Wednesday, April 29, 2020

Race for the White House Update: Justin Amash and Jesse Ventura

-- Conventional wisdom (sic) holds that this is bad news for Joe Biden, not Trump.

Rep. Justin Amash of Michigan said Tuesday that he is launching an exploratory committee for the 2020 Libertarian Party’s presidential nomination.

The Republican-turned-independent said on Twitter that the U.S. was ready for new leadership. He also posted a link to a new campaign website.

“Americans are ready for practical approaches based in humility and trust of the people,” Amash said. “We’re ready for a presidency that will restore respect for our Constitution and bring people together.

Amash announced last July that he was leaving the Republican Party, saying he had become disenchanted with partisan politics and “frightened by what I see from it.” He drew ire from President Donald Trump and fellow Republicans when he said the president had engaged in impeachable conduct as described in special counsel Robert Mueller’s report on ties between Trump’s 2016 campaign and Russia.

I don't see it ...

But the polling shows it.

Do click on that Bulwark link (even though it's The Bulwark; the conservative perspective is important in this calculus).  Amash's bid explains why Gretchen Whitmer (the governor of Michigan) is a finalist in the veepstakes, though she doesn't seem to want the job as much as Stacey Abrams.

It's amusing that #NeverTrump Republicans are already calling Amash the "new Ralph Nader".  He inspires the regularly scheduled fear and loathing among neoliberals as a result.

HuffPo has more detail on the constituencies Amash might draw votes from.

-- So if that's not enough November fun for you ...

Jesse Ventura, who served as Minnesota governor as a member of the Reform Party, said Monday that he is "testing the waters" for a potential 2020 run for president on the Green Party ticket.

In a pair of tweets, the former wrestling star, who has repeatedly floated a White House bid, said he endorses the Green Party's platform and had authorized a letter to the party signaling his interest in running for its presidential nomination.

In my WH Update last week -- and in IPR's account on Monday -- both of us indicated skepticism about Ventura throwing in.  So while we wait for my humble crow pie to come out of the oven, let me reiterate my personal objection to voting for Jesse unless he can clear up a few things about his platform, specifically his lack of support for Medicare for All.

Jonathan Bernstein probably has the right take as of today.  I still see the Green Party nomination going to Howie Hawkins, though I wish Dario Hunter was running stronger.

-- Bernie Sanders thanked his supporters yesterday in an online chat.  He did not release his delegates, as some feared, following the cancellation of the New York primary.  He also did not acknowledge pleadings to unsuspend his campaign or withdraw his endorsement of Biden due to the bubbling scandal related to Tara Reade's rape allegations.

A handful of his top campaign aides started a SuperPAC to support Joe Biden.

"Ye shall know them by their fruits."

-- Hillary Clinton endorsed Joe yesterday.

Don't think for minute that both Trump and the rest of the GOP are beyond making hay out of this "whistling past the graveyard" business on the part of the Democratic establishment.

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