NYT reports: Rep. Seth Moulton is dropping out of the presidential race. https://t.co/4TGkAykwgk
— Kyle Griffin (@kylegriffin1) August 23, 2019
Rep. Moulton is now free to take my advice (worth every penny I was paid for it!), join forces with Bill Weld, and run against Trump on the venerable, if nearly extinct, New England Republican ticket. But actually, he’s going home to protect his current seat from at least three challengers… and just possibly to position himself for a run at Elizabeth Warren’s Senate seat, should it happen to open up, along with manymanymany others…
Or then again — who knows? — maybe that nice Joe Biden will be looking for a young well-spoken military vet as a VP!
Representative Seth Moulton of Massachusetts has dropped out of the presidential race, ending a candidacy that emphasized Mr. Moulton’s centrist politics and military service but gained no traction with Democratic primary voters.
Mr. Moulton, 40, said in an interview that he had no immediate plans to endorse another candidate, but he warmly praised former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. Mr. Moulton announced the end of his campaign in a formal speech before the Democratic National Committee on Friday…
“I think it’s evident that this is now a three-way race between Biden, Warren and Sanders, and really it’s a debate about how far left the party should go,” Mr. Moulton said…
Mr. Moulton said he would also relaunch his political action committee, Serve America, to promote issues related to veterans and the military. Those issues, he said, were not “getting the attention they deserve” in the presidential race…
A combat veteran who served in the Iraq War, Mr. Moulton campaigned on themes of strengthening national defense and promoting public service, and criticizing Mr. Trump for damaging the country’s most vital alliances. In May, he revealed that he struggled with post-traumatic stress disorder after returning from war, and called for new policies to attend to the mental health issues of soldiers and veterans. Stanley McChrystal, the retired general who led American forces in Afghanistan, endorsed Mr. Moulton’s campaign.
But Mr. Moulton entered the race late, in a strategic choice he now concedes was a mistake. He announced his candidacy in late April, days before Mr. Biden became a candidate and overshadowed much of the rest of the Democratic field.
“I’m not going to endorse anyone right away, but the vice president is a mentor and a friend and I think he’d make a great president,” Mr. Moulton said, adding, “Anybody in this race will be better than Donald Trump and I will enthusiastically support whoever the nominee is.”
First elected to the House in 2014, Mr. Moulton made a name for himself as an insurgent in and outside of the chamber. He won his seat by defeating an incumbent Democrat, John F. Tierney, in a primary election, and played a rebellious role in the Democratic caucus as a scathing critic of Speaker Nancy Pelosi, alienating senior lawmakers and influential Democratic women in the process.
His appetite for rebellion stirred speculation that he would consider a 2020 primary challenge to Senator Edward J. Markey, a fellow Democrat. Mr. Moulton opted to run for president instead and said this week that a Senate candidacy [against Markey] was off the table…
Hey @realDonaldTrump, the Dow actually dropped over 623 points today.
Also, @sethmoulton served in combat & received a bronze star. You received fake deferments because of your daddy.
— Ted Lieu (@tedlieu) August 23, 2019
Appreciation / apologia from Kevin Cullen at Moulton’s home paper, the Boston Globe:
He doesn’t regret that he gave it a shot, but he regrets the way politics get done in this country. He regrets that personality counts for more than policy, that polls and money decide so early who gets to go forward before issues get a full hearing, that somebody like him couldn’t even make it to the debate stage to present his ideas to the American people because of arcane party rules.
As he crisscrossed America, he found a profound disconnect between the media world and the real world. He said his Serve America initiative to increase awareness of and participation in national service was very popular with ordinary folks, if not the media.
“Everywhere I went, reporters would ask me when I was going to get out of the race,” he said, “and ordinary Americans would tell me to hang in there.”
In politics, timing is everything, and like his beloved baseball team, the one that plays at Fenway Park, this was not Seth Moulton’s year.
After he decided to end his campaign, Moulton said he wanted to talk to me. Moulton said he reached out because he remembered I was willing to drive up to Marblehead one day years ago, when he was just flirting with the idea of running for Congress, to talk to some idealistic Marine vet who wanted to save the world. I didn’t have the heart to tell him I was actually more interested in getting the fish special at the Three Cod Tavern. But then, loyalty is a big thing to Moulton, who remains very close to the Marines he led in Iraq.
From the get go, his presidential campaign struggled to gain traction, and the political wise guys insisted he never had a chance anyway.
He has heard it all before. Democratic insiders never liked him. He was considered impetuous, didn’t know to wait his turn, when he took on and defeated Democratic stalwart John Tierney to claim the North Shore congressional seat. Many Democrats will never forgive him for orchestrating a coup aimed at overthrowing Nancy Pelosi as House speaker…
[Despite our state’s ‘liberal’ reputation, the Peoples’ Commonwealth political pool, and its reporters at even the ‘progressive’ media, remains deeply sexist.]
Sorry @sethmoulton. It was mean of me to make fun of the fact that as of today, 78% of Dem primary voters still don't know who in the hell you are, making you dead last in the field. https://t.co/yRlxEqpiHO pic.twitter.com/3pYDlceqKD
— Rachel "The Doc" Bitecofer ???? (@RachelBitecofer) August 23, 2019