Rep. Tim Ryan (D-OH) “has been telling political consultants and operatives that he intends to run for president of the United States in 2020, and is beginning to put together a team, according to multiple sources who’ve spoken to Ryan.”
“Ryan has long been a champion of mindfulness, meditation, and similar pursuits, and has even created a 'Quiet Time Caucus' in the House of Representatives. … He said that anybody who is negotiating the 'emotional land mine of modern day living' could be someone Ryan’s message would resonate with.
“Operatives who have spoken to Ryan about his run say that he genuinely believes he has a chance to win. ‘I’m gonna win,’ he told one flatly.” (The Intercept)
A WARREN PROFILE. “In recent months,” Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) “has hopped not just between Washington, D.C., and her home state but also to Reno and Las Vegas to campaign alongside a slate of Nevadan candidates; to Denver and Salt Lake City to fund-raise; to the Texas border to visit family-detention centers; to Iraq with Senator Lindsey Graham. Within an hour of Trump’s announcing his nomination of Brett Kavanaugh to replace retiring justice Anthony Kennedy, she was striding purposefully toward the Supreme Court steps, where a knot of furious protesters gathered in the dark were bellowing, ‘Hell no, Kavanaugh! Hell no, Kavanaugh!’”
“In the absence of a clear favorite to challenge Trump and the Republicans, Warren has emerged in just the past few weeks as the de facto leader of the Democratic Party, and accordingly, the candidate-of-the-moment for 2020. It should have been obvious: She has the progressive vision and drive, the willingness to go tweet-to-tweet with the president, and that boundless stamina. Perhaps it was hard in the wake of 2016 to imagine pinning Democratic hopes on another woman. But sometimes you need a crisis (or five) to see the obvious, and this summer’s cascade of them has brought Warren’s role into sharper relief.”
“Warren’s willingness to sink her teeth into the president’s ankles has turned out to be a smart tactical move. It puts her in the news cycle right along with him, while most Democrats struggle to get a spot of media time in a landscape dominated by Trump. … Warren has in these past two years stoked and fed off grassroots rage, especially that of resistance women." (New York)
BERNIE. Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) and NY-14 nominee Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D) “see an opportunity to influence Democratic voters in Kansas ahead of the state's Aug. 7 primary. They're especially focused on a crowded congressional primary in the Kansas suburbs of Kansas City.
“In an election year defined by energized Democratic voters seeking to send President Trump a message, Sanders and Ocasio-Cortez are betting they can stoke the liberal march in places where the left rarely competes. Some liberal voters are welcoming the spotlight.” Trump won Kansas by 20 points. (CBS News)
BROADER CONTEXT. If Sanders is leading “a leftist political revolt, then a summit ... of moderate Democrats might be the start of a counterrevolution.
“While the energy and momentum is with progressives these days—the victory of ... Ocasio-Cortez … buzz about Democratic Socialism and the spread of the ‘Abolish ICE!’ movement are a few recent examples—moderates are warning that ignoring them will lead the party to disaster in the midterm elections and the 2020 presidential contest.
“That anxiety has largely been kept to a whisper among the party's moderates and big donors, with some of the major fundraisers pressing operatives on what can be done to stop Sanders if he runs for the White House again.
“But the first-ever ‘Opportunity 2020’ convention, organized here last week by Third Way, a moderate Democratic think tank, gave middle-of-the-road party members a safe space to come together and voice their concerns.” (NBC News)
BIDEN’S ROLE IN THIS. “There’s no question that the story of the Democratic party right now is about the ascending left. There’s a bumper crop of self-consciously progressive candidates running for office this year, while many relatively nonideological ‘Establishment Democrats’ are embracing policy positions and political messages long associated with party insurgents. The relative strength of various Democratic factions in Congress won’t be possible to reliably measure until after the midterms. But with the 2020 presidential election cycle soon to begin (the first candidate debates will probably be held about this time next year), it’s looking like progressives may have many more viable options for champions to send up against Donald Trump than do the centrists.”
“The obvious option ... is former Vice-President Joe Biden, who has near-universal name identification, a personality and biography that makes him attractive to some 2016 Trump voters, and an issues profile that won’t drive progressives off the ledge. Biden, however, is 75, with two losing presidential candidacies behind him, and doesn’t seem to have much fire in the belly at the moment. At … the … Third Way organization in Ohio ... there was a lot of interest in a Biden candidacy, but talk got more muted when alternatives were discussed.” (New York)
BUT HE’S ON SOMEONE ELSE’S MIND. When former New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu (D) "discusses his ideal opponent for ... Trump in the 2020 presidential election, he acknowledges it sounds like he's describing Joe Biden.”
“‘I would like somebody that knows exactly what they're doing, because they've done that before, that can stabilize and just rebalance the country for four years,’ he told CNN's David Axelrod, who countered that it sounded like Landrieu was describing the former vice president.
