Dem Notes

* President Biden signed an executive order that creates the White House Office of Environmental Justice. The order would help ensure that poverty, race and ethnic status do not lead to worse exposure to pollution and environmental harm.

* Signs of a resilient labor market: The unemployment rate fell to 3.4 percent in April—matching a 54-year low.

* The Biden-Harris 2024 re-election campaign has formed a National Advisory Board of 50 leading voices in the Democratic Party who will help deliver the Administration’s message and engage voters across the country. NAB members include South Florida state Sen. Shevrin Jones and U.S. Rep. Maxwell Frost of Orlando. Jones is the first openly LGBT, black senator in Florida and a member of the DNC. The 26-year-old Frost is the first member of Generation Z elected to Congress.

* Heads up, Democratic-leaning Senate and wild card West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell—in well-noted defiance of Donald Trump—has recruited West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice to run for Manchin’s Democratic seat.

* The president looked and sounded the part he needed to play at the White House Correspondents’ Dinner, including passionate, unequivocal support for the role of journalism in a democracy. It also helps that as an aging, engaging president, he also has a sense of humor—as exemplified in his constitutional reference to his “good friend Jimmy Madison.”

* Speaking of the WHCD, it’s in part a forum that—because of some zinging humor—requires a president to give as good as he gets. Cheap laughs are accepted–and expected. It’s also a reminder that in America we don’t put our president on a pedestal. No surprise that Trump, the pathological narcissist, was a presidential no-show during his tenure.

It takes me back to the ‘70s when I was in West Berlin and heard locals referring to the tippling West German Chancellor Willy Brandt as “Schnapps Willy.” It was a good-natured kind of egalitarian ribbing of somebody they liked. You can bet that nobody on the other side of the Wall ever referenced Erich Honecker in such a funny, fun fashion.

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