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YCQM: August 16, 2020

Published: Aug. 17, 2020 at 9:34 AM EDT|Updated: Aug. 17, 2020 at 10:16 AM EDT
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BURLINGTON, Vt. (WCAX) - DARREN: GOOD MORNING, EVERYONE, I'M DARREN PERRON.

RIGHT NOW ON "YOU CAN QUOTE ME," IF YOUR KIDS WANTED TO LEARN AN INSTRUMENT BUT YOU SIMPLY CAN'T AFFORD IT, A NEW PROGRAM COULD HELP.

WE'LL TALK TO THE ORGANIZERS WHO JUST GOT A MAJOR GIFT.

PLUS THE BIDEN-HARRIS TICKET, OUR CONGRESSIONAL DELEGATION REACTS TO JOE BIDEN PICKING KAMALA HARRIS AS HIS RUNNING MATE.

AND WE'LL GET POLITICAL ANALYSIS.

AND PRIMARY DAY IS IN THE BOOKS, AND THAT'S WHERE WE BEGIN THIS MORNING.

VERMONT'S CURRENT GOVERNOR AND LIEUTENANT GOVERNOR WILL GO HEAD TO HEAD FOR THE STATE'S TOP JOB THIS FALL.

PHIL SCOTT WON THE REPUBLICAN PRIMARY.

THE INCUMBENT GOT 73% OF THE VOTE, TO JOHN KLAR'S 22%.

ON THE DEMOCRATIC SIDE, DAVID ZUCKERMAN WON WITH 51% OF THE VOTE, HE BEAT OUT REBECCA HOLCOMBE WHO GOT 40%.

BOTH GUBERNATORIAL CANDIDATES HAVE YEARS OF EXPERIENCE IN POLITICAL OFFICE AND STATEWIDE NAME RECOGNITION.

WE ALSO KNOW WHO WILL BATTLE FOR THE STATE'S NUMBER TWO JOB.

DEMOCRAT MOLLY GRAY AND REPUBLICAN SCOTT MILNE BOTH EMERGED FROM THE PRIMARY WITH DOUBLE DIGIT VICTORIES.

GRAY GOT 46% OF THE VOTE, BEATING SENATE PRESIDENT TIM ASH WHO PULLED IN 35% OF THE VOTE.

ON THE REPUBLICAN SIDE, SCOTT MILNE GOT 52%, BEATING MEG HANSON WHO GOT 33%.

AND TO ANALYZE THE TOP RACES AND PRIMARY DAY UPSETS, CHRIS GRAFF JOINS ME NOW, HE'S A FORMER LONG-TIME CAPITAL BUREAU CHIEF FOR THE ASSOCIATED PRESS AND A POLITICAL EXPERT.

GOOD MORNING.

>> GOOD MORNING, DARREN.

>> DARREN: FIRST LET'S START WITH THE NUMBERS, A HISTORIC TURNOUT, MORE THAN 160,000 VOTES CAST.

THAT BLOWS AWAY THE PREVIOUS RECORD SET BACK IN 2000 WHEN 122,000 PEOPLE VOTED.

100,000 OF THOSE VOTES THIS TIME AROUND, ABSENTEE BALLOTS.

CHRIS GRAFF, IS THAT WHY THE HUGE NUMBERS AND WHAT COULD THAT MEAN FOR NOVEMBER?

>> WELL, NORMALLY PRIMARIES ARE VERY SLEEPY AFFAIRS.

YOU HAVE LOW INTEREST AND LOW TURNOUT.

EVERY SO OFTEN, 2016 WHEN THE GOVERNORS RACE, GOVERNOR'S OFFICE WAS OPENED UP, YOU GET A SPIKE IN TURNOUT, THERE'S INTEREST IN IT.

THIS ONE, AS YOU JUST SAID, DARREN, IT BROKE ALL THE RECORDS.

50,000 MORE, AS YOU SAID, FROM THE PREVIOUS RECORD, WHICH AS YOU ALSO SAID WAS 2,000.

WHAT WAS INTERESTING ABOUT THAT YEAR, THAT WAS THE CIVIL UNION'S YEAR, THAT WAS THE KICKBACK VERMONT YEAR --

TICK BACK VERMONT YEAR.

A LOT OF CIVIL UNREST IN VERMONT THAT YEAR, A LOT LIKE WHAT WE'RE SEEING THIS YEAR, WHERE PEOPLE ARE JUST MAD AS HELL, THEY WANT TO TAKE PART, THEY WANT TO BE INVOLVED.

