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.
Mike Gravel, the former Alaska senator, 2008 Democratic presidential aspirant and human vessel for the kids these days has no chance – he said himself he doesn’t want one! – but he does seems to be well on his way to be the resident heckler of this hellscape. He’s earned it. Buttigieg appears to be his bête noire. Mayor Pete: On the rocks!
Elizabeth Warren and Cory Booker: both up. The duo both have Jersey roots – Warren as a Rutgers-Newark grad, and Booker as the Newark mayor, and both were born to run. With Mr Buttigieg and Mr Sanders flagging, and Mr Biden somnolent, opportunity strikes for the energetic. Warren is the wonky wonder-woman with a plan; Booker’s the vegan brawler. Both are making inroads with the party’s African Americans, the Democratic lynchpin demographic, and the achilles’ heel of campaigns Bernie and Buttigieg.
A young man supposedly accused Pete Buttigieg, or ‘Mayor Pete’ – the breakout star of the 2020 Democratic primaries – of sexual assault on Monday. The accusation received relatively paltry coverage in most of the mainstream press, and the accuser himself, Hunter Kelly, provided few details: ‘In the days and weeks ahead, I will share my full story with the nation,’ he wrote in a stark Medium post. Cockburn has little further to add, other than to note Spectator USA has reached out to both Mr Kelly and the Buttigieg campaign for comment and not heard back at press time. Cockburn also notes that according to his public Twitter, Mr Kelly is a supporter of Buttigieg rival, Bernie Sanders. ‘I must confess that this is the toughest thing I have ever had to do. For two weeks now, I have been contemplating suicide,’ Kelly writes. He implies the alleged altercation was quite recent: ‘I was sexually assaulted by Mayor Pete Buttigieg. I didn’t know who he was back in February, only that he told me he was an important politician.’ Will the allegation damage Buttigieg? It seems not: according to The Daily Beast, known hoaxsters Jacob Wohl and Jack Burkman may be behind the hit-job:
‘A Republican source told The Daily Beast that lobbyist Jack Burkman and internet troll Jacob Wohl approached him last week to try to convince him to falsely accuse Buttigieg, the former mayor of South Bend, Indiana, of engaging him sexually while he was too drunk to consent…asked about the allegation on Monday, Buttigieg called it made up. “It’s not going to throw us,” he said. “Politics can be ugly sometimes but you have to face that when you’re in presidential politics.”’
A lot has happened this spring; Klobmentum has not been one of them. Amy Klobuchar has to ask people to applaud her. Not a good look.
Many argue Bernie Sanders, not Biden, is the front-runner in this race; he didn’t behave like it when Biden announced last week. The bolshevik from Burlington is not keeping it cool, writing to supporters: ‘We knew what we would be up against: the political establishment. The financial elite. Powerful special interest groups. And a record number of primary candidates – including another who just entered the race today.’ In millennial parlance, someone needs to chill; if Mr Sanders is indeed the front-runner, he should go less zany and more Xanax. We get it.
Neither here nor there
In contrast to Bernie, Kamala Harris, the plodding, endorsement-primary ringer and donor favorite was more diplomatic about Biden’s announcement, which wasn’t lost on some Democratic activists: ‘My friend Joe Biden is now running for president,’ Mrs Harris wrote to supporters. ‘The more, the merrier!’ While the putative powerhouse could really use a more solid showing in the polls, Cockburn always cheers a little class.
Also stable this week: Andrew Yang. No one needs the debates to come sooner than the Yang gang.
Joe Biden, the nascent front-runner, has announced. Finally. Since he finally got out of the door, Cockburn will exhibit a sporting spirit and judge his stock: up.
But he is not impressed: maybe it’s besides the point. Biden is helming a ghost ship campaign thus far: he’s here, he’s available, he’s not going to work that hard. Biden in his announcement video presented himself as the de facto nominee against Donald Trump, which he is. He didn’t mention any other Democratic candidate – or allude to any internecine primary battle, whether personal or policy-related.
In other words, if the Democrats want to nominate their most famous candidate, he’s here to accept that mantle. If nominated, he’ll accept, as General Sherman and Dick Cheney never said.
Otherwise, he’s keeping it at his own pace: an embarrassing private fundraiser with a Comcast executive, an embarrassingly friendly View appearance, and an embarrassingly delayed first public rally five days after his announcement. Fightin’ Joe, at this stage, is only going to fight so much. The thing is: it might be enough: his two principal rivals for the nomination look diminished this week. And President Trump, argue some, looks scared.
Also someone called Seth Moulton is now running. Apparently he’s a congressman for Massachusetts. Good for him!