Devin Nunes

Some 2020 Democratic Presidential Speculation, Just Because

The sun rises near the White House on Nov. 8, 2016 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Zach Gibson/Getty Images)

It would be easy enough to overplay the drama in an early look toward the 2020 election by Alexander Burns and Jonathan Martin of the New York Times:

In a largely leaderless party, two distinct groups are emerging, defined mostly by age and national stature. On one side are three potential candidates approaching celebrity status who would all be over 70 years old on Election Day: Mr. Biden, and Senators Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts and Bernie Sanders of Vermont.

Competing against the Democrats’ senior cohort is a large and relatively shapeless set of younger candidates who span the ideological spectrum: governors, senators, mayors, wealthy executives and even members of the House. They are animated by the president’s turbulent debut and the recent history, from Barack Obama’s victory in 2008 to Mr. Trump’s last year, of upstart candidates’ catching fire.

In the Senate alone, as much as a quarter of the Democrats’ 48-member caucus are thought to be giving at least a measure of consideration to the 2020 race, among them Cory Booker of New Jersey, Kirsten E. Gillibrand of New York, Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota and Kamala Harris of California. All are closer to 40 than 80.

For now, however, it is the party’s septuagenarian trio that is casting the longest shadow over 2020, and all three have taken steps to extend or expand their leadership status in the party.

In between, for good measure, is discussion of an amorphous non-faction we might consider as the collected other, including Rep. Seth Moulton (MA-06), Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, and New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu. Before booking the orchestra for a dramatic score, we should remember this is merely April, 2017; Democrats need to to read the midterm map, first. That is to say, it seems a bit early to see who lands where in relation to what. And, admittedly, it is hard to account for the proverbial known unknowns in the time of Trump; the unknown unknowns seem extraordinary at this time, too.α

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The Trump Fantastic (#trumpstyle)

#trippingthetrumpfantastic | #WhatTheyVotedFor

U.S. President Donald Trump addresses the Central Intelligence Agency, 21 January 2016, in Langley, Virginia. (Photo: Olivier Doulier/Pool/Getty Images)

“Usually, even the laziest of partisans aren’t quite so ridiculous when dealing with the legislative branch’s oversight role over the executive branch.”

Steve Benen

Something goes here about striking decay. And something unfortunate about how that sounds about right. No, really: In what universe?

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The GOP, Pitching Their Biggest Tent

House committee leadership for the second session of the 114th Congress, via The Rachel Maddow Show, 18 November 2014.

When Republicans pitch a big tent, it’s usually still a sausage-fest.

How’s that? Comedically concise enough? Or do we need the lede?

House Republicans have selected white men to chair all but one of their standing committees next year.

The secretive Republican Steering Committee announced its recommendations late Tuesday after an all-day meeting to pick the heads of 17 committees, with all of those slots going to white men. Rep. Candice Miller, who was previously reappointed by Speaker John Boehner to lead the House Administration Committee, will remain the only woman to wield a gavel.

(Newhauser)

We would be remiss to omit the fact that Rep. Miller (R-MI10) is not the extent of GOP diversity in House leadership. House Republicans also picked Devin Nunes, a man of Portuguese descent who also carries a title of nobility from that country, to chair the Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence.

It should also be noted that the House Administration Committee is the chair least sought by any member of Congress. Rachel Maddow tried her hand, last night, at telling the story of how Rep. Miller got that job. It would be funny, except that a humorous telling does nothing to abate the tragedy of the tale.

Meanwhile, House Majority Whip Steve Scalise responded to inquiries about the lack of diversity by explaining just how diverse Republican leadership is:

“Well, as part of leadership, we have a lot of women in our leadership team,” Scalise said on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe,” when asked about the near-total absence of women in committee top spots.

In the House, 20 men were chosen for 21 key positions — the exception was Rep. Candice Miller, who will continue to chair the House Administration Panel.

Scalise also cited Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers, who was re-elected chairwoman of the Republican Conference and said, “Obviously, we have a number of other women that are very talented as part of our conference leadership.”

(McCalmont)

Look, it’s not quite the same as saying a private company has strong female representation among executives because all the males have female administrative assistants, but neither is it so different.

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Newhauser, Daniel. “House Republicans Just Picked 21 Committee Chairs. 20 Are Men.” National Journal. 18 November 2014.

Maddow, Rachel. “Diversity not a priority in House GOP picks”. The Rachel Maddow Show. msnbc. 18 November 2014.

McCalmont, Lucy. “Scalise defends male-dominated committee chairmanships”. Politico. 19 November 2014.