Stephanie Wudarski (PA): ‘Our Institutions Have Finally Started to Fight Back’
Stephani Wudarski (30), a Democrat from Pittsburgh, PA, does not belong to a synagogue but attends High Holy Day services with her family and went to Israel on Birthright. She works for a managed Medicaid company and has a background treating substance use disorders. She was a passionate supporter of Kamala Harris and volunteered for her campaign until Harris dropped out of the race in December.
How did you feel when your candidate, Kamala Harris, dropped out of the race?
Sad and angry. The way this historic candidate was critiqued in the media as compared to the white male candidates was and is malpractice. For example, 100 Iowan teachers endorsed Kamala, and there was silence (in the media). A few Obama officials endorse Pete Buttigieg and it’s a big deal. I also feel resentment of my fellow Democrats who have thrown their efforts around old white candidates while also pretending to care about institutionalized racism and sexism.
Who do you support now that Harris is out?
If Harris is picked as someone’s vice presidential candidate before the Pennsylvania primary (April 28)—and Biden is the only one who could get away with this prior to the nomination—I’m all in for that ticket. If that doesn’t happen, my top choices are Cory Booker, Julian Castro and Amy Klobuchar. I think Booker would be a strong challenger to Trump. He can energize the base, he’s relatively moderate and his Republican colleagues respect him.
Which Democratic candidate(s) do you think will give Trump the best chance for re-election?
Pete Buttigieg, Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders. I think Buttigieg is going to have a really hard time gaining minority support and his age is going to give some independents a pause. Medicare for all is going to take down Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders. The public is way more interested in incremental change when it comes to health care. But even more importantly, they both come off as inflexible and incapable of building coalitions domestically and abroad.
Did the impeachment proceedings hurt or improve Trump’s chances for re-election?
I do think the proceedings hurt Trump’s chance. There is a small percentage of the population that appears to still be persuadable by the facts. Speaking truth and exposing the level of corruption is good for our democracy, if nothing else.
What are your general thoughts on impeachment?
It feels like our institutions have finally started to fight back and that there is hope for justice.
Do you think it’s possible for Democrats and Republicans to ever agree on the facts around the president’s actions?
I think it is possible, but it is not going to happen. Unfortunately, Fox News and Republican lawmakers have figured out how to keep gaslighting their base. The level of groupthink and confirmation bias is both interesting from a sociology and psychology perspective, but super sad for the state of our democracy.