Michael Avenatti For President?

Surely a celebrity hound with no political experience can't become President. Right?

Michael Avenatti, the California attorney who first came to public notice for his representation of Stormy Daniels and later became involved in the Brett Kavanaugh mess via his representation of Julie Swetnick, is not-so-quietly assembling a bid for the Democratic nomination in 2020:

LOS ANGELES — Michael Avenatti has assembled a team of Democratic political veterans who are helping him coordinate meetings with donors, connect with national and state party officials, craft messaging and build out a digital fundraising apparatus designed to enable a 2020 presidential bid.

Avenatti’s already long prospects suffered a blow Thursday after he was quoted in Time magazine as saying the Democratic presidential nominee who will battle President Donald Trump “better be a white male” —remarks he contends were taken out of context. The same day, the Senate Judiciary Committee referred Avenatti and his client Julie Swetnick to the Justice Department for an investigation over accusations she leveled last month against Brett Kavanaugh, then a Supreme Court nominee.

But the Los Angeles-based attorney most famous for representing porn actress Stormy Daniels fought back aggressively against Time magazine and Grassley, and said Sunday he intends to move forward in his preparations with a team of 12 core political advisers, some on an informal or part-time basis.

On a recent afternoon in a Los Angeles brewhouse, a sharply dressed Avenatti, occasionally turning heads in seeming familiarity, argued that the campaign professionals and donors quietly showing interest in his campaign — some of whom have extensive Clinton ties — would shock his foes.

“I think a lot of people underestimate me,” Avenatti told POLITICO. “I’m battle-tested, unlike some of the other likely candidates. They’re not tough enough. … If you put them in a kinder, gentler time; or against someone else? They’d be great. They’d be better than me. But they don’t have a chance in hell against Donald Trump.”

That’s how Avenatti is positioning himself: a ferocious foil to Trump, uniquely skilled at drawing blood from either White House or courtroom adversaries, all the while projecting a gritty authenticity that escapes polished politicians. In a possible field of sitting U.S. senators and a former vice president, Avenatti believes he would stand out as the anti-establishment candidate who’s tough enough to bring the fight to the president.

Two sources close to the Avenatti operation confirmed that John Robinson, who worked as a chief operating officer for Bernie Sanders’ 2016 campaign and has worked with former presidential candidates John Edwards and Al Gore, has consulted with Avenatti for about two months. If Avenatti runs, he is likely to tap Robinson as his own operations chief, the sources said.

Also among those whom Avenatti regularly, but unofficially, seeks advice from is Jack Quinn, a former White House counsel under Bill Clinton. Quinn said he plays no formal role in any campaign but acknowledged he’s given Avenatti advice as he would to any potential 2020 candidate.

Quinn’s wife recently threw a private dinner for Avenatti at the couple’s home, bringing him before D.C. media, while Quinn took Avenatti to an economic summit event in Washington, according to an Avenatti aide.

Another experienced Democratic hand, Adam Parkhomenko, a Hillary Clinton adviser who founded the Ready for Hillary super PAC, is acting as a liaison between Avenatti and Democratic National Committee members, superdelegates and state party leaders.

“He’s absolutely the person I’m supporting in the 2020 primary, should he decide to run,” Parkhomenko told POLITICO. “I think he is 90 [percent] to 95 percent leaning toward doing it.”

Last week, Avenatti announced Roger Salazar, a Sacramento-based operative, would help handle media. Salazar’s political pedigree includes advising the Clinton White House and Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign. Tracy Austin, a Los Angeles consultant, is assisting with fundraising and Amy Wills Gray, who also served as the Ready for Hillary committee treasurer, is acting as treasurer and compliance officer for Avenatti’s The Fight PAC.

Many Democrats, though, aren’t too thrilled about the idea of an Avenatti candidacy:

The institutional Democrats now look at Avenatti as a threat. Now they’ve got to discredit him and blame him,” said David Betras, the Mahoning County Democratic Party chairman who this summer met Avenatti in his visit to Youngstown, Ohio. “They weren’t blaming him in the spring when he was knocking the socks off of Donald Trump and Michael Cohen. They weren’t calling him a bad guy then.”

