December 5, 2018

Looking Ahead to 2020

On Tuesday, the Washington Post reported that “Beto O’Rourke, weighing whether to mount a 2020 presidential bid, met recently with ­Barack Obama.”

Washington Post

Meanwhile, “Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders is laying the groundwork to launch a bigger presidential campaign than his first” and “Former Vice President Joe Biden says he believes that he is the most qualified person in the country to be president.”

AP News

See past issues

From the Left

The left is weighing its options.

Let's dispel with this fiction that Joe Biden isn't running for president... The bigger question I have is not whether Biden will run but whether the pitch he is planning to make to Democratic voters is the right one for this moment, against this President. Is being the ‘most qualified person’ the way to sell yourself to Democratic voters desperately in search of someone who can beat Donald Trump?”


“In the 2020 election, an age-old question looms... At issue are three candidates in particular: Former vice president Joe Biden and Sens. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.). On Election Day 2020, they will be 77, 79 and 71 years old, respectively...

"[It’s worth noting that] Democrats have had more luck in November when the nominee has been younger than the average age of the field. The four times that the Democratic nominees have been older than the average age of the field? 1984, 1988, 2004 and 2016 — years in which the Democrats lost the general election.”

Washington Post

There’s “John Kasich, the stalwart never-Trumper who says he may or may not run for president in 2020—maybe as a Republican challenging Donald Trump or maybe as an independent, because all options are open unless they’re not—[who] stopped in Philadelphia on Friday to practice his Art of the Tease...

"Is ‘the middle,’ assuming it still exists, firm enough to afford him footing? Or was the poet W. B. Yeats correct when he wrote, ‘Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold’?”

The Atlantic

Meanwhile, “the former New York mayor Michael Bloomberg is seriously considering running for president as a Democrat – a prospect that has horrified many progressives... Between his stale politics, his stiffness as a campaigner, and his identity as a restrained elite in an era of raucous populism, Bloomberg’s bid to secure the Democratic nomination seems destined to fail spectacularly...

"Progressives should hope the centrist billionaire runs: he would showcase exactly what Democrats shouldn’t do.”

The Guardian

“For better or worse, it’s safe to say Trump will... routinely insert his advisory and critical tweets into the the other party’s process, which will delight media and suck oxygen from Democrats, as designed...

“No doubt he knows how to play an audience, to string it along and keep it coming back, as he did for 12 years of good ratings with ‘The Apprentice.’ But that reality show was weekly. Trump’s current executive producer gig is daily, sometimes hourly. The turmoil. The firings. The ego. The palace intrigues. The abrupt reverses. It bothers both establishments, which pleases Trump’s base. But it’s also exhausting for a mass audience that might just want a competent president free of boastful drama.”


Regarding the Cadillac tax, “high-premium employer-based plans raise the cost of health care for everyone by encouraging the overconsumption of expensive services. This means that even Medicare and Medicaid face higher prices. Quite aside from its benefits for the health-care market, the Cadillac tax would also have the effect of expanding the tax base and making the tax code more efficient. It would raise revenues by about $15 billion a year… Rather than killing or delaying the Cadillac tax, Democrats should be trying to make it operational. The tax would raise revenue, lower costs, increase the efficiency of the tax code and give the Obamacare individual market its best chance at success.”
Karl W. Smith, Bloomberg

“The two issues with which he is most often associated, support for a balanced budget and opposition to free trade, put him at odds with both of our major political parties. An old-fashioned, soft-spoken Southerner, he nevertheless held views on so-called ‘social issues’ that would be to the left of the mainstream of the Republican Party, both then and now. He was a fervent supporter of the Vietnam POW/MIA movement in the late '80s and early '90s, but he was not in any sense a hawk. Never mind 2003. Perot opposed the first war in Iraq in 1990… Perot's death should be mourned by all Americans who regret the fact that it is no longer possible to make reasoned, non-ideological arguments about questions of public import, and by the devolution of our political life into mindless partisan squabbling.”
Matthew Walther, The Week

From the Right

The right calls for the GOP to appeal beyond Trump’s base in order to be successful in the next election, and offers thoughts on potential 2020 Democratic frontrunners.

From the Right

The right calls for the GOP to appeal beyond Trump’s base in order to be successful in the next election, and offers thoughts on potential 2020 Democratic frontrunners.

