Harris to Make 2020 Decision Over the Holidays

California's Democratic Party chairman resigned amid sexual harassment allegations.

Dec. 3, 2018, 10:15 a.m.

Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA) “says she will decide with her family over the holidays whether to make a run for the White House. Harris was one of the speakers Saturday at the Know Your Value conference in San Francisco. More than 600 women attended the event to find out about ‘how to get what you want at work, and at home.’

“Asked if she will run for president, Harris said: ‘It will ultimately be a family decision ... And over the holiday, I will make that decision with my family.’” (NBC News)

TRANSPARENCY PRIMARY. “New Democratic Party rules have stripped party leaders of much of their power in selecting a nominee. The prevalence of small-dollar fundraising has tilted the presidential landscape toward more public maneuvers designed to build massive lists of supporters online. And the rise of progressive populism is making its mark, prioritizing high-profile appeals and personal brand-building—typically through digital platforms—over the behind-the-scenes pursuit of party elites.

“The shift toward an increasingly open, early presidential primary is exemplified by uncharacteristically brazen campaigning by top-tier contenders, more than a year ahead of the Iowa caucuses. Informed not only by Trump, but by the potent, small-dollar operation built by Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) in 2016, Sens. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) and ... Harris have spent months cultivating lists of small donors on highly public social media channels, while promoting themselves on TV.

“In the process, they have pulled back the curtain—or removed it entirely—from a critical stage in the nomination process.”

“In one chockablock span of 24 hours last week, Sanders rallied supporters via livestream from a progressive gathering in Vermont, Warren began running ads on Facebook calling the Trump administration ‘the most corrupt in modern history,’ and the political action committee Democracy for America opened its first online poll of the 2020 election—all for public consumption. The website TMZ, meanwhile, was airing video of Texas Rep. Beto O’Rourke at Reagan National Airport. He told supporters recently that once he leaves office in January, his posts on Medium will be ‘my venue to talk to you.’ Even Joe Biden, the 76-year-old former vice president, is posting selfies on Instagram.” (Politico)

AVENATTI. Attorney Michael Avenatti’s (D) “cable TV bookings have dwindled. He was uninvited from one prominent Democratic event and skipped out on another. Now his highest-profile client is bringing new allegations against him.

“In just a matter of weeks, Avenatti’s fortunes have taken a nosedive, rapidly downshifting him from 2020 presidential prospect to political pariah. After a domestic violence arrest in Los Angeles and a public rift with his porn star client Stormy Daniels over fees and legal strategy, even some of his most loyal supporters are questioning whether he can survive the latest round of challenges and remain a viable candidate.”(Politico)

BERNIE. “Over three days at the Sanders Institute’s inaugural conference,” Sanders “and his supporters described a democracy under attack by populist right-wing forces as compromise-hungry ‘neoliberals’ lacked a vision to defend it—a dynamic they see as leading to President Trump’s win in 2016.

“Even as Democrats won back the House of Representatives last month, some high-profile left-wing candidates fell short, a dynamic Sanders struggled with; he opened the weekend conference by saying the party could have done better. For the senator and his supporters, it was clear that Democrats had squandered power when they last held it, leading to a surge of right-wing nationalism. To avoid a repeat, the left needed to organize—preferably, many here believe, with Sanders in the White House.” (Washington Post)

BETO. O’Rourke “has already been invited to New Hampshire to speak with voters and meet experienced political operators. ... Since O'Rourke's loss earlier this month, Rob Friedlander, a senior advisor to the Texas Democrat's campaign, has received calls from the New Hampshire Young Democrats requesting that O'Rourke come to the Granite State, according to people familiar with the matter. The goal would be to have O'Rourke tour parts of the state and interact with voters.” (CNBC)

BIDEN. Biden “bashed ... Trump’s administration in a new video in which he explained the importance of international institutions and America’s credibility in the world. Biden called out the Trump White House for breaking down international norms and rules established after WWII to keep peace and aid prosperity in the ‘Here’s The Deal’ segment shared online by media company ATTN: on Thursday.

“They’re being attacked from within by the kinds of charlatans and demagogues who are eroding our democracy by attacking institutions like an independent judiciary, a free press,” said Biden. (HuffPost)

BROWN. Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) said “the US needs to reopen discussions with Mexico and Canada on trade, rejecting ... Trump's contention that their new trade agreement is final.”

“Brown noted that newly inaugurated Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador ‘is more pro-worker’ than his predecessor, who along with the Trump administration and Canada, announced an agreement earlier this year on a replacement for NAFTA, dubbed the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement.” (CNN)

BUTTIGIEG. “An Iowa liberal political group announced Thursday that Mayor Pete Buttigieg will be one of several ‘potential presidential candidates’ for 2020 keynoting a Dec. 20 event, but Buttigieg said Thursday he won’t likely reveal his plans for next year until the end of December. Buttigieg will speak at the sixth annual Progress Iowa Holiday Party in Des Moines, along with Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-OR) Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-CA) and Andrew Yang, an entrepreneur.” (South Bend Tribune)

CASTRO. Former HUD Secretary Julián Castro (D) “is making no secret about his flirtations with a 2020 presidential bid, telling MSNBC's ‘Morning Joe’ Thursday that he's ‘very likely, likely, whatever terms you want to use’ running for the Democratic nomination.” (NBC News)

CUOMO. “America’s Democratic Governors voted to make New York Governor Andrew Cuomo the next Vice Chair of the National Governors Association. Montana Governor Steve Bullock is currently the Chair of the bipartisan organization through next July. Upon the conclusion of his term, a Republican will serve as NGA Chair, and Governor Cuomo will become Vice Chair.”

