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Divided We Stand

Divided We Stand
New book about the 2020 election.

Thursday, July 7, 2022

Premature Frontrunners

Our latest book is titled Divided We Stand: The 2020 Elections and American Politics.  The early stages of the 2024 race will soon begin.

 Charlie Sykes notes presidential buzz around Illinois Governor Pritzker and California Governor Newsom.

Which brings us to Newsom and Pritzker, who are being mentioned by the Great Premature Mentioners as possible 2024 contenders.

The same thing is happening in the GOP, where there is a good deal of post-Trump wish-casting.

The cool kid betting has Florida’s Ron DeSantis in the pole position. But don’t count on it, because these things always look better in the perfervid imaginings of pundits and consultants.

History suggests — actually it shouts at us — that there is many a slip twixt the hype and an actual candidacy.

Just ask President Fred Thompson. Or Rick Perry. Or Gary Hart. Or Jeb (!) Bush, Ed Muskie, Wesley Clark, Scott Walker, or America’s Freaking Mayor.

It’s worth remembering that, at one time, they were not just contenders — they were front-runners. And then stuff happened.

Mark Barabak at LAT:

... Newsom is making all sorts of noise and mustering all kinds of attention outside the state, most recently by trolling Florida’s governor with a campaign-style TV spot dumping on Republican Ron DeSantis and some of his retrograde policies on free speech and voting rights.

[BUT] History has shown how tough it is for a governor with full-time responsibilities in Sacramento to run for president and succeed. Republican Pete Wilson and Democrat Jerry Brown both fell short in their pursuit of the White House and learned that the hard way.

Then there’s the matter of the Democrat currently residing in the White House

What if Biden chooses not to seek a second term?

Then the front-runner automatically becomes his vice president — and Newsom’s old frenemy — Kamala Harris.

The two came up together in San Francisco politics and share the same donor and political base. (For a time, they shared the same set of political strategists.) Newsom had indicated to those around him he has no intention of challenging Harris if she were to run in 2024, which is probably wise.

Taking the nomination away from a sitting vice president would also pose a steep challenge.