Tag Archives: 2020 election

Corker might vote for a Democrat? Big . . . deal!

Lame-duck U.S. Sen. Bob Corker, R-Tenn., says he “might vote” for a Democrat for president in 2020.

To which I say: Big . . . bleeping . . . deal!

Does it really matter one bit what a U.S. senator might do when he gets a chance in a couple of years to vote — in private! — for the candidate of his choice?

No it doesn’t.

I grow weary of hearing from these politicians who believe that expressing their voting preferences in public somehow gives their ballot-casting some added significance, some gravitas.

Corker is a fine man. He announced about a year ago that he wouldn’t run for re-election to the Senate from Tennessee. That’s when he grew a pair of ’em and started speaking out against the president of his own party. If only he had been as stern prior to his becoming a lame duck. But . . . whatever.

Now he says he might vote for a Democrat.

The founders made sure we could vote in private for a reason. It was to protect citizens against recrimination, coercion and pressure. Sure, I occasionally reveal my own voting preferences on this blog. I also know that it doesn’t mean anything to damn near anyone because readers of this blog have their minds made up already; I just choose to use this forum to vent.

So, to Sen. Corker I only want to add, feel free to vote for whomever you choose, sir. You are entitled to write in The Man in the Moon if that’s your choice. You’re under no obligation to tell us about it.

Indeed, I care about that as much as I care about knowing you might cast your ballot for a Democrat next time around.

The 2020 horse race has begun

Candidates say they dislike it. So do journalists who cover these events.

But bet on it! The 2020 presidential campaign/horse race has commenced. The media are all over themselves in covering who’s up and who’s down in the upcoming Democratic Party presidential primary campaign.

MoveOn.org, the left-leaning political action group, now has Texas congressman Beto O’Rourke narrowly ahead in the race to become the Democrats’ next presidential nominee. Former Vice President Joe Biden is right behind him.

Beto’s fans are no doubt going nuts. Fine. Let ’em whoop and holler!

I find this kind of coverage annoying in the extreme. Why?

For starters, Beto O’Rourke’s poll standing doesn’t mean a damn thing. It won’t matter at the end of this week, let alone next week. It could change overnight. These polls are as fluid as running water.

The 2016 Republican primary campaign revealed the same kind of shallowness of the media coverage of these issues. The media become fixated on the “horse race” element, not the issues on which the candidates are running.

So it is shaping up for the 2020 Democratic primary campaign.

Beto is up this week. Last week it was Joe Biden. Sen. Kamala Harris might emerge as next week’s media favorite. Then there’s former San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro, who has formed an exploratory committee to assess whether he wants to run for president in 2020.

The media are going to be all over this horse race matter.

I tend to tune this stuff out fairly quickly once the coverage begins. The media — the very people who say they detest this sort of political coverage — are forcing me to close my ears early.

Comey stakes his anti-Trump claim

It’s no big surprise, but it still is a bit jarring to hear this statement from the former director of the FBI.

James Comey, whom Donald J. Trump fired a year ago for reasons that still baffle me, now says Americans should do all they can do to remove the president from office in 2020. Americans should use “every breath we have” to that end, according to Comey.

Comey got canned while he was in the middle of investigating whether Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign colluded with Russian operatives who had interfered in our campaign. Then he declined to give the president some kind of idiotic “loyalty pledge.”

Trump wouldn’t have it, so he fired Comey. He notified the FBI director by tweet. Great, eh? Classy, yes?

Comey already has declared his displeasure with the president on a number of levels. He contends that Trump has no moral compass; he has no external reference points to guide his thoughts; he acts on impulse.

So his stated desire that Americans should spare no effort to defeat Trump in 2020 is no surprise.

Given that Trump has managed to politicize damn near every function of the executive branch of government and has denigrated law enforcement at the highest levels, Comey’s outburst remains a bit a jolt to the system.

This is no surprise, either: I agree wholeheartedly with him. Thus, I am going to do my part.

Avenatti won’t run for White House . . . hooray!

I cannot let the day pass without acknowledging my joy at the news that Michael Avenatti, the loudmouth lawyer and cable talk show blowhard, won’t seek the Democratic Party’s nomination for president of the United States.

Avenatti was an unknown lawyer before he agreed to represent a woman named Stephanie Clifford, who’s better known as Stormy Daniels, the adult film actress who alleges she and Donald John Trump engaged in a one-night tumble in a hotel room in 2006.

She then took a $130,000 payment from Trump to stay quiet — about an event Trump said didn’t happen. Go figure, man.

Well, Avenatti thought he would parlay his instant celebrity status into a presidential candidacy. Now he says he won’t do it. He has talked to his family and decided he has better things to do. The allegation that he struck a woman also might have had something to do with his decision to pass on a presidential campaign.

Count me as delighted to know we won’t have to listen to Avenatti make political pledges he can’t — or won’t — honor. I just wish he would forgo all those cable news show appearances. I am weary of the sound of his voice and the sight of his face.

