Salon: There is hard data that shows that a centrist Democrat would be a losing candidate
Economist Thomas Piketty wrote a paper about this in 2018, though the Democrats paid no attention
The surprising thing about older voters: they’re moving more to the left
The question is just how far.
Like any demographic group, voters 65 and older are no monolith. But there are certain characteristics that have come to define older Americans: that they’re generally more conservative, they really care about issues like Medicare, Social Security, and drug prices, and they vote. But advocates for seniors see an electorate actually more fluid than these tropes suggest. They’re also interested in what world they’ll leave for their grandchildren, from climate change to education access and income inequality. And broadly they’re shifting ideologically to the left.
“We have seen a shift since 2010 of older voters moving more Democratic than any other age group,” Richard Fiesta, the director of the Alliance for Retired Americans, said. The question is, just how far left are they willing to go?
Republicans have relied on older Americans’ support since the 2000 presidential election. In 2016, 53 percent of adults 65 and older voted for President Donald Trump, who campaigned on protecting Medicare and Social Security and lowering drug prices. But those dynamics could be changing.
Republicans spent the first year of full government control under Trump attempting to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act with a policy that would have weakened protections for preexisting conditions, and could have been more costly for older and sicker patients. And Republicans are backing a lawsuit to overturn Obamacare’s protections for preexisting conditions. Trump’s 2020 budget proposal included $25 billion in cuts to Social Security over the next 10 years. ...
And of course, Trump’s conduct in office has added an important cultural layer in this election cycle.
“Later in your life there is a very visceral desire to see the country be stable, to see it be decent,” Bauman said. “If I were Joe Biden, I would be running on return to decency because the Obama administration for many years represented that — a certain kind of decency that is clearly gone.”
New York Times - Thomas L. Friedman
The Answers to Our Problems Aren’t as Simple as Left or Right
The old binary choices no longer work.
The American body politic has experienced two big — and enormously revealing — shocks in the past month.
The first was political, administered by the Democrats’ first debates, which revealed a party whose leading presidential candidates were considerably farther to the left on some key issues — borders, national health care, treatment of illegal immigrants — than many mainstream Democrats, not to mention independents and moderate Republicans looking for an alternative to President Trump.
The second big shock was moral, administered by Trump’s supporters at his North Carolina rally last week. As Trump trashed Representative Ilhan Omar, who immigrated from Somalia, his supporters broke into chants of “Send her back!”
If you were in that audience chanting, or you’ve been rationalizing how people in that audience could have been chanting, or you were Trump giving 13 seconds for that chanting to echo across the hall and then across the country, you should be ashamed of yourself. That was un-American. It was something out of a 1930s German or Italian fascist newsreel.
Combined, the two shocks help to explain a new poll’s finding that a significant number of voters feel that no candidate speaks to them. This group is often called — usually with a sneer — “centrists” or “moderates.”
I’m in this group, but I prefer not to call myself a “centrist.” That label implies someone whose views are mush, situated between two clearly defined poles of left and right. My views are not mush. They just emerge from a different approach to politics.
TIME - Molly Ball
What Do the Democrats Stand For? Inside a Fight Over America's Future
They are both Democrats: Joe Biden, the 76-year-old former Vice President, and Ilhan Omar, the 36-year-old freshman Congresswoman. An old white man, with blind spots on race and gender and a penchant for bipartisanship; a young Somali-American Muslim who sees compromise as complicity. To Biden, Donald Trump is an aberration; to Omar, he is a symptom of a deeper rot. One argues for a return to normality, while the other insists: Your normal has always been my oppression.
How to fit those two visions into one party is the question tying the Democrats in knots. What policies will the party champion? Which voters will it court? How will it speak to an angry and divided nation? While intraparty tussles are perennial in politics, this one comes against a unique backdrop: an unpopular, mendacious, norm-trampling President. As Democrats grilled Robert Mueller, the former special counsel, on July 24, their sense of urgency was evident.
