Sherrod Brown declines to run for President

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Sherrod Brown declines to run for President

Post by Ricordanza » Thu Mar 07, 2019 1:46 pm

I'm disappointed. He is someone who could have competed effectively with Trump for votes in the "heartland."

Sen. Sherrod Brown, Democrat from Ohio, won’t run for president

By David Weigel and Chelsea Janes (Washington Post)
March 7 at 12:30 PM

Sen. Sherrod Brown of Ohio announced Thursday that he will not seek the presidency, a decision he said came after a tour of early primary states left him more confident that his party was focusing more on labor and workers than it had in 2016.

“I will do everything I can to elect a Democratic President and a Democratic Senate in 2020,” Brown said in a statement. “The best place for me to make that fight is in the United States Senate.”

Brown, 66, is the second Democratic senator to pass on a White House bid this week; Oregon’s Jeff Merkley had released a similar statement Monday. Both senators had hired staff in some early states and had begun to sketch out the argument that a populist Democrat with a record of winning white, working-class voters could break the coalition that narrowly elected Donald Trump.

Former New York mayor Michael Bloomberg also announced this week that he would not seek the Democratic nomination.

“Donald Trump has used his phony populism to divide Americans and demonize immigrants,” Brown said in January, as he began his four-state Dignity of Work tour. “He uses phony populism to distract from the fact that he has used the White House to enrich people like himself. Real populism is not racist.”

But Brown, who had never seriously considered a presidential bid until urged to do so after the 2016 election, found that he did not have the same investment in a run as other Democrats. He was also encouraged to hear several rival candidates adopt his “dignity of work” motto on the trail, seeing that as evidence that the party was not making the same blunders that it had ahead of Trump’s win.

Who is hoping to challenge Trump for president in 2020?
Brown’s decision may open some breathing room for other Democrats who were making similar, populist arguments and who had overlapping allies in the labor movement and on the left. Allies of Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) saw Brown as a potential threat to the Vermont senator’s candidacy, offering Democrats a younger, fresher voice with a record of victories in the Midwest.

“I’d be the only Democrat on that stage who voted against the Iraq War,” Brown told reporters in Selma, Ala., this weekend. “I think I’d be the only Democrat on that stage that came out for marriage equality 20 years ago.”

Brown, like Trump and Sanders, had opposed trade agreements on the grounds that they slighted blue-collar workers in this country and contributed to broad job losses in a swath of states. He praised the president for imposing tariffs on imported steel, which he argued would make U.S. steel companies more competitive and rejuvenate employment in the industry.

But on most other issues, Brown fell in line with the rest of his party and the rest of the presidential field. He stopped short of endorsing Medicare-for-all but supported greater access to national health insurance, a ban on assault weapons and a version of a Green New Deal. His competitive advantage, to some early-state Democrats, was that he had done so in an increasingly red Ohio.

“I’ve seen so many national Democrats look at this as either you speak to the progressive base or you speak to workers,” Brown said on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe.” “If we have to choose between the two, we lose.”

Brown defined “dignity of work” as ensuring jobs paid enough to live on; that every American could afford health care, education and housing; and that workers had enough control of their schedules to raise a family — a nod toward improving paid family leave policies. He’d also gotten some momentum in the Senate for a child-care subsidy, and he emphasized that Senate work in his decision not to run for president.

Democrats with an eye on control of the Senate may be relieved by Brown’s decision; had he won the presidency, Ohio’s Republican governor would have appointed his replacement. And while it did not become an issue during his exploratory tour, Brown faced Republican attacks in 2018 over his first marriage and subsequent messy divorce, an issue that could have emerged anew had he run for president.

Brown is now married to Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Connie Schultz, who resigned from the Cleveland Plain Dealer in 2011 because she felt her neutrality would be questioned because of their relationship. She now teaches journalism at Kent State University and campaigned with him in his visits to early states, citing her own blue-collar roots. Both of them, Brown said, would stay active in the Democratic debate.

