Campaign Outsider’s Presidential Bakeoff 2020™ (Part 1)

Itemizing a few deductions on the state of the Democratic Presidential Primary now that the number of declared candidates has hit the Big Two-Oh.

From the New York Times:









Then there are the real long shots to run:

Except that the one in the middle – Sen. Michael Bennet of Colorado – “has been successfully treated for prostate cancer, clearing the way for a [likely] 2020 presidential campaign” according to the ABC affiliate in Denver.

With that as prologue . . .

Item: Former Rep. John Delaney (D-Who?) is #5 on Q1 fundraising list

The hardworking staff came across this first-quarter fundraising chart at Axios the other day.

Wait, what? Erstwhile Maryland congressman John Delaney, who started running for president in July of 2017, has raised $12 million since the first of the year?

From The Hill:

Delaney . . . loaned his campaign $11.7 million in the first three months of 2019. But he received less than $435,000 in outside contributions, the smallest amount of any candidate in the race.

In other words: Okay, folks – move along, move along. Nothing to see here.

Item: Regardless, Sen. Cory Booker (D-I Got a Boo) decided to whack Delaney

Also from The Hill:

Booker denies ‘swipe’ at John Delaney after his campaign sent fundraising email attacking Delaney

Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.) denied that his campaign was taking shots at other candidates on Tuesday just days after a fundraising email sent by Booker’s team appeared to criticize a fellow Democrat running for the party’s nomination.

Booker was questioned by reporters on the campaign trail after a fundraising email sent over the weekend referenced former Rep. John Delaney’s (D-Md.) decision to donate $11 million to his own White House bid.

“Friend, this weekend, we found out that one of the other Democrats in this race has given over $11 million of his own money to his campaign. Self-funding is something Cory just can’t and would never do,” the email obtained by CNN read.

Booker’s response? “I’m not even sure what you’re talking about, because again we are not taking swipes at other candidates.”

Booker, as it happens, is polling at 3% in Iowa, roughly in the same zip code as Delaney.

If that’s any indication, this Democratic presidential primary is on track to be like World War I – long battles for small gains.

With, most likely, commensurate results.

Item: Elizabeth Warren’s campaign officially in spaghetti-meets-wall phase 

There’s no question that from the standpoint of substantive policy proposals, Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-7%) has far outstripped the Democratic presidential primary field. But her latest agenda item – calling on the House to begin impeachment proceedings against Donald Trump – is just, well, harebrained.

For two basic reasons:

1) It’s an empty exercise, since there’s no chance that 20 of Warren’s GOP counterparts would vote to convict Trump in a Senate trial.

2) It’s counterproductive, since impeachment proceedings would be more likely to return Trump to the Oval Office than remove him from it.

Only the American voter can successfully achieve the latter.

(To be sure graf goes here)

To be sure, we have the worst of both worlds here: Robert Mueller adheres to Department of Justice guidelines and declines to indict Trump for obstruction, and there’s not even a remote chance that Trump can be removed from office despite committing clearly impeachable offenses.

That means, as Charlie Sykes noted in this episode of The Bulwark Podcast, that Donald Trump is effectively above the law, at least while he remains in office. There’s something terribly wrong about that.

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