She’s In: Warren Goes for 2020

Sen. Elizabeth Warren posted a video announcing the kickoff of her 2020 presidential campaign. Actually she only formed an exploratory committee, but aside from her ancestors’ DNA, what is there to explore? She’s in.
Warren tweeted: “Every person in America should be able to work hard, play by the same set of rules, & take care of themselves & the people they love. That’s what I’m fighting for, & that’s why I’m launching an exploratory committee for president.”
Commence now the public stoning by President Trump. He will be merciless, but Warren doesn’t care. She raised $34.7 million in her Senate run, of which she has $12.5 million on hand. This announcement has little to do with going after Trump, though surely she will. It has to do with being first in line for the endless buffet of handouts and political donations from liberal causes.
To beat Trump, Democrats are going to have to pony up at least a billion dollars, and that doesn’t include the primaries. Warren may not make it very far given her multiple self-owns dealing with her DNA and claims of Native American ancestry, which have been widely derided.
Someone had to test the waters, and either the midnight coven of Democrats threw chicken bones and decided it was her, or she on her own accord threw herself into the swirling maw a few months early. Testing how the base and donors react is a worthy endeavor.
But only by the farthest stretch of anyone’s imagination would Warren actually become the nominee, or (try not to lol) win.
While the mainstream media will be kind to her, even the Washington Post offered a bit of an eye-roll.
But recent events have illustrated some of her potential weaknesses. In a liberal state, Gov. Charlie Baker (R) got more votes than she did in November, and a recent survey in Massachusetts had her trailing former vice president Joe Biden and Sanders in a hypothetical 2020 matchup. A recent poll of likely caucusgoers in Iowa had her in fourth place at 8 percent, trailing Biden, Sanders and Rep. Beto O’Rourke (D-Tex.).
Of that list, only Biden has won the last election in which he ran. Trailing Sanders, after he was steamrolled by the Clinton machine, and O’Rourke, who has won precisely nothing, is a very bad omen.
If her friends are tilting their heads and smirking, a quick perusal of Twitter uncovers a pot full of mockery by conservatives.
And my favorite, pre-empting the God-forsaken thought that anyone should be nostalgic for Hillary:
Someone had to be first, and we should all thank Sen. Warren for her commitment to becoming the first to attain irrelevance in the 2020 race.

BREAKING: Governors Considering 2020 Unity Ticket

Casual discussions are underway between the camps of governors John Kasich (R-OH) and Hickenlooper (D-CO) to form a unity ticket in 2020, presenting an alternative to the Democrat and Republican nominees for president, according to sources familiar with the conversations.

Recently, the two governors have been working on an alternative healthcare reform plan to present to others, particlarly congress. Both governors were elected around the same time (Kasich in 2010, Hickenlooper in 2011) in mixed-party states, and immediately accepted Medicaid expansion under the Affordable Care Act. Both oppose the repeal of the the Act.

Barring a surprise star in the ranks, Democrats are not expected to field especially strong candidates in the next two years in preparation for 2020, and presumably, Donald Trump will be the GOP nominee for a second time, unless directly challenged by members of his own party. If they choose to join forces, their likely target would be the majority in each party that polls indicated dissatisfaction with their respective candidates.

While third-party candidates struggle for both funding and name recognition, these men have advantages most third-party candidates don’t. National profiles in each party, independent streaks, and media-friendly relationships and donor networks. And presumably, they carry less baggage or idiosyncrasies that the other “Governors squared” campaign with Johnson/Weld in 2016.

Governors tend to work well together, and share camraderie more than most partisan leaders, and these two governors are no exception.

Gov. Hickenlooper, a Democrat, has tended toward the centerline and his party, trying to carve out a reputation for working across the aisle. Gov. Kasich of course has been riding the middle line since his first days in the 2016 campaign, and stayed in until the last stretch of the Republican primary. He earned his stripes first years ago, however, not only accepting Obamacare expansion in his state, but traveling to other state capitals to lobby fellow Republicans to do the same.

Some believed that his continued presence helped to split the non-trump crowd in the primaries – roughly 60% until the end – especially toward the end, when it was mathematically impossible for him to win, and Senator Cruz still had a chance to capture remaining delegates.

National Review’s Matthew Continetti observed at the time, “The Ohio governor has won a single state: his own. He has 143 delegates. That puts him fourth in the count behind Donald Trump, Ted Cruz, and Marco Rubio — who is no longer a candidate. To win the nomination on the first ballot of the Republican convention, Kasich would have to win 138 percent of the remaining delegates. This is impossible. Even a politician should be able to do that math.”

Now, it appears that winning the nomination may not have been his end game.


What the Zuck! Mark Zuckerberg 2020???

Could Mark Zuckerberg really be running for President as the second coming of Bernie Sanders?

