|Sen. Michael Bennet speaks at a house party hosted|
by supporters in New Hampshire, Jan. 12, 2020 | C-Span
Why is he still in this race? Why did he get into it? Those are the questions I hear frequently at presentations regarding Colorado’s upcoming Super Tuesday primary. These are my views knowing his career and recent campaign:
- The U.S. Senate in 2019 has become an unfriendly place for ambitious Democrats who would like to accomplish some policy objectives. Mitch McConnell runs it like a Republican plantation with little room for dissent or creativity. Democrats are mostly overshadowed by their senior leadership and junior senators carry little weight. What better way to breakout than write a book and run for president in what appears a wide-open year.
- Although Bennet is hardly charismatic, he is widely respected by fellow senators, Washington policy operatives and press corp. He knows the policy process and does great interviews.
- With more than 20 candidates lining up for the Democratic nomination, it indeed appeared wide open. Hindsight suggests space was much more limited for party activists’ attention than the size of the the stages in the long series of debates. Bennet was always near the edge of the stage and never approached the center.
- Bennet’s theory of breaking out – that is Joe Biden would fade and he would be a viable alternative – failed in that Biden did not fade – he’s still the frontrunner – and there are now more viable alternatives supported by activists, namely Pete Buttigieg and Amy Klobuchar.