2020 Campaign

2020 Democrats Are Already Hiring

“At least a dozen possible Democratic presidential candidates have begun bolstering their teams by adding aides with campaign experience to their Senate staffs, personal offices or 2018 reelection payrolls,” Politico reports.

“The hires are never explicitly advertised or designed to be about 2020. But the behind-the-scenes shuffle is a long-overdue stage in the traditional precampaign scramble. Potential candidates who have run before — like Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders and former Vice President Joe Biden — largely have their core teams in place.”

“Yet in many other cases, chiefs of staff and senior strategists are now actively looking for new talent after receiving clear instructions from their bosses: I don’t know whether I’m going to run for president, but do everything you need to do to get me in position, just in case.”

New Hampshire Activity Sparks Talk of Trump Challenge

Sen. Jeff Flake (R-AZ) received a standing ovation from a crowd of business leaders and political junkies in New Hampshire on Friday after decrying the “degradation of the United States and her values” by the current occupant of the White House, the Washington Post reports.

Ohio Gov. John Kasich (R), who ran for the GOP nomination in 2016, will return to the nation’s first primary state early next month for a “fireside chat” at a college.

“And on Monday, President Trump — whose New Hampshire primary win two years ago set him on a course for the presidency — is slated to make an appearance in the state for the first time since 2016.”

Democrats Have Many Possible 2020 Candidates

Frank Bruni: “Dozens of prominent Democrats are at least flirting with running in 2020, and while it’s easy to look at them and play Goldilocks — too cold, too hot, too bald, too blond, too Wall Street, too wordy — it’s just as easy to believe. The perfect person? The party certainly lacks that. But potentially effective candidates? It’s lousy with them, though we chromosomally dyspeptic pundits prefer to shake our heads and sigh.”

“Republicans crowed about their supposed bounty in 2016 even as Donald Trump laid waste to it. Democrats bemoan their slim pickings in 2020 even though the field is positively obese. There are elders in their 70s and whippersnappers below 50; governors who can present themselves as Washington outsiders and senators who can tout their inside game; show horses and workhorses; progressives who didn’t just conveniently rechristen themselves that way and moderates who’d probably be potent in the general election if they could just survive the primaries. There are Westerners and Easterners and, in happy contrast to cycles past, more than a few women and people of color.”

“To worry that there’s no obvious winner is to ignore history. Presidents aren’t obvious until they’re sitting at the Resolute Desk (and sometimes not even then). Consider the last three.”

Democratic Super PAC Will Stay Neutral In 2020 Primaries

“Anticipating an unusually crowded Democratic presidential primary in 2020, the party’s biggest super PAC is vowing to stay out of the race and focus on taking on President Trump, beginning preparations now for an election more than two and half years away,” NBC News reports.

“Priorities USA, which has spent hundreds of millions of dollars backing Democrats since forming in 2011 to promote Barack Obama’s reelection, wants to be ready to assist whomever emerges from the fray as the party’s nominee.”

Flake Eyes a Presidential Bid

Sen. Jeff Flake (R-AZ) “has a direct message for the Republicans of New Hampshire: Someone needs to stop Donald Trump. And Flake, a Republican senator from Arizona, may stand up against the Republican president in 2020 — either as a Republican or an independent — if no one else does,” the AP reports.

Said Flake: “It’s not in my plan to run for president, but I am not ruling it out. Somebody needs to stand up for traditional Republicanism. Somebody needs to raise that, for nothing else than to give people hope that that decent party will be back. We’ll get through this.”

How to Beat Trump

Phillip Reines: “Yes, President Trump is the least-qualified person to ever hold the office and is cementing his ranking as the worst president in American history. Winning will be easy, right? Just have a positive message, don’t stoop to his level, be smart about email, thank your lucky stars you aren’t seeking the cursed third term and ride his unpopularity right into the Oval Office.”

“Oh, this may come in handy: EBay is a great place to get rid of prematurely purchased drapes.”

