2020 Campaign

Garcetti Plays Up Ties to Obama

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti (D), who is mulling a presidential bid in 2020, played up his ties to former President Barack Obama in a GQ profile:

He’s turned down other opportunities to leave Los Angeles. Eight years ago, President Obama invited him to the Oval Office and offered him a job. Garcetti had supported Obama’s Senate run and was an early backer of his presidential campaign. (When he read The Audacity of Hope, he said, “I felt like it was my own brain talking.”) Now Obama was the leader of the free world and was looking to make Garcetti, then president of the L.A. City Council, a very powerful man in his own right. “He was trying to convince me to come work for him, to be his urban czar,” Garcetti told me as we merged onto the 110 freeway. “He said I could oversee HUD and HHS and Education and transportation. It would have been an amazing opportunity.”

The problem was, Garcetti had another plan—he wanted to be mayor of Los Angeles. That’s when Obama offered up what Garcetti said was perhaps the best advice of his life.

“If that’s where your heart is,” he recalled the president saying, “do it.”

Kasich Has a Lot of Opinions

Ohio Gov. John Kasich (R) “has authored five guest columns for news organizations in the last 11 days. Each one critiques Republicans in Washington — mostly Trump, but also Congress — on policy grounds, with Kasich advancing his own ideas.”

“Kasich advisers told BuzzFeed News that the op-ed binge is evidence that he is viewed as a thought leader representing an alternative point of view in the Trump era. But it’s also the latest sign of spadework in what could be Kasich’s third presidential campaign. Kasich has kept his political organization active, met with national security and foreign policy experts to stay fresh on global affairs, and spent considerable time in New Hampshire, the first primary state.”

Obama Has Been Meeting with Possible 2020 Contenders

“Barack Obama has in recent months met with at least nine prospective 2020 Democratic presidential candidates, including Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, Joe Biden and Deval Patrick, pulling them in for one-on-one sessions at his Washington office,” Politico reports.

“The meetings have been at Obama’s personal office on the third floor of the World Wildlife Fund building in D.C.’s West End neighborhood, and they show how a stream of ambitious, searching politicians are looking for guidance and support from the man who has remained the reluctant leader of the Democratic Party, eager to be involved, though not directly. He’s not making any promises of support, though, and is not expected to endorse in the 2020 race until after a nominee has emerged.”

Should Democrats Find Their Own Outsider?

Washington Post: “So it has gone for months, as Democrats poke around at the possibility of finding a non-politician candidate to challenge Donald Trump’s reelection campaign in 2020. In theory, there is a real opportunity for an outsider to take over the party and challenge Trump, the first American to be elected president without political or military service, on his own terms. The problem has been finding the right person to do it, particularly in a party whose voter base is more inclined to favor government experience. The potential 2020 field already includes about two dozen traditional politicians, from mayors to governors to senators.”

”The political outsiders who have explored candidacies include some of the biggest names in the corporate world — Disney chief Bob Iger, mega-mogul Oprah Winfrey, Facebook executive Sheryl Sandberg. But each of those people ultimately decided to give up the dream, at least for now, after feeling out Democratic strategists.”

2020 Hopefuls Already Scrambling for Donors

New York Times: “It will be months before Mr. Biden, Ms. Harris, Ms. Warren or most potential presidential aspirants will barnstorm across the farmlands of Iowa, dig into a low-country boil in South Carolina or field questions at a town-hall meeting in New Hampshire.”

“But with American presidential races requiring an ever-dizzying amount of money, an early, behind-the-scenes 2020 contest is already taking place: the New York money primary.”

Romney Predicts Trump Will Be Re-Elected

Utah U.S. Senate candidate Mitt Romney (R) “bluntly predicted” that President Trump would win reelection in 2020, Politico reports.

“Addressing a group of major GOP donors, Romney — who bitterly collided with Trump during the 2016 campaign and implored his party to nominate someone else — also said Trump would easily capture the Republican Party’s 2020 nomination. He said Trump’s political fortunes would be bolstered by a pair of factors: an improving economy and the likelihood that Democrats would choose an outside-the-mainstream candidate.”

Said Romney: “I think President Trump will be re-nominated by my party easily, and I think he’ll be reelected solidly.”

Trump’s Megadonor Road Show

Politico: “The president — who claimed in 2016 that he was self-funding his campaign so he couldn’t be ‘controlled’ by donors, even though he ultimately raised most of his funds from outsiders — has developed a new ease with the donor class and is spending significant time away from the White House fundraising from them. Trump has attended eight events for the political groups supporting him in 2018, an uptick from the five he attended the previous year, and he has crisscrossed the country to Los Angeles, Dallas and Columbus, Ohio.”

Kasich Lays Out Foreign Policy Vision

An article by Gov. John Kasich (R) in Foreign Affairs will only increase speculation that he’s laying the groundwork for another presidential bid:

Although American leaders should always put American interests first, that does not mean that we have to build walls, close off markets, or isolate the United States by acting in ways that alienate our allies. Continuing to do that will not insulate us from external challenges; it will simply turn us into bystanders with less and less influence. I choose cooperation and engagement. Only those who have forgotten the lessons of history can credibly contend that peace and prosperity await us inside ‘Fortress America.’”

The Nightmare Democrats Need

Dan Conley: “When Democratic strategists look ahead to the 2020 Presidential Election, one thought scares them more than any other — if the party attracts as many or even more candidates for President than the Republicans did in 2016, a deadlocked convention is inevitable.”

“While I tend to agree that this is a very likely outcome of a large Democratic field, I believe it’s a scenario to embrace, not fear. But more on that later. First, let me explain why a big field is likely and why it will almost certainly lead to at least a second ballot at the 2020 Democratic Convention.”

Biden Will Decide on Presidential Bid By Year’s End

Former Vice President Joe Biden “and a trusted inner circle have quietly been engaging a wider network of political allies to sketch the outlines of what a Biden 2020 candidacy might look like should he decide to run,” NBC News reports.

“Biden himself has only gone so far as to say he’s not ruled out what would be a third run for the White House. He’s also been adamant that while a decision won’t come until after the 2018 midterms, it shouldn’t linger much beyond year’s end — a timetable that would help to bring some order to what could be the largest Democratic presidential field in generations.”

Patrick Will Make Decision on 2020 Bid By End of Year

Former Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick (D) is inching closer toward deciding on a 2020 presidential run, Politico reports.

“The former two-term Democrat plans to hit the campaign trail in a handful of races around the country this fall, which would ‘help him sort it out by the end of the year,’ said John Walsh, a close adviser who managed Patrick’s 2006 insurgent gubernatorial campaign and later headed up his leadership PAC.”

“Patrick has only run for one office in his political career: governor of Massachusetts, where he served for two terms from 2007 to 2015. But he has been encouraged by members of President Barack Obama’s inner circle to run for president.”

Starbucks CEO Steps Down

“Howard Schultz, who built the coffee chain into a global giant, is leaving the company. He has been an outspoken leader on civic issues, and this move has reignited speculation that he might plan a run for political office,” the Washington Post reports.

New York Times: “Mr. Schultz’s decision to retire, a plan he said he privately outlined to the board a year ago, will most likely stoke speculation that he is considering a run for president in 2020. He is frequently mentioned as a potential candidate for the Democratic Party and has become increasingly vocal on political issues, including criticizing President Trump last year as ‘a president that is creating episodic chaos every day.'”

Economists Worry About Possible Recession In 2020

“A group of top business economists believes the major tax cuts President Donald Trump pushed through Congress will give a significant boost to economic growth this year and next year. But they worry that by 2020, the country could be entering a new recession,” the AP reports.

“Part of the drop-off in optimism reflects growing worries about what Trump’s get-tough approach on trade might do to U.S. growth prospects.”

Sanders Mulls Another Presidential Bid

Sen. Bernie Sanders’ (I-VT) former presidential campaign manager told C-SPAN that the Vermont independent is considering another presidential run.

Said Jeff Weaver: “Nationally, he is considering another run for the presidency. When the time comes I think we’ll have an answer to that. But right now he’s still considering it.”

Weaver’s new book, How Bernie Won, is just out.

Flake Won’t Rule Out Challenging Trump

Sen. Jeff Flake (R-AZ) told NBC News the would not rule out challenging President Trump in the Republican primary in 2020.

Said Flake: “It’s not in my plans but I have not ruled anything out.”

He added: “I do hope that somebody runs on the Republican side other than the president, if nothing else than simply to remind Republicans what conservatism is and what Republicans have traditionally stood for.”