So You Want To Be POTUS?

Checking my Instagram a few evenings ago, I saw that Senator Elizabeth Warren was live. I clicked. In a grainy video, I saw her striding out onto a marble plaza talking to an aide, her blunt cut blond hair swinging slightly as she strode into the darkness. The sound of protesters came into view. As the hand-held cell phone camera jerked around, Warren waded into the cheering crowd and began to declaim in her reedy, law-professor voice.

So it begins, I thought: game on. She’s really running this time. My heart went pit-a-pat, just like in the song.

Indeed, two days later, the New York Times ran a story speculating that Warren, former Vice President Joseph Biden, Jr., and Senators Corey Booker of New Jersey and Kamala Harris of California are making all the moves that signal a presidential run (renting storefronts in Iowa if you are an East Coast or California Senator is a serious tell).

“All five have been traveling the country, raising money for Democrats and gauging the appeal of their personalities and favorite themes,” Times political reporters Jonathan Burns and Alexander Martin wrote. “As a group, they are a strikingly heterogeneous array of rivals for Mr. Trump, embodying the Democratic Party’s options for defining itself: They are distinguished by gender and race, span three decades in age and traverse the ideological and tonal spectrum between combative Democratic socialism and consensus-minded incrementalism.”

You want choices, America? We’ll give you choices. Now maybe you can try to choose this time without burning the whole Democratic Party down. Furthermore, a confidential Public Seminar source inside a certain governor’s office says that he is staffing up for a 2020 run. (Stay tuned to this page for more on this one.)

My greatest fear is that none of these potential candidates will be able to keep a lid on their desire to campaign prior to the fall election season, a crucial time for Democratic voters to focus on taking back the House of Representatives. There are lesser offices than President to be filled, and pointless debates about whether Joe and Bernie are too old and too white, whether Kamala and Corey are too inexperienced, or whether Elizabeth is too polarizing, or a (can I say it?) YUGE distraction from that essential project.

For the rest of this post, published on Public Seminar on July 18 2018, click here.

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