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The Countdown: Amy Coney Barrett is judged and Joe Biden goes to Georgia


With one week left, Amy Coney Barrett changed the Supreme Court. Joe Biden is in Georgia, a changing state he wants to win – what does this mean for a socialite turned senator there? (And some tips on when to dance in an election.)

Amy Coney Barrett, admired and feared

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Many views of Amy Coney Barrett were on show last night. At a ceremony at the White House Donald Trump celebrated her as a justice and a mother.

“The Barrett family has captured America’s heart…” he said, and went on to describe her as “the very first mother of school-aged children to become a Supreme Court justice”.

Being a “mother of school-aged children” is something that both the president and the judge have said before. It is repeated by conservatives who understand that family values are exactly what an evangelical base wants on display.

Ivanka Trump then shared an image of a kiss between Judge Barrett and her husband. Reactions to the image veered from rapture at a sweet moment to anger at her appointment.

During her confirmation hearing Republican senators commented a lot on her parenting skills and the apparent feat of raising so many children as a judge. She also talked about her children, their babysitters and carers, and life as a working mother. The interest in Judge Barrett as a mother has been seen as both sexist and missing the point in a world where some can afford more childcare than others – but it is also a political tool.

For many Democrats, one concern was that Amy Coney Barrett, who did not practise law for very long before becoming a scholar, just lacks experience. This piece from liberal magazine Mother Jones argues that she is by a long way the most inexperienced judge to be nominated for decades.

One state, new stats and a socialite senator

Joe Biden has arrived to campaign in Georgia. Our correspondent Tara McKelvey breaks down this very interesting race.:

The state: The southern and reliably Republican state of Georgia is worth 16 electoral college votes and Donald Trump took it in 2016.

The stats: Now Mr Trump and Mr Biden are tied in a New York Times/Siena poll. It has seen a political transformation – more immigrants and the growing influence of minority and young voters have made it more progressive.

image copyrightReuters

image captionYoung voters in Georgia are part of the changing make-up of the state

The socialite senator: It’s not just about the presidential race in Georgia, because this state also has two races for the US Senate. One of them features the very wealthy Senator Kelly Loeffler who was once seen as a moderate Republican – but has embraced Trumpism, She was appointed last year and is hoping to win in an election also being held on 3 November. Her enthusiastic support for Amy Coney Barrett has sparked anger, with people reminding us she has not won any popular vote. Her ultra-conservative approach may yet alienate some voters in this changing state.

When to dance?

So how much should you dance when campaigning?

A columnist for the Wall Street Journal, Peggy Noonan, has come under fire for suggesting that Kamala Harris’s dancing at a campaign was “frivolous”.

Many pointed out that she failed to mention Donald Trump, who is known to jig about at his rallies. We have written before about what Ms Harris’ experience tells us about US politics.

What nobody does dispute is that you should definitely dance while voting. In Philadelphia over the weekend, one group’s attempt to bring movement to the voting line has been shared – and inspired copycats too.

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