Friedman: Paging Michael Bloomberg, paging Michael Bloomberg

My fellow Americans, we face a national emergency. Never before have we had a president so utterly lacking in personal integrity, so able to lie and abuse his powers with such impunity and so blindly backed by an amoral party, an unscrupulous attorney general and a media-fundraising juggernaut. It is an engine of raw power that will cram anything the president says or does right down your throat.

James Carville had it exactly right when he noted on “Morning Joe” the other day that the only thing standing in the way of lasting damage by this machine to all that makes America unique and great is the Democrats’ nominating the right person to defeat Donald Trump.

We have to get this right. This is no ordinary time, no ordinary Republican Party, no ordinary incumbent, and it will require an extraordinary Democratic machine to triumph.

So who is the right Democratic candidate? Well, for starters I will tell you who it is not. It is not Bernie Sanders. On which planet in the Milky Way galaxy is an avowed “socialist” — who wants to take away the private health care coverage of some 150 million Americans and replace it with a gigantic, untested, Medicare-for-All program, which he’d also extend to immigrants in the country illegally — going to defeat the Trump machine this year? It will cast Sanders as Che Guevara — and it won’t even be that hard.

On strategy, we know the formula that works, because it already has: Appeal to independents, moderate Republicans and suburban women. If Democrats can choose a candidate who can hold the core Democratic base and also appeal to these same independents, moderate Republicans and suburban women in the key swing states, they can absolutely defeat Trump.

How do you do that as a candidate?

For starters, by stressing national unity, personal integrity and a willingness to pursue bipartisanship whenever the other side is ready. A lot of Americans are worried sick that Trump is tearing the country in half.

As Larry Diamond, editor of The Journal of Democracy, pointed out to me, several studies he’s been publishing show that the best way to defeat illiberal populism is not by trying to out-polarize the polarizer in chief but rather through broad, inclusive electoral strategies that pragmatically address the economic and social concerns of voters, including those who had previously voted for the populist.

You do it by not only talking about how to redivide the pie — which we need to do — but by also talking about how to grow the pie, how to create more taxpayers and how to inspire more innovators.

I was glad to see candidates with this kind of message, like Amy Klobuchar and Pete Buttigieg, trending better in Iowa and New Hampshire. It showed that lots of Democrats are searching in this direction.

But there is one candidate on the Democratic side who not only has a track record of supporting all the right issues but also has the resources to build a machine big enough to take …read more

Source:: The Mercury News – Politics


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