Part of a Series

Karen Finney joins the show to discuss Super Tuesday primary results, President Joe Biden’s State of the Union address, and what it all means for the 2024 election. Daniella and Colin also talk about the U.S. Supreme Court’s recent ruling on the 14th Amendment and presidential disqualification as well as MAGA extremists’ attacks on reproductive health care, including IVF treatment.



Daniella Gibbs Léger: Hi everyone. Welcome back to “The Tent,” your place for politics, policy, and progress. I’m Daniella Gibbs Léger.

Colin Seeberger: And I’m Colin Seeberger. Daniella, spring has sprung.

Gibbs Léger: Yes, it has. The birds are chirping. The allergies are allergy-ing. It is spring.

Seeberger: We are in the thick of it now. We are also very much, if you’re like me, looking forward to some warmer weather.

Gibbs Léger: Yes.

Seeberger: But I’m also looking forward to the great interview you have this week.

Gibbs Léger: Yeah, it was a great one. I got to talk to my friend Karen Finney about the State of the Union, Super Tuesday, and what it all means for the 2024 election cycle.

Seeberger: I’m stoked to hear it. But first, we’ve got to get to some news.

Gibbs Léger: We do, Colin. Because the MAGA supermajority on the Supreme Court is at it again with their extreme antics.

Seeberger: Uh-oh.

Gibbs Léger: Shocking nobody. If you remember, back in September, the state of Colorado barred Donald Trump from appearing on their primary ballot under the 14th Amendment, which says no one can hold office if they’ve “engaged in insurrection or rebellion against the United States or given aid and comfort to people engaged in the same.” As many expected, the Colorado decision went all the way to the high court. And while the court was unanimous in overturning Colorado’s action, five right-wing MAGA justices went out of their way to push the court in an even more radical direction and, in so, divided the bench.

Now, everyone on the court agreed that individual states should not be able to remove a candidate for federal office from the ballot. But five MAGA justices, led by Chief Justice John Roberts, also asserted that the insurrection provisions in the 14th Amendment can only be enforced by Congress. This decision way oversteps the Supreme Court’s authority here. It all but guarantees that any insurrectionist can run for public office without any consequence or accountability. Even MAGA extremist Amy Coney Barrett chastised her right-wing colleagues on the bench for this unnecessary overreach during a politically charged time.

Seeberger: Yeah, I mean, if you are a bridge too far for Amy Coney Barrett, let me tell you, you’ve probably really overstepped your bounds.

Gibbs Léger: Yes.

Seeberger: I mean, out of all people, for her to be calling this decision radical tells you there’s a serious problem. The Supreme Court—and the rest of America, I might add—knows how ineffective Congress is right now. And thanks to congressional dysfunction, this ruling is going to insulate insurrectionists, just like you were saying, from future accountability. It’s all the more outrageous when you consider that the court, like all of us, watched the Senate refuse to convict Donald Trump after he incited an insurrection against the United States. So they, like the rest of us, have a clear sense for this ruling’s practical impact.

We should also note that the justices who voted for this extreme ruling included none other than Justice Clarence Thomas—you know, the one whose wife, Ginny Thomas, helped organize the events of January 6 and pushed then-White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows to keep fighting to overturn the election. Justice Thomas has no business whatsoever presiding over a case that he has such a personal connection to.

Gibbs Léger: None.

Seeberger: If he had recused himself like he should have, the court could have issued a unanimous, apolitical decision without the sort of extreme provisions that we were talking about. The court has been radical for a while, but lately, the MAGA justices—they seem to have gone in an even more flagrant political direction. Last week, they decided to hear an appeal from Trump on arguments that he, while serving as president, is completely immune from any sort of criminal activity.

You may remember that this was an argument that special counsel Jack Smith directly appealed to the Supreme Court after District Judge Tanya Chutkan handed down a ruling saying that was a completely ludicrous argument. The idea that you can oh, say, sic SEAL Team Six on your political opponent and assassinate them and not bear any responsibility for it is delusional and incredibly dangerous. So special counsel Smith took that argument directly to the Supreme Court. The Supreme Court said, “Not so fast. You need to go to the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals and have that fight out there.”

Gibbs Léger: Right.

Seeberger: That’s exactly what happened. The D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals, a three-judge panel, issued a unanimous ruling saying that these arguments were absolutely ludicrous. And ultimately, Trump appealed that decision to the Supreme Court. The Supreme Court announced last week that they’re going to take up those arguments next month.

