with Brent D. Griffiths

Good morning. It's Wednesday and World Humanitarian Day. Tips, comments, recipes? You know the drill. Thanks for waking up with us. 

The campaign

THE MINOR LEAGUERS: The Young Delegates Coalition may be the only people left who don't hate Zoom. The group of roughly 50 teenage and up delegates to the Democratic convention gathered last night for a watch party on the video service, where the equivalent of grandpa was nominated as their party's standard-bearer.

Power Up sat in on the party — which involved drinks, robust debates on the service's in-meeting chat room and not much silence. Except during remarks by New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, a 30-year-old Latina who became the youngest female elected to Congress in 2018, and Jill Biden, Joe Biden's wife.  The party also showcased 17 fresh Democratic faces, a diverse collection of representatives and state legislators from swing states, to deliver night two's keynote address instead of a traditional single speaker.

  • Should AOC primary Chuck Schumer in 2022? one young delegate wondered aloud, referring to the Senate minority leader who also spoke.
  • “We’re nominating AOC in 2024,” chimed in another. “Nobody in the party can beat her if she runs and they know itthat's why they didn't give her more time :/”

Eighteen-year-old Joseph Mullen, a delegate for Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), started the coalition in May to recruit members of the Democrats' next generation into the political process. Mullen, determined not to let the mutiny and backbiting that dominated the 2016 convention leave a bad taste in the mouths of Generation Zers and young millennials, ultimately pulled together a group of over 220 youth delegates. 

More time: The coalition fronted the rallying cry over Ocasio-Cortez's speaking time — or lack thereof. Seeking increased representation, it circulated a petition signed by thousands calling for one of the only two speakers under the age of 40 to speak for longer than her allotted 60 seconds. 

They also mounted a behind-the-scenes fight that's transcended candidate allegiances in an effort to shape the Democratic platform — albeit in a less confrontational and more distanced way than 2016. 

  • “One of the young Biden delegates said something that I love to repeat he has more in common with young Sanders delegates than older Biden delegates,” Mullen told Power Up, listing the issues of climate change, student loan debt, and gun violence. “And something we all agree on: there's not enough young people represented in the line up. We've seen a lot of speakers who are party of the old guard of Democratic politics.

The young delegates were most maddened by the focus, so far, on Republicans who have crossed party lines to support Biden (John Kasich, Colin Powell, Cindy McCain), along with the time lavished on old guard speakers like former President Bill Clinton. The lack of representation has only aggravated feelings that the Biden campaign and the DNC have not adequately invested in or listened to young voters. 

  • “He's the Republican who hasn't supported Republicans for years,” a delegate said to the group of Powell. “What Republicans are left that he hasn't already brought over?”
  • “All we need is Henry Kissinger to speak now,” another delegate remarked.
  • “They've given dead John McCain more time during this convention than AOC,” a third participant quipped.
  • “Dude, you're at a boat house in Newport, Rhode Island,” one of the delegates shouted after Jack Schlossberg, President John F. Kennedy’s only grandson, said this election will “define the rest of our lives” for millennials and Gen Z.
  • “Can we just skip ahead? Like, just skip him?” a watch party attendee said of Clinton, prompting Mullen, the moderator, to fast forward through ex-president's remarks. 

The pandemic has been a somewhat double-edged sword for these Democratic cubs: several of the delegates said it was easier to run and win their delegate elections with extra time on their hands, as well as to digitally organize the youth coalition. But the virtual nature of the week has made it harder for their voices to be heard on a national level. 

Zenaida Huerta, a Sanders delegate from California, said the remote format “deprives the program of energy and dissent.” She proudly protested certain tenets of the Democratic platform four years ago, also as a Sanders delegate. Huerta was especially disappointed with the appearance of former Ohio governor John Kasich and Republican business executive Meg Whitman, whom she said ran on an “explicitly anti-immigrant platform” in California. 

