The clown car of 2020 Democratic prospects is getting clownier by the moment. Offhand I can’t think of any Obama alumnus who’d inspire as much fear and loathing on the right as nominee as Holder would — with one exception. And that one exception’s already had her chance.
What America needs now, at a moment of disintegrating trust in the Justice Department among Republicans, is Democrats nominating the guy who snooped on journalists and oversaw Operation Fast and Furious as head of the DOJ. Bring on the Trump/Holder election.
Holder said he’s focused on his work at the National Democratic Redistricting Committee (NDRC), but suggested he could choose to run for office again.
“I’ll see. I’m focused on the NDRC at this point,” he said.
“But I think I’ll make a decision at the end of this issue as to whether or not there is another chapter in my government service.”
Are any of Obama’s top cabinet officials not running for president? Hillary ran. Biden sure sounds like he’s running. John Kerry seems to be entertaining the possibility. And now here’s someone who, unlike the other three, has never held elected office considering taking the plunge in his late 60s. As the questioner notes in the clip, he’s raising money for his pet causes and is about to tour the country to promote his redistricting project, which is to say that he’s learning the nuts and bolts of campaigning. He’s younger than Clinton, Biden, Kerry, and even Trump, and the Democratic Party’s moving left. Plus, he has a credential that most top-tier Democratic contenders lack: As the would-be second black president, he might be able to mobilize black voters in a way that Hillary couldn’t. Why not Holder?
Nah, I’m just kidding. He’s not running. Given a galaxy of choices, from more experienced pols like Biden to populist heroes like Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren to younger stars like Kamala Harris, what’s the argument for Holder? If you’re nostalgic for the Obama years, you’ve got Uncle Joe. If you’re worried about black turnout, you’ve got Harris or Cory Booker. A rich liberal looking to drop $500,000, say, on a Democrat’s campaign would be a sucker to give it to a longshot like Holder instead of someone with a better chance. He couldn’t even count on Obama’s endorsement if Biden is in the race. What he’s doing here, I assume, is following the old Washington rule of never saying no when you’re asked if you’re running for president since the mere possibility will drive attention to your projects. He wants PR for his redistricting program. Here’s a golden opportunity to drum it up in the cheapest way possible. Running for president? Sure, whatever. Follow my travels and find out!
I wonder if he might be aiming at statewide office, though. He’s spent the last 25 years in and around D.C., which would potentially make him eligible to run for governor in the blue states of Maryland and Virginia. Two problems, though. If he’s eyeing Virginia, he’ll have to wait until late 2021 for another election. If he’s eyeing Maryland, where Republican Larry Hogan is up for reelection later this year, it’s probably too late for him to build a campaign. Hogan wouldn’t be easy to beat, either: As of November, despite Maryland’s liberal tilt, he enjoyed a 67 percent approval rating. And forget about Holder running for Senate. All four of the current senators from Maryland and Virginia are Democrats, which would mean he’d need to primary one of them and win, and three of them are younger than he is, meaning they’re likely to be around for awhile. The one who isn’t, Ben Cardin, is running for reelection this year, too late for Holder. So where would he run? He’s locked out.
Here he is this morning fanning the embers of speculation.