It’s not going to happen this election cycle, however, there is speculation California Congressman Adam Schiff is looking towards higher office. The only question is how high. A new report from The Hill suggests Schiff has his eyes on either the Senate or a future residency in the White House.
Some Democrats see him as the natural heir to 86-year-old Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.); others say the 19-year Southern California congressman is a House guy through and through and could one day run to succeed Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), his close ally. One of his House colleagues from the Golden State said she saw a president in the making as Schiff led the televised hearings these past two weeks.
“When we look at the characteristics of what we want to see in a president, it is somebody who is not going to lose composure because he’s been poked. And we’re seeing that on display from Adam Schiff every single day,” said the California Democratic lawmaker. “He’s not too vanilla. But I kind of want that now after Trump. We need boring; boring is good.”
Schiff obviously isn’t boring but someone who appears to be doing his best to be a Very Serious Politician when he’s far from it. He proved it last week in an interview with CNN’s Jake Tapper where he spoke from both sides of his mouth on the impeachment question. Tapper asked Schiff directly if he believed President Donald Trump should be impeached and the answer was, “I want to discuss this with my constituents and my colleagues before I make a final judgment on it.”
This is ridiculous. Either Schiff believes Trump should be booted from office for whatever happened regarding Ukraine or he doesn’t. The only reason for Schiff to give this kind of mealy-mouthed answer is to avoid any major political ramifications with voters in case the House decides to not vote on impeachment. This, of course, depends on how many Democrats get cold feet on impeachment because they’re worried it will either cause issues in the 2020 presidential election or their chances of retaining the House/gaining the Senate.
As an aside, every president from George Washington to Trump should have been impeached and convicted for failing to stay within the executive’s defined role in the U.S. Constitution instead of sucking more and more power from legislature. The exceptions are William Henry Harrison, who lasted all of a month before dying, and maybe Calvin Coolidge. This is more of an indictment of Congress than anything else.
Back to Schiff and his possible political future. The other theories are he’ll stay in the House and seek to become Speaker or run for Senate should either of the California seats become open. He would have plenty of competition for either spot.
One would guess current Speaker Nancy Pelosi has no desire to cede the spot unless some kind of humongous political change occurs. Texas Congressman Joaquin Castro might be a potential Speaker candidate should he not run for U.S. Senate or governor. New Mexico Congressman Ben Ray Luján would be an obvious choice if he was not running for Senate. New York Congressman Hakeem Jeffries seems like he has a decent shot, eventually, given his role with the House Democratic Caucus. There are also those who would probably yearn for a Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez speakership should her populism stay successful.
A role in the U.S. Senate is also questionable. One has to believe dozens of California politicians want the spots held by either Dianne Feinstein or Kamala Harris. Former California Senate pro Tempore Kevin de Leon, who lost by nine percentage points last year, is trying to keep his name in the political spotlight by running for Los Angeles City Council in 2020. Congressman Eric Swalwell ran for president this year for a reason, and not necessarily because he believed he could win the Democratic nomination. Attorney General Xavier Becerra is probably a future senate candidate, as well.
Maybe Schiff’s best choice is to run for President if he decides to be more than a power broker in Congress.