And it is my batting average when it comes to picking Democratic presidential candidates. And it’s bad. Otherwise, 2020 is a sea of poltiical confusion, or so you would think if you are a political junkie.
For starters, I don’t think I have picked an eventual nominee since I first got to vote in Democratic presidential primaries since 1984. Gary Hart in 1984. Joe Biden in 1988. I didn’t have a pick in 1992. Bill Bradley in 2000. Howard Dean in 2004. Eventually, HIllary Clinton in 2008. And Bernie Sanders in 2016.
Now, I have gone and wrecked Elizabeth Warren’s campaign with my cursed donations and support. That is the only constant I can find. All other political convential wisdoms are rapidly disappearing this year.
In the past, there was some momentum gained for winning candidates after the Iowa caucus. You can scratch that off your list. Pete Buttigieg should have gotten lots of traction. But his political moment got stomped on by the IDP’s incompetence.
Sanders should have dominated in Iowa. He didn’t. He is my second choice, and to be honest, if Warren was fading, I was hoping Sanders would score a sizable victory. I want a progressive to win. Now, the Bernie bashers have some data to throw in his face that his movement still has a lot of work to do. And now that Warren appears to be fading — sorry a third place showing in Iowa is OK and just OK — the political and economic establishment (YES there is a political and economic establishment folks, as much as some on Daily Kos hate to hear that said) is now turning its attention to further demonizing Sanders.
Think of it as the Overton Window with steel shutters against any progressive candidate.
Warren is still in the game, and from my amatuer position it appears — appears folks, I cannot be sure — instead of trying to gain some big political momentum or knock out, Warren is spending money and resources on Super Tuesday states. In other words, she is going long game. Unfortunately, the past says this does not work.
I’ve seen that movie played time and again, but given that Iowa was a spectacular disaster, maybe this is the year where the long game works? Hell, I do not know. But the Media and one pseudo-Democratic billionaire is betting that will work: Bloomberg. It is accepted wisdom now that Bloomberg is waiting in the weeds among Super Tuesday states with his highly paid campaign staff, organization, and ad buys ready to demolish anyone still left standing after SC.
But then I get this cognitive dissonance argument from the Media and politcal pundits. To wit: candidates who cannot get black Democrats to vote for them will fail miserably. I agree with that point.
However, I have been told over and over again that the Democrat who can go in and appeal to white blue collar voters will win. But it seems that the white blue collar voters and other white voters in Iowa, New Hampshire, and possibly Nevada do not seem to count. They are not representative of the Democratic Party. This is true. But we still need a candidate who has the magic to draw in those white voters.
Wait a minute. Somehow white voters in Democratic primaries do not count as much as white voters outside of the Democratic Party? Sure, getting black Democrats to vote for you is a definite sign of strength, but not getting a lot of white Democrats to support you is OK? This is the Biden argument.
I agree with black activists and political strategists that if a Democrat has a shitty record on racial justice issue they ain’t going anywhere. Many of those same activists and strategists point out that it is a serious weakness for Pete Buttigieg, and they are predicting that unless he can work some kind of magic, Buttigieg is going to get hammered when he hits SC and other states with a sizable black electorate.
And the same goes for Klobuchar.
And while Warren and Sanders do not have the same kind of records such as Buttigieg and Klobuchar, the rap is that their political positions don’t have any real appeal in black communities.
But why is it that Bloomberg is considered as someone who will dominate the field among the Super Tuesday states? Everyone says it is the money he is spending. But last time I checked, Bloomberg was Mr. Stop and Frisk while mayor of NYC. Call me crazy, but I don’t think that he has the mojo to persuade black Democrats that he is the candidate of their dreams.
Which brings me back to Joe Biden.
Biden has been kept afloat by support from black voters in every opinion poll. SC is considered his firewall. Mr. “I am the most electable” Democrat has been pushing this theme since he got in the race. And, don’t ask me why, everyone keeps saying that Joe Biden has appeal to blue collar Democrats in Midwest and other states. With his support from both groups, Biden has the best chance for defeating Trump, or so his supporters keep saying.
But aren’t there blue collar Democrats in Iowa? And New Hampshire? Biden didn’t seem to have that winning combo in Iowa. And Biden is sending signals that New Hampshire doesn’t really matter.
Do you see why this all appears a little confusing?
I guess my point is that it doesn’t seem that anyone has a good take on how this will all play out.
Except that I think my curse of the Flying Dutchman Democratic supporter has done in Warren, which is probably the only safe prediction I can make.