By Steve Flowers
Folks, don’t look now, but the 2020 presidential election is upon us. Indeed, as many as 21 Democratic aspirants are already announced and campaigning.
They are quite a liberal group as you might expect. Leading the pack of Democrats trying to take Donald Trump out of the White House is an avowed, true socialist, Bernie Sanders. Behind Sanders are a host of ultra-liberal U.S. Senators who are socialists wannabes. They hail from either the left coasts of California or New England. Included in the pack of CNN/MSNBC/Stephen Colbert watchers are Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts.
She makes Teddy Kennedy look like a conservative. You also have Kamala Harris of California, Sen. Cory Booker of New Jersey and losing Texas Senate candidate Beto O’Rourke in the race.
Our own anomaly Democratic Sen. Doug Jones really should run for president next year. He would have a much better chance of winning the Democratic nomination for President than winning a seat in the U.S. Senate from the Heart of Dixie.
He has been a liberal Democrat in Alabama his entire adult political life. He has been the soul of the liberal Alabama Democratic Party for decades. He has campaigned and voted for George McGovern, Walter Mondale, Teddy Kennedy, Jesse Jackson, Barack Obama, Bill Clinton and Hillary Clinton.
Since he has been in Washington for the past year, he has organized with and voted with Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi. Therefore, he is just as liberal with a much lengthier liberal pedigree than all of the aforementioned liberal Democratic Senators in the race; plus he has a proven Civil Rights record.
The scenario that occurred in last year’s special election to fill Jeff Sessions’s seat was a perfect storm that will never occur again. First of all, it was the only show in the country and the first opportunity for liberals all over the country to show their distaste for Donald Trump and the Republican Party. Having Judge Roy Moore as an additional lightning rod just added fuel to the fire. It attracted more than $20 million of liberal, left-wing money to Doug Jones. He was able to out spend Moore 21 to 3. That is almost impossible to overcome, plus, with it being a Special Election it became a referendum on Doug Jones versus Roy Moore and the Republican v. Democratic delineation became obscured.
During this race, Doug Jones built a national liberal fund-raising base from left-wing America, much like Beto O’Rourke did in Texas. They both have become national stars as Democrats in Red States. Although O’Rourke probably has an edge on Jones in looks and youth. However, recently, Jones appeared on the left leaning Democratic Stephen Colbert Show. Jones may very well be eyeing national politics.
Doug Jones, as a lifelong stalwart Democrat, has worked diligently for the State and National Democratic party for most of his adult life. In recent months, he has tried to wrestle some control away from longtime Democratic dictator Joe Reed. It is practically impossible to understand what is going on in the State Democratic Party. Eventually, there may be a new vote on the party chairmanship. The National Democratic Party has mandated a new election due to the clandestine way that Nancy Worley was elected. The state hierarchy has ignored the National Party.
There is no doubt that Joe Reed is still in control of the Alabama Democratic Party. You can bet your bottom dollar that he calls all the shots. My guess is that he has his horse picked out of the 21 Democratic presidential candidates. He asked California Sen. Kamala Harris to be the keynote speaker at his Alabama Democratic Conference June annual event. Therefore, Senator Harris might be a good horse to bet on to win next year’s March third Alabama Democratic Presidential Primary.
The Democratic Party in Alabama continues to be a big mess. The bottom line is that on the state level the Party is essentially irrelevant. The odds of a Democratic candidate for President carrying Alabama or a Democratic nominee winning any statewide race in the Heart of Dixie is slim to none.
See you next week.
Steve Flowers is Alabama’s leading political columnist. His weekly column appears in over 60 Alabama newspapers. He served 16 years in the state legislature. Steve may be reached at www.steveflowers.us.