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2020 Presidential & Congressional Elec...

baw1064's Photo baw1064 05 December 2018 - 12:32 PM

Is Trump starting a winery? :)

To answer the question, there's a lot of people who can be President, but shouldn't be.

LFC's Photo LFC 07 December 2018 - 04:48 PM

Pedal to the metal, baby!


Democrats are hitting fast forward.

The first major presidential campaign announcements could come before year’s end. The Democratic National Committee plans to announce a debate framework by then featuring 15 to 20 candidates. The first primary debate could happen as early as May, a full three months before the premiere debate of the 2016 cycle.

And long-rumored White House hopefuls are already bowing out.

Like it or not, the 2020 presidential season has arrived. For some potential contenders, there’s an increasing sense of urgency to be in the first wave of declared candidates in what will likely be a large, unwieldy field. And for the party as a whole, there’s a desire to move forward with what’s expected to be a nasty fight — and wrap it up in time to give the eventual nominee strong footing to take on President Donald Trump.

“It starts now, but there will be a lot of ups and downs,” said Democratic consultant Jesse Ferguson, who previously worked for Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign. “Anyone who thinks the early front-runner will also go the distance hasn’t seen how these campaigns play out.”

This week has offered a preview of the drama that could lie ahead. Former Vice President Joe Biden declared himself “the most qualified person in the country to be president,” billionaires Michael Bloomberg and Tom Steyer courted activists in key states, and at least two prospects — former Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick and firebrand attorney Michael Avenatti — publicly bowed out of the 2020 contest.

For those preparing candidacies, activity is picking up. While she has yet to make a final decision, Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren is laying the groundwork for an early launch — potentially by year’s end but more likely in January. New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker, Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper and New York Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand are also lining up for early launches.

Aides to the Democrats addressed their plans on the condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to publicly disclose internal discussions.

Another well-funded set, including Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, Texas Rep. Beto O’Rourke, Bloomberg and Steyer, believe they can afford to wait slightly longer to announce their intentions given their fundraising prowess.

Others may need to soon form presidential exploratory committees to access millions of dollars locked in their Senate campaign accounts to pay for travel, consulting and polling related to a possible White House bid. That’s especially true for Warren, Gillibrand, O’Rourke, Oregon Sen. Jeff Merkley and Ohio Sen. Sherrod Brown.

O’Rourke, who smashed fundraising records this year in his failed Texas Senate bid, is discussing a possible 2020 run with his family, according to people with direct knowledge of his thinking. He feels the only drawback to running would be another prolonged period away from his wife and three children.

O’Rourke won’t declare his intentions until after his House term ends on Jan. 3, according to the people, who spoke on condition of anonymity because a campaign hasn’t been launched.

LFC's Photo LFC 17 December 2018 - 12:34 PM

Texas, and now California, have moved up their primary dates. The analysis is that this has killed any hope of a grassroots campaign. I'm not sure that a grassroots campaign was ever really all that much of a reality as anything other than a spoiler but it is likely even less of one now.


California changed its primary date to early March in 2017 — now, as Democrats rev up their campaigns, observers will likely see the new ways that change will force them to mold their campaigns.

According to a Monday Wall Street Journal report, a much earlier primary date will make candidates spend time on “West Coast issues” like the environment and immigration and to ramp up the advertising spending, as California is just too huge for grassroots campaigns to take hold.

The move also gives more power to minorities, especially Hispanics, while the first two primaries (Iowa and New Hampshire) have always given white people the loudest megaphone.

While many applaud the new primary date, which has also been adopted by Texas, some worry that it’ll throw the edge to candidates who are independently wealthy or primarily good fundraisers.

With grassroots campaigning largely impossible, candidates have to rely on advertising in an intensely expensive ad market. Per the WSJ, just one week of statewide ad buys in California can total $6 million.

I guess as the fifth largest economy in the world and provider of about $300B in annual federal income tax revenue they decided they wanted a bit more of a voice on how these tax dollars were used. I can't blame them for taking the same attitude the red states have taken, though without the actual dollars to justify it, for decades.

