HOLD YOUR BREATH: Ex-Clinton Strategist Says Hillary Might Still Run
Will she or won’t she?
Time is running out for Hillary Clinton to jump into the 2020 race, but a former top strategist for the two-time loser says she may still go.
There’s still a couple of days here,” Mark Penn said on “Sunday Morning Futures.” I don’t know whether she’ll look at the Michael Bloomberg thing and say, ‘the field’s too crowded now. I missed my opportunity,’ or the opposite,” he added.
A slew of deadlines are approaching to make it onto ballots across the United States. Former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg filed as a Democratic presidential candidate in Alabama on Friday, the last day to do so. New Hampshire and Arkansas’s filing deadlines end this week. The deadlines for Illinois, California, and Texas are a few weeks away, while Ohio and North Carolina deadlines hit before Christmas.
Failure to file means candidates won’t be on the official ballot on November 2020, although voters can still write in their names.
Former vice president Joe Biden had been expected to run away with the Democratic presidential nomination, but has failed to do so. Meanwhile, Sen. Elizabeth Warren, who has caught and passed Biden, is seen by many in the party as too liberal to win a general election. Sen. Bernie Sanders has fallen after suffering a heart attack, and all the other candidates are polling in single digits.
Penn said Clinton might be thinking, “‘Wow the field’s weak, I could come in. I could get 165,000 donors, I’m tied with [Joe] Biden in some of these early states…’ There’s still a political logic there for her,” Penn said.
“I think it was political logic,” Penn said earlier in the interview. “Unless this field changed, Biden is a frontrunner, but a weak frontrunner and a lot of the other candidates are too far to the left.”
“I think Michael Bloomberg saw that opportunity and made a pretty intelligent decision,” he added. “For him, it’s now or never in terms of running for president, so why not get in and shake up the Democratic Party,” Penn said.
Trump, meanwhile, said Bloomberg is no threat.
“He’s not going to do well. But I think he’s going to hurt Biden actually, but he doesn’t have the magic to do well,” Trump told reporters on Friday. “Little Michael will fail. He’ll spend a lot of money. He’s got some really big issues. He’s got some personal problems and he’s got a lot of other problems.
“But I know Michael Bloomberg fairly well,” he added. “He will not do very well, and if he did I’d be happy. There is nobody I’d rather run against than little Michael. That I can tell you.”
But Penn said the first two states to cast ballots will determine Bloomberg’s fate.
“Biden’s going to have a test in Iowa and New Hampshire,” he said. “If Biden doesn’t come through that test… that’s going to present a clear field for Bloomberg… If Biden does particularly well in those two states, that might block the Bloomberg effort,” Penn said. “So a lot of pressure is put on the Biden campaign now to deliver in the early states.”
“I think the big question is whether Bloomberg will be put into the debates or not, regardless of his polling numbers,” Penn added. “He needs 165,000 small donors… the Democratic Party says if you don’t have 165,000 small donors, you don’t qualify for the debates, and that is a problem for Michael Bloomberg.”
Bloomberg tops Trump by 6 points in a hypothetical 2020 match-up, according to the Morning Consult/Politico survey released early Sunday.
According to the Nov. 8 poll, “4 percent of Democratic primary voters said the billionaire and former Republican would be their first choice for the party’s nomination to take on Trump next year — placing him above 10 candidates currently in the race,” Morning Consult wrote.