The Democrats Have a Problem; Federal Reserve Nominees — A Fiasco
Author: Greg Valliere
April 23, 2019
20 DEMOCRATS RUNNING, WITH MORE TO COME: The CNN marathon town hall last night provided the Republicans with sound bites to last for years. But the Democrats will plow ahead, with the first debates scheduled for June 26-27 in Miami and a low bar for entry — 1% support in an aggregate of polls. And more candidates are preparing to jump into the race this spring.
WE WILL HAVE TO WATCH THE DEBATES — IT’S OUR JOB — but only the activists may tune into the June debate, one of six this year, with six more scheduled for 2020. And that’s the problem for the party — many of the candidates will say whatever the activist base wants to hear. Look at last night — Bernie Sanders pledged to support voting rights for all prisoners, including the Boston Marathon bomber. Kamala Harris pledged to use executive authority to curb guns. Elizabeth Warren proposed massive tax hikes to pay for the elimination of student loan debt.
THIS MUST THRILL DONALD TRUMP, who uses foils more adroitly than any politician we’ve ever encountered. Even if a moderate like Joe Biden is the nominee, Trump plans to run against the Democratic Party — which, he already claims, would bring Venezuela-type socialism to the U.S., along with an intolerance of antisemitism. After last night in New Hampshire, Trump can also claim the Democrats want confiscatory gun control and prisoner voting rights.
WE THOUGHT THE DEMOCRATS would have 20 candidates, but we were too conservative — the final total could be something like 22 or 23. Rep. Seth Moulton announced yesterday, the 20th entrant, and Joe Biden will make 21. A highly regarded Colorado Senator, Michael Bennet, has recovered from a health scare and is likely to announce in early May.
IN A FIELD THIS UNWIELDY, the focus will be on knocking down the front-runner, so the absent Biden got some subtle zingers last night from progressives who are eager to highlight his moderate record on a wide range of issues. And the new media star, Pete Buttigieg, is coming under close scrutiny for his ties to Washington lobbyists and his inability to connect with African Americans in his home town of South Bend, Ind. This will be a campaign of attrition, with everyone’s negatives headed higher — much to Trump’s delight.
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HERMAN CAIN IS GONE, STEPHEN MOORE TO FOLLOW: Fed officials can breathe easier — the White House effort to seat slavish Trump supporters on the Board of Governors has become a fiasco. Herman Cain says he withdrew because the Fed pays poorly, but Cain withdrew because Senators viewed him as spectacularly unqualified, with a history of sexual abuse allegations. Stephen Moore will be next to go, thanks to new revelations yesterday focusing on juvenile columns he wrote about women, sophomoric and sexist.
THERE ARE TWO SERIOUS TAKE-AWAYS: A threat to the Fed’s independence, always exaggerated, seems even less likely because Senate Republicans have their limits; they will insist on qualified candidates. Second, this White House — badly under-staffed — simply doesn’t conduct thorough background checks or consult with Republicans on Capitol Hill before proposing candidates like Cain or Moore, so there will be more nominations like these that will crash and burn.
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