But that also means that the ability for Donald Trump’s criminal trial to begin in D.C. for his trying to incite an insurrection and overturn the election results—that means that that could end up getting pushed way deep into the summer or fall or even past the election. And the American people—they deserve to have the information that they need in order to decide who they’re going to be voting for in 2024. They deserve to know about the full scope of the alleged criminality of Donald Trump and whether he could be a danger to the country.

I know, I sound like a broken record here, Daniella, but this is all just definitive proof that we’re dealing with this extreme, activist, political Supreme Court that’s putting politics over the best interests of the American people and forcing an extreme political agenda on all of us.

Gibbs Léger: Exactly. I often joke that I would like to live in precedented times, because I am tired of the unprecedented times that we are in.

Seeberger: Hear! Hear!

Gibbs Léger: And unfortunately, we have to turn to another story related to the court and their radicalism. We all know that since the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, states have enacted cruel abortion bans that not only block people from making their own decisions about their bodies and their families, but also interfere with their access to medical care in at least 21 states.

Well, a couple of weeks ago, Alabama decided to go even further. Their right-wing Supreme Court issued a ruling that would consider frozen embryos used in IVF [in vitro fertilization] treatment the same as children. Their ruling could potentially expose IVF providers, and even parents using the treatment, to criminal charges. It’s already immediately caused panic and confusion among patients throughout the medical community in Alabama. And days after the ruling, the largest hospital system in the state paused its IVF program.

And in all this aftermath, we’ve been seeing a lot of hemming and hawing from MAGA Republicans. Some, like Congresswoman Nancy Mace (R-SC), are claiming to support IVF; however, their extreme anti-abortion stances and actions paved the way for this to happen in the first place.

Seeberger: I mean, it’s too little too late to hear from people like Congresswoman Nancy Mace, Congressman Don Bacon (R-NE), others who are bemoaning this ruling from the Alabama Supreme Court, when their actions specifically have actually been a barrier to being able to protect Americans’ rights and freedoms.

Gibbs Léger: Right.

Seeberger: Not only did they cheer the Supreme Court justices from going on to the court to begin with, but they’ve also stood in the way of actually protecting Americans’ rights in the aftermath of the court overturning Roe v. Wade. Some of those folks, they voted against codifying a federal protection to the right to contraception.

Gibbs Léger: Uh-huh. 

Seeberger: I mean, it is crazy overreach and stripping Americans of their freedoms. But it’s also really empty rhetoric when not just contraception—last week on IVF, they had an opportunity to make sure that Americans can continue to access the care that they need when Sen. Tammy Duckworth (D-IL) brought forward a bill that would have made those protections the law of the land in all 50 states. And guess what? MAGA Republicans, they objected. They voted it down. They blocked it.

Gibbs Léger: Shocking.

Seeberger: Yeah. And so, forgive me if I’m skeptical of these Republicans coming out of the woodwork talking about how much they care about IVF and the ability to start a family. We need to be clear: This is the direct result of Donald Trump and his hand-picked justices overturning Roe v. Wade, throwing abortion and fertility care into utter chaos all over the country. And make no mistake, these attacks on IVF are all about controlling who can start a family, too.

Gibbs Léger: Say it again, Colin.

Seeberger: Just like abortion restrictions we’ve seen in this country—and I have to say, as someone who can say, I am a parent today because of this modern medical innovation—I’m personally beyond outraged at the idea that any judge or any lawmaker thinks that it’s their right to say how somebody or anybody who wants to bring a child into this world, goes out of their way to make that happen, would deny someone that life-changing opportunity, right?

But I’m not alone. Just like the attacks on abortion, I’m not the only one who’s ticked off about this: 86 percent of Americans support IVF and think that it should be legal. And so when you see MAGA Republicans out there objecting to making sure that all Americans can retain those rights, it really flies in the face of what the public actually wants. So when Republicans try to claim that they support IVF, don’t believe their words; watch their actions.

Gibbs Léger: Exactly.

Seeberger: They had the chance to protect IVF, and they didn’t.

Gibbs Léger: Truly, Colin, it is disgusting. And I’m right there with you on being completely outraged by what’s happening. But before we go, we actually do have some good news to talk about.

Seeberger: Oh, we love that and take it whenever we can get it.

