Mar 18, 2019

2020's politically correct presidential election

Illustration: Lazaro Gamio/Axios

Get ready for the most politically correct — and politically incorrect — election of our lifetime.

Why it matters: Look for 2020 Democratic candidates to be more careful than ever not to offend anyone, while Trump revels in the contrast with a stream of outlandish assertions and observations that will delight his followers.

  • On one side, you have President Trump, easily the most politically incorrect figure to win the White House in the modern era. He loves nothing more than to taunt liberals, the media and America with throwback thinking and insults. 
  • On the other, you have the most diverse Democratic field ever, showing early and enthusiastic insistence on inclusivity, as well as race, gender and lifestyle sensitivity.

This weekend was a sneak peek: Beto groveling and Trump bellowing. Beto O'Rourke apologized for joking during his first two days on the trail that his wife is raising their three children "sometimes with my help."

  • For good measure, he admitted his white male privilege had benefited him, and he said his preference for a running mate would be a woman.
  • As RedState put it: "Beto Apologizes for Being White & Male After the Woke Trash Him Over a Joke About His Wife."

At the same time, Trump was tweeting love for two embattled Fox News hosts — Tucker Carlson, who made misogynistic comments on a radio show a decade ago, and "Judge" Jeanine Pirro, who made an anti-Muslim comment on her Fox show.

  • "Keep fighting for Tucker, and fight hard for @JudgeJeanine. Your competitors are jealous," Trump tweeted.
  • Trump continued: "Stop working soooo hard on being politically correct, which will only bring you down. ... The losers all want what you have, don’t give it to them. Be strong & prosper, be weak & die!"

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Sanders takes aim at Bloomberg: "Trump will chew him up and spit him out"

Photo: Mario Tama/Getty Images

Bernie Sanders told CBS "60 Minutes" that he was surprised by Mike Bloomberg's lackluster performance at Wednesday's Democratic debate.

What he's saying: "If that's what happened in a Democratic debate, you know, I think it's quite likely that Trump will chew him up and spit him out."

Scoop: Lyft acquires cartop advertising startup Halo Cars

Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Lyft has acquired Halo Cars, a small startup that lets ride-hailing drivers earn money via ad displays mounted atop their cars. Lyft confirmed the deal but declined to share any details.

Why it matters: Ride-hailing companies are increasingly eyeing additional ways to generate revenue, and Lyft rival Uber has been quietly testing a partnership with New York-based Cargo that gives it a cut of the advertising revenue, as I previously reported.

Scoop: New White House personnel chief tells Cabinet liaisons to target Never Trumpers

McEntee, shown with White House counselor Kellyanne Conway and White House senior adviser Stephen Miller, walks on the South Lawn of the White House Jan. 9. Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Johnny McEntee called in White House liaisons from cabinet agencies for an introductory meeting Thursday, in which he asked them to identify political appointees across the U.S. government who are believed to be anti-Trump, three sources familiar with the meeting tell Axios.

Behind the scenes: McEntee, a 29-year-old former body man to Trump who was fired in 2018 by then-Chief of Staff John Kelly but recently rehired — and promoted to head the presidential personnel office — foreshadowed sweeping personnel changes across government.