Today, the New Black Nationalist Network issued a recommendation to Black communities across the U.S. to consider a draft effort encouraging Representative Tim Ryan (D-OH) to seek the 2024 Democrat Party presidential nomination. Representative Nanette Diaz Barragán (D-CA) -- an emerging force in the Latino political solar system--with intriguing ties to the Black Commons was recommended as Ryan's vice-presidential running mate.
This novel course of action is being proposed to the Black Commons as a strategic response for three reasons.
1) Whoever prevails as the 2024 Republican presidential nominee, he or she will be beholden to govern within an authoritarian white nationalist political framework that has dominated the GOP's discourse and actions since 2016. Electing a Democrat president to neutralize destabilizing white nationalist militia attacks and dismantling Trump-inspired networks engaged in sedition to collapse the government is paramount to mitigate existential threats to the Black Commons and other communities. Donald Trump has said damn the torpedoes to two grand jury investigations and the 2022 midterm elections meltdown visited on Republicans to announce he's running again.
2) On November 9, 2022, Joe Biden threw his hat in the ring for the 2024 nomination, saying "Our intention is to run again. That’s been our intention, regardless of what the outcome of this election was. I think everybody wants me to run, but we’re going to have discussions about it.” Biden told reporters he would sit down with his family over the holidays and announce his decision “early next year.”
In our view Joe Biden's musings about a decision to run "early next year" strain credulity. Black Democrats disenthralled with a second Joe Biden candidacy have a decision to make: go shopping for another candidate or stay home.
Biden has broken from the post. For the moment he is running with the wind at his back. The Republican "red wave" that washed out at sea has generated a new narrative. It holds that Biden defied the laws of gravity by averting significant Democrat midterm congressional losses. In doing so, Democrats pushed America back from the precipice of authoritarian rule by defeating a baker's dozen of high profile 'election deniers.'
Black Democrats can weigh that narrative as a rationale for supporting Biden's reelection in 2024. We will simply observe that Biden's approval rating hovers just north of forty percent. We believe the 2022 midterms turned on protecting reproductive rights and the electorate's rejection of the most extreme 'election deniers.' Likewise, the 2020 presidential election can be attributed less to a pro-Biden vote and more to an anti-Trump vote driven by dystopian horrors of the deadly COVID-19 pandemic. In 2024, Black Democrats must decide if Biden is the strongest presidential nominee or hedge their bets again with Fighting Joe's luck of the Irish. For us, it's a high-risk, low reward proposition.
For Black Democrats seeking an alternative to Biden in 2024, there is little time to waste. Black Dems vested in the party's base must initiate a course correction from the bottom up: it won't come from Black Democrat Party leadership.
3) Biden's snap announcement has cast a chilling effect over the field of potential challengers. Tradition dictates you don't primary a sitting president of your own party. We suspect that chilling effect is a few degrees colder for any Black challenger who would not only run against Biden, but Vice-President Kamala Harris as well. It's not a good look.
But for the sake of argument, let's probe that frontier. As the party's most powerful voting bloc Black Democrats can push an alternative Black presidential candidate. But who's the candidate? Who has a firm grasp of the presidential universe of issues, the breadth of experience, the commanding heights of language to articulate a message, the gravitas to demand respect, and the polish to navigate international relations?
Backed into a corner, we'd posit that Eric Holder and Susan Rice possess that level of candle-watt power. In razor thin elections in the Midwest, however, Holder and Rice would have to overcome the Mandela Barnes syndrome. Barnes lost the Wisconsin Senate race to Ron Johnson by 26, 000 votes, while Democrat Governor Tony Evers won his race by 48,000 more votes. Ironically, the same holds for Herschel Walker. He'd be packing his bags for Washington, D.C., had his vote totals tracked with Georgia Republican Governor Brian Kemp's numbers. Blackness comes with a built-in vote differential that must be factored into the equation.
Whether a serious Black candidate emerges to challenge Joe Biden remains to be seen. The question is what happens if no viable Black candidate surfaces?
This New Black Nationalist analysis was largely written to address that contingency. It resources Black Democrats who haven't bought into Biden-Harris 2024 ' with a muscular option to win the Oval Office.
Our recommendation to draft Rep. Tim Ryan for president and Rep. Nanette Diaz Barragán for vice-president proposes a strategic design to win the three critical Midwest battleground states, three second-tier toss-up states, and expand the election map with two initiatives to challenge Republicans in Ohio and Texas. To accomplish these goals the following initiatives are recommended.
-- Nominate the first Democrat presidential candidate in history from Ohio as the strongest candidate to capture the Midwest regional battleground states of Pennsylvania, Michigan, and Wisconsin, while converting Ohio into a winnable toss-up state.