SO I THINK THAT'S ONE FACTOR, AND THE OTHER ONE THAT YOU ALLUDED TO WAS IT WAS REALLY PRETTY SIMPLE TO VOTE.

YOU GOT YOUR BALLOT MAILED TO YOU.

PRIMARIES IN THE SUMMER ARE REALLY HARD TO REMEMBER TO GO TO THE POLLING PLACE, BUT IN YEAR WITH THE ABSENTEE BALLOTS COMING TO YOUR HOME IT MADE IT MUCH, MUCH SIMPLER.

>> DARREN: WE'LL GET TO THE GOVERNORS RACE IN JUST A MOMENT, BUT FIRST LET'S BEGIN WITH THE STATE'S NUMBER TWO JOB.

A LOT OF PEOPLE VIED FOR IT, BUT IT REALLY BECAME A TWO-PERSON RACE BETWEEN A POLITICAL NEWCOMER AND A LONG-TIME LAWMAKER AND IN THE END VERMONTERS CHOSE THE NEWCOMER AND A WOMAN, MOLLY GRAY, OVER SENATE PRESIDENT TIM ASH.

WHAT DO YOU MAKE OF THAT?

>> MOLLY GRAY RAN A PICTURE PERFECT CAMPAIGN.

SHE WAS FOCUSING ON GENERATIONAL CHANGE, GENDER CHANGE, SHE PAINTED TIM ASH AS PART OF THE OLD GUARD, WHICH WAS, YOU KNOW, IN POLITICS YOU WANT TO BE ON THE OFFENSIVE, YOU DON'T WANT TO BE ON THE DEFENSIVE.

AND MOLLY GRAY WAS ON OFFENSE MOST OF THE TIME.

TIM ASH NEVER REALLY HAD A CHANCE TO DEFINE HIMSELF.

IT REMINDED ME OF 2016, SMITH WAS ONE OF THE MOST EFFECTIVE SPEAKERS OF THE VERMONT HOUSE WE'VE EVER SEEN, HE OVERSAW PASSAGE OF GAY MARRIAGE.

WHEN HE RAN FOR LIEUTENANT GOVERNOR, RECAME IN SECOND, LOSING TO DAVID ZUCKERMAN, AND I THINK THAT'S A LOT OF WHAT WE SAW HERE.

TIM ASH WAS VERY WELL-KNOWN AT THE STATE HOUSE, IN POLITICAL CIRCLES, NOT WELL STATEWIDE.

THAT'S WHAT WE SAW WITH SHAP SMITH, HE JUST WASN'T WELL-KNOWN EVEN THOUGH HE WAS SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE.

MOLLY GRAY REALLY ACTIVE ON SOCIAL MEDIA, SHE HAD TIES TO ALL PARTS OF VERMONT, HAS TIES TO ALL PARTS OF VERMONT.

IT'S HARD TO TAKE ISSUE WITH A STORY THAT YOU CAN INCLUDE BEING BORN ON A FARM IN NEWBURY, U.V.M. LAW SCHOOL, TIES TO PETER WELSH AND TIES TO --

>> MOLLY GRAY IS UP AGAINST REPUBLICAN SCOTT MILNE WHO ALMOST PULLED OFF AN UPSET IN THE GOVERNOR'S RACE IN 2014 WHEN HE ALMOST BEAT THE INCUMBENT, DEMOCRAT PETER SHUMLIN, AND NOW HE'S ALREADY TYING GRAY TO SHUMLIN.

WILL THAT STRATEGY WORK?

>> PROBABLY NOT.

PETER SHUMLIN WAS PRETTY UNPOPULAR BY 2014.

HE WAS CAUGHT BY SURPRISE IN THAT ELECTION.

YOU REMEMBER, OF COURSE, 2011 WAS IRENE, SO WHEN HE RAN FOR RE-ELECTION HE WAS VERY POPULAR FOR HIS RESPONSE TO IRENE.

A LOT OF THAT HAD FADED BY 2014 AND HE WAS CAUGHT BY SURPRISE BY SCOTT MILNE'S SHOWING.

THAT WAS MUCH MORE ABOUT PETER SHUMLIN'S NEGATIVES THAN ABOUT SCOTT MILNE'S POSITIVES.

I THINK OUR STATE IS LOOKING AT A DEMOCRATIC TIDAL WAVE THIS FALL IN NOVEMBER, AGAINST DONALD TRUMP, AND THAT'S GOING TO HELP MOLLY GRAY.

