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Republican gubernatorial candidate Ed Gillespie at his nomination victory party in Richmond, Va., June 13, 2017. (Photo: Steve Helber/AP)

ALEXANDRIA, Va. — Ed Gillespie has a tricky road ahead of him as he campaigns for Virginia governor this year.

The Republican nominee wants to talk about state issues, not President Trump, not Russia and certainly not what’s on Twitter.

But Democrats hope to make the race, one of the few significant elections this fall, a referendum on Trump. The latest sign is that former President Obama has already decided to campaign for the Democratic nominee, Lt. Gov. Ralph Northam. Obama isn’t coming to campaign for Northam because he wants to discuss the state budget. He’s going to come and talk about the man in the Oval Office.

And Gillespie can’t easily distance himself from the Republican president. He barely won the Republican primary, almost losing to another Republican candidate who imitated Trump’s style and approach to issues. That candidate, Corey Stewart, received 155,466 votes, and Gillespie eked out a victory with a few thousand more.

Without a good number of those Stewart voters on his side, Gillespie won’t have much of a chance on Nov. 7. The first poll of the general election showed Gillespie trailing Northam by eight points.

And Democratic turnout was enormous in the primary. A total of 540,000 Democrats voted in the primary, compared to just 360,000 Republicans. That suggests Gillespie is facing a potential tsunami of anti-Trump sentiment.

In an interview with Yahoo News at his office here just across the Potomac River from Washington, D.C., Gillespie, a longtime Republican operative and former chairman of the Republican National Committee, gave a preview of how he’ll try to navigate these challenges. He said that he voted for Trump for president and hopes he can pass policies that help Virginians, but also took some effort to note that it’s “not my job” to “always be for the president or always be against the president.”

“It’s to always be for Virginia,” he said. “Clearly I supported [Trump], but I look at everything through a focus of Virginia.”

Gillespie made several comments that signaled a clear break with the resentment-driven politics embodied by Trump. He noted that he’ll run an inclusive campaign that appeals to all races and religions.

“I intend to be governor for all Virginians. I will take my campaign to all Virginians. I try to look at things through other people’s eyes and to listen and to be open to different perspectives,” he said.

Republican gubernatorial candidate, Ed Gillespie, front left, waits to place a flower on an impromptu memorial for Nabra Hassanen, who was killed in a road rage incident, prior to the start of a vigil in honor of Nabar on Wednesday, June 21, 2017, in Reston, Va. (Photo: Steve Helber/AP)

Gillespie attended a funeral Wednesday for Nabra Hassanen, a 17-year-old Muslim girl who was beaten and killed Sunday by an undocumented immigrant from El Salvador, as she was on her way to Ramadan prayers at the All Dulles Area Muslim Society, one of the largest mosques in the area.

“I have a lot of friends in the ADAMS community,” Gillespie noted.

Gillespie’s starkest departure from the Trump brand of politics was his expression of agreement that “Black Lives Matter” and his acknowledgment that he did not respond positively to the slogan at first.

“I remember the first time I heard Black Lives Matter, and my reaction I’m sure was similar to that of many others, which was, ‘Well, of course they do. All lives matter,’” Gillespie said. “As I thought about it and talked to people, it occurred to me that I never felt the need to say white lives matter. The fact that a significant portion of our fellow citizens feel the need to tell us that tells me something.”

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Ed Gillespie, front left, at a memorial for 17-year-old Nabra Hassanen, June 21, 2017, in Reston, Va. (Photo: Steve Helber/AP)

I asked Gillespie what it told him.

“It tells me that —” he said, then paused. “Well, I’ll just leave it at that. I am responsive and open to and listening to the needs of my fellow Virginians, wherever they are, and I think people see that.”

Gillespie’s hesitation indicates his awareness that most Republican voters probably don’t share his appreciation of movements like Black Lives Matter. A recent survey of 40,000 Americans found a dramatic drop in the number of self-identified Republicans who believe African-Americans face discrimination, from 46 to 32 percent in just the last year.