-- Dramatically increase Democrats share of the Hispanic vote to win the second tier-battleground states of Arizona, Nevada, and Georgia. With an exceptional Mexican American woman as the vice-presidential nominee spearheading an intense on the ground campaign. Democrats can continue the process of transitioning these states from red to pink to purple to blue.
-- Develop a customized campaign targeting Texas and transforming it into a toss-up state by sharply increasing the Mexican American vote of young voters, first-time, newly registered, and Hispanic women voters.
-- New Black Nationalists predictive model moves Virginia into the toss-up column of second-tier states. Virginia is an excellent demographic fit for Ryan's skill set, and Hispanic voters are now 10% of the population.
This New Black Nationalist recommendation is based on a three- dimensional strategic assessment (3-DSA). The (3-DSA) method matches the candidates' demographic strengths to the individual states demographic profiles to capture the critical electoral college votes in the six "must win" races.
The Argument for Tim Ryan
By nominating Tim Ryan, Democrats can showcase one of its strongest candidates whose roots and political strengths are uniquely suited to the critical Midwest region. Tim Ryan is a hard-hitting, straight-talking congressman who keeps things real in an age when authenticity remains the coin of realm. In his Senate race against J.D. Vance, Ryan went into the lion's den of a FoxNews townhall and dressed down Vance for hosting fundraisers for January 6, insurrectionists.
Unlike others who've held their tongue, in September 2022, Ryan went public with his opposition to Joe Biden seeking a second term. "I think it's time for a generational move for new leaders on both sides, he said. "He [Biden] said from the very beginning he was going to be a bridge to the next generation of leaders.”
Ryan's push for generational change isn't new. In 2016, he challenged Nancy Pelosi for the Democrat House leadership. In 2020 he launched a short-lived exploratory effort for the presidency before deciding not to run. That Ryan has pushed against the aging leadership of Biden, Pelosi, Schumer, and Steny Hoyer is illustrative of his commitment to renovate a party in need of new personalities and fresh thinking. Nancy Pelosi and Steny Hoyer have decided to step aside, while staying in Congress as its sage consiglieres.
Re-elected nine times from Northeast Ohio's Youngstown-Akron metroplex, Ryan is an influential voice heard on shop floors and in union halls in Ohio's manufacturing sector. Ryan knows the thorny issues of job creation in the transition from fossil fuel-based manufacturing to energy efficient green technology jobs and platforms. Many espouse the rhetoric of the Green New Deal: Ryan has been a central player in bringing the higher wage unionized manufacturing jobs to Ohio and his district.
Ohio, Pennsylvania, Michigan, and Wisconsin share similar industrial, manufacturing, and fossil fuel energy-based business platforms with overlapping foreign trade issues. Ryan's strengths are transferrable across the region. The region's racial, ethnic, and class demographics are also closely aligned.
As a half-Irish and half-Italian Catholic, Ryan will also receive a serious hearing in those white ethnic and religious communities. That's not insignificant at a time when many Catholics, --including Hispanic Catholics--are ambivalent about Catholic Supreme Court Justice's Roberts, Alito, Kavanaugh, Coney Barrett and Gorsuch's (born Catholic, now an Episcopalian) support of the Dobbs decision allowing states to strike down women's reproductive rights.
We believe if Tim Ryan is the Democrat nominee, Ohio will be a toss-up state in 2024. Ryan lost his 2022 Senate bid to J.D. Vance by a 53.2% to 46.7% margin or 264,000 votes. Vance benefitted from popular Republican Governor Mike DeWine's long coattails. DeWine was reelected with 62.6% of the vote. While Alt-Right megadonor Peter Theil made a $15 million donation to a pro-Vance super PAC, Ryan received very little support from the Democratic National Committee.
As the Democrat's party nominee in 2024, he will have the financing. He would also benefit from current Ohio Democratic Senator Sherrod Brown being on the ballot for reelection. Many independent Ohioans who might not normally vote for a Democrat would also vote for Ryan for no other reason than the prestige of having a native son of Ohio become the 47th president.
Demographically speaking, Ohio's 13th congressional district is 13% Black and 13% Hispanic. Black Democrats should certainly vet Ryan's record, but we found no outstanding issues that are disqualifying from the Black Commons standpoint. Ryan received an 86% rating from the NAACP. If the Black Commons wants a fighter, Ryan's got that swag.
Ryan will be replaced in 2023, by Black Ohio State Representative Emilia Sykes, who won the 13th Congressional district race on November 8, and endorsed Ryan's senatorial run.
