That time Eric Swalwell promised to give up his seat if he ran for POTUS

Yesterday we learned that Congressman Eric Swalwell has decided to abandon ship on his 2020 hopes, becoming, as Allahpundit put it, the first person to not manage to outlast Marianne Williamson. This really only leaves us with a couple of questions. The first is where both of his previous supporters will toss their votes.


The second may be a bit more awkward. In making his announcement, Swalwell mentioned that rather than pursuing the presidency, he would go home and run for another term in Congress. But as the Free Beacon points out, he seems to have forgotten that he said he would give up his seat if he ran for the nomination.

Rep. Eric Swalwell (D., Calif.), who will reportedly drop out of the Democratic presidential primary Monday afternoon, said he would give up his seat in Congress if he ran for president during a February interview on the It’s All Political podcast.

“If you decide to run for president, would you give up your seat in Congress?” asked host and San Francisco Chronicle reporter Joe Garofoli.

“Yes,” Swalwell responded.

“You would give it up?” Garofoli pressed.

“Yes,” Swalwell said. “I think you have to.”

You can listen to a clip from that podcast at the link, but Swalwell had plenty more to say. This wasn’t a case of an interviewer challenging a candidate to answer such a question and just getting an affirmative response. Swalwell waxed eloquent, invoking visions of conquering hordes. “Burn the boats as Cortes did. They stormed the land and he had them burn the ships behind them so there was no looking back, and I would want people to know I’m putting my all into this and I don’t have a life insurance policy.”


He goes on to point out that he was the first in his family to attend college and as far as he’s concerned, he’s “playing with the house’s money” in terms of making his parents proud. There are plenty of other things he could be doing.

But that was then and this is now. Having failed to muster any level of primary support even close to the margin of error, Eric Swalwell will take his ball and go home. And run for another term in Congress. But… but… what about the boats you burned, sir? Did you suddenly find an insurance policy you’d forgotten about after assuring everyone that you didn’t have one?

In the end, Swalwell will likely be able to simply bat away his previous promises, no matter how blatantly he breaks them. He’s been representing California -15 since 2013 and that district is so blue it bleeds blueberry juice. He won his last race by 46 points and I kind of doubt the voters there are going to find a lie slipping past his lips a reason to send him packing.

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Jazz Shaw 4:01 PM on December 03, 2023