10 Things in Politics: The 20 millennial Dem operatives to watch

·6 min read

Welcome back to 10 Things in Politics. Sign up here to receive this newsletter. Send tips to bgriffiths@insider.com or tweet me at @BrentGriffiths.

Here's what we're talking about:

What we're watching today: President Joe Biden plans to visit Pennsylvania to talk about manufacturing.

With Phil Rosen.

1. THE MIDTERMS: Campaign staffers under 40 are spearheading races for high-profile midterm candidates. My colleagues spoke with 20 Democratic operatives about what's it's like getting a fast-paced civics lesson while experiencing the highs and heartbreaks of politics.

Here's a peek at just some of the people on Insider's list:

Brenna Crombie, Lauren Garrett, and Aaron Wilder.
Brenna Crombie, Lauren Garrett, and Aaron Wilder. Brenna Crombie, Lauren Garrett, and Aaron Wilder.
  • Lauren Garrett, 28, campaign manager for Virginia Del. Joshua Cole's reelection: Garrett, pictured above between Brenna Crombie, 28, and Aaron Wilder, 27, has worked on campaigns at the local and national levels. She credits her time as a scheduler for the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee for helping her build confidence by learning to say no to senators and chiefs of staff.

  • Molly Banta, 27, campaign manager for Abby Finkenauer for Senate: She cut her teeth working for the Democrat Debra Rodman's 2019 run for Virginia Senate. Banta said the hardest part of managing her first campaign was "coaching my senior staff, made up entirely of young women, through overcoming imposter syndrome when I was also experiencing it daily."

  • Cassi Fenili, 32, campaign manager for Gov. Tony Evers' Wisconsin reelection: Fenili has been a mainstay in Evers' orbit most recently as a senior advisor and before that as a deputy campaign manager when Evers ousted Republican Gov. Scott Walker in 2018.

  • Ammar Moussa, 27, rapid-response director at Democratic National Committee: Moussa was involved in presidential runs by Hillary Clinton and then-Sen. Kamala Harris. He also previously worked on the Hill. Like many on the list, he says one of the defining moments of his career thus far was working on the Georgia runoffs that led to Democrats retaking the US Senate.

See the full list of the 20 millennial Democratic operatives to watch.

a map of the US from the CDC showing which counties have the highest transmission rates
The CDC on Tuesday recommended that people in orange- and red-colored counties wear masks indoors in public. CDC Covid Data Tracker

2. CDC now recommends Americans mask up if cases are high where they live: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's director, Dr. Rochelle Walensky, said the Delta coronavirus variant behaved "uniquely differently" compared with past versions and vaccinated people "may be contagious and spread the virus to others." But the CDC isn't recommending that all Americans wear masks indoors again. The new guidance applies to places where COVID-19 transmission is deemed "substantial" or "high." Here's what it means for you.

Check out where your area stands on the map above: The CDC says people in orange- and red-colored counties should wear masks indoors in public.

A US Capitol Police officer, Aquilino Gonell, wiping away tears.
A Capitol Police officer, Aquilino Gonell, on Tuesday watching a video during a House select committee hearing on the January 6 attack. Jim Bourg/Pool via AP)

3. The first Capitol riot hearing from the House select committee was disastrous for Republican deniers: Police officers who were on the scene, fending off rioters at the Capitol, admonished Republican leaders for downplaying the event. It was an emotionally raw scene as numerous witnesses and lawmakers broke down when recounting the day. Officers had a lot to say about what they experienced.

  • Key quote: "Too many are now telling me that hell doesn't exist or that hell actually wasn't that bad," the police officer Michael Fanone said of efforts to spin the insurrection as anything less.

4. Patience is running out on infrastructure talks: Lawmakers are privately griping as senators and White House officials continue to work on a nearly $1 trillion bipartisan infrastructure plan, the Associated Press reports. Top party leaders cited progress in their negotiations but haven't set any new deadlines. Republican senators privately sparred over whether a deal would make it easier for Democrats to pass a $3.5 trillion package that is unlikely to receive any Republican support. And a Democratic lawmaker privately called it "crap." More on where things stand.

5. Elizabeth Warren is putting student-loan companies on notice: Warren told my colleague the "days are over" when student-loan companies could mislead borrowers. She's set to preside over a hearing later this morning on how to best protect borrowers as they transition to new servicers. Read what else Warren said, including why she wants the pause on student-loan payments to continue.

6. Trump-backed candidate loses US House election in Texas: North Texas voters elected state Rep. Jake Ellzey to fill a vacant seat in Congress, brushing aside pushes from the former president and Club for Growth for Susan Wright, the widow of Rep. Ron Wright, The Washington Post reports. How Trump became the campaign's defining issue.

7. Apple smashed Wall Street expectations: The iPhone giant's report comes amid a global supply-chain shortage, one the company has said would not affect its iPhone production. Apple was able to "mitigate" some of the estimated $3 billion to $4 billion in expected shortage-related costs, CEO Tim Cook told CNBC. A look at the key numbers.

8. The lengths Silicon Valley goes to silence employees: Insider reviewed tech workers' nondisclosure contracts and found that most used broad and vague language. Some employees are threatened with severe financial penalties if they share something their former employers deem as a break in their NDA.

9. An official liaison for the Arizona election audit has had enough: Ken Bennett, a former Arizona secretary of state, told my colleague he remained frustrated with the audit process. He also said Cyber Ninjas, the private firm running the vote count, had refused to share any information with him about its tally. More on the where the heavily criticized audit stands.

10. All the moments you missed at the Olympics: Gymnast Simone Biles has pulled out of the all-around competition, extending her time away over mental-health concerns. | Olympic athletes are being more open than ever about mental health.

Katie Ledecky reasserted her dominance: Ledecky cruised to gold in the first-ever Olympic women's 1,500-meter freestyle final. Just over an hour earlier, she failed to medal in the 200-meter freestyle, the first time she'd missed the podium after making a final in an international meet. Watch her reaction to her first gold of these games.

Katie Ledecky swimming during the 1500m freestyle
Katie Ledecky, bottom, in the Tokyo Olympics' final of the women's 1,500-meter freestyle. Attila Kisbenedek/AFP/Getty Images

Broken doesn't stop a record: Brazilian surfer Italo Ferreira's favorite board snapped in two on the opening wave at the Tsurigasaki Surfing Beach. But he quickly grabbed a new one and turned in a gold-medal performance.

And a star is born?: The Jordanian Olympian Julyana Al-Sadeq went viral for her perceived resemblance to Lady Gaga.

Don't miss any of the major moments: Follow our live coverage here.

For your calendar: Join Dr. David Shulkin, ninth secretary, US Department of Veteran Affairs, for a conversation that convenes health-tech innovators and regulatory bodies at a free virtual event, "Regulating Healthcare at the Speed of Life," sponsored by Healthy.io, on Thursday at noon ET. Register here.

Today's trivia question: Sticking with the Olympic dominance, the 1992 Team USA dream team never did what during any of its games? Email your guess and a suggested question to me at bgriffiths@insider.com.

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