He’s attractive and “high energy.” He is from the “swingingest” swing state, Ohio. He has been on a national tour, promoting his “dignity of work” platform, and he appeals to the working class in the same way Joe Biden does. Sen. Sherrod Brown has announced that he will not be a candidate for president in 2020. Was he disappointed in the response to his message? Does he think the field is already overcrowded? Or is this a sign that Joe Biden will soon be in the race?
The Hill began its announcement with what it thinks is the reason that the personable populist passed.
Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) announced Thursday that he will not mount a 2020 bid for the White House, saying that he believes the best way for him to serve the country is in the Senate. . .
Speculation of a 2020 run for Brown had swirled after he won reelection to his Senate seat in November despite losses by other Ohio Democrats, including gubernatorial candidate Richard Cordray.
That win was seen by many as a sign of the senator’s political strength in the Midwest, a region that Democrats are eager to win in 2020 after President Trump seized it in 2016 on the way to an Electoral College victory.
If you read between the lines, you’ll see that there are two goals for Democrats in 2020. The first is to defeat Donald Trump, but it’d take two buses to carry the candidates who have already announced. The other goal is to take back the Senate. Brown won in Ohio, despite the fate of other Democrats in the State last year. If he ran for president, he’d likely have killed all hopes for a Dem-led Senate—shooting for 51-49.
The Hill also notes that Brown is not the first Democrat to drop out of the race.
Since Monday, three other would-be candidates have announced that they won’t mount White House bids, including former Attorney General Eric Holder, former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.).
Hillary Clinton, the Democratic Party’s 2016 nominee, also said she would not run, though she had not been considered likely to launch a campaign.
Aside from Brown, Beto O’Rourke was another Democratic hero last year.
Former Rep. Beto O’Rourke (D-Texas), who garnered rockstar status last year during his Senate bid against Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), is also considering a presidential run of his own.
Beto, who has the charisma and style of Bobby Kennedy, has been boosted for president, but may be waiting to see if Biden jumps in. Biden may wait until April to see how “the kids” do in the early barnstorming. Biden’s considered the frontrunner, since he was an active part of the Obama Administration, which Democrats look fondly back to.
There has been speculation that Beto would instead challenge senior senator John Cronyn in 2020, but the Dallas News last week said he’s decided not to run for that seat.
Beto O’Rourke has decided not to run for U.S. Senate next year against Texas Republican incumbent John Cornyn and likely will announce a campaign for president soon, people close to the former El Paso congressman told The Dallas Morning News on Wednesday.
That’s a disappointment for Democratic Senate Leader Chuck Schumer, who met with Beto a couple of weeks ago, according to Politico, hoping to boost Dem Senate chances.
O’Rourke and former Obama administration Health and Human Services Secretary Julián Castro — who has announced his own White House bid — are considered by many Democrats to be the party’s best prospects for defeating Cornyn.
Back to Brown, his “Dignity of Work” tour has encouraged other candidates to remember labor in their appeals. Brown calls Trump’s approach “phony populism.”
Meanwhile, business channel CNBC notes that Wall Street is no fan of Brown, and that his leaving the field opens up a lane for others who want to woo the Midwest.
Widely followed elections forecaster Nate Silver of FiveThirtyEight tweeted that Brown’s decision probably most helps candidates vying for support in the Midwest. He pointed to Klobuchar and potentially Biden, South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg and former Rep. Beto O’Rourke (who has not decided whether to enter the race).
Brown expressed his strong support for paid family medical leave, higher wages, better benefits, better workplace rules and what he called a “pro-family” workplace.
“Since my election to the third term in the Senate, I have continually been noticing Democrats seem to think we either chose to talk to the progressive base or you talk to working families and listen to issues that matter to them. I don’t think it’s a choice,” he said. “I won in states like Ohio because of who I am and what I fight for every day, which is dignity of work.”
The Nation lauds Brown’s authenticity. That evaluation was also brought up by conservative commentator George Will, who called Brown the “optimum challenger” to Trump.
Start with the fact that Brown is from Ohio. . . Then there’s Brown’s working-man persona. . . Brown was on the midterm ballot in 2018, winning a third Senate term by a six-point margin in a state Trump had carried two years earlier by eight. . . By the way (this is one my own key litmus tests), Brown voted against the resolution authorizing the war in Iraq.
Mother Jones says that Brown would have drawn from Bernie and Elizabeth Warren.
In many respects, the 66-year-old Ohio native comes from a similar political line as Sen. Bernie Sanders—he’s just more likely to talk about how unions benefit factory floor workers than to point to Scandinavian countries’ socialist policies. Meanwhile, his hardline economic positions that favor the working class put him in close company with Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren. . .
A concern for the American worker has defined Brown’s political career—one that’s kept him in office for 42 of the last 44 years. . .
He’s dubbed his first foray into the primary states the “Dignity of Work” tour—which builds on the vision he laid out in a 77-page policy paper he wrote at the dawn of the Trump presidency—to test a message that places the blame for flat wages squarely on the Republican Party.
Now that Brown has bowed out, Democrats have a better shot at taking back the Senate—but a lower chance of appealing to the working class voters who defected first to Reagan, and now, to Trump.