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The invisible 2020 Democratic primary is already underway

Donors are being courted and small-dollar donor lists are being compiled and expanded

October 22, 2018

10:02 AM

22 October 2018

10:02 AM

Is there a possibility Hillary Clinton will launch her third presidential campaign in 2020? If you ask former chief political strategist Steve Bannon, there is no doubt in his mind the former First Lady, US Senator, Secretary of State, and 2016 Democratic presidential nominee is itching to run. ‘She’s looking for a rematch’ against Donald Trump, Bannon told Curt Mills in a Spectator USA exclusive.

Whether or not Clinton enters the race, Democrats across America will have plenty of choices when candidates officially declare their bids next year. The 2020 Democratic presidential primary may be the most crowded in living memory; the last time there was this much excitement in the party, Barack Obama was still a freshman senator from Illinois looking to pull of an upset against the Clinton political machine.

While Americans have another election in mind — the 2018 midterms — the ‘invisible Democratic presidential primary’ is well underway. Because the field is expected to be so large and the competition so steep, Democrats eyeing the party’s nomination are already traveling the country, dispatching staff members to key states, and raking in cash. Donors are being courted and small-dollar donor lists are being compiled and expanded.

Vice President Joe Biden, someone who ran for president twice before, is speaking and acting as if he is already a candidate. The VP with the aviator sunglasses is trashing Donald Trump on the stump and ruminating about running one last time on national television. Sen. Bernie Sanders, the man whose political revolution gave Hillary Clinton fits in 2016, is now in the process of barnstorming nine states — drawing thousands of diehard supporters to his rallies. Progressive darling Elizabeth Warren and her staff have been connecting to dozens of campaigns at the local, state, and national level in an attempt to cement her influence in all 50 states. And despite avoiding questions about throwing her hat in the ring, Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand is behaving as if she is preparing for a national campaign; the New Yorker has barely spent anything on her own re-election effort, a frugality that has kept her bank account flush with over $10 million.

Then there’s Michael Avenatti, the porn star lawyer and self-promoter who has made attacking Trump on the airwaves a profession. The Democratic political establishment would prefer he move to Siberia, never to be heard from again. Yet the frostiness from the Democratic Party has convinced Avenatti that whatever he’s doing is working. The lawyer wouldn’t be spending so much time in Iowa if he weren’t interested in running for the highest office and transitioning his anti-Trump crusade into a political campaign.

In public, Donald Trump is waving off all of these Democrats as hacks and Pelosi-bots. He’s telling reporters he hopes ‘1 per cent Joe’ Biden is the Democratic nominee in 2020. He’s also treating Elizabeth ‘Pocahontas’ Warren like a petulant child trying to play ball with the adults.

In private, however, Trump is taking the 2020 Democratic field quite seriously. This is obvious when one looks at his non-stop campaigning in battleground states and the $100 million war-chest he has built up since becoming president. As Democratic presidential candidates beat each other up over the next 18 months, Trump will fine tune his message; continue inciting his base; and will try to spend as much time away from Washington as possible.

Welcome to the 2020 campaign.

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