We Lost 3.

In the wake of New Hampshire, we’ve lost three Democratic candidates.

Do you know Michael Bennet was still running for president?  What about Deval Patrick?  They’re both out of the race now.

Patrick entered the race too late to make a difference.  Maybe if he had run in 2016, he would have had a better chance but, by the time this year rolled around, most people didn’t remember who he was.

Michael Bennet was the type of candidate who, in the past, would have been treated like a serious contender but who, in 2020, was just too conventional to make much of an impression.  Bennet tried to make his ability to win in a swing state a part of his appeal but is Colorado really a swing state at this point?

Andrew Yang has also dropped out and I’m going to miss him.  He was the last likable candidate in the race but, in retrospect, he was always more of an online phenomenon than a real world contender.  Hopefully, he’ll run for office in New York.  Since New York is going to keep electing Democrats anyway, it would be nice to see them elect one who isn’t a jerk.

George Will on Michael Bennet

George Will has a new column out where he makes the case that Michael Bennet is the Democratic candidate who has the best chance to defeat Trump.  Will argues that Bennet is progressive enough for the Democratic base while, at the same time, not being so crazy that he would turn off the swing voters.  Though Will doesn’t specifically say it, his column portrays Bennet as being Joe Biden without all of the baggage and the distracting Bidenisms that are currently threatening the latter’s front runner status.

It is debatable how much influence George Will’s endorsement is going to do anyone running in a Democratic primary.  At this point, it probably wouldn’t do that much good for someone running in a Republican primary either.  Will, like many intelligent people, is currently stuck in the political limbo of being insufficiently liberal for Democrats but also not enough of a Trump booster for the GOP.  For the record, I was not impressed with what I saw of Bennet at the debate but, whether you agree with his conclusions or not, Will’s column is still worthwhile because it reveals far more about Bennet’s background and character that we’re going to see in a news cycle that’s dominated by Biden, Harris, Warren, and Sanders.  Underneath that bland facade, it turns out that Bennet has an interesting story to tell.

What truly struck me, as I read Will’s column, is that Michael Bennet is the type of blandly competent politician who probably would have been a strong candidate in the days before the office of the presidency was elevated to quasi-religious status.  Times have changed, though, and now the President is expected to be transformational figure.  Simply having the potential to be good at the job is no longer enough.