Bolstered by their House takeover, Democrats are wading into the 2020 presidential frenzy.
The prolonged horse race’s latest names include an Ohio senator, a West Virginia lawmaker who endorsed President Trump, and…Hillary Clinton.
Although rumors of a possible Clinton run have circulated through the beltway since her 2016 defeat, one of the former candidate’s advisors seemed to confirm this as reality in a weekend Wall Street Journal op-ed titled “Hillary Will Run Again.”
“Get ready for Hillary Clinton 4.0,” wrote Democratic political operative Mark Penn. “She will not allow this humiliating loss at the hands of an amateur to end the story of her career. You can expect her to run for president once again. Maybe not at first, when the legions of Senate Democrats make their announcements, but definitely by the time the primaries are in full swing.”
Among the “legions of Senate Democrats” hedging toward an announcement is Sheldon Brown (D-Ohio), who on Monday told The Columbus Dispatch that he is “thinking about it for the first time seriously.”
Shortly after the article ran, the senator’s wife Connie Schultz tweeted that they were both “thinking about” running.
And finally, over the weekend, The Intercept published an interview with Richard Ojeda in which the West Virginia state senator announced his candidacy and laid out his qualms with the current Democratic frontrunners.
“We’re going to have quite a few lifetime politicians that are going to throw their hat in the ring, but I guarantee you there’s going to be a hell of a lot more of them than there are people like myself that is, a working-class person that basically can relate to the people on the ground, the people that are actually struggling,” he told the publication.
Ojeda famously led a teacher’s strike in West Virginia which resulted in a pay increase for educators. Citing concerns with Clinton’s coziness with Goldman Sachs, he endorsed Donald Trump in the 2016 election, but later pivoted against the president during his first term in Washington.
Other rumored 2020 candidates include billionaires Michael Bloomberg and Tom Steyer, attorney Michael Avenatti, and senators Bernie Sanders (I-VT), Cory Booker (D-N.J.), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) and Jeff Merkley (D-OR). All have visited New Hampshire in recent months to assess the electoral landscape, according to The Daily Beast. Former Texas senate candidate Beto O’Rourke’s name is also being floated as a possible contender.
“Great guy but he has no chance of beating Donald Trump. He’s not tough enough,” Avenatti told Observer in response to O’Rourke’s possible run.