Cory Booker Enters Democratic Presidential Field

New Jersey Senator Cory Booker is the latest entrant into the race for the 2020 Democratic Nomination.

New Jersey Senator Cory Booker is the latest entrant in the race for the 2020 Democratic Presidential nomination:

Senator Cory Booker, the former mayor of Newark who has projected an upbeat political presence at a deeply polarized time, entered the 2020 race for president on Friday, embarking on a campaign to become the second black president in American history.

Mr. Booker, in a morning email sent to supporters, drew on the spirit of the civil rights movement as he laid out his vision for a country that will “channel our common pain back into our common purpose.”

“The history of our nation is defined by collective action; by interwoven destinies of slaves and abolitionists; of those born here and those who chose America as home; of those who took up arms to defend our country, and those who linked arms to challenge and change it,” Mr. Booker said in an accompanying video.

He announced his candidacy on the first day of Black History Month and planned to spend the morning offering his first three media interviews to national radio shows anchored by black and Latino hosts. He is scheduled to appear later on the television show “The View” with his mother in the audience.

Mr. Booker’s announcement had long been anticipated. He was among the most conspicuous campaigners for other Democrats during the 2018 midterm election, making 39 trips to 24 states as he honed a central message — that this was a “moral moment in America” — that is likely to frame his future critiques of the Trump administration.

Mr. Booker’s gift for idealistic oratory made him an in-demand surrogate throughout his career and will likely help set him apart from the growing Democratic field.

But even with his unique mix of soaring crescendos and soft-spoken anecdotes, his unbridled optimism and appeals across party lines could fall flat in a Democratic electorate energized by seething anger toward President Trump and his agenda. Mr. Booker also has a lengthy record of moderate, pro-business stances that could be toxic for the party’s ascendant progressive wing.

For example, he defended the investment firm Bain Capital against attacks from the Obama campaign during the 2012 presidential election, and he had a chummy relationship with Gov. Chris Christie, a Republican, for most of his tenure.

And his continued embrace of charter schools, long a favorite of wealthy donors but currently out of favor among the Democratic grass roots, could create still more problems.

(…)

In announcing his bid for president, Mr. Booker is seeking to fulfill the promise that many have seen in his future for two decades, ever since he moved from Yale Law School to the blighted Brick Towers of Newark, the symbolic launching pad for his career as an inner-city politician.

His first electoral victory was for the City Council in Newark, ousting an incumbent Democrat. He failed in his first bid for mayor, in 2002, against another entrenched Democrat, Sharpe James. But the loss made Mr. Booker famous as he raised millions of dollars, and his political profile, in a race that drew national attention.

A documentary about his failed run, “Street Fight,” was nominated for an Oscar. Mr. Booker won the mayoralty four years later when Mr. James, who would eventually land in federal prison on charges of fraud, opted against a rematch.

As mayor, Mr. Booker crafted celebrity status through his early adoption of Twitter. He drew attention and money to the struggling city, including a $100 million check from Mark Zuckerberg, the founder of Facebook, to be injected into Newark’s schools. The gift was announced with much fanfare on “The Oprah Winfrey Show,” but brought mixed results to the troubled school system.

Mr. Booker’s connections to financial titans, on Wall Street and in Silicon Valley, have also lifted him throughout his career, generating money for campaigns and for the city he ran. Those connections could power a presidential bid: One California donor, Steve Phillips, created a super PAC with a goal to raise $10 million in the coming months to support Mr. Booker’s bid — even before he announced his candidacy.

But in a Democratic Party where a backlash to the sway of billionaires and financiers is strong, Mr. Booker’s ties to both Wall Street and Silicon Valley risk harming his campaign as much as helping it.

His campaign, which will be called “Cory 2020,” said it would not accept contributions from corporate PACs and federal lobbyists. His campaign also said it would oppose any supportive super PAC, even though Mr. Phillips’s already exists.