To many Democrats outside of Washington, Betras said, Avenatti is admired as an anti-Trump icon — the onset of the Stormy Daniels narrative, he explained, made widely public the idea that Trump’s personal attorney acted as a fixer.

When our Democratic base was dead, beaten and broken, he came and breathed life in the party,” Betras said. “No one else was breathing life into the party. No one else was doing that.”

Avenatti, who has said he expects to make a formal decision by Jan. 1, will still need to clear up some issues surroundinghis personal life. Last week a story posted in the Daily Beast detailed a trove of legal entanglements facing Avenatti, including tax liens, a failing coffee business, unpaid rent and eviction proceedings.

When Avenatti first started talking about running for President, I honestly thought it was mostly a publicity stunt not all that different from the media-heavy manner in which he was representing Stormy Daniels in the various legal matters involving the President. In the past month or so, though, it’s as if he’s essentially abandoned the Daniels matter, not to mention Julie Swetnick’s allegations against Justice Kavanaugh, and embraced the role of someone who clearly seems to relish the media attention that comes with being an outspoken critic of the President of the United States. In addition to apparently assembling what appears to be what could turn into a campaign team, he’s also spent time speaking in front of Democratic groups in Iowa, New Hampshire, and other early primary states. Additionally, his appearances on cable news have concentrated not on the latest developments in his representation of Stormy Daniels, who seems to be on the back burner at this point, but on himself and his nearly relentless attacks on the President of the United States, something that the Democratic audiences he speaks in front of seem to be enjoying.

As a practical matter, it seems unlikely that Avenatti will be much of a contender for the Democratic nomination if he does decide to run. He’s never held political office nor has he ever run for office. Indeed, there’s no sign that he’s ever really been much of a political person at all. Instead, he seems to have concentrated on becoming a celebrity lawyer while at the same time racking up debts related to the collapse of a previous law firm and divorce. Surely, such a candidate would never have a chance of winning the nomination of a major American political party much less the Presidency.

Right?

Right?

Okay leaving aside the Trump analogy, the idea of Michael Avenatti being able to rally Democrats behind him seems unlikely. The Democratic Party is far different from the GOP, and the skills it takes to win the party nomination far different. For example, it’s unlikely that Avenatti helped himself very much with his recent comment that the Democratic Party would lose in 2020 unless it nominates a white man, even though he arguably has 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. Then again, this is Donald Trump’s America so who really knows what the rules are anymore.

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. Michael Reynolds says:

    No. No more ‘outsiders.’ I want someone who actually understands the job.

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  2. MarkedMan says:

    He could win the nomination as a Republican. Seriously.

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  3. Franklin says:

    @MarkedMan: He kind of an asshole and he’s made several mistakes since he’s been in the limelight. I guess that does qualify him as a Republican.

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  4. al Ameda says:

    All I ask is that the next Democratic nominee is:
    (1) he or she be intelligent and have actual principles
    (2) he or she be under the age of 70
    (3) he or she not be a Clinton/Biden/Sanders/Warren/Kennedy
    (4) he or she not be a charisma-free zone

    Interesting, Amy Klobuchar checks all boxes

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  5. MarkedMan says:

    @Franklin: Isn’t there a name for the schtick in professional wrestling were the “bad” guy suddenly turns into the hero and vice versa? And the audience obediently starts cheering the new guy. The Republican Party is just the WWW but with politics.

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  6. Kathy says:

    I judge him to be about ten times more qualified than Trump. Ergo he’s not qualified to be president.

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  7. Kylopod says:

    This statement of his really drives me up the wall:

    “I’m battle-tested, unlike some of the other likely candidates. They’re not tough enough…. If you put them in a kinder, gentler time; or against someone else? They’d be great. They’d be better than me. But they don’t have a chance in hell against Donald Trump.”

    Avenatti is playing into a myth that’s built up among some Dems since Trump’s election that Trump is in fact “tough,” and that the only way to beat him is by essentially becoming like him–by stooping to his level of juvenile mudslinging and trolling. There’s no evidence that’s true, and for that matter it’s not why Hillary (who was hardly a timid candidate) lost.

