Enter your details below to receive our top stories in your inbox every Wednesday.
- Massachusetts senator Elizabeth Warren has formed an exploratory committee to run for president and is visiting the early voting states of Iowa and New Hampshire.
- California senator Kamala Harris has closed her state campaign committee and is on a publicity tour for her new book.
- Senators Sherrod Brown of Ohio and Kirsten Gillibrand of New York are planning trips to Iowa.
- Many in the media continue to advise Joe Biden against running, most recently The Boston Globe, The Economist, Vox and WGBH.
- Independent Vermont senator Bernie Sanders is shaking up his staff to make it less male and white. Read more
Senior conservatives in Spain have balked at the terms set by the far-right party Vox to support a center-right government in Andalusia. Read more
The Financial Times argues that the big political story in Europe is not so much the rise of populism as the fragmentation of electorates and the parties that represent them.
- In Spain, the once-dominant conservative and socialist parties must compete with liberals, nationalists and the far left.
- Neither the center-left nor the center-right bloc has a majority in the Swedish parliament anymore and neither is willing to allow the far-right Sweden Democrats to become kingmakers.
- The far-right Alternative and the left-leaning Greens have eaten into support for the Christian Democrats and Social Democrats in Germany.
- In what the Financial Times describes as “the most extreme example of such fragmentation,” the Netherlands, it now takes four parties to form a government.
This isn’t wrong per se, but I would like to offer two nuances. Read more
The Financial Times wonders if Austria’s Sebastian Kurz is the savior of Europe’s center-right or an enabler of the far right.
His supporters, including the liberal-minded former prime minister of Finland, Alexander Stubb, see the Austrian as the antidote to Orbanism:
He talks about an open world, internationalism and is pro-European. But he is pragmatic about solving issues. And one of the big issues is immigration.
Critics argue that by taking a hard line on immigration, Kurz is legitimizing the far right. “You don’t fight fire with kerosene,” according to former chancellor and former Social Democratic Party leader Christian Kern. Read more
California may be the future of the Democratic Party, but the left doesn’t have everything figured out in the Golden State.
Michael Greenberg reports for The New York Review of Books that California likes to think of itself as a liberal bastion against the far-right policies of Donald Trump.
It is refusing to cooperate with the president’s anti-immigrant policies. It has enacted its own environmental and net-neutrality laws which, given the size and influence of California’s economy, could have a nationwide effect.
But California also has the highest poverty rate in America and a quarter of its homeless. Read more
Catalonia has made little progress toward either independence or normalizing relations with the rest of Spain since its failed attempt to break away a year ago. Read more