Democrats, Senator Bernie Sanders And Joe Biden discussed on Diane Rehm: On My Mind
And. Diane tippy back with you on my mind. The number twenty three as today to how many democratic candidates running for president in twenty twenty the group includes senators governors mayors of big hippies, and small Silicon Valley entrepreneurs and of course, the former vice president. So how can a candidate stand out in such crowded field? How different are their messages, and is, is good or bad thing. But the Democratic Party, I ask Josh Kraushaar heart to join me for his perspective. He's the politics editor for the national journal. Josh, it's good to have you here. It's good to be on the show. Dan, twenty three presidential candidates on the democratic side. How in the world did we end up with such as huge and maybe this his knee end of it, such a huge group of people there, too big reasons for why. This field is historically large one is that President Trump looks awfully vulnerable. And whenever you have an incumbent president that looks like he can be defeated. You get more candidates that want to run against him. And the president has never hit fifty percent in job approval ever since he's been in office. There's a near majority of forty five percent base of democratic and independent voters that are probably going to vote against him, no matter what. So that is incentivizing. Democrats take their chance at the presidential lottery, rather than maybe to run for the Senate or governorship or do something else, in politics. The other big big factor. Is that the part? Institutions on both sides, but especially the democratic side this election year is gotten a lot weaker. They can't really offer incentives there. No super delegates that are going to be affecting the process up until the second ballot in this year's campaign. So it's a much more small d democratic process. And when Democrats look at how Donald Trump came out of nowhere without any presidential any political experience any, any real experience in government, or the military and won the nomination out of nowhere, a lot of Democrats, even small town mayors, low level, congressman. They think I can do that, if Donald Trump can do it. I can make the big leagues show aren't there any drawbacks to putting yourself on fair? Will there's a drawback for the Democratic Party, which is that when you have so many candidates running. It's hard for any average voter to know who's in the rice to pay attention to all this chaos. So on one hand, I think does benefit the brand name candidates, elected officials that are best known. On namely, vice president, Joe Biden, but also the runner up in last year's primary campaign. Vermont, Senator Bernie Sanders, they have a built in brand for better for worse. That is going to gravitate a lot of odors towards them at the very beginning. Whereas a lot of accomplished but lesser known candidates like, comma, Harris, the Senator from California, or even like Bush edge. The mayor from south bend is getting a lot of attention. They have to do a lot more work to catch up to be on that same level. Now I gather as you and I are talking today you talked with mayor Pete this morning. Give me an idea of your impressions. So mayor Pete was at the Washington Post doing a an interview and the thing with people to judge is that he's one of the most authentic candidates running that when you talk to him in person, I, I had coffee with him a few months ago. And what you heard from Pete in that small coffee. Shop is the same. What you hear from him on the campaign trail example of what you find so authentic will he can speak about policy about values about his personal life and is impressive stories. He's small town mayor, but he also served in the military. He came out. He's one of the few openly gay candidates ever to run for president. And he offers the kind of detail the kind of personal experience that most candidates speak about in talking points. They have a line and the key on repeating it. Whereas mayor Pete is much more. He says, things off the cuff Ican speak in depth about a whole host of issues without having to resort to talking points. So he is one of twenty three that CNN and also MSNBC have been having these forums with how are they gone over a how ahead people responded to their one hour avec? So giving people a good sands of who these folks are these town halls which all the three major cable networks have sponsored are the most important thing that these candidates can do in the early stages of the race. It used to be you would camp out in Iowa or New Hampshire. And, and, you know, make an impression with those early voting states would be the most Koch not consequential thing and it still is still matters. But especially with candidates looking get their profile raised going in front of a million two million people on CNN Bernie Sanders on Fox News got the highest audience that they've had for any, any town hall events, MSNBC has had a bunch of candidates also on their air that you getting millions of people in front of you, and this race is increasingly national contests, more than a an early state contest. So I was caucuses New Hampshire's primary. They're still going to be very important to weeding out the twenty three candidates, but. If you don't get known if people don't know who you are. You're going to not get attention in Iowa New Hampshire or anywhere else. So these town hall events have become sort of the new debates. This is this is the first chance for these candidates. Get on the big stage. Judge choose the word. I want to talk about which is debates. How are they going to happen with twenty three candidates? It's a very convoluted process at Democrats. I've been worried about the Democratic National Committee had to come up with a set of rules