Trial Balloon From Camp Biden?

Yeah, it’s from Axios (Tagline: Like Politico — but even more vapid!).

Approximately one in every 71.9 articles that outfit labels “SCOOP” actually is, and this one seems more credible in that they don’t overstate their sourcing, forthrightly attributing it to “advisers” and noting that Biden’s take “couldn’t be learned.” That said, it might be a load of bullshit.

Anyhoo, the article says advisers know the move could be perceived as a “gimmick” and that picking a running mate for a package deal rollout would be awkward during the debates. (I can see Tapper asking, with that patented look that he thinks is Murrow-like but actually registers as constipation, “Why not choose one of these fine Democrats, Mr. Vice President?”) It could be construed as presumptuous, the advisers also fretted, according to Axios. (Ya think?)

I can understand why such an offer would tempt Abrams if indeed it was made and is being entertained. For all his faults as a 2020 candidate, Biden was a strong VP to a beloved and successful Democratic president. At this stage, Biden would enter the race as the front-runner. Abrams has so much to offer as a candidate and public servant, and this would catapult her to new heights at a relatively young age.

On the other hand, it seems so nakedly cynical on the part of the Biden campaign: Here you go, ladies and black people; I’ve ticked your ‘identity politics’ boxes, now kindly forgive the Anita Hill and crime bill business and give me the damned nomination I’ve been seeking since 1988.

My first reaction is that I hope Abrams tells Biden’s advisers to go pound sand. What do y’all think?

Why is Beto Running?

I know he has raised a ton of money, and I know he excites a lot of people, but for the life of me I can not figure out why he is running for President. I don’t think he really knows, either:

Now is not the time to be exploring how you feel about things. With his odd road trip and sort of not really knowing how we feels about certain issues that even addle-minded old fools like yours truly has already figured out, this feels less like a serious candidate to run the country than it does someone attending the political version of Coachella. He’s raised a ton of money, and a lot of people are wild about him, so maybe with that will come advisors and a platform and a seriousness towards the issues that seems lacking.

Obviously, if he wins the primary, I will vote for him. I’d personally wish he would run against Cornyn in 2020 and get some more seasoning as a leader and help turn Texas blue. What I want doesn’t matter, though, and he is currently running for President against a lot of more qualified and more accomplished people. Hopefully he will pull it all together, and soon, but right now it’s hard to look at his campaign as little more than a static display of white male privilege.

Afternoon Open Thread: Cory Booker on Ellen

One of the things about this rich field of Democrats is getting to know them. Corey Booker had a good interview on Ellen that airs today.  Here’s the full interview:

Kamala Harris was on Jimmy Kimmel last night, but I haven’t had a chance to watch that yet. I may post it later if someone else doesn’t. Looking forward to it.

I like the casual nature of the talk shows and seeing them semi-relaxed. But I also think the town halls are really important for understanding their policies. I’m invigorated by the intelligence and compassion of these candidates. Such a contrast from what we’ve been faced with daily since 2016.

Now I need some candidates to remember we need to take back the Senate and they are needed there, too.

Open thread

Open Thread: Warren / Buttigieg 2020!

(I read this anecdote to my Norwegian-American Spousal Unit, linguistics major, who replied, “And nobody ever bothers to learn Maltese… “)

Seriously, though… I was kinda meh about ‘Mayor Pete’ at first, but his campaign is growing on me. Presumably Buttigeig (mayor, Navy vet, served in Afghanistan) and Warren would complement each other’s skill sets. And as much as we all despise the electability argument, there’s something to be said for the every-four-years voter appeal of “Your Favorite Teacher + That Nice Neighborhood Eagle Scout” as a ticket, yes?

The Navy veteran with a hard-to-pronounce name, from a city small enough to fit every resident in a college football stadium, seems to be winning the argument at the moment. Weeks after declaring his interest in challenging President Trump, he has become, if not exactly well-known, a subject of interest for many Democratic voters, buoyed by a breakout performance at a CNN town hall on March 10…

Even in a Democratic field full of nontraditional candidates, Buttigieg stands out in many ways. A military veteran who deployed to Afghanistan, he is openly gay, and his husband, Chasten, maintains a lively Twitter presence. He would be the youngest president in history. No mayor has ever ascended directly to the presidency, let alone from a city of about 102,000…

Some Democrats say privately Buttigieg may not be prepared to be president, given his youth and that he’s never served in national or even statewide office. (Buttigieg is a decade younger than O’Rourke and was not born when former vice president Joe Biden was first elected to the Senate.) Trump’s tenure, they say, has soured Democrats on the notion of inexperienced candidates jumping into the presidency.

Buttigieg responds that, having been South Bend mayor since 2012, he has longer government experience than Trump and more executive credentials than Pence, who was Indiana’s governor for four years…

Read more

Open Thread: Say It Ain’t So, Joe

I like Joe Biden — it’s hard not to — but this, if true, is just terrible. (I refuse to buy a sub to the WSJ, so I can’t read the whole article, and am open to the idea that they’re trying to shiv Biden as the ‘most electable Dem’ to their readership.) Very few actions are less likely to attract Democratic voters in 2020 than being suspected of ‘talking to big donors’ in order to ensure ‘good finance optics’ in advance. Even for someone who isn’t already widely caricatured as ‘(D-MBNA)’.

It does reinforce my suspicion that Biden is less interested in actually running than he is in… doing what’s required / unable to give up going through the motions / out of touch with what 2020 Democratic voters, specifically women and people of color, want from a President. Better to rest on your laurels, Uncle Joe — don’t break your spirit and our hearts relitigating the Reagan era!

An almost equally tragic trial balloon:

There’s been a great many reports about Biden and Stacey Abrams meeting privately last week. Although doing so would certainly attract a lot of ‘earned media’ (as the Village Idiot pundits prefer to refer to free media, since they are in every sense professionals), at least 75% of it would be derisory — and that’s not even counting Twitter snark. Frankly, I respect Abrams too much to think she’d fall for so cheap an attention grab.

Now, Beto O’Rourke, on the other hand — I think he’s the guy Biden’s backers had in mind in the first place. And I think he’s perfectly capable of saying, off the cuff at some coffeehouse rally, that he’d gladly accept Biden’s offer to serve in a Beto administration just as he did for President Obama. And wouldn’t *that* just set the horserace-tout media to squawking about Dems in disarray