Latest Thoughts on the Horserace and Impeachment

I’m still struggling to come up with a great title for these catch-all posts of lots of little thoughts.  I’m determined not to steal Professor Mondo’s eminently useful “potpourri.”  But, hey, he’s a published author with stories in collections with guys you might know, like Lawrence Block and Stephen King, so it only makes sense that he grabs the best words first.

  • The age and health of the septuagenarian Democratic candidates is on my mind again.  Bernie had some stents put in this week.  I’ve been pretty clear on my thoughts about Biden’s age.  As it happens, I live with my mother and my mother-in-law, both of whom are 77 years old.  I take them to the doctor, get them their prescriptions and just generally help them around the house.  Seeing how diminished they are gives me pause when I look at Bernie, Biden, and Warren.  Bernie will be 79 on election day and when he would take office.  Biden will be 77 on election day and 78 when he takes office.  Warren will be 71 on election day and when she takes office.
  • I think Bernie’s health scare is a big deal and, potentially, a race-changing deal.  He’s off the campaign trail while he recovers, which doesn’t help.  In addition, we’re two weeks away from the next debate.  It could take the focus away from his policies to the question of age.  It will also cause commentators to focus on how he looks, more than on what he says.  While he was the oldest candidate running, Bernie seems to have a lot of energy.  I suspect this could affect that.
  • This is potentially race-changing because it brings the health and the age of the older candidates more to the fore.  I suspect we might see a question about age or health at the next debate.  Biden is close to Bernie’s age, so this could have a negative effect on his candidacy.  Not as much for Warren, but she could definitely be in the range of some shrapnel from this grenade.
  • I think the Ukrainian thing and discussion of age works to the favor of Mayor Pete.  He’s clearly in the top 5, even if he’s not top tier.  He’s got oodles of money and he plays in the moderate lane.  He’s playing to be an alternative to Biden and the latest news cycles have been good for him.
  • One of the reasons I favor Warren over Biden is enthusiasm.  I think enthusiasm is maybe the single most important factor for Democrats in 2020.  Probably the race for president will be close.  Even if impeachment brings Trumps numbers down so that the Democratic candidate would be favored, enthusiasm is important for all of the other races that are being decided in November 2020.  Right now the candidates that can hope to instill some enthusiasm in the campaign are Warren and Mayor Pete.  Maybe also Bernie, but see above.  So, if age becomes a thing and Warren doesn’t look like the nominee, I’m might start looking at Pete as the best alternative.  He’s got a great story and would be groundbreaking despite being a white guy.
  • On the other hand, Mayor Pete and Warren both have yet to catch fire with African-Americans.  Some of Biden’s support in that community will erode if it looks like he’s not going to be the nominee.  Still, enthusiasm, remember?  So, the VP pick will be key.  I’m intrigued by the idea of a Warren/Harris ticket.  I like Stacey Abrams and think she would be awesome with Mayor Pete.  Cory Booker with Warren would also be a great combo.
  • I’m not sure if I’m going to do another ranking post before the debate.  I’ll do a debate post and probably an overall ranking after that.  I think I’m still about where I was in the last ranking.  1-Warren, 2-Harris, 3/4/5-Booker, O’Rourke, Pete and then the rest.  My ranking is my personal preference, so that’s the only reason that Pete is down around 5.  He’s just a little too in the moderate lane for my taste.  But I’m thinking about this enthusiasm thing, so I’m might consider bumping him up to 2.  Let’s see what the debate shows.
  • Hello, Warren campaign! Let’s get those fundraising numbers out.  Sooner, rather than later, please.  I’m curious why the delay.  Does this mean she undershot?  And what about Biden?  Word seems to be his number will be low.  Inquiring minds want to know this stuff.
  • Ukraine and impeachment stuff is coming fast and furious.  Something new every day.  I still think it’s an overall negative for Biden.  It’s also negative for the candidates who are stuck down below 5%.  There’s only room for the top tier and impeachment at this point, so hard to get noticed.  The debate will help, but only if you’re on the stage and, with 12 people up there, even the debate might not help.
  • I think I’m going to do a full post on this, but I wonder about the candidates who haven’t made the debate stage, but are still sticking around.  I’m talking Delaney, Bennet, Williamson, Ryan, Messam, and Bullock.  When do they get out and to whom does their support go?
  • I think I’ve gone on long enough.  One last thought.  Or question.  What’s the deal with Andrew Yang?  Good fundraising numbers.  Zero chance to get the nomination.  How does he fit in?

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