Apparently We Won’t Have Michael Avenatti To Kick Around

Michael Avenatti, the California lawyer best known for representing Stormy Daniels in her claims against the President, is dropping a bid for the Democratic nomination that never seemed like a serious effort.

For the past several months, Michael Avenatti, the California attorney who has been representing adult film star Stormy Daniels in her claims against Donald Trump, has been traveling the country on a crusade that seemed to suggest that he was considering a run for the Democratic nomination for President. Earlier today, Avenatti announced that he has decided against a run:

Michael Avenatti, the hard-charging lawyer for Stormy Daniels who had been flirting with a presidential campaign, announced on Tuesday that he would not run.

Mr. Avenatti has been a persistent critic of President Trump and has represented Ms. Daniels, a pornographic film actress, in lawsuits against Mr. Trump and his former personal lawyer, Michael Cohen.

He has long argued that in order to win in 2020, Democrats need to nominate someone who can go toe-to-toe with President Trump, implicitly rejecting the “when they go low, we go high” philosophy espoused by Michelle Obama. He reiterated that sentiment in his statement on Tuesday.

“I remain concerned that the Democratic Party will move toward nominating an individual who might make an exceptional president but has no chance of actually beating Donald Trump,” he said. “The party must immediately recognize that many of the likely candidates are not battle-tested and have no real chance at winning. We will not prevail in 2020 without a fighter.”

Not surprisingly, Avenatti announced his decision via Twitter:

As I said when Avenatti’s name was first floated as a potential candidate for the Democratic nomination, I was skeptical, to say the least. First of all, notwithstanding the example of Donald Trump, the fact that he’s never run for office before, never mind held an elected or appointed office of any kind, made it seem unlikely that Democrats would be all that eager to listen to what he had to say. Additionally his comment several weeks ago that the Democratic Party would lose in 2020 unless it nominates a white man most likely did not go over very well with many people in the party. At the same time, though, it’s worth noting that he did have a point in his observation that the party needs to find a way to appeal to the white working class voters who voted for Obama in 2008 and 2012 and then turned around and voted for Trump in 2016. Additionally, while his somewhat abrasive tone is entertaining it seems unlikely to be the kind of thing that will go over well in a primary fight against candidates far more experienced than he is.  Add into all of this the fact that Avenatti seemed to be mostly a self-promoter and the idea that he was ever really a serious candidate for President seems silly in retrospect.

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Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug Mataconis held a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010 and contributed a staggering 16,483 posts before his retirement in January 2020. He passed far too young in July 2021.


  1. Daryl and his brother Darryl says:

    Now Bernie, Biden, and Clinton, have to be shown the door.

  2. Michael Reynolds says:

    I don’t believe there was a single person not named Avenatti who ever took his ambitions seriously.

  3. grumpy realist says:

    @Michael Reynolds: I don’t think he took his own candidacy all that seriously, either. He’s another legal grifter trying to raise money and power off the chaos he generates, but this time from the left. (At least he seems to know his law better than the legal bozos Trump surrounds himself with. But they’re still none of them people I would want to be on the same airplane with.)

  4. CSK says:

    The arrest on charges of domestic violence did little to burnish his brand.

  5. Kathy says:

    Damn them Democrats ain’t dumb enough to elect such a supremely unqualified candidate.

    But if he’s serious about politics, he should run for a local office and build up from there.

  6. Franklin says:

    Let’s talk about something more pertinent than Mr. Avenatti. What’s up with Trump manipulating the stock market with his tweets about reaching some deal with Xi (which was false)? Who in Trump’s cabal just made a killing as the DJIA jumped and fell?

  7. OzarkHillbilly says:

    Apparently We Won’t Have Michael Avenatti To Kick Around

    Yeah we will. This guy is addicted to the spotlight. There will be plenty of opportunities in the future to kick him around.

  8. grumpy realist says:

    I can’t figure out if this is Wonkette trolling the world or….Steve Bannon and a conference on sex robots.


    Does not compute.

    Brain bleach.

  9. CSK says:

    @One American:
    If Daniels is a whore, what doers that make Trump? A whoremonger?

  10. James Pearce says:

    Remember when everyone thought Avenatti was going to take down the president? Yeah, me too.

  11. James Pearce says:

    Glad to see some of the Avenatti boosters have turned against him. Still kinda wish you wouldn’t have boosted him, but hey…regret is kind of our thing now, innit?

  12. Anonne says:

    Avenatti is also right that it will take a fighter to defeat Donald Trump. Americans don’t like weakness, and whoever it is that goes against Trump can’t whine about his indecency. We are long past that. They have to punch back and be quick about it. There is a reason why so many people voted for Trump in the first place, even though we know he lost the popular vote. They thought he’d be strong and go against Washington. Dummies in the GOP still think that’s the case.