2020 Campaign

Klobuchar Is Not (Yet) Running for President

From a Cosmopolitan profile of Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN):

There, I spoke to an older couple who told me their daughter was good friends with Klobuchar in middle school. “We always knew she’d make it big in politics,” I remember the wife telling me. “She used to have a shirt she’d wear at sleepovers that said, ‘I’d rather be president.’ We knew she’d be in the White House someday.”

Klobuchar still has a 2018 reelection campaign to contend with before any presidential maneuvering can really begin. Yet despite the factors that weigh against Democrats this midterm — lower turnout in non-presidential years, more Democratic senators up for reelection than Republicans — Klobuchar is looking very safe in her seat.

Long List of Democrats Have 2020 on Their Minds

New York Times: “In interviews, more than three dozen leading Democratic donors, fund-raisers and operatives agreed that it was the earliest start they had ever seen to the jockeying that typically precedes the official kickoff to the campaign for the party’s presidential nomination. It is a reflection of the deep antipathy toward President Trump among Democrats, and the widespread belief that the right candidate could defeat him, but also of the likelihood that the contest for the nomination could be the longest, most crowded and most expensive in history.”

“Well before most candidates will announce they are running and publicly plead for support from voters, as many as 20 prospective Democratic candidates are taking steps that could lay the financial foundation for a campaign, even if actually running turns out to be only a transitory thought.”

The Invisible Primary Begins

Mike Allen: “A quiet but consequential battle for staff and cash has begun among ambitious Democrats with their eyes on the 2020 presidential race. The party is likely to start with a bigger field — perhaps much bigger — than the unwieldy Republican batch that produced Donald Trump as the nominee.”

“Our conversations with well-wired Democrats produced a list of three dozen names that range from possible to plausible to probable. Other potential candidates seem certain to emerge, based on who looks strong after the 2018 midterms.”

“Several have begun to actively talk to potential staff members, and a few more have put out feelers, according to Democrats familiar with the conversations.”

Quote of the Day

“I have nothing against any of the people my age who will run, but I really do believe that if we’re going to appeal to the younger generation, we’ve got to change the party.”

— Former DNC Chairman Howard Dean, quoted by Politico, on the need for Democrats to have a younger presidential nominee in 2020.

Garcetti Already Campaigning in New Hampshire

Politico: “Just like that, the 2020 retail campaigning for president began right here in a strip-mall campaign headquarters Monday, when Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti showed up for what he called ‘the most important race in the country.’”

“He was talking about the Manchester mayor’s election. Joyce Craig, the Democratic candidate, invited him to join her for an afternoon that also included a speech to the Manchester Young Democrats and a fundraiser. Garcetti worked the crowds, introduced himself as ‘Eric,’ and took a bumper sticker and put it on the back of the black SUV he was driving around in.”

Kasich Rules Out Bid with Hickenlooper

Gov. John Kasich “tried to shut down reports that he is considering an independent presidential bid in 2020 with Colorado’s Democratic Governor John Hickenlooper,” NBC News reports.

Said Kasich: “Look, ‘Kasich-Hickenlooper,’ first of all, you couldn’t pronounce it and second of all, you couldn’t fit it on a bumper sticker.”

When told that those words weren’t a denial, Kasich flatly said, “the answer is ‘no,’ okay.”

What If Trump Left the Republican Party?

Aaron Blake: “I wouldn’t be the first to note that it seems, well, counterproductive to attack your own party’s leaders. It’s entirely possible that this is Trump simply trying to motivate his team in his own divisive, Trump-ian way. It’s also possible he’s just lashing out and doesn’t actually have a plan.”

“But there’s also an Option C here. What if Trump, fed up by a lack of progress and fealty, is ready to take on his own party? What if, having systematically attacked what seems like every other institution involved in American government — the judiciary, the intelligence community, the press, the election process, law enforcement, Congress — he’s now set to attack and undermine the institution whose nomination he commandeered to obtain the presidency? What if he simply ditched the Republican Party, either officially or in spirit?”

For members: Trump’s re-election may depend upon leaving the GOP.

Franken Could Be Convinced to Run In 2020

“Political associates of Al Franken say they believe the Minnesota senator could be talked into running for the White House if he believes he’s the Democrat best positioned to defeat President Trump,” The Hill reports.

“But they say Franken would need to be convinced, and argue that the former Saturday Night Live star would be reluctant to enter a battle with dozens of other Democrats in what’s increasingly expected to be a wide-open race for party’s nomination.”

Kasich and Hickenlooper Mull Joint Bid

Mike Allen: “Ohio Gov. John Kasich (R) and Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper (D) — ‘the Johns,’ as insiders are calling them — have been making a flurry of joint appearances to talk about state-driven improvements to health care.”

“But Axios has learned that their duet is part of an alliance that’s gaining momentum toward a possible joint independent bid for president in 2020, likely with Kasich at the top of the ticket.”

Flake Says Trump Is Inviting a Primary Challenge

Sen. Jeff Flake (R-AZ) said that President Trump is inviting a primary challenge in 2020 with his style of governing, CNN reports.

Said Flake: “I think he could govern in a way that he wouldn’t. But, I think that the way that — the direction he’s headed right now, just kinda drilling down on the base rather than trying to expand the base — I think he’s inviting one.”

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.”