Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) will campaign for Democratic candidates across the country this month at more than 15 planned events in nine states — including a number of presidential primary hot spots, CNN reports.
Ben Smith: “Bloomberg is floating a run for president, for the third time, an exercise that often puzzles the Americans who become aware of it. In this divisive, divided time, is anyone begging for low-profile technocratic leadership?”
“This is, at least, the operating theory at the eco-friendly Upper East Side mansion that houses Bloomberg’s foundation: That there’s space for a Democrat who wants to make America boring again. A candidate whose social media policy is Never Tweet, and whose government would be so drama free that Americans of all political stripes (except, perhaps, lovers of assault weapons and big gulp sodas) could go back to liking football.”
Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) “has emerged this year as the third-highest spender on digital ads — behind only President Trump and Beto O’Rourke, a Texas Democrat who is running in the country’s highest-profile Senate race,” the Boston Globe reports.
“In the last two weeks alone, Warren has run 401 separate digital ads on Facebook, seen by as many as 10 million people. These aren’t all geared for Massachusetts: Her ads are getting four times as many eyeballs in other states.”
Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ) “descended on Iowa Saturday night with ideal timing to strike a chord with Iowan Democrats,” ABC News reports.
“The senator from New Jersey, a long-rumored 2020 presidential candidate, arrived at the Iowa Democratic Party’s fall gala fresh off the Senate floor, where he voted not to confirm President Donald Trump’s embattled Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh.”
Said one attendee: “This whole thing feels like a therapy session and Sen. Booker is the therapist.”
Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME) “was already one of the Democrats’ biggest Senate targets in 2020 when she took to the Senate floor Friday to announce she would vote to confirm Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh. But Collins’ decision to back the Supreme Court nominee after he was accused of sexual assault was instantly controversial with not only the hundreds of activists who flooded the Capitol this week but also with Democratic activists in her home state of Maine who have opposed Kavanaugh’s nomination for weeks,” CNN reports.
“By the time she finished her speech, Democrats in Maine had begun speculating who might challenge the moderate Republican. And progressive activists are pouring in money to fund the eventual challenger, raising millions of dollars online to unseat Collins.”
Activists have now raised nearly $2 million for a future Democratic opponent of Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME) if she votes in favor of Judge Brett Kavanaugh’s nomination to the U.S. Supreme Court.
Collins is expected to announce her final vote at 3 p.m. ET.
“Getting more serious about a 2020 run by the day, Kamala Harris (D-CA) has been reaching out to Democrats in Iowa to plan a trip there at the end of the month,” The Atlantic reports.
“The California senator is likely to spend the final weekend before the midterms in the home of the first caucuses, crossing a symbolic but unmistakably significant line toward owning her interest in a presidential campaign.”
Politico: “These senators, many of whom won for the first time in 2014, say they are merely reflecting the intensity of conservative voters who are outraged at what they view as Kavanaugh’s unfair treatment by liberal Democrats and the media. While many will face token challengers at a minimum, the key is to make sure they are aligned with Trump on key issues — and perhaps nothing is bigger going into the next election cycle than defending Trump’s beleaguered nominee.”
“President Trump is increasingly fantasizing in public and private about his 2020 campaign, using midterm rallies to talk as excitedly about his own re-election in 2020 as he does about the 2018 races that are just 34 days away,” Axios reports.
“Last night in Mississippi, he even promised ‘we will do a landslide’ in 2020, after a razor-thin electoral victory (and substantial popular vote loss) in 2016. ‘Who the hell’s gonna beat us? Look! Who’s going to beat us?’ Trump asked, after amping up his frequent riff about former Vice President Joe Biden as a lightweight he’d love to crush.”
Said one former aide: “The greatest moment in Donald Trump’s life was when Hillary Clinton called and conceded the 2016 election. Nothing about actually being the president has ever lived up to that.”
Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) tells the Cleveland Plain Dealer that he is not the kind of guy who looks in the mirror every morning and sees a future president.
Said Brown: “I love this job. The other people on those lists are people that are out talking about it, are out campaigning across the country. I am not doing that.”
Washington state Gov. Jay Inslee (D) told Politico said he’s headed to Iowa for the second time this year and is “not ruling out” a 2020 presidential run.
Washington Post: “The scene at the hearing — in which Kavanaugh was defending himself against allegations of sexual assault — has at once thrust Klobuchar into the national spotlight and reinforced what could be her central shortcoming as a 2020 contender for the presidency. In a party that by most accounts is searching for liberals and powerful personalities to counteract President Trump, Klobuchar has crafted a brand almost diametrically opposed to that. In many ways, Klobuchar’s running and winning in 2020 would defy conventional wisdom, just as Trump did in 2016.”
“Yet more and more, she is finding herself earning strong reviews from partisan crowds, often on the strength of understated moments such as Thursday’s and the idea that she is essentially the complete antithesis of Trump. Where he’s brash, extreme and exuding machismo, she’s subtle, bookish, bipartisan and a woman in a party that is increasingly nominating female candidates.”
Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) made her most definitive indication to date that she is mulling a run for the White House in 2020, telling a town hall crowd Saturday that she will take a “hard look at running for president” after the Nov. 6 midterm elections, the Boston Globe reports.
“Until now, Warren has responded to questions about her presidential ambitions by insisting she is focused on winning her re-election in November. On Saturday, she linked her potential interest in the nation’s highest office to the damage she sees President Trump doing to the country and, more recently, how Republicans have handled the sexual assault accusations against US Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh.”
Former Trump White House strategist Steve Bannon is predicting that the 2020 presidential race could become a three-way contest, The Hill reports.
Said Bannon: “You’re gonna have Trump on the right, a politician – maybe a Kamala Harris or somebody on the left – and I think you’ll have a Bloomberg or a Romney or somebody in the center. I think it will be a three-way race.”
Washington Post: “Trump’s 2020 reelection campaign has all but finalized a decision to move its headquarters to Northern Virginia, and officials are scouting for real estate in Arlington, a densely populated suburb just across the Potomac River from Washington.”
“The campaign has not yet signed a lease on office space, but campaign manager Brad Parscale and other officials are looking at several Arlington options, including in Rosslyn, which boasts easy Metro access.”