In This Episode
- Former President Donald Trump won New Hampshire’s Republican primary on Tuesday and defeated former U.N. ambassador Nikki Haley. Meanwhile, President Joe Biden won the Democratic primary as a write-in candidate. We’re joined by Colin Booth, Chief Political Correspondent for the Granite Post, to break down the results.
- President Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris held their first joint campaign event of 2024 in Manassas, Virginia on Tuesday. And one clear takeaway from this event is that the Biden-Harris campaign is betting big on abortion rights.
- And in headlines: Turkey’s parliament voted to allow Sweden to join NATO, the L.A. Times laid off about 115 journalists on Tuesday, and Oscar nominations are officially here.
- What A Day – YouTube – https://www.youtube.com/@whatadaypodcast
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Priyanka Aribindi: It’s Wednesday, January 24th. I’m Priyanka Aribindi.
Juanita Tolliver: And I’m Juanita Tolliver. And this is What a Day where we aren’t surprised that Ron DeSantis is out there being loud and wrong, even as he leaves the race.
Priyanka Aribindi: Yeah, he ended his presidential campaign and quoted Winston Churchill as saying, success is not final. Failure is not fatal. It is the courage to continue that counts. Reporters say that that line is not a Winston Churchill quote, it actually appears to be from an old Budweiser ad.
Juanita Tolliver: Of course it is. [laughter] [music break] On today’s show, President Biden and Vice President Harris hit the campaign trail running with a message focused on abortion rights. Plus, we talk Oscar noms and how Barbie herself didn’t get nominated.
Priyanka Aribindi: But first, after last week’s caucuses in Iowa, New Hampshire residents went to the polls for the first presidential primary of the 2024 elections last night. As you all know and probably celebrated, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis dropped out of the race on Sunday, which paved the way for what was essentially a one on one showdown between former President Donald Trump and former South Carolina governor and UN Ambassador Nikki Haley. Trump was declared the winner of the GOP primary pretty early into the night. That was what we were all expecting. As we went to record at 9 p.m. New Hampshire time. A third of the votes had been counted and Trump had a roughly eight point lead over Haley. Here is what she had to say about her loss.
[clip of Nikki Haley] I want to congratulate Donald Trump on his victory tonight. He earned it. And I want to acknowledge that.
Priyanka Aribindi: On the Democratic side, President Biden won as a write in candidate despite not having campaigned in the Granite State. So it’s really starting to look like Biden versus Trump round two. To help us put some of the primary numbers into some context, I spoke with Colin Booth. He is the chief political correspondent for the Granite Post in New Hampshire. Take a listen to a little of our conversation.
Colin Booth: Thank you guys so much for inviting me.
Priyanka Aribindi: So let’s get into it. This primary wasn’t exactly a nail biter tonight. We were all pretty much expecting Trump to win. But how did Nikki Haley fare in comparison? Was this better than we were expecting so far or worse?
Colin Booth: You know, I think in a lot of ways this was worse. The governor here, Chris Sununu, Republican governor, he set expectations pretty high a few weeks ago. He kind of called maybe her coming in a close second. Now it was second only by virtue and the fact that–
Priyanka Aribindi: I mean.
Colin Booth: –[laugh] everybody dropped out. But–
Priyanka Aribindi: Right.
Colin Booth: We’ve seen some reporting here on the ground that suggests that Granite Staters really felt like he maybe set expectations too high for her. And as a result, you know, there’s been some disappointment. Basically, however, she was going to fare that was not, you know, within a close number of Trump. And it looks like it’s pretty much a blowout for her tonight.
Priyanka Aribindi: So we knew going in to this primary that Trump and Haley were hoping to win over undeclared voters specifically. What did we find out about those voters preferences tonight?
