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Sens. Elizabeth Warren, Kamala Harris, Kirsten Gillibrand, and Rep. Tulsi Gabbard. Photos: Scott Eisen, Mason Trinca, Drew Angerer and Cindy Ord via Getty Images.

If the future is female, as the slogan dating back to the '70s suggests, the current state of the Democratic Party is well on its way.

Why it matters: This is the first time in history that being a woman, particularly for Democrats running in 2020, "is probably more a political asset than a liability," per the LA Times.

Driving the news:

  • House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is the most powerful Democrat in America, emerging as President Trump's main foil during the shutdown.
  • Sens. Kamala Harris, Elizabeth Warren, Kirsten Gillibrand and Tulsi Gabbard are running for the Democratic presidential nomination.
  • Georgia politician Stacey Abrams will be giving the State of the Union response to Trump next week.
  • Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is the fastest-rising new member on Capitol Hill, using online authenticity to instantly gain an audience with her Democratic Socialist policy agenda.

Be smart: The 2018 midterms were an overwhelming sign of success and momentum behind female candidates and among female voters (59% supported Democrats), which could propel women in 2020.

  • Harris is the latest woman to enter the race, and she's made the clear and early case that she'll differentiate herself by focusing on her time as an attorney general and highlighting her connection with the black community.
  • Warren prefers "nerding out" on policy and hammering an economic message of class inequities by recalling her childhood.
  • Gillibrand separates herself "as a young mom," often "emphasizing her record on protecting women from sexual assault and her support for female candidates," per the LA Times. Don't forget her role in removing Al Franken from the Senate after his past instances of sexual misconduct were revealed.
  • Gabbard has focused on being a military veteran, telling CNN: "There is one main issue that is central to the rest, and that is the issue of war and peace."

P.S. Former Starbucks CEO and potential 2020 presidential contender Howard Schultz called Harris' support for eliminating private health insurance "not American" and Warren's "wealth tax" proposal "ridiculous."

  • Warren responds: "What's 'ridiculous' is billionaires who think they can buy the presidency to keep the system rigged for themselves while opportunity slips away for everyone else. The top 0.1%, who'd pay my #UltraMillionaireTax, own about the same wealth as 90% of America."

Go deeper

Scoop: Gina Haspel threatened to resign over plan to install Kash Patel as CIA deputy

CIA Director Gina Haspel. Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

CIA Director Gina Haspel threatened to resign in early December after President Trump cooked up a hasty plan to install loyalist Kash Patel, a former aide to Rep. Devin Nunes (R-Calif.), as her deputy, according to three senior administration officials with direct knowledge of the matter.

Why it matters: The revelation stunned national security officials and almost blew up the leadership of the world's most powerful spy agency. Only a series of coincidences — and last minute interventions from Vice President Mike Pence and White House counsel Pat Cipollone — stopped it.

Updated 10 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Health: Coronavirus deaths reach 4,000 per day as hospitals remain in crisis mode — CDC warns highly transmissible coronavirus variant could become dominant in U.S. in March.
  2. Politics: Biden says, "We will manage the hell out of" vaccine distribution — Biden taps ex-FDA chief to lead Operation Warp Speed amid rollout of COVID plan — Widow of GOP congressman-elect who died of COVID-19 will run to fill his seat.
  3. Vaccine: Battling Black mistrust of the vaccines"Pharmacy deserts" could become vaccine deserts — Instacart to give $25 to shoppers who get vaccine.
  4. Economy: Unemployment filings explode againFed chair: No interest rate hike coming any time soon —  Inflation rose more than expected in December.
  5. World: WHO team arrives in China to investigate pandemic origins.

John Weaver, Lincoln Project co-founder, acknowledges “inappropriate” messages

John Weaver aboard John McCain's campaign plane in February 2000. Photo: Robert Schmidt/AFP via Getty Images)

John Weaver, a veteran Republican operative who co-founded the Lincoln Project, declared in a statement to Axios on Friday that he sent “inappropriate,” sexually charged messages to multiple men.

  • “To the men I made uncomfortable through my messages that I viewed as consensual mutual conversations at the time: I am truly sorry. They were inappropriate and it was because of my failings that this discomfort was brought on you,” Weaver said.
  • “The truth is that I'm gay,” he added. “And that I have a wife and two kids who I love. My inability to reconcile those two truths has led to this agonizing place.”