As the article notes, Booker has been involved in politics since first being elected to the Newark, N.J. City Council in 1998, where he served until 2002 when he decided to run for Mayor against the controversial, albeit still popular at the time, Sharpe James. Booker lost that race but came back and won the race for Mayor in 2006. Virtually from the time that he entered office, Booker became a focus of national attention due both to his use of Twitter to communicate with and keep in touch with constituents and for things such as riding around the city with police during snowstorms and other emergency events helping residents as needed. Almost immediately, the comparisons between him and President Barack Obama began to be made and people began to consider him a potential candidate for higher office. In that regard, he drew the frustration of many New Jersey Democrats with his decision not to challenge Republican Governor Chris Christie in 2013 and the fact that he maintained what many of them considered a much-too-friendly relationship with Christie. For his part, Booker defended the relationship by saying that having a good relationship with state government was in his city’s best interests. In 2013, Booker ran in a Special Election for the seat that was vacated by the death of Senator Frank Lautenberg, a race that he won rather easily over Republican challenger Steve Lonegan. One year after winning that Special Election, Booker easily won the race for a six-year term in his own right, to the surprise of pretty much nobody.

Booker joins a field that is seemingly getting more crowded as the days along. So far, we’ve seen announcements from Elizabeth WarrenKirsten GillibrandJulian CastroTulsi Gabbard, and Kamala Harris, as well as South Bend, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg and Maryland Congressman John Delaney, both of whom are seen as long-shot candidates for the nomination. Additionally, it is expected that both Senator Bernie Sanders and former Vice-President Joe Biden will be entering the race soon. The entry of those two candidates in the race would mean that there are ten candidates for the Democratic nomination, with the prospect that additional candidates, such as Minnesota Senator Amy Klobuchar and others, are likely not very far behind. Like Booker, many of these candidates will be competing for the same voters, namely the progressive wing of the Democratic Party. For Booker, though, the biggest problem with that wing of the party is likely to be his ties to Wall Street and the financial sector that has a strong presence in Newark and other parts of northern New Jersey.

On the positive side for Booker, there’s the fact that he can credibly say that he is the only candidate in the race with both executive experience as Mayor of Newark and in the Federal Government as a Senator. During his time in the Senate, he has also succeeded in reaching across the aisle on a number of issues, including criminal justice reform where he has worked closely with Kentucky Senator Rand Paul to craft legislation designed to bring about sentencing reform, rebalance the way that drug crimes are treated in Federal Court, and address the issue of the rights of former felons. These are issues that could help him going forward, especially in states with large minority populations. In addition to all of that, though, Booker has the advantage of coming across as an energetic, likable person in a manner that is likely to help him significantly on the campaign trail. On the personal side, Booker remains a bachelor although he has had several high-profile relationships both as Mayor and a Senator. Whether that becomes a “something” in the race remains to be seen.

In any case, it’s far too early to make any real projections about where the Democratic race stands. At this point, polling is largely a reflection of name recognition. At the very least, I would wait until after the first couple debates later this year and, ideally, not until November or December. After all, as of today, we’re still 368 days away from the Iowa Caucuses and more than 375 days away from the New Hampshire Primary. Nonetheless, the race is afoot.

 

FILED UNDER: Campaign 2020, US Politics, ,
Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds 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. Before joining OTB, he wrote at Below The BeltwayThe Liberty Papers, and United Liberty Follow Doug on Twitter | Facebook

Comments

  1. Teve says:

    This is shaping up to be the best Democratic field of my lifetime.

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  2. Kylopod says:

    In that regard, he drew the frustration of many New Jersey Democrats with his decision not to challenge Republican Governor Chris Christie in 2013

    That strikes me as good political instincts. Christie was massively popular at the time. Running against him would just have subject Booker to a humiliating defeat. He was smart to sit that one out.

  3. @Kylopod:

    As I said at the time, I agree that Booker was being politically smart. First of all, as Mayor having a good relationship with the Governor helped his city, and challenging Christie in 2013 would likely have been a huge political setback for Bookwe.

    Additionally, by 2013 it was widely suspected that Lautenberg, who was ill most of the year before dying in the summer, would not run for re-election in 2014. Booker was already gearing up for a Senate run in 2014 when the seat opened up and he ran in the Special Election.