>> DARREN: LET'S MOVE ONTO THE GOVERNOR'S RACE, IT WILL BE THE GOVERNOR VERSUS THE LIEUTENANT GOVERNOR, DAVID ZUCKERMAN.

IS IT RARE FOR THIS KIND OF MATCHUP?

>> WELL, VERMONT DOES ELECT ITS GOVERNOR AND LIEUTENANT GOVERNOR SEPARATELY.

SO YOU OFTEN, AND PRETTY OFTEN, IT'S NOT THAT RARE ACTUALLY THAT YOU GET GOVERNORS AND LIEUTENANT GOVERNORS OF DIFFERENT PARTIES WHO THEN CAN NATION OFF AGAINST EACH OTHER --

FACE OFF AGAINST EACH OTHER.

>> DARREN: DOES SUBBING --

ZUCKER MAN FACE AN UPHILL BATTLE?

>> YES.

PHIL SCOTT WAS IMMENSELY POPULAR WHEN HE WON.

HE HAS THIS COMMON SENSE APPROACH, HE CUTS ACROSS A LOT OF DEMOGRAPHICS, A STOCK CAR RACER, CONSTRUCTION GUY, SMALL BUSINESS OWNER, AND HE HAS JUST DONE REMARKABLY WELL FIGHTING THIS PANDEMIC.

VERMONT BEING THE ONLY GREEN STATE IN THE NATION.

AND A LOT OF THAT HAS TO DO WITH VERMONT AND VERMONTERS, BUT A LOT OF IT HAS TO DO WITH PHIL SCOTT'S LEADERSHIP.

I THINK THERE'S ANOTHER ISSUE, IT'S REALLY DIFFICULT TO CAMPAIGN IN A PANDEMIC.

THE FINAL THING IS, IT IS A SHORT CAMPAIGN SEASON.

IF A LOT OF PEOPLE ARE GOING TO VOTE BY ABSENTEE BALLOT, THOSE BALLOTS ARE GOING TO START BEING MAILED OUT NEXT MONTH.

WE MAY HAVE MORE PEOPLE VOTING DURING THE MONTH OF OCTOBER THAN ON ELECTION DAY, YOU CERTAINLY WILL.

SO THAT'S GOING TO MAKE IT MUCH HARDER FOR DAVID ZUCKERMAN TO BUILD HIS CASE IN THIS SHORT WINDOW OF TIME.

>> DARREN: DO YOU THINK THAT ZUCKERMAN WISHES THEN HE HAD WAITED TO TAKE ON PHIL SCOTT GIVEN THE PANDEMIC HIT AFTER HE DECLARED HIS INTENTIONS AND AS YOU SAID PHIL SCOTT HAS BEEN PRAISED FOR HIS COVID RESPONSE.

I MEAN HE WAS PRETTY SECURE IN THE LIEUTENANT GOVERNOR POSITION.

>> YEAH, I SAW SOMEWHERE DAID ZUCKERMAN SAYING HE GAVE IT A SECOND THOUGHT BUT HE JUST FEELS THAT IT'S IMPORTANT THAT HE STAND UP AND DO IT NOW.

IN POLITICS TIMING IS EVERYTHING, THERE'S A LOT OF LUCK INVOLVED.

AND FOR DAVID ZUCKERMAN IN THIS TIME THIS YEAR, LUCK IS NOT WITH HIM.

>> DARREN: ZUCKERMAN BEAT REBECCA HOLCOMBE, THE FORMER EDUCATION SECRETARY, SHE OUTRAISED, SHE OUTSPENT HIM.

WAS THIS WIN A SURPRISE?

>> NO, NOT REALLY, BECAUSE OF DAVID ZUCKERMAN'S NAME RECOGNITION.

I EXPECTED HOLCOMBE TO DO BETTER, MOSTLY BECAUSE OF THE GENDER ISSUE.

I JUST FELT THAT WITH MOLLY GRAY TOO THAT A LOT OF VERMONTERS WANT TO SEE CHANGE, AND THIS TEAMS TO BE A YEAR WOMEN AND DIVERSITY AROUND THE COUNTRY.

I EXPECTED HER TO DO BETTER, BUT I DON'T THINK ANYONE IS REALLY SURPRISED BY ZUCKERMAN'S WIN.

>> DARREN: LET'S TALK ABOUT SOME PRIMARY FIRSTS, TAYLOR SMALL IS POISED TO BECOME THE STATE'S FIRST OPENLY TRANSGENDER STATE REP, SHE WON HER PRIMARY.

