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2-"The People
THE FIRST SHOT: Howard Schultz's announcement that he's seriously weighing an independent presidential bid in 2020 has provoked a razor-sharp backlash among Democrats who insist the former Starbucks CEO would aid and abet President Trump's reelection if he runs as
3-"an independent. But Schultz's interest in a centrist, throw-all-the-bums out candidacy has also been instructive for some Democrats across the spectrum: They believe it helps make the case for or against Joe Biden to step into the arena — a decision the former senator and vice
4-" president just said he's still weighing. And Biden was the candidate that topped the wide-open Democratic field, closely followed by Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.), in a Washington Post/ABC News poll released this week. “I'm making a decision now whether or not I'm the right
5-"person because it's important, It's critically important that we change the atmosphere,” Biden said Monday night in Florida, saying he's “closer” to a call than he was over Christmas. Schultz's semi-launch is seen by some grass-roots organizers as a precursor to the problems
6-" that candidates in similarly moderate lanes like Biden and former New York mayor Michael Bloomberg might face if they sought the 2020 nomination in today's Democratic Party. These activists contend those representing the “corporate-friendly centrist wing of American politics
7-"in both parties [are] just out of touch with where voters are at today,” Waleed Shahid, the communications director of Justice Democrats, told Power Up. “And I don't think the electorate is excited about the Bill Clinton-style economic philosophy Biden brings. He has way more
8-"baggage than Schultz, from Anita Hill to basically overseeing everything Black Lives Matters is protesting.” “The record is really deep. He’s a moderate in every era. So it’s hard to see what his convictions are.” Of course, there's a good argument to be made there are too
9-"many Democrats already running in the progressive lane and that a centrist candidate could take advantage of that dynamic. Biden is seen as the most direct competition for the blue-collar, working-class vote that Trump won in 2016. But Democratic strategists from various
10-"pockets of the party articulate a deeper, structural deficit swiftly exposed by the guest of this week's Goop! podcast."It's no longer a fight between the right and the left but rather the bottom and the top,” Shahid told us. *“It's something that hasn't even really entered
11-"the way that the media covers campaigns but the left and right divide is no longer sufficient. The candidates that can convincingly show people that on top of having the right policies, they're also more oriented toward the bottom, have a structural advantage in politics
12-"today,” a former Obama staffer told Power Up. Biden, the former staffer added, is “someone that people feel is ultimately kind of part of the elite.”* Bloomberg issued a sharply worded statement outlining why an independent candidate would enable a Trump victory in 2020.
13-"But a source from the Bloomberg camp disputed the notion there's no lane for a moderate Democratic candidate: “Look at the Democrats that just won in the midterms: largely moderate suburban Democrats. The Ocasio-Cortez types tend to be the exception.” the strategist said.
14-"“There is enough anti -Trump backlash [around[ 2020 that moderates will come out and they will be energized.” The New York Times's Alexander Burns scooped last week that Biden had accepted $200,000 to address a Republican-leaning audience in Michigan, praising his friend
15-"Rep. Fred Upton (R-Mich.). If the bipartisan strategy is any indication of Biden's future primary maneuverings, it was not well received by even some of his supporters. “Tone deaf”: A source close to Biden's team dubbed overtures to Republicans in the Trump-era as
16-"“tone deaf.” “The reality is that this is the moment in American history that you could go further left and win if you wanted to,” the source said. “I think it's a smart, novel way to go,” Mark Salter, a longtime adviser to the late senator John McCain (R-Ariz.) said of
17-"Biden's bipartisan embrace. “As for Schultz, I want Donald Trump to lose. He makes it harder for a progressive to be nominated. I would very much like to see Democrats fight for centrists, for my own druthers, obviously. I don’t want Democrats to head down the same road that
18-"the Republican Party did and price themselves outside of Main Street.” ..." This convo goes on & worth reading, but too long to thread..
~WaPo Power Up, J. Alemany, 1/30/19
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