I, Robert Francis ‘Beto’ O’Rourke, do solemnly swear . . . ‘

Roll that around in your mouth a time or three, maybe four.

Might it be what we hear in Jan. 20, 2021 at the next presidential inauguration? Some progressive pundits and pols are hoping it happens. I remain dubious, but perhaps a little less so than I was immediately after Beto O’Rourke lost his bid to become the next U.S. senator from Texas.

O’Rourke came within a couple of percentage points of upsetting Republican Sen. Ted Cruz. For a Democrat to come within a whisker of beating a GOP Texas politician has many on the left still all agog.

O’Rourke has changed his tune. He said the Senate race was 100 percent on his mind. He now says he is not ruling out anything. That he might be a presidential candidate in 2020. He’s going to take some time with his wife, Amy, and the three kids he featured prominently in his 2018 Senate campaign to ponder his future.

O’Rourke’s congressional term ends in early January. He’ll return home to El Paso and give thought to running for the highest office in America.

My desire for the Democratic Party remains for it to find a candidate lurking in the tall grass that no one has heard of. Beto no longer fits that description. He became a national phenomenon with his narrow loss to the Cruz Missile.

He’ll keep fighting Donald Trump’s desire to build a wall along our southern border; he’ll fight for comprehensive immigration reform. He said he plans to stay in the game. He plans to have his voice heard.

He might want to parlay his immense national political star status into a legitimate campaign for the presidency. My hope is that is he stays on the sidelines for 2020. However, in case he decides to take the plunge into extremely deep political water . . . well, I’m all in.

Pay attention to me, Gov. Kasich

Ohio Gov. John Kasich still wants to be president of the United States and says he is considering taking another run at the nation’s highest office in 2020.

I’m usually not in the mood to offer campaign advice to Republicans, but I believe Gov. Kasich, whose time in office ends in December, is an impressive fellow. I wanted him to win the GOP nomination in 2016. I well might have voted for him had the choice been Kasich or Hillary Clinton.

OK, now for the advice.

If he’s going to challenge Donald Trump for the GOP nomination, he needs to avoid the trap of being lured too far to the right. One of the more undersold aspects of Kasich’s 2016 candidacy was his role as chairman of the U.S. House Budget Committee in forging a balanced federal budget in the late 1990s.

How did he do that? He worked with the Democratic president, Bill Clinton, in crafting a balanced budget that actually built surpluses during the final three years of Bill Clinton’s presidency.

Yes, Kasich was a key player in achieving a stellar budgetary accomplishment. He chose not to tout that aspect of his public service career because it would have revealed his bipartisan tendencies. That ability to reach across the aisle is anathema to the hard-core, right-wing loony birds who call the shots these days in the Republican Party.

Are they going to keep calling the shots in 2020? I haven’t a clue at this moment in time. I hope not. Even if they do, though, I want to encourage John Kasich to shout it loudly and clearly: He believes in good government, which requires compromise and cooperation with everyone regardless of party affiliation.

I want this man to run yet again for president. He was one of the few GOP grownups running in 2016.

Beware of what we wish for?

Man, oh man. I might regret getting my wish if it comes true.

I have stated already my hope that Texas becomes a major act in the 2020 presidential nominating and election process. According to the Texas Tribune, that well might be happening even as we digest our Thanksgiving turkey and all the sides that came with it.

The Tribune reports that Beto O’Rourke, the failed Democratic candidate for U.S. Senate, Julian Castro, the former San Antonio mayor and housing secretary for President Obama, and U.S. Sen. John Cornyn, the Republican senator who’s up for re-election in 2020 are getting set to be heard.

That means Texas is going to be smack on center stage in this coming election cycle. Just think: We just got through a tumultuous midterm election that saw the House of Reps turn from GOP to Democrat and O’Rourke damn near knocking off Sen. Ted Cruz in that campaign for the Republican’s Senate seat. Oh, yes: O’Rourke’s near miss occurred in heavily GOP Texas.

Why the possible regret over getting my wish? The TV airwaves are going to be full — as in brimming full — of political ads that will repeat themselves ad nauseum. I’ve already griped about the midterm TV ad fare that kept playing on Metroplex stations. Enough already!

So we’ll have the primary election March 2020 that will feature an expected horde of Democrats running for president. One of them might be O’Rourke; I hope the young man doesn’t do it, because — in my view — he ain’t ready.

Then we’ll have the Democratic presidential nominee, whoever he/she is, likely squaring off against the Republican nominee. It appears that would be Donald John Trump, the incumbent president; then again, one never knows.

So we’re going to get a Texas-size snootful from all the players — big and small — on the national stage.

The past few election cycles have been conducted in states far away from Texas. Those other states have served as battlegrounds where the major parties have fought against each.

Texas well might join the “fun” in 2020.

Are you ready for it? Neither am I.

This guy for POTUS? No-o-o-o-o!