LFC's Photo LFC 17 December 2018 - 12:36 PM

I love the smell of Republican disarray in my state.


A thorough shellacking for Republicans in Pennsylvania this year has left President Donald Trump’s allies worried about his 2020 prospects in the state, which he won by less than one percentage point in 2016.

According to a Monday Politico report, the GOP state chairman, Val DiGiorgio, is being blamed by some for the defeat, with accusations of lackluster fundraising and failing to unite a fractured party.

Trump campaign officials have been in touch with DiGiorgio, who claims that the complaints largely stem from losers in his close chairman’s race and that 2018 was tough for Republicans nationwide.

Others blame the President himself for the annihilation. Rep. Ryan Costello (R-PA), a once promising new talent who will retire at the end of the term, called it a case of “reverse coattails” where disgust with Trump pervaded voters’ feelings about all Republican officials.

Hey gang, let me help you out. IT'S ALL OF THE ABOVE AND MORE, ASSHOLES!

LFC's Photo LFC 17 December 2018 - 12:47 PM

Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-TN) will retire at the end of his term.


Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-TN) will retire at the end of his term and won’t run for reelection in 2020, he announced Monday.

“I will not be a candidate for re-election to the United States Senate in 2020. The people of Tennessee have been very generous, electing me to serve more combined years as Governor and Senator than anyone else from our state. I am deeply grateful, but now it is time for someone else to have that privilege,” Alexander said in a statement.

The senator is the chairman of the influential Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, and a powerful moderate with close ties to Senate leadership.

His decision makes him the latest member of the GOP’s old guard to head for the exits — and the latest bipartisan dealmaker in both parties to decide to leave the increasingly partisan upper chamber.

LFC's Photo LFC 21 December 2018 - 02:44 PM

F***! My brain hurts just thinking about this.


Democrats will have a dozen presidential primary debates to pick their presidential nominee, the Democratic National Committee announced Thursday, with the first debate scheduled next June.

The debates will occur on a monthly basis in 2019, with a pause in August. Six more will take place between January and April 2020. That’s three more than Democrats held in 2016, when front-runner Hillary Clinton and her allies at the DNC pushed for a limited debate schedule.

“My goal in this framework is to give the grassroots a bigger voice than ever before; to showcase our candidates on an array of media platforms; to present opportunity for vigorous discussion about issues, ideas and solutions; and to reach as many potential voters as possible,” DNC Chairman Tom Perez said in a statement announcing the schedule. “That is how we will put our nominee in the strongest position possible to defeat Donald Trump, and how we will help elect Democrats up and down the ballot.”

The schedule comes after Perez met with stakeholders from all corners of the party in order to try to avoid the controversy that built up around the schedule in 2016, when allies of Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) accused the DNC of putting its thumb on the scale for Clinton.

This seems to have appeased most people within the party, though a separate fight over how Democrats will share data and voter information is currently roiling the DNC.

And I'd just like to take this moment to repeat myself; "F*** off, Bernie." Why the non-Democrat is being given any role in the Democratic Party is beyond me. Join and support the party or STFU, Sanders.

JackD's Photo JackD 21 December 2018 - 02:58 PM

I agree with Jeff Greenfield who noted the dangers of chaotic debates caused by too many candidates and advised to not do any debates. Let the candidates campaign in whatever manner they desire and let the voters vote in the primaries.

LFC's Photo LFC 21 December 2018 - 03:13 PM

View PostJackD, on 21 December 2018 - 02:58 PM, said:

I agree with Jeff Greenfield who noted the dangers of chaotic debates caused by too many candidates and advised to not do any debates. Let the candidates campaign in whatever manner they desire and let the voters vote in the primaries.

Bernie is causing so much turmoil for what I see as no great benefit (except maybe to a non-Democrat like himself) that I'm starting to wonder if he's a Russian plant menat to keep Republicans in office. It's not the craziest theory out there.

