On Politics With Lisa Lerer: Ilhan Omar and the New Culture War – News


Hello. Welcome to On Politics, your information to the day in nationwide politics. I’m Lisa Lerer, your host.

President Trump isn’t identified for following the standard political playbook. So, it was barely shocking to see him spending Tax Day speaking about … properly … taxes.

However whereas Mr. Trump’s phrases might have stayed on message, his political sights had been aimed elsewhere: Consultant Ilhan Omar, one of many first Muslim ladies elected to Congress.

That Mr. Trump held his tax occasion lower than 20 miles exterior Ms. Omar’s district in Minnesota, a state that narrowly went for Hillary Clinton in 2016, was no accident. Nor had been his current assaults on Ms. Omar, a former state consultant who has spent somewhat greater than 27 months in any sort of elected workplace.

Mr. Trump’s look right this moment in Minnesota, an early salvo in his re-election marketing campaign, highlights a basic query he faces as we head into the 2020 race: Will his base be sufficient this time?

Rallying conservatives used to revolve round a three-word slogan — “God, weapons and gays” — which served as a shorthand for the kind of cultural points that despatched voters streaming to the polls.

Mr. Trump has taken that tradition warfare mantra and supercharged it: “God, weapons and gays” has turn into “immigration, identification and Islamophobia.”

Mr. Trump has an extended historical past of incendiary feedback towards Muslims. (This 2017 timeline from The Washington Put up particulars almost a decade of his statements.) He opened his marketing campaign calling Mexican immigrants “rapists” and, since then, has repeatedly solid immigrants as criminals and drug sellers. And from sexual harassment to N.F.L. protests, he has intensified hot-button problems with race and gender by throwing fiery feedback into our nationwide debates.

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A few of these stances will be attributed to the president’s private beliefs and temperament. However there’s additionally a calculated political technique at play.

It’s value looking at some numbers from the 2016 exit polls. When Pennsylvania voters had been requested whether or not minorities are favored in the US, 31 p.c of the citizens — or round 1.9 million voters — agreed. Of these, 1.6 million supported Mr. Trump.

Pennsylvania, as a lot of you might keep in mind, went for Mr. Trump by lower than 45,000 votes.

We don’t know what number of of these 1.6 million voters flipped to Mr. Trump. What we all know is the idea that white persons are below assault — which exit polls confirmed was shared by Trump supporters in Wisconsin and Michigan — has helped animate his assist.

That brings us again to Ms. Omar, a lady on the intersection of all three components of the brand new tradition warfare. A refugee from Somalia, she’s a hijab-wearing Muslim and is intently recognized with the Democratic Celebration’s left wing.

Her feedback final month earlier than the Council on American-Islamic Relations led Mr. Trump to publish an inflammatory video implying she trivialized the horror of the Sept. 11 terror assaults.

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She has additionally divided members of her personal social gathering, having made a number of statements that repeated traditionally anti-Semitic tropes. Their responses to Mr. Trump’s video, cataloged right here by my colleague Astead Herndon, ranged from fierce to extra milquetoast.

Whatever the difficult politics surrounding Ms. Omar, although, the freshman congresswoman has an honest shot at re-election. Her Minneapolis district hasn’t voted for a Republican in almost six many years, and her profile will make it pretty straightforward for her to boost the sort of cash that scares off major challenges.

The larger political unknown is whether or not this advantages Mr. Trump fairly as a lot as he might anticipate.

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“Having cash’s not all the pieces; not having it’s.”

— Kanye West

As we speak is the day we’ve been ready for: Federal Election Fee marketing campaign finance studies are due. The general public will lastly get to see the total image of one thing that’s been leaking in bits and items — how a lot every candidate raised through the first three months of the already-crowded 2020 race.

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Sometimes, completely satisfied campaigns file early. That’s why we acquired Mayor Pete Buttigieg’s data early this morning and President Trump’s final evening.

These studies embrace all types of information past simply how a lot every candidate raised. We will see what they spent on, how many individuals they’ve employed and the way a lot is left within the financial institution. It’s an interesting peek into every marketing campaign that offers an early sense of their operations.

Cash isn’t all the pieces, as Mr. West factors out. Hillary Clinton raised almost double what Mr. Trump did in 2016. However in politics, it definitely does assist.

Right here’s what we all know thus far:

• The highest fund-raisers within the first quarter of the 12 months had been Mr. Trump, whose marketing campaign raised $30.three million, and Senator Bernie Sanders, who raised $18.2 million.

• Mr. Buttigieg raised $7.1 million within the quarter, and spent modestly, ending the interval with $6.four million in money readily available.


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