“We’ve seen candidates begin taking up the dignity of work fight, and we have seen voters across the country demanding it — because dignity of work is a value that unites all of us,” Brown said in his Thursday statement. “It is how we beat Trump, and it is how we should govern. That’s why I’m confident it will continue to be a focus for Democrats in 2020, and I plan on making sure that happens.”

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Re: Sherrod Brown declines to run for President

Post by jserraglio » Thu Mar 07, 2019 2:31 pm

Ricordanza wrote:
Thu Mar 07, 2019 1:46 pm
I'm disappointed. He is someone who could have competed effectively with Trump for votes in the "heartland."
Me too. He could still be on the ticket if a coastal candidate becomes the nominee, but would have to leave the Senate if the Dems won, which could complicate the Dems's drive to regain the majority.

I still faintly hope that Kasich will mount a primary challenge against MagaMan.

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Re: Sherrod Brown declines to run for President

Post by Ricordanza » Sun May 26, 2019 1:02 pm

Biden appears to be the leading Democratic candidate at this point, but the field is still full of worthy contenders. Lately, I've been paying attention to Michael Bennet, the Senator from Colorado, who has many positive attributes as a candidate and a future President. Here's an admiring column about him by Jennifer Rubin, an anti-Trump conservative who is an opinion writer for the Washington Post:
Michael Bennet knows what’s wrong with America

By Jennifer Rubin
Opinion writer
May 26 at 12:00 PM

The mild-mannered, wonkish Sen. Michael F. Bennet (D-Colo.) can get really steamed. His anger these days often is directed at the Republican Party, which he doesn’t hesitate to say has become “demented.” Republicans are blocking progress on issues for which there is 70 percent or more consensus — as there is on immigration, climate change and a host of other issues. “It is pathetic and unacceptable and ridiculous, but we have to salvage this exercise in self-government,” he told me during an interview on Friday near the Capitol.

Bennet was a relatively late entry to the Democratic presidential race, largely because of his diagnosis and treatment for prostrate cancer. “I’m feel great,” he said. (The lanky, freckle-faced senator looks younger than 54.) “I’ve spent the last couple of years writing this book about the state of our broken politics.”

Bennet said no other candidate is quite saying what he is or has the same analysis. “I believe that we have been tyrannized for the last ten years by the Freedom Caucus in this country. . . . They immobilized the Republican Party. They immobilized the Democratic Party. They immobilized this exercise in self-government.” He added, “We will not make progress unless we overcome them.” He also said that this isn’t a permanent state of affairs. “Part of the element of overcoming these guys is promoting an agenda that will be popular with the broad majority of Americans.”

To accomplish this, Bennet said, “we have to end political gerrymandering in this country. We have to end it. And [Americans] have to understand what it has cost them to have politicians who get to choose their voters instead of voters getting to choose politicians.” He argued that the ethos in Washington has to change, and that voters look at politicians and think they “have perfected the act of doing nothing and blaming the other side.”

In particular, Bennet argued, Democrats “have to run and win in red states.” He pointed to the Democratic senators who lost reelection bids in 2018 — Claire McCaskill of Missouri, Joe Donnelly of Indiana and Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota. They were the sort of senators we’d want to have in government. “And we lost them!” he said with obvious frustration. Rather than dismantle the filibuster to fix the Senate, Bennet said that Democrats have to be competitive in those states. The way Democrats do that, Bennet argued, is to “give them something to be for.”

His agenda centers on what he thinks is the core economic dilemma. “The fundamental problem in America now is that we’ve had no economic mobility for 40 years. Ninety percent of Americans have not seen a pay increase, or a meaningful pay increase, over 40 years. And all of the economic growth has gone to the wealthiest people.” For Bennet, the fundamental question is: “How do we create shared prosperity in this country, so when the country grows everybody benefits?”

