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10 things to know about Keisha Lance Bottoms, mayor of Atlanta and potential “VP” of Joe Biden

Keisha Lance Bottoms is the rising figure of the Democratic camp, to the point of having his chances as veep of Joe Biden in view of the American presidential election. Here are 10 things to know about the mayor of Atlanta.

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1. “I can’t protect you”

This evening of May 29, the situation degenerated. Looters are at work, the windows of the CNN chain building have been broken. The mayor calls a press conference and speaks, without notes, just over 4 minutes. “Yesterday, when I heard there were rumors of violent protests in Atlanta, I did what a mother would do. I called my son and said, “Where are you? I can’t protect you. ” “ This violence, she says, “Are not in the spirit of Martin Luther King”. Right words, raw emotion … Joe Biden, and many others, are amazed.

2. Blue flu

The “blue flu”, or “blue flu”, rages when the police are worn pale to express their dissatisfaction. This is what happened after one of their own, Garrett Rolfe, was charged. The cop had been fired from the police after killing Rayshard Brooks, a black man, with two bullets in the back. He will now be held accountable to justice. The mayor welcomes this: “Things are changing in this country and we cannot remain deaf. When there are problems, we have to respond to them very quickly. “David Kennedy, American criminologist: “We protect violent cops”

3. “Stay at home! “

It is noted, on the national scene, by imposing on March 23 a “stay at home order” (“stay at home”) to fight against the coronavirus. Mundane? She acts while the Republican governor of the state, Brian Kemp, is dragging his feet. Balance sheet, three months later: she was right. Georgia, due to the laxity of its governor, experiences more than 1,000 new cases of infection per day. But Kemp, a protégé of Trump, does not care: on June 11, despite the upsurge, he further relaxed the rules of containment.

4. Major Lance

His father, Major Lance, was a boxer turned dancer then singer-songwriter of Rythm & Blues, author of the famous hit “Um, Um, Um, Um, Um, Um”. He was the first part of a Beatles tour in 1964. But in 1978, he was sentenced for a cocaine deal and spent three years in prison. “This experience changed my life”, this Keisha Lance Bottoms, “She pushed me to study law and choose public service. ” Major Lance died in 1994, aged 55. Elton John is said to have been at his funeral.

5. A mayor named Keisha

The first time Keisha Lance Bottoms presented himself to Barack Obama, then a simple city councilor, he was satisfied with a sober « Good for you » (« bravo »). But this November 2, 2018, when she finds Obama in a rally to support Stacey Abrams as governor of Georgia, it is a star who addresses him: “When we exercise our right to vote, not only can Atlanta have a mayor named Keisha, but Georgia can have a governor named Stacey,” she says. Abrams will barely lose.

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6. Moderate

Former lawyer, then judge, she displays a centrism perfectly compatible with that of Biden. This did not stop her from facing Trump with a head over immigration: she was one of the first mayors of big cities to sign a decree ending the detention, in the city prison, of undocumented minors arrested by the immigration police. If Georgia’s law prevents her from declaring Atlanta a sanctuary city, she says nothing prevents her from making one “Welcoming city” for immigrants chased by the administration.

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7. « Mac N Cheese »

How to transform a culinary disaster into a triumph? Easy, even if it means giving in to ambient sexism. When the mayor posts a photo of a Christmas meal on Twitter with a frankly disastrous “Mac N Cheese” (macaroni gratin), all the cooks fall on him. Never mind, Lance Bottoms puts the laughers on his side by launching, in a national TV show, a campaign against hunger: « More than Mac ». When she posts a photo of her sweet potato fries, no one sneers.

8. Early

Bingo! She was the first big city mayor to declare her support for Joe Biden and has continued to campaign for him. After the defeats of Iowa and New Hampshire, when the Biden campaign seems on the verge of sinking, it runs the TV sets, recalling that the primary of South Carolina has not yet taken place and that “The South has its say”. “She was with Joe Biden before it was cool to be with Joe Biden”, notes Tharon Johnson, a longtime political advisor.

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9. Jim Clyburn

The most powerful black elected official in Congress, who helped Joe Biden win his state’s primary in South Carolina – a watershed against Bernie Sanders – has a soft spot for the mayor of Atlanta: “There is a young lady, very close to here in Georgia, who would, I think, make a great candidate” to vice-president, says Jim Clyburn in March au « Financial Times ». Clyburn wants a black “VP”, but finds that the other Georgian candidate, Stacey Abrams, lacks experience. Or maybe, but he doesn’t say it, that she’s too left for Joe.

10. Cinchona

The age of a vice president shouldn’t be that important. Except when the presidential candidate is called Joe Biden, a man who would break the presidential old age records, taking office at an older age than that of Ronald Reagan when he left the White House. Suddenly, 50 years of Keisha Lance Bottoms become an asset: not too old to take over from Biden, many of whom think he would only serve a term, but experienced enough to be considered capable of taking over. survey.

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