“Real Time” host Bill Maher called attention to the Democrats’ obsession with identity politics, particularly regarding who they will appoint in 2024.
During his Friday interview with Democratic Colorado Gov. Jared Polis, Maher asked if the country was “on the gay hump” with his successful re-election bid as America’s first openly gay governor and the election of two lesbian governors in Oregon and Massachusetts. Polis credited voters who say “it doesn’t matter” who they are but instead care about what they stand for.
“Do you think when you run for president that might actually be an advantage?” Maher asked as Polis shook his head in reaction to the presidential buzz. “Because the Democratic Party is very important to tick boxes. And it’s very hard to imagine a ticket now on the Democratic side that would only have two consecutive white men. It’s impossible to imagine. So they have to tick boxes. boxes. You tick one of them.”
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“First of all, I have the job that I love,” Polis replied. “I’m really passionate about Colorado, I hope everyone visits Colorado, enjoys Colorado…”
“So you’ll never run for president,” Maher said.
“I love this job I have, it’s the job I want,” Polis replied, drawing laughter from the audience for his non-response.
Polis added, “It’s not a bad thing that the Democratic Party wants to be like America. I mean, I think it’s good that you have a party, you know, about race, about race, about sex on all these different – on faith, on all these different factors. I mean, you want to look like America. People should be able to look in the mirror and say, ‘Hey, there’s someone like me in Congress or someone like me on the Supreme Court. “That’s a good thing.”
“That’s a good thing. But the question, though, is that the priority?” Maher asked. “I think that’s what people squirm at times in Democrats. Is that more of a priority than things like merit that should matter more? Is that more of a priority than facts or science? ”
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“That should never get in the way of merit, right? You always want the best president, the best congressman,” Polis replied. “But what I think is exciting, at least where the Democrats are, and I think most Americans are, is that these things don’t matter. I mean, look President Barack Obama, right, the first African American President of the United States of America… These barriers that are still in people’s minds, like somehow I can’t do this , I think they fall, and there really is no barrier for anyone with any background and any race who they are who they love their faith or no faith at all. really has no, no obstacles to serve in any office.
Later during the roundtable, Maher revived the topic with his guest, Rep. Ro Khanna, D-California, who was touted as a potential 2024 hopeful if President Biden does not seek re-election.
A member of the panel, CBS News correspondent Robert Costa predicted that Polis and Khanna will show up until the president does.
“And that’s fine because there are no white straight guys. The last thing you want is a white straight guy. Sorry Gavin Newsom!” Maher burst out laughing.
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“I’ll say this…I don’t think it should matter,” Khanna replied. “I don’t think it should matter if someone is Indian-American, gay, straight. I think what matters is what your view of this country is… That’s the only thing Who should matter if someone is white, straight, gay. Indian, whatever. There should be absolutely no relation.
“It shouldn’t, but it will,” Maher pushed back. “Look, I don’t have a dog in this fight. I’m not running for president. I don’t care if it’s two white guys or two fucking purple guys! I’m just saying the Democratic Party, where they at with the identity politics they’ll never have two straight white guys. And maybe they shouldn’t. I’m just saying it’s a fact. It just can’t be. So you have to be- check one of the boxes. Fortunately, you do.”
The HBO star then cited potential candidates for 2024 compiled by New York Times contributing opinion writer Frank Bruni, many of whom are on the diversity checklist.
Maher was quick to fire one, Vice President Kamala Harris, who he said should run for “president of the University of Santa Barbara.”
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“Pete Buttigieg? Gay. Great,” Maher said before making a controlling gesture with his hand. “Governor Gretchen Whitmer? Yes. Senator Amy Klobuchar? Ro Khanna? Governor Jared Polis? Gavin Newsom? Sorry. And Senator Elizabeth Warren.”
“Anyone on this list that you think is better than anyone else?” Maher asked Khanna, who was notably on the list.
“Joe Biden,” Khanna replied.
“Oh for fuck’s sake, come on,” complained Maher.
“I’ll tell you the one thing Democrats need,” Khanna continued. “We have to have a clear vision of patriotism. We have to say that this country has made huge progress on race. We have made huge progress on gender. We are the greatest country in the world… And I think this a message of inclusion and a vision for the country-”
“And celebrate the progress we’ve made!” Maher exclaimed. “Not to always be so depressed about ourselves! This is a Democratic problem that you need to solve.”
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“The only thing Liz Truss did was pave the way for a British Indian to become prime minister,” Khanna said. “My grandfather spent four years in prison with Gandhi [for] Indian independence. Two generations later you have an Indian ruling Britain. How not to say that the story is moving forward?
“Absolutely,” Maher agreed.