While the Democrats seem to be in denial about how and why they lost the White House and the Senate (and even the House) in 2016, they do seem to realize that their bench is relatively bare.  The “buzz” about 2020 Democrat presidential hopefuls has, until now, been centered on former Vice President Joe Biden, socialist Senator Bernie Sanders (D-VT), and Sanders’ ideological mini-me Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA).

These aging Democrat superstars, however, might just get pushed aside as Boston’s left-leaning media pushes a handsome, articulate, combat veteran and former aide to General Petraeus who routinely insists that Trump’s rise is just like that of Hitler.

At 38, Representative Seth Moulton (D-MA) is currently serving his second term in the House, and while there was buzz that he might consider a Senate run, the Boston Globe and other local outlets have been building him up as a potential 2020 presidential candidate.

The Boston Globe writes:

He has won praise from a neoconservative magazine editor, taken star turns on HBO and “This American Life,” and likened President Trump’s political ascendance to that of Adolf Hitler’s.

Just months into his second term, Representative Seth Moulton has demonstrated a knack for drawing attention. Now he is stirring speculation that he could run for higher office in three years — not just the US Senate, the frequent path of congressmen, but for the White House, a direct route from the House to the top job not taken since James A. Garfield in 1880.

It seems that his primary qualification at this time for president, at least according to the Globe, is his “resistance” to Trump.

The Globe continues:

But if his rare feat of unseating an incumbent in a primary drew notice, it has been Moulton’s persistent criticism of Trump that has elevated him to a national profile.

Ah, yes, the “I’m not him” strategy that helped propel Hillary to humiliating defeat.

That, however, is not the only reason the Democrats are searching so desperately for someone, anyone other than the geriatric triumvirate, to run in 2020.

“Right now, this has less to do with Seth as a potential presidential candidate and more to do with the type of profile the electorate wants for a field of presidential candidates,” said one Moulton adviser, speaking on condition of anonymity. “And it’s not somebody who’s over 70 years old, who’s been around a long time, and has the same name as somebody who ran for president 30 years ago. When you’re presented with that opportunity as a sitting member of Congress, you’re crazy if you don’t look at it.”

Party leaders call the still-nebulous Democratic field as bereft of an heir apparent as any in recent memory.

“There is no Democratic front-runner,” said former Pennsylvania governor Ed Rendell, who chaired the Democratic National Committee during the 2000 election cycle.

Of Moulton, Rendell said, “I would put Seth Moulton in with anybody else . . . If he can raise the money to run a viable campaign, if he develops a good message, then he could emerge. If Joe Biden stays out, anybody can emerge. He’s probably looking at the field and thinking, ‘Hmm, I can do this’.”

And that’s a huge part of the problem for Democrats:  Apart from Biden, their offerings are an avowed socialist and . . . Elizabeth Warren.  Neither of them are likely to appeal to many Democrat voters, let alone to the Independents and soft Republicans they’d need to win the White House.

Moulton, however, may be a different story.  While he’s been particularly hyperbolic about the current president, he had no problem taking a stand against Obama’s failed Iraq policies and sees himself as a new type of politician: one who is not confined, or defined, by traditional partisan politics.

WGBH reported last year:

Seth Moulton, the surprise winner of 2014’s congressional race on Massachusetts’s North Shore, is carving out something of a reputation—a brand, almost: a former serviceman entering politics to put community and country above ideology and political party.

. . . . Working out of Kendall Square in Cambridge, an organization called New Politics is trying to Moulton-ify politics. It’s the mostly one-woman effort of Emily Cherniack. She recruited Moulton to run for Congress; this year his re-election is one of 17 campaigns on the New Politics roster.

. . . . [W]illingness to buck the Democratic Party establishment may explain why New Politics seems to be having more recruiting success far afield than close to home.

New Politics’ website describes its mission as follows:

At New Politics, we are working to bring a new generation of servant leaders into office. We believe that now more than ever our nation needs leaders who have served this country through military, AmeriCorps, Peace Corps, and other significant service programs.

We need those who have put everything aside to serve America outside of politics to serve our country as political leaders. These Americans are undaunted by our most pressing problems: they don’t see challenges as walls but instead as hurdles – not as constraints but as opportunities.

This emphasis on purportedly humble and noble public servants who buck the establishment elite and put country over party may well have legs, appealing to American voters between the regressive- and SJW-drenched coasts.

Moulton himself, as the standard bearer for this new politics, explains where he stands:

When I look at America today, it’s hard to see anything that’s as broken as our Congress. It’s a place where I believe the pragmatic leadership skills I learned in my four deployments during the war can contribute to finding the solutions we desperately need. The Marines in my platoon came together from across the country, with many different backgrounds and beliefs, yet we all rose above those differences to do what is best for America. And when we partnered with Iraqi political and military leaders, we worked across even deeper cultural divides to achieve goals larger than ourselves.

We didn’t worry about our own agendas—we put the country first, focused on the mission, and worked as hard as we could. We need that spirit in Washington.

His idea of what is best for America may not be in sync with many of the voters the Democrats need to win back, however. Despite being critical of Obama on Iraq and a staunch supporter of General Mattis‘ confirmation (for which he could not vote), Moulton is decidedly on the left on most issues, and on the far left on issues like climate change, health care, and gun control.

The single Moulton, hailed by the Hill as among the 2015 “Most Beautiful,” voted against banning late-term abortion and admits to smoking marijuana while pursuing his two master’s degrees at Harvard.  He told Boston Magazine that pot is unlikely to be a gateway drug unless “you buy your marijuana from a dealer who sells heroin, who sells opioids.”

Watch Moulton discuss the new economy:

Watch Moulton’s response to President Trump’s Inaugural Address:

The Globe gushes enthusiastically about Moulton’s presidential prospects.

In part, Moulton’s potential viability as a candidate may be helped along by Trump’s own success; after all, by 2020, if he wins reelection to his House seat in 2018, he would have six years of experience in elected office — six more than Trump the day he was inaugurated. And he will have two more years in office than then-senator Barack Obama when he captured the White House.

Already, one Internet outpost is encouraging a run with a Facebook fan page set up “because we believe he has the ability to win.”

But even the fan page seems to think the election three years hence might be too soon. It urges: “Seth Moulton for President 2024.”

Unless President Trump falls flat on his face and the Democrats decide against Senator Cory Booker (D-NJ), whom I believe is currently their best bet, Moulton’s chance of being seriously considered for his party’s 2020 presidential nomination aren’t great.

Indeed, CNN has him listed as “third tier”—along with Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg—in their release of 22 Democrats “thinking of running” in 2020:  That puts him below, at least according to CNN, both Senators Kamala Harris (D-CA) and Al Franken (D-MN).

(Al Franken?  Seriously?!)

However, if Moulton follows JFK’s path and wins a (Warren’s) Senate seat, he may indeed be a contender in 2024 or even 2028.  If the Democrats can’t do better than Harris or Franken (I’m still giggling), he might as well go for it in 2020.


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