2020 Campaign

Trump Holds First Fundraiser at His Own Hotel

“President. Candidate. Businessman. Three of President Trump’s roles converge next week as he holds his first major re-election fundraiser at his hotel in Washington,” the AP reports.

Jonathan Chait: “If he were a normal president, rather than one who produced calamities at an unprecedented pace, Trump’s open profiteering would receive five-alarm media coverage and threats of impeachment… That it has caused barely a ripple helps to explain why Trump feels emboldened to locate the first fundraiser for his reelection campaign at his hotel in Washington.”

“Trump’s Washington hotel has already raked in cash from lobbyists and government officials, foreign and domestic, seeking to curry favor with the First Family. Trump has gotten away with it because his party has evinced zero interest in restraining him. The GOP Congress has quashed investigations of his profiteering or demands that he produce his tax returns. Now the party elite will literally be suborned at an event conjoining his public duties and the fattening of his own wallet.”

Eric Holder Mulls Presidential Bid

“More than two years after leaving the Obama administration, former Attorney General Eric Holder is reentering the political fray,” Yahoo News reports.

“His goal: to lead the legal resistance to Donald Trump’s agenda — and perhaps even run against the president in 2020.”

“Seized by a sense of urgency to oppose Trump and restore what he regards as America’s best self, Holder is mulling a White House bid of his own, according to three sources who have spoken to him and are familiar with his thinking.”

How Jason Kander Won By Losing

Politico profiles Jason Kander (D), who lost his U.S. Senate race in Missouri last year but is in demand as a speaker at Democratic events across the country.

“It’s a measure of the Democratic Party right now that the politicians generating the most excitement are the former president, the former vice president, a 74-year old senator who’s not officially a Democrat, a 67-year old Massachusetts senator whom many centrists believe would turn the party’s economic to the radical left, and a guy who lost a Senate race. It’s a measure of Democrats’ current ‘anyone can run’ thinking around the 2020 field that Kander is being discussed at all—though that often gets stopped with a, ‘well, not anyone.'”

Black Voters Will Be Democratic Kingmakers in 2020

Josh Kraushaar: “For all the talk about the power of pro­gress­ives in the Demo­crat­ic Party, one sig­ni­fic­ant part of the Demo­crat­ic co­ali­tion has been over­looked in the run-up to the next pres­id­en­tial elec­tion: Afric­an-Amer­ic­ans. Black voters made up at least 20 per­cent of the Demo­crat­ic vote in at least 15 states dur­ing the 2016 pres­id­en­tial primar­ies (and com­prise that share in three oth­er states without exit polling: Louisi­ana, New Jer­sey, and Delaware). Without Afric­an-Amer­ic­ans, who gave 76 per­cent of their vote in the primar­ies to Hil­lary Clin­ton, Bernie Sanders eas­ily could have been the Demo­crat­ic nom­in­ee. Sanders won 49.1 per­cent of the Demo­crat­ic white vote to Clin­ton’s 48.9 per­cent.”

“Black voters have his­tor­ic­ally ral­lied be­hind one Demo­crat­ic can­did­ate… Since 1976, the can­did­ate backed by black voters be­came the Demo­crat­ic nom­in­ee in sev­en of the nine con­tested nom­in­a­tion battles.”

Romney Stokes Speculation He’ll Run Again

“Mitt Romney is once again testing his political power — critiquing President Donald Trump, raising money and campaigning for fellow Republicans, and not ruling out another run for office for himself,” Politico reports.

“Romney’s return comes as senior Republicans express profound unease with the direction of Trump’s presidency and worry it will cost them dearly in the 2018 midterms. With Trump’s approval ratings at historic lows and his agenda in tatters, GOP leaders are in desperate search of big-name surrogates able to motivate increasingly despondent Republican voters — a profile that Romney, a mainstream figure who articulates the party’s traditional views, just may fit.”

Democrats Must Focus on Romney Voters

“In the six months since the election, we’ve obsessed about Obama-Trump voters but completely ignored their inverse: the Romney-Clinton voters,” Politico reports.

“Who are they? Romney-Clinton voters are, generally speaking, college-educated suburban professionals: lawyers, doctors and businesspeople. They voted for Mitt Romney in 2012, but switched to Hillary Clinton in 2016. They abhor xenophobia, the alt-right and racists, but they also mostly socialize within their own race and they’re mostly white. They’re socially liberal but not obsessed with a political agenda. They value fiscal responsibility but also believe in investing in the future, especially education. They remain deeply worried about Trump’s qualifications, scared about his temperament and alienated by his misogyny and ties to extremists. For the first time in a long time, they’re willing to hear about and vote for Democrats.”

“This poses deep risks for Republicans because these voters have long been a key cohort of the GOP’s electoral coalition. Studies show that upper-income and highly educated Americans are substantially more likely to cast ballots, potentially posing a decisive factor in the upcoming midterm elections. And it just so happens that the Romney-Clinton vote centered in areas of the country that are turning bluer—mainly places with large suburban populations and strong economies—where major congressional, senatorial and gubernatorial races will be held in 2017 and 2018.”

Biden Launches a Political Action Committee

Former Vice President Joe Biden “is planning to create a political action committee, the most concrete sign yet that he intends to remain active in the Democratic Party and is considering a presidential bid in 2020,” the New York Times reports.

“The American Possibilities PAC will offer the former vice president a platform he can use to nurture relationships with donors, travel on behalf of the party and contribute to candidates in the two governor’s races in November and in next year’s midterm elections… By creating a political organization, Mr. Biden, 74, is also sending an unmistakable message to the many other Democrats eyeing the White House that he is not planning to quietly recede into retirement.”

Republicans Try to Damage Warren Early

“Republicans are getting a jump on Elizabeth Warren’s 2020 presidential campaign,” McClatchy reports.

“The Massachusetts Democrat is preparing to run for re-election to the Senate in 2018 and hasn’t said yet whether she’ll challenge President Donald Trump for the White House. But in-state and national Republican officials have decided to target the liberal icon anyway, saying they will try to inflict enough damage during the Senate race to harm any future presidential effort — and perhaps dissuade her from running altogether.”

“Already, one national Republican group has begun a comprehensive effort to track Warren’s every public appearance and add to a dossier of unflattering research on her.”

Eric Garcetti is Headed to Wisconsin

Politico: “The Los Angeles mayor and his staff like to say his trip to the state Hillary Clinton famously forgot to pay attention to last year — he’ll keynote the state Democratic convention June 2 — is because the state party finance director is a friend who used to fundraise for him, or that he was just such a hit when he spoke to the Wisconsin delegation during the Democratic convention last year that they invited him for more.”

“Or, crazy as it may seem right now, it’s exactly what you think.”

Democrats Spend Big on Online Ads

HuffPost: “This is a golden age of Democratic online organizing. According to experts, the wave of anti-Donald Trump sentiment may represent a rare opportunity for lawmakers to shift away from a reliance on big-money donors and toward a system popularized by Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) during his presidential run: small-dollar giving that begets sustained forms of activism.”

“Campaign fundraisers say the deluge of money currently coming in online is unlike anything the party has ever seen in the first quarter following a presidential election. More than one operative described investments in digital advertising as ‘free money,’ and as a chance for someone with an eye on the White House to build a foundation for that campaign.”

Republicans See Strong Potential Challengers to Trump

McClatchy: “The early Democratic jockeying to take on President Donald Trump has not gone unnoticed on the other side of the aisle — and Republicans concede there are quite a few potentially formidable contenders.”

“In interviews with two dozen GOP operatives, strategists and officials around the country, Republicans placed the most credible Democratic candidates into categories: the rising congressional stars (Kamala Harris) and the pure political outsiders (Mark Cuban), the fiery progressives (Elizabeth Warren) and the pragmatic moderates (John Hickenlooper).”