Colin Booth: We’re still kind of getting numbers coming in, so it’s hard to say, but it doesn’t look like there was a huge amount of appetite for what she was selling here among independent voters. Independent voters make up the largest voting bloc of voters in New Hampshire by a fairly decent margin. The Haley campaign was kind of banking on taking a larger number of those independents than they really got. And that number while that number is high, many of those independent voters are already kind of baked into their own political, you know, ideologies. There’s a lot of different reasons to register as an independent voter here in New Hampshire. It gives you greater access to the primary. Maybe you just don’t agree with all of your party’s candidates, but by and large, people tend to vote with the party that they’re affiliated with, even if they’re–
Priyanka Aribindi: Sure.
Colin Booth: –kind of registered as an independent. And I wouldn’t be surprised that Haley just didn’t get that. I wouldn’t be surprised if her team just didn’t have a full understanding of New Hampshire voters kind of coming in here and what they were expecting to get out of it.
Priyanka Aribindi: Yeah, I mean, there is a lot of punditry that tends to follow primaries, caucuses, this whole campaign trail. [laughter] What do you think about, you know, the results we’re seeing? Do you think they can tell us anything about what we can expect from the rest of the country, or at least as we get closer to Super Tuesday? How would you look at this in the context of the larger race?
Colin Booth: I mean, what race?
Priyanka Aribindi: [laugh] Right.
Colin Booth: Is the question at this point. Right?
Priyanka Aribindi: Right.
Colin Booth: Nikki Haley has made overtures that she’s going to stay in this race through Super Tuesday. I would be pretty shocked. And maybe she will just out of financial obligation, did her ad buys. But it’s really hard to see her kind of making up this lost ground. Going into New Hampshire, a lot of people said, you know, this is make or break for Nikki Haley. If she wins New Hampshire, that changes things.
Priyanka Aribindi: Sure.
Colin Booth: But a lot of people ahead of this said there is no path. Even if she did pull ahead here, even if she miraculously beat Donald Trump here, that there was, you know, there was some path. But in truth, I don’t think there was ever a path.
Priyanka Aribindi: Got it. And before we let you go, I just want to touch on another important race happening here in New Hampshire. We’ve talked on the show before about the state’s governor’s race and how Democrats are hoping to flip the state blue. Do tonight’s results tell us anything about how people might be voting in that race?
Colin Booth: So there are two candidates in that race, one of whom, Chuck Morse, was really public in his endorsement of Trump. And the other, Kelly Ayotte, who is currently leading in all the polls here, was dead silent on who she was supporting in that race. She previously said she didn’t vote for Donald Trump. I think it was in 2016. She, I think, wrote in his vice president at the time. And I think there’s going to be a real disconnect there between how she connects with people after this. And it also it makes the race for the pretty coveted Trump endorsement up for grabs.
Priyanka Aribindi: Yeah.
Colin Booth: In an interesting way, because her opponent could, I think very easily at this point, kind of get that from her because she didn’t kiss the ring.
Priyanka Aribindi: Right, as we’ve seen before. Yeah. Well, Colin, thank you so much for being here. We know you’ve had a busy few weeks leading up to this. We know you’re gonna have a busy rest of your year, but we appreciate your time, and I’m sure we’ll check in with you as we get closer to the big day.
Colin Booth: Great to be here. Thank you guys so much. Uh. Talk soon.
Priyanka Aribindi: That was my conversation with Colin Booth, the chief political correspondent for the Granite Post in New Hampshire, which is a part of the Courier newsroom.
Juanita Tolliver: Thanks for that rundown, Priyanka. And while Trump and Haley spent their time calling each other mentally unfit and using racist dog whistles, President Biden and Vice President Harris were on the stump together for their first joint campaign event of 2024, in Manassas, Virginia, yesterday. One thing that is clear from this event is that the Biden Harris campaign is betting big on abortion rights. Take a listen.
[clip of President Joe Biden] Donald Trump is betting you won’t vote on this issue. But guess what? [laughter] He’s betting we won’t hold him responsible either for taking away the rights. He’s betting you’re going to stop caring. [audience boos]
[clip of unidentified person at Biden Harris campaign event] We have daughters.
[clip of President Joe Biden] By the way, that you’ll get distracted and discouraged and stay home. [audience boos] Well guess what? I’m betting he’s wrong.
Priyanka Aribindi: Listen, I think he’s onto something. I think a lot of people might be joining him in making that bet.
Juanita Tolliver: Yeah.
Priyanka Aribindi: But, you know, it’s still a big bet to make for 2024. Will this issue, do you think continue to be a winning issue this year?
Juanita Tolliver: I mean, look, since Roe was overturned, abortion has been a winning issue for Democrats in the 2022 midterms, which defied historic expectations. And in 2023, where it was even a winning issue in a state like Ohio. In fact, each time abortion has been on the ballot, voters across age, race and partisan lines support protecting access to abortion health care. And that stems from the fact that two thirds of the nation disagreed with Roe being overturned in the first place. So each time we read another story about a woman or a pregnant person being criminalized for experiencing a miscarriage, or having to petition the state courts for an exception or having to leave their home state to get an abortion, it will be front of mind for voters.
Priyanka Aribindi: Absolutely. It has been heartening to see how this issue has mobilized such different groups of people all over the country, just–
Priyanka Aribindi: Right.
Priyanka Aribindi: Really amazing.
Juanita Tolliver: So it’s really smart for the Biden-Harris campaign to hit the trail in January, talking about this issue, laying the blame at Trump’s feet, as well as emphasizing these personal stories through the Vice President’s Reproductive Freedom Tour, and in brand new ads featuring women who faced barriers to accessing abortion care. That said, it’s clearly not the only issue the campaign must address, as President Biden was interrupted multiple times by protesters who were calling for a cease fire in Gaza during his speech yesterday.
Priyanka Aribindi: Right. I mean, we’ve seen that happening over the past couple months.
Juanita Tolliver: Right.
Priyanka Aribindi: I imagine it will continue as time goes on, so that it remains to be seen how that will play out over the course of this election. But going back to abortion, you mentioned it being on the ballot, and organizers around the country are working to get more abortion related ballot questions set for 2024. Tell us more about those efforts.
Juanita Tolliver: Yeah. So ballot measure campaigns are intense. And according to data compiled by the news outlet, the 19th abortion rights activists are working to get ballot measures in Arizona, Florida, Nevada, Colorado, Arkansas, South Dakota, Montana, Maryland and more. Right. So they’re all over the map.
Priyanka Aribindi: That is yeah, that’s a long list.
Juanita Tolliver: Ballot measures in these states are calling for constitutional amendments to protect access to abortion between 12 and 22 weeks. And some of these states require a 55% to 60% supermajority for a constitutional amendment to pass. So it’s very much an uphill battle. One thing that’s for sure, though, is wherever these ballot measures appear, that could be a big boost for Democrats, as we know abortion rights will be central to their voter mobilization strategy. We’ll definitely keep following these efforts and keep you updated on which measures will ultimately appear on the ballot in November, but that’s the latest for now. We’ll be back after some ads. [music break]
Priyanka Aribindi: Let’s get to some headlines.
Priyanka Aribindi: Turkey’s parliament voted yesterday to allow Sweden to join NATO, nudging it one step closer to being a part of the military alliance. Sweden and Finland both applied for NATO membership after Russia invaded Ukraine back in 2022. And if you need a refresher on geography, Finland shares a border with Russia, and Sweden is on the other side of Finland. All of that to say, they’re feeling a little too close to Russia for their own comfort. Finland was granted membership to NATO back in April of 2023, but Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan was initially not a fan of Sweden’s membership bid because he said that they were too lenient on militant groups. Well Sweden shaped up a bit and agreed to work on its security concerns with Turkey, but full membership is contingent on unanimous support, and now Hungary is the only member state that isn’t on board with allowing Sweden in. If you’ll remember, Hungary’s leader Viktor Orban buddy buddy with one Vladimir Putin. So I wonder why that might be. Those negotiations could still take a while, but if Hungary approves and the Nordic country is let in, that would mean a huge expansion to NATO that challenges the Russians even more and changes the European military balance of power in a big way.
Juanita Tolliver: And for some updates on the Israel-Hamas war. Reports emerged yesterday that there are intense and ongoing mediation talks that could lead to a temporary ceasefire. They show that Israel and Hamas broadly agree that an exchange of Israeli hostages for Palestinian prisoners could take place during a month long ceasefire. But they still have severe differences over how to bring a permanent end to the war. Meanwhile, on the front lines, 24 Israeli soldiers were killed on Monday, the highest single day death toll for Israel in the Palestinian enclave. The military said 21 soldiers died when a massive explosion brought down a pair of two storey buildings in central Gaza. The buildings were hit after a rocket propelled grenade fired by Hamas struck a nearby tank. Another three Israeli soldiers died while fighting in southern Gaza. Since then, Israeli forces have ramped up their operation in Khan Younis and killed at least 64 people in attacks on Monday, according to Al Jazeera. All of this comes as a small but growing minority of Israelis are speaking out against Israel’s war. In a rare move, thousands of Israelis took to the streets of Tel Aviv over the weekend to protest Netanyahu and call for him to leave office. And on Monday, dozens of family members of the remaining Israeli hostages even stormed a parliamentary committee session in Jerusalem to demand stronger action. [shouts and anger from familiy members of Israeli hostages] You can hear the desperation in their cries, and it’s just heartbreaking.
Priyanka Aribindi: Absolutely.
Juanita Tolliver: Demonstrators held up signs in the meeting which said things like, you will not sit here while they are dying there. So let’s just say the pressure is on for Netanyahu.
Priyanka Aribindi: A federal appeals court on Monday revived a $10 billion dollar lawsuit by Mexico against U.S. gun manufacturers. To get you up to speed on this case, back in 2021 the Mexican government sued several U.S. gun makers and one distributor, alleging that they make and sell guns that they know arm drug cartels in Mexico. And the lawsuit said that the companies should be held liable for the weapons trafficked into the country. According to the lawsuit, up to 90% of weapons recovered at crime scenes in Mexico were trafficked from the United States. But in September of 2022, a federal judge dismissed the case, ruling that gun manufacturers were protected by a 2005 law known as the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act, or PLCAA. That law says that gun makers are shielded from civil liability for damages that result from, quote, “the criminal or unlawful misuse” of a weapon. Mexico appealed. Now back to the present day, a three judge appeals court panel on Monday revived that lawsuit and said that Mexico’s complaint quote, “plausibly alleges” a claim that is exempt from immunity and writing for a unanimous majority, Judge William J. Kayatta Jr. wrote, quote, “we therefore reversed the district court’s holding that the PLCAA bars Mexico’s common law claims, and we remand for further proceedings.” The decision, however, is likely to be appealed.
Juanita Tolliver: California State University faculty returned to work yesterday after reaching a tentative deal with the university system on Monday. The move ended a planned five day work stoppage across the 23 CSU campuses on just the first day of the strike. And in a post on X, formerly known as Twitter, the union representing roughly 29,000 workers, wrote, quote, “in case anyone forgot, strike’s work.” And let me just add exclamation, exclamation, underline, bold, highlight because yes.
Priyanka Aribindi: Absolutely.If we have learned anything.
Juanita Tolliver: Right. So what’s in the tentative agreement? According to the union, the deal would increase salary for all faculty by 5%, retroactive to July 1st of last year, as well as another 5% raise on July 1st of this year. The agreement would also raise the salary floor for the lowest paid faculty by $3,000, increase paid parental leave to ten weeks from the previous six, and improve access to gender inclusive restrooms and lactation spaces, among other things. Union members still need to ratify the deal, but I gotta say y’all, this sounds pretty good.
Priyanka Aribindi: It really does. We love to hear it. And staying on labor news. In an extremely devastating but expected development, the LA Times laid off about 115 journalists on Tuesday, effectively slashing more than 20% of its newsroom. These are, of course, the layoffs that the paper’s union protested over the weekend with their one day walkout. And this comes after the billionaire owner of the LA Times, Patrick Soon-Shiong, said that the paper isn’t making enough of a profit, despite being a critical source of news both on the West Coast and across the nation. Most of the layoffs were largely felt in the Times’s business desk, Washington bureau and breaking news department. And according to the paper’s Union, 94 of the 115 journalists who were laid off were union workers. Also on Tuesday, 400 staffers at Condé Nast, which is the parent company of publications like Vogue, Vanity Fair and GQ, walked off the job for 24 hours in New York City. The News Guild of New York, which is the union that represents these staffers, said that the strike was purposely timed with this year’s Oscar nominations that dropped yesterday to make a statement to their employers. And it comes after Condé Nast announced back in November that it would layoff about 5% of its workforce.
Juanita Tolliver: And speaking of those Oscar nominations, we can’t let you go without diving into the highly anticipated list. As expected, Christopher Nolan’s Oppenheimer dominated with 13 nominations, including Best Director and Best Picture. This is the first time Nolan has ever scored a Best Picture nomination, and if he wins, it will be his first ever Oscar award. Poor Things trailed behind with 11 nominations, while Killers of the Flower Moon walked away with ten. The trio will go on to compete with movies like Maestro, Past Lives, American Fiction and The Holdovers for Best Picture. When it comes to snubs, though, many were shocked to see where Barbie landed on the list. The film did receive a nod for Best Picture, but Greta Gerwig didn’t land a Best Director nomination, and Barbie herself, Margot Robbie, didn’t get a nod for Best Actress, despite the movie’s massive box office success. The only actors from the Barbie movie who received nods were America Ferrera for Best Supporting Actress and Ryan Gosling for his role as Ken, which is interesting when you consider that Barbie is a film about, you know, Barbie and fighting off the patriarchy, but alas.
Priyanka Aribindi: Right, like, did they not watch? [laughter]
Juanita Tolliver: Fans of the movie aren’t the only ones who took issue with the snubs. Gosling himself issued a statement yesterday to express his own disappointment, writing quote, “there is no Ken without Barbie and there is no Barbie movie without Greta Gerwig and Margot Robbie, the two people most responsible for this history making, globally celebrated film. No recognition would be possible for anyone on the film without their talent, grit and genius.” Might I add this movie single handedly also saved the movie industry last summer. So come on, give them their due, please.
Priyanka Aribindi: It’s all very frustrating. It’s all very upsetting. The only part that’s not upsetting is Ryan Gosling standing up and being like, thank you, but what the fuck like.
Juanita Tolliver: Right.
Priyanka Aribindi: Thanks for being an ally, Ryan. But what is going on? I don’t even care about the Oscars. I don’t I can’t say I watched any of these other movies. I watched American Fiction, I watched two. I watched two Oscar movies. This is not my game at all.
Juanita Tolliver: But you know when something’s wrong, clearly.
Priyanka Aribindi: Right. It’s, if it’s wrong enough for me to know. [laugh] It’s got to be pretty wrong.
Juanita Tolliver: All right, since we all see what’s wrong, let’s be unified in that. And those are the headlines. [music break]
Priyanka Aribindi: That is all for today. If you like the show. Make sure you subscribe. Leave a review. Only quote the Budweiser frogs and tell your–
Juanita Tolliver: Oh gosh.
Priyanka Aribindi: –friends to listen. I didn’t even know there were frogs.
Juanita Tolliver: You don’t remember the frogs? Okay.
Priyanka Aribindi: No.
Juanita Tolliver: We’ll talk about this later. And if you’re into reading and not just profound beer slogans throughout history like me, What a Day is also a nightly newsletter. Check it out and subscribe at Crooked.com/subscribe. I’m Juanita Tolliver.
Priyanka Aribindi: I’m Priyanka Aribindi.
[spoken together] And as Winston Churchill once said, the WAD squad is the best.
Juanita Tolliver: Of course he said that y’all.
Priyanka Aribindi: I heard this is his favorite podcast. [laughter] I don’t know.
Juanita Tolliver: Oh God. [music break]
Priyanka Aribindi: What a Day is a production of Crooked Media. It’s recorded and mixed by Bill Lancz. Our show’s producer is Itxy Quintanilla. Raven Yamamoto and Natalie Bettendorf are our associate producers, and our showrunner is Leo Duran. Our theme music is by Colin Gilliard and Kashaka.