Beyond that, Gillespie wants to talk about the economy. He’s a classic conservative in the sense that his main focus is on creating the conditions for economic growth. He believes that’s the biggest thing the government can do to improve the lives of the greatest number of people.

The commonwealth has had sluggish economic growth for several years, often lagging behind the national rate, which has averaged around 2 percent. “Five of the past six years, our economic growth rate has been below 1 percent, and the only year it wasn’t, it was at 2 percent, which is still anemic,” Gillespie said.

The state’s economy was deeply affected by the budget sequester cuts in 2013 that took money away from the robust federal contracting industry in northern Virginia and Hampton Roads.

Gillespie said his “long-term goal is to make our economy less reliant on federal spending and federal programs.” That’s been a goal of the current governor as well, Democrat Terry McAuliffe, who is limited to one term by the state constitution.

But while McAuliffe traveled the globe to attract business to locate in Virginia, Gillespie thinks a 10 percent cut in the state income tax rate, which hasn’t changed in over four decades, is a key to “a more dynamic economy” because most small-business owners pay the individual rate rather than the corporate rate.

“We have had a focus for 25 years … on what I call ‘whale hunting’ in Virginia in terms of our economic development policy. We’re constantly trying to get some Fortune 100 company to move its headquarters lock, stock and barrel into Virginia, and we throw taxpayer dollars to lure them here to do that,” Gillespie said. “I think that is an antiquated approach and that we need to put a greater focus on startups and scale-ups.”

“It’s more natural, organic growth. It is a more long-term but sustainable approach to job creation here, and it will help us diversify our economy,” he said.

Gillespie also wants to require that municipalities look for alternatives to three categories of local taxes, which he thinks are stifling small business growth.

He said this election will put Virginia on one of two trajectories: to be like many Northeastern states, with high taxes and lower rates of growth, or follow the course of Southern states, that he said have more people moving into them because of lower taxes and more jobs.

“Virginia is either going to become the northernmost southeastern state or the southernmost northeastern state,” he said.

Northam’s approach to the economy includes a desire to make the code “simpler, more progressive and fairer,” and he has spoken of the need “to have a tax code that’s competitive with other states.”

“If we don’t, these businesses and manufacturers are going to choose to go elsewhere,” Northam said. That could be interpreted to mean Northam wants to lower taxes for corporations, but he has so far not spelled out the details.

Northam also wants to raise the minimum wage, offer a tax credit to allow employers to offer more paid family leave and provide tax credits to offset grocery tax for lower-income Virginians.

The two candidates have already started to trade blows, with Northam charging that Gillespie is “Trump’s lobbyist.” It’s a double-pronged attack meant to tie him to Trump, forcing him to defend the president to hold on to the Republican base, but hurting him among moderates and independents.

And Democrats will look to ding Gillespie over some of his lobbying clients.

“There are plenty of clients of his that the public will find unappealing. He made money off helping big corporations game the system,” said Northam spokesman David Turner.

Gillespie began his political career as a congressional aide and quickly rose through the ranks of Republican operatives during the 2000 presidential campaign, and then formed a powerful lobbying company with Democrat Jack Quinn.

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President George W. Bush with Ed Gillespie on the South Lawn of the White House in 2008. (Photo: Ron Edmonds/AP)

He was named chairman of the Republican National Committee and helped oversee the effort to reelect George W. Bush in 2004, then served as a senior White House adviser to Bush. He has since worked in both national politics and in Virginia. He was a senior adviser to Mitt Romney’s 2012 presidential campaign, and nearly won the 2014 U.S. Senate election against incumbent Mark Warner, a Democrat.

Part of Gillespie’s counterattack against Northam so far has been to label the Democrat as having drifted too far left, more focused on social issues and on attacking the president than on basic bread and butter economic issues.