  • “Look at the line up it caused mass dissent within Slack channels and on Twitter with Republicans being a prime-time, core focus,” Huerta told us. “If this convention was held in person, those people would be booed off the stage. Each and every one of them.
  • Caveat: “I do think we are unified around electing Joe Biden,” Huerta added. “But I guess my dissent there is opening our arms to Republicans — it's like inviting vampires into your house.”
  • “Everyone who tunes into these things is already gassed from Zoom meetings and this is too close to those,” 26-year-old Tye Rush, one of Sanders's at-large California delegates, wrote in the watch party's Zoom chat of the older line-up.
On the second night of the DNC on Aug. 18, former vice president Joe Biden celebrated his formal nomination as the Democratic presidential nominee. (The Washington Post)

Most of the young delegates did concede the party's platform is the most progressive in history

  • “I just want to assure the reporter on the Zoom that there's a lot of gentle ribbing going on but we're all going to vote for Joe Biden and we're all good Democrats,” one of the participants stated mid-party.

Yet there was no smoothing over the ideological rift on health care between the young and old guard, as Democrats dedicated a segment of their convention last night to praise of the Affordable Care Act, which Biden helped enact as Barack Obama's vice president.

The platform doesn't include support for Medicare-for-all, which Sanders and many other presidential contenders supported. Biden, however, wants to enhance the ACA and provide a public health care option under the 2010 law. Several of the young delegates we spoke with — both Biden and Bernie supporters — opposed the party's platform because it didn't include Medicare-for-all. 

  • “Finally some good [expletive] content,” a delegate said after watching Ady Barkan, one of the most vocal Medicare-for-all activists in the country, during programming, calling to put Medicare-for-all on Biden's desk if he's president.
  • “Most of the younger delegates voted ‘no’ on the platform because Medicare-for-all wasn’t included,” Shane Burgo, a 27-year-old delegate for Biden from Massachusetts, told Power Up. “I was not one of them. I contemplated voting ‘no’ but after reviewing the platform in it’s entirety, that one position was not enough to stall it. The real work is not in this non-binding platform. It's in our local legislatures.”
  • There's also an apparent lack of trust still between the younger delegates and the Biden campaign on some other issues like climate change: “A lot of us are worried about some backtracking on platform issues, such as a recent announcement that a ban on fossil fuel donations would be taken out of the platform, Mullen told us of the group's negotiations with the Biden camp. 

Mullen told Power Up the coalition has been in contact with the convention's digital planning team to “spread our message and connect with more young people.” He added that Biden's team was also receptive to some recommendation regarding the Democratic platform. 

  • “If I could stand in front of Biden and tell him anything that would help bring younger voters in? I don't think there's any listening happening listen more and talk less,” Jae Moyer, a 21-year-old Biden delegate in Kansas, said about the Biden campaign's outreach to young people.
  • “I would say to him: Put some of us at the table and don't be afraid if that means that you're bringing in young progressives,” Huerta told us. “Even if we disagree on some policies, we are on your side for electing you in November and to me that means making AOC a critical figurehead in the Democratic Party and throughout this campaign.” 
  • “I see a lot of these young delegates as being the next bench of the Democratic Party and it's important for them to find a way to be included in the program,” Huerta added. 

Despite their disagreement with some of his policies, the young Democrats spoke highly of Biden's character. 

  • “He does seem to genuinely care about people he comes across – like the train conductors and stuff," one delegate remarked after Jacquelyn Brittany, a 31-year-old African American security guard at the New York Times who went viral after blurting out her love for Biden, put the ex-veep's name into nomination.
  • “Bernie straight up said that the Bidens are the only people who have ever treated him with respect,” another delegate responded.
  • "Y’all but for real as a black woman, nominating another black woman for a top ticket race keeps bringing tears to my eyes  <3" Krystal Spencer, a Biden delegate from Pennsylvania, chatted.

But the skepticism infused in the next generation of activists view of politics and institutions largely hovered over the conversation. And their hunger for change – even if Biden wins – was evident: .

  • “Does anyone feel or think that there should be more of a focus and discussion on what these candidates are going to do for the people? Like concrete and solid policy,” Raquel Capellan, a Sanders delegate from Pennsylvania, said.

The people

CONVENTIONAL WISDOM: The best of the rest from night two.