‘I think I am. Honestly,’ Landrieu said. ‘If I had to pick today, I would--and he could take over tomorrow, and--you know, life would be a lot better for everybody.’” (CNN)
BOOKER. “Following the release of a video revealing Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh’s support for overturning the Supreme Court ruling upholding the legality of the independent counsel statute,” Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ) “called on Kavanaugh to recuse himself from all cases arising from the investigation of Special Counsel Robert Mueller, if he is confirmed as a Supreme Court justice.” (release)
GARCETTI. Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti (D) “will host an event with the Democratic Midterm Victory Fund to raise $1 million for 10 state Democratic parties ($100,000 each).”
“Garcetti and the Democratic Midterm Victory Fund kicked off the summer with an event that raised $100,000 for the South Carolina Democratic Party, which led to this $1 million event. State parties being supported by the event are those in California, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, Nevada, New Hampshire, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin.” (release)
GILLIBRAND. “Republican U.S. Senate candidate Chele Chiavacci Farley in her first TV ad accuses” Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) “of being more interested in running for president than delivering for New York.”
“‘While Gillibrand’s busy running for president, she’s letting New York taxpayers get ripped off,’ Farley says in the ad. ‘The worst deal in the country. $48 billion of our money delivered to other states to solve their problems and lower their taxes.’” (Daily News)
[Flashback to July 10: "Are These Democrats Running for President? Ask Their 2018 Opponents" (National Journal)]
HARRIS. Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA) “visited the Naval Base at Point Loma and toured the USS Scranton. Harris received a briefing on capabilities and operations of U.S. Navy Submarine Squadron 11 and learned about the unique role the U.S. Navy plays in National Defense and Intelligence.” (release)
INSLEE. "Because state governments control redistricting, new Democratic governors could help cement the House gains, or at least block Republicans from repeating the post-2010 gerrymandering that helped entrench their power in Congress. The November election could have 'decadal significance' because of redistricting," said Washington Gov. Jay Inslee (D). (New York Times)
MOULTON. Rep. Seth Moulton (D-MA) headed to New Hampshire to campaign for 1st Congressional District candidate Maura Sullivan, a Marine and Iraq War veteran, like Moulton. (WMUR)
He called for "a new generation of leadership" in the party during an interview Sunday on CNN's State of the Union: "The reality is if we're going to be a majority party, if we're actually going to win in November, we've got to have a diversity of views and I think that's one of the things that's made our party strong in the past. But if we become narrower, if we become more divided, then you know what? We can do that as Democrats, but we're just not going to win." (CNN)
O’MALLEY. Former Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley (D) campaigned in Ohio on Saturday for OH-12 special election nominee Danny O’Connor (D). (release)
PEREZ. “As he looked out over a predominantly black crowd gathered at the Georgia Aquarium on Thursday night, Tom Perez, the Democratic National Committee chairman, felt compelled to issue a mea culpa. ‘I am sorry,’ Perez said.
“At first, it seemed like Perez was voicing one more generalized regret for the 2016 election that put Donald Trump in the White House. … Perez, however, soon made clear that his apology was much more specific. ‘We lost elections not only in November 2016, but we lost elections in the run-up because we stopped organizing,’ he said. ‘We stopped talking to people.’” (The Atlantic)
STEYER. Mega-donor Tom Steyer (D) recently spoke at OZY Fest on a panel with Karl Rove. Steyer pushed Rove “on impeachment and Trump’s foreign policy,” stating, “breaking the law and lying to the American people is not normal.” (release)
GOVS. “Three governors--Montana's Steve Bullock, Colorado's John Hickenlooper and Washington state's Jay Inslee--each said in interviews at the National Governors Association summer meeting in New Mexico this week that they are considering 2020 runs.
“All three have already visited Iowa, the first state to vote during the caucus and primary season, once this year. Bullock said he will visit eastern Iowa next week to campaign for Democratic House and statewide candidates.”
“Two Democratic former governors" Massachusetts' Deval Patrick (D) and Virginia's Terry McAuliffe (D) "are also considering 2020 runs. For all five politicians, winning the nomination is a long shot. All are men and all but Patrick are white at a time when Democratic primary voters have valued diversity and overwhelmingly favored female candidates.” (CNN)
What We're Following See More »
President Trump's personal attorney Michael Cohen said he "was directed to violate campaign law at the direction of a candidate for federal office. At the same candidate’s direction, he said he paid $130,000 to somebody to keep them quiet, which was later repaid by the candidate. He didn’t identify the candidate or the person who was paid, but those facts match Cohen’s payment to Clifford and Trump’s repayment."
A jury has found former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort guilty [of] five counts of filing false tax returns, one count of not filing a required IRS form, and two bank fraud counts. ... The jury said it was deadlocked on the other 10. U.S. District Court Judge T.S. Ellis declared a mistrial on those other charges."
A D.C. judge "has tossed out a defamation lawsuit brought by three Russian oligarchs against former British intelligence agent Christopher Steele over his discussion of them in the dossier he prepared during the 2016 US presidential election campaign describing Donald Trump's links to Russia. The men — Petr Aven, Mikhail Fridman, and German Khan — are investors in Alfa Bank and had sued Steele and his company, Orbis Business Intelligence Limited, alleging that the dossier defamed them by linking them to Russian efforts regarding the presidential election." The judge cited D.C.'s anti-SLAPP act in his ruling.