The one thing Democrats agree on is that Trump needs to go, but even on the question of how to oust him, they are split. Ninety-five of the party’s 235 House Representatives recently voted to begin impeachment proceedings, a measure nearly a dozen of the major Democratic presidential candidates support. The party’s leadership continues to insist that defeating the President in 2020 is the better path. Half the party seems furious at Speaker Nancy Pelosi for not attacking Trump more forcefully, while the other is petrified they’re losing the American mainstream, validating Trump’s “witch hunt” accusations with investigations into Russian election interference that most voters see as irrelevant to their daily lives.
These divisions have come into focus in recent weeks. Two parallel conflicts–the fight among congressional Democrats, and debates among the 2020 candidates–have played out along similar lines, revealing deep fissures on policy, tactics and identity. A consistent majority of voters disapprove of the President’s performance, do not want him re-elected and dislike his policies and character. Even Trump’s allies admit his re-election hopes rest on his ability to make the alternative even more distasteful.
Politico Mag - Peter Canellos
What FDR Understood About Socialism That Today’s Democrats Don’t
He ruled at the height of government activism, but saw ideology as something to fear, not embrace. ...
In the four years just past, Roosevelt had transformed the purpose of the United States government, making it a constant companion in the lives of Americans. The Social Security Act of the previous year was merely the crowning achievement. Roosevelt’s initiatives, meant to curb the misery brought on by the Great Depression, directly funded millions of government jobs, employing everyone from photographers to brush-clearing conservation workers. To pay for this, he raised the income tax—which hadn’t even existed two decades earlier—to 75 percent on the highest incomes. The rich were subsidizing the poor, and that was A-OK with FDR.
The giant crowd bristled with excitement to hear their hero defend these policies. What followed was his so-called “Rendezvous with Destiny” speech, which historians rank among the greatest of his career, a tall order from the man whose oratorical roster included “nothing to fear but fear itself,” and “a day that will live in infamy.” But while those speeches perfectly captured individual moments, Roosevelt’s “Rendezvous with Destiny” speech came far closer to revealing his inner theories and motivations: Never before or after would he lay out his vision in greater clarity.
That vision included one truly insistent message: He was not a socialist.
Though he never used the term socialism in his speech, Roosevelt’s anger at those who accused him of ideological motivations, of applying an economic theory that was anathema to the United States, exploded from the lectern. In line after line, the fiery president defended his actions as pragmatic responses to the real, glaring needs of a changing society. The rich who criticized him, who cloaked their greed in an affinity for capitalism, were dangerously missing his point. He knew the ideological threats of communism and of fascism were real, and were overtaking democracy in European countries. An etched-in-stone commitment to the status quo would be an invitation to extremists everywhere. By fulfilling the government’s obligation to assist its people, he was instilling confidence in the American system. He was vindicating the Founding Fathers.
Now, in a time of far less suffering and little sense of economic crisis, some Democrats are embracing the very title that Roosevelt shunned. It is, in their eyes, truth in packaging. Their proposals sound much like Roosevelt’s: using the power of the federal government to create a fairer society, in which essential services are subsidized by higher taxes on the wealthy. But unlike FDR, they say that, yes, these programs amount to socialism. The Republicans who inveigh against them aren’t misstating their intentions, as Roosevelt claimed. The GOP may be dead wrong to demonize them—to turn a benignly descriptive word like socialism into a scare word—but, yeah, they’re socialists in pursuit of a socialist platform.
Also:Sanders, Warren join to fend off attacks from Dem moderates
Sen. Elizabeth Warren and Sen. Bernie Sanders haven’t been acting like rivals for the Democratic presidential nomination.
“I’m with Bernie on Medicare For All,” Warren announced at the first debate in June.
“Elizabeth is absolutely right,” Sanders said at the second debate last month when Warren discussed trade and protectionism.