Gibbs Léger: Exactly. And it has to do with reproductive rights and access. The drugmaker Perego announced earlier this week that the first-ever over-the-counter birth control pill will hit retail shelves in the coming weeks. So listen, for the first time in U.S. history, a daily hormonal birth control pill will be available for purchase without a prescription.

Seeberger: In the year of our Lord 2024.

Gibbs Léger: We are here. And that’s both in-person and online retailers. It’s a huge milestone for reproductive health and rights and justice that has been decades in the making. Now, we’ve got to make sure it’s affordable and accessible to everyone as it rolls out, but I’m really encouraged by this one.

Seeberger: Yeah, it’s great news—and a great note to finish us off today. If there’s anything else you’d like us to cover on the pod, hit us up on Twitter @TheTentPod. That’s @TheTentPod.

Gibbs Léger: And stick around for my interview with Karen Finney in just a beat.

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Gibbs Léger: Karen Finney is a consultant and CNN political commentator. She served as a senior adviser to Stacey Abrams in the DNC [Democratic National Committee] during the 2018 election cycle and as a senior adviser for communications and political outreach, and senior spokesperson, for Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign. She was an MSNBC political analyst and hosted her own show, “Disrupt with Karen Finney.” Earlier in her career, she served as chief spokesperson and communications director for the New York City Board of Education.

Karen, thanks so much for joining us on “The Tent.”

Karen Finney: It’s good to see you.

Gibbs Léger: It’s great to see you. So, State of the Union. It is happening on Thursday. And this is a particularly significant one during an election year. So what should President Biden be aiming to do with this address? And with so much recent focus on the economy, what is the economic story that he should be telling?

Finney: So that’s a great question. I think, for starters, it’s the beginning of the general election. And for President Biden, it is really the biggest opportunity he will have, in terms of audience size, to lay out his case and to frame up what it is that Americans are going to see playing out over the next several months of this election. And I think it is also an opportunity for him to not just make the case about his accomplishments—which are absolutely important—but also to talk about the things that are left undone.

And when we talk about Build Back Better, there were pieces of that that haven’t been completed, that are still on the agenda. And I think he needs to come back to that story and talk to people about those items—like talking about affordable child care, for example, which frankly is a part of the economic story because if people don’t have child care, they can’t work. And so, I think having that conversation with the American people and reminding them who stood in the way and who was fighting for it. And I suspect that that will be a bit of the frame we’ll hear, particularly standing there in that congressional chamber, where we know it has been the least effective Congress in probably the history of our country, Republican-led.

And so I hope he’ll have a little bit of—I don’t want to say fun with that—but there’s some comeuppance there that they fully deserve, and I suspect we’ll hear a little bit about that. I think the other thing that’s really important is to talk about the economy in terms of, how do people keep more money in their pockets. And there’s a lot of things he can control. He’s obviously, with this new strike force around price gouging, trying to go after big companies, who are raising their prices, profiting off of our pain. And those are ways perhaps he can help lower costs, like what they did with prescription drugs and bringing those costs down and like they’ve done around student debt—or, gosh, one of the most important things: cutting child poverty in half.

Gibbs Léger: Right.

Finney: I mean, that was such a dramatic example that it is a policy choice. It is not a moral issue. We could do that if we want to. So I think that optimism of where we can be going and what we can be doing. But also, speak to us in a way that acknowledges we don’t all experience the economy in the same way. And different issues impact us. Sexism and racism—that impacts our economic lives. I think acknowledging—whether you’re a young person or you’re a senior—how we think about the economy, how we think about our economic lives, and frankly our financial freedom.

But again, all coming back to keeping more money in your pocket, so that you have more freedom. Because I think one of the things, I think, some of the research done here at CAP has shown is how people are thinking about what it means to have economic freedom. And it’s not the same as it used to be in terms of what the American dream used to be.

Gibbs Léger: Right.

Finney: I think it’s important to acknowledge that and speak to that. And certainly, I hope that he uses the guests that will be in the first lady’s gallery to help tell that story. Because obviously, the State of the Union is a great opportunity for storytelling. When I worked in the Clinton administration, we were very intentional about who was sitting with the first lady. What was their story? How did their story help connect to parts of the agenda of the administration?

