If one pays too closely to the media, the Democrats would appear to be in great shape for taking back the presidency in 2020. The top tier Democrats poll better than President Trump in head to head matches. The president has become embroiled in several controversies, some of which have become the subject of a strange, secret impeachment inquiry being conducted by House Democrats.
However, the New York Times depicts a different view in which some Democratic Party movers and shakers are starting to panic.
“When a half-dozen Democratic donors gathered at the Whitby Hotel in Manhattan last week, the dinner began with a discussion of which presidential candidates the contributors liked. But as conversations among influential Democrats often go these days, the meeting quickly evolved into a discussion of who was not in the race — but could be lured in.
“Would Hillary Clinton get in, the contributors wondered, and how about Michael R. Bloomberg, the former New York mayor? One person even mused whether Michelle Obama would consider a late entry, according to two people who attended the event, which was hosted by the progressive group American Bridge.”
It seems that these wealthy, mainly male money people, the types who shell out the mother’s milk of politics (campaign donations for those who do not get the reference) have measured the current crop of candidates, measured them in the balance, and have found them to be wanting.
Former Vice President Joe Biden, Mr. Establishment, would naturally be the pick of these insiders. However, he has, in their opinion, shown themselves to be not up to the rigors of a campaign, and thus not up to being president. He is a gaffe machine. He has a long and unseemly record, the latest of which was revealed when he used the word “lynching” to describe the attempt to impeach then-President Bill Clinton in 1998. Democrats have fallen all over themselves attacking Trump for using the “l” word about the current impeachment inquiry. Does he not know that only African Americans can use that word? According to Hot Air, Biden was forced to apologize.
Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren, both United States senators, scare these insiders to death. Liberalism is one thing. Rich liberals have lots of tax lawyers who can shield them from tax increases and regulations. But out and out socialism is something again. Besides, the group of donors knows full well that the American people are not ready for either Medicare for All or the Green New Deal. The specter of a McGovern-style blowout is ever-present.
Pete Buttigieg is a possibility. He is young, articulate, and not scary. However, the insiders suspect that he will not be able to expand his appeal beyond a narrow group of white liberals. Because of his lackluster performance as mayor of South Bend, African Americans have largely tuned him out. Also, the money men suspect, his sexual preference is going to be a problem with the religiously inclined, which includes, ironically, a lot of African Americans.
If not the current candidates, then who?
Hillary Clinton comes to mind and, by all accounts, she seems eager to get in given the right inducements. However, Trump beat her before and would likely beat her again. He recent musings about Tulsi Gabbard and Jill Stein being “Russian assets” have many people wondering if the 2016 candidate has lost her mind.
Michael Bloomberg has also been raised as a possible candidate, and the former mayor of New York has publicly toyed with the idea of jumping in. However, he is another old, rich white guy. Besides, it seems that Bloomberg has decided that he needs to influence the election from behind the scenes, which he did in 2018 to great success.
Michelle Obama would be a dream candidate. Her husband, the former president, is universally beloved by Democrats. The idea of an Obama restoration has a certain appeal. Unfortunately, the former first lady has no desire to get into elected politics. She and her husband are having too much fun making money and hobnobbing with the glitterati.
Several Democratic senators and governors could be the white knight to ride in to save the day, but most are either unwilling or unable to perform the role. The Democrats are stuck with the current candidates, God help them.