It's underdog week on the CNN Town Hall stage, with five of the less-noticed Democratic presidential candidates being given a chance to tell a national (cable) audience why they're the ones to take on Trump in 2020.
Tonight brings New York Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, whose last major speech had the misfortune of being scheduled on the same day that Attorney General William Barr announced the Mueller Report was in. Gillibrand is the self-styled social justice warrior who some Democrats are still upset with for, in their view, being too hasty to push Al Franken out of the US Senate as he was facing allegations of sexual harassment.
Then tomorrow is Washington State Governor Jay Inslee, whose Twitter feed was recently analyzed by The Washington Post and found to be fully, relentlessly, un-missably on board with Inslee's stated goal of forcing this country to take action on climate change.
Inslee tweets about climate change about eight times more often than most of his Democratic rivals, according to The Post—and well over twice as often as the only other candidate tweeting a lot about climate change, John Hickenlooper. Fully 80 percent of Inslee's tweets are about climate. Wonder what he'll talk about at the CNN town hall...
Also getting town halls this week: Julián Castro, the former Secretary of Housing and Urban Development; "spiritual book author" Marianne Williamson, who proves, according to BuzzFeed, that "presidential campaigns can poll at zero and still have something interesting to say about America"; and Andrew Yang, who wants to give every American $1,000 a month via his "Freedom Dividend" and scored the highly coveted Slog bump back in February.
So far, the poster child for turning a CNN town hall into campaign gold—literally—is Pete Buttigieg, the gay mayor of South Bend, Indiana who's lately been doing something unusual for Democrats and pretty much unheard of for gay Democrats: talking about his religious beliefs and painting Mike Pence and Donald Trump as supposedly religious hypocrites.
Can Inslee, too, get a "hottest candidate in the 2020 race" headline out of his town hall conversation tomorrow with Wolf Blitzer?
We'll find out tomorrow starting at 7 pm Pacific.