to manage such an unruly presentation. So what the DNC decided to do is that you had to match the yet to get at least sixty five thousand individual donors to your campaign, you have to register at least one percent in serious polls that have been taken before that debate takes place. But even with that they're going to be twenty candidates on stage and they're going to be randomly selected on two different nights. So you'll have ten candidates on the stage one night the next night, you love the other. Candidates it's going to be hard for any one candidate to get any FaceTime. You're literally talking about an hour, two hours of debates with up between those ten candidates. So it's gonna be really hard for any one candidate to really break out given how crowded debate stage is going to be head. The moderators been chosen they have, or at least the networks have been chosen, so I believe, MSNBC is, is holding the first debate in the end of June in Florida and then CNN is having the, the next debate in July. So they're going to be a, a bunch of early debates with a crowded field of the big controversy, of course, is that the NC chairman, Tom Perez, decided not to allow Fox News to, to host any of these debates, even though they've been hosting town halls with many of the, the leading democratic candidates sense in your view. It's a controversial decision even among Democrats, because there are a lot of FOX viewers that are gonna. Be voting in really important swing state Coors or not all hardcore Republicans. There are many undecided voters that watch Fox News and to deliberately leave yourself. Leave your candidates off the that highly watched channel the highest rated channel on cable news right now. I think there's a little bit of self destructive behavior in the decision to do that. And the reason why a lot of candidates, including Bernie Sanders decided to go on Fox News, and he was rewarded with very warm audience, reception, and a record high radiant from, from Fox News. So us head twenty twenty three will make it do you know who those three eliminated will be I feel like this will be a game of musical chairs. Because if you have twenty three candidates that get one percent at some at some point in the polls and get enough donors. You're gonna have the DNC having to choose who's not going to make that debate stage. But. Look, I it's it creates a whole host of nightmares. We have such a big field for the party because not only will the DNC possibly have to vote someone off the off the debate island, if you will, but, but they're also going to have to play favorites in a way that they liked to stay neutral in the whole process, Josh eaten before we get to the debates wouldn't some, those candidates sort of rail on his in. Oh, maybe I can't go, this far fundraising is going to be the big challenge for a lot of candidates because, of course, in order to have a presidential campaign, you need to pay staff you need to pay your consultants your pollsters, your media people and there are a lot of candidates that have high expectations. They're hiring a bunch of expensive, big big big name talent. And if they don't get any traction early on. They may not get enough money into their campaigns to pay the bills. So after. After Joe Biden, who's got the most money. So in terms of the first quarter, the first three months of a fundraising Biden within the lead, but Bernie Sanders very very close behind. And then you've got folks, like Senator, comma, Harris who raised a pretty healthy total and mayor Pete Buddha jazz. She wasn't even in the rice for that whole period, but he captured the Hartson imaginations of a lot of democratic voters, and we've seen that money come in as his poll numbers have also gone up. I'm wondering is it is going to be very hard for ten and ten candidates to get up there and make their points. How much do you think those debates are going to matter? I think we're not gonna see as dramatic effect from the early democratic debates as we saw in two thousand sixteen when Donald Trump really dominated the stage and everything was about either challenging Trump or trying to make an. For yourself. The Democrats are going. I mean there's a real risk. If you're a lesser-known candidate who tries to take on a Joe Biden, because usually what you see in politics when you have this big field when someone who's an underdog takes on the front runner, both of them get hurt. But if you're a lesser-known candidate, you don't wanna marginalize, your own campaign at the expense of taking on Biden, you're gonna wanna wait and see how this field develops. You're gonna wanna get some traction in. I will New Hampshire before you really go on the attack. So my expectation is a lot of the Democrats on those early debates stages are going to be cautious. They're going to be trying to promote themselves, and maybe a side from Bernie Sanders, if he's on the same debate stage, I don't see a lot of the other candidates really trying to make a fight early on against vice president Biden, how is budging going to behave on that stage will Biden his acting like like a front runner. He's not had quite as busy of campaign schedule in his first month or two on the campaign trail. He's acting like a front runner. He he's acting like a disciplined candidate than than more than we've, we we've seen in. In recent years, but, you know, they're sending pool reports his campaign is like you get from the White House. That that's, that's what a front runner, does, when you have an operation, that's well, funded well organized they're treating him like a front runner like a very formidable candidate. I mean my bigger question with Biden is, does he have the energy does? He have the stamina to really, you know, fight at age seventy six a very rigorous process, campaign trail..