Why Did Biden and Warren Ditch the California Dems’ Big Event?

There were two notable absences at the California Democratic Convention in Long Beach

Joe Biden and Elizabeth Warren may be leading the pack in the Democratic primary race, but they didn’t win many new supporters, or much love, when they bailed on the state party’s gathering in Long Beach Saturday, while 12 of their competitors showed up to press the flesh at an event sponsored by Spanish-language network Univision.

Most vocal about the Warren/Biden absence was state party chair Rusty Hicks, who fired off a series of tweets last week when he learned that the frontrunners wouldn’t deign to attend.

“I respect your work/candidacy,” he wrote. “BUT… you should reconsider your misguided decision to publicly snub California’s Democrats & Latino Voters across the nation.”

And, he continued: “Your decision is a blatant disregard and disrespect to California’s grassroots leaders who make the phone calls, knock the doors, and give the money… in swing districts and swing states alike… year after year after year.”

“It’s clear you don’t think you need us to win the Primary. But, you *just might* need us in the General. Just sayin.”

Although Biden hosted a small rally in downtown L.A. Thursday, this is the third major Democratic event in California he’s skipped so far, following the party’s summer convention and the Democratic National Committee gathering. Warren spoke at both.

Some state Dems believe Biden is California-averse because he’s too centrist for the local activist-heavy primary crowds and fears he’ll be grilled—and heckled—for his stances against such far left policies as Medicare for All.

And while Warren wasn’t at the event, she still made her presence felt, and continued to antagonize the superrich, by having supporters place cups on her table symbolizing her various plans and inviting attendees to place little, black “billionaire tears” into the ones they liked best. Coffee mugs with that slogan have become a bestseller for her campaign at $25 each.

California hopeful Kamala Harris was on the scene trying to reverse her latest slump in the polls even as she pulls staffers from California to focus on Iowa. Asked if she thought Warren and Biden were taking Latino voters for granted, she said, “I’m here. I think you have to judge people by their conduct and their actions.”

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