Rep. John Lewis. Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Axios managing editor David Nather remembers interviewing Rep. John Lewis for a CQ profile in 2002:

I was struck by something you don't always hear in the tributes. He said he was shy as a boy, but put his inhibitions aside to join the civil rights movement — figuring that if others were putting themselves on the line, he should too.

  • He said he was still shy, but that his political life drew him out. "I think the movement liberated me," he said at the time, "and I think being in Congress liberated me more."

My thought bubble: He struck me as dignified, gentle and soft-spoken — not at all what you'd expect from the thundering presence you saw in his speeches.

  • He gave you his full, undivided attention. And when he thanked you for your time, he seemed sincere and humble about it, even though you knew how many demands he actually had on his own time.

The bottom line: There aren't a lot of genuine heroes in the crises we're facing now. That's probably making the grief over his passing even more intense.

  • He left some awfully big shoes to fill.

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Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Politics: Chris Christie: Wear a mask "or you may regret it — as I did" — Senate Democrats block vote on McConnell's targeted relief bill.
  2. Business: New state unemployment filings fall.
  3. Economy: Why the stimulus delay isn't a crisis (yet).
  4. Health: FDA approves Gilead's remdesivir as a coronavirus treatment How the pandemic might endMany U.S. deaths were avoidable.
  5. Education: Boston and Chicago send students back home for online learning.
  6. World: Spain and France exceed 1 million cases.

Early voting eclipses 2016 total with 12 days until election

People stand in line to vote early in Fairfax, Virginia in September. Photo: Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images

Americans have cast more than 47.1 million ballots in the 2020 presidential election, surpassing the total early-vote count for 2016 with 12 days left until Election Day, according to a Washington Post analysis of voting data.

Why it matters: The election is already underway, as many states have expanded early and mail-in voting options because of the coronavirus pandemic.

What to expect from the final debate of the 2020 election

Trump and Biden at the first debate. Morry Gash-Pool/Getty Image

Watch for President Trump to address Joe Biden as “the big guy” or “the chairman” at tonight's debate as a way of dramatizing the Hunter Biden emails. Hunter's former business partner Tony Bobulinski is expected to be a Trump debate guest.

The big picture: Trump's advisers universally view the first debate as a catastrophe — evidenced by a sharp plunge in Trump’s public and (more convincingly for them) private polling immediately following the debate.