Tag Archives: Democratic Party

Stay out of the 2020 race, Mr. Mayor

Michael Bloomberg once was thought to be considering a run for the presidency in 2020.

Then he said “no,” he wouldn’t be a candidate for the White House.

Oh, but wait! Now he’s back in, sort of.

The former New York City mayor has announced his intention to file for the Alabama Democratic primary. It seems that Bloomberg is unhappy with the slate of Democrats battling for their party’s nomination and the right to do battle with Donald J. Trump.

My request of the ex-mayor is this: Don’t do it!

I want a candidate with a set of principles and a commitment to governing. I am not interested in considering someone who is dissatisfied with the candidates who already have made that leap of faith and are asking Americans to join them in that leap.

It’s not that Bloomberg is a fringe player. He’s a mega-rich guy. He has been a registered Republican, a registered Democrat and a registered independent. I don’t know what he considers himself at this moment. That he is going to file in the Alabama Democratic primary tells me he is now a Democrat … for the time being.

I get that the Democratic field so far hasn’t excited a lot of folks. I have problems with every singe one of them still in the fight. None of the problems I have with the Democratic contenders, though, matches the profound loathing I feel for the Republican who is running for re-election as president.

My queasiness with Bloomberg, though, is based on his in-out-maybe-back-in posture. Is he committed to governing or is just interested in making some sort of media splash?

Stay out of the race, Mr. Mayor.

Hoping this dropout triggers many more from Democratic field

Bill de Blasio should have seen it from the beginning.

New York City residents don’t think much of him. Yet the mayor decided he wanted an upgrade, to become the next president of the United States.

De Blasio never got to 2 percent in any national poll among Democratic candidates for president. So, today he pulled out. He’s done.

My hope is that de Blasio’s decision will trigger more withdrawals from the lengthy list of never-will-win Democrats seeking to win their party’s 2020 presidential nomination.

De Blasio didn’t qualify for the latest Democratic joint appearance in Houston, which I suppose was the last straw. The hard truth for the mayor was that a man who couldn’t engender broad support within his own city wasn’t likely to do any better on the national stage.

I reckon the still monstrous Democratic field has more candidates who will pack it in. They’ll leave this race to the half-dozen or so who actually have a chance in hell of being nominated and then running against the huckster in chief, Donald Trump.

Call it a campaign, folks. Follow the NYC mayor’s lead and go home.

Don’t count Beto out just yet

I guess the preliminary verdict is in regarding the first of two Democratic Party presidential primary debates. Texan Beto O’Rourke might have suffered the most serious wounds from the encounter.

I agree that O’Rourke, the former congressman from El Paso, didn’t sound sharp. He got caught flat-footed when former San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro went after him over immigration reform; then we had that strange Spanish riff that seemed a bit gimmicky to many listeners’ ears.

However, I am not going to sound the death knell over O’Rourke’s candidacy. That might come, just not quite yet.

O’Rourke appears to be learning how to campaign nationally as he goes along. He ran for the U.S. Senate in Texas without employing any pollsters, or much of a professional campaign staff — and he still came within a whisker of knocking Ted Cruz out of office in 2018.

That first debate did produce some highlights for several candidates: Castro, Hawaii U.S. Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, Massachusetts U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren, New York Mayor Bill DiBlasio, New Jersey U.S. Sen. Cory Booker all scored well.

Beto? He took some body punches. Some of his wounds were self-inflicted.

Remember this: The campaign is just getting started. The candidates have a long way to go. It’s no time for Beto to bail.

Beto breaks the ice … but why?

Beto O’Rourke managed to stand out from the crowd of 10 Democrats running for president of the United States.

The former congressman from El Paso, though, did so in one of the stranger manners I’ve seen.

O’Rourke took part in that NBC/MSNBC debate with half of a large slate of Democrats running for president. He took a question about whether he would support taxing rich Americans as much as 70 percent. He started to provide an answer in English — and then spoke Spanish for several moments.

I sat there in front of my TV here in Princeton, Texas, wondering: What in the world did he just say? 

To this very moment I don’t know whether O’Rourke favors increasing the tax rate or whether he opposes it. His answer in Spanish, I am going to presume, was meant to endear him to the Latino population throughout the nation that likely will play an important role in nominating the next Democratic candidate for president and then deciding on whether than nominee deserves to be elected in November 2020 to the presidency.

But what about the rest of us, Beto? What did you say?

