Fact check: Absolutely true, at least to many people outside of California’s 43rd Congressional district. Maxine Waters has been in the House for twenty-six years as one of its most extreme progressives, and has spent much of the past year agitating for Donald Trump’s impeachment. On the other hand, the 78-year-old Waters has gotten a surprising amount of buzz on the Left as a potential 2020 presidential candidate, at least according to The Hill:
Waters is emerging as the president’s harshest congressional critic, enraging Trump’s conservative supporters and electrifying the Democrats’ liberal base, some of whom are pushing –– only slightly tongue-in-cheek –– for Waters to launch her own White House bid.
It is not, she says, going to happen.
“I said, jokingly, ‘If the millennials wanted me to do it, I’d do it,’” Waters told The Hill on Thursday. “But it’s a joke.”
That’s no indication, however, that Waters intends to relax her aggressive campaign against the president –– an effort that’s featured a boycott of Trump’s inauguration ceremony; suggestions that his actions might merit impeachment; a near endless circuit of damning interviews on cable news; and a long and growing list of invitations to visit Democratic districts across the country.
Do progressives have any prospects in mind for 2020 below the age of 70?
There’s no real indication that Waters will find herself a presidential candidate, and probably none that indicate she’s at risk of losing her seat, either. She weathered the OneUnited corruption scandal five years ago, and she still got 71% of the vote in her district just a few weeks later — even while running against fellow Democrat Bob Flores. Waters beat Republican challenger Omar Navarro last year by a 76/24 margin in the D+29 district, so at least for the moment, her constituents seem rather pleased with her antics.
That doesn’t daunt Hollywood producer Frank DeMartini, the man behind HollywoodRepublican.net. DeMartini told Hollywood Reporter’s Paul Bond that he’s considering a challenge to Waters for her seat in 2018:
Film producer Frank DeMartini is seriously considering a run at unseating Rep. Maxine Waters (D-Calif.), The Hollywood Reporter learned on Thursday.
DeMartini, a former lieutenant under Avi Lerner, the prolific producer behind the Expendables and Rambo franchises, was approached by Republican party officials about two months ago to see if he’d run against Waters in California’s 43rd Congressional District, insiders say.
“You called me. It’s true. I am thinking about it,” DeMartini told THR on Thursday. “I’m being asked to consider a run. I still don’t have my ducks in a row. My team is in the process of building a website.”
DeMartini’s producer and executive producer credits include Mechanic: Resurrection and Ninja: Shadow of a Tear (both with Lerner), along with Elephant White, starring Kevin Bacon and Djimon Hounsou; Mad Money starring Diane Keaton, Katie Holmes and Ted Danson; and Journey to the End of the Night, starring Brendan Fraser.
DeMartini had already declared last week on his blog that it was “time for Maxine Waters to disappear”:
Not only has Maxine Waters’ positions been almost toxic to black Americans, they are toxic to Evangelical Christians too. She stands for abortion on demand. She stands for gay marriage. And, she stands for transgender bathrooms. In fact, socially, she has absorbed every one of the Obama Administration’s most liberal positions. Every one of which is anathema to evangelicals. And, from the demographics in CA-43, it appears that evangelicals may be able to swing the election in 2018. In fact, I wouldn’t be surprised if a small portion of the black vote can be swung by attacking her on these social positions.
But, that’s not going to be enough to win. In order to beat her, you will have to appeal to the Hispanic Community. And, specifically, Hispanic business owners as these are the guys/gals who tend to vote in larger numbers, than the non-working poor. Again, she is anathema to this voting block. I don’t see one vote of hers in the past 20 years that has been pro-business. In fact, almost everything she stands for is pro-government and the strangling regulations that come with such a pro-government stance. …
Lastly, and most importantly, she has gone completely off the rail on President Trump. Since his election and inauguration, she has continually been a leader in the resistance movement. Now, she is a leader in the impeachment movement. In fact, she’s been screaming impeachment every time someone will listen. Mind you, in my opinion, there is nothing whatsoever is an impeachable offense. So, accordingly, she is trying to thwart the authority and legitimacy of a constitutionally elected Commander-In-Chief.
Therefore, she is definitely vulnerable.
DeMartini didn’t pull any punches in the post, in which he accuses Waters of borderline senility among her other myriad faults. The problem, DeMartini says, is that Waters has nearly unlimited ability to raise funds. Navarro couldn’t compete on fundraising and got buried, DeMartini argues, and therefore Republicans need someone experienced at raising money. And who can do that better than a Hollywood producer?
Well, it certainly couldn’t hurt, but it’s unclear how much it will help. Part of the reason that Navarro and others don’t raise a lot of money for these kinds of Congressional races is that districts with +29 to the opposing party are largely (and rightly) seen as unwinnable. Democrats just learned that lesson the hard way by dumping $30 million or more into a special election for a Georgia seat that was R+8, and wound up setting fire to the cash and losing by five points anyway.On top of that, the assumption that Republicans can pick up Hispanic voters simply by sounding pro-life and pro-business themes has been proven false over and over again, including in the last election. It might take a Hollywood producer to sell hope for a challenge to Waters.
Still, Republicans need to field someone against Waters, and DeMartini might make it at least interesting. If he can put together a substantial campaign, he might force Waters to pay attention to her district more than her national celebrity.