Now, you may know that I love, but do not understand, West Virginia. I love the beautiful land and the kind, generous people, I love the immanent feeling of history that stays alive there, I love the working class values. I just don't get the way a state that votes for Trump by a huge margin, also keeps Jim Manchin going back to Washington D.C., but hell, I respect it.
What I do kind of get is the rest of the country. Now, I can respect a man in uniform with the best of them. I kind of wanted Gen. Wes Clark to be a big deal--even to run in 2004 or be a running mate for Kerry (I didn't quite trust Edwards--there is something about an abundance of earnestness that rankles me). I value the contributions and perspectives of people who have served, because, like Theodore Roosevelt and Dwight Eisenhower, they have often inculcated organizational skills, discipline, and have shown personal physical and mental courage--they can appreciate the risks of putting themselves on the line for a purpose, and recognize that politics is the lesser of dangerous fields.
That said, I am loathe to discuss 2020 yet with 2018 contests still being decided, but I feel like we are already into this thing, and somebody should just read out a particularly obvious riot act.
Not just anybody is gonna do against Trump, even if he is the in fact, word, and deed, actual worst. I can't speak to Michael Avenatti's potential 2020 race (except to say I personally, and regrettably, have a type, and he is it, and if he was auditioning for Vixen's short-term, but torrid, personal flirtation, he'd be wildly successful) but I can say a word about Richard Ojeda's.
Ojeda has a really great personal bio, as a lifelong Democrat, a veteran, and the descendant of an undocumented Mexican migrant. In many ways, his story is the sock in the mouth to people who want to shit-talk about immigration--this is a stellar individual, and he came from great people--immigrant people. He has established a charitable organization and is responsible to his community. He has also worked as an educator, and is an excellent speaker because of this.
But he lost his recent US Congressional bid pretty sincerely. Now, you can say congressional districts in WV are gerrymandered to the fucking eyeballs, and the funny thing is, you don't get a different result no matter how you slice WV. He didn't win with populist kind of red state white folks having supported Trump and saying stupid shit about how coal is still a thing.
This dude is toast outside of West Virginia. Gillum is getting a recount in fucking Florida, there's a run off for Espy in Mississippi and likely one for Abrams in Georgia. This white dude who voted for Trump doesn't really speak to how he's going to find the votes in these places, when he can't find them in his own district. And he won't have the name recognition or any other thing with his particulars in genuinely progressive areas, so even if he appealed to the rust belt, he might not win a PA primary because Philadelphia and Pittsburgh, and so on.
I would genuinely recommend he set his sights on Shelly Moore Capito, the WV senator, or Jim Justice, the governor who by 2020 will be fed up enough of Trump's fat jokes. He might get his shit to work statewide by 2020. For West Virginia values of shit-working.
But if it didn't work in his district, he really should not be thinking about doing a 2020 presidential run right now.
I also think Beto should be setting his cap at Cornyn, not Trump.
I am not ready for 2020--and I think some of these here candidates are even less ready than me.