Dean Phillips ‘Gimme Some Lovin’ Campaign Hits Silicon Valley

HENNIKER, NH NOV 8, 2023: Minn. Rep. Dean Phillips talks during a town hall at New England College in Henniker, NH. Phillips is running for president in 2024. Photo by Katye Martens Brier For The Washington Post via Getty Images
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It seems like longshot presidential wannabe and Problem Solver caucus stalwart Rep. Dean Phillips (D) can’t decide whether endorsing Medicare for All or denouncing DEI and other “woke” nostrums is the way to get over three percent in the national polls. I’m sure some disagree with me. But “DEI” is just a label. What matters is a candidate’s record and what policies they pledge to implement or support in the future. What is significant in Phillips’ case is that he appears to have scrubbed his campaign website of “DEI” language right after receiving a $1 million dollar campaign pledge from plagiarism influencer Bill Ackman who has become something of an anti-DEI crusader.

Phillips’ campaign didn’t say directly that it pulled the language based on Ackman’s criticism and cash. But Ackman is saying that. And Phillip’s campaign isn’t disagreeing.

Here’s a paragraph from Politico …

The donor who criticized the language, hedge fund investor Bill Ackman, previously called Phillips’ DEI language a “mistake” and said the candidate was “getting educated” about the topic. Phillips’ campaign confirmed on Tuesday that it replaced the DEI language with the phrase “Equity & Restorative Justice,” stating that DEI — a decades-old initiative in academia and government aimed at promoting fairer representation of groups that have faced historic discrimination — “now means such divergent things to different people.”

Phillips continued his bid for Ackman’s support in a Monday appearance on Twitter spaces with Ackman, Elon Musk and tech notable Jason Calacanis. After suggesting he might appoint Musk to his cabinet, Phillips promised that if elected President he would bring in an “international consulting firm” to do a “top-down assessment” of federal spending. So presumably he means bringing in McKinsey or Bain and Company to come in and do a top-down review.

At the end of day, Phillips doesn’t matter much. But it’s remarkable how an ego trip can take on a life of its own. Phillips began this effort claiming that he had no personal desire to run for President but was testing the waters to bring in a major candidate to challenge Biden. He claimed secret donors were pressing him to get in. Then no one got in. He threatened and he threatened and he threatened. Then he finally jumped in and garnered predictably abysmal levels of support. Since then he has been in a race to renounce basically every political position he’s ever held to find some constituency to support him. Now he’s on to the Elon Musk free speech crew.


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