Sunday, July 07, 2019

Vanity Candidates For President-- Or Do They Want To Be The Next Ben Carson?


Richard Ojeda and Sherrod Brown both dropped out before they could make fools of themselves. Does anyone even remember they were once "running?" And Bloomberg and the Starbucks guy? Yesterday, Ed Kilgore, writing for New York Magazine, speculated on who would drop out first. The photo was Frackenlooper-- and he was the only guess. That's also the perfect guess since Frackenlooper continues to sink in polling, has raised a minuscule amount of money having only 13,000 donors, and has lost most of his staff (including his campaign manager, communications director, digital director and finance director). Plenty of people are wondering why the one-percenters are still in the 2020 race-- not to mention the would-be nominees struggling at or under 0.5% like these losers with their terrible, scowling Republican-lite platforms:
Steve Bullock- 0.4%
Frackenlooper- 0.2%
Tim Ryan- 0.0%
Seth Moulton- 0.0%
Eric Swalwell- 0.0%
John Delaney- 0.0%
Delaney, a crooked multimillionaire who spent a few years in Congress bashing progressive ideas, was the first candidate in and spent $17 million of his own cash on a race based from his new home in Iowa, only to be in last place-- and with support too low to measure. It would be fitting for him to also be the first to withdraw. The DNC allowed him to take part in the first debate but he's one of the 6 or 7 who aren't making it inti the one at the end of the month. The Democratic primary voters tolerant of conservative ideas are firmly lined up behind Status Quo Joe, leaving nothing at all for the likes of Delaney, Frackenlooper, Moulton, Bennet, etc. Right now, it looks like Bullock, Frackenlooper, Ryan, Swalwell, Moulton, Michael Bennet and Delaney won't meet the thresholds for the September and October debates.

On Saturday, Russell Berman, writing for The Atlantic, noted that for the little-known Representatives-- Tim Ryan, Eric Swalwell and Seth Moulton-- running for president may be only a stepping stone. A stepping stone to oblivion? They don't seem to think so. Berman claims they're running serious campaigns. Sad, considering none of them are gaining even the tiniest amount of traction.

Berman wrote that Ryan, Swalwell, and Moulton-- along with potentially a half-dozen or more of their Democratic rivals-- are also operating under an unstated reality of modern politics. The general election for the presidency may be a zero-sum game, where the winner gets to be leader of the free world and the loser is remembered forever as a runner-up. But the marathon party primary is more like that staple quote of high-school yearbooks: Shoot for the moon. Even if you miss, you’ll land among the stars. A popular, if trite, mantra for millions of American youth on the cusp of adulthood, this exhortation of ambition is also an apt (though never admitted) explanation for the long-shot campaigns of as many as a dozen Democratic presidential hopefuls. Underdog campaigns can be successful even in defeat, and the mere act of running for the pinnacle of American politics can be a stepping stone to higher office in and of itself. Just ask Energy Secretary Rick Perry and Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson, who parlayed White House bids into positions in President Donald Trump’s Cabinet. Or Joe Biden, whose failed presidential campaign in 2008 led to his selection as Barack Obama’s running mate and eight years as vice president." Berman is being overly generous towards many of the also-rans.
“If you don’t embarrass yourself-- and I don’t think so far anyone’s embarrassed themselves-- you end up in a better place than where you started,” Scott Ferson, a veteran Democratic consultant in Massachusetts, told me. Ferson worked on the 1988 presidential campaign of Representative Richard Gephardt, a future House leader who was then relatively unknown outside Washington, D.C., and his home state of Missouri.

Senators like Cory Booker of New Jersey, Kirsten Gillibrand of New York, Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota, and Michael Bennet of Colorado are currently languishing in the low single digits in 2020 polling, but they could be vice-presidential short-listers a year from now. So too, conceivably, could the governors in the race-- Jay Inslee, John Hickenlooper, and Steve Bullock-- or Julián Castro, the former secretary of housing and urban development.

All of the candidates above entered the race with resumes that checked the boxes of conventional presidential viability (at least until Trump came along): winning multiple statewide races, with years of experience either in the Senate or at the executive level managing a state government or Cabinet department.

That is not the case for Ryan, Swalwell, or Moulton, whose decisions to mount long-shot presidential bids have stumped political insiders-- even some former allies-- both in their own states and nationally, stirring suspicions that their real near-term goal is something other than the White House. The last politician to make the jump directly from the House to the presidency was James Garfield in 1881. Ryan, Swalwell, and Moulton lack the star power of Beto O’Rourke, the former Texas congressman whose near-win over Senator Ted Cruz last year made him a household name. Nor do they have the distinctive politics or personal story of Representative Tulsi Gabbard of Hawaii, whose strident anti-interventionist foreign-policy stance has set her apart from her rivals.
What do they want? To run for the Senate? Governor? To get a cabinet position? Ryan is a wishy-washy guy who can never make up his mind. It took him almost a decade after he decided to stop being anti-Choice to actually stop being anti-Choice. His trial balloons for higher office always fall flat. Berman wrote that "At 45, he’s trying to win over Democrats who are looking for a younger version of Biden with less baggage, and his supporters have suggested that he could be a potential running mate for a coastal senator like Kamala Harris of California or Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts who might want to balance their ticket with a candidate who could appeal to white men in the Rust Belt. Yet they also acknowledge that the enhanced name recognition Ryan gets from even a losing national run could make him a stronger statewide candidate back home, where despite having served 17 years in the House, he is not well known across the entire state. Both DeWine and Republican Senator Rob Portman will be up for reelection in 2022." He's probably not going to make it onto the debate stage next time and I have a feeling his 0.0% polling isn't going to impress anyone back in Ohio.