  4. @Teve:

    I can’t recall a better Democratic field in my lifetime and I’m 50. 1984 and 1988 were dud years for the most part. 1992 was basically a race between Clinton, Jerry Brown, and Paul Tsongas. 2004 was hardly anything to write home about and 2008 and 2016 were both dominated by candidates that crowded out the rest of what was a pretty small field.

    I guess you could say 1968 was a good field, but I was born after the Democratic Convention that year so that doesn’t really count as part of my lifetime.

  5. James Pearce says:

    In any case, it’s far too early to make any real projections about where the Democratic race stands.

    Not too early for me. This country isn’t going to elect a Democratic Senator in 2020.

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  6. MisterBluster says:

    You heard it here first.
    None of the 34 US Senate seats up for election in 2020 will be won by Democrats!

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  7. Michael Reynolds says:

    Amy Klobuchar is fund-raising a bit more aggressively than I’d expect from a woman who just got re-elected by a huge margin. I imagine they’re testing the fund-raising waters. If she gets in she’s probably my number one choice. Klobuchar, Brown, Harris, Warren. But I’ll of course support anyone with a D after their name

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  8. Jen says:

    It’s certainly going to be an interesting time to be a New Hampshire primary voter…you couldn’t travel 10 miles in any direction without encountering a Republican candidate in 2015, looks like 2019 will be a busy year here for the Dems. I’m happy for all of the bars and restaurants in our little hamlet. 🙂

    As a voter, I am getting seriously concerned about the fracturing of the vote, however. That didn’t work out so well for the Republicans in 2016.

  9. @MisterBluster:

    That is perhaps one of most laughable things I have ever read on the Internet.

  10. James Pearce says:

    @MisterBluster:

    None of the 34 US Senate seats up for election in 2020 will be won by Democrats!

    So the joke is that you don’t understand my point?

  11. Kathy says:

    @Jen:

    As a voter, I am getting seriously concerned about the fracturing of the vote, however. That didn’t work out so well for the Republicans in 2016.

    Thus far I don’t see a declared of prospective Democratic candidate who could be classified as a poison pill (no, not even Bloomberg). Nor, to be fair, do I sense any desire in the Democratic party to commit suicide.

    The closest to a poison pill candidate would be Schultz, and he’s running as an independent.

  12. Jen says:

    @Kathy: I’m not so concerned about a poison pill, per se, as I am about a 20+-person deep field where each gets such a small percentage that someone with a cultish following ends up winning NH. It’s entirely likely that if the field truly ends up being that large, that someone with a fervent fan base will win–much like Trump did when he won NH in 2016. Trump was able to ride on an early win.

    Hopefully the field thins a bit before the NH primary is all I’m saying.

  13. Kylopod says:

    @Kathy: As I’ve said before the fact that Democratic primaries allocate their delegates proportionally rather than winner-take-all makes a Trump-like takeover of the party by some weird candidate less likely (though also increases the chances of a contested convention). Still, a crowded field with no obvious front-runner does open up for unexpected outcomes. Previously, Michael Avenatti was the one who worried me the most, but he’s stopped talking about running since the domestic-abuse allegations and his fight with Stormy Daniels. Good riddance. Among the current candidates, Tulsi Gabbard seems the most awful to me, but I doubt we have much to worry about since she’s far from the front of the pack.

    I know a number of people here are Biden fans, but I personally think he’d make a weak candidate, and his age worries me a great deal–as would be the case for Bernie or Bloomberg, regardless of agreement with their politics. Biden currently leads the pack, and while I assume that’s due to name recognition and that he’ll eventually fade (there was a period early in the 2004 cycle when the top-polling candidate was Joe Lieberman), I assumed the same thing about Trump. Name recognition helps. There’s no denying it.

    What we need to pay attention to is the extent to which the field gets winnowed down as time goes on. Part of what happened in 2016 was that the GOP candidates proved stubbornly resistant to dropping out of the race (maybe in part because of the desperate attempt to “stop Trump”), so it remained relatively crowded until very late in the cycle. Yes, most of the original field dropped out by the end of the early primaries, but there were three prominent candidates until very nearly the end. That in itself was unusual.

  14. Gustopher says:

    I expect we will be hearing a lot about Booker running into burning buildings, and saving his constituents’ lives. He’s a bit more centrist than I would prefer, all other things being equal, but I think he would be very strong against Trump.

