2019年5月28日 星期二

On Politics With Lisa Lerer: Summer Predictions

Lisa and colleagues make bold predictions for what's going to happen with the 2020 candidates this summer.
May 28, 2019
Evening Edition
Lisa Lerer Hi. Welcome to On Politics, your guide to the day in national politics. I’m Lisa Lerer, your host.
The New York Times
How was your Memorial Day? Mine was delightful. Few emails. No traffic. Some quality time near bodies of water.
I hope you enjoyed yours as well … because it’s the last quiet day we’re all going to get, at least when it comes to the 2020 race.
This weekend, the candidates are setting up camp in California for the state’s Democratic Party convention. But I’m skipping the trip to San Francisco in favor of going where I’ve truly left my heart: Cedar Rapids, where most of the contenders will descend for an Iowa Democratic Party dinner on June 9. (I cannot let this occasion pass without a flashback to the Hillary Clinton Snapchat debut that launched a thousand memes. You’re welcome.)
Anyhow, in honor of this new moment that we’ve reached in the campaign, I asked my colleagues for their predictions of what’s likely to come in the summer campaign season. That whole 2016 thing didn’t scare us off prognostication. We persist. Kind of.
Lee Drutman, a political scientist and friend of the newsletter, makes a strong case for why predictions are still necessary — and fun. (Though, for the record, I’m not quite sure I agree with his prediction!)
Think of this as your tipsheet for what we’ll all be watching through the long summer months.
Because this is my newsletter, I’m going to bite the bullet first:
The debates won’t have that big an impact. At least, not at first.
People frequently cite President Trump’s dominance in nearly a dozen Republican primary debates in 2016 as a major reason he captured the nomination. In a race that has, at least so far, been driven by cable news, there’s an expectation that the Democratic debates could prompt some significant reshuffling of the field.
I’m taking the other side of that bet. Yes, the 2020 debate stage will be crowded — just like in 2016. But party officials said this weekend that the front-runners (in this case, anyone reaching the oh-so-high marker of 2 percent in the polls) will be split across two nights. The candidates will find out their night about 10 days before, sharply compressing the time they have to prepare those zingers. Besides, the Democrats still seem fairly focused on playing nice. And if 2016 is any guide, on such a crowded stage they’re likely to each get about 10 minutes total speaking time.
All that diminishes the chances of a race-shifting, breakout moment — at least in the two debates scheduled for this summer. After that, well, all bets are off!
Here’s what my intrepid colleagues on the Politics desk saw in their crystal balls.
Jonathan Martin:
At least one of the candidates at this summer’s Democratic debates will pull a Kucinich: using the limited time to complain that he or she is not getting enough time to speak at said debate.
Katie Glueck:
There will be some news development at the beginning of the summer that will seem very important at the time — and then few people will be talking about it by the end of the summer.
Astead Herndon:
A candidate will embarrass themselves by mimicking a viral dance challenge.
Patrick Healy:
Stacey Abrams, the Georgia Democratic phenom, will visit the Iowa State Fair in August, triggering a new round of questions about whether she will enter the 2020 presidential race. One more prominent Democrat will jump into the race this year — but it may or may not be Ms. Abrams.
Reid Epstein:
One or more of the also-ran candidates will mount a mission to take out Bernie Sanders or Joe Biden — the two front-runners who are seen by others in the race as having weak bases of support.
Matt Stevens:
It’s going to get harder to qualify for the Democratic debates — and candidates are going to complain. Those who are worried about getting cut from the June and July debates have been grousing to supporters for weeks about how the qualification criteria — which have turned out to be relatively easy to meet — are, in fact, rigged against them. So when D.N.C. officials eventually raise the bar, expect the kvetching to intensify.
Matt Flegenheimer:
Kamala Harris’s lawyerly husband, Doug, will achieve viral fame to rival Chasten Buttigieg. Somehow. (Ed. note: Doug introduced us to onion goggles, and for that we will be forever grateful.)
Jonathan Ellis:
There will be a new “hot” candidate. By the end of the summer, this candidate will no longer be hot.
And finally, this newsletter’s editor, Tom Wright-Piersanti, is going bold:
I’m setting the over/under for candidates dropping out during the summer at 2.5. And I’m taking the over.
So what do you think? Are we right? Wrong? Courting disaster by even playing this little game? Send us your predictions for the 2020 field this summer: onpolitics@nytimes.com. Include your name and home state and we may feature your prediction in a future newsletter.
What to read tonight
Tupelo honey — the most expensive honey in America — has been hurt by hurricanes, blights and encroaching development. But a small cadre of beekeepers still fiercely pursues this liquid gold.
President Trump boasted that a plan to revive the defunct General Motors factory in Lordstown, Ohio, was a done deal. But it turns out the electric-truck maker behind the deal has nowhere near enough money to pull it off.
Newborns discarded in dumpsters. Overflowing orphanages. Teenagers picking through trash. “This is the worst time to be a child in Venezuela.”
… Seriously
The Fresno Grizzlies, a minor league baseball team, apologized to Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez for appearing to equate her with Kim Jong-un and Fidel Castro in a Memorial Day tribute video shown during Monday night’s doubleheader.
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