Posts tagged with "Atlanta"

Trump tries to set low expectations, and floats excuses, for debate with Biden

June 21, 2024

A few minutes into his speech at a campaign rally on Tuesday, June 20, Donald Trump asked a question of the few thousand who’d turned up to hear him speak. “Is anybody going to watch the debate?”

Trump was in Racine, Wisconsin, but it was clear his mind was in Atlanta,—the site of his debate matchup against President Biden next week, reports The New York Times.

He repeatedly mused about the potential scenarios, lowering expectations that he would dominate Biden and then, as if he couldn’t help himself, raising them again.

The expectations game is a particular challenge for the Trump campaign. Trump, 78, has spent months casting the 81-year-old Biden as a husk of a man who can barely walk or formulate complete sentences. Republicans have pumped out a stream of videos of Biden walking stiffly—some deceptively edited—that are meant to be proof of Biden’s decline.

Trump’s supporters in Racine showed they have been marinating in this content. “Biden can’t stand up!” one woman yelled during Trump’s speech. She stood near another woman who wore a T-shirt with a picture of Biden that read, “Impeach me. I won’t remember.”

But Trump also was preparing for his caricature of Biden to be punctured next week. He openly wrestled with the obvious question: What if Biden clears the very low bar that Trump has now set for him?

He had answers: If that should happen, it’s only because Biden will be “pumped up,” he told his followers, suggesting that the president would hoover up a pile of cocaine beforehand, since the drug was recently found in the White House by the Secret Service—although investigators never did figure out how it got there and it was not linked to the president or anyone in his family. (Still, it was an acutely cutting notion, coming a week after the Delaware trial that publicly aired the first family’s struggle with Hunter Biden’s addiction.)

Trump also told his followers to be suspicious of the whole debate enterprise, although his campaign negotiated the terms of his participation.

They should keep in mind, he said, that he’ll be up against multiple adversaries at once—not just Biden but both of CNN’s moderators, Jake Tapper and Dana Bash, whom, Trump added, were constitutionally incapable of treating him fairly. “I’ll be debating three people instead of one-half of a person,” he said.

While it’s clear Biden has physically slowed and his gait stiffened in recent years, his doctor in February called him “fit for duty.” Trump has not disclosed a detail summary of his health. Neither man has released a comprehensive assessment of his mental fitness.

Lately, Mr. Trump has been experiencing his own adventures in aging for all to see. Last week, he bragged about passing a cognitive test when he was president but mixed up the name of the doctor who’d administered it. He also has confused Nancy Pelosi with Nikki Haley, and Biden with Barack Obama.

And so Democrats have their own set of video clips they’ve been consuming—seeing evidence of aging in Trump’s curious tangents about sharks and boats with electric batteries; or in the way he bollixes up words, as he did at the rally on Tuesday, when he barked at the Biden campaign for saying that “the videos of crooked Joe shuffling are clean fakes.”

He asked the crowd, “Do you know what a clean fake is?” The term Trump was reaching for is actually “cheap fake”—real footage that has been edited deceptively, omitting context by zooming in or cropping out.

In Racine, some of Trump’s supporters took a more nuanced view of the videos of Biden, the age factor, and how it all played into expectations for the debate.

“Oh, absolutely, we see them on every channel, and all over the Internet of course,” Marjean Stern, 79, a retiree from Kenosha, Wisconsin said of the videos of Biden. But, given her own age, she confessed to feeling a little queasy at the way her candidate has revelled in Biden’s seemingly senior moments.

“We’re elderly, so we don’t like that,” she said. “I don’t want to make fun of him. I [am] him.”

Research contact: @nytimes

Kim Kardashian’s Skims to open five stores nationwide

June 13, 2024

Kim Kardashian is bringing Skims out from behind the screen—launching five brick-and mortar stores nationwide, reports the Independent UK.

The soft clothing and intimates brand—founded in 2019 by the reality star and entrepreneur Jens Gredewill open five shopping locations in Georgetown, DC; Aventura, Florida; Austin and Houston, Texas; and Atlanta, Georgia. Georgetown will be the first store to open, welcoming customers inside its 3,300-square-foot space starting June 13.

According to Women’s Wear Daily, the Skims store will offer its women’s collection before their men’s line comes in during the third quarter.

The Georgetown store opening gathered a mass of eager shoppers before the doors opened at 10 a.m. “A group of people lined up outside the store shortly before its opening at 10am. The Skims location is 3300 M St. NW,” DC News Now reported.

The interior of the stores will mimic the brand’s app for minimalism, utilizing neutral tones and sleek furniture.

Fashion media mogul and industry expert, Bernard Garby, took to TikTok to break the news to his thousands of followers. Being well-versed in the business of luxury goods, Garby talked about what this meant for Kardashian’s company and predicted the business tycoon’s next move.