AND DOESN'T HAVE A REPUBLICAN TO FACE IN THE GENERAL ELECTION.

AND IN CHITTENDEN'S SENATE RACE, THE MOST COMPETITIVE LEGISLATIVE RACE, K. RON CAME IN SECOND, SHE'S LIKELY TO BECOME THE SENATE'S FIRST WOMAN OF COLOR.

DOES THIS SHOW A POLITICAL SHIFT IN THE DEMOCRATIC PARTY?

>> I DON'T THINK IT SIGNALS A SHIFT IN THE DEMOCRATIC PARTY, I THINK IT'S MORE ABOUT THE PERSONALITIES AND JUST THE TIMING.

THE DIVERSITY THAT WE NEED IN OUR STATE HOUSE IS JUST INCREDIBLE, THE NEED THAT IS THERE, SO THIS IS GOOD TO SEE DIVERSITY.

FOR TARA SMALL, I THINK CHRISTINE HOLQUIST REALLY DID PAVE THE WAY FOR THE NATION, AND FOR VERMONTERS IN 2018 WHEN SHE RAN FOR GOVERNOR AND WON THE DEMOCRATIC NOMINATION.

I THINK TARA SMALL'S PERSPECTIVE MAY NOT BE THE PERSPECTIVE OF BEING TRANSGENDER, ALTHOUGH THAT'S HELPFUL CERTAINLY TO THE DISCUSSION AT THE STATE HOUSE AT TIMES, BUT HER BACKGROUND REPRESENTING MARGINALIZED VERMONTERS OR INDIVIDUALS, HER BACKGROUND WITH MENTAL HEALTH, SHE'S YOUNG, A GENERATIONAL VIEW.

IT REALLY HELPED IN 2000 WHEN LEGISLATURE WAS DEBATING CIVIL UNIONS TO HAVE BOTH, AN OPENLY GAY LEGISLATOR ON THE COMMITTEE, WHEN HE SPOKE ON THE FLOOR AND TALKED ABOUT HIS EXPERIENCES, I KNOW THAT VOTES WERE CHANGED.

SO SOMETIMES JUST HAVING A VISIBLE PRESENCE MAKES A BIG DIFFERENCE IN THESE DEBATES.

>> DARREN: THE BIGGEST UPSET IN LOCAL RACES ALSO HAPPENED IN CHITTENDEN COUNTY, PROGRESSIVE EMMA MULVANEY STANIY UPSET JEAN O'SULLIVAN IN THE HOUSE RACE.

HOW WILL ALL THESE WINS SHAPE WHAT HAPPENED UNDER THE GOLDEN DOME IF THEY WIN THE GENERAL?

>> WELL IT'S ALWAYS HARD TO SAY UNTIL YOU BEGIN TO SEE WHAT THE COMPOSITION OF THE 2021 GENERAL ASSEMBLY LOOKS LIKE.

OUR GENERAL ASSEMBLY RIGHT NOW IS PRETTY LIBERAL AS FAR AS THE NATION IS CONCERNED.

I ALSO THINK ABOUT WHAT THE ISSUES THAT THIS LEGISLATURE WILL BE FACING IN 2021.

THE PANDEMIC WILL STILL BE GOING ON.

WE WILL STILL HAVE REALLY STRONG, DEEP FISCAL ISSUES AND CHALLENGES IN VERMONT WHICH WILL MAKE THE FOCUS OF THIS 2021 LEGISLATIVE SESSION I THINK NOT OPENED UP FOR MANY PROGRESSIVE INITIATIVES AS MUCH AS TRYING TO KEEP THE STATE GOING.

>> DARREN: CHRIS GRAFF, THANK YOU, ALWAYS NICE TO TALK TO YOU.

>> IT'S GREAT TO TALK YOU, DARREN, THANKS SO MUCH.

>> DARREN: STILL AHEAD THIS MORNING, A NONPROFIT STARTED BY FISH FANS AND ANOTHER STARTED BY THE BAND ITSELF GIVING A VERMONT PROGRAM 20 GRAND TO HELP SPAWN NEW MUSICIANS, WE'LL EXPLAIN.

AND NEXT, JOE BIDEN'S V.P. PICK, KAMALA HARRIS JOINS THE TICKET.

REACTION AND ANALYSIS ON THE WAY.

>> DARREN: JOE BIDEN AND KAMALA HARRIS DELIVERED AN AGGRESSIVE ATTACK ON PRESIDENT TRUMP IN THEIR FIRST APPEARANCE TOGETHER AS RUNNING MATES.