“I’m going to keep talking about the issues that matter to Virginia … jobs and roads and schools and the safety of our communities and neighborhoods,” Gillespie said.

He concluded with a shot at the media, one topic that he does appear to agree with Trump.

“I have to talk to the voters about what the voters are telling me they care about and just let the media talk about what they want to talk about, because the good news is, it doesn’t matter that much anymore,” he said. “The voters will get their information, and they’ll get it through other means.”
_____

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Sportswear brands review spate of incidents in factories where employees on short-term contracts work 10-hour days in 30C temperatures

Women working in Cambodian factories supplying some of the world’s best-known sportswear brands are suffering from repeated mass faintings linked to conditions.

Over the past year more than 500 workers in four factories supplying to Nike, Puma, Asics and VF Corporation were hospitalised. The most serious episode, recorded over three days in November, saw 360 workers collapse. The brands confirmed the incidents, part of a pattern of faintings that has dogged the 600,000-strong mostly female garment workforce for years.

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Tesco is to join Sainsbury’s in changing the branding of some ‘fairly traded’ products

When four Sainsbury’s executives met farmers from some of Africa’s biggest tea-growing co-operatives in a hotel in Nairobi last month it should have been a mutual celebration of Fairtrade, the gold standard of ethical trading and the world’s most trusted and best-known food certification scheme.

But instead of backslapping at the Pride hotel, the world’s largest retailer of Fairtrade products precipitated the greatest crisis in the scheme’s 25-year history by telling the 13 major tea groups and their 228,000 co-operative members that it intended to drop the globally known Fairtrade mark for their produce, and replace it with the phrase “fairly traded”.

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Hillary Clinton in March 2017. (Photo: Brendan McDermid/Reuters)

Hillary Clinton didn’t mince words Friday when it came to the Senate Republicans’ newly unveiled health care legislation.

“Forget death panels. If Republicans pass this bill, they’re the death party,” the 2016 Democratic presidential candidate tweeted.

Clinton linked to a story from the liberal think tank Center for American Progress that claimed that the GOP bill would result in thousands of more health-related deaths if enacted.

That claim is based on projections that fewer people will be able to afford insurance under the bill’s provisions. The legislation phases out the 2010 Affordable Care Act’s Medicaid expansion, which greatly expanded insurance coverage, funded in part through tax increases the GOP bill repeals. According to the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office’s evaluation of the similar House bill, 23 million fewer people would be insured in 10 years than under current law. The CBO report on the Senate bill is expected next week.

In recent days, Clinton has repeatedly railed against Republican efforts to undermine the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare. Earlier Friday, she also touted former President Barack Obama’s lengthy statement urging the public to fight the GOP bill.

She has also sought to link the legislation directly to the Republican foe she unsuccessfully battled last year.

“If you’re waiting for the right moment to call your senator about Trumpcare, the moment is now,” Clinton wrote Thursday. “Don’t wait until it’s too late.”

Her Friday afternoon message focusing on the Senate bill’s Medicaid cuts echoed Sen. Bernie Sanders, her Democratic rival from last year.

“If you throw 23 million people off of health insurance, if you cut Medicaid by over $800 billion, there is no question but that thousands of Americans will die,” Sanders said Thursday on CNN.

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US president has long history of lucrative investment deals with Saudi Arabia but few ties to small Gulf nation

Donald Trump’s decision to back the blockade of Qatar – even as US diplomats have sharply criticised the embargo – follows decades of private business dealings by the US president with the countries leading the charge against the small Gulf nation.

Trump’s financial history with Saudi Arabia, which is leading the blockade, and Saudi ally the United Arab Emirates, includes the purchase of tens of millions of dollars in Trump’s real estate properties by wealthy Saudis over the years. The situation raises questions about whether the president’s personal financial relationships are dictating US policy, rather than his stated claims that he is concerned about Qatar’s alleged link to terror financing.