Far from elbowing each other out of the far-left lane of the Democratic primary, Warren and Sanders have jointly sought to fend off attacks from the more moderate candidates. The two progressives advocate for transformational change over incremental improvements to boost low- and middle-income Americans, backing policies of a massive scale such as Medicare For All and the Green New Deal.
Political experts say that, at this point of the primary, Warren of Massachusetts and Sanders of Vermont benefit more from working with than against each other.
It’s about strategy as much as principle, said Monica Klein, a New York-based Democratic consultant.
“One, it doesn’t bode well for either of them to attack the other because one of them will need the other’s voters,” said Klein, co-founder of Seneca Strategies. “And two, they both want a progressive, populist president, so it makes more sense for them to support that vision.”
Adding:Newsday: Biden, others argue the Democratic center will hold - and win
Politico: Swing-district Dems face blowback from progressive voters
An energized base is pushing moderates to the left, even as the lawmakers try to appeal to the middle.
New York Times - Michelle Goldberg
Dare We Dream of the End of the G.O.P.?
In a new book, the pollster Stanley Greenberg predicts a blue tidal wave in 2020.
Toward the end of his new book, “R.I.P. G.O.P.,” the renowned Democratic pollster Stanley Greenberg makes a thrilling prediction, delivered with the certainty of prophecy. “The year 2020 will produce a second blue wave on at least the scale of the first in 2018 and finally will crash and shatter the Republican Party that was consumed by the ill-begotten battle to stop the New America from governing,” he writes.
It sounds almost messianic: the Republican Party, that foul agglomeration of bigotry and avarice that has turned American politics into a dystopian farce, not just defeated but destroyed. The inexorable force of demography bringing us a new, enlightened political dispensation. Greenberg foresees “the death of the Republican Party as we’ve known it,” and a Democratic Party “liberated from the nation’s suffocating polarization to use government to advance the public good.” I’d like to believe it, and maybe you would too. But should we? ...
Yet going into 2020, Greenberg believes that what he calls the “rising American electorate” — including millennials, people of color and single women — will ensure Democratic victory, almost regardless of whom the party nominates. “We’re dealing with demographic and cultural trends, but we’re also dealing with people that are organizing and talking to one and another and becoming much more conscious of their values,” he said.
In his polling and focus groups, he’s seeing that the reaction to Trump is changing people. “The Trump presidency so invaded the public’s consciousness that it was hard to talk to previously disengaged and unregistered unmarried women, people of color and millennials without them going right to Trump,” he writes. A few months after the election, he realized he could no longer put Clinton and Trump voters in focus groups together because indignant Clinton voters, particularly women, so dominated the conversations. “This turned out to be an unintended test of the strength of their views and resolve to resist,” he wrote.
That resolve to resist has led many voters to define their own beliefs in opposition to Trump’s. On immigration, for example, “every Trump outrage increased the proportion of Americans who said, ‘We are an immigrant country,’” writes Greenberg. Indeed, according to recent Pew data, 62 percent of Americans say that immigrants strengthen the country, while 28 percent, a near record low, see them as a burden. ...
His confidence will not be enough to lessen the insomnia that has plagued me since the cursed night when Trump was elected. But his book should be a corrective to the media’s overweening focus on the mulish devotion of Trump voters. Trump hatred is a much more potent force in this country than Trump love. There is one way, and one way only, that Trump may surpass Barack Obama. Though Obama was a community organizer, Trump could turn out to be much better at mobilizing progressives.
New York Times OpEd - Stanley B. Greenberg
The Republican Party Is Doomed
This is a transformational moment. Do the Democrats understand how to take advantage of it? ...
The financial crisis of 2008 and 2009 left the vast majority of working people and the Democrats’ base of African-Americans, Hispanics, single women and millennials shattered for years. They lost much of their wealth and were forced into new jobs that often paid less. Many faced prohibitive student debt. With wages stagnant for a decade, they were frustrated with the daunting costs of health care, prescription drugs, child care and housing. Yet in the main, Mr. Obama, Hillary Clinton — and now Mr. Trump — hailed the economy’s progress, the millions of new jobs. But that was and is clueless. Mr. Trump will be the latest presidential candidate punished by the voters for not getting it.