    To put it another way, if Trump is such a formidable behemoth whom nobody but a macho white male like Avenatti can take down, how is it that he came within a hair of losing to (and actually did lose the popular vote to) a member of the fairer sex?

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  8. Michael Reynolds says:

    @al Ameda:
    Yep. Agree on all 4 and agree on Klobuchar.

    Presidential elections tend to come down to ‘more of the same?’ or ‘something different?’ Avenatti is more of the same; Klobuchar is the perfect opposite of Trump.

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  9. OzarkHillbilly says:

    Ummmmm… No. Just no. He can try but he isn’t going to get anywhere. He’s all bark, no bite.

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  10. al Ameda says:

    @Michael Reynolds:

    @al Ameda:
    Yep. Agree on all 4 and agree on Klobuchar.
    Presidential elections tend to come down to ‘more of the same?’ or ‘something different?’ Avenatti is more of the same; Klobuchar is the perfect opposite of Trump.

    The Kavanaugh Hearings were an interesting window onto the quality of Democratic senators. Cory Booker showed me that he’s a light weight, Kamala Harris was very measured and composed, and Klobuchar was cool and stayed on point with no histrionics – she impressed me in an old school kind of way.

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  11. Gustopher says:

    I think we need someone in the Democratic candidate debates who is going to be a complete freak show. Our Herman Cain, Ben Carson or Ron Paul. Liven things up.

    A crowded field of competent people saying reasonable things is going to be a little hard to wade through.

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  12. Daryl and his brother Darryl says:

    @al Ameda:

    Amy Klobuchar checks all boxes

    Kamala Harris, too.

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  13. Scott says:

    @al Ameda: As a baby boomer, I say no baby boomers. We need to go away. I would amend age to under 55.

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  14. lynn says:

    @Scott: “I would amend age to under 55.”

    How about under 60?

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  15. Mister Bluster says:

    @lynn:..How about under 60?

    How about under 100!
    Arbitrary age limits are a dumb idea unless they apply to Henry Kissinger.
    The illegal we do immediately. The unconstitutional takes a little longer.

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  16. Jim Brown 32 says:

    @Kylopod:
    Suppose he’s right?

    No female democratic candidate currently on the radar will beat Donald Trump. I wish it wasn’t so–but it is. Democrats are once again betting on the assumption that Trumps awfulness is enough to get people to vote against him. The most egregious awfulness is confined to Twitter which the average voter is not on–or wouldn’t even know about if it weren’t for media coverage of Trump Tweets.

    Democrats still have the same message they had in 2016 which is disjointed and balkanized. 49% of registered voters won’t even bother to vote–you’d think the Democratic party would toss some red meat to that target audience in hopes of siphoning a few percentage points of new blood into the electorate.

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  17. Kylopod says:

    @Jim Brown 32:

    Suppose he’s right?

    What evidence is there that he is? There are many reasons why Hillary lost, but it wasn’t because she wasn’t “tough enough.” She’s one of the toughest candidates I’ve ever seen. She never wilted in the face of Trump’s attacks, she never acted like she was above it all (a trait many previous Democratic nominees–including Obama–have displayed). Indeed, one of the commonest post-election criticisms is that she made her campaign too much about Trump’s awfulness and not about promoting herself positively.

    The basic misconception that Avenatti seems to be operating under is the idea that Trump’s bullying tactics helped him win the general election. This is based on a logical fallacy we discussed the other day, post hoc ergo propter hoc, “X was followed by Y, therefore X caused Y.” All we know is that Trump acted like a loudmouth bully, and he won the electoral college. It doesn’t follow from that that the former caused the latter.

    Indeed, there are many reasons for thinking his behavior did more harm than good to his campaign. He was, literally, the most unpopular major-party nominee in history (at least as far back as we have polling on the question). The only reason he was able to win was because his opponent was very nearly as unpopular as he was.

    Now, you might retort, wasn’t it his bullying that made her this unpopular? Actually, it wasn’t. Her favorability rating had already sunk to toxic levels by late 2015, at a time when he was virtually ignoring her and spending most of his time duking it out with his Republican rivals. After he finally started to emerge from the primaries in late spring 2016 and began focusing on beating her in the general election, her favorability numbers actually improved somewhat. If his screaming about “Crooked Hillary!” had any tendency to make more people dislike her, it’s a curious thing that the period in which he used this attack the most was not followed by any decline in her popularity.