“We’re not talking about a pop-up or some sort of new concession as part of a department store,” Garby said. “No, we are talking about real permanent stores, which is a big step for Kim Kardashian’s business, especially for business that started from e-commerce only.”

“If you’re asking me what’s next,” Garby continued. “Well, obviously it must be an IPO, which means listing the business on the stock exchange and perhaps even selling the whole business to some other investor. I wouldn’t be surprised.”

The fashion news expert pointed out how Kardashian has slowly been removing herself from the brand, specifically the “marketing campaigns.” In Garby’s opinion, this is the “right thing to do.”

“Personal celebrity association works in the beginning to you know, as I say, spark the fire, raise awareness, accelerate growth,” he explained. “But if it becomes as big as Skims, you need to start removing yourself from the brand because one day when you’re gone, you don’t want the brand to be gone too.

“You want the brand to stay, and that’s what Kim Kardashian is doing at the moment,” Garby added.

As of now, it’s not known whether the company plans to expand their retail locations into other areas of the United States.

Research contact: @Independent

Philadelphia is launching a plant-based cream cheese

December 7, 2022

Philadelphia Cream Cheese is launching a non-dairy version of its signature spread.The plant-based cream cheese is available now at grocery stories in Atlanta, Houston, Miami and other locations in the Southeast, with a wider rollout planned for Summer 2023, reports CNN.

The new variety is made with coconut oil and faba bean protein, among other ingredients, and is designed to mimic the experience of eating traditional cream cheese.

Philadelphia’s non-dairy cream cheese has a suggested retail price of $6.49, compared to $4.57 for traditional.

The brand’s owner, Kraft Heinz, has been focusing on driving growth by innovating within its powerhouse brands like Philadelphia, including by launching plant-based alternatives where the company sees room for growth.

“Plant-based has been outpacing the overall categories within all of dairy for quite some time,” said John Crawford, VP of Client Insights for Dairy at IRI.

But with consumers trading down to more affordable options in the face of high food inflation and concerns of a looming recession, pricey cream cheese made without dairy could be a hard sell.

Robert Scott, president of R&D at Kraft Heinz, said it took the company about two years to come up with the recipe for the plant-based Philly. The team focused on two major factors: Getting the product to melt and spread easily on toasted bread or a warm waffle, and making sure that it tastes like a dairy product—even if it doesn’t totally pass for regular cream cheese.

“Getting dairy notes in a plant base is hard,” Scott said, but he hopes consumers will notice buttery hints in the spread. “To get to butter … that’s a huge success metric,” he said, acknowledging that the dairy-free cream cheese “is not a taste match of the existing product.”

Scott said that many customers aren’t getting what they want out of the current lineup of plant-based cream cheeses, and that Philadelphia is offering a better alternative. According to data from IRI, only about 41% of households who buy plant-based cream cheese make a second purchase within the year.

But Kraft is not the only company working to make a tastier cheese alternative.

“There’s a lot of work that’s being done to try and improve the performance of plant based cheese,” said Crawford, pointing to Babybel as another dairy brand that has launched plant-based options.

Like its cohorts in the alternative meat space, Kraft is trying to reach a flexitarian consumer: someone who doesn’t avoid animal protein entirely, but occasionally wants a plant-based alternative. “There’s a big opportunity” there for Kraft, said Scott.

Research contact: @CNN

GOP falters in suburban districts

March 22, 2018

Americans now favor Democratic control of Congress by 10 points—50% to 40%—up 6 points from last month, with the GOP losing support among key voter groups, based on findings of an NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll released on March 18.

The numbers, combined with results of last week’s special election in Pennsylvania’s 18th congressional district, suggest “a very rocky midterm season may await Republicans this fall.” According to the pollsters.

Source: NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll

Several key segments of the electorate that the GOP targets to push the party over the top are showing declining support—with support among white voters down 3 points to 47% since January; backing in GOP districts down 6 points to 46%; enthusiasm among suburbanites down 7 points to 43%; and endorsement among white-collar workers down by 9 points to 38%.

There was a huge 13-point decline among 18- to 34-year-old voters to,  29%.

NBC notes, “Those changes look particularly concerning for Republicans when you compare them to results from past elections. In the 2014 midterms, for instance, Republicans won white voters by a large margin, 60% to 38%. And that year, the GOP won the vote out of the suburbs, 52% to 43%.”

Source: NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll

On the danger list, the pollsters believe: Republican districts that were already seen as competitive in suburban/urban areas around Atlanta, Detroit, Cleveland, the Twin Cities, New York City—even Omaha, Nebraska.

Research contact: @Dchinni