    I could see getting behind his candidacy. There really are a lot of candidates running that I could happily support.

  15. Teve says:

    @MisterBluster: same commenter, Nov 4 2020: “The fact that a Democratic Senator only won by 72 electoral votes is a Disaster for the Democratic Party.” 😛

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  16. Scott F. says:

    @Jen:

    I’m expecting the field to narrow a bit before even Iowa, but with California moving up to March 3rd, Super Tuesday will bear all the trappings of a national election. As a result, I would expect less winnowing from the February primary states than has been typical. If you can remain viable to February 3rd, why not hold on for 4 weeks to see how you play on the national stage?

  17. Teve says:

    @Kathy: and he’s apparently freaking out to his advisors about how much blow back he’s gotten. Krugman said he’s got billionaires disease, and nobody’s been able to tell him his idea is stupid in 20 years.

  18. Neil J Hudelson says:

    @James Pearce:

    Dude. It was the gentlest of pokes.

  19. Neil J Hudelson says:

    @Kathy: @Kathy:

    Thus far I don’t see a declared of prospective Democratic candidate who could be classified as a poison pill (no, not even Bloomberg).

    It looks like Bloomberg isn’t planning on being a poison pill either.

    “While no final decision has been made [about running for president], his aides have nonetheless been working on a fallback that only a man worth $40 billion can afford, whether he runs or not. Bloomberg is pouring hundreds of millions of dollars into a data-centric political operation designed to assure one goal: Crush Donald Trump.”

  20. Kathy says:

    Good preliminary News, Everyone!

    Almost Half Of Voters Are Dead Set Against Voting For Trump

    In political time, we’re about two or three eternities away from the election. But this is the start of the trend, and it’s a good start.

    Lower down on the piece there are some tidbits which indicate which way the Democratic primary may develop. expect Medicare for all to be big.

  21. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @James Pearce: I think he understood your point just fine. He was making fun of the less than totally way you expressed it. To rephrase one of my favorite sayings about grammar:

    I know I think I said what I meant. What I didn’t understand is that what I meant is not what you heard.

    And that problem JP, is always on the speaker.

  22. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Neil J Hudelson: Really thin skin. Maybe he should go see a dermatologist.

  23. Richard Gardner says:

    I was looking at the Des Moines Register and see a few others are touring Iowa this week:
    Marianne Williamson – spiritual guide to Orpah!
    Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio
    John Delaney (former MD Rep)
    Andrew Yang (entrepreneur – supports $1000/month to everyone)

    Some of these folks are single issue candidates = not serious contenders.

    The Register has a quick guide of 26 probable candidates (so far, plus three others that have said they aren’t running).

    At this rate there won’t be any Dem Senators running for reelection in 2020, they’ll all be running for President.

  24. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Kathy: Alas, that news will surely depend on how that ~50% is allocated. If most of them live in the 13 largest cities in the US (which is certainly possible), they won’t have the impact we might hope. On the other hand, if significant enough numbers of them live in the second largest state, the Democrats would do well in the EC.

  25. Kathy says:

    @Neil J Hudelson:

    I thought his fallback position was to buy a country and be named president for life 😉

  26. Hal_10000 says:

    @Teve:

    This is shaping up to be the best Democratic field of my lifetime.

    I said the same thing about the GOP in 2016 and look what we ended up with.

  27. Kathy says:

    @Kylopod:

    Previously, Michael Avenatti

    You know, I’d forgotten all about him. I feel safe in saying his fifteen minutes are all used up.

  28. Kathy says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker:

    Think about the polls concerning the 2018 midterms, in particular the generic ballot. The trend started out positive for the Democrats, and stuck there. The result was +40 House seats.

    A presidential election is different. Not only can you win when losing the popular vote, but lots of other things can spoil this one race (I’m looking at you, Mr. Comey).

    But it’s Friday on a three-day weekend, and the trend is off to a good start.

  29. Gustopher says:

    @Neil J Hudelson:

    While no final decision has been made [about running for president], his aides have nonetheless been working on a fallback that only a man worth $40 billion can afford, whether he runs or not. Bloomberg is pouring hundreds of millions of dollars into a data-centric political operation designed to assure one goal: Crush Donald Trump.

