You might think such rhetoric would alienate Warren from progressives. But what she probably recognizes is that, while identifying as a socialist did not harm Sanders in the primary, it does not account for his support. People who supported Sanders in the primary actually had views on the size of government that were the same as, or slightly more conservative than, those of Hillary Clinton supporters. So what accounted for his enthusiasm? Sanders tapped into a deep vein of good-government progressivism. Contrasting himself with Hillary Clinton, who was mired in scandals about donor access, Sanders presented himself as authentic and idealistic.
Warren is shrewdly co-opting that appeal to openness and authenticity, and the importance liberal voters place on appearing to have nothing to hide. She has opened up her academic records, disclosed her tax returns, and (reversing previous practice) made herself accessible to Capitol Hill reporters. Her academic disclosures have already paid a major dividend. The Boston Globe investigated her hiring history, and found â€” contrary to accusations that have circulated on the right since the beginning of her political career â€” her occasional categorization as Native American resulted in no hiring preference. (Trump and his allies will obviously continue to mock her as â€śPocahontas,â€ť but Warren has a knock-down defense, and the mainstream media will not take the accusations seriously.)
Warren is running on a progressive platform that, if enacted, would sharply curtail political and economic inequality. But unlike Sanders, she is building a profile designed to compete for swing voters also, rather than solely to inspire progressive activists. The distinction can be seen in her rhetoric, policy substance, and choice of emphasis.
Republican pros have, in recent weeks, quietly settled on new conventional wisdom: If Donald Trump is not impeached first, he is likely to face a primary challenge â€” of some sort â€” in 2020. The matter was regarded as an open question for most of 2018, but a new emergent consensus among the partyâ€™s consultants and strategists has taken root after Paul Manafortâ€™s conviction and Michael Cohenâ€™s implication of the president in federal court.
And New Hampshire, which has historically been fertile ground for political insurgencies, is likely to be the place were we see the first clues about who the candidate will be, and what form exactly the challenge will take.
â€śIt is inevitable that Donald Trump will face a primary,â€ť said Jennifer Horn, who stepped down as the stateâ€™s GOP chairwoman after Trumpâ€™s election, talking to me even before the dual legal blows to the president. â€śIt certainly remains to be seen who, and how strong, how credible, that challenge will be.â€ť
The field of potential candidates who might fit the eventual bill is wide, and likely to be popping up in New Hampshire this fall.
Outgoing Ohio governor John Kasich, by far the best-known and likeliest challenger to Trump after losing to him in 2016 and spending the last two years making his displeasure painfully public, is due back in the Granite State right after Novemberâ€™s midterms. Retiring Arizona senator Jeff Flake, a former tea-party hero whoâ€™s become Trumpâ€™s most prominent Republican critic in Washington, has also been exploring ways to continue his vocal opposition from this past January. He stopped by New Hampshire this spring, urging someone to formally take Trump on with a campaign. Proponents of Nebraska senator Ben Sasse â€” yet another young conservative whose outspoken frustration with the president has raised his stature significantly in the eyes of Washingtonâ€™s NeverTrump intelligentsia â€” have quietly, and casually, spoken by phone with local power brokers about the political environment. All the while, in-state operatives have informally kept tabs on an array of other potential candidates, including, wistfully, Mitt Romney â€” almost certainly soon to be a Utah senator, but with no apparent interest in running for president again â€” as he quietly vacationed with family at his home in Wolfeboro, on Lake Winnipesaukee, this summer. Back in D.C., meanwhile, Bill Kristol, the Weekly Standard founder and famous neoconservative, has been working to recruit a challenger, setting up meetings with interested donors and political figures, and stealthily running polls and focus groups in New Hampshire and elsewhere.
But what would a primary challenge actually look like, and how much of a threat would it actually be to Trump? Operatives interested in helping such an effort have narrowed it down to two scenarios.
Thereâ€™s option A: an all-out NeverTrump-style protest campaign against the president that would challenge him directly. While that would almost certainly fall far short, it would serve to prove to anti-Trump conservatives that the Republican Party is not yet fully unified behind the president â€” potentially weakening him, or exposing his weaknesses, enough to ensure a Democratâ€™s election. â€śItâ€™s important for there to be an alternativeâ€ť candidate to Trump, said veteran GOP operative Stuart Stevens, Romneyâ€™s chief strategist in 2012 and one of the presidentâ€™s most outspoken critics on the right. â€śBut I canâ€™t tell you who that alternative would be.â€ť Such a challenge might essentially echo the experience of 1976, when Ronald Reagan took on President Gerald Ford, only to see Jimmy Carter take the White House; of 1980, when Ted Kennedyâ€™s challenge of Carter kicked off a year that saw Carter hand the presidency to Reagan; or of 1992, when a relatively weak campaign run by TV pundit Pat Buchanan still spooked President George H.W. Bush, who went on to lose to Bill Clinton.
Or, B, perhaps the likelier option: a wait-and-see campaign that doesnâ€™t really go anywhere, unless Trump implodes and the alternative candidate is ready to swoop in and save the GOPâ€™s day. To be successful, even this type of candidate would likely already need to be laying quiet, just-in-case groundwork in order to rise above the inevitable free-for-all that would result in Trumpâ€™s hypothetical implosion â€” donors ready to donate, organizers ready to organize, activists ready to activate.