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It’s been a poor year for the pound, savers and UK-focused retailers but firms with sizeable foreign earnings have prospered

Britain’s consumers and UK-focused firms are among the biggest losers one year on from the shock Brexit vote that drove the value of the pound to its lowest level in more than 30 years.

On the first anniversary of the EU referendum, financial services company Hargreaves Lansdown said clear winners and losers have emerged, with the pound taking the biggest hit on the markets. Blue chip companies with a large proportion of foreign earnings are among the biggest winners.

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Protest, for better employment rights, is latest in series that has hindered rubbish collection in major cities in Greece

Greece has been hit by fresh strike action as thousands of public sector workers marched through Athens in protest against the debt-ridden country’s austerity programme.

Related: Creditors agree terms to disburse Greece's €8.5bn bailout funds

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Members of House financial services committee say US privacy laws do not apply to requests from Congress and continue to press for information about inquiry

Deutsche Bank is at the centre of an escalating row on Capitol Hill after the German bank refused to respond to a congressional request for information about the bank’s examination of Donald Trump’s bank account and whether he had financial ties to Russia.

Maxine Waters, a top Democrat on the House financial services committee, has challenged Deutsche Bank’s legal rationale for refusing to volunteer information about the US president’s account and an internal review the bank conducted last year.

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Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is trailed by reporters as he walks to the Senate floor of the U.S. Capitol after unveiling a draft bill on health care June 22, 2017. (Photo: Kevin Lamarque/Reuters)

WASHINGTON — After weeks of secret negotiations, Senate Republicans on Thursday released their much-anticipated proposal to repeal Obamacare Thursday, unveiling a plan that would cut Medicaid and reduce penalties for not buying insurance.

But despite pledges to walk back key pieces of the House’s American Health Care Act, approved by that chamber last month, the Senate bill appears strikingly similar. Though Trump heaped public praise on the bill, Trump reportedly called it “mean” at a closed-door lunch. The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office said the House plan would result in 23 million fewer people covered than under current law.

“From what I understand their bill tracks in many ways along the lines of the House bill,” said House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis.

Among the notable changes between the two bills: The Senate policy-crafters elected to drop waivers allowing states to let insurers raise costs for people with preexisting conditions. That key piece was added to AHCA in an effort to entice conservatives to support the bill.

But the Senate version would actually have deeper cuts to Medicaid than the AHCA as part of Congress’ attempts to phase out the Obama administration’s expansion of the program to funnel more money to states to help low-income Americans.

The House version would end those subsidies in three years, a timeframe supported by more conservative members including Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky. But more moderate Senate lawmakers argued that more years were needed.

In an effort to forge a compromise, the Senate plan would end the extra Medicaid payouts after four years. But it would also begin capping the amount of money each state can receive from the program. Currently states can get funds from Medicaid to cover all eligible recipients.

Like the House bill, the Senate’s version would end the penalties levied on individuals who chose not to purchase insurance, a key piece of Obamacare. It would also roll back tax increases on wealthier Americans and health insurance companies.

Another key piece of Obamacare, subsidies helping poorer Americans purchase health insurance, would be reformed under both the AHCA and the Senate plan. The Senate plan, however, would factor both age and income, whereas its House counterpart solely uses age.

The Senate legislation would also shift one of the key pieces of the House version, a $115 billion fund to help stabilize state marketplaces, into a separate bill reauthorizing the Children’s Health Insurance Program later this year.

Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) leaves a meeting of Republican senators at the U.S. Capitol June 22, 2017, where most got their first opportunity to look at legislation aimed at overhauling the Affordable Care Act. (Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

But like the House bill, the Senate proposal defunds Planned Parenthood for a year, a potential deal breaker for Sens. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, and Susan Collins, R-Maine. The Senate bill also prevents any insurance plans on the exchange from covering abortion except in the case of rape and incest and encourages private plans not to cover abortion as well.

McConnell said the bill was a needed improvement over Obamacare.

“Republicans believe we have a responsibility to act, and we are,” McConnell said on the Senate floor.