As some commentators have noted already, Beto’s Spanish-language riff seemed a bit contrived and a tad too gimmicky.

I am inclined to give the young man another chance. It wasn’t a deal breaker for me. I just want to be kept in the loop on the messages that our presidential candidates are trying to deliver.

Beto had me … and then he lost me.

Waiting for the field to start thinning out

My political prediction skills are, shall we say, suspect at best.

Still, I am going to go with this pre-Democratic Party presidential joint appearance observation: I will not be surprised to start seeing the large field start to winnow itself down beginning this weekend, or maybe early next week.

Twenty of the 25 Democrats running for president are going to take the stage tonight and Thursday in Miami. We’re already talking about Biden, Beto, Bernie, Elizabeth Warren, Cory Booker, Mayor Pete “and the others.”

I believe one or more of “the others” might pack it in soon if after the debates occur they don’t perceive any tangible, discernible, identifiable movement in their campaigns.

Some of the lesser-known candidates have worthwhile things to say. The problem for them, though, will be whether the huge TV land audience is going to hear their message. The debate format won’t allow each candidate sufficient time to articulate his or her message. I mean, they have to race across the stage to give everyone some time in the spotlight. Time is not the candidates’ friend.

Do I expect any of these preliminary frontrunners to stumble so badly that they flame out? No. We won’t have an “oops” moment. I don’t expect a frontrunning candidate to drool on himself or herself.

The political culling process, though, seems a good bet to show itself.

Possibly quite soon at that.

However, I merely ask you to please don’t hold me to this if it doesn’t materialize just yet.

Biden gets beaten up for … knowing how to legislate?

I am trying to come to grips with what Joe Biden said and how his comments are being received by some elements within the Democratic Party.

Let’s see … the former vice president said he was able during his Senate days and during his time as VP to work in a “civil” manner with people with whom he disagreed. He said that included segregationists within the Senate ranks, including Democrats such as James Eastland of Mississippi and Herman Talmadge of Georgia and Republican Strom Thurmond of South Carolina.

Why, that is just terrible, according to some progressives. They cannot understand how Biden — one of the huge number of Democrats running for president — can work with anyone who holds such despicable views.

They are demanding an apology from the former VP. Biden is having none of it. Nor should he.

The former vice president spent 30-plus years in the Senate. He learned the ropes of the body. He learned how to legislate, which required him — if he was to be an effective legislator — to work with all elements within the Senate. That included individuals who hold some nasty views.

As for whether it reveals a side of Biden that disqualifies him to be president, that he is a closet racist — which some of the critics have implied — I guess I feel the need to provide a two-word rejoinder.

Barack Obama.

Biden served as vice president for two terms alongside the nation’s first African-American president. It has been reported that the two men formed a friendship that is so tight and firm that the former president has referred to himself and his family as becoming “honorary Bidens.”

So, let’s stop with the nonsensical criticism of a career politician who merely was making a point about the need to work with all politicians of all factions — even those with despicable views.

It’s called legislating.

Yep, it’s ‘Anybody But Trump in 2020’

I believe the Orlando (Fla.) Sentinel is on to something with its declared intent to support whomever the Democratic Party nominates in the upcoming campaign for the presidency of the United States.

The Twitter hashtag #AnybodyButTrump2020 is getting a lot of views out there. I understand it’s the fifth most tweeted hashtag in the Twitter universe.

Whatever …

I saw the editorial Tuesday as the president was preparing to deliver his official re-election kickoff speech in central Florida. I was struck by the same thing that has amazed so many media watchers: How can the newspaper make such a declaration so early in the electoral process?

According to the Sentinel’s editorial, it’s easy: “After 2 1/2 years we’ve seen enough” of Donald Trump, the paper wrote. “Enough of the chaos, the division, the schoolyard insults, the self-aggrandizement, the corruption and especially the lies,” the Sentinel opined.

How many ways can I endorse the Sentinel’s views on the president. And they come from a newspaper with a long history of endorsing Republicans for president (mostly).

I suppose the variation comes because Trump only masquerades as a Republican. He belongs to a party that has been historically suspicious of Russian leaders. The GOP has long been a champion of free trade and a staunch foe of economic protectionism. Indeed, Republicans helped a Democratic president enact landmark civil rights and voting rights laws in the 1960s; does anyone believe Donald Trump stands for those principles today?