And the last thing I’ll say is, I was really glad to hear that it sounds like they’re thinking about it in terms of content, in terms of, how do you cut different pieces and different modalities to reach people? Because whereas, it will likely have a big audience, we know that most people remote watch it on Thursday night. It’s going to be on their phone and their computer. And so I think acknowledging that part of it as well—it’s going to be really important.

Gibbs Léger: Agreed. Well, MAGA Republicans have selected Sen. Katie Britt from Alabama for their rebuttal. Now, this comes fresh off the Alabama Supreme Court effectively removing access to IVF treatment in the state, creating a nationwide debate in which MAGA Republicans are—to the shock of absolutely no one—failing to stand up for this reproductive right.

So what does Katie Britt’s selection for this role communicate about the Republican Party’s stance on this issue and their overall rising extremism?

Finney: Well, I have to tell you, I had predicted Donald Trump was not going to let anybody else have the rebuttal on that—he would want to do it himself. Clearly I was wrong.

Gibbs Léger: Could you imagine?

Finney: Right? And then I thought, “Well, he’ll do his own response anyway.” Right? Because he just will. I think it illustrates that they have what I like to call bad facts. Because it’s not—I mean, they are wrong on the policy, because they’re wrong about where the country is. They have made a huge miscalculation and a huge misunderstanding about America’s core values and that the way people see issues—ranging from contraception because that’s going to be part of this MAGA agenda, to IVF and access to abortion care, the whole reproductive freedom landscape—how we feel about that is very different than it was 20 years ago, even 10 years ago. And that it really is about freedom for people. And so I think it acknowledges that they know they have trouble with this issue. And we’ve seen the memos where they say, “Don’t talk about the issue if you can avoid it,” or, “Say it this way or that way.” They know they’ve got trouble.

Gibbs Léger: Yeah.

Finney: And so I suspect that she will try to be a sympathetic voice, to try to reassure America that, “We’re for IVF and the beauty of having children.” And that’s fine. But the truth is, as we know here in Washington, a measure in Congress just failed that would have codified access to IVF.

And here’s the other piece of this. Think about what this says to women. It says, “I don’t trust you to make the best decisions for yourself and your family with regard to abortion—even if, by the way, you’re someone who, you have an unviable pregnancy, and having that abortion is going to preserve your ability to have more children,” as we saw in Texas. “But I trust you to take all kinds of shots and medicines to do IVF. Oh, and by the way, I don’t think we trust you to take birth control either.”

Gibbs Léger: Right.

Finney: I mean, what does that say about what they think about American women? And so I think part of what this selection is telling us is they’re trying to gloss over that and have a woman who looks like a white suburban voter, which is an area where they’re having a lot of trouble, and say, “It’s OK. We’re a kinder, gentler Republican Party.” And it’s part of why we all have to stand very firm and say, “That’s a lie. This is the MAGA party. This is the party that is coming for our reproductive freedom, every aspect of it, and that’s just the beginning.”

Gibbs Léger: Well, speaking of MAGA Republicans, it was also Super Tuesday this week. And with primary results across the country solidifying Trump as the Republican nominee for president, Nikki Haley announced she is ending her campaign—”suspending it,” as we technically call it—which she launched primarily to provide an alternative to Trump. So what does her exit indicate about Trump’s hold on the Republican Party, and what could this spell for the rest of 2024?

Finney: You know, it’s interesting to give some thought to this. It’s very interesting, because she still has quite a bit of money. And so it’ll be interesting to see what does she choose to do with that money. But the thing that Nikki Haley revealed—and I think it’s meaningful. While her numbers, let’s say they were not too—she didn’t give him as much of a run for his money as Bernie Sanders did Hillary in 2016.

She did, however, remind us and show us that there is a percentage of Republican primary voters who will take the time in the cold, in the rain, whatever, to come out and vote against him. And that’s really important. And I think as we look to the campaign, the question to me is, will the Biden campaign be able to convert those individuals into Biden supporters and prevent Trump from trying to further consolidate his base—which he’s continued to have trouble with?

Gibbs Léger: Yeah, in her speech today, she kind of alluded to the fact that it’s now up to Trump to unify the Republican Party. And I chuckled, because there’s nothing in that man’s history that shows that he is a unifying figure.

Finney: But they know that people really care about that. And there’s something another commentator said—they were talking about his speech last night, which was obviously filled with lies. But they said, “Well, he was trying to appear presidential and talk about bringing people together.” Because they know that is a real problem for him that he has, particularly with suburban women. It was really a problem for him in 2020. So, yeah, it was sort of funny to see that. Because again, that’s like—remember the pivot we were waiting for four years? Yeah, it ain’t coming.

