Midway through Elizabeth Warren’s stump speech these days, her fans start jumping from their seats like pistons, firing with cheers and applause each time she rattles off another new policy punchline.
‘‘Here’s a good one,’’ the Democratic senator from Massachusetts said last week at a community-college gym filled with about 1,700 people. It was a plan to impose new ethics rules on Supreme Court justices. ‘‘I really could do this all night long. But let me do — let me do just one more.’’
She did a dozen more, each greeted with an ovation: a law to force the release of politicians’ tax returns. A wealth tax on those worth more than $50 million. New rules to limit company size. And on and on.
Six months after launching her candidacy amid blundering apologies for her longtime claims of Native American ancestry and nagging questions about whether she could compete on a national stage, Warren is experiencing something unusual in the crowded Democratic field: momentum.
It is not showing up in national polls, which have remained largely steady with Warren in the single digits, far behind former Vice President Joe Biden.
But energized crowds have been flocking to her events in early voting states. Her nonstop stream of policy positions, which add up to what would be a restructuring of American capitalism, has helped shape the broader debate.
Some state-level surveys show Warren near Biden at the top of the field. A poll by the Des Moines Register, CNN, and Mediacom, which published over the weekend, combined probable caucusgoers’ first choice, second choice, and candidates they are ‘‘actively considering’’ to show that Biden and Warren are evenly matched by this measure, with 61 percent each.
Biden has the edge in the ‘‘first choice’’ category, with 24 percent. But Warren’s performance on that front — 15 percent described Warren as their first choice, compared with 16 percent for Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont and 14 percent for South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete Buttigieg — reflected a stronger position for Warren than she held in previous Iowa polling.
Sunday marks moment for 2020 prospects in Iowa
In five-minute chunks of speaking time, nearly 20 Democratic presidential candidates got the chance to make their case before hundreds of party leaders at an important testing ground in early-voting Iowa.
Absent from Sunday’s event was Joe Biden, who leads in early polling, and that gave the gathering the look of an audition for the former vice president’s would-be top challengers heading into the summer campaign season in the leadoff 2020 caucus state.
Expected to take the stage for their strictly-enforced time-limited speeches were 19 of 24 Democrats who have joined the race to unseat President Trump.
The high-profile campaign stop event comes in the wake of Biden’s reversal Thursday on a key abortion policy position. Biden now supports federal funding for abortion services after opposing it for decades.
That, and other parts of the former Delaware senator’s long record, created an opportunity for many abortion-rights supporters to step up their criticism of Biden to an influential audience.
Democrats begin public airing of Mueller report
President Trump says it’s ‘‘case closed.’’ But Democrats are just getting started with Robert Mueller.
House Democrats have scheduled a series of hearings this coming week on the special counsel’s report as they intensify their focus on the Russia probe and pick up the pace on an investigative ‘‘path’’ — in the words of Speaker Nancy Pelosi — that some of them hope leads to impeachment of the president.
In doing so, they are trying to draw the public’s attention on the allegations that Trump sought to obstruct a federal investigation and they want to highlight his campaign’s contacts with Russia in the 2016 election.
And they will lay the groundwork for an appearance from Mueller himself, despite his stated desire to avoid the spotlight .
The hearings will focus on the two main topics of Mueller’s report, obstruction of justice and Russian election interference.
The House Judiciary Committee plans to cover the first topic at a Monday hearing on ‘‘presidential obstruction and other crimes.’’ The House Intelligence Committee on Wednesday intends to review the counterintelligence implications of the Russian meddling. Mueller said there was not enough evidence to establish a conspiracy between the Trump campaign and Russia, but he said he could not exonerate Trump on obstruction.
On Tuesday, the House has scheduled a vote to authorize contempt cases against Attorney General William Barr and former White House counsel Donald McGahn for failing to comply with subpoenas from the Democratic-controlled House.
Barr defied a subpoena to provide an unredacted version of Mueller’s report, along with underlying evidence. McGahn, who is frequently referenced in the report, has defied subpoenas to provide documents and testify before the House Judiciary Committee.
China blocks same US media firms that Trump denounces
The news out of China this week was bleak: Two more major international media companies — the London-based Guardian and The Washington Post — were added to the nation’s Great Firewall, blocked on the Internet to the country’s 1.4 billion citizens as part of a crackdown on dissent by President Xi Jinping.
The ongoing fade-out of public information coincided with the 30th anniversary this month of the bloodshed of the Tiananmen Square protests, a free speech demonstration that the Communist Party crushed with military force as the world watched in horror.
On Saturday, in Washington, President Trump had a message: The Washington Post, CNN, and NBC were, he wrote on Twitter, ‘‘Fake and Corrupt News Media.’’ The New York Times and CNN are ‘‘truly The Enemy of the People!’’ MSNBC, which he called ‘‘the opposition,’’ was broadcasting ‘‘such lies, almost everything they were saying was the opposite of the truth.’’
‘‘I know it is not at all ‘Presidential’ to hit back at the Corrupt Media, or people who work for the Corrupt Media, when they make false statements about me or the Trump Administration,’’ Trump declared in another tweet. ‘‘Problem is, if you don’t hit back, people believe the Fake News is true. So we’ll hit back!’’
Trump’s tweetstorm against the press corps over the past three days, apparently sparked by his belief that he was not getting enough credit for an immigration deal with Mexico, was nothing new. The incendiary words were so routine that the president, after discounting a Times story on the deal as ‘‘false,’’ took his motorcade to Trump National Golf Club in Sterling, Va., for five hours of rest and relaxation.
Carter, after hip surgery, back teaching Sunday school
Former President Carter talked about his recent health setback and his conversation with President Trump, as he returned to teaching Sunday school in Georgia for the first time since breaking his hip.
Carter told people gathered at the Maranatha Baptist Church in Plains that he and his wife, Rosalynn, have nursing care at home and are doing fine. He thanked those present for their prayers and good wishes.
The 94-year-old Carter broke his hip last month at his home when he fell while leaving to go turkey hunting. He subsequently had hip replacement surgery.
The former first lady also was hospitalized around the same time for what Carter said was initially thought to be a stroke, but turned out to be less serious.
A devout Christian, Carter regularly teaches Sunday school in Plains, drawing hundreds of visitors for each session. But he had to cancel plans to teach after hip surgery.
People began gathering at midnight to hear Carter, and by 8 a.m. a line wrapped around the church despite pouring rain, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported.