2020 Campaign

Trump Takes Permanent Campaign to New Level

Los Angeles Times: “Unabashedly proclaiming his desire for a second term, Trump filed the paperwork establishing his 2020 reelection committee the day he took office and has already started fundraising, years before his predecessors began raking in cash. He has trampled protocol and turned explicitly nonpolitical events, like the Boy Scouts’ national jamboree, into replicas of his roisterous campaign stops.”

“Perhaps most significantly, Trump has transformed the bully pulpit — the president’s ability to rally the country in pursuit of his goals — into a sort of vanity project, staging events not to advance any substantive agenda but to vent and, as aides admit, bask in the adulation of supportive audiences.”

Is Tim Ryan Running for President?

BuzzFeed: “A Cheshire Cat-style smile spreads across his face when a reporter at New Hampshire’s major television station, WMUR, casually asks if Ryan’s running for president. Ryan’s sitting in the green room, waiting to do a television hit.”

“Tim Ryan for President wouldn’t be totally out of left field — he’s a charismatic guy with a compelling biography representing Democrat-turned-Trump counties in arguably the most important swing state in the country… The Ohio Democrat easily won reelection even as many of his longtime Democratic constituents went for Trump. He thinks he knows what Democrats did wrong, and he wants to spread that wisdom — funnily enough, in all kinds of early primary states.”

Trump Ramping Up 2020 Re-Election Bid

President Trump “is methodically building a 2020 reelection campaign machine, shunting aside doubts about his viability for a second term as controversy consumes the early months of his administration,” Politico reports.

“Trump is mapping out a fall fundraising tour that is expected to fill his campaign bank account with tens of millions of dollars. His team has tracked dozens of potential Democratic rivals, a list of names that ranges from Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren to Facebook co-founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg. And his administration has received political advice from a top campaign pollster from his 2016 campaign, who has urged the president to keep up his attacks on the mainstream media.”

Democrats Are Preparing to Run Against Pence In 2020

BuzzFeed: “Democrats are already preparing for a possible 2020 presidential bid by Vice President Mike Pence, with a major group dedicating staff — including on the ground in Indiana — to dig up dirt on him, amid rumblings that Pence is positioning himself for a run.”

“The vice president has denied having intentions to run, but he has been meeting with top donors and has set up a leadership PAC that has already raised $540,000, as President Trump continues to make comments on race and other issues that are making Republicans increasingly uncomfortable.”

For members: Trump’s Re-Election May Depend Upon Leaving the GOP

Ex-Trump Aides Start Voter ‘Registration’ Effort

“With President Trump’s poll numbers slipping, a group of the president’s former campaign aides is beginning an effort to encourage new voters in parts of the country that supported him in the election, and to stop what they contend are illegal votes in Democratic areas,” the New York Times reports.

“The former aides are starting a group called Look Ahead America to identify ‘disaffected’ rural and working-class Americans who either do not vote or are not on the voter rolls… Look Ahead America also seeks to discourage or invalidate ‘fraudulent’ votes by deploying poll watchers with cameras, and through what it called a forensic voter fraud investigation to identify ‘votes cast in the names of the deceased, by illegal immigrants or non-citizens.'”

If Trump Goes Down, So Will Pence

Ronald Klain: “This is the vice-presidential prisoner’s dilemma: There is no distance he can achieve, no political support he can muster, no congressional chits he can collect, no donor base he can assemble that can survive the fallout from a failed presidency. A vice president is either implicated as being in the loop or looks foolish if he insists that he was out of it. There’s too much video of any vice president praising, promoting and partnering with his boss to say, ‘President who?'”

“A vice president’s record behind the scenes in the administration is, by definition, obscure to voters. As a result, for better or worse, a vice president must run on the president’s record: If Trump’s record is bad enough to prevent him from running in 2020, it will flatten Pence as well.”

