Is Michael Bennett Still Running for President?

Michael Bennet during the New Hampshire Primary

You may not see his name listed when the cable news shows list the incoming results, but according to Evan Malmgren’s piece at the Baffler, Michael Bennett is still running for president.

Here is a taste:

If Bennet’s primary strategy and political positioning echoes Gary Hart’s, his New Hampshire gamble is even more of a fantastical long shot. Bennet is polling below half a percentage point in the statewide Real Clear Politics average, but he’s nonetheless invested in thirty-five paid staffers there—a significant fielding for a candidate who has raised less than $7 million over the entire election cycle—and he has spent the last two months traipsing up and down the state on a fifty-stop town hall tour called “the Real Deal Road Trip.”

I attended the fiftieth stop of this political death march, a rally in Manchester, and found what might have been an impressive showing, had Bennet been running for county treasurer. A crowd of more than two hundred packed the event space as Bennet droned on with a tempered and unfocused speech. “Among all the candidates in this race, I have the most —” Bennet stammered and paused, seemingly unsure of what, exactly, he has the most of. After some thought, he landed on a vague Obama-ism. “I have the plan that is most targeted towards, how do we allow people to stay in the middle class that are in the middle class.”

No one seemed to be paying complete attention; the people around me issued disjointed claps at seemingly random intervals. Eventually, the campaign wheeled out its “star slugger” for a brief appearance: James Carville, one-time architect of Bill Clinton’s 1992 presidential campaign who is better known today as a minor septuagenarian tastemaker among the MSNBC-addicted crowd. That he has endorsed Bennet’s 2020 presidential campaign is all you need to know about his continued relevance. At the rally, Carville rammed Bernie Sanders as an “ideologue” and spoke to his personal desire for Democrats to win in 2020, but he said almost nothing about Bennet’s vision in particular. “They’ll run away from Bernie Sanders like the devil running away from holy water,” Carville claimed of down-ballot Democratic candidates in conservative states, a convoluted metaphor that managed to compare hypothetical future fans of Bennet’s uninspiring program to Satan himself.

The rally ended with an awkward New Orleans twist, as the speakers blared a Cajun tune and Carville donned a Mardi Gras mask before tossing beads into the crowd, abruptly leaving to catch a flight.

Read the entire piece here.

Paul Harvey’s Rocky Mountain High

Paul Harvey, professor of history at the University of Colorado–Colorado Springs, takes us on a religious journey through his adopted home state–a crucial swing state in the upcoming presidential election. 

I have spent some time in the northern “Front Range” region (my in-laws live in Ft. Collins) so I found his piece particularly interesting.  Here is a taste:

I live along Colorado’s “Front Range,” where 82 percent of the state’s some 5 million residents call home. Colorado is a large, western state, but the drive through the Front Range takes just over two hours. Coming from the working-class (and historically predominantly union and Democratic) industrial town of Pueblo in the South, a 30-minute drive up I-25 takes you to the base of Pike’s Pike, in the shadow of which sprawls the famously conservative city of Colorado Springs. Another hour northward places you in the capital city, Denver. Another 30 minutes northwest and you arrive in the university town of Boulder, referred to by the state’s more conservative residents as the “People’s Republic of Boulder.”

The drive takes you through some of the state’s richest and poorest neighborhoods; through belching steel mills, resort communities, suburban sprawl, urban gentrification, and a university town’s genteel poverty. Politically, this tour of the Front Range takes you from some of the most Republican and Libertarian to some of the most Democratic and Green political districts in the United States. Religiously, this tour takes you from Colorado Springs, home to conservative evangelical churches, through vast suburbs of spiritual-but-not-religious housing developments, to heavily urban Democratic sectors of Denver, and into Boulder, the spiritual converse of Colorado Springs.

And here is a little John Denver for your enjoyment: