‘We Went All in.’ Inside Bernie Sanders’ Plan to Win by Reaching Latino Voters

TIME magazine, January 2020.

Sanders’ pathway to victory in Iowa depends on getting new voters out to support him, especially voters that are often left out of the political process. And one group they’re taking special care to reach is the Latino community. In Iowa, this strategy has meant a blizzard of bilingual mailers, a variety of Spanish-language ad buys, and integrating Latino organizers into the staff’s DNA. Chuck Rocha, a top adviser on the campaign, estimates that by caucus day, the campaign will have spent $1.5 million in bilingual outreach in Iowa alone.


Julián Castro Probably Won’t Win the Primary. But His Campaign Is Still Key.

TIME magazine, October 2019.

Democratic operatives say that the significance of Castro’s candidacy shouldn’t be measured in electoral success alone. As the only Latino running for president in a period when the community has been the target of White House insults and an uptick in hate crimes, Castro has made a place for himself by advocating for issues affecting minority groups and by consistently pushing his fellow candidates to take a stand, even on tricky political topics. “I like to think that on some issues I’ve been the conscience of the field,” Castro tells me, munching on chips and salsa. “I’ve spoken up in ways that a lot of other candidates haven’t been willing to.”


In Donald Trump’s America, Rep. Justin Amash Sets an Independent Course

TIME magazine, October 2019.

His decision to leave his party on July 4 came months before the biggest news story in American politics broke. In September, House Democrats formally announced they would pursue an impeachment inquiry into Trump, centered on whether the President asked a foreign government to investigate one of his top political rivals. As congressional Republicans have circled the wagons around Trump, Amash has spoken out critically. He called the summary of the call between Trump and the President of Ukraine “highly incriminating,” and indicted most Republican attempts to defend Trump as “an effort to gaslight America.”

Amash’s moves aren’t necessarily surprising to those familiar with his tenure in Congress. A pugnacious conservative who drafted the original mission statement for the House Freedom Caucus, Amash has long had a reputation for being the Lego beneath the foot of Republican leadership.

But being the dissident is also risky. Loathed by the GOP establishment and estranged from his former allies in the Freedom Caucus, Amash now must reintroduce himself to his constituents in a district that went for Trump in 2016. Suddenly, after five straight election victories, Amash’s re-election campaign is a toss-up. It’s a race that will test the price of principle in Trump’s America.


Beto O’Rourke Finds His Voice Helping El Paso Grieve

TIME magazine, August 2019.

The day before, O’Rourke had walked me through the victims and the families of victims that he’s met with, with striking recall—their injuries, their stories, their relationship to one another.

There was Octavio Lizarde, who was at Walmart shopping with his nephew. Lizarde survived with a foot blasted apart by a bullet, but his nephew, Javier Amir Rodriguez, did not.

There was Chris Grant, who threw items at the shooter to try to distract him. He was reportedly shot twice near his rib cage, but survived.

There was Maribel Latin, who was there with her daughter, selling horchata to fundraise for her soccer team. Latin hid behind vending machines. She was shot, but both of she and her daughter survived the ordeal.

As O’Rourke talked to Basco, someone shouted: “Beto! Vino el diablo y se fue! Solo le bastaron tres horas!” People laugh. The devil came and left, and he only lasted three hours—a reference to Trump’s visit to the city earlier that day.

After about an hour, O’Rourke left the memorial. Heat lightning appeared over the mountains in the distance. Basco remained, wearing a Ford baseball cap and blue checkered shirt and holding a handkerchief and a flower. Someone moved in to hug him. And then someone else gave him another hug. And another hug. And another hug. And another. And a sign of the cross on his forehead. And another hug. And Basco stood there, graciously accepting all of their condolences, as the sky turned purple and pink.


Cory Booker Was a Rising Star. Inside His Plan to Become the Next Big Thing, Again

TIME magazine, June 2019.

For years, Democratic insiders and voters alike have tabbed Booker as a promising presidential candidate. Booker, 50, entered the race with a compelling backstory, a reputation of woke-ness, and a message of love. He’s a United States senator, a former mayor, a charismatic speaker, a vegan; he even dates a famous actress, Rosario Dawson. But there’s no laboratory, no secret formula, no focus group that can guarantee any of this is enough anymore. In some ways the predictions that Booker would be a formidable contender for the nomination have come to seem like the kind of conventional wisdom that belongs in the era before the 2016 election, whose takeaway was that what you thought you knew wasn’t really how the world worked at all. And because of the way he has structured his campaign, with a “brick by brick” mentality encoded in its DNA, Booker’s bid is emerging as a test of whether the tried-and-true methods of presidential politics can prevail in modern America.


Inside Andrew Yang’s Outsider Campaign

TIME magazine, May 2019.

While he remains a rounding error in the polls, his modest momentum reflects the enduring hunger for unconventional candidates. If his campaign can catch fire, he’d be further evidence that it’s no longer necessary to spend time serving in elected office or even to be conventionally good at retail politics. What matters, Yang suggests, is to think differently than Washington does. Already his campaign suggests there’s at least some truth to that.