“Democrats imposed ObamaCare on our country,” he said. “They said it would lower costs, it didn’t. They said it would increase choice, but of course, it didn’t.”

But many of McConnell’s members declined to comment as they left a closed-door meeting where the Republican senators were briefed on the proposal. Others said they were still reviewing the discussion draft presented Thursday morning, which stretched over 140 pages.

“Obviously we have a lot to look at,” Murkowski told reporters while leaving the meeting.

Democrats wasted no time, however, in blasting the proposal, referencing the president’s derisive comments about the bill and arguing it is little different from the AHCA, which 21 percent of Americans support, according to a Quinnipiac poll last month.

“The president said the Senate bill should have heart. But this bill is heartless,” Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer, D-N.Y. said in a floor speech.

McConnell said on the floor that the Congressional Budget Office would score the Senate bill next week and then proceed to a debate and vote.

Additional reporting by Liz Goodwin.

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El Al loses case brought by Holocaust survivor asked to move after ultra-orthodox man refused to sit next to her

As an 82-year-old Holocaust survivor and a former lawyer, Renee Rabinowitz might seem an unlikely figurehead in Israel’s culture wars.

Rabinowitz has been thrust into the spotlight over an issue that has become an increasingly familiar problem for airlines flying in and out of Israel: ultra-orthodox men who refuse to take their seats next to women, demanding changes in seating and sometimes causing delays.

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Casamigos, which star founded with Rande Gerber and Mike Meldman, bought by Smirnoff and Johnnie Walker owner Diageo

A tequila company co-founded by George Clooney has been sold to UK drinks firm Diageo for up to $1bn (£790m).

The company behind Smirnoff, Johnnie Walker and Baileys announced it would buy Casamigos, created four years ago by the American actor, together with Cindy Crawford’s husband Rande Gerber and property developer Mike Meldman. Diageo said it was the fastest-growing super-premium tequila brand in the US.

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Advertisers will pull or pause campaigns amid backlash over ads appearing next to inappropriate content, says Group M

Advertisers will pull hundreds of millions of pounds in spending from Google and Facebook this year over concerns about ads running next to inappropriate content such as extremist sites and fake news.

Sir Martin Sorrell’s GroupM, which buys more than $75bn (£60bn) of advertising space on behalf of clients globally, has slashed its growth prediction for UK digital advertising and has blamed some of the adjustment on an advertiser backlash over the inability of Silicon Valley giants to stop ads appearing around inappropriate content.

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Sen. Tim Kaine, center, and Sen. Jeff Flake talk about their introduction of a new Authorization for the Use of Military Force against ISIS. (Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

WASHINGTON — Sen. Tim Kaine, D-Va., on Wednesday sharply condemned U.S. strikes on Syrian regime forces — like the shoot-down of a military jet over the weekend — as “completely illegal.”

“I think the military action that is being taken against Syrian government assets is completely illegal,” Kaine said in an interview with Yahoo News on Sirius XM’s politics channel, POTUS.

There have been four known instances of U.S. forces firing on Syrian government targets in recent weeks, including the early April cruise missile strike in retaliation for the government’s use of chemical weapons. Over the weekend, a U.S. Navy fighter shot down a Syrian warplane. The Pentagon says it has legal authority to act under the 2001 Authorization for the Use of Military Force (AUMF), passed after the 9/11 attacks, which effectively permitted the invasion of Afghanistan and global efforts to stamp out al-Qaida. Both George W. Bush and Barack Obama cited that legislation as the legal justification for the global war on terrorism.

Kaine, a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, bluntly disagreed with the Trump administration’s position.

“The 2001 authorization said we can take action against the perpetrators of the 9/11 attacks. Nobody claims that Syria was a perpetrator. Nobody claims that they are connected to al-Qaida. In fact, they’re battling against al-Qaida in Syria,” Kaine countered. “So I think this is a completely unlawful use of power.”

