Tacking Early to the Middle
Another wild week in American politics, and that’s not counting the impeachment inquiry. It’s doubtful that any Democratic strategist follows Revolted Colonies. Yet, a few must’ve have figured out themselves that Warren and Sanders are too scary for American prime-time. Biden is not a strong enough candidate, no matter what the polls say (rather, said; we’ll get back to that). Klobuchar is still not lighting any fires. And they are the best of the lot.
Despite the president’s unfavorable ratings and impeachable performance, he remains re-electable. Enough people around the country think he’s been the victim of unrelenting attacks; just enough at any rate to keep him from taking early retirement. Say what you will about Trump, he is a force, just not the right side of it.
The Democratic establishment saw Warren surging and decided to step in before it was too late. Michael Bloomberg, a genuine billionaire, filed a petition in Alabama to put his name on the primary ballot to meet the earliest filing deadline. The 77-year-old former mayor hasn’t declared, but he’s always been talking about it.
Deval Patrick, an Obama adherent, announced that he is running. Patrick is a former Massachusetts governor and Bain Capital partner. His party affiliation, brown skin and bald head ensure that he won’t be confused with Mitt Romney though, his predecessor in both jobs. He’s smart and savvy, a gifted speaker and a centrist. Make no mistake – he is not an Obama clone, for whatever that’s worth.
If all of this wasn’t depressing enough for the progressive wing, the former president made it known that most Americans want healthcare and income equity, but they aren’t about to break up the furniture. Run a centrist, he warned, but he didn’t say anything about Biden, his former vice president. If Obama doesn’t think Joe can go all the way, trust his intuition: he can’t.
Bloomberg and Patrick’s coming-out parties were crashed by South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg, who vaulted over three rivals to top the latest Iowa poll. He’s outspent his rivals carpet-bombing the Hawkeye State, which happened because also he out fund-raised them. The proximity of Indiana to Des Moines and Davenport enables him to make quick visits during mayoral lunch breaks. Done right, presidential campaigns require lots of money. It’s time to start looking at who is backing Mayor Pete.
Let’s not forget that Obama went from zero to hero by winning Iowa, and he did it by eating in every diner and pumping every hand. If Buttigieg doesn’t falter, he can win. As Iowa did for Obama, the momentum of victory or a strong showing will give him a chance to outrun the issue of his electability as a gay, married man.
This year, the Democrats are not going to wait till July 2020 to pivot to the center. Recent wins in Kentucky, Virginia and Louisiana, all considered personal losses for Trump, fuel the belief that a Democrat can take back the White House, as long as that Democrat is the right, that is, centrist one.