Aug 3, 2020

Axios PM

By Mike Allen
Mike Allen

Good afternoon: Today's PM — edited by Justin Green after vacation in the Bighorns — is 491 words, a 2-minute read.

⚡️ Former President Barack Obama endorsed 118 candidates today, reports Axios' Marisa Fernandez.

  • He heavily targeted Texas, with a total of 27 endorsements in national and state House races.
1 big thing: The return of "Got Milk?"
JuJu Smith-Schuster of the Pittsburgh Steelers in a milk commercial. Photo: Milk Processor Education Program via AP

The coronavirus pandemic has been such a shot in the arm for Big Dairy that the "Got Milk?" ads are being brought out of retirement.

The big picture: Many Americans fully stocked their fridges in March, with sales of all kinds of milk up big compared to last year.

  • Kids who were no longer having meals at school were drinking milk at home, AP reports. Homebound adults suddenly had time for a leisurely bowl of cereal. Baking and cooking at home soared.

That trend held into the summer.

  • Dairy milk was up 21% year-over-year in March, and up 2% year-over-year in June.
  • Oat milk was up 270% to $132 million in that stretch, and almond milk, coconut milk and rice milk were also up.

Between the lines: This round of "Got Milk?" is expected to be different, AP notes.

  • TV ads feature videos culled from the Internet of people opening a gallon with their toes or jumping into a kiddie pool filled with milk and cereal.
  • In one TikTok spot, Olympic gold medalist Katie Ledecky swims the length of a pool with a glass of chocolate milk balanced on her head.

The bottom line: The dairy industry is in long-term decline, and that will probably return when Americans eventually go back to offices and schools.

  • Milk sales declined 13% from 2010 to 2018, CNN reported last year.
  • America's dairies are also closing at a rapid rate, with many small dairy farmers exiting the industry under financial duress.

But for now, at least, milk is giving some people a rare sense of normal.

2. Pic du jour
Photo: Spencer Platt/Getty Images

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo receives a blessing from his Eminence Archbishop Elpidophoros of America in a ceremony for the resumption of construction on the new Saint Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church and National Shrine at the World Trade Center.

  • St. Nicholas Church, which began services in 1922, was the only other building besides the Twin Towers to be completely destroyed on 9/11.
3. Catch up quick
  1. The White House will require staff to undergo randomized coronavirus testing. Go deeper.
  2. The XFL sold for $15 million to a group that includes former WWE star Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson. Go deeper.
  3. GM's luxury Cadillac unit will unveil the Lyriq, a crossover that marks Cadillac's first foray into all-electric models. Go deeper.
  4. President Trump claimed TikTok will be shut down in the U.S. if it hasn't been bought by Microsoft or another company by Sept. 15, and he argued the U.S. Treasury should get "a very substantial portion" of the sale fee. Go deeper.
  5. 🎧 Bonus: Trump trade adviser Peter Navarro talked TikTok and Microsoft on the "Axios Re:Cap" podcast. Listen here.
4. 1 fun thing
Cover: Philomel via AP

A coronavirus version of “Goodnight Moon" is on the way, AP reports.

  • “Good Morning Zoom,” written by Lindsay Rechler and illustrated by June Park, takes Margaret Wise Brown’s beloved bedtime story and turns it into a narrative about Zoom, bread baking, home schooling and other familiar parts of life during the pandemic.
  • Coming Oct. 6, and all author net proceeds will be donated to coronavirus relief charities.
Mike Allen