As the electorate becomes more diverse, “unless the GOP does better with black and Hispanic voters, the only way the party of Lincoln can win would be to gain an even larger share of a smaller white voting bloc... The best way for President Trump to improve his job approval – and therefore the likelihood of his re-election – is to speak and act as president of all Americans, not just his base.”

Fox News

“While the city-dwelling bourgeois liberals and women are flocking to the left, there’s a huge working-class electorate tired of feminist overreach, Me Too-era insanity, the left’s obsession with transgender politics, and the injustice perpetuated by college kangaroo courts...

“It is not just white men who are becoming disillusioned with these parts of the Democratic Party, but non-white men––Hispanics, Asians, and especially blacks––as well as their mothers, sisters, and wives.”

The Federalist

“Republicans need to work much harder to find viable congressional candidates for 2020 — including female candidates who are not necessarily Trump loyalists — to run in districts where the president is unpopular...

"The problem isn’t policy. It’s the way Trump’s personal conduct and continued willingness to troll his opponents on Twitter have alienated voters who were prepared to embrace him in 2016 as an alternative to Hillary Clinton and the political establishment she represented.”

National Review

Many note that “everyone’s running for the Democratic presidential nomination, apparently including their previous nominee, Hillary Clinton. Normally, primary voters want some proof of success in electoral politics before nominating someone to run for president, but Donald Trump didn’t need it for either the primary or the general election... That could be how [Stacey] Abrams and [Beto] O’Rourke pull off an outsider charge in 2020 for the nomination too!”

Hot Air

Some suggest that “Bernie, who can make a persuasive case that he was robbed of the nomination in 2016, has an idealistic and energized constituency to build a candidacy on. What’s more, pitting a socialist against a nationalist might be the most honest race Americans can hope for in 2020.”

Washington Examiner

Others, however, posit, “I can sort of imagine a scenario in which Bernie is ruled out as too old and Biden stumbles over issues relating to insufficient wokeness... and Democrats are forced to take a second look at Hillary. What I can’t imagine is why, having taken that second look and remembering that she’s the only candidate who’s proved she’s capable of losing to Trump, they wouldn’t keep on looking.”

Hot Air

“NBC and MSNBC embraced Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts in the first debate of Democratic presidential candidates Wednesday night, treating her like the star of the show. The debate led off with Warren, who had a huge popularity advantage from the start… NBC anchor Savannah Guthrie started it off sounding more like Warren’s press secretary. ‘You have many plans – free college, free child care, government health care, cancelation of student debt, new taxes, new regulations, the breakup of major corporations,’ Guthrie said, before teeing up an economy question. Guthrie even used Warren’s plan to break up tech companies as the foundation for a question for Sen. Cory Booker of New Jersey… the round-robin final comments also ended with Warren, as Maddow asked her for the ‘final, final statement.’ That let NBC bookend the entire debate with Warren and Warren.”
Dan Gainor, Fox News

President Trump should be happy. As much as Warren is articulate, obviously intelligent, and energetically supported by Democrats, she would also be far easier to defeat than Joe Biden… Considering Trump's economy, the president is well placed to defeat Warren.”
Tom Rogan, Washington Examiner

A libertarian's take

“The fans who avidly followed the men’s tournament certainly weren’t doing anything wrong. And it’s hard to argue that each of them had a moral obligation to be exactly as interested in women’s soccer. Even if we could stop them from watching the men more than the women, should we?…

“It’s tempting to answer that the fan choices aren’t innocent, they’re sexist. But since we can’t peek into their hearts, to say that definitively, we’d have to assume that men’s greater speed, strength and endurance definitely make nodifference to the sport’s quality. Fair enough, but then why do fans prefer to watch Megan Rapinoe play instead of the sedentary elderly who could presumably use some exercise? Alternatively, maybe pay should be equalized precisely because biology is unfair. But that seems to be an argument for curbing the pay of all top-level athletes, who have to hit the genetic lottery just to get on the field. It might be easier to focus on the distributions across society at large, rather than every individual industry, especially when fundamental biology is in play.”
Megan McArdle, Washington Post

On the bright side...

Burger King has a new penny Whopper deal – but you need to head to McDonald's first.

USA Today

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