Gibbs Léger: Oh, my goodness, the pivot. Yes. So, we’re about to get into the thick of election season.

Finney: Yeah.

Gibbs Léger: And the media is going to be playing a key role, as usual, in keeping the public informed. Now, as someone who frequently appears on cable news and previously hosted your own show, can you talk about the media’s coverage of this race so far and what you hope to see from your colleagues in the coming months?

Finney: You know, it’s been interesting. Because starting with Trump, I think the media has really struggled with how to cover him. And this goes back to—in 2016, I remember in the primaries, other Republican campaigns were furious, because they would do a split screen of waiting to hear Trump and their candidate, and he just got so much airtime. And I think some members of the media realized, “OK, maybe that was too far that direction.”

And then obviously when you’re president, everything you say has to be covered. So that was a different standard—even if he’s telling you to put bleach in your arms, right, with COVID. But OK. And then I think we’ve been on a little bit of a hiatus where, interestingly enough, I think media organizations last year were trying to figure out if they should show excerpts and try to fact-check it because fact-checking in real time was so hard.

Now, there seems to be—I was actually talking to some of my colleagues about this—a belief that, “OK, now that we’re in the general, we have to show it all.” Even though knowing that there are rants that are sometimes offensive, disgusting, your children should probably not be in the room to hear some of the talk, racist, bigoted. But that if he is the Republican Party’s nominee, people need to hear all of it—and not just when he pops out from a court hearing and attacks the judge and the clerk of the court and all of that. And I agree with that decision, actually. Because I think when we weren’t getting all of it, even though I appreciate it, it was nice break.

Gibbs Léger: It was.

Finney: I think it led to people forgetting who he really is and the wild stuff that just comes out of his mouth that would make you say, “What? Do I really want that guy to have his finger on the nuclear codes?”

Gibbs Léger: Right.

Finney: Right? So I think that’s one piece. But look, the other thing that I will say—and obviously I’m a Democrat, so people won’t be surprised by this. I do think we have to have a more fair standard about both of them. Because Joe Biden, I think, is held to a much different standard than Donald Trump. And again, I go back to 2016 when he first said, horribly, that Mexicans are rapists and murderers. And I thought, is that the floor or the ceiling? And as we’ve learned, there’s no limit to what he will say.

But I think we’ve become a bit numb to it, and so it gets accepted. And I think we have to remind ourselves, you’ve got to take all of it very seriously because he means it. He’s not kidding. But at the same time, let’s find a way to hold President Biden to the same standard. Let’s compare their actual records. Let’s find ways that it’s a more fair comparison. And on age, they’re about the same age. So let’s talk about that in a more fair way.

Gibbs Léger: Yeah, totally. We are in an unprecedented time where we do have records that we actually can look at and talk about. Yes.

Finney: Right. How about that?

Gibbs Léger: So let’s do that, yes. Vice President Kamala Harris is at the forefront of so many of the most crucial issues on the public’s minds right now, from her nationwide reproductive rights tour to her leadership this week in announcing a strong progressive call from the administration for a ceasefire in Gaza. So what role do you expect to see her play for the rest of the term in the cycle?

Finney: I think that she will continue to do a lot of that. One of the things I think that she is very good at—and she certainly did it when the Dobbs decision was overturned. I thought she also did it beautifully after the school shooting in Tennessee. And then where the Justins were thrown out. When she went down there, she reminded America, this was about children who lost their lives.

Gibbs Léger: Right.

Finney: In addition to, yes, what we saw that was so undemocratic. And I think she really spoke to the pain that people in that community were feeling—and of course, too many communities in our country that have felt that pain. And so I think she’s very good at speaking to that pain. And so I hope she’ll continue to do that—whether it’s around reproductive rights, whether it’s around gun issues, whether it is around the economy, any of the issues. I think you’ll also continue to see her play an important role on the international stage as we try to move forward towards a ceasefire, which I certainly pray for—a permanent ceasefire—and begin rebuilding, of course, with our allies around the world. And she’s also a great defender of Joe Biden. So I think you’re going to see her out there making the case as well.

