Pete Buttigieg’s presidential campaign, struggling to build support among black voters, removed a photo from its website of a Kenyan woman that was used earlier this year to illustrate his plan to dismantle racism in the United States.
The photo of the woman kneeling and talking to a child, selected from an assortment of stock photos available for public reuse, was first posted over the summer as part of the rollout of Buttigieg’s “Douglass Plan,” billed as “a comprehensive investment in the empowerment of black America.”
The plan includes health care, education, and voting-rights reforms as well as proposals to address discrimination in policing.
Buttigieg has failed to gain traction among black voters — a critical constituency in the path to the Democratic nomination — even as polls show he is building support in largely white Iowa.
A statement released by Buttigieg’s campaign apologized for “confusion” and said the photo — which was posted on the website by a contractor working for the campaign — was removed from the Douglass plan Web page in mid-September in a “regular update” to the site. Once the campaign learned the photo was taken in Kenya, it was removed in recent days from other places on the site as well.
The error was first reported by The Intercept after the woman in the photo, shot in Kenya, expressed confusion as to why she had appeared on a website for a US presidential campaign.
New York Times
Democrats’ Southern wins could affect redistricting
The reelection victory by Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards over the weekend has assured Democrats of an all-important place at the table when political maps are redrawn after the 2020 Census for future elections to Congress and the state Legislature.
Edwards’s narrow triumph on Saturday marked the third significant win in a Southern state in two weeks for Democrats, following their takeover of both legislative houses in Virginia and the defeat in Kentucky of Republican Governor Matt Bevin by Democratic Attorney General Andy Beshear.
The recent Southern state elections provided a preview of the battle over redistricting power that is to come next year in many states. Although about one-quarter of the states use independent commissions or nonpartisan staff in their redistricting procedures, state lawmakers, governors, and other elected officials have key roles in redistricting in most other states.
If one party controls all pivotal state offices, that party can draw districts to the advantage of its candidates — a practice known as gerrymandering that can help lock in a party’s political power for the next decade.
Republicans who already controlled the Louisiana House and Senate had hoped to consolidate power by defeating Edwards, or else obtain a two-thirds majority in both legislative chambers that would allow them to override his vetoes. Neither occurred.
In Kentucky, Beshear’s election also will give the veto pen to a Democrat when the state Legislature draws new districts. The Kentucky House and Senate are controlled by Republicans.
Following the 2010 Census, Republicans who had swept to power in many state houses used their newfound majorities to draw districts that increased their odds of winning future elections. Democrats had done the same thing historically when they had power.
But a backlash has grown against such gerrymandering over the past decade. In 2018, voters in Colorado, Michigan, Missouri, Ohio, and Utah approved ballot measures designed to diminish legislative partisanship in redistricting.
Concerns remain about Trump’s visit to doctor
WASHINGTON — President Trump’s impromptu weekend visit to a doctor remained shrouded in secrecy Monday, as he stayed away from the public eye and the White House dodged questions about his health.
Trump, 73, made an unscheduled trip to Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda on Saturday, later saying on Twitter he had begun ‘‘phase one’’ of his annual physical exam and the results had been ‘‘very good.’’
It is unusual for a president to do a physical exam in multiple stages months apart, and the circumstances surrounding Trump’s visit renewed questions about the status of his health and the White House’s handling of his medical information, say several experts.
The White House would not say Monday if Trump planned to release records from his visit or describe which tests he took.
In a statement on Saturday, White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham said Trump had undergone a ‘‘quick exam and labs’’ and that he ‘‘remains healthy and energetic without complaints.’’ Grisham also said Trump had taken advantage of a ‘‘free weekend’’ in Washington to ‘‘begin portions of his routine annual physical exam.’’
The White House did not respond to requests for more information Monday. Two people who interacted with Trump late last week said he seemed to be hoarse and have signs of a cold, but nothing serious seemed amiss.
McConnell: Lack of civility is country’s biggest problem
Bemoaning the country’s lack of civility, Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell said on Monday that both sides of the political spectrum need to defuse the anger surrounding political discourse.
Speaking in his home state of Kentucky, he said the country needs to “learn how to behave better, how to be able to disagree without anger.”
McConnell is a key ally of President Trump and has referred to himself as the “Grim Reaper” for his strategy of burying the legislative priorities of House Democrats in the GOP-led Senate.
On Monday, the senator listed incivility as the country’s biggest problem.
“We have a behavioral problem,” McConnell said in a speech after receiving an award from the Kentucky Electric Cooperatives at the group’s annual meeting. “People are acting out and it’s not, I don’t think, limited to one ideological place or another. You’ve just got a lot of people engaging in bad behavior.”
Kentucky Democratic Party spokeswoman Marisa McNee scoffed at McConnell’s words, pointing to the senator’s reputation as a hard-hitting political tactician.
“If that’s what he believes, that this is such a stain on our politics, the lack of civility, does he regret the way he has allowed his own campaign to behave?” she said Monday.
McConnell didn’t mention the House impeachment inquiry into Trump’s dealings with Ukraine or any other emotionally charged issues for prompting his remarks. The senator later told reporters that his motivation was last year’s acrimonious confirmation process for Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh.
Asked if Trump, known for his combative tweets, was partly to blame for stoking tensions, McConnell replied: “I think we have a civility problem and I didn’t confine it to just liberals. I think it’s across the board.”
McConnell is seeking a seventh Senate term in 2020.