Updated: Jan 6
Much has happened in the race for the Democratic nomination in the past two weeks, and while many of the things I predicted are coming true, there is one reality I didn’t fully come to grips with – What are we going to do for a candidate who can actually win?
If you believe the hype that any of our top five candidates can beat Trump, you’re going to be disappointed. In 2016 Trump voters were underestimated by 1 to 9 points and several top pollsters believe underreporting in 2020 could be even higher. Believe me, there are an awful lot of people out there who won’t admit they like Trump.
Michael Bloomberg’s entrance into the race might be making headlines, but contrary to what his ego is telling him, he will not win the nomination. In case you haven’t noticed, the Party is not embracing old white men these days, particularly if they are billionaires. What’s even worse, he was a Republican until like five minutes ago, and everyone notices the clear insult, not to mention the arrogance of coming into the race as the supposed savior of the Party. Leave it to a guy like that to totally misread reality.
Bloomberg’s only cue for running was the slow tumbling demise of Joe Biden. The only thing Joe has left is his own denial. His numbers do continue to linger in the top tier, but only for so long as it takes for his support to decide where to go.
In spite of being inspirational and right about the root of many of our problems, Warren and Sanders have gone too far in creating solutions. The mainstream of America will not elect either of them to the presidency. So, what do we do? Who can build a campaign that could win? Who can bring average Americans – union workers, small business owners and suburban moms – into a positive, optimistic and reasonable coalition?
Even though I suggested it, Michelle Obama is not going to enter the race. She has too much sense. Nor is it likely for anyone else to get in except for Hillary. The more I’ve seen of her in recent weeks, the more I’m convinced she has lost her mind. Her day-to-day obsession with President Trump is just creepy, and her entrance will only cause calamity for the Party.
So, what do we do? I see only one candidate by virtue of the numbers and chemistry that could possibly meet this calling – Mayor Pete Buttigieg. While I have disparaged his youthful look and the mainstream potential of a gay candidate, maybe just maybe he can Jujitsu those things into an advantage. Mayor Pete represents a new age, a new way of looking at America. He stood up early and asked Elizabeth and Bernie, How are you going to pay for this stuff? He realized from the beginning that hating Trump was not enough, and he’s wicked smart and no Establishment candidate. If he learns from Beshear in Kentucky, he could regain that Obama magic. That’s a combination that excites me, and I think could excite others too.
My friends across the river tell me, Mayor Pete has a good chance to win a classic Iowa Caucus upset. If he does that, it might just all fall into place. Think about a Buttigieg–Yang ticket or Buttigieg–Gabbard or Buttigieg–Booker. Any of those three could flash-up some real magic. We have a million miles to go before we get there, but for the first time, I feel really good about the possibilities.