Gibbs Léger: All right. So if you’re a political nerd like all of us, the State of the Union is like a big sports game or an awards show. The outfits are maybe a little more subdued than the Oscars. Not so many celebrity spottings, but definitely some awkward interactions caught on camera and stuff. So outside of politics and messaging, what is on your SOTU bingo card?

Finney: So I always love to watch when the president is coming in and going out and when they’ll show people maneuvering themselves to be able to shake their hand. And that’s where you see some of the craziest, most awkward moments. Because people kind of run into each other. I feel like there was one when George Santos was still in, right? Somebody ran into him—it was a senator, I believe. They were like, “Oh, I don’t want this picture. How do I get away?” And I remember, for example, like with President Obama—even Republicans who just would dog him out.

Gibbs Léger: Yes.

Finney: They were like, putting their hands out and trying to get selfies.

Gibbs Léger: Having him sign stuff.

Finney: Right? Oh, my God, it’s so transparent. So I always love watching that. Like, who’s jockeying for a position. And then the other thing I will say is then you’ve also got—although I have to be honest, I feel like it’s the Black women members who usually will bend their ear. And you can tell they’re giving them a policy, something. Like, they got a list. Like, “Here, look, we got to do these things.” So that’s what I kind of like to look for. I’d say the other thing will be, how respectful will the Republicans be? Because they’re not respectful when it’s their own, by the way.

Gibbs Léger: Nope.

Finney: And we saw it happen last year. So will we have another outburst like that, another moment like that? I suspect we will.

Gibbs Léger: Probably.

Finney: And as always, I hope that the people, the Americans who are seated with the first lady get the respect that they are owed. There have been moments where, there are times when it’s unanimous, and there are times when it feels a little begrudging. And to me, that’s not right. Any American who is there to represent our country in that way deserves our respect.

Gibbs Léger: I agree wholeheartedly. I personally am looking forward to seeing how uncomfortable Mike Johnson (R-LA) is. I tell you, that man probably wants to be anywhere else but there.

Finney: So true. That’s such a great point. I hadn’t even thought about that. And will he actually be listening, or is he going to be doing Candy Crush or something?

Gibbs Léger: I know.

Finney: Oh, my God.

Gibbs Léger: Exactly. Well, Karen Finney, I want to thank you so much for joining us on “The Tent.”

Finney: Absolutely. It’s good to be in “The Tent.”

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Gibbs Léger: As always, thanks for listening. Be sure to go back and check out our previous episodes. Before we go, Colin—did you know that it’s National Sauce Month?

Seeberger: I may have heard this. But I’ve also heard that it has inspired quite a controversy in the CAP Action Press team.

Gibbs Léger: This is true. There are people who believe—incorrectly, I might add—that ranch is a sauce.

Seeberger: That’s absurd. Sorry, Muggs.

Gibbs Léger: Sorry, Muggs. It’s just not true. Ranch is a dip. Ranch is delicious. Not a sauce, though.

Seeberger: It’s certainly not.

Gibbs Léger: No.

Seeberger: Or a dressing.

Gibbs Léger: Right.

Seeberger: I mean, you can call it all sorts of things, but it’s definitely not a sauce.

Gibbs Léger: No.

Seeberger: Do you have a favorite sauce?

Gibbs Léger: I do have a favorite sauce. So my husband makes this tarragon cream butter sauce.

Seeberger: Ooh.

Gibbs Léger: Yeah, it’s really delicious. I love it over fish, but it also is very good over chicken. And yeah, it’s amazing.

Seeberger: I’ll be right over for dinner. I think myself—lately I’ve really been digging teriyaki sauce. You can put it on fish, chicken, meat, or you can even put it on vegetables or do whatever you want with it.

Gibbs Léger: My kiddo loves teriyaki.

Seeberger: No bad way to use teriyaki sauce.

Gibbs Léger: No, it’s very versatile.

Seeberger: Yes.

Gibbs Léger: And we do love a versatile sauce.

Seeberger: We do.

Gibbs Léger: All right. Speaking of saucy, let’s talk about “The Bachelor.”

Seeberger: Oh, boy.

Gibbs Léger: Oh, boy. So you and I were in different places last week when it came to Maria.

Seeberger: We were.

Gibbs Léger: I joined you there this week. I thought her antics were a little much.

Seeberger: They seemed terribly contrived.

Gibbs Léger: Extremely contrived. And it got her sent home.

Seeberger: Yes, as it should have.