Kaine, Hillary Clinton’s 2016 running mate, also blamed “political cowardice” as a factor in congressional resistance to debating and voting to authorize the nearly three-year war on the so-called Islamic State, also known as ISIS, in places like Syria.

“Part of this is, in my view, political cowardice — not wanting to be on the record on a war vote,” Kaine said.

Previous attempts to push Congress to debate and authorize the escalating but undeclared war on the terrorist army in Syria and Iraq have fallen short, in large part due to politics. Clinton’s fate in the 2008 Democratic primaries, when her vote in favor of the 2002 AUMF against Iraq became one of Barack Obama’s most potent weapons, haunts Democrats. And Republicans preferred to criticize Obama’s handling of the conflict from the sidelines without taking any steps that might make them co-owners of the strategy.

Kaine and Sen. Jeff Flake, R.-Ariz., have written a new AUMF to cover ISIS and other extremist groups.

Kaine, who has tried since mid-2014 to get Congress to debate and vote on a new AUMF, said he thinks the political moment might be right to get lawmakers to act.

“This has been enormously frustrating,” Kaine acknowledged. But President Trump’s November victory has revived interest in the discussion.

“Any change in administration is kind of an opportunity to look anew at the strategy,” he said.

But lawmakers are “starting to get nervous” about Trump’s use of military force, Kaine said.

“We haven’t heard the strategy about ISIS. We don’t have a strategy about Afghanistan. We’ve now taken action against the government of Syria and their military without a strategy about that,” Kaine said. “So we’re starting to worry about the 2001 authority just being used carte blanche all over the place by this administration, and I think that provides some additional impetus to get this right.

Flake and Kaine’s measure, which repeals both the 2001 AUMF and the 2002 AUMF allowing Bush to use force against Saddam Hussein’s Iraq, would explicitly authorize making war on ISIS, al-Qaida and the Taliban, as well as “associated forces,” to be defined by the administration and Congress. The legislation would expire after five years.

Turning to another foreign policy issue, Kaine worried that the U.S. standoff over North Korea’s nuclear and ballistic missile programs was “definitely worsening.”

Trump apparently agrees, though he gave credit to China for trying to assist.

Kaine said he would back the Trump administration if it chose to punish Chinese firms that do business with North Korea in violation of international sanctions measures.

The Chinese have the most leverage to curb North Korean behavior, Kaine said, but he noted that “they’ve been unwilling, unable or some combination of both to really effectively do that.”

“I would support the administration in taking those tougher steps,” Kaine said.

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In the wake of Jon Ossoff’s stinging defeat in the House race in Atlanta’s suburbs last night, the question now is: How do Democrats pick up the pieces?

There have been, and will continue to be, loud calls for the party to adopt the policy agenda espoused by Sens. Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren: lurching leftward and toward a populist economic platform. Under this scenario, Democrats would embrace candidates who excoriate the wealthiest “1 percent” and promise to curb income inequality, zero out public college and university tuition and enact single-payer universal health care. The Sanders-Warren populist agenda would be trumpeted in House and local races across the country.

There are also Democratic warnings that Ossoff’s tepid handling of President Trump misfired. During the special election runoff against Republican Karen Handel, seeking to capture the hearts of GOP college-educated voters, Ossoff preached civility and avoided anti-Trump diatribes; he never quite mouthed the full-throated critique of Trump’s mendacity, ignorance, incivility and authoritarian predilections that some of Ossoff’s ardent supporters desired. His above-the-fray strategy will be heavily scrutinized in the wake of his four-point electoral loss. Hillary Clinton rested much of her campaign on a platform of anti-Trumpism, and Ossoff, on a far smaller playing field, took something of the opposite tack, refusing to make Trump’s temperament the bête noir of his message.