Introducing Nanette Diaz Barragán
Rep. Tim Ryan has consistently stressed the need for generational leadership change in the Democrat Party. California Congresswoman Nanette Diaz Barragán is an unknown quantity nationally. All the better, because the more voters have an opportunity to listen to her, watch her, and examine her body of work, they will embrace her as a dynamic vice-presidential candidate. She represents generational leadership change and more.
In as much as this analysis turns heavily on the strategic importance of the Hispanic vote in 2024, New Black Nationalists could have checked the "Hispanic box" by recommending a more well-known Democratic establishment figure like Xavier Becerra, the current Secretary of Health and Human Services, former U.S. Congressman and California Attorney General.
We didn't do that. People are looking for fresh faces, different perspectives, a new political language, and alternative leadership models. As the youngest of 11 children growing up in Los Angeles, Rep. Diaz Barragán's parents immigrated from Mexico. Her understanding and passion on border security and immigration issues doesn't solely emanate from engaging these issues on the Homeland Security Committee: it comes from her life story and her families' continuing journey.
After graduating from UCLA and then USC's Gould School of Law, Rep. Diaz Barragán went to Washington D.C. and interned for the Clinton Administration's Office of Public Liaison. She worked on African American outreach in the OPL before moving on to work with the NAACP's Washington, D.C. branch, where she was mentored by Hillary Shelton.
After returning home she worked as an attorney on local causes important to her community. Nanette Diaz Barragán was elected to the Hermosa Beach City Council, before subsequently winning her first run for Mayor of Hermosa Beach. In 2016, Diaz Barragán was elected to the U.S. Congress representing California's 44th District.
Among the people who greatly influenced her was civil rights icon, Rep. John Lewis (D-GA). In March 2022, The John Lewis NIMHD Research Endowment Revitalization Act, introduced by the late-Rep. John Lewis in the 116th Congress was passed. Rep. Diaz Barragan was the House Democrat co-sponsor whose commitment to carrying through on Rep. John Lewis's bill secured Republican Senator Bill Cassidy's (LA) support as a co-sponsor. The bill signed by President Biden funds research in health disparities for low-income populations and recruiting people from underserved communities into the scientific workforce.
We recounted this story because it speaks to Rep. Diaz Barragán's character. It demonstrates her commitment to serving her constituents on issues like local health care services, clean water, and clean air that are vital to the everyday quality of life in California's 44th District. The district that includes the historic Black communities of Watts and Compton is 71% Hispanic, 13% Black, and 7% Asian. In the 2022 Congressional elections, Rep. Diaz Barragán was headed to re-election, winning 69.4% of the vote against her Republican opponent with 67% of the vote counted.
There appears to be an ongoing debate within the Democrat Party as to whether the party is slowly bleeding Hispanic support to Republicans, particularly among Mexican Americans. Whose correct concerns us less than the fact that it feels like an unsettled question with an indeterminate baseline. We've heard Democrat officials claim that winning 60% of the Hispanic vote proves there is no slippage in support for the party and suggesting otherwise is to parrot a Republican Party talking point.
If Hispanics are slowly drifting from the party, it is not primarily because Democrats positions on immigration, education, and abortion need tweaking. Cuban, Puerto Rican, Dominican, and Mexican Americans hold vastly different views on these issues and others across the political spectrum. Moreover, political issues may not be the cause of Hispanic voters drifting toward Republicans or simply deciding to stay at home.
Democrats should take their own temperatures to determine if they are making a human and emotional connection with Hispanics. Among Hispanics, how matters like religion, cultural and national identity generate layers of nuance that overlay other issues is difficult to discern to the untrained ear. Democrats talk a lot. They hear but don't listen.
We believe Hispanics are trying to tell Democrats something they aren't processing. They want more than Sonja Sotomayer sitting on the Supreme Court or Alejandro Mayorkas running Homeland Security.
Hispanic voters are swinging tight elections to Democrats like Senator Catherine Cortez Masto's victory in Nevada, and other races in Arizona, Colorado, and Georgia. At some point they are going to demand maximum leadership roles in the Democrat Party. This analysis suggest the "Hispanic Moment" has arrived.
Rep. Nanette Diaz Barragán is precisely the kind of public servant the party needs to break the glass in Nevada, Arizona, Georgia in 2024. For the past few years Democrats have been making noise in Texas. In 2024, they can turn up the volume.
Rep. Diaz Barragán's youthful exuberance, personal story, decency, and years of experience working on the seemingly mundane everyday issues that impact her constituents is precisely why she will connect with Hispanic voters in their millions. Her families' immigration story will decapitate the headwinds of Republican immigration attack ads and caravan red alerts with the scission of a French guillotine.
With Rep. Diaz Barragán on the ballot, we envision Hispanic voter registration rolls surging off the charts, and election lines wrapped around polling stations in Texas and other states. 'Nanette' will roll off the tongues of young Hispanic girls who see their futures in her. Supporters will hold mass processions through the streets of Mexico City.