    I like Bloomberg. There are a lot of issues I don’t agree with him on, but I like him. He’s pragmatic, and he puts the people he wants to serve above himself — whether he is after a role in city or national politics.

    Some of his acts are a bit high handed — restricting soda cup size leaps to mind — and he’s a bit too”law and order” with an emphasis on the order.

    He can be clueless, particularly on class issues. There was an memorable incident with a cabbie strike or a transit strike, where he suggested that people just bike, and went out and bought a $2000 bike to demonstrate that it was a perfectly reasonable option. But he acknowledges his cluelessness after the fact when it’s pointed out. Acknowledging being wrong is a great quality.

    If we didn’t have a strong field, I would be a supporter.

  30. Monala says:

    @Neil J Hudelson: Whatever else you can say about Bloomberg, at least he has done the work of running for lower office and governing. So he has a better handle on what is important than Schultz.

  31. Gustopher says:

    @Scott F.: Later primary states might actually be relevant this cycle! I expect candidates will have to pick and choose what states to compete in on Super Tuesday, as a national campaign that early is going to be expensive as can be, so Super Tuesday may end up just winnowing the field to a manageable level, rather than effectively choosing the nominee.

  32. James Pearce says:

    @Neil J Hudelson: No, it was par for the course.

    @Just nutha ignint cracker:

    He was making fun of the less than totally way you expressed it.

    No, he was pounding the straw out of a man he himself constructed and fishing for upvotes, which you all dutifully provided.

    I stand by my statement. If the Dems nominate one of their Senators, Trump is going to win re-election.

  33. grumpy realist says:

    @Monala: Schultz is an arrogant bastard who thinks he has the right to jump to the front of the line without having had any experience.

    Very much like Trump, in fact.

  34. Gustopher says:

    @James Pearce: What do you have against Senators?

    Is it experience?

    Keep in mind that in 2016 a man with no political experience at all was elected. And, in 2008, we elected a Senator (who was competing against anther Senator, so we may have had no choice).

    America wants a spokesperson more than it wants demonstrated executive experience. That may be a bad thing, but it is definitely a thing.

    Is it that so many of the Senators running are women or brown? Even Sherrod Brown is named Brown.

    I do honesty think running anyone other than a white man costs some points because of “otherness”, and I think Booker, running to be the second black President, may have less of an “otherness” penalty than someone running to be the first woman President. The bigotry of the electorate is a valid concern for electability. A strong candidate can overcome that penalty, but they are still likely to lose some votes because of it.

  35. al Ameda says:

    After watching Cory Booker during the Kavanaugh Hearings I came away less than impressed. He came across as a lightweight. That said, Trump has lowered the bar to ground level.

    For now I’m with: Amy Klobuchar, Sherrod Brown, Julian Castro, Kamala Harris ….. we’ll see if those folks have what it takes, but it’s really early on … Some of these folks will implode

  36. James Pearce says:

    @Gustopher:

    Is it that so many of the Senators running are women or brown?

    Oh, god… NO. Why can’t you get off this stuff? There’s more to American politics than racism and sexism.

    We need senators in the Senate, legislating. We need more things like the prison reform bill, less things like the shutdown. How are we going to get that if all these Senators are running for president?

    Also congress is incredibly unpopular. How unpopular? Let me put it this way: Donald Trump is more popular than Congress.

  37. Gustopher says:

    @al Ameda: He’s been stronger in the past. Not sure if he is typically stronger and that was an atypically weak performance, or whether he occasionally rises to the occasion but is generally mediocre.

    He’s got a year or so before voting starts to demonstrate and hone his abilities.

    My gut tells me it is going to be Gillibrand in the end, and she will cause progressives 8 years of mild heartburn. I really want it to be Warren, but she has to do better.

    After watching the sausage get made for ObamaCare, and the incessant efforts to repeal it, though, I don’t think the primary electorate is going to be bogged down in details going over Harris’, Gillibrand’s, Warren’s and everyone else’s health care plans with a fine toothed comb saying “well, Harris supports 90 days of therapy dogs, while Gillibrand only supports 60, but Gillibrand is specific that these will be medium brown labradoodles with at least three inches of fur, and we don’t know how fluffy the Harris Plan’s therapy dogs will be.”