WE BEGIN OUR COVERAGE THIS MORNING WITH NATALIE BRAND IN DELAWARE.

>> REPORTER: GOOD MORNING, DARREN.

WEDNESDAY'S EVENT HERE IN DELAWARE GIVES THESE TWO CANDIDATES A CHANCE TO PRACTICE, TAKE THE STAGE TOGETHER FOR THE FIRST TIME AS THE NEW DEMOCRATIC PRESIDENTIAL TICKET.

AND THEN ALSO DO SOME HEAVY DUTY FUNDRAISING AHEAD OF A BIG WEEK, THE DEMOCRATIC NATIONAL CONVENTION, WHICH WILL BE MOSTLY VIRTUAL THIS YEAR.

>> LET ME INTRODUCE TO YOU, FOR THE FIRST TIME, YOUR NEXT VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES, KAMALA HARRIS.

>> REPORTER: JOE BIDEN PUBLICLY INTRODUCED SENATOR KAMALA HARRIS AS HIS RUNNING MATE AT A CAMPAIGN EVENT IN DELAWARE.

>> THIS IS A MOMENT OF REAL CONSEQUENCE FOR AMERICA.

EVERYTHING WE CARE ABOUT, OUR ECONOMY, OUR HEALTH, OUR CHILDREN, THE KIND OF COUNTRY WE LIVE IN.

IT'S ALL ON THE LINE.

>> REPORTER: HARRIS IN HER FIRST SPEECH AS THE VICE-PRESIDENTIAL PICK ALTERNATED BETWEEN MAKING A CASE FOR THE NEW DEMOCRATIC TICKET AND ATTACKING THE INCUMBENT.

>> AMERICA IS CRYING OUT FOR LEADERSHIP.

YET WE HAVE A PRESIDENT WHO CARES MORE ABOUT HIMSELF THAN THE PEOPLE WHO ELECTED HIM.

>> REPORTER: PRESIDENT TRUMP PUNCHING BACK HAS POINTED TO HARRIS' SHORT-LIVED PRIMARY BID AND HAS NOTED HER PAST CRITIQUES OF BIDEN.

>> GENERALLY SPEAKING YOU DON'T WANT TO PICK SOMEBODY THAT WENT DOWN, SHE WENT DOWN, BUT SHE WENT DOWN IN A VERY TERRIBLE WAY AND SHE SAID HORRIBLE THINGS ABOUT BIDEN.

SHE SAID FAR WORSE ABOUT BIDEN THAN I EVER DID.

>> REPORTER: WEDNESDAY'S EVENT TOOK PLACE AT A HIGH SCHOOL NEAR BIDEN'S DELAWARE HOME.

SUPPORTERS HERE CHEERED HIS HISTORIC PICK.

>> WE ARE JUST ECSTATIC, AND WE THINK HE HAS CHOSEN THE BEST CANDIDATE THAT HE COULD HAVE.

>> BEING A WOMAN, A PERSON OF COLOR AND YOUNGER, AND ALSO FROM CALIFORNIA, I THINK SHE'S GOING TO MOTIVATE A LOT OF PEOPLE WHO MAY SIT THIS ONE OUT.

>> REPORTER: SENATOR MARIS IS THE FIRST BLACK WOMAN AND SOUTH ASIAN AMERICAN WOMAN TO APPEAR ON A MAJOR POLITICAL TICKET AND AT 55 SHE'S MORE THAN TWO DECADES YOUNGER THAN BIDEN WHO IF ELECTED WOULD BE THE OLDEST PRESIDENT IN HISTORY.

VERMONT'S CONGRESSIONAL DELEGATION IS SHOWING ITS SUPPORT FOR THE BIDEN-HARRIS TICKET.

FORMER PRIMARY RIVAL, SENATOR BERNIE SANDERS SAID HARRIS UNDERSTANDS WHAT IT TAKES TO STAND UP FOR WORKING PEOPLE, FIGHT FOR HEALTH CARE, AND TAKE DOWN THE MOST CORRUPT ADMINISTRATION IN HISTORY.

VERMONT SENATOR PATRICK LAHEY WHO SERVED WITH SENATOR HARRIS ON THE JUDICIARY COMMITTEE, THE TWO WERE ALSO BOTH FORMER PROSECUTORS, DESCRIBED HARRIS AS A LEADER IN THE SENATE SINCE THE DAY SHE WAS SWORN IN AND CALLED THIS AN HISTORIC SELECTION, AND A MEANINGFUL STEP FORWARD FOR THE COUNTRY.