“Trump is a freak of political nature. He’s a political Weeble Wobble that never falls down. He makes Ronald Reagan’s Teflon look like Saran Wrap. He says whatever he wants, whenever he wants, wherever he wants. He could stand in the middle of Fifth Avenue and shoot a porn flick. And as hard as it was for Hillary Clinton to run against him, our 2020 nominee will face something we didn’t: the power of incumbency.”

Trump Endorses Himself for Re-Election

President Trump “got business out of the way quickly Saturday night – urging voters to elect Republican congressional candidate Rick Saccone, who’s locked in an unexpectedly tough special election battle in Pennsylvania – before turning to the main subject of the night: himself,” Politico reports.

“Returning to top campaign form, Trump made fun of Washington and congratulated himself for maintaining his iconoclastic style in office, despite critics who have called for him to take his job more seriously—including in a recent op-ed in the Wall Street Journal called out by Trump.”

Said Trump: “Don’t forget, this got us elected. If I came like a stiff, you guys wouldn’t come here tonight.”

Warren Says She’s Not Running for President

Sen. Elizabeth Warren told CNN that she isn’t running for president in 2020.

Said Warren: “For the people of Massachusetts, and for the people across this country. This government is working better and better and better for a thinner and thinner slice at the top. I am in these fights, and I am in this fight to retain my Senate seat in 2018. That’s where I’m focused. That’s where I’m going to stay focused. I’m not running for president.”

Democrats Struggle Over Superdelegates

“The Democratic Party’s hierarchy on Saturday acknowledged the ‘perceived influence’ of insiders over voters in picking a presidential nominee, but don’t know yet how to settle an issue that bedeviled the bitter nomination fight between Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders in 2016,” the AP reports.

“At issue is the role of Democratic National Committee members, elected officials and other party dignitaries — known collectively superdelegates. They overwhelmingly favored Clinton, who won the nomination, though her wide advantage among this group ultimately saddled her with charges of favoritism.”

Milwaukee Makes a Play for Democratic Convention

“They’re trying to ensure the 2020 Democratic nominee makes at least one more stop in Wisconsin than Hillary Clinton did,” Politico reports.

“Thursday night in Washington, the people pushing Milwaukee’s bid for the next Democratic convention made the case directly to party insiders at a reception during the Democratic National Committee winter meeting in Washington.”

Biden Mulls Options to Take On Trump

Politico: “Between stops on his book tour and in the ramp-up for what will be a heavy midterms campaign schedule, a tight circle of aides has been brainstorming a range of tear-up-the-playbook ideas for a White House run.”

“On the list: announcing his candidacy either really early or really late in the primary process so that he’d define the field around him or let it define itself before scrambling the field; skipping Iowa and New Hampshire and going straight to South Carolina, where he has always had a strong base of support; announcing a running mate right out of the gate and possibly picking one from outside of politics; and making a pitch that he can be a bridge not just to disaffected Democrats, but to Republicans revolting against President Trump.”

“They’ve also discussed an idea some donors and supporters have been pitching Biden on directly for months: kick off by announcing that he’d only run for one term… The former vice president would pick a younger Democratic running mate and argue that he’d be the elder statesman to get the country and government back in order post-Trump and be the bridge to the next generation.”

Trump Charges Campaign Rent for Nearly Empty Office

“Republican donors last year paid over a half-million dollars for Trump re-election campaign offices in Trump Tower ― a decision that personally benefited the president, but provided workspace for at most a handful of staff,” the HuffPost reports.

“The monthly rent was more than what candidate Donald Trump had been charging from June 2015 to March 2016, back when he was largely self-funding his campaign… And while it is unclear why Trump’s re-election campaign has rented so much room for so few people, its decision to do so has helped fill office space that appears to have become much more difficult to rent out since Trump won the presidency.”

Patrick Eyes Possible White House Bid

Former Gov. Deval Patrick (D), who has largely shunned politics since leaving office and joining Bain Capital in 2015, acknowledged his interest in a possible presidential run in 2020, the Boston Globe reports.

Said Patrick: “It’s on my radar screen.”

He elaborated: “I am trying to think through 2020, and that’s a decision I’m trying to think through from a personal and family point of view and also whether what I believe is going to be on offer by somebody. And if it’s on offer by somebody then maybe what I can do is help that person. But we’ll see.”