Saturday, April 06, 2019

Race for the White House 2020 # 14

When I wrote volume 13 of this series last Saturday afternoon, I had no idea the week would be so horrifically unlikely for the Chicago Cubs. Let's hope for a new beginning here!

Along the lines of sports, while the number of NCAA basketball teams has reduced to a Final Four this weekend, the number of Democrats running for President grows even larger.

Ohio Congressman Tim Ryan, a one-time foe of Nancy Pelosi, jumped into the race, which I found somewhat surprising. He definitely could fill a "blue collar Ohio" void since his state's Senator Sherrod Brown is not running, but might Ryan be sensing that Joe Biden is going to not be as strong as thought? Ryan is just 45 years old and two even younger Democrat House Members are also looking like they are taking steps to get in. California Congressman Eric Swalwell, who has attracted a lot of national atttention for his anti-Trump efforts the last couple of years is about to announce his campaign, and will put a large focus on gun control. Massachusetts Congressman Seth Moulton, who was also once a Pelosi Conference foe, is a bit less certain, but it looks like he wants to run too, and he might try to position himself as a more electable, centrist Democrat.

The main focus for Democrats this past week has been on Biden and the way he has handled an increasing number of women coming forward to claim his touching made them uncomfortable .(Bill Maher had a funny joke about how Biden's hands have been an "Exploratory Committee" for years.) There is increasing understanding that associates of Bernie Sanders campaign are being the most active in pushing these stories against Biden. Of course, that makes sense, but Donald Trump, whom of course should tread lightly on this topic, has of course also jumped into the fray.

Biden kept a low profile for the early part of the week, while his critics were a bit harsh towards the statements he released. Then, he released some sort of poorly produced Instagram video in which he pledged to change his ways, and that was met with mixed reactions. Friends of Biden have stepped up over the past week to vouch for his character, although the absence of a public statement by Barack or Michelle Obama is also noticeable. On Friday, Biden spoke before a large audience and made some jokes about the situation, claiming for instance that he had received permission to hug the man who introduced him and to (innocently) touch a child he brought on stage. The reaction to this was mixed as well. Biden said afterwards he felt bad if he made anyone uncomfortable but would not apologize for his "intentions." I think that is a good response but nonetheless, his intentions, as innocent as they may have been over the years still created some creepy results.

Conventional wisdom is that Biden is indeed still planning to go forward with a run, even as billionaire former New York City Mayor Mike Bloomberg is now saying he might reconsider a bid as a Democrat if Biden stays out. The young, "woke" crowd among liberals on social media is increasingly and strongly opposed to Biden being their candidate at this point. There may be a whole lot of other Democrat primary voters who are older and not as much online who may find all this ridiculous and support Biden as a result.

On the topic of ridiculous, Donald Trump had that sort of week. He flip flopped on closing the Mexican border and falsely claimed his father was born in Germany, just to name a couple of things. Early polls, the highly fluctuating Rasmussen one aside, do not show any "bounce" in his favor after the claims that he has been cleared by the Mueller Report.

The fighting over that report continues, with claims that the information contained in it will look much worse for Trump than Attorney General William Barr let on. I guess everyone will need to stay tuned.


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