AND CONGRESSMAN PETER WELSH SAYS HARRIS WILL MAKE AN EXCELLENT V.P.

MEANWHILE, NEW YORK REPUBLICAN STEFANIK SAYS HARRIS' RECORD SHOULD BE SCRUTINIZED CALLING HER FAR LEFT AND RADICAL, WHICH IS SOME OF THE SAME MESSAGING WE'VE HEARD FROM THE TRUMP CAMPAIGN.

>> DARREN: SO WHY DID KAMALA HARRIS RISE TO THE TOP OF THE LONG LIST OF WOMEN BEING CONSIDERED BY JOE BIDEN?

OUR SELEN MACARTHUR ASKED MATT DICKINSON ABOUT THAT.

>> REPORTER: MATT, BEYOND THE HISTORIC NATURE OF THE CHOICE, WHAT DO YOU THINK SHE BRINGS TO THE TICKET?

>> OH, SYMBOLISM.

IF YOU THINK ABOUT THE PREVIOUS TWO VICE-PRESIDENTIAL SELECTIONS UNDER GEORGE W. BUSH AND BARACK OBAMA, THEY BOTH CHOSE SOMEBODY THAT COMPENSATES FOR THEIR LACK OF EXPERIENCE.

BIDEN DOESN'T NEED SOMEONE TO COMPENSATE FOR HIS LACK OF EXPERIENCE.

SO WHAT HE DID HERE WAS SIGNAL WHERE HE THINKS FUTURE OF THE DEMOCRATIC PARTY IS, IT'S WITH A PERSON OF COLOR, IT'S WITH A WOMAN, IT'S WITH A PROGRESSIVE, SO THIS IS A SYMBOLIC CHOICE ABOVE ALL ELSE.

>> REPORTER: DO YOU THINK SHE'LL HELP HIM GET ELECTED?

WILL SHE BOOST THE TICKET WITH BLACK VOTERS, BECAUSE WE WITNESSED IN THE PRIMARY SHE DOESN'T EXCITE VOTERS THE WAY BARACK OBAMA DID.

>> THAT'S THE KEY QUESTION.

TYPICALLY VICE-PRESIDENTIAL CHOICES DO NOT HAVE A HUGE IMPACT ON THE GENERAL ELECTION.

THE WORST THAT CAN HAPPEN IS YOU CAN COST YOURSELF VOTES, AS SARAH PALIN DID WITH JIM MCCAIN.

HAVING SAID THAT, YOU'RE RIGHT, THEY ARE LOOKING TO GET ENTHUSIASM AMONG BLACK VOTERS.

REMEMBER, HILLARY CLINTON, WHAT PROBABLY COST HER THE ELECTION IN 2016 WAS LOWER TURNOUT AMONG AFRICAN-AMERICAN VOTERS, SO THAT'S A KEY CONSTITUENT SHE'LL TRY TO APPEAL TO.

>> REPORTER: DO YOU THINK PEOPLE WILL LOOK AT HER DIFFERENTLY AND JUDGE HER MORE HARSHLY BECAUSE THEY ALSO NEED TO CONSIDER HER AS A POTENTIAL PRESIDENT?

>> WELL, PARTICULARLY SINCE JOE BIDEN WILL BE 78, THE OLDEST PERSON TO TAKE OFFICE IF HE WINS THE ELECTION, SO IN THE BACK OF EVERYBODY'S MIND HE MAY BE A ONE-TERM PRESIDENT, AND CERTAINLY SHE WOULD BECOME A FRONT RUNNER IN 2024.

SO THAT PUTS AN ADDED LEVEL OF SCRUTINY ON HER.

>> REPORTER: HOW DO YOU THINK THE FORMER PROSECUTOR WILL FARE AGAINST MIKE PENCE IN A DEBATE, BECAUSE SHE DOES HAVE EXPERIENCE NOW.

>> SHE HAS A LOT OF EXPERIENCE.

SHE HAD STRONG MOMENTS IN THE DEBATE PERFORMANCE, MOST NOTABLY TAKING ON JOE BIDEN ON HIS RECORD ON CIVIL RIGHTS.

SHE ALSO FLOUNDERED AT A COUPLE POINTS.

BUT CERTAINLY SHE WILL MORE THAN HOLD HER OWN I'M PRETTY SURE IN ANY VICE-PRESIDENTIAL DEBATE.

