Are you ready for President Michael Avenatti?

Dude, I think he might be thinking about it. No joke.

We can’t read too much into that, right? But … how about this tweet from 11 days ago?

Someone new, eh? How about this exchange with Bill Maher back in April?

“What about the future for you in politics? You got a standing ovation!” Maher enthused.

“As you know, there’s a small matter I’m presently focused on,” Avenatti simpered. “But we will see how that goes. And, I’ll tell you what: if, at the end of that, you decide that makes sense for me, I’ll do it!”

Granted, he’s become a folk hero to left-wing Trump haters, but they’re not going to support someone for president who isn’t active in partisan politics, right? But wait — he is active in partisan politics all of a sudden. Not only has he been tweeting up a storm about child separation lately, he’s taken on 70 migrant children as clients.

Avenatti’s secret ingredient in appealing to Democrats is that he’s exceedingly Trumpy. He’s not just the rare man of the left who’s excelled at putting Trump on the defensive and keeping him there, he’s scratching the itch Democrats feel (whether they want to admit it or not) to beat Trump at his own game. He’s extremely aggressive, excellent on TV and insatiable in craving exposure from it, an “outsider” standing up to the powers that be. Sound familiar? He’s even got a troubled business history like POTUS had. The lesson of 2016 was that a charismatic newbie with a fan following from television is not to be trifled with in a crowded primary with the base split umpteen ways. If Democratic voters want a doctrinaire socialist, well, maybe Avenatti’s not their man. If they want a “fighter” who’s known for tormenting the politician they most hate, well… Put it this way. I think Avenatti would do better in a primary than this stiff would. He has what Bloomberg, despite all his money and political success in New York, doesn’t: Fans.

Speaking of 2020, Peter Beinart asks an interesting question. Did last night’s earthquake in the Democratic primary in NY-14 spell the end for Joe Biden’s chances?

The former senator and vice president’s career follows an arc similar to Crowley’s. For much of his time in Congress, he was a New Democrat. A devout Catholic, he once sought a middle path on abortion: supporting abortion rights but opposing government funding of it. He supported nafta. He backed the Iraq War and didn’t only vote for the Patriot Act but boasted about writing it…

If Biden runs in 2020, these old views will dog him. He’s likely to face younger Democrats who, like Ocasio-Cortez, entered politics after the New Democratic era had ended, and older ones, like Bernie Sanders, who rejected it all along. And he’ll do so in an era in which, more than at any time since the early 1970s, the activist left is defining the Democratic Party.

Why would you settle for a pretend-progressive who discovered his leftism in his old age, coincidentally around the time the party’s base was shifting left, when you could have the genuine article like Bernie or a younger candidate whose progressivism isn’t quite as obviously a pretense as Hillary’s was and Biden’s is? This is another small advantage a long-long-longshot candidate like Avenatti would have over some of his rivals. Apart from working for Rahm Emanuel’s firm years ago, he’s an unknown quality politically. If he claims to have been a dyed-in-the-wool progressive his whole life, there’ll be less evidence available to disprove that than there is for Biden. He can be who he wants to be ideologically in a way few professional politicians can.

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