Tom Steyer is precisely the kind of individual I do not want to run for president of the United States of America in 2020.

He’s a billionaire gadfly/philanthropist/impeachment activist.

Steyer has been on a two-year-long campaign to round up enough interest to impeach Donald John Trump Sr. The way I see this guy, that is his sole claim to fame. It’s his sole vehicle for notoriety.

It is no reason at all to consider this guy for president, the leader of the free world, the commander in chief, the head of state and government of the world’s most indispensable nation.

Indeed, Donald Trump himself has demonstrated since the day he was elected that his own lack of government experience renders him — along with his myriad personal failings — totally unfit for the office he occupies.

Steyer now wants us to believe he is the answer to what ails us?

C’mon, man! Get real!

The dude has a website. He is planning some town hall meetings. He appears to be setting up one of those “exploratory committees” to determine the level of support he has among Democrats.

The guy is mega-rich. He’s a loudmouth gadfly who thinks he can parlay his wealth and his big mouth into enough votes to defeat Trump in a 2020 presidential confrontation.

I don’t mind that he’s raising a ruckus about Trump’s many failings as president. I do mind that he considers himself a serious contender for the presidency.

I want to hold out hope that Americans will realize they’ve been snookered one too many times already into falling for the flim-flammery offered by Donald Trump.

Let’s not traipse down that road again.

Beto seeking to channel Honest Abe?

I already have declared my belief that Robert Francis “Beto” O’Rourke shouldn’t run for president of the United States in 2020. My belief is that he doesn’t yet have the seasoning or the experience to take on such a monstrous responsibility.

But then . . .

A thought occurs to me.

Another American politician lost a bitter campaign to the U.S. Senate and two years later he, too, was elected president.

Abraham Lincoln, anyone?

Lincoln ran for the Senate from Illinois, but lost to Stephen A. Douglas in 1858. The failed Senate candidate already had served in the U.S. House, but decided to push for higher office.

Having lost that bid, Lincoln licked his wounds — and then decided to go for an even bigger prize in 1860. That year he was elected president, but after he was nominated by the Republican National Convention on the third ballot. It was a struggle to win the party nomination. Lincoln’s presidency would prove to be the ultimate trial by fire, with the nation ripped apart by the Civil War.

OK, let’s hit the fast-forward button for a moment.

Does this sound like a scenario that Beto O’Rourke might follow were he to declare his own presidential candidacy? Democratic party activists and big-money donors say they want him to consider it. They like the young man’s energy and the passion he infuses into his supporters. He damn near beat Republican Sen. Ted Cruz in heavily Republican Texas earlier this month and that has Democrats all agog over his future.

The Washington Post reports that O’Rourke’s near-success in Texas has turned the Democratic primary outlook into a chaotic mess.

O’Rourke, who’s finishing his term as a congressman from El Paso, will enter private life and just might consider whether to make the plunge yet again, only reaching for the very top rung on the ladder.

Or . . . he might decide to take on Texas’s senior U.S. senator, John Cornyn, in 2020.

I remain a bit dubious about O’Rourke’s presidential timbre.

However, I am somewhat heartened to realize that there’s precedent for what the young man might decide to do. If he hears the voice calling him to run for the Big Job, he might do well to look back on Honest Abe’s effort two-plus centuries ago. It might give him the strength to plunge ahead.

Trump-Pence 2020 in possible doubt?

It’s not unheard of, but in recent years it’s a rare occurrence when a president of the United States jettisons a vice president and runs with a new running mate while seeking re-election.

Newsweek magazine is reporting that Donald Trump’s key advisers are floating the notion of replacing Vice President Mike Pence with U.N. ambassador Nikki Haley.

Why? Because the vice president was highly critical of that hideous “Access Hollywood” tape in which the future president disclosed how he could grab women by their genitals. Pence, a devout Christian, reportedly was incensed over what he heard … and Trump hasn’t forgiven Pence for the apparent “disloyalty,” according to Newsweek.

I am not going to dictate what I think Trump should do. That’s his call. Frankly, the vice president’s future is of little interest to me, other than whether he would ascend to the presidency if — dare I suggest it — that Trump doesn’t finish his term.

The most recent president to switch VPs was Gerald R. Ford, who kicked Vice President Nelson Rockefeller — who was appointed to the office — to the curb. President Ford selected Sen. Bob Dole as his 1976 running mate. The president lost his bid for election to the office to which he was appointed to Jimmy Carter.

Newsweek reportsThe president could be considering new strategies for his next campaign after Republicans were dealt major blows in last week’s midterm elections. Democrats picked up at least 36 seats to retake the House and prevented Republicans from further bolstering their lead in the Senate. This was an election Trump had turned into a referendum on his first two years in office.

Indeed, as I watched the returns roll in, it appears to many of us that Trump lost that “referendum” … bigly, if you know what I mean.

Does he toss the vice president overboard in some sort of hail-Mary effort to save his presidency? Not a damn thing would surprise me.