“If Pence seeks the presidency in 2020 because Trump has been forced out of office, or pressured not to run for reelection due to unpopularity, he will suffer the same fate as Hubert Humphrey in 1968, Ford in 1976, Walter Mondale in 1984 and Dan Quayle in 2000: defeat. Nothing Pence is doing now will break him out of a political imprisonment of his own creation.”

De Blasio May Run for President

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio “is putting out feelers to run for president, spreading whispers that Bernie Sanders, 75, and Elizabeth Warren, 68, are too old,” the New York Post reports.

“De Blasio, 56, will claim he’s the rightful standard bearer for the progressive wing of the Democratic party.”

Said one Democratic insider: “He thinks he’s going to coast to re-election victory. His people are sending out overtures asking where he should go next and whom he should meet on a national level.”

Trump Campaign Blames ‘Enemies’ for Obstructing Him

President Trump’s re-election campaign released a new TV ad which criticizes the president’s “enemies” for not wanting him to succeed. The ad focuses on journalists and includes several Democratic lawmakers: Nancy Pelosi, Chuck Schumer and Elizabeth Warren.

CNN: “The Trump campaign did not respond Sunday to requests for more details on the ad, including when and where it will run and how much it cost.”

Castro Launches Political Group Ahead of 2020

Former Obama Cabinet secretary Julián Castro has formed a new PAC as he steps up his political activity and considers a possible run for president in 2020, Politico reports.

“Castro, long considered a rising star in the Democratic Party, has discussed his political intentions carefully, telling reporters that he will not run for office in 2018 but is not ruling out running for president… He is taking several preliminary steps associated with presidential campaigns; in addition to forming a political group, Castro is also writing a memoir.”

Half of GOP Voters Would Support Postponing Election

Monkey Cage: “Claims of large-scale voter fraud are not true, but that has not stopped a substantial number of Republicans from believing them. But how far would Republicans be willing to follow the president to stop what they perceive as rampant fraud? About half of Republicans say they would support postponing the 2020 presidential election until the country can fix this problem.”

“Nearly half of Republicans (47%) believe that Trump won the popular vote, which is similar to this finding. Larger fractions believe that millions of illegal immigrants voted (68%) and that voter fraud happens somewhat or very often (73%). Again, this is similar to previous polls.”

“Moreover, 52% said that they would support postponing the 2020 election, and 56% said they would do so if both Trump and Republicans in Congress were behind this.”

Obama Donors Not Committing to Biden

Major donors to former President Obama aren’t committing to Joe Biden, The Hill reports.

“While it is exceedingly early in the race for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination, top Obama donors are signaling that Biden cannot depend on their support… None of them would commit to backing Biden, and many of them said they preferred to find a new voice to run against President Trump in 2020.”

Said one: “He’s the opposite of what the party says it wants right now. He’s going to have a tough time if he runs..”

Mark Zuckerberg’s Ambitions Are Bigger Than You Think

Nick Bilton: “Over the years, I’ve spent some time with Zuckerberg, and I always got the feeling that he truly believed there wasn’t a problem that technology couldn’t solve… Lately, however, it appears that he has realized that there is another darker side to all of this technology.”

“Zuckerberg’s greatest challenge is that his profound wealth and success have made it far harder to understand what aggrieves most Americans. They aren’t just worried about what Trump will do to our country — or whether our planet is overheating, or if we’re playing a short-sighted game of chicken with the North Koreans, or if the Democrats (or Republicans) have any viable alternatives — but they are also worried about how they will be able to pay for their kids to go to college, or for winter clothes, or, in some cases, for the very next meal.”

“And yet, at the same time, his skills and experience have put him in a rare position to remedy so much of what ails us. As he evidenced at Harvard, Zuckerberg appears aware of these existential fears. But the big question that hangs over his head — and it’s the one that will determine not only whether he could win elected office, but also what kind of company Facebook becomes — is whether he can solve them. And if Zuckerberg’s actions say anything, that is exactly what he’s thinking about right now.”