    Look at the trajectory of their poll numbers throughout 2016. Trump’s worst points came when his crassness was the focus of public attention, such as his attacks on the “Mexican” judge or the Gold Star family. During his debates with Hillary, when millions got to see Trump berate her on live TV, his poll numbers immediately began to spiral to dangerously low levels. (This was partly helped by the release of the Access Hollywood tape a couple of weeks after the first debate, but it began with the debate itself.) His poll numbers would only begin to recover whenever the media focus moved away from him and toward Hillary’s problems–the release of the FBI report in the spring, the flap over her pneumonia in early fall, and the Comey Letter just a week before Election Day.

    The bottom line is that elections are not a pugilistic competition. The winner isn’t the one who lands the most devastating blows against their opponent; it’s the one who gets the most votes (well, sort of). I don’t mean the Dems don’t need someone who’s tough. They most certainly do. But there are other definitions of toughness than the adolescent machismo that Trump embodies, which seems to be what Avenatti has in mind.

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  18. An Interested Party says:

    Interesting, Amy Klobuchar checks all boxes

    As does Deval Patrick…

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  19. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Gustopher: Not to mention BORING.

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  20. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Jim Brown 32:

    Suppose he’s right?

    He’s not, but even if he is, so what? trump’s “win” was the equivalent of threading a stationary needle at 2oo mph in gale force crosswinds. And that was against a candidate who had been relentlessly vilified by the GOP for decades. That won’t happen again.

    Which is not to say that trump can’t win, but if he is gonna win in 2020 he’s gonna have to stop doubling down on all the things his base loves and start doing some things they don’t love like making reasonable decisions and compromising with his political opponents on a few things.

    For some reason or other, I just don’t see that happening.

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  21. James Pearce says:

    @Jim Brown 32:

    you’d think the Democratic party would toss some red meat to that target audience in hopes of siphoning a few percentage points of new blood into the electorate.

    Going with Klobuchar or Harris is the Democratic party throwing red meat to their target audience. They are dead set on a senator, either a woman or Cory Booker.

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  22. Michael Reynolds says:

    @James Pearce:
    We aren’t dead-set on anything. It’s two years out and we have maybe two dozen potential candidates, including senators, congresspeople, governors, billionaires. . . I could fairly be called an ‘activist’ and I’m definitely a donor, and I haven’t come close to picking my person.

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  23. al Ameda says:

    @Scott:
    @al Ameda: As a baby boomer, I say no baby boomers. We need to go away. I would amend age to under 55.
    I’m a Boomer too, and after W, Bill, and Trump … let’s put it this way …. I’m ready to trade those guys to N. Korea for some imported South Korean kimchi and an unused Costco centrifuge.

    The only Boomer I’d keep around in Barack Obama.

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  24. Pylon says:

    A lot of the Dems that I really like are from the House and that body doesn’t have a good record of winning elections.

    Klobuchar isn’t bad and comes from an important state electoral college wise. And she’s fairly high in the Dem party leadership. Harris is subject to the “California Liberal” stigma.

    Thoughts on Sherrod Brown? A little longer in the tooth. But pretty good on most issues. He was close to being a VP candidate and I think that, but for the replacement issue he might have been picked by HRC.

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  25. James Pearce says:

    @Michael Reynolds:

    We aren’t dead-set on anything

    How much grumbling do you expect if the Dems somehow manage to nominate a white man? I would expect a whole bunch, but I’m pretty sure there isn’t a path for a white man to even be nominated in the first place. Maybe in the future, but certainly not right now.

    It’s two years out and we have maybe two dozen potential candidates, including senators, congresspeople, governors, billionaires. . .

    And yet I keep hearing about this same small group of senators.

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  26. Michael Reynolds says:

    Obama likes Deval Patrick and Obama is no fool. In the older group there are Biden, Warren, Bernie sanders, Sherrod Brown, Kerr, Michael Bloomberg and I wouldn’t entirely rule out Jerry Brown. (If Jerry was ten years younger he’d be my guy.)