Neither Clinton nor Ossoff prevailed, leaving the debate about the Democratic “message” and “agenda” flaring anew — namely, how do Democrats balance anti-Trump broadsides against a positive economic agenda that can appeal to some of Trump’s white working-class and upper-income voters? “Our brand is worse than Trump,” Rep. Tim Ryan, D-Ohio, complained to the New York Times in the hours after the race in Georgia was called. “We can’t just run against Trump.”

Other Democrats are committed to a centrist, Ossoff-like strategy that positions the party as the modest, reality-based alternative to Republican extremism. In House districts where Republicans lead in voter registration and enjoy built-in advantages, these calls will be particularly pronounced over the next 18 months.

Although the Democratic Party has never faced a president like Trump, and while there are few recent instances in which an organic “resistance” has emerged as a potential boon to the party, this moment of Democratic despair and division is not without precedent. The party’s internecine warfare, progressive vs. centrist divisions, and a dark view that the Democratic brand is toxic to large chunks of more conservative parts of America have echoes in modern history.

President Trump greets White House visitors last week on the South Lawn. (Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images)

After Vice President Hubert Humphrey narrowly lost to Richard Nixon in 1968, the party nominated Sen. George McGovern for president in 1972. Republicans eviscerated McGovern as an appeaser on foreign policy and a soft-on-crime left-wing radical. McGovern was trounced, winning only Massachusetts and Washington, D.C.

After Ronald Reagan soundly defeated President Jimmy Carter in 1980, Democrats embarked on a decade-long internal debate about their post-Great Society identity. Traditional liberals battled conservative Southerners over economic policies and the size and purpose of the welfare state, while some “neoliberals” sought to forge a more centrist party that promoted the tech industry, free trade, fiscal restraint and deregulation, along with a defense of public morality and a strong military. This centrist movement to recapture the Democratic Party ultimately was a factor that helped Arkansas Gov. Bill Clinton triumph in his 1992 presidential campaign.

In the aftermath of Clinton’s presidency, Al Gore lost a heartbreakingly close election in 2000, and Democrats again struggled — especially after 9/11 — to distinguish their ideas, candidates and policies from Republicans, who controlled majorities in Congress and the White House. The debates that followed all these setbacks were necessary and proper, part of the natural process that a party as racially and economically diverse as the Democratic Party must embrace as it seeks to win majorities in Congress and check Republicans in the White House. The times when the party has lurched leftward (McGovern is the most notable example), and the times when it has sought to reincarnate and distance itself from its recent achievements (Gore running away from Clinton’s record in 2000, for example) have not, on the whole, proven to be successful formulas.

Whatever transpires in the months ahead, it’s worth remembering that the calls for fundamental party reform are reflections of more entrenched challenges on where the party stands on big issues of race and class. These debates — such as are Democrats primarily the party of the rising, cosmopolitan America or the party championing the economic interests of the white working class? — will rage on. At the same time, politics can change in a blink, and with Trump’s volatility, myriad investigations and potential court cases unfolding over the next 18 months, and the near-miss special election results in a series of deep-red districts, the 2018 midterms may turn out to be more favorable to Democrats than they think at this funereal moment; after all, in June 2005, few pundits knew a Democratic wave was coming in 2006.

The debate that’s now fully engaged — more so even than after Hillary Clinton’s defeat — has been a healthy feature of the Democratic Party’s DNA since the Great Society era. It has kept the party relevant, engaged and forward-looking, even if the party looks adrift and captain-less in the confused aftermath of a bitter defeat.

Matthew Dallek, associate professor at George Washington’s Graduate School of Political Management, is author of Defenseless Under the Night: The Roosevelt Years and the Origins of Homeland Security.

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Embattled founder of ride-hailing app stepped down in face of pressure from investors after tumultuous six months of scandals and stumbles

Uber co-founder Travis Kalanick has resigned from his position as chief executive of the $68bn ride-hailing app following a tumultuous six months of scandal.

Kalanick stepped down in the face of pressure from five of Uber’s largest investors, according to the New York Times. Kalanick will, however, stay on the company’s board.

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