GABBARD. Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI) “says she is ‘seriously considering’ a bid for the White House in 2020.” Gabbard was speaking at a “Rockingham County Democrat ‘meet and greet’ where she gave a stump speech covering everything from her desire to get corporate money out of politics to ending America’s military adventurism abroad.”(Honolulu Civil Beat)

GARCETTI. “House Democrats should focus on infrastructure during the next two years, as they’ll control the House while Republicans hold the Senate and the presidency,” said Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti (D). “Garcetti revealed the results of a poll showing 66 percent of registered voters are disappointed that Congress hasn’t passed a major infrastructure bill and a majority of them blame Republicans and Democrats equally. The poll by Hart Research Associates surveyed 1,001 registered voters from November 16-20.” (Bloomberg)

HICKENLOOPER. Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper (D) “has a fighting chance to clinch the Democratic Party’s presidential nomination in 2020, party leaders and former campaign operatives in early nominating states told The Denver Post.”

“It won’t be an easy endeavor, and Hickenlooper needs to act fast. He has little name recognition in those early states, party insiders said. But his folksy charm coupled with a track record on the economy, health care and the environment will play well in Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina.” (Denver Post)

KLOBUCHAR. Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) “laid out a vision for rural America Saturday with a group of progressive farmers and activists. ‘One of my goals as being someone who grew up in the metro area … has been to bridge that (urban-rural) divide—to make that case,’ Klobuchar said at the Iowa Farmers Union state convention in Perry. ‘Because I think it’s damaging for our country to have that divide. I think it’s damaging for our heartland economy, and it’s certainly damaging for our spirit as Americans.’” (Des Moines Register)

PATRICK. Former Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick (D) “is a brilliant retail campaigner. But this is a far different— and exponentially larger—electorate from the one in which he rose to prominence. It is different, too, from the one that twice elected his friend Barack Obama president.

“As with everyone who seriously considers themselves presidential material, there is a healthy ego at work here, and confidence that he can overcome criticisms of his term as governor. But if Patrick decides he can win, it will mean he has decided this country is one in which many more voters will choose a challenging, nuanced message of moral obligation than will choose easy appeals to self-interest, and scapegoating. He would have to be confident that America is not yet too broken to embrace a second black president.” (Boston Globe)

STEYER. On Tuesday, mega-donor Tom Steyer (D) “will host a conversation with NAACP President and CEO Derrick Johnson, local leaders, and community members in Charleston, SC to discuss the first of the 5 Rights: the right to an equal vote in a fair democracy.” (release)

WARREN. Warren “said on Thursday that she supports the Senate’s criminal justice bill, which is also backed by … Trump as well as a rare bipartisan alliance of progressive and conservative lawmakers.” Warren “raised concerns earlier this month about whether the prison and sentencing reform deal is wide-ranging enough but said in a brief interview that she is supportive: ‘I wish we could do more, but if we think of this as a first step, then we need to take that step.’” (Politico)

“Warren is Warren because she’s an unusual amalgam of a ‘ragged edge’ Oklahoma upbringing and a rich, East Coast Ivy League tenure. If, though, her mantra of a message carries her to the Democratic nomination in 2020, its roots will reach back, too, to the spotlit Hollywood studio of ‘Dr. Phil.’” (Politico)

CALIFORNIA. California Democratic Party Chairman Eric Bauman, “leader of one of the most influential political forces in the nation, said Thursday he intended to resign after allegations of sexual misconduct and inappropriate behavior toward party staff members and activists. Bauman’s decision to resign follows a report from The Times on Wednesday that said 10 party staff members and political activists had accused him of making crude sexual comments and engaging in unwanted touching or physical intimidation in professional settings.” (Los Angeles Times)

CHICAGO. Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel (D) “was a hard no on running for president in 2020. He argued that after three two-term presidents in a row, America is historically due for a single term for … Trump, but Democrats need to pick the right candidate. Emanuel said the public is not looking for a creature of Washington to challenge Trump. ‘If you’ve landed more than twice in Reagan National, you’re not on the ticket,’ he joked. Democrats need to focus on keeping the ‘anti-Hillary’ voters he says Republicans lost in the midterms.” (Politico)

MARYLAND. “Maya Rockeymoore Cummings, a onetime candidate for governor in Maryland, was elected chairwoman of the state Democratic Party on Saturday, ousting incumbent Kathleen Matthews after a debate over the party’s future.” (Washington Post)

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