The Democrats in the 2018 wave election did get it and made their biggest gains, compared with 2016, not in the suburbs — despite winning most of their new seats there — but in the rural areas and among white working class voters, particularly women. This pullback from Mr. Trump among white working class women in particular went further this year. As of 2019, he enjoyed only a single-digit lead with the voters who played such a big role in the 2016 surprise. In 2018, Democrats succeeded by attacking Republicans for attempting to repeal Obamacare and failing to lower skyrocketing prescription drug costs. They proposed trillion-dollar investments in infrastructure and battled to drive dark money out of politics.
Mr. Trump and the Republican Congress continued to seek the repeal of the Affordable Care Act, working both to make it fail in practice and to slash federal health care spending for seniors and the poor. That made health care the top reason for voting for Democrats in 2018, but it also revealed what has become a defining partisan difference: a Republican Party determined to destroy government outside of defense and a Democratic Party determined to use it expansively. ...
But this dam has burst. With Mr. Trump’s ever-escalating assault on government, the proportion of Americans who say that government “should do more to solve problems and meet the needs of people” surged to the highest level in 20 years. Democratic candidates who understand this political moment will push for a government that changes the country’s course, as it did under Democratic presidents after the progressive victories of 2008 and 1964 and especially after the 1932 triumph of Franklin D. Roosevelt and the New Deal. ...
Democrats are seeking leaders who understand how transformative this election ought to be for both the Republican and the Democratic parties. The Democrats want a powerful, activist government after years of gridlock and political impotence. More than three quarters of them believe that sharper regulation of business is necessary to protect the public, that government benefits for the poor don’t go far enough, that racial discrimination still blocks black advancement and that stricter environment laws are worth the cost. Two-thirds believe that corporations make too much profit. They want a very different America from the one Republicans have forged.
When you combine Mr. Trump pushing moderates out of the Republican Party and the changing attitudes his rhetoric and policies have brought about with the Democrats’ pro-government fervor, you have a recipe for transformation. Democrats should be looking not just to defeat Donald Trump and the Republican Party, but to get to work building a bold era of progressive reform.
Vox - Matt Yglesias:
The 20-year argument between Joe Biden and Elizabeth Warren over bankruptcy, explained
A clash over a 2005 bankruptcy bill — and a broader contrast in worldviews.
On a granular level, then, both sides of the Warren/Biden argument can claim that some of their main predictions came true, and both sides agree that the bill had at least some good provisions and some bad ones.
But the larger clash of worldviews is as vital as ever. Biden’s 2020 presidential bid explicitly front-loads Trump and his aberrant behavior, casting the former VP’s aspirations in explicitly restorationist terms — Biden will fix what Trump broke. To Warren, by contrast, the system was broken before she ever entered the Senate and the real fight is to overthrow the nexus of special interest politics that reigned in Washington back while The Apprentice was in its first season.
There are a lot of news stories about this Iowa poll, so I'll stick one in here.
A New Poll Shows Elizabeth Warren And Joe Biden Leading After The Last Debate. And Warren Has More Support From Other Candidates’ Voters.
Last week’s debate barely changed a thing, according to a new Civiqs and Data For Progress poll.
A new poll of likely Democratic primary voters shows that, at least for now, Elizabeth Warren and Joe Biden are out ahead of the rest of the field.
The poll from Civiqs and Data For Progress, shared first with BuzzFeed News, shows virtually no change in the days immediately after last week’s debate from the days before. Civiqs conducted two identical surveys — one before the debate from Sept. 10 to 12 and one after, with respondents who took the first survey, from Sept. 13 to 16. The results were practically identical: Warren and Biden lead the field with Bernie Sanders in third and others further behind.
