Elizabeth Warren

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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Chuck Change

U.S. Capitol Police arrest protesters who were staging a sit-in in the office of Sen. Charles E. Schumer on Monday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Last week seems like, well, right. But it was all of a week ago we quoted without commment Patricia Murphy of Roll Call saying something about how the incoming president would need Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY), “the rising Senate Democratic leader and the man poised to be a Clinton consiglieri or Trump’s not-so-loyal opposition”. Shoulda, coulda, doesn’t matter woulda said something, you know? Because, a headline today from The Hill tells us, “Protesters block Schumer’s office, call for new leadership”, and, you know, why not?

Meanwhile, Roll Call runs a bland, informative headline, but stings in the sub with, “Protesters chant for Schumer to ‘grow a spine,’ step aside for Sanders or Warren”.

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The Hook (Hillary Under the Sun)

U.S. Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton speaks at a campaign event in Des Moines, Iowa, United States, June 14, 2015. (Detail of photo by Jim Young/Reuters)

And there is the hook:

Sen. Timothy M. Kaine of Virginia and Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack remain two of the leading contenders for Hillary Clinton’s vice-presidential pick, but Sen. Cory Booker of New Jersey is also under active consideration, according to a Democrat with knowledge of the process.

Booker, a freshman senator and former mayor of Newark, has drawn relatively little attention throughout Clinton’s vice-presidential selection process but remains a serious prospect. He was among the roughly half-dozen potential running mates who met with Clinton at her home in Washington on Friday, a fact first reported Thursday by Politico.

(Wagner and Gearan)

Please let this be the hook.

On Sen. Booker (D-NJ): It is easy enough to say if not Warren then Booker. But neither is Mr. Booker a second choice for lack of better. Nor, in that context, should we view Sen. Kaine (D-VA) or Sec. Vilsack (D-IA) so poorly. U.S. Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ). Photo by Jake Rosenberg/The Coveteur. But in the case of the latter, Hillary Clinton can at least perceive the need for someone less institutionally ensconced than either of these stalwart political résumés offer the powerful left-flank movement asserting policy influence, a bloc whose votes and continued support she needs.

Sen. Warren (D-MA) seems the obvious choice, but truth told there is a fine argument for what she can do from the Senate, but this also presumes enough pressure on Democratic leadership in the Senate to buck future Democratic Leader Charles Schumer (NY) and Whip Richard Durbin (IL). It’s a tough proposition, but the Senate Democrats under Elizabeth Warren and Patty Murray (WA) or Amy Klobuchar (MN) would be a powerful majority caucus; as a minority, it seems an easy suggestion that they would be more effective than what Mr. Reid (NV) has managed in the face of Republican intransigence. It’s all speculation, though. The bottom line is determined by Hillary Clinton, this time; she can perceive the need, but how will she address and reconcile it?

Elevating Sen. Booker as her running mate is one of the things she can do. And should anyone find cause to doubt we are getting civil rights president out of this, selecting Mr. Booker would put that question to rest.

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Speculation on Murmur and Buzz (HRC Horizon Remix)

Presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton speaks to the General Conference of the African Methodist Episcopal Church during their annual convention at the Pennsylvania Convention Center in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 8 July 2016. (Photo: Charles Mostoller/Reuters)

And yet this is all about me. Should I apologize, or can we just admit that’s an inherent aspect of this valence of the blogosphere?

Because the truth is that the great “candidate” post is something you always want to get around to but somehow gets put off because any starting point leads to seemingly daunting prospects.. Whether it’s Ezra Klein’s article about how, “It’s time to admit Hillary Clinton is an extraordinarily talented politician”―and it’s a very good article, but still you want to argue about what do you mean “it’s time”?―or perhaps reminding my Sanders-supporting neighbors why he’s endorsing Hillary Clinton, it’s actually a really big pitch; there’s a lot going on.

But the post need not be some grandiose presentation; nor is that a repudiation of the basic idea of pitching the campaign.

Let’s try it this way: Steve Benen considers the murmur and buzz around Hillary Clinton’s vice presidential shortlist, mainly reports that the leading contenders are Tom Vilsack, presently Secretary of Agriculture and formerly governor of Iowa; and Tim Kaine, presently the junior U.S. Senator from Virginia, previously serving as that state’s governor, and in between managing an overlapping gig as chairman of the Democratic National Committee:

Clinton seemed to tilt her hand a bit on Monday during an interview with Charlie Rose, which included the presumptive Democratic nominee emphasizing “experience” as the key factor. “I am afflicted with the responsibility gene,” she added.

The interview turned into a sort of word-association game. Asked about Kaine and his self-professed “boring” personality, Clinton said, “And I love that about him. I mean, he’s never lost an election. He was a world-class mayor, governor and senator, and is one of the most highly respected senators I know.”