    Among the younger cadre are Klobuchar, Kamala Harris, Eric Holder, Cory Booker, Kirsten Gillibrand, Mitch Landrieu and others. I would also not rule out Tester if he wins re-election.

    But I’m not sure any of them will be running against Trump because I think there’s an excellent chance that by 2020 Trump will be happy to quit and try to salvage whatever is left of his failing business.

    We tend to counter-program – whatever we found insufferable about the incumbent we look for someone to repair that damage. The damage Trump has done is widespread but I suspect the consensus by 2020 will be that we need integrity, competence and humanity – three things utterly lacking in Trump.

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  27. Michael Reynolds says:

    @James Pearce:
    Your lack of information is noted. But if you look over the list I’ve provided above you’ll see a mayor, governors, a billionaire, a former Attorney General, and a former Secretary of State, as well as various senators. Add in Adam Schiff and a few more and you’ll also find Congresspeople. In other words the field as currently composed represents a very wide array of people from all levels of elective and appointed government as well as at least one businessman. (Two businessmen if Tom Steyer gets in.)

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  28. Andre Kenji de Sousa says:

    People that are rough can beat Tucker Carlson in TV. Jon Stewart is way tougher than Avenatti.

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  29. James Pearce says:

    @Michael Reynolds:

    But if you look over the list I’ve provided

    Yeah, it’s a list of women/black Democratic senators…and Mitch Landrieu.

    I propose changing the criteria from “not a white man” to “can beat Trump” and “can be a competent executive.” If that person happens to be “not a white man,” then cool. But you guys are thumbing the scales on this, and the stakes are too high for that stuff.

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  30. MarkedMan says:

    @Jim Brown 32:

    Democrats are once again betting on the assumption that Trumps awfulness is enough to get people to vote against him.

    My primary objection to this is that I don’t want it to be true… and therefore I have to admit you have a point. And here is a counterintuitive example. In Hillary’s first Senatorial campaign her opponent ran on an “But for god’s sake, it’s Hillary” campaign. He never really moved away from it. And that’s the primary reason she won. She was well know and the voting market had already factored in her Hillary-ness. As we know, he could have knocked her back on any number of issues and she would have retreated back into a “but here are my incredibly detailed policies! See all the beautiful numbers?” defense and gotten crushed. But he really didn’t think he needed to. Amongst RWNJ’s it was a given that Hillary was the devil and all he had to do was say it loudly one more time and then people would realize the truth.

    The parallels with Trump are frightening…

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  31. Michael Reynolds says:

    @James Pearce:
    Your inner bigot is coming out. And your dishonesty is on display.

    Never Senators: Landrieu, Holder, Patrick, Bloomberg, Adam Schiff.

    Not minority or female: Landrieu, Sanders, Kerry, Biden, Brown, Bloomberg.

    You are factually, objectively wrong. You usually are. And as always you reject fact and prefer your own vague presuppositions.

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  32. Kylopod says:

    @MarkedMan:

    In Hillary’s first Senatorial campaign her opponent ran on an “But for god’s sake, it’s Hillary” campaign. He never really moved away from it. And that’s the primary reason she won.

    Or it could simply have been because New York was by then a solidly blue state, and any Democrat was favored to win, especially if they weren’t running against an incumbent. (The last Republican Senator from NY was Al D’Amato, who lost his seat decisively to Chuck Schumer in 1998.) Al Gore won the state by a wider margin than Hillary that year, but in neither case was it close. That suggests the outcome was more about the partisan lean of the state by that point than either candidate’s campaign.

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  33. James Pearce says:

    @Michael Reynolds: You throw up a bunch of bogus names no one is talking about, then say “Your inner bigot is coming out.” Why can’t you just admit that you’re dead set on nominating a woman or a minority? Why deny it?

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  34. Kylopod says:

    @James Pearce: Dude, the two top names on polls currently are two white males, Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders. The main thing they have going against them is their age, not their race or gender.

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  35. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @James Pearce:

    Why can’t you just admit that you’re dead set on nominating a woman or a minority?

