The Morning Scroll: Taylor Swift Releases New Song Titled 'Me!' & Joe Biden Launches Presidential Campaign

Morning! While you were sleeping (or staying up to binge-watch Friends for the tenth time, or pulling an all-nighter in the library), a few things went down that you’ll probably want to know about. So grab a cup of coffee, settle in, and get scrolling.

Rumor Has It

After teasing fans for weeks, Taylor Swift has released a new song and music video. And to say that we are beyond excited is an understatement.

Swift’s new single, titled Me!, is a collaboration with Panic! at the Disco’s Brendon Urie. The song was produced by Joel Little, The New York Times reports.

In an interview with ABC’s Robin Roberts in Nashville Thursday night, the pop star said the new song is about “embracing your individuality and really celebrating it and owning it.”

“I think with a pop song we have the ability to get a melody stuck in people's heads, and I just want it to be one that makes them feel better about themselves,” Swift said.

Fans had long been speculating that Swift was planning to release new music after noticing she had changed her Instagram aesthetic to include more pinks, blues and other pastels, as well as rainbows, hearts and butterflies.

In addition to the new colorful aesthetic, Swift also unveiled a butterfly mural, painted by street artist Kelsey Montague, in Nashville on Thursday, Buzzfeed News reports.

But now fans got to see the fresh color palette come to life in Swift’s new music video.

The new song premiered on streaming services and as a music video on YouTube at midnight EST on Friday, following the 13-day countdown.

With lyrics like “You can’t spell awesome without me,” the new track is quite playful and fun, which is a stark contrast to her previous lead single, Look What You Made Me Do, released in August 2017. Using darker colors and embracing the snake imagery, Swift grappled with perceived backlash and the ensuing celebrity drama with Kanye West and Kim Kardashian West.

But Swift sheds the darker, more serious tones and aesthetic of the Reputation era when, at the beginning of the new video, a CGI snake bursts into a swarm of butterflies, which ties in with all of the butterflies Swift had been sharing, including with the mural.

Fans also got to see all of her promotional clues that she had been sharing on Instagram in the video, including the picture of the colorful suits, multi-colored tiles and the gallery of baby chicks in sunglasses.

The video, which also features the pop singer’s pet cats, was directed by Swift and Dave Meyers, according to The Times.

But it looks like we have more to look forward to as Swift has hinted that more new music is on the way. Count Me! in! (Sorry, had to.)

News You Can Eat

Pretzels. Whether you like them dusted in cinnamon sugar, served piping hot and salted, or served with yummy dipping sauces (like a cheese sauce or chocolate sauce), it’s undeniable that pretzels are delicious. Because of their deliciousness, it only seemed right that they had their own national holiday, and today is that day!

April 26th is National Pretzel Day and, in honor of the special occasion, food companies will be celebrating all things pretzels by offering freebies and discounts, according to Delish. Here are the National Pretzel Day deals you need to know about for the ultimate snack celebration.

Wetzel’s Pretzels

In honor of the pretzel holiday, all customers that stop by Wetzel’s Pretzels will be given a free pretzel — no purchase necessary.

Auntie Anne’s Pretzels

What could possibly be better than one pretzel? Two! With a pretzel purchase at Auntie Anne’s, you can score a second one — Original or Cinnamon — for free.

Ben’s Soft Pretzels

According to the company website, if you donate at least $1 to the Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund, you can receive a free pretzel.

Cumberland Farms

If you stop by the store between 11 a.m. and 6 p.m. and purchase a pretzel, you’ll receive a free Chill Zone beverage (a fountain drink or frozen Hyperfreeze) for free.

Philly Pretzel Factory

Philly Pretzel Factory is giving out free pretzels to customers on April 26 — no purchase necessary.

Pretzelmaker

The pretzel company is giving out free original soft pretzels, but you have to be a rewards member. So make sure you’re signed up!

Then This Happened

After months of speculation that he would throw his hat into the ring, former Vice President Joe Biden has officially announced that he is running for president in 2020.

Biden formally made his candidacy announcement in a video released on Thursday. His announcement focused on the “battle for the soul of this nation,” centering around the 2017 white supremacist protest in Charlottesville, Virginia, including President Donald Trump’s statement after the protest, where a counterprotester was killed, that there were “very fine people on both sides,” CBS News reports.  

“In that moment, I knew the threat to this nation was unlike any I had ever seen in my lifetime,” Biden said in the video.

“I believe history will look back on four years of this president and all he embraces as an aberrant moment in time,” Biden added in his announcement video. “But if we give Donald Trump eight years in the White House, he will forever and fundamentally alter the character of this nation — who we are — and I cannot stand by and watch that happen.”

According to the latest survey data from Morning Consult, Biden is (and has been in the lead up to his announcement) the top contender vying for the Democratic nomination.

Biden had passed up on a bid for the White House four years ago after the unfortunate death of his son, Beau.

Following Biden’s announcement, former President Barack Obama, released a glowing statement on his former vice president, but did not endorse him.

“President Obama has long said that selecting Joe Biden as his running mate in 2008 was one of the best decisions he ever made. He relied on the Vice President's knowledge, insight, and judgment throughout both campaigns and the entire presidency. The two forged a special bond over the last 10 years and remain close today,” a statement from Obama’s office read.

According to NPR, Biden did pick up some endorsements from Democratic senators, including Sens. Chris Coons and Tom Carper, who both serve Biden’s home state of Delaware. Sens. Doug Jones of Alabama and Bob Casey of Pennsylvania also endorsed Biden.

However, there was some progressive pushback, as the group Justice Democrats said in a statement: “The old guard of the Democratic Party failed to stop Trump, and they can't be counted on to lead the fight against his divide-and-conquer politics today.”

Trump responded to Biden’s campaign announcement on Twitter, calling Biden “Sleepy Joe.”

“I only hope you have the intelligence, long in doubt, to wage a successful primary campaign,” Trump continued. “It will be nasty - you will be dealing with people who truly have some very sick & demented ideas. But if you make it, I will see you at the Starting Gate!”

As Biden prepared to announce his campaign, his presidential aspirations were threatened when several women came forward with accusations of unwanted and inappropriate touching by the former vice president.

Biden eventually acknowledged his behavior in a video released on Twitter, saying, “Social norms are changing. I understand that, and I’ve heard what these women are saying. Politics to me has always been about making connections, but I will be more mindful about respecting personal space in the future.”

Happy Thoughts

Us dancing to Taylor Swift’s new song: 

Image via Giphy