On Aug. 18, the second night of the virtual Democratic National Convention, delegates named Joe Biden the presidential nominee of their party. (The Washington Post)

Biden is officially the Democratic presidential nominee: “When his nomination became official, cameras flipped to the 77-year-old Biden, who was watching the virtual roll call with his wife, Jill, in a Delaware school. His grandchildren joined them, and shot off streamers and tussled with balloons as Biden beamed at a camera instead of a crowd,” Toluse Olorunnipa, Chelsea Janes, Felicia Sonmez, Colby Itkowitz and John Wagner report.

Former second lady Biden delivered a moving speech from her old classroom: "Speaking from Brandywine High School, where she once taught English in the 1990s, Dr. Biden described how the pandemic has disrupted education in the country, tearing at the fabric of families, communities and the economy nationwide,” the New York Times's Katie Glueck and Nick Corasaniti report.

  • Key quote: "You can hear the anxiety that echoes down empty hallways,” she said of classrooms like the one she returned to that are empty due to the pandemic. “There’s no scent of new notebooks or freshly waxed floors. The rooms are dark as the bright young faces that should fill them are confined to boxes on a computer screen.”

The security guard who went viral for blurting out her love for Biden formally nominated him: “Jacquelyn [Brittany] epitomized for the Biden campaign the dynamics of the primaries: The hopes of Biden, who was spurned by others, rested on Black women and working-class voters, who would eventually resurrect his campaign,” Annie Linskey reports.

Her speech received rave reviews:

The traditional roll call vote was reimagined into a captivating tour of America: “There was a fisherman in Alaska, a veteran firefighter in Connecticut and the father of a student killed in a school shooting in Parkland, Fla. There was a fourth-generation family farmer in Kansas, a recent college graduate in Montana, a registered nurse in New York and a tribal activist in South Dakota,” the Times's Matt Stevens and Isabella Grullón Paz report.

The roll call vote gave each delegation an opportunity to showcase itself during the second night of the Democratic National Convention on Aug. 18. (The Washington Post)

The parents of Matthew Shepard, a gay student who in 1998 was brutally beaten and later died from his injuries, spoke for the state of Wyoming:

  • Shepard's death became a symbol for the gay rights movement. He is also the namesake of a federal law for hate crimes directed at LGBT people.

There were some Native speakers:

Tennessee honored its role on the 100th anniversary of the 19th amendment:

And yes, we learned about Rhode Island's love for calamari.

  • In case you were wondering, calarmari guy is state Democratic Party Chair Joseph McNamara:

Twitter then spilled some virtual ink:

Okay, a lot:

COMING TONIGHT: Remember you can watch every speech and The Washington Post's analysis by setting a reminder here

Kamala D. Harris makes history: The California senator becomes the first woman of color to formally accept the vice presidential nomination of a major party. Her multiracial identity also speaks to America's need to expand its view of race, Sonia Rao writes.

Obama returns: The 44th president is most likely set to remind the nation of why he chose Biden to be his running mate and their close relationship, one that may be more complicated than he lets on.

Former secretary of state Hillary Clinton, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) will also speak.

And if you just can't get enough, guy: Billie Eilish and Jennifer Hudson will both perform.

  • There might also be a scandal or two as Kerry Washington hosts:

In the agencies

POSTAL SERVICE SUSPENDS CONTROVERSIAL MOVES AFTER OUTCRY: “The U.S. Postal Service said it will shelve its controversial cost-cutting initiatives until after the November election, canceling service reductions, reauthorizing overtime and suspending the removal of mail-sorting machines and public collection boxes,” Jacob Bogage, Amy Gardner and Erin Cox report.

  • But the announcement did little to quiet concerns: “Postmaster General DeJoy cannot put the genie back in the bottle,” Rep. Gerald E. Connolly (D-Va.), who chairs the House subcommittee responsible for postal oversight, said in a statement.

At least 21 states plan to sue the USPS: “The suits, including one filed Tuesday afternoon in federal court in Washington state, will argue that the Postal Service broke the law by making operational changes without first seeking approval from the Postal Regulatory Commission,” Amy Gardner and Erin Cox report. DeJoy's reversal came just hours after that news.

  • What's next?: DeJoy will testify in front of Senate committee on Friday, then go before a House panel on Monday with Robert M. Duncan, chairman of the USPS Board of Governors.