>> REPORTER: SHORTLY AFTER THE ANNOUNCEMENT, TRUMP'S SENIOR ADVISOR CRITICIZED THE MOVE, BRINGING UP BIDEN HARRIS CLASHES DURING THE PRIMARY, THEY ALSO HINTED THAT THEY WOULD ATTACK HER RECORD AS A PROSECUTOR.

HOW DAMAGING DO YOU THINK THAT COULD BE?

>> WELL, CLEARLY BIDEN HAS VETTED HER, THEY ANTICIPATE THIS LINE OF ATTACK.

REMEMBER, IN THE DEMOCRATIC PRIMARY A LOT OF PROGRESSIVES WERE A LITTLE UNCERTAIN ABOUT HER CANDIDACY AND SHE WAS ALL OVER THE MAP ON SOME ISSUES.

SO THOSE SORT OF IMPRECISE ISSUE POSITIONS, HER RECORD AS A PROSECUTOR, THERE'S SOME UNEASE AMONG THE BLACK COMMUNITY ABOUT HER WILLINGNESS TO SUPPORT HARSH CRIMINAL PENALTIES.

ALL OF THIS IS GOING TO COME UP TO PLAY, CLEARLY BIDEN ANTICIPATED THIS.

THEY'RE JUST GOING TO HAVE TO WEATHER THE STORM.

>> DARREN: GIVING KIDS ACCESS TO MUSIC EDUCATION, HOW VERMONT STUDENTS CAN GET FREE INSTRUMENTS AND LESSONS, NEXT.

>> DARREN: AN ORGANIZATION DEDICATED TO GETTING KIDS ACCESS TO MUSIC EDUCATION IS HANDING OUT MONEY ONCE AGAIN TO MAKE THAT HAPPEN.

A NEW VERMONT PROGRAM IS ONE OF THE RECIPIENTS, AND FISH'S NONPROFIT LIKED IT TOO, THE VERMONT JAM BAND, WATERWHEEL FOUNDATION MATCHED THE GRANT.

AND TO TALK ABOUT THIS I'M JOINED NOW BY JUSTIN REMILLARD OF FRIENDS FOR ADOG AND ARAM BEDROSIAN.

THANKS FOR BEING HERE, GUYS.

>> THANK YOU.

>> DARREN: FIRST, CONGRATULATIONS ON THIS GRANT MONEY, IT'S GOING TO A MUSIC INSTRUCTION PROGRAM YOU'VE PUT TOGETHER CALLED LEARNING TO FLY.

WHAT DOES THIS PROGRAM DO?

>> THIS PROGRAM IS DESIGNED TO FULLY FUND MUSIC LESSONS FOR FIVE TO SIX CHILDREN WHO MIGHT OTHERWISE NOT BE ABLE TO TAKE PART.

>> DARREN: AND THE MOCKINGBIRD FOUNDATION IS PROVIDING $10,000 IN FUNDING FOR THIS.

MOCKINGBIRD WAS CREATED BY PHISH FANS BACK IN 1996, AND PHISH'S WATERWHEEL FOUNDATION MATCHED THAT GRANT.

HOW ARE YOU GOING TO USE THE MONEY, THE 20 GRAND?

>> SO BASICALLY, YOU KNOW, THE MONEY WILL BE SPREAD OUT OVER THE COURSE OF A FOUR-YEAR PROGRAM.

IT'S GOING TO PAY FOR EVERYTHING BASICALLY, THE INSTRUCTOR, THE LESSONS, INSTRUMENTS, YOU KNOW, PRETTY MUCH EVERYTHING WITH THE PROGRAM WILL BE COVERED WITH THIS MONEY.

>> DARREN: AND JUSTIN, THE FRIENDS FOR ADORING FOUNDATION IS NAMED AFTER A POPULAR BURLINGTON D.J. WHO LOST HIS BATTLE WITH CANCER DUE TO COMPLICATIONS FROM A BONE MARROW TRANSPLANT.

HOW AND WHY WAS THIS ORGANIZATION SET UP AND WHAT DOES IT DO FOR THE COMMUNITY?

>> THE FOUNDATION WAS FOUNDED IN 2013 WHEN ANDY WAS FIGHTING HIS BATTLE WITH CANCER, AS ASSISTANCE FOR HIM WHEN HE WHAT IS GOING THROUGH TREATMENTS.