    Why can’t you just accept his statement that he hasn’t? Why do you insist that all DEMs fit into your preconceived pigeon hole? I haven’t even begun to think about 2020 and I sure as hell am not going to choose a person before they even begin campaigning.

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  36. James Pearce says:

    @Kylopod:

    Dude, the two top names on polls currently are two white males, Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders.

    What’s that tell you?

    @OzarkHillbilly:

    I haven’t even begun to think about 2020 and I sure as hell am not going to choose a person before they even begin campaigning.

    I’ve been thinking about 2020 ever since Nov 10th 2016 and I’ve been doing so with the butt-clenching terror that Dems are not quite up to the task before them.

    This isn’t about inspiring little girls anymore. It’s about retaking power and rebuilding trust/relationships among the American people. Act accordingly.

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  37. Kylopod says:

    @James Pearce:

    What’s that tell you?

    Good, just throw the question back at me. What are you, ELIZA?

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  38. James Pearce says:

    @Kylopod: You quoted it like it proves me wrong, though. But I see that and I’m like, yeah, of course. There’s a lot of desperate people in this country and they’re not all consumed with white guilt. They have no problem with a white dude as president.

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  39. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @James Pearce:

    I’ve been thinking about 2020 ever since Nov 10th 2016 and I’ve been doing so with the butt-clenching terror that Dems are not quite up to the task before them.

    So you’ve wasted 2 years worth of emotional energy worrying about something you can’t do a damn thing about yet.

    Do yourself a favor, act accordingly.

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  40. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @James Pearce: Also, it’s a long game. Too many people on the left are scared half to death that if we don’t take back the House on Nov 6, IT’S ALL OVER, GAME OVER MAN!!!! And that is this election. And you’re worried about the one that nobody is even running for yet?

    Haysoos crispo.

    Sometimes you get knocked down several times. If you keep getting back up you’re chances of knocking the other guy down are a whole lot better.

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  41. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Michael Reynolds: “… I suspect the consensus by 2020 will be that we need integrity, competence and humanity…”

    Among Democrats? Definitely. but those were the “needs” among Democrats in 2016, too. As far as the rest of the nation goes–and Democrats will need to win a majority of electors (therefore states) as well as voters–I can’t say that those “needs” will resonate as well as one might hope. I hope I’m wrong, but I have no faith in the voters to make wise choices anymore–and that goes for both parties.

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  42. Tyrell says:

    @Franklin: phony as a three dollar bill. He gives the good lawyers and the profession a bad name.

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  43. wr says:

    @Michael Reynolds: “The damage Trump has done is widespread but I suspect the consensus by 2020 will be that we need integrity, competence and humanity – three things utterly lacking in Trump.”

    Which is why it won’t be Avenatti. He could be useful at the beginning of the campaign to say the very rude things that need to be said, but no one’s going to replace a Trump with a lesser-Trump. Same reason it wouldn’t be Oprah (if she were running) or another someone else with no experience in government. We just tried that. If we liked the results, we’d vote Trump.

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  44. wr says:

    @Michael Reynolds: “Add in Adam Schiff and a few more and you’ll also find Congresspeople.”

    I’m a huge Adam Schiff fan, and regret he is no longer my congressman. But I don’t think he has the ambition or aggression — you’ll notice he didn’t go after Feinstein in the primaries, although I’m certain he would have run if she’d stepped down. I think his number two, Eric Swallwell, is a more likely proposition.

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  45. Kylopod says:

    @James Pearce: I looked back over the thread, and I must say I can’t for the life of me figure out who you’re complaining about. You asked Michael Reynolds, “Why can’t you just admit that you’re dead set on nominating a woman or a minority?” That doesn’t sound to me like an accurate description of Michael (who’s been quite critical of identity politics on the left, and I’ve never had the impression he cares much about those things when it comes to choosing candidates), but I’ll let him speak for himself. But looking earlier in the thread, I came to the core of your argument:

    “Going with Klobuchar or Harris is the Democratic party throwing red meat to their target audience. They are dead set on a senator, either a woman or Cory Booker.”