AnBr's Photo AnBr 21 December 2018 - 10:29 PM

The like was for the "F*** off, Bernie." The puritopian voices are getting louder.

Practical Girl's Photo Practical Girl 23 December 2018 - 11:00 AM

Action or Distraction?. This email tells its own truth. Here's the thing: I was hoping Beto was going to run for Governor. Now I believe Julian Castro just might end up doing it. Beto? Go big or go home. Tell me when you read it- who can't see a national platform, forming? Is he the best- this time, this place? Nobody thought a thing about Obama, either.

I know it takes more than fancy prose to make a President. But at the very least- thank you, Beto.

"The government of the greatest country the world has ever known, the wealthiest, most powerful nation on the planet: closed until further notice.

This shutdown – hundreds of thousands of our fellow Americans working without pay during the holidays, basic government functions no longer available to the taxpayers who fund them – didn’t have to happen. The Senate passed a compromise government funding bill two days ago, 100–0. The men and women who can’t agree on what to name a post office were able to unite and unanimously agree on how to fund the entire government.

But maybe it was intended to happen.

Maybe in the face of an investigation that seeks the facts surrounding allegations of collusion with a foreign government and obstruction of justice within our own government… as one aide after another pleads guilty… as the stock market tumbles… as men and women intent on keeping their dignity and their conscience flee his administration… perhaps the President calculates that by adding to the blizzard of bizarre behavior over the last two years and shutting down the government at Christmas, while his own party still controls each branch of it, the institutions that we need for our democracy to function (and to ensure no man is above the law) will be overwhelmed.

From a President who promised action, we got distraction.

But my concern for the country goes beyond the immediate pain and dysfunction that this shutdown will cause. Beyond even ensuring that this President is held accountable. What’s happening now is part of a larger threat to us all.

If our institutions no longer work, if we no longer have faith in them, if there’s no way to count on government even functioning (three shutdowns this year alone), then perhaps ultimately we become open to something else. Whatever we choose to call it, whether we openly acknowledge it at all, my fear is that we will choose certainty, strength and predictability over this constant dysfunction, even if it comes at the price of our democracy (the press; the ballot box; the courts; congress and representative government).

If there were ever a man to exploit this precarious moment for our country and our form of government, it’s Trump. Sending 5,400 troops to U.S. border communities during the midterm elections. Organizing Border Patrol “crowd control” exercises in El Paso on election day. Defying our laws by taking children from their parents, keeping kids in tent camps, turning back refugees at our ports. Calling the press “the enemy of the people” and celebrating violence against members of the media. Pitting Americans against each other based on race and religion and immigration status. Inviting us to hate openly, to call Mexican immigrants rapists and criminals, to call asylum seekers animals, to describe Klansmen and neo-Nazis as very fine people. Seeking to disenfranchise fellow Americans with made up fears of voter fraud. Isolating us from the other great democracies as he cozies up to dictators and thugs. Lying again and again. Making a mockery of the United States – once the indispensable nation, the hope of mankind.

So we can engage in the immediate fights about blame for this latest shutdown… fall into his arguments about a wall, or steel slats, at a time of record border security and in the face of asylum seekers – our neighbors – fleeing the deadliest countries in the world… we can respond to his name-calling and grotesque, bizarre behavior… or we can pull up, look back at this moment from the future and see exactly what is happening to our country.

We are at risk of losing those things that make us special, unique, exceptional, those things that make us the destination for people the world over, looking for a better life and fleeing countries who lack our institutions, our rule of law, our stability.

If ever there was a time to put country over party it is now. This is not about a wall, it’s not about border security, it’s not about Democrats and Republicans. It’s about the future of our country – whether our children and grandchildren will thank us or blame us. Whether we will lose what was fought for, made more perfect, by the men and women who risked and lost their lives at Antietam, on Omaha beach, in Jackson, Mississippi… whether we will be defined by greatness and ambition or pettiness and fear. Whether we will continue to live in the world’s greatest democracy, or something else.

