Cockburn is introducing the Donkey Dow: a round-up of the movers and shakers in the race to face up against Donald Trump. Here’s how the candidates and contenders fared over the last few days.
You come at the king, you best not miss. Joe Biden is settling into his role as the front-runner, even though the knives are out for him. Facing conflict of interest questions about your son Hunter? No biggie, a Ukrainian official will come out swinging for you. Dubbed the ‘Amtrak masseuse’ by Saturday Night Live? Who cares, they’ll be asking you to host in a few months. Uncle Joe even bested his oldest enemy: himself. He fluffed his lines by misremembering female British prime ministers, but caught his mistake before anyone else had a chance to. Biden has a 32-point lead over Bernie according to a new poll. Surely he can’t blow it.
Further to the left, Elizabeth Warren continued her good run of form. While she keeps banging the impeachment drum, and her #CancelMyDebt campaign is proving popular with millennials, she really deserves props for improving her Twitter game.
Somebody’s ready for spring. pic.twitter.com/mmV5bSW46A
— Elizabeth Warren (@ewarren) May 6, 2019
A lot of the media was squalling about how the 2020 crop were quiet on the foreign policy front. ‘Democrats want to challenge Trump’s foreign policy in 2020. They’re still working out how,’ reported Vox. Tulsi Gabbard is running a foreign policy-first campaign, but sadly the soldier-surfer isn’t making enough waves to be noticed. She’s got enough donors to make the debates, but will have to poll better than she currently is to be sure of securing a spot.
Also on the policy front: Beto O’Rourke apparently has some now. Following weeks of criticism for bloviating while standing on counter-tops, the former Texas congressman unveiled a climate change plan (obviously he hasn’t heard that’s Jay Inslee’s thing), started talking about gun violence (move along Eric Swalwell) and decided to stand in someone’s yard rather than above everyone else. The zeitgeist has moved on though: Beto might as well whisper his newfound policies to his reflection for all the attention he’s getting.
Speaking of attention, Pete Buttigieg and his husband Chasten were featured on the cover of TIME magazine. They’ve finally caught up to the hype, just a month late. More telling is the New Yorker piece describing Mayor Pete’s time at Oxford:
‘Marissa Doran, a lawyer in New York, said Buttigieg was “a good egg” who, when he wasn’t leading a politics-themed discussion group, liked to “hole up and play Risk or Settlers of Catan.” At Pembroke, one of Oxford’s residential colleges, Buttigieg oversaw the common-room bar. “He curated this great collection of whiskey from around the world,” Wilkinson said. “When students took trips, he’d get them to bring something back for his ‘whiskey library.’”’
He sounds insufferable. Calling it now: Boot-a-judge has jumped the shark.
Bernie Sanders was leading the field…until Sleepy Joe showed up. Since then, the socialist supremo has been caught flat-footed. He needs to work out where he’s going to pull primary votes from: should he target soft centrists? Can he bag the support of in-vogue politicians like AOC and Ilhan Omar? Something’s gotta give.
Neither here nor there
Attorney General Barr’s appearance in front of the Senate Judiciary Committee gave three 2020 contenders the biggest platform possible to make a splash. Amy Klobuchar grilled Barr on the ‘pattern’ of obstruction. Kamala Harris locked horns with him over whether Trump or anyone at the White House ‘suggested’ that he open an investigation into anyone…then spent the next few days bragging about it on MSNBC. Cory Booker called on Barr to resign. For anyone watching, it was a refreshing reminder: ‘oh yeah, I forgot they were running for president.’ But for the Senate Judiciary candidates, it was a missed opportunity.
Crack out the Coors Lite: Colorado senator Michael Bennet is running! What makes this pasty-faced politico different from the rest? Well, his brother James is the editor of the New York Times Opinion section…but will be ‘recusing himself’ from 2020 election coverage. Cockburn didn’t know this was an option. Can I too recuse myself from- [never! – Ed.]
Also, how pissed off would you be, that your little bro can’t help you with your election effort? James could have deployed the might of popular columnists Bari Weiss and Bret Stephens – a move sure to win the support of the Democratic base. Such a missed opportunity.
Hilariously, reports emerged this weekend that Bill de Blasio will enter the fray this week, drifting into the 2020 race as late as the M train on a Saturday.
Per The Atlantic:
‘“Ugh,” said one former aide when asked about de Blasio actually going forward with his rumored 2020 campaign. “Lunacy,” said another. Others declined to comment for this story.’
Cockburn can’t wait. What’s Blaz’s game plan? Is he putting himself in prime position to stand for Kirsten Gillibrand’s Senate seat once she secures the nomination? By next week we’ll know whether de Blasio is skimmed or low-fat milk. Either way, he’ll be around the 1 percent mark.