    I mean, sure, there will be the Purity Police talking about Gillibrand being in the pocket of Big Labradoodle, but I don’t think they gain much traction right now.

    It’s going to be who is the best spokesperson among those with good enough policies and small enough baggage.

    I also think AOC is going to do a lot of good — she’s in the party, and she will support the candidate, and she will essentially be giving the less pragmatic left permission to be pragmatic.

    (Therapy dogs picked as an example to try to avoid creating the OT discussion of some real issue)

  38. Tyrell says:

    @Doug Mataconis: 1968 was a great field, led by the irrepressible Hubert H. Humphrey. After that election, the Democrat’s leadership strayed further and further out into left field and then hit disaster with Senator George McGovern as candidate. Humphrey was liked by everyone. McGovern was an honorable and respected person, but ran a campaign of mistakes and misjudgments. The Democrats returned to common sense, middle of the road politics with Jimmy Carter, probably the most decent and honest leaders in the twentieth century, and maybe since Lincoln.
    What we see today is a party so far out in left field they are in foul territory. Not the party I grew up with here in the south: Ervin, Johnson, Connally, Fulbright, Hollings, Nunn: statesmen.
    1968: “if we had one more week we would have won that election”. If Johnso had chosen to run, he would have beat Nixon.

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  39. Gustopher says:

    @James Pearce:

    Oh, god… NO. Why can’t you get off this stuff? There’s more to American politics than racism and sexism.

    All things being equal, I think a white male candidate does N% better in the general election than a woman or minority candidate, and if you look at the margins in the purple states, that is a legitimate concern.

    Obama was a great campaigner. His natural talents were worth more than that N%. I’m hoping that if we nominate a woman or minority, they will also have natural talents that are worth more than N%.

    I suspect the value of N is about 2, but that’s just an optimistic guess.

    We need senators in the Senate, legislating. We need more things like the prison reform bill, less things like the shutdown. How are we going to get that if all these Senators are running for president?

    I’d say we need a President more than any given Senator. Particularly Senators who would be replaced with other Democrats. Sherrod Brown would cause us to lose a Senator, but Harris or Gillibrand would just mean swapping a Senator for a replacement.

    Also congress is incredibly unpopular. How unpopular? Let me put it this way: Donald Trump is more popular than Congress.

    Congress is more unpopular than the congress critters that make it up. Anyone who wins a competitive nomination is going to be reasonably popular.

  40. Mister Bluster says:

    …fishing for upvotes…

    That’s my angle.

  41. James Pearce says:

    @Gustopher:

    All things being equal, I think a white male candidate does N% better in the general election than a woman or minority candidate

    Maybe by luck, but I really don’t think so. Obama slashed through a lot of white people to win all of his elections, and I don’t think I’d have given any of his opponents the edge based on skin color. As I’m constantly reminded, Hillary won the popular vote in ’16 against a dude.

    I continue to think that, all things being equal, differences in race or sex mean waaaay less than differences in policy.

    I’d say we need a President more than any given Senator.

    And I’d say this kind of thinking is passe. We have a president. He’s got a superficial understanding of his job, does a lot of stupid shit, and is basically a clown in a president’s suit.

    We need a strong president? The kind that has the unitary authority to ban transgender soldiers? The guy who can separate immigrant families and pull out of international treaties on a whim? The guy who’s going to declare a “national emergency” to steal money for his wall?

    No, we need a Congress that isn’t a cesspool. We need a Congress that’s going to do their damn job and stop scrambling all over each other to run for this all-powerful president position.

    Inhale, Congress.
    Exhale, the president.

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  42. Bruce Henry says:

    James Pearce states at the top of the thread that “this country is not going to elect a Democratic Senator” as president. Even though he left off “as president” from his assertion, thus opening himself to a poke from Mr Bluster, I accept that’s what he means.

    As support for his argument, he says that Democrats need to remain in the Senate where their votes and voices are needed. There is an argument to be made for that. Maybe Dems DO need to stay in the Senate.