AND HAS EVOLVED INTO AN ORGANIZATION THAT BASICALLY HAS PASSED ON OR CARRIES ON THE LEGACY OF ANDY, DOES PROGRAMMING AND THE ARTS, FULLY IMMERSED PROGRAMMING IN SKATEBOARDING, VISUAL ARTS, MUSIC, COMMUNITY PROGRAMS FOR THE YOUTH OF VERMONT, AND BASICALLY, YOU KNOW, WITH A FOCUS ON CHILDREN WHO MAY NOT HAVE THE OPPORTUNITY TO PARTAKE IN SOME OF THESE PROGRAMS, AS WELL AS ANNUAL SCHOLARSHIP AT ANDY'S AL MA MATTER, ST. ALBANS.

>> DARREN: AND TELL US ABOUT THE BURLINGTON MUSIC DOJO.

>> THE BURLINGTON MUSIC DOJO IS A SERIES OF SPACES, CREATIVE SHARED SPACES FOR MUSIC LESSONS AND REHEARSALS.

WE OPENED UP ABOUT EIGHT YEARS AGO AND BASICALLY WAS WORD OF MOUTH FOR A LONG TIME, AND SO BASICALLY IT'S THE CENTER FOR MUSIC LESSONS FOR INDEPENDENT INSTRUCTORS AND REHEARSALS FOR MUSICIANS IN THE AREA.

>> DARREN: SO THE LEARNING TO FLY PROGRAM IS THE ONLY VERMONT PROGRAM TO GET THIS FUNDING THIS YEAR IN VERMONT, AND IT'S JUST ONE OF TWO IN THE U.S. THAT GOT A WATERWHEEL MATCH.

DID THE ORGANIZATION INDICATE WHY YOU WERE PICKED OUT OF NEARLY 1200 APPLICANTS, RIGHT?

>> YES, THAT'S CORRECT.

THEY JUST SAID THAT THEY WERE REALLY BLOWN AWAY BY, YOU KNOW, THE INITIATIVE THAT WE TOOK TO PUT IT TOGETHER AND IT REALLY WARMED THEIR HEARTS THAT WE WERE GOING TO PASS ON, YOU KNOW, A FULL RIDE TUITION, MUSIC PROGRAM FOR THE FIVE, SIX STUDENTS PER YEAR.

THAT INCLUDES EVERYTHING, YOU KNOW, THE STUDENT WILL NOT HAVE TO PAY FOR ANYTHING WITH THE PROGRAM.

PLUS IT'S A VOLUNTEER ORGANIZATION, AND MOCKINGBIRD FOUNDATION IS ALSO 100% VOLUNTEER NONPROFIT.

SO THEY RECOGNIZE HOW MUCH WORK IT TAKES AND HOW MUCH WORK GOES INTO DOING A PROGRAM LIKE THIS AND RUNNING A FOUNDATION LIKE THIS.

SO THEY'RE REALLY EXCITED ABOUT OUR INITIATIVE AND LESS THAN 1% OF FOLKS WERE FUNDED WHO APPLIED.

SO WE WERE THRILLED TO BE SELECTED.

>> DARREN: YES, IT'S VERY COOL.

WHO CAN APPLY FOR THE SCHOLARSHIPS AND WHEN?

>> STUDENTS IN GRADES 6 THROUGH 12, YOUTH OF VERMONT, ANYBODY IS ELIGIBLE TO APPLY.

>> WE'RE OFFERING VOICE, GUITAR, BASS, DRUMS, A WIDE VARIETY OF LESSONS, AND IT'S JUST BEEN A BEAUTIFUL EXPERIENCE TO PUT THE PROGRAM TOGETHER.

AND IT'S LAUNCHING THE END OF THE MONTH.

>> YES, WE ARE BASICALLY AFTER TODAY, YOU KNOW, THE CAT'S OUT OF THE BAG, WE'RE GOING TO START SPREADING THE WORD TO ALL THE SCHOOLS IN SMALLER TOWNS, AND THE ACTUAL, THE PROCESS WILL START ON SEPTEMBER 15TH IS THE APPLICATION START DATE AND WILL RUN THROUGH MID DECEMBER.

AT THAT TIME WE'LL GO THROUGH ALL THE APPLICANTS AND SELECT THE LUCKY STUDENTS WHO WILL START IN JANUARY, 2021.

>> DARREN: WE'RE PSYCHED TO BREAK THE NEWS FOR YOU.

THANK YOU FOR JOINING US THIS MORNING AND GOOD LUCK WITH THE PROGRAM.

>> THANK YOU VERY MUCH.

>> THANK YOU, DARREN.

>> DARREN: AND THANK YOU FOR WATCHING.

HAVE A GREAT DAY, EVERYBODY.

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