Asked about Hickenlooper, Clinton said, “First class.” Asked about Warren, she added, “Amazing. I mean, what she has done in relatively few years to put the agenda of inequality front and center is something that I think we should all be grateful for.”

Sanders supporters, of course, will be disappointed; I would in turn suggest that hope is not yet lost. While it is true that on this occasion I can read the conventional wisdom as well as any other, it is similarly true that this is a year in which I presume the conventional wisdom unstable. To wit, while it is unlikely, Hillary Clinton is perfectly capable of turning the screw in order to mean the manner, relative dimension, and quality of experience, thus turning to the essential newcomer, Elizabeth Warren.

Yeah, it could happen.

(cough!)

(ahem!)

But there is a hidden gem, there.

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An Angel Giving You the Finger, and Other Notes

PSG-10-Help-PantyFinger

“Garterbelt, you keep slappin’ my butt around. Answer line: Freaky girl coming your way.”

TeddyLoin featuring Debra Zeer

You know, some days you just don’t feel like you’re in the groove, so you end up saying, “Here’s a list, read this.”

Right.

Here’s a list. Read this.

• Sally Kohn on “How the GOP Invented Elizabeth Warren”. (The Daily Beast)

• If you ever wondered how long Chris Christie would remain in consideration as a serious GOP presidential contender, Perry Bacon, Jr., explains how “Christie Faces Growing Doubts Within GOP About his 2016 Campaign”. (NBC News)

• Amanda Terkel notes that “Apple Breaks Ties With Anti-Gay Alabama Lobbyist”, which seems almost inevitable, when you think about it. (Huffington Post)

• Shaun King reports on the Lone Star Republic values after “Texas students flash ‘White Power’ signs at rival team, may have defecated on rival team bus”. (Daily Kos)

• Conservative family values advocacy takes another hit “MO’s Country Club Committee Meeting Goes Wrong for Republicans, Get Caught on Camera talking Choice”, and we know that one doesn’t work out quite right as a sentence; deal with it. (Daily Kos)

• And speaking of things that don’t work out quite right, Caitlin Dewey explains why “Pinterest deleted Rand Paul’s sexist and unfunny Hillary Clinton ‘parody'”. (Washington Post)

And now, Anarchy, just because:

A Quote: Palin on … er … ah … Something

NRA Stand and Fight rally with Sarah Palin. The National Rifle Association annual convention at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis, Indiana, April 2014. The exhibit hall contained over nine acres of guns and gun products and the convention was attended by over 60,000 people. (Mark Peterson/Redux)

“We believe, wait, I thought fast food joints, don’t you guys think that they’re like of the devil or something? Liberals, you want to send those evil employees who would dare work at a fast food joint that you just don’t believe in, I thought you, I dunno, wanted to send them to purgatory or something. So they all go vegan. And wages and picket lines. I dunno, they’re not often discussed in purgatory are they? I dunno, why are you even worried about fast food wages?

“Well, we believe, an America where minimum wage jobs, they’re not lifetime gigs, they’re stepping stones to sustainable wages. It teaches work ethic.”

Sarah Palin

Over at msnbc, Steve Benen humbly offers this “transcript, as best as I could put this word salad together”.

And it is an admirable effort. Still, though, a note to Mr. Benen: Can we all please agree that “word salad” is officially “ptomaine”?

____________________

Benen, Steve. “Palin discovers that humor is hard”. msnbc. 11 August 2014.

A Necessary Reminder

The recent budget sweepstakes in Washington, D.C., in which at least five Beltway factions have proposed their fiscal plans for the nation, have drawn much attention. President Obama’s budget has drawn many headlines for putting Social Security on the table, resulting in morbid political comedy akin to a Mack Sennet film.

Democrats are mortified, and Republicans are so confused by the president’s maneuver that they cannot seem to figure out how to respond.

But that’s the thing: It’s a political maneuver.

Political cartoonist Bob Englehart explains:

Bob Englehart, "Obama's Budget"President Barack Obama is supposed to be showing his willingness to compromise with the GOP on the budget by going after some of our most vulnerable citizens, people on Social Security and Medicaid. The funny part is that the Republicans have wanted this for years, but since Obama is offering it, they say it’s not enough.

In the meantime, the liberals are freaking out that Obama has turned against the very ideals that the liberals found so compelling in the last election. Look, a presidential budget is a political tool and that’s all. It won’t be enacted. It’s designed to help moderate Senate Democrats win re-election next year.

Meanwhile, everybody’s pissed, the conservatives because there’s nothing Obama could ever do to assuage their rage. The liberals are in a snit because any proposed cut to any social program, no matter how transparently a Trojan horse, sets their hair on fire.

You could say he’s trying to out-GOP the GOP for effect. He has an eye on the 2014 elections. He needs a Democratically controlled House and Senate if he hopes to get more done, but that will be almost impossible with the gerrymandering and election stealing going on in the red states.

There are, of course, various ways to interpret the responses.

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