden news this week: In a TIME op-ed, Biden reflected on the five-year anniversary of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting, saying the families of the victims are "models for how to find purpose in the face of tragedy. I am in awe of your courage. And I will always be by your side -- a promise I made to you and one I will keep."

News and notes:

GILLIBRAND VS. TRUMP: We told you last week this was coming. After going toe-to-toe with President Donald Trump this week -- and calling for him to resign over sexual assault allegations -- New York Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand's odds of winning the presidency in 2020 spiked in betting markets, from 50-to-1 to 25-to-1.

It's worth noting that the Republican National Committee responded to Gillibrand with a massive opposition research dump -- a sign that she's being taken seriously as a threat in 2020.

-- Other Democratic senators calling on Trump to resign so far: New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker, California Sen. Kamala Harris, Oregon Sen. Jeff Merkley, Hawaii Sen. Mazie Hirono - plus independent Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders. Oregon Sen. Ron Wyden has said Trump should be investigated if he won't resign.

THE ROCK 2020? This exchange tells you everything you need to know. Ellen DeGeneres: "Will you run? Seriously, would you run?" Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson: "I'm seriously considering it." (On the show, his friend and "Jumanji" co-star Kevin Hart had this to say about The Rock as a presidential candidate: "I know where his heart is, I really know him, so I know if he puts himself in that position it's for the better of the people.")

ALABAMA UNDERSCORES BLACK VOTERS' IMPORTANCE: Among the high-profile Democrats who campaigned for Doug Jones in Alabama's Senate race, three 2020 prospects are of particular note: Biden, who held a major rally in Birmingham for Jones, and Cory Booker and former Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick, both of whom are serious 2020 prospects.

An important note about who makes up the Democratic base: The leading reason Jones won is massive turnout from African-American voters -- a reality CNN's Juana Summers details here. It highlighted "the need to engage black voters as persuasion voters and not take their votes for granted," Adrianne Shropshire, the executive director of BlackPAC, which spent $2.1 million on voter outreach in Alabama, said in a post-election memo.

The week ahead:

- Saturday, December 16 -- Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren holds a town hall at 11 a.m. ET at Gloucester High School.

- Next week: House and Senate votes on tax reform, which could shape part of the 2020 debate.

Before you go:

The Congressional Black Caucus chairman wants Cory Booker or Kamala Harris taking Minnesota Sen. Al Franken's spot on the Senate Judiciary Committee. ... The Des Moines Register warns that DNC rules changes designed to make caucuses more accessible could ruin the Iowa experience.

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

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Confirmed Cases: 33558

Reported Deaths: 2110
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Marion9616571
Lake3538185
Cass15897
Allen145168
St. Joseph124834
Elkhart116328
Hendricks116171
Hamilton115693
Johnson1093108
Madison58559
Porter51627
Bartholomew50034
Clark49241
LaPorte42423
Howard39526
Tippecanoe3903
Jackson3791
Delaware37736
Shelby36822
Hancock32728
Floyd31839
Boone30935
Morgan27824
Vanderburgh2652
Montgomery23517
White2318
Decatur22431
Clinton2231
Noble21121
Grant20621
Harrison19221
Dubois1923
Henry16910
Greene16824
Monroe16612
Warrick16628
Dearborn16621
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Lawrence15423
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Owen341
Brown331
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Knox290
Wells280
Huntington272
Tipton251
Crawford240
Blackford242
Fountain202
Switzerland200
Spencer191
Parke170
Posey160
Gibson142
Adams131
Ohio130
Warren121
Martin110
Vermillion100
Union80
Pike60
Unassigned0164

Illinois Coronavirus Cases

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Confirmed Cases: 117455

Reported Deaths: 5270
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Cook762663570
Lake8063287
DuPage7543362
Kane6188170
Will5442269
Winnebago215654
McHenry151471
St. Clair109179
Kankakee87144
Kendall76919
Rock Island64624
Champaign6177
Madison56558
Boone42817
DeKalb3924
Sangamon34629
Jackson26810
Randolph2674
McLean21713
Peoria2128
Ogle2023
Stephenson1992
Macon19519
Clinton18117
Union1519
LaSalle14713
Whiteside13512
Iroquois1314
Coles12514
Unassigned1250
Out of IL1191
Warren1130
Jefferson10116
Knox970
Grundy952
Monroe9411
McDonough878
Lee791
Cass710
Tazewell714
Henry680
Williamson642
Pulaski510
Marion500
Jasper457
Macoupin452
Adams441
Perry420
Montgomery391
Vermilion391
Morgan351
Christian334
Jo Daviess320
Livingston322
Douglas260
Menard210
Fayette203
Ford201
Jersey201
Woodford192
Mason180
Washington180
Mercer170
Hancock160
Shelby161
Bureau151
Carroll142
Bond121
Franklin120
Piatt120
Schuyler120
Clark110
Crawford110
Fulton110
Moultrie110
Brown100
Cumberland100
Logan100
Wayne91
Alexander80
Henderson80
Effingham71
Johnson70
Massac70
Saline70
Greene50
Marshall50
De Witt40
Lawrence40
Richland30
Stark30
Clay20
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Wabash20
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