That’s the rumor swirling as the Founder of Facebook has made some interesting moves over the last couple months.  He recently hired Joel Benenson, who was Barack Obama’s and Hillary Clinton’s former pollster, as a consultant for the Chan Zuckerberg Foundation – the foundation controlled by Mark Zuckerberg and his wife, Priscilla Chan.  This move follows the hiring of David Plouffe back in January to advise the foundation.  Plouffe is best known as Obama’s 2008 campaign manager.  Plouffe and Benenson are two heavyweight Democrat strategists, and they don’t come cheap.  In addition, the billionaire also hired Amy Dudley, the former communications adviser to former Vice-Presidential nominee Tim Kaine.  Zuckerberg has claimed these hires are merely for research and development of policies for his foundation.

While he is only 33, Zuckerberg has stirred up speculation of Presidential ambitions, especially through his 50 state tour of technological entrepreneurship.   This road trip has included hanging out at truck stops in Iowa, touring a Ford assembly plant in Michigan, and visiting Dayton, Ohio.  Not exactly places that you’d expect an internet mogul to be researching for the next great technological advance.  These locations all do share one thing in common though – these states gave Trump his victory over Hillary Clinton.  Iowa also just happens to be the first state to vote during the primary.

So far, the Facebook CEO has denied any interest in running for President.

“Some of you have asked if this challenge means I’m running for public office,” Zuckerberg wrote on his Facebook page last May. “I’m not.”

Uh, huh.  I’m sure he’d much rather spend his free time in Detroit rather than sleeping in his giant mansions or swimming in his private pools.  Or as our own, Josh Hammer said:

Worth $45 billion, Zuckerberg would not lack resources to mount a campaign.  But the big unknown is what kind of candidate he would be.  By that I mean, can he connect with voters?  Does he have a message that resonates?  Can voters relate to a 30-something Harvard drop-out, who seemingly lucked into $45 billion?

Obama and Trump both had the ability to connect with a large swath of the electorate.  Does Zuckerberg have that?  No one knows yet.

One thing we do know is that he’d likely be the second coming of Bernie Sanders if his recent economic remarks are any indication.  During his commencement speech at Harvard this spring, he stated his support for a Universal Basic Income.

What is that, you ask?  It means he wants the government to pay everyone a minimum wage no matter what – whether you get off the couch or not.  Basically, it’s a guaranteed welfare check to everybody.  He thinks this is the way to give people free time to innovate the next BIG idea.  Yeah, right.  More like incentivize laziness.  And where’s the “free” money going to come from?

Venezuela’s been trying this strategy.  Look how well that’s doing!

You may know this idea by its more common name – Communism.

I can already see Zuckerberg’s potential 2020 campaign slogans:

Bernie Sanders 2.0 2.0

Or how about:

From Each According To His Ability, To Each According To His Needs – Karl Marx Mark Zuckerberg

With an insane policy like this, I would like to dismiss his potential political future, but Democrats have proven the electoral success of promising people free stuff.  And it doesn’t come any bigger than promising a free paycheck to stay home and do nothing.  People WILL show up to vote for that.  The only question is how many.

There is already speculation that Facebook’s massive storehouse of personal information could be the ultimate Get-Out-The-Vote database.  Steve Deace of Conservative Review explained it well:

There’s no question Zuckerberg would start with a huge advantage – access to the likes and interests of most registered voters.  Most campaigns spend millions to acquire a fraction of this kind of information.

Ultimately, a database is still only a tool though.  Its real purpose is to make voter contacts and generate votes.  You need campaign staff and volunteers to do that.  On-the-ground organization targets voters through phone banks, door knocking, and literature drops at people’s doors.  Personal interaction is how you turn a database into votes.  It’s more than just Facebook ads.

That’s the value of hiring David Plouffe and Joel Benenson.  They know how to build and execute a GOTV operation with a database like this.  It would be extremely powerful in their hands.

This database would not be a magic bullet though.  There are limitations to what it can accomplish.  Ted Cruz had a WAY better database and GOTV effort than anyone else running in 2016.  It helped get him much further than anyone anticipated, but it still wasn’t enough.

Databases can make the difference in a very tight race, but they don’t overcome big margins.  Zuckerberg first needs to generate enthusiasm and interest in his candidacy before the database can come into play.  No one knows if he will be able to do that yet.  Only time will tell.  This all assumes he runs.  We are still 2 years away from the start of the 2020 primaries, which is an eternity in politics.

As things develop, we’ll have a better sense of what the future holds.  For now, we have to wait and see.



Elizabeth Warren Says She Is Not Running For President in 2020

No doubt there are a number of people who want Elizabeth Warren to run for president in 2020. No doubt those same people will be disappointed by her answer on Rachel Maddow’s MSNBC show Wednesday night.

The senator primarily appeared on the show to promote her new book, This Fight is Our Fight: The Battle to Save Working People, as well as discuss conspiracies regarding Donald Trump’s campaign and Russia. Still, Maddow could not resist posing the big question.

From the Washington Free Beacon:

“If you were running for President in 2020,” Maddow asked Warren, “you would not want to talk about it now, with me or anybody else, is that true?”

