It’s Not Too Early To Start Talking About Who Democrats Are Going To Run Against Trump In 2020, Right?
Anyway, It’s All The Buzz Right Now: With Good Results In The Midterms, Democrats Suddenly Think Trump Is Beatable. And If He Is, Who’s The Person For The Job?
In a lot of ways, we really hate to do this, because it’s the kind of thing we normally rail against, but it’s such a bubbly topic all of a sudden…so we figured we’ll weigh in and then shut up about it for a while…. So here goes…
Based on a sudden hubbub of prognosticating and pontificating, Minnesota Senator Amy Klobuchar has suddenly emerged as the very definite front-runner — at least as far as people we follow on our Twitter feed go — with defeated Texas Senate candidate Beto O’Rourke as her running mate. Followed in a distant second by the imaginary tickets of Biden/O’Rourke and Biden/Harris.
We asked the question “What about Amy Klobuchar?” about 2 months ago. Because she seemed to be the only person to emerge from the completely necessary mess of the Kavanaugh hearings with her reputation enhanced.
Klobuchar right now seems to be hedging her bets. On her Twitter feed she touts a bill she is co-sponsoring with Republican Senator Chuck Grassley aimed at lowering drug costs. At the same time — without mentioning the President by name — she calls for “serious national action” on climate change in reaction to the California wildfires.
But O’Rourke as the #2? We’ve long argued that Americans do not look for experience or even competence in their candidates for President: they want someone transformational. But in Vice-Presidents, they do look for someone with a solid background in politics. Just look at the last 2 Vice-Presidents, both of whom served Presidents with limited (or no) political experience: Mike Pence with 12 years in Congress, and a term as Governor of Indiana, and before him Joe Biden with 36 years in the Senate. So given the way modern politics works in this country, O’Rourke seems a better fit to us to make a Presidential run of his own — even though his experience is limited to 3 terms in the House — than a run for Veep. (Because he ran for Senate, O’Rourke gave up his House seat, so while several otherwise well-informed people advise that he stay on the Hill for a while and get more “seasoned” before he tries a run for anything more, that isn’t really an option right now.)
A far more likely choice we think as Vice-President on the Democratic ticket is Sherrod Brown of Ohio. He just won handily in a traditionally blue state that went way red with Trump and stayed disturbingly red last week. Early results there were one of the main reasons for Democrats’ early panic that things might be going horribly wrong for them. Ohio will send 12 Republicans to the House next year, and just 4 Democrats. No districts there were flipped, and a Republican won the one seat that didn’t have an incumbent running. But Democrat Brown won back his Senate seat by a big margin, despite Trump stumping for his opponent. Ohio’s 18 electoral votes are not quite the prize Texas’ 38 are, but again, we’re not sure O’Rourke is flipping Texas if he’s running as Vice-President.
And if that wasn’t enough, a Wall Street Journal piece by former Clinton Strategist Mark Penn that practically throws down the gauntlet for another run by rebranded (and he argues, more authentic) Hillary Clinton.
One quick note: last evening the Associated Press called the race for Senate in Arizona for Democrat Kyrsten Sinema. That’s a pickup for Democrats, since the seat is currently occupied by Republican Jeff Flake, who chose not to run. Here are the latest totals on the Arizona Secretary of State’s website.
Of course, as well as the Democrats did in the Midterms, Trump did not actually lose, because he wasn’t running for anything. So we’re not willing to make the leap a lot of our friends are: that voters in states that went strongly blue this time around would not vote for Trump again if he was actually on the ticket.
Even though the strong economy turned out not to be a great issue for Republicans in the midterms, we do think what happens economically from here on out will have a very strong impact on the 2020 Presidential race. While we hope recent dives in the stock market are just temporary, we do not think stock prices can continue on a path straight up for another two years. How that times out, and how it influences the economy will almost certainly make a lot of difference.