‘Trump’s militaristic parade in Washington, D.C., reminds me of the Soviet Union…’
(Niels Lesniewski, CQ-Roll Call) Democratic presidential candidates who were lagging in the polls continued to use the Independence Day festivities as a staging ground to attack their opponents—most notably President Donald Trump.
Those who made the trip to the “Damboree” on the morning of July 4 said that the classic Nevada celebration better represented America than the military showcase headlined by Trump back in Washington, D.C.
“Trump thinks that having some tanks in your parade is patriotic,” said Rep. Seth Moulton, D-Mass., one of the lesser-known 2020 challengers in the crowded Democratic field. “Actually, that’s pretty un-American. What’s patriotic is serving your country, is following the Constitution. None of which Trump has been willing to do.”
Moulton said in an interview Wednesday that the Boulder City parade was a better reflection of America’s values as a country of, by and for the people.
“Trump’s militaristic parade in Washington, D.C., reminds me of the Soviet Union,” he said.
Others made the effort to be more diplomatic, such as Sen. Cory Booker, D-NJ, whose campaign of love and niceness has met with mixed results, leaving him on the lower end of the pool of contenders.
After flipping pancakes and marching in a parade, Booker focused the atmosphere at the Boulder City festival, not far from Las Vegas and the Hoover Dam.
“Look, I think what you saw here is just a community, this incredible town holding its people together with a spirit of unity, spirit of celebrating our nation, and that’s what we need to be continuing to focus on,” said Booker.
Nevada is a must-win for primary contenders and a crucial component to any Electoral College victory next year. The state, where many liberal Californians have flocked in recent years to escape the oppressive taxation, ousted longtime GOP Sen. Dean Heller in the 2018 midterm election, replacing him with liberal Sen. Jacky Rosen.
But some fear its conservative streak could resurface if neglected.
The Nevada July Fourth pancake breakfast is basically a mandatory stop for politicians in the southern part of Clark County.
“We’re in historic Boulder City, and the reason Boulder City’s historic is because it was built as a city to build Hoover Dam,” Rosen told CQ Roll Call. “This pancake breakfast, this community’s been here a long time.”
Rosen said that Boulder City was in many ways emblematic of the kinds of cities and towns that comprise the Silver State.
“What I try to tell people about Nevada is that you might know us for beautiful Lake Tahoe or Las Vegas strip, but we’re a string of communities that have been here a long time, people who deeply care and are committed to each other,” Rosen said.
The 71st annual “Damboree” event began with both Booker and Moulton taking turns flipping pancakes on a giant griddle, shaking hands and taking selfies with supporters and undecided voters.
Booker spent a long time serving pancakes, working multiple stints and trying to tell jokes while stalling for time as the attendees waited out delays in the production process.
Democrats were a much more visible force, though the parade route featured a few pro-Trump signs and red “Make America Great Again” hats.
Among political figures, it probably wasn’t Rosen or Moulton or Booker who was the most important attendee at the Damboree. That honor might go to Duncan McCoy.
A former city councilman here and a Vietnam veteran who told CQ Roll Call that he served aboard two ships during the war and did two tours, McCoy used a Black and Decker power drill with a long egg-beater attachment to mix gallon after gallon of pancake batter.
McCoy had joked with Booker that he was one of roughly 17 Democrats who reside in Boulder City, but McCoy later said that was not meant to be taken literally.
“There are more Democrats than that in Boulder City, but Boulder City is generally considered lock-down Republican. There’s about 60 percent, 65% of the voters here are Republicans or claim to be,” McCoy said. “There’s a vocal minority of Democrats. You’ll run into some of them today.”
McCoy described himself as an undecided voter, and he did not expect to make any commitments for the 2020 Nevada caucus so early in the process. The Nevada caucuses are the first in the west, taking place following the Iowa caucus and the New Hampshire primary.
“I’m thinking about it. I watched the debates. I thought there were a number of people who did pretty well. Kamala Harris was good, Cory Booker was good. Mayor Buttigieg was very good,” McCoy said. “It’s too early to tell who we’re going to support.”
Liberty Headlines’ Ben Sellers contributed to this report.
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