The strongest showing for Warren in the post-debate survey, though, may be in how many respondents listed her as their second choice — 27% picked Warren, with Kamala Harris (11%), Pete Buttigieg (11%), Bernie Sanders (10%), and Joe Biden (9%) following behind.
The second choice results also give a sense of which candidates are appealing to the same cluster of voters. That’s particularly true for the left-wing of the primary field — 59% of Sanders voters listed Warren as their second choice, and 21% of Warren voters listed Sanders, a number in line with how many Warren backers named Harris or Buttigieg as their next preference.
Warren and Sanders backers have some clear ideological similarities in the post-debate poll — 89% of Sanders backers have a favorable view of democratic socialism (Sanders identifies as a democratic socialist), as do 80% of Warren backers. Biden voters were much more split: 35% had a favorable view, 30% unfavorable, and 34% were unsure. A quarter of Sanders supporters said they considered themselves to be democratic socialists, compared to just 12% of Warren supporters.
In total, 75% of Warren backers and 71% of Sanders backers considered themselves progressive, liberal, or democratic socialist. That was true of only 42% of Biden backers, 43% of whom identified as politically moderate.
Polls: Democratic voters prefer big structural changes over a return to normalcy in 2020
This could be a vulnerability in Joe Biden’s campaign message.
Democratic voters are split: Do they want their presidential nominee to be bold or boring?
It’s a divide that signals a major challenge for former Vice President Joe Biden, who has run a campaign calling for a return to normalcy, as his support has increasingly been overshadowed by candidates supporting major structural change in several national and state polls.
A new poll from Quinnipiac University found that half — 50 percent — of Democratic and Democratic-leaning voters want a candidate who supports major changes across the board — even if those policies are harder to pass into law. A slightly smaller margin — 42 percent — preferred a Democratic nominee that backs minor changes, easier to pass into law. This trend also translates into specific policies, like Medicare-for-all; 49 percent of Democratic voters favor replacing the current private health insurance system with a public system, compared to 44 percent who support building on the Affordable Care Act. The poll has a 3.2 point margin of error.
Another mid-September poll conducted by Fox News found a similar divide; 49 percent of Democratic and likely Democratic voters said they preferred a candidate that would take a new and different approach to governing, whereas 43 percent said they wanted a return to President Barack Obama’s style.
When the question was rephrased, removing the reference to Obama, the divide shrank; 50 percent of voters said they wanted a nominee that would “fundamentally change how the political system works in Washington,” versus 46 percent who called for restoring the political system to what it was before President Donald Trump. Support for a new approach in governance has grown since August, when the Fox News poll found 48 percent preferred going back to an Obama-style leader.
Among the three leading Democratic candidates, two are calling for major structural change: Sens. Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders. Meanwhile, Biden, whose pitch is a continuation of Barack Obama’s legacy and a return to decency, has continued to capture the attention of older Americans and land him in the lead.
I started to post this in the Biden campaign thread, but I decided it's more appropriate to this discussion.
Salon - Paul Rosenberg: What if Joe Biden wins? It could mean long-term trouble for Democrats
Sure, the former veep is "better than Trump." But his presidency could sabotage the Democratic Party's future
New York Mag - Eric Levitz
How Centrist Democrats Botched the 2020 Primary
A specter is haunting “pro-business Democrats” — the specter of change they can’t believe in.
With just over three months until Iowa gets caucusing, Elizabeth Warren is their party’s front-runner. She’s running neck and neck with Joe Biden in the polls — and Biden’s campaign is living hand-to-mouth. The former “senator from MBNA” is losing to a democratic socialist at the fundraising game. And time seems to be depleting Biden’s (always limited) verbal skills even faster than it’s draining his campaign coffers. Meanwhile, the most viable alternative for “Leave Billionaires Alone” Democrats seems to be a college-town mayor with fewer black supporters than Donald Trump. As of this writing, betting markets now put the odds of blue America nominating either Elizabeth Warren or Bernie Sanders in 2020 at over 50 percent.