    If the top two candidates in a poll of Democratic voters are white males, that cuts quite strongly against your argument that “the Democratic Party” is dead set on nominating a female and/or minority.

    Your suggestion that the only reason Dems would go with someone like Harris or Klobuchar or Booker is their race or gender is straight out of the Rush Limbaugh playbook. Remember when Limbaugh claimed the praise toward Donovan McNabb was merely because the media wanted a black QB to succeed? The trick here is to point at an accomplished minority or woman and then claim without evidence they’re being overrated by guilty whites. What’s seductive about this argument is that in effect it serves as an all-purpose explanation for dismissing the achievements of minorities and women at a person’s leisure, yet it masquerades as an attempt to expose the racial or gender biases of others. Limbaugh lost his job at ESPN over those remarks, but he would argue that he was promoting colorblindness, and that it was the left that was mired in race–despite the fact that he was literally the first person to introduce race into the conversation.

    Similarly, did you not notice that the only Democrat we’ve heard to argue that the Dems must nominate someone of a particular race or gender is Avenatti?

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  46. Jim Brown 32 says:

    @Kylopod: So Trump defeats the candidate you just described as one of the toughest you’ve ever seen–turns her candidacy into a tap dance about emails–and you need evidence that Avenatti’s statement about Democrats not having a tough enough candidate is valid?

    Frankly, I would flat out disagree that Hillary Clinton is tough at all. She can talk tough–sure–but her body language appears heavily unnatural and forced. There is nothing about her on a primal level that would signal a threat. If anything, you’d want to pinch her rosy cheeks and kiss her on the forehead if she got angry at you.

    Ultimately, you mistake what Avenatti means when he says tough–he doesn’t mean “like Trump” at all. He means someone who is comfortable with personal confrontation and can project assertiveness and confidence mixed with a bit of humor. This is something that can’t be faked or coached…you’ve either developed the moxie to meet personal challenges head on–or you didn’t.

    I will use the Democratic candidate for Governer in Florida, Andrew Gillum, as an example. The day after Gillum won the primary–Trump tweeted an insult about Gillum tagging Ron Desantis. Gillum simply tweeted the equivalent of–if you ever use my name in a tweet…tag me–tagging Trump. Its little, unscripted, things like that–which signal: “This aint the fight you want bro.” That sets the tone for how a bully like Trump comes at you. If the Democratic candidate cannot control the tone..they cannot defeat Trump..period. Choose candidates wisely and weight ‘electable’ qualities differently than in the past and you might fine someone who can get that untapped 49% off the couch.

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  47. Jim Brown 32 says:

    @MarkedMan: Hey…I don’t want it to be true either. However, I’m very politically agnostic about my social interaction which allows me to be in positions where people are candid about their actual beliefs.

    I don’t think political involved Democrats understand that their disgust of Trump is several zip codes away from the casual voter who really just want a more “professional” veneer to a President. Believe it or not they actually appreciate Trumps candidness–regardless of whether they agree with him or not–and they also like that he attempts to do what he said he would do–even if that too was stupid.

    I see many of the same parallels with Conservatives in 2012 who couldn’t believe that the American public was no where near the level of anger they had towards the muslim, kenyan-born socio-islamofascist Obama.

    ReplyReply
  48. James Pearce says:

    @OzarkHillbilly:

    So you’ve wasted 2 years worth of emotional energy worrying about something you can’t do a damn thing about yet.

    I wouldn’t consider it wasted energy….although sometimes I wonder.

    @Kylopod:

    If the top two candidates in a poll of Democratic voters are white males, that cuts quite strongly against your argument that “the Democratic Party” is dead set on nominating a female and/or minority.

    Does it? Or does it mean that the affluent urbanites who control the party should tamp down on some of their “identity politics” rhetoric because voters don’t really share their prejudice against white men?

    Also, if you want to talk playbooks, let’s talk about the “your inner bigot is showing.” For way too long, Dems have relied on that kind of thing. Don’t like Obama? Well, you’re racist. Don’t like Hillary? Of course you don’t, you misogynistic pig.

    Put up Kamala Harris and you could use them both in all kinds of combinations. Put up a white man and you’ll have to what, argue positions? The horror…

    ReplyReply

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