In the short term – let’s pass the funding bill that was agreed to by the Senate 100–0 just a few days ago. Send it to the President with the confidence that we represent the people of this country and that we are willing to override his veto if he cannot respect their will. Show that government can work, that we can see past our immediate differences to serve the greater good. To put country over party. To put country over one man. To do what we were sent here to do.

In the longer term – we must strengthen all of our institutions at the very moment they are called into question. Some clear opportunities for Congress: Ensure that our representatives in government reject PAC money, corporate and special interest influence. Demand that they hold town halls in our communities, listen to and respond to their constituents. Show America that they are working for us and for no one else.

Take action on the most urgent issues of our day: climate change, healthcare, endless war, income inequality, immigration, the vibrancy of rural communities and inner cities, education and criminal justice reform. Define the goal in each area, build the coalition to achieve it, find the common ground (between parties, between branches of government), and move forward. Prove that our system of government – whatever its problems – is still the best thing under the sun.

It’s action vs. distraction. One will save our democracy, the other will lead to its end.

- Beto"

Probabilistic's Photo Probabilistic 23 December 2018 - 04:19 PM

View PostAnBr, on 21 December 2018 - 10:29 PM, said:

The like was for the "F*** off, Bernie." The puritopian voices are getting louder.

Simple utopia not nearly quite as delicious as the prospect of the pure version :)

Also, occasionally people should be given a taste of what they want, especially if they want that thing loudly. How else would they be cured of their folly?

andydp's Photo andydp 23 December 2018 - 06:27 PM

View PostProbabilistic, on 23 December 2018 - 04:19 PM, said:

Also, occasionally people should be given a taste of what they want, especially if they want that thing loudly. How else would they be cured of their folly?

In the case of the US, we elect them.

LFC's Photo LFC 31 December 2018 - 10:33 AM

And it looks like Liz is in!


Sen. Elizabeth Warren on Monday took the first major step toward launching a widely anticipated campaign for the presidency, hoping her reputation as a populist fighter can help her navigate a Democratic field that could include nearly two dozen candidates.

“No matter what our differences, most of us want the same thing,” the 69-year-old Massachusetts Democrat said in a video that highlights her family’s history in Oklahoma. “To be able to work hard, play by the same set of rules and take care of the people we love. That’s what I’m fighting for and that’s why today I’m launching an exploratory committee for president.”

Warren burst onto the national scene a decade ago during the financial crisis with calls for greater consumer protections. She quickly became one of the party’s more prominent liberals even as she sometimes fought with Obama administration officials over their response to the market turmoil.

Now, as a likely presidential contender, she is making an appeal to the party’s base. Her video notes the economic challenges facing people of color along with images of a women’s march and Warren’s participation at an LGBT event.

In an email to supporters, Warren said she’d more formally announce a campaign plan early in 2019.

Traveler's Photo Traveler 31 December 2018 - 11:20 AM

Not good news IMO. She should stay where she already is.

LFC's Photo LFC 31 December 2018 - 11:46 AM

View PostTraveler, on 31 December 2018 - 11:20 AM, said:

Not good news IMO. She should stay where she already is.

I'm less interested in her being President than I am in her moving the conversation. Kind of like Sanders did in 2016 ... only making sense.

Traveler's Photo Traveler 31 December 2018 - 12:52 PM

That I can go for. She is far more sensible than Sanders, and will peel away Sanderites with a shred of responsibility.

AnBr's Photo AnBr 31 December 2018 - 01:45 PM

Brown would do well in the rust belt, but DeWine would just replace him with a Rethug.

andydp's Photo andydp 31 December 2018 - 02:42 PM

View PostTraveler, on 31 December 2018 - 11:20 AM, said:

Not good news IMO. She should stay where she already is.
I feel she can do way more as the thorn in the side of every GOP knuckle dragger in the Senate.

AnBr's Photo AnBr 31 December 2018 - 02:49 PM

She needs to stay a lion in the Senate. Fitting for the seat that she holds.