Davos Democrats are nonplussed. Each night, consultants of a certain age toss and turn through dreams of George McGovern. Now, many are succumbing to magical thinking. As the New York Times reports:
Bloomberg is reportedly mulling a run, but could never win. Michelle Obama could win, but would never run. Hillary Clinton is almost certainly not delusional enough to throw her hat in the ring. And none of the other names floated by the Whitby diners — Deval Patrick, Eric Holder, John Kerry, and Sherrod Brown — have any obvious advantage over the standard-issue Dems already in the race. If Kamala Harris and Cory Booker aren’t connecting, why would a slapdash Patrick or Holder campaign hit the mark? And what does Brown offer that Klobuchar doesn’t (beyond the opportunity to squander a precious Senate vote)?When a half-dozen Democratic donors gathered at the Whitby Hotel in Manhattan last week, the dinner began with a discussion of which presidential candidates the contributors liked. But as conversations among influential Democrats often go these days, the meeting quickly evolved into a discussion of who was not in the race — but could be lured in.
Would Hillary Clinton get in, the contributors wondered, and how about Michael R. Bloomberg, the former New York mayor? One person even mused whether Michelle Obama would consider a late entry, according to two people who attended the event, which was hosted by the progressive group American Bridge.
Given her accomplishments, background, prosecutorial ferocity, and her moderately liberal approach, Harris always struck me as a Democratic triangulator's dream candidate. But neither the names, nor the money ever got behind her, instead prefering the old white guy, the young white guys, and the white guys no one could tell apart.How Centrist Democrats Botched the 2020 Primary
“If you can float enough disinformation into circulation you will totally abolish everyone’s contact with reality, probably your own included.” — Philip K Dick
Warren Derides Biden as Running in ‘Wrong Presidential Primary’
Elizabeth Warren swatted back at Joe Biden’s criticism of her $21 trillion Medicare-for-All plan Friday, accusing him of “running in the wrong presidential primary.”
“Democrats are not going to win by repeating Republican talking points,” the Massachusetts senator said in Des Moines, Iowa. “So, if Biden doesn’t like that, I’m just not sure where he’s going.”
Warren’s unusually direct attack on her campaign rival came after she released a long-awaited explanation of how she to planned to pay for her $20.5 trillion proposal to create a government-run health care system. The Biden campaign called that plan “mathematical gymnastics” intended to hide the fact that it would result in tax increases on middle-class workers.
The health care rift has been a defining feature of the crowded Democratic contest and has become a proxy for an broader ideological battle over how far left the party should go. One one side: Warren and Bernie Sanders, who want bold, progressive ideas. On the other: Biden and Pete Buttigieg, who say the party should be more concerned about winning back moderate voters in swing states who could be turned off by big-spending government programs.
The flap comes at a crucial moment in the Iowa campaign. Fourteen presidential candidates, including Biden and Warren, are scheduled to speak Friday at the Liberty and Justice Celebration dinner, the state party’s keynote event of the year. Most of them will meet again Saturday at a Cedar Rapids fish fry.
Nancy Pelosi Is Worried 2020 Candidates Are on Wrong Track
Speaker Nancy Pelosi is issuing a pointed message to Democrats running for president in 2020: Those liberal ideas that fire up the party’s base are a big loser when it comes to beating President Donald Trump.
Proposals pushed by Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders like Medicare for All and a wealth tax play well in liberal enclaves like her own district in San Francisco but won’t sell in the Midwestern states that sent Trump to the White House in 2016, she said.
“What works in San Francisco does not necessarily work in Michigan,” Pelosi said at a roundtable of Bloomberg News reporters and editors on Friday. “What works in Michigan works in San Francisco — talking about workers’ rights and sharing prosperity.”