Kristol, for one, is counting on a Trump slump as he uses funds from his own political group to test the presidentâ€™s electoral weaknesses and meets with fellow conservatives. â€śPeople are too intimidated by the snapshot of the current data, which is probably Trump at his peak strength,â€ť Kristol told me, pointing to the strong economy (for now), the absence of Mueller conclusions (for now), and the lack of a Democratic sweep of the midterms (for now). Kristol himself visited New Hampshire shortly after Flake did.
But why New Hampshire â€” the early-voting state where Trump romped in 2016, and where recent polling shows him in little trouble with fellow Republicans? Itâ€™s Iowa, after all, where Trump fell short in the first nominating contest of 2016. But Trumpâ€™s strength among GOP leaders is unquestioned enough there that even a wait-and-see campaign would likely face massive resistance. In New Hampshire, the open primary system lets independents, and even Democrats, vote in GOP primaries, and so offers a much more promising ground for a rebellion.
Others, still, have maintained ties to influential figures in New Hampshire, just in case things change dramatically. The Romney 2012, Kasich 2016, and Rubio 2016 campaign networks there remain largely intact, and many of the operatives and lawmakers involved in those operations have been careful not to align themselves too closely with Trump, in case a primary does arise down the line. Rubio, meanwhile, last month endorsed for reelection a Hampstead-based state senator whoâ€™d co-chaired his campaign effort in the state. Rand Paul this month endorsed one of his former backers there for Congress. And filings from the New Hampshire secretary of Stateâ€™s office reviewed by New York reveal that both Kasichâ€™s campaign committee and Penceâ€™s super-PAC donated thousands of dollars to Governor Chris Sununuâ€™s reelection effort this spring â€” a good way to keep themselves on the most powerful local Republicanâ€™s good side.
And yet, the waiting game continues as Trump marches toward the midterms, toward a Mueller conclusion, toward 2020. Back in Washington, the Democratic National Committee and the leftâ€™s largest opposition research group, American Bridge, have already compiled hundreds of hours of footage and thousands of pages of research on Kasich, Flake, Sasse, Pence, Haley, and others.
It may feel prudent to them to wait for the external conditions to align just right, warned Kevin Madden, a former Bush and Romney aide, but â€śwhen we were plotting 2008 or 2012, we were putting together the building blocksâ€ť at this point in the election cycle, he said. Waiting time is now almost over. â€śWe will probably be about three hours into 2018 midterm coverage on Election Night before every single political conversation turns to 2020.â€ť
Ahead of November's critical midterm elections, billionaire former hedge fund manager Tom Steyer has piled more than $20 million into his campaign to impeach the president. Asked Thursday evening if she agreed with the mega-donor's effort, Warren answered, "Nope."
The Massachusetts Democrat said she wanted to see special counsel Robert Mueller's Russia investigation come to a close before she draws a conclusion. The former FBI director is looking into Russian efforts to influence the 2016 election and whether the Trump campaign coordinated with the Kremlin.
If Donald Trump is not impeached first, he is likely to face a primary challenge â€” of some sort â€” in 2020.
If he is impeached, his chances of winning the nomination in 2020 increase as the GOP base will be furious.
Quote:If Donald Trump is not impeached first, he is likely to face a primary challenge â€” of some sort â€” in 2020.
Another fool who doesn't understand what impeachment means.
Take a look at the 2018 Democratic primary season and three things immediately leap out at you:
Women are winning. Everywhere. According to Cook Political Report House editor David Wasserman, in open Democratic House primaries with at least one man and one woman running, women have won 69% of the time.
Liberals are winning. From Andrew Gillum in Florida's governor's race to Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Ayanna Pressley in the House, candidates positioning themselves as unapologetic progressives are meeting with success.
People of color are winning. Gillum is one of three African-American nominees for governor in 2018, a historic number. (Stacey Abrams in Georgia and Ben Jealous in Maryland are the other two.)
We are nothing if not mindful of the the messages voters are sending at the ballot box. Because of that, we are crowning a new king -- er, queen -- in our monthly rankings of the 10 people most likely to wind up as the Democratic nominee for president against Donald Trump in 2020.
(DES MOINES, Iowa) â€” New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker urged Democrats disappointed by Brett Kavanaughâ€™s confirmation to turn their despair into action as he made his national debut in Iowa as a Democratic presidential prospect.
Racing from Saturday afternoonâ€™s Senate confirmation vote in Washington, Booker breezed into the Iowa Democratic Partyâ€™s top fall fundraiser to try to make a positive impression on roughly 1,000 party activists. He is visiting the early presidential testing ground this weekend as he weighs a campaign for the 2020 Democratic nomination.
â€śI see the pain and the hurt, but I want to remind everyone here in this room tonight, full of fellowship, this room full of faith, that this is a time in our country when we need to stay faithful,â€ť Booker told the audience at a convention center in downtown Des Moines. All but one Democratic senator voted against Kavanaugh, who was confirmed 50-48.