Gibbs Léger: Yes. And all the people on Twitter who were like, “Oh, this is so wrong.” I’m like, “The dude has talked about more than once being afraid that the person that he proposes to walks away.”

Seeberger: Yeah.

Gibbs Léger: And then you have this woman who keeps threatening to walk away. And then at the end of their hometown date, she was like, basically, “You’re nice.”

Seeberger: Shrug.

Gibbs Léger: Yeah, like, meh. I just, I don’t understand that.

Seeberger: And then had the audacity to pull him aside right before he was about to hand out the final roses and make her plea at the very last second. And the other ladies are like, “What is going on here?”

Gibbs Léger: Right. Like, again?

Seeberger: Yeah, she’s too much.

Gibbs Léger: She is.

Seeberger: But there were some really great hometown dates this week. Kelsey A.—I’ve loved her and her family. I felt like Joey fit right in with them.

Gibbs Léger: Yeah.

Seeberger: Her dad was just so sweet.

Gibbs Léger: Next golden bachelor. Plug.

Seeberger: We have a theory here at “The Tent.”

Gibbs Léger: Yes.

Seeberger: We have a theory. And then Daisy—he just seems like he has such a dynamic energy with her.

Gibbs Léger: Yeah.

Seeberger: And Rachel, I really like. And, you know, it seemed like she had a really fun family and whatnot. But it just felt total friend zone for me.

Gibbs Léger: Yeah, I totally got a very strong buddy vibe.

Seeberger: Yeah.

Gibbs Léger: And I love her. I think she’s so great. I want to be friends with her.

Seeberger: Yeah.

Gibbs Léger: But I didn’t get the same sparks that I was feeling with the other girls.

Seeberger: I mean, she even literally told him that she was falling in love with him after the hometown date. And he responded, and he was like, “Great, thanks.”

Gibbs Léger: Like, “That’s so great to hear.”

Seeberger: “That’s so good to hear.” Yeah, I’m sorry, what? Like—

Gibbs Léger: Well, I don’t know what else he’s supposed to say. Because I don’t think he wants to say “I love you” to anybody but the one.

Seeberger: True, true.

Gibbs Léger: But it probably could have been a little bit warmer than that.

Seeberger: A little bit tighter there, Joey. Yeah.

Gibbs Léger: Well, I am really excited. So next week is overnights. And when is the women tell-all?

Seeberger: I think it would be the next week. Or I don’t know whether they’re going to end up doing them back to back, some nights they do that, like a Monday/Tuesday. I know that finale night is March 25. I looked that up this morning. So we are getting—

Gibbs Léger: Happy birthday to me!

Seeberger: Yay! How exciting. I know how you’re spending your birthday evening.

Gibbs Léger: That is exactly right.

Seeberger: But that is coming up on us quick, and we’ll have to see what happens.

Gibbs Léger: I know. And then maybe next week we can talk about who we think is going to be the next bachelorette.

Seeberger: Yes. We have to make our predictions.

Gibbs Léger: Exactly. All right folks, that is it for us. Continue to take care of yourselves. It’s still cold season, as many of our listeners know. Get up on those antihistamines because the allergies, my friends—they are here.

Seeberger: Out of control.

Gibbs Léger: We’ll talk to you next week.

“The Tent” is a podcast from the Center for American Progress Action Fund. It’s hosted by me, Danielle Gibbs Léger, and co-hosted by Colin Seeberger. Erin Phillips is our lead producer, Kelly McCoy is our supervising producer, Mishka Espey is our booking producer, and Muggs Leone is our digital producer. You can find us on Spotify, iTunes, Google Play, or wherever you get your podcast.

The positions of American Progress, and our policy experts, are independent, and the findings and conclusions presented are those of American Progress alone. A full list of supporters is available here. American Progress would like to acknowledge the many generous supporters who make our work possible.


Daniella Gibbs Léger

Executive Vice President, Communications and Strategy


Colin Seeberger

Senior Adviser, Communications

Erin Phillips

Broadcast Media Manager

Kelly McCoy

Senior Director of Broadcast Communications

Mishka Espey

Senior Manager, Media Relations

Muggs Leone

Executive Assistant



Explore The Series

Politics. Policy. Progress. All under one big tent. Produced by CAP Action, “The Tent” is a news and politics podcast hosted by Daniella Gibbs Léger and co-hosted by Colin Seeberger. Listen each Thursday for episodes exploring topics that progressives are focused on.


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