“That is true,” Warren said. “But let me be clear, I am not running for President in 2020.”

Instead, she insisted that she was focused on running for a second term in the United States Senate in 2018.

Though Warren borrowed the signature Obama clause “let me be clear” before answering, Maddow has reason to wonder. Politicians often write books in order to garner national attention. Moreover, the Free Beacon article notes that

She was coy on the subject in a recent interview with USA Today‘s Susan Page, refusing to fully commit to serving out a full six-year term in the Senate should she be re-elected. Warren merely said that it was “plan” to serve out a full term.

She was coy in the Maddow interview as well, affirming that she did not want to talk about what she then proceeded to talk about when she said she wasn’t going to run.

But Warren also has good reason to be lukewarm on a 2020 presidential run. A February poll speculating four years ahead found that the historical unpopular incoming President Trump would lose to a generic Democrat by about 10 points, but he would still trounce Warren by 6 points. Obviously, everything can change in that time, but it’s never a good sign to trail your party’s generic ballot performance by 16 points.

While she is the favorite for reelection in Massachusetts in 2018, however — a poll early this year found that 52 percent of respondents approved of her, while 37 disapproved — 46 percent think it’s time for someone else to have a shot at the Senate, according to a story from Politico. She is likely to have a fight on her hands to keep her seat.

Senator Warren doesn’t have many good options before her, as the populists among us have chosen other standard bearers, but that won’t keep fans from dreaming.

Newt Gingrich Suggests a 2020 Trump-Clinton Rematch (Please Kill Me Now)

This election cycle has been the most painful I can remember. Thankfully, I haven’t lost friends over Trump (it has come close), but so many others who are vested in the outcome have broken relationships because of one very selfish man. If I had the choice between having my liver removed by Hannibal Lecter while he kept me awake to watch, or doing this election again, I might choose the fava beans.

Newt Gingrich, however, seems intent on a rematch.

POLITICO: And so you think he might run again in 2020?

“I think that’s very possible,” Gingrich responded. “I think he likes being part of a movement — he likes thinking of it as a movement. … I was thinking about this, [and] he said to me the other morning, … ‘I sent out one tweet and 15,000 people showed up.’”

POLITICO asked: So you’re predicting a Trump-Clinton rematch?

Gingrich: “Could be, assuming she survives.”

What do you mean “survives”?

“That she’s not impeached and convicted,” Gingrich replied. “Look … when people have time to actually digest WikiLeaks and some brave person puts together a book and goes, ‘This, this, this, this, this,’ it’s very hard to imagine how there’s not going to be some serious effort in the first year of her presidency.”

In 2020, Clinton will be 73 and Trump will be 74. Reagan was 73 when he ran for re-election, so it’s not impossible to consider this. Of course, Reagan won in 1984 against Walter Mondale 525 to 13 electoral votes, and over 1.6 million votes (18.2 percent) in the popular vote.

If Trump and Clinton held a rematch in 2020, I think the only thing that would reach 18.2 percent is the increase in the suicide rate.

Mike Pence Sets Himself Up for 2020

Mike Pence won the debate. The only people who dispute this are aggressive partisans. He won, in part, by coming across as the reasonable adult in the room with a calm demeanor and in part by pretending Donald Trump did not exist.

It was obvious Tim Kaine was aggravated by Pence’s repeated denials that Trump had said things he very much did say. But Pence held his course steady and Kaine did his best impression of Trump in the last debate. Whoever told Kaine to pretend to be Trump should be fired and whoever suggested Kaine as Clinton’s VP nominee should probably be shot for political malpractice.

Tim Kaine was terrible. The only bit of Kaine’s performance that was redeemable was his left eyebrow.

Mike Pence showed his command of issues, his ability to deflect criticism, and his likability. He defended conservative values in ways Donald Trump never could. He was an outstanding, articulate spokesman for life issues. He finally denounced a Russia that his running mate praises.

If the GOP could reverse the ticket, they should. Trump, no doubt, is going to passively aggressively attack Pence because Pence outclassed Trump in every way.

A lot of conservatives, myself included, have suggested Mike Pence may need to be off the table entirely in 2020 just by accepting Trump’s offer to be the VP nominee. What we saw last night in Virginia was a redeeming performance that gives Pence the right to make his case in 2020. He will still have to explain why, after this abomination of a year, the GOP should not start with a clean slate. But he gets the right to make the case.

Mike Pence did well. He should give the establishment cause for comfort in 2020 and give conservatives cause for comfort as well. His defense of life was amazing and better than anything any Republican Presidential candidate has done since George W. Bush in 2000. His defense of small government and free enterprise was commendable.

After the Vice Presidential debate, the Secret Service will no doubt give Tim Kaine the codename “Vince Foster,” but the clock is now running on how long it takes Trump to subtly attack Pence for daring to be better.

The only major hangup for 2016 is that when the pollster calls tomorrow, he is not going to ask about Kaine and Pence. He is going to ask about Clinton and Trump and that is still a proposition Donald Trump cannot win.