“Remember November,” she said. “You must win the Electoral College.”
The Guardian - Cas Mudde
What the history of the left teaches us: Warren has the best chance of winning
Elizabeth Warren is able to offer a new leftwing message without dividing the Democratic establishment and base
With just over a year to go till the US presidential elections, it remains to be seen which version of the Democratic Party will challenge President Trump: the centrist party of Joe Biden and Pete Buttigieg, or the more radical party of Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren? While the Republican Party has tied its fate to President Trump, the Democratic Party has no clear frontrunner. Less than 100 days before the first primaries in Iowa, the party candidates are offering fundamentally different policies and politics.
A recent edited volume, Why The Left Loses: The Decline of the Center-Left in Comparative Perspective, could provide Democrats with some insights on what (not) to do.
The center-left has borne the brunt of the political backlash against the Great Recession. Support for social democratic parties has been reduced to single digits in various West European countries (Greece, France, the Netherlands), while others are polling at record lows (Austria and Germany). Even in the UK, despite a short resurgence under Jeremy Corbyn, Labour is now polling at a postwar low of roughly 25 percent.
The Democratic Party is faring much better than its foreign brothers and sisters, but this is in part because of peculiarities of the US political system – most notably the combination of a majoritarian electoral system and the crucial role of money. How can the Democratic Party ensure that it does not suffer the same fate as social democratic parties in other western democracies?
Pete Buttigieg drives for the middle ground between Biden and Warren
DES MOINES — Pete Buttigieg’s presidential campaign scheduled a rally here on a recent Saturday night, setting up a choice for local Democrats: see the mayor of South Bend, Ind., or watch a nationally televised Iowa Hawkeyes football game.
More than 700 people turned out — and stood for hours in occasional drizzle and frigid temperatures to hear Buttigieg speak from a small stage on Roosevelt High School’s front lawn.
“A big football game and lousy weather, and he gets 700 people? Things like that just don’t happen,” said Matt Paul, a local Democratic strategist who ran Hillary Clinton’s 2016 Iowa campaign. “Something is clearly going on.”
What is going on is Buttigieg seizing an opening in the Democratic presidential field, pushing his way into the gap between liberal Sens. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) and Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and the more moderate former vice president Joe Biden.
“The way we think this shapes up is, if you want the most ideological far out candidate possible, you’ve got your answer. You want the most Washington candidate possible, you’ve got your answer,” Buttigieg said Saturday from his campaign bus in Iowa. “Everybody else, I think, can come our way. I think that’s almost everybody.”
That positioning represents a significant shift from Buttigieg’s posture when he entered the race. Buttigieg made early headlines by portraying himself as the vanguard of generational change, a 37-year-old seeking to become the first gay president and talking up big liberal ideas, like abolishing the electoral college and restructuring the Supreme Court. While his campaign says he still supports those policies, he rarely mentions them on the campaign trail these days.
Democrats Can Calm Their 2020 Election Anxiety By Accepting That There's No One Else
It's happening again.
Democrats are wringing their hands, wondering who else might be out there?
Michelle Obama? Sherrod Brown? Mike Bloomberg? Hillary Clinton? Oprah?
Democrats do this mental gymnastics nearly every election cycle — is there anyone not running for president who is better than who is running and can definitely win in a general election? ...
"This is the field," said Jamal Simmons, a former adviser to the Democratic National Committee during Barack Obama's 2008 presidential run. "There were 24 candidates who were running. So Democrats had a lot of choices."
These campaign veterans, not connected with any current campaigns, are more optimistic about the group than many others in the Democratic establishment. They say, sure, there are vulnerabilities, but there are always vulnerabilities with candidates in every election cycle.
What's more, they say, the top candidates are showing strength against Trump nationally and in key states, for the most part, they are getting better as candidates and are "talented, hard-working, telegenic, smart, and inspiring," said a former Obama official and campaign veteran who did not want to be named in order to speak openly about the field.