Swalwell's not impressing anyone either. He tried for a viral moment with his pass the torch comment to Biden but... as well rehearsed as it was, it may have been too abstract for the average moron voter and it went nowhere. Is he running for Feinstein's-- or Kamala's-- Senate seat? Against Adam Schiff or Ted Lieu? Good luck with that. The filling deadline for his House seat is December so he still has time to get out of a presidential campaign that isn't going anywhere.
Ryan and Swalwell have struggled to break through, but the congressman running for president who’s in the most precarious position, both nationally and locally, is Moulton. The Massachusetts Democrat failed to make the stage for the first debates in Miami, and there’s no indication as of yet that he’s improved his standing for the second round of primary debates in July.

Moulton has less of a fallback option back home and a number of Democrats who are questioning his political judgment. The 40-year-old Marine Corps officer who served four tours of duty in Iraq burst to the forefront of Massachusetts politics when he toppled incumbent Representative John Tierney in a Democratic primary in 2014. He was seen as a likely statewide candidate, possibly even a strong primary challenger to Senator Ed Markey in 2020. But Moulton’s long-standing opposition to Speaker Nancy Pelosi, which continued even after Democrats regained the House majority last fall, angered voters, particularly women, in his district and the state party. “I think he’s got a better shot at being president than being a senator from Massachusetts,” said Ferson, who worked for Moulton’s winning congressional race in 2014 but is not involved with his presidential run. “He burned a lot of bridges in Massachusetts in the Democratic Party, and for statewide office you need party support.”

Moulton has plenty of time to run for reelection if he drops out of the 2020 race in the next several months, but several local activists and elected officials are considering a primary challenge. “He’s going to have an incredibly hard time getting reelected to his seat,” Mary Anne Marsh, a veteran Democratic consultant based in Boston, told me. “What looked like a bright future now looks like it could get derailed.”

Moulton has tried to distinguish himself by focusing on national security and foreign policy. He’s one of only a few military veterans in the large Democratic field, and he made headlines by talking openly about his struggle with post-traumatic stress disorder after returning home from Iraq. Given his cloudy future in Massachusetts, Moulton is seen as a possible contender for a Cabinet post if another Democrat defeats Trump-- potentially atop either the Veterans Administration or even the Pentagon.

...For Democratic candidates as well as the party’s voters, the great motivator remains Trump. “Donald Trump made everyone think, If he can do it, so can I. The barrier to entry has been lowered,” an aide to one long-shot candidate told me, speaking on the condition of anonymity.
Politicians, by necessity, often think very highly of themselves. Berman suggests that an underdog campaign for guys like Ryan, Swalwell, and Moulton, even if it doesn’t end in the presidency, could still open the door to opportunities that didn’t exist before. "And while they-- and the others struggling to break out of the pack-- may genuinely not have given much thought to the potential consolation prizes of a failed presidential bid, if they don’t catch that fire soon, they may have no other choice." Being the next Ben Carson or Rick Perry though... Is that a goal? And Dick Gephardt? He wound up on K Street as a detested slime-ball lobbyist.

Labels: , , , , ,


At 10:25 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Only the money would know. To get a cabinet position or run for senate or house, they need to impress the money (DNC, DSCC, DCCC, etc.). Local name recognition is important only for senate or house runs and most of these have already run and won something.

The money will tell the DNC who to nominate. It will also tell that nominee, should he win, who to put in cabinet positions. It will also tell the states and DxCCs who is acceptable for senate/house runs.

Voters will then be told by the party and the media who are their choices -- the Nazi or the fascist -- and it will be up to the half of voters who vote to decide which is less worst for that position for that cycle.

then all things will be decided by Pelosi and maybe scummer (by way of the money, of course... like it's been for 4 decades). a democrap president looks very unlikely, but it won't be Bernie or Elizabeth, so who gives a shit.

true democracy at work. Pelosi, elected by san Francisco, and scummer, elected by new York (or maybe still mcturtle elected by fucking Kentucky) will rule all americans at the pleasure of the money who owns them.

And DWT will celebrate all democrap victories like it's the raising of the flag on Iwo Jima or some fucking thing.

fuck we're stupid!

At 10:50 PM, Anonymous ap215 said...

Looks like Swalwell will dropout first.

At 10:57 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Pelosi must have promised him another million from her whoring to drop out. Too bad. He seemed to be a bit less awful than about 12 of the others.

At 1:05 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Where is that democraptic troll to defend the Party against the clear imposition of Biden upon the American electorate? Maybe Kos won't let him out to prey?


Post a Comment

<< Home