The lying is the serious deal breaker for the Sentinel. The paper said it isn’t surprised that Trump would lie. It is appalled at the frequency and the severity of the lies.

They have set a remarkable template for how other media organizations might consider when they deliberate over whom to recommend for the presidency.

For good measure, I want to share once again the Sentinel’s editorial with this link.

I now want to thank the Orlando Sentinel editorial board for speaking the truth about the charlatan who is masquerading as our head of state. May the newspaper’s words resonate across the land.

‘Litmus test’ must not be a four-letter word

I have long wondered why the term “litmus test” has become a sort of plague to politicians running for offices that hold the power of appointment.

The U.S. Supreme Court, for instance, is going to become a key issue in the 2020 presidential campaign. Namely, the issue will revolve a potential appointment of the next justice on the nine-member court.

The expected Republican presidential nominee, Donald Trump, will insist he would appoint justices with a record of favoring pro-life litigants who would come before his or her court. Indeed, he’s already got two judicial appointments on the SCOTUS and they certainly seem to fit the bill prescribed by what Trump has said.

The large field of Democratic Party candidates will argue to a person that they want judicial candidates who take a more expansive view of a woman’s right to terminate a pregnancy.

But no one says they will apply a “litmus test” to determine who they intend to nominate the highest court in the nation.

They dance all over and around the issue. Litmus tests exist on all sorts of issues. They involve capital punishment, sentencing guidelines, drug policy, firearm ownership and, yes, abortion.

We know the types of individuals that presidents would nominate. They telegraph that punch before they deliver it. However, we refuse to hold them accountable on whether they are applying litmus tests on the individuals they are considering for these appointments.

U.S. senators who have the right to confirm or deny these appointments often make their decisions on single issues. Yet they won’t ever acknowledge they have applied a litmus test to the nominee, indicating whether they pass or fail the exam.

This is a circuitous way of saying, I suppose, that we apply litmus tests at every turn.

Why not, then, just call them what we know them to be?

What’s with this Sen. Klobuchar ‘toughness’?

What the hell is going on here? Media reporting keeps harping about how “tough” Sen. Amy Klobuchar, a declared Democratic Party candidate for president, is on her staff.

Now there’s this bit: She supposedly berated a staff member for failing to bring eating utensils; thus, Klobuchar was “forced” to eat a salad with — get this! — a comb.

A comb? What?

This social media gossip is getting weirder by the day.

I shudder to think what we’re going to hear about all the candidates once this 2020 campaign gets really heated up.

Hold on, folks. It’s gonna get bumpy. Real bumpy!

Not going to feel the ‘Bern’ this time, either

Readers of this blog no doubt understand that I want Donald Trump to be defeated for re-election in 2020. He is unfit for office. He is unfit for public service at any level. I want him to disappear from public view. The sooner the better.

That all stated — yet again! — I am chagrined that one of the possible challengers to the president has decided to re-enter the fight.

U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders, the independent from Vermont, is now a member of the gigantic and still growing field of Democrats running for president in 2020.

Please, Bernie. Why are you back in this race?

Sanders isn’t even a Democrat. He runs for the Senate as an independent, meaning he is unaffiliated with either major political party. He caucuses with Senate Democrats, votes with them on virtually all legislative matters and so I guess that makes him a  de facto Democrat.

My hope remains as I stated it some months ago: I want the next Democratic Party presidential nominee to be someone no one has heard of. I want that person to emerge from the tall grass, to burst on the scene with flair and panache.

Please forgive me if I sound like an ageist, but I also want that nominee to be someone a lot younger than the 77-year-old Bernie Sanders.

Bernie Sanders is a political retread. He ran for the Democratic nomination in 2016 essentially on a single issue: income inequality. He beat that issue bloody while losing the nomination fight to Hillary Rodham Clinton. It is a totally legitimate issue, but it is not the singular issue that commends him to the highest office in the United States.

Indeed, the senator needed to demonstrate a much wider range of knowledge than he has exhibited.

I suppose his candidacy elevates him immediately to the top tier of potential Democratic nominees. He’s up there with, say, Sens. Cory Booker, Kamala Harris, Amy Klobuchar and perhaps even Elizabeth Warren.

The roster of candidates is sure to grow. Goodness, it might exceed 25 or so candidates.

I want one of those Democrats to emerge as The One, the individual who can take the fight directly to Donald Trump.

It’s just not Bernie Sanders.