Outside the Beltway

PROTESTS CONTINUE OVER BREONNA TAYLOR'S DEATH: “Five months after Breonna Taylor’s death, Kentucky’s largest city has become the epicenter of the national movement for racial justice, weathering more than 80 days of protests as activists pour into the streets calling for charges against the police officers involved in her fatal shooting,” Josh Wood and Tim Craig report from the city.

  • Prosecution remains complicated by state laws that give the benefit of the doubt to officers carrying out their official duties: “That legal reality has animated protests against police violence nationwide since the killing of George Floyd in May — and is raising concerns for local leaders about how to navigate the public emotion."

Months after her death, Taylor's case has become a national fight: Her face has been immortalized in a 7,000-square-foot mural in Annapolis. Her death has inspired demonstrations from Houston to Fargo, N.D,” our colleagues write. "She is the first person to replace Oprah Winfrey on the cover of O Magazine, which commissioned 26 billboards throughout Louisville to “demand that the police involved in killing Breonna Taylor be arrested and charged.”

NBA superstar LeBron James and his Laker teammates wore spoofs of MAGA hats last night highlighting the lack of charges thus far:

The investigations

REPORT DETAILS TRUMP TEAM'S TIES TO RUSSIA POSED: “An exhaustive investigation led by members of [Trump’s] own political party portrays his 2016 campaign as posing counterintelligence risks through its myriad contacts with Russia, eager to exploit assistance from the Kremlin and seemingly determined to conceal the full extent of its conduct from a multiyear Senate probe,” Greg Miller, Karoun Demirjian and Ellen Nakashima report.

  • Like the Mueller report, the Senate report does not explicitly accuse the Trump campaign of direct collusion with Russian intelligence: But nearly 1,000 page document's “language is often stark, describing Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort’s receptivity to Russian outreach as a ‘grave counterintelligence threat’ that made the campaign susceptible to 'malign Russian influence.'”

Other sections may add more fuel to critics of the FBI's investigation that turned into Mueller's probe: The Senate report “is particularly critical of the credibility and sourcing of a ‘dossier’ assembled by former British intelligence officer Christopher Steele as part of an opposition research effort funded by Democrats,” our colleagues write.

A top Manafort aide's name appears about 800 times in the Senate report: It is the first time that Konstantin Kilimnik, a Ukrainian-Russian who headed Manafort’s office in the country, has been explicitly declared a Russian intelligence officer, David L. Stern reports from Kyiv.

  • More details: “The report also for the first time cites evidence that [Kilimnik] may have been directly involved in the Russian plot to break into a Democratic Party computer network and provide plundered files to the anti-secrecy group WikiLeaks.” 

In the media


An eighth House incumbent has now lost in a primary this cycle: “Freshman Rep. Ross Spano (R-Fla.), who is facing a Justice Department investigation over alleged 2018 campaign finance violations, was ousted in the GOP primary Tuesday by a candidate who secured the endorsement of one of Spano’s well-known congressional colleagues,” David Weigel reports. The colleague is noted Trump ally and fellow GOP Rep. Matt Gaetz (Fla.).

A right-wing conservative commentator won the GOP primary in Trump's new home district: “Laura Loomer, 27, will face four-term Democratic Rep. Lois Frankel in the November general election. Frankel, who has served in Congress since 2013 and ran unopposed two years ago, easily defeated primary challenger Guido Weiss, a former legislative assistant for Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-Hawaii),” Lori Rozsa reports.

  • Loomer has made numerous anti-Islamic statements: She also once handcuffed herself to the door of Twitter's office in New York.

Trump congratulated her on the primary victory:

The stock market has officially bounced back: “Defying the pandemic’s mounting human and economic toll, stocks closed Tuesday at a record high, bringing an end to the shortest bear market in U.S. history,” Hamza Shaban and David J. Lynch report.

  • What happened: “After notching three consecutive weeks of gains, the Standard & Poor’s 500-stock index closed at 3,389, gaining 0.23 percent on the day. The finish capped a remarkable comeback from the March plunge that slashed 34 percent off the previous record, set Feb. 19, as the pandemic tightened its grip on the country.”