It's time for Democrats to run their consultants' focus group studies and poll tested questionnaires through the office paper shredder and put a candidate like Nanette before the people. As Vice Chair of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, and member of the growing Progressive Caucus, Rep. Diaz Barragán is well positioned to tap into critical national networks.
Our paramount concern in recommending a national ticket of Rep. Tim Ryan and Rep. Nanette Diaz Barragá was placing two eminently qualified candidates before the public whose vital intangible asset is their ability to effectively communicate and connect with voters. But don't take our word for it.
We urge you to listen to Rep. Tim Ryan and Rep. Nanette Diaz Barragán's interactions with their constituents. They are both well-educated lawyers by training, but they speak the clear and unambiguous vernacular of the communities they grew up in and represent. They actually see the person standing in front of them. It's time for Democrats to learn from their example and depart from its past practices of nominating national ticket candidates who sound and feel like elitist policy wonks.
This strategic design advanced by New Black Nationalists is not complicated. In our view it's not particularly risky. It's about, math, common sense, and the right candidates with substance and style. It adheres to the adage that politics is the art of the practical and the possible. Its emphasis on demographics and human relationships is the algebra of victory.
Viewing the 2024 Democrat national ticket as a strategic condominium of candidates to carry the Midwest corridor and second tier toss-up states, while expanding the map to contest Ohio and Texas offers the best and most flexible approach to winning the White House in 2024.
In closing, we return to the central question posed by the 2024 presidential elections. What are Black Democrats going to do who don't support a Biden-Harris 2024 reelection ticket? If no viable Black candidate enters the fray, what comes next? The last three Democrat administrations have had a Black president or vice-president. Can the Black Commons live with a white and Hispanic leadership tandem if they deem their chances of capturing the White House in 2024 are better than the Biden-Harris 2024 ticket. Black Democrats have the voting bloc power to decide the Democrat Party's next presidential nominee and drive its political agenda: do we also have to be its public face? Choose wisely. Much is at stake.
W. Bernell Brooks
About Rep. Nanette Diaz Barragán
Nanette Diaz Barragán was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in November 2016, becoming the first Latina ever to represent California’s 44th Congressional district.
Born in Harbor City and growing up in its surrounding harbor communities, Nanette’s humble beginnings shaped her interest in issues that matter locally: environmental and health justice, immigration reform, strengthening the economy and affordable and accessible education.
As the youngest of eleven children raised by immigrant parents from Mexico, Nanette knows about the challenges that many low-income minority families face firsthand. Her father, a local tv repairman, instilled in her a strong work ethic and influenced her love for baseball (in particular, for the Los Angeles Dodgers). Her mother, who only completed the third grade, cleaned homes, cared for others, and worked in factories to make ends meet. Nanette learned from her parents the value of hard work and obtained her undergraduate degree from UCLA and her Juris Doctor from USC Gould School of Law.
With a desire to give back to her communities, in the late 1990s Nanette began her career in public service. She steered outreach efforts for African Americans in the Office of Public Liaison for the Clinton White House and worked for the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) focusing on racial health disparities and discrimination.
Nanette was the first woman in 12 years to be elected to the Hermosa Beach City Council, and was then elected by her peers as the first-ever Latina to serve as Mayor of the beach city. During her two-year term on the city council, Nanette was a strong advocate for environmental justice as she successfully stood up to a powerful oil company and stopped a proposal to drill 34 oil and water injection wells in Hermosa Beach and out into the Santa Monica Bay.
Prior to practicing law for ten years, Nanette served as an extern to Justice Carlos Moreno of the Supreme Court of California and, at the Los Angeles Legal Aid Foundation, she fought for justice for low-income families.
In 2016, Nanette decided to take her advocacy to the national level. She ran to represent her neighbors, friends and family members in Congress, with a focus on bringing change and opportunities for those who need it most.
In the 115th Congress, Nanette was elected by her peers to serve as the freshman class president as well as a regional whip, working with her colleagues and reporting back to leadership their thoughts on legislation.
Nanette is Vice Chair of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus and a member of the Progressive Caucus. She serves on the House Committee on Homeland Security, where she chairs the subcommittee on Border Security, Facilitation and Operations, and serves on the House Committee on Energy and Commerce. In 2019, she became the first Latina in 10 years to hold a seat on this prestigious committee and only the second Latina ever to do so. Nanette serves as a voice for the communities that have been on the frontlines of the negative health impacts associated with climate change and environmental injustice. From fighting for comprehensive and affordable healthcare for all to ensuring clean air and clean water for her communities, she works tirelessly for her fellow Americans and the constituents of California’s 44th Congressional District.