As political pundits continue to size up last week's virtual Democratic National Convention, with its formal nominations of former Vice President Joe Biden for President and California Senator Kamala Harris for his vice-presidential running mate, the Republican National Convention kicked off today in Charlotte, North Carolina, with a virtual delegate roll call that underscored the strong support President Trump enjoys within the Republican Party. WYPR will carry NPR's live coverage of the first of four nights of the Republican National Convention, beginning tonight at 9pm.
Tom's guest today is a seasoned veteran of both campaigning and governing. Jennifer Palmieri served two Presidents over a period of 12 years in the White House, and she’s been part of five presidential campaigns, including Hillary Clinton’s run in 2016, in which she was the Communications Director.
Like many other businesses, the business of politics is dominated by white men...
Jennifer Palmieri’s new book is a manifesto and how-to guide for women who operate in a male-centric environment. It’s called She Proclaims: Our Declaration of Independence from a Man’s World.
Jennifer Palmieri joins us on Zoom from her home in Maryland.
During today's live Midday broadcast, Tom Hall commented on Baltimore Mayor Jack Young's abrupt firing last Friday of the city's long-time Housing Commissioner, Michael Braverman:
"Before we go to a break, a major development in Baltimore city government happened late last Friday. Mayor Jack Young fired Michael Braverman, the city’s Housing Commissioner. Nadya Morgan, Mr. Braverman’s Chief of Staff was also let go. The change at the top of the agency comes as an eviction crisis looms because of the coronavirus, and as Mr. Young prepares for retirement in only about three months. In a statement, Mr. Braverman thanked his colleagues in and out of the agency, and said, quote, 'My termination came as a complete surprise to me.'
"Sources at City Hall tell me it came as a complete surprise to just about everyone else, too, including the City Council President, Brandon Scott, who is the Democratic nominee for Mayor, and who is expected to win the November election and take office in December. In a statement sent to me this morning, Mr. Scott said, 'I wasn't made aware of Mr. Braverman's firing until after it had already happened, and was surprised by the decision.'
"Mayor Young’s office declined to make the Mayor available to us today on Midday, saying that he does not discuss personnel matters. Mr. Braverman is traveling, and unavailable to comment as well.
"Michael Braverman served our city for more than 30 years, and his expertise in housing and development was sought after by people all over the country. Absent any explanation from the Mayor or his staff as to why Mr. Young felt compelled to fire such a highly regarded city official, as Mr. Young reaches the end of his brief career as Mayor, one is left to conclude that Braverman’s termination is simply an act of petty vindictiveness. No one knows why the Mayor or perhaps some on his senior staff had a problem with Michael Braverman, but the citizens of Baltimore should have a problem with Mayor Young disrupting the function of this important agency, in the middle of a pandemic, without explanation.
"Our city has lost an excellent Housing Commissioner, and yet again, we are given reason to lose confidence that city leaders actually have the best interests of Baltimore at heart. If Mayor Young is making a decision like this without informing the President of the city council, his likely successor, what can we expect in the transition process this November? One can only hope that in December, when a new cadre of leadership does inherit a plethora of problems facing Baltimore, those leaders will be able to attract the kind of exceptional talent that Michael Braverman represented in the housing department, and in all city agencies." -- Tom Hall