    But that’s different from saying that the country won’t elect a Dem Senator, isn’t it? If the Democrats nominate Booker, or Harris, or Warren, is anyone going to vote for Trump in order to keep Democrats in the Senate? Can anyone imagine thinking “I’d rather Trump remain president than New Jersey have to hold a special Senate election that Democrats might lose.”??

  43. JohnMcC says:

    @Hal_10000: Exactly correct! There is a mixed blessing to such a ‘deep bench’.

    @Tyrell: I remember the ’68 election quite well. That was the year I cast my first vote (had to be 21 yrs old back then when dinosaurs still roamed). Voted for Nixon. Never got over that. Been bitter at R’s ever since.

    Humphrey had the disadvantage of a long history of anti-communism that had bled over to supporting the VietNam war. It was kind of a thing back then — to be a liberal domestically and hawkish on foreign policy. That was the position that McGovern abandoned, leading to your charge that he drove the Dem’s to the ‘far left’. But during the campaign, Humphrey broke from LBJ’s VietNam policy, advocated for a quick withdrawal and came within a whisker of beating Tricky Dick.

    So if we’re drawing analogies to this Presidential field, Booker is probably the most similar to HHH’s place back then.

  44. James Pearce says:

    @Bruce Henry:

    But that’s different from saying that the country won’t elect a Dem Senator, isn’t it?

    Dems will support whatever Senator gets nominated. They’ll “fall in line” as they say, regardless of their misgivings. (Even me probably!)

    But “swing” voters, the soft uncommitted middle?

  45. Teve says:

    @Gustopher:

    Some of his acts are a bit high handed — restricting soda cup size leaps to mind — and he’s a bit too”law and order” with an emphasis on the order.

    this wound up being a bad policy, but it should have been done a bit differently, in a smarter way. A lot of Americans haven’t grasped just how terrible liquid sugar is. I’m not kidding when I say I literally lost 40 lbs by cutting out the empty liquid calories.

  46. Bruce Henry says:

    I don’t get it. The only reasons Mr Pearce gives as to why a Dem Senator should not be elected president is that Dems need to keep our Senators in the Senate. Now he’s arguing that non-Dems –“swing” voters –would never vote for a Democratic Senator for president.

    Huh?

  47. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @James Pearce: Does your back ever get tired from carrying those goalposts to all those different places all the time.

    Your statement was

    Not too early for me. This country isn’t going to elect a Democratic Senator in 2020.

    Your new statement

    If the Dems nominate one of their Senators, Trump is going to win re-election.

    is much better because of the clarity but is still simply the rantings of a wannabe contrarian.

    Time will tell, though and could well be on your side on this. It’s too early to tell right now, but I do wish the transition from local to national to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue was not duplicating the patterns in business and the academy–where the average term of employment is down to 5 years in management positions last time I read.

    ETA: @Gustopher–Liked the therapy dogs. Good move.

  48. The abyss that is the soul of cracker says:

    “No, we need a Congress that isn’t a cesspool. We need a Congress that’s going to do their damn job and stop scrambling all over each other to run for this all-powerful president position.”

    Yes, but that’s not going to happen. We have 30+ years of track record edit: not showing us that such results are the exception rather than the rule.

    Moral, never try to change what you were going to say in mid sentence–remove the whole thing and start over.

  49. James Pearce says:

    @Bruce Henry:

    Now he’s arguing that non-Dems –“swing” voters –would never vote for a Democratic Senator for president.

    Any Democratic Senator involved in the Brett Kavanaugh hearings will not be getting elected to the presidency over incumbent Trump.

    I know that’s probably not what one wants to hear, but it’s probably how it will play out.

    @The abyss that is the soul of cracker:

    Yes, but that’s not going to happen.

    I’m working to make it happen. You?

  50. Bruce Henry says:

    Now Pearce says any senator “involved in the Kavanaugh hearings” (which leaves out Warren and Gillibrand, among, potentially, others like Sherrod Brown) won’t be elected, defeating Trump. Which is entirely his own opinion, although asserted as if it was a natural fact. And a little different than saying that NO Democratic senator can defeat Trump — because we need them in the Senate, or something. Well, actually a lot different.