Friday, March 01, 2019

The Weekly Twenty Twenty Update

Already blogged some on the topic this week, so I'll just refer you to Bernie's CNN townhall wrap-up last Tuesday and yesterday's Green Party candidates post.

-- Washington Gov. Jay Inslee declared this morning.  Andy Kroll:

So Jay Inslee is running for president. His vision, he tells Rolling Stone, is an administration organized around the climate crisis, an entire federal government working in unison to decarbonize the economy and help save the planet. No candidate has his record on the issue, and none of them have said nearly enough about it, he says. “A lot of these candidates want to check the box,” he tells me. But one sentence in their campaign-launch events doesn’t solve this problem. “This has to be the number-one priority of the United States,” he insists. “Every agency has to be on board, and it has to take priority over everything else we do. You have to build a mandate for this during the campaign, and you have to express a willingness to spend your political capital to get this done. I think too many other candidates are going to say, ‘I’m for the Green New Deal, and now I’m done.’ That just doesn’t cut it.”

David Roberts, "Dr. Vox":

After years on the periphery of American political life, climate change is having a bit of a moment. Activists (along with five Democratic presidential candidates and at least 100 members of Congress) have rallied behind a Green New Deal that proposes a crash program to decarbonize the US economy. Polls on climate change show rising rates of concern across the country and among both political parties. It seems that after decades near the bottom of Democratic priority list, climate has broken into the top two or three.

Washington Gov. Jay Inslee, who will announce his presidential candidacy Friday morning, is hoping to seize that moment. Over the course of his 30-year career in public life — first in the Washington state legislature, then in the House of Representatives, then, since 2012, governor of Washington state — he has always prioritized sustainability, and not always to his political benefit. Now he sees his signature issue and the national zeitgeist aligning at last, and he thinks it can take him to the White House.

In 2007, Inslee released a book (co-written with Bracken Hendricks) called Apollo’s Fire: Igniting America’s Clean Energy Economy. It called for a broad suite of emission-reducing policies, led by massive investments in American clean energy jobs, with a focus on environmental justice. If that sounds familiar, well, they didn’t call it a Green New Deal, but it was pretty green, and pretty New Deal.

Now, to his delight, a youth movement has thrust a similar plan into the center of national debate. He thinks he’s the guy to take it over the finish line.

Some are not impressed.

-- Let's look at the 'leaners', as reported by 538.  Everybody has seen Beto's latest strip tease, so no need to mention him again until he shits or gets off the pot.

Michael Bennet
During a trip to Iowa last weekend, Bennet told the Des Moines Register that he is “leaning toward” entering the presidential race. The newspaper also reported that he spent much of his four stops in the Hawkeye State speaking about education — Bennet was the superintendent of Denver Public Schools for four years.

“I think we need an education president,” Bennet told the Register. “There’s no public good that’s more important than education.”

Joe Biden
Biden said Tuesday at a University of Delaware event that his family has signed-off on a presidential run, explaining that after a “family meeting,” there was a “consensus.”

“The most important people in my life want me to run,” the former vice president said.

As for the timeline of his own decision, Biden revealed that he is in the “final stages” of the process and told the New York Times that a potential campaign would begin during the year’s second quarter.

“It’s something that I have to make sure that I could run a first-rate effort to do this and make clear where I think the country should go and how to get there,” he said publicly. “That’s the process going on right now. That’s as straightforward as I can be. I have not made the final decision, but don’t be surprised.”

Michael Bloomberg
Bloomberg picked up a preemptive endorsement from fellow billionaire Warren Buffett, who revealed his affinity for the former New York City mayor in an interview with CNBC.

“I think that he knows how to run things, I think that he’s got the right goals for America, he understands people, he understands the market system,” Buffett said.

Politico reported Thursday that representatives of Bloomberg were beginning to look at office space in New York City and interviewing potential staffers.

Bloomberg stopped in Nevada Tuesday to praise the state’s new gun background check law. During a news conference related to the legislation he noted that he was still undecided on a presidential run.

Sherrod Brown
Brown took his “dignity of workmessage to Nevada earlier this week, where he said that if he chooses to run for president, he’ll be “the most pro-union candidate.”

“We will have a government on the side of workers, not a government on the side of big corporations,” the Ohio senator told members of the Culinary Union Saturday in Las Vegas.

Speaking to reporters Wednesday, however, Brown said he has yet to reach a final decision on a presidential run, but would do so by the end of March.

Bill de Blasio
The New York City mayor visited Iowa last weekend, where he spoke to a crowd of 40 people at a union hall and met with former Gov. Tom Vilsack.

De Blasio acknowledged that he is “not a candidate at this moment,” but argued that Democrats “have to have a progressive as our nominee.”

“We have to be able to speak to working people across our whole country,” he continued. “We also have to have a nominee who is believable as a leader in such an important position.”

John Hickenlooper
The former Colorado governor continues to take steps towards a presidential run, expected to be announced some time in early March. Last weekend, Hickenlooper held meet-and-greet events in Sioux City and Carroll, Iowa, and spoke at the Story County Democrats’ Annual Soup Dinner.

A spokesperson for Hickenlooper told the Associated Press that he has raised over $1 million for his political action committee.

-- There's potentially another GOP primary challenger to join Bill Weld.

Larry Hogan
As speculation grows that the Maryland governor could launch a challenge to Trump, Hogan asked in a Washington Post interview why the Republican National Committee was taking steps to declare its support for the president and potentially shut down primaries.

“If he has unanimous support and everybody is on board, why shut down the normal process?” Hogan said. “It’s almost like a hostage situation.”

Referring to the governor specifically on Thursday at the Conservative Political Action Conference, RNC chair Ronna McDaniel said that any other potential challengers to Trump “have the right to jump in and lose.”

--And another CNN townhall is on the schedule -- to be held in Austin at SXSW on March 10 -- with some of the lesser publicized candidates to be featured.

Delaney, who is also a former businessman and entrepreneur, was the first to announce his candidacy in July 2017. Gabbard, an Iraq War veteran, announced her White House bid in January while Buttigieg, who is seeking to become the party's first openly gay nominee, launched an exploratory committee last month.

The Houston Chronicle reports that Liz Warren, Amy Klobuchar, and Julián Castro will also speak at SXSW, but I cannot find any indication that CNN will be hosting a town hall for those candidates at post time.

Go over to FiveThirtyEight for more on Cory Booker, Kirsten Gillibrand, Kamala Harris, and Andrew Yang.

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