Bennet doesn’t lack for solutions to economic stagnation and immobility, but he cautioned that, “It is not one thing — it’s a million things.” On his list are anti-trust enforcement, infrastructure spending, reviving unions, redoing the tax code, transitioning to a digital economy, improving worker training and leading a coalition of nations to push back on China’s mercantilism and effort to create surveillance states. “We’re doing none of that [now],” he said.

Bennet points to the 2013 immigration-reform bill that got 68 votes in the Senate as a model of good lawmaking, complete with full hearings and open amendments in the Judiciary Committee and on the floor. It was good policy and still polls better than anything President Trump has come up with, he pointed out, adding, “There is no reason we cannot do that on lots of other issues. We’ve done that on no other issues.”

His center-left politics is not as widely represented in the presidential field, though it matches the sentiments of a good chunk of the Democratic electorate. He’s one of the most experienced candidates — having served as the Denver schools superintendent, as chief of staff to former Colorado governor John Hickenlooper (who is also running for the Democratic nomination), and in the Senate since he was appointed in 2009 to the seat held by Ken Salazar, who left to serve as interior secretary in the Obama administration. At the local level, Bennet says people understand that we’re “engaged in an exercise of pluralism." In state and local government, Bennet argues that, “People have to contend with opposing points of view but with an electorate that says, ‘You’ve got to get something done.’”

That experience convinced him that what passes for business-as-usual inside the Beltway would never be tolerated in local or state government. He likes to quote Mayor John Hamilton of Bloomington, Ind., who wrote a Post op-ed in opposition to the 2017 Republican tax cuts, “If I asked the city council to approve tripling our local debt to give hundreds of thousands of dollars per year to a few hundred of our most prosperous residents, they would ask me what I was smoking. Preposterous, they would say.” Nevertheless, Bennet observed, that’s exactly what we did at the federal level.

The Colorado senator remains optimistic about our ability to fix out politics. He predicts there will be a reaction to Trump and to celebrity politics. “I don’t accept the world in which his kind of politics is the politics we deliver to the American people.”

We are acting like a weak country, Bennet maintains, as though we are too weak to respond to a refugee problem, too weak to compete with China, too weak to invest in the next generation. Bennet said emphatically, “We are strong country with weak leadership.”

On foreign policy, Bennet observed that while China’s economy has been expanding at a furious rate, it has been expanding its influence around the world with it’s Belt and Road Initiative. “They are supporting a surveillance state.” Our best option, he said, is for us to “forge strong alliances with people all over the world” and to offer an alternative to China’s mercantilist trade practices and China’s surveillance state model.

He also pointed to the crisis at our border. “We could be working with all of Latin America to help restore the rule of law and to help create thriving democracies that can support the kind of economies that can overcome the violence.” On the Middle East, he argued that we have been doing things to make matters worse. The Iraq war he says was “one of the worst mistakes America ever made.” Not only did we upset the balance of power, but the volatility that was created allowed Iran to exploit the violence, he argued.

He recalls that his vote in favor of the Iran nuclear deal it was a tough one politically, because he would have benefited from distancing himself from President Barack Obama. In the end, he said, he felt it was the right thing to do, but wasn’t sure that the deal, for example, could move the timeline for an Iranian nuclear breakout from 2-3 months to a year.

Bennet can be passionate when discussing the damage done to American politics recently and is equally optimistic about our ability to recover. He brings substance, sincerity and seriousness. He’s not, however, a celebrity politician, and will find it challenging to fight through a field of about two dozen candidates. That in and of itself describes the dilemma of our political times: The more sober and experienced the candidate, the harder time he will have breaking through. Perhaps we get the politics we deserve.

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Re: Sherrod Brown declines to run for President

Post by lennygoran » Sun May 26, 2019 4:34 pm

Ricordanza wrote:
Sun May 26, 2019 1:02 pm
Jennifer Rubin, an anti-Trump conservative who is an opinion writer for the Washington Post:
Hank I like Rubin alot-she's often on the MSNBC evening talk shows and usually makes a lot of sense for me-I love how she tears into Trump! Regards, Len :D

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