Unless you are a dummy, then you know what season it is. No, I’m not talking about Christmas or Hanukkah, I’m talking about the time of year in politics where bigshot senators and governors pretend like they aren’t running for president, even though everyone with a pulse and an iPhone knows that they absolutely are.
The time between the end of the midterms and the beginning of the presidential primaries is phony politics at its best and I one hundred-percent love it. We are basically T-minus one week away from Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA) picking corn out of her teeth in Des Moines as she tells us that she isn’t running for President and is just in Iowa because the winters here are “lovely.”
Give me a break.
As for New Hampshire, New York Senator Kirsten Gillibrand was recently testing out one of her new personalities there while campaigning for gubernatorial candidate Molly Kelly. Maybe this will even the playing field against New Englanders and fellow presidential hopefuls Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) and Bernie Sanders (I-VT) when it comes to making the best “Granite State” pun on their campaign roll-outs.
Whatever the case, someone needs to widen the airport runways in Concord and Des Moines because there simply is not enough existing capacity to truck in all the Democrats who think they are made of Presidential material for 2020.
My philosophy is simple: the bigger this field gets, the bigger it’s going to keep getting. No one wants to be the third wheel of a Kamala Harris vs. Bernie Sanders showdown. That’s like being Poland trapped between Germany and Russia. But as more and more Democrats enter the field — which they will — voters and donors will be split into smaller and smaller cliques, creating a situation where a bonkers candidate without a lot of money or street credibility can emerge as a winner by clocking around 40-percent of the vote. This was Donald Trump’s path to victory in 2016, and it might work for any one of a dozen Democratic dark horses in 2020.
But in the here and now, the widening Democratic field also presents a rare opportunity for political gamblers, because it means that there are at least a dozen opportunities to make relatively safe bets that will return your capital within a few months. Login to PredictIt and check them out.
So here is my list of who I think is running on the Democratic side. Some of these candidates have already declared or will declare soon, but must of them will keep their powder dry for as long as possible, since announcing a presidential campaign means getting body-slammed with fundraising rules that are stiffer than Sen. Susan Collins’ (R-ME) upper lip.
FOR SURE RUNNING, SAFE TO BET:
Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA) – 94 cents
Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ) – 93 cents
Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) – 65 cents
Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) – 74 cents
Gov. John Hickenlooper (D-CO) – 90 cents
Richard Ojeda (D-WV) – already declared
Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) – 72 cents
PROBABLY RUNNING, LESS SAFE TO BET:
Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) – 86 cents
Deval Patrick – 80 cents
Beto O’Rourke – 72 cents
Michael Bloomberg – no market
Sen. Tim Kaine (D-VA) – 91 cents
Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) – 70 cents
MAYBE RUNNING, RISKIER BETS:
Joe Biden – 62 cents
Eric Holder – 31 cents
Howard Schultz – 40 cents
Hillary Clinton – 19 cents
Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti
DON’T GET YOUR HOPES UP, DON’T BET:
Michelle Obama – 9 cents
Oprah Winfrey – 12 cents
This field is going to rival the sloppy Republican melee of 2016. Personally, I think the biggest loser is Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY). He is going to have a lot of time on his hands with all of these Democrats tied-up kissing babies and filming racially inclusive campaign ads for the next two years. Maybe McConnell will take up baking or knitting, because he is going to get very bored without Elizabeth Warren, Bernie Sanders, Kirsten Gillibrand, and Cory Booker throwing shade on him 24/7 from the Senate Cloakroom. I, personally, would love to see him master Julia Childs’ coq au vin.
Actually, on second thought, McConnell will still have Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) around to ruin his life, and then there’s always the new GOP X-factor premiering this January: Senator-elect Mitt Romney (R-UT), who is not going to be taking orders from anyone. I’m electrified just thinking about the old Republican presidential nom ripping his shirt off and wrestling with Mitch McConnell on the Senate floor for control of a budget resolution. After that, I guarantee you that Romney throws down the gauntlet on Donald Trump’s trade and immigration policy.
What a time to be alive.