Photograph by Cheriss May / NurPhoto via Getty
On Monday night, a day before travelling to Las Vegas to cover the final Presidential prizefight, the left-leaning CNN political commentator Van Jones took the stage at Southeast Missouri State University, in Cape Girardeau, to debate his right-leaning CNN counterpart Kayleigh McEnany, in front of a thousand Trump-leaning students. Jones is a forty-eight-year-old Yale Law School graduate and the president of a social-justice accelerator called the Dream Corps; he worked in the Obama Administration and supported Bernie Sanders before Clinton won the nomination. McEnany is a twenty-eight-year-old Harvard Law School graduate who interned in the second Bush Administration and has supported Donald Trump since the primaries. This was the first time they’d met on a stage, at lecterns, with their own debate moderator—Rick Althaus, an avuncular professor of political science at the university—to discuss what Jones later described to me as “this dumpster fire of a campaign.”
CNN contributor Van Jones went viral Wednesday night for his critique of Donald Trump’s performance in the third and final presidential debate. Jones took issue with the Republican presidential nominee suggesting that he might not support the result of the election if Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton wins. “You can’t polish this turd,” said Jones during CNN’s post-debate analysis. “This man has demonstrated an appalling lack of patriotism.”
Later, he used pop culture to describe Trump: “I’m going to have to go all the way back to old school hip-hop and quote LL Cool J in his first album and say, ‘He lied about the lies that he lied about.'”
However, there’s more to Jones than these colorful soundbites. Here are four things you should know about him.
EPISODE THREE: In our last episode, I run into my toughest challenge yet: a young Trump supporter who won't back down. Wearing his 'MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN" cap like a battle helmet, he opens rhetorical fire on Hillary Clinton -- and he doesn't miss one attack line.
The results are in!
Van provided the voice we needed to hear. Check out all of his election night wisdom (and a few of the nights leading up) on our playlist below:
EPISODE TWO: THE MESSY TRUTH® - I visit with four moms in Gettysburg. Each is supporting a different candidate for President.
EPISODE ONE: THE MESSY TRUTH®: In the first episode of The Messy Truth, I visit a family of Trump supporters in historic Gettysburg, Pennsylvania -- the site of one of the bloodiest battles of the Civil War and one day after Trump gives his own ‘Gettysburg Address.’
In America today, the establishment is on the ropes, the rebels are on the rise, and now the people are ready to talk. People aren’t just talking, they’re screaming at the top of their lungs. But we can’t seem to listen. In the midst of all the inflammation and toxicity of the election season, we’ve all lost the ability to step into someone else’s shoes and see each other as human beings. We don’t all have to agree, but we can learn a lot from each other. At a certain point people might surprise themselves and say something they hadn’t already thought or heard.
Rebuild The Dream's Founder and President, Van Jones, was on air covering the debate live for CNN.
If you can't watch live, below is the playlist of his appearances (I will be updating it as more come in).
First Presidential Debate Playlist:
And if you want to see Van's candid take the night before the debate -- check him out onFacebook Live.
Spoiler alert: He calls Hillary Clinton the Michael Jordan of policy.