The smoke-filled rooms have burned down

Why it matters: The smoke-filled room has burned to the ground, and the advantage now lies fully with the electorate to determine what they want. For Democrats, that means making sense of a massive field of more than 20 candidates — while, for Republicans, that means bending to the originator of this trend: President Trump.

We’re seeing it as the 2020 race heats up, and the traditional voices of the establishment stay silent:

The closest thing to a kingmaker for the Democratic field is President Obama. If you believe the spin from Joe Biden’s team, they didn’t seek his endorsement to allow the former veep to stand on his own. And Obama’s team wants to stick close to a long-held D.C. custom: former presidents sit above the fray.

The Republican establishment has been remade in Trump’s own image and the old guard — the Bushes and Romneys — that could conceivably mount some sort of challenge are out in the wilderness, neutered.