With skepticism rising about frontrunners for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination, several establishment party members, including former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, ex-New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, and former Secretary of State John Kerry, are looking for openings to jump into the race, according to sources close to them.
In recent weeks, Clinton and Bloomberg have told people privately that if they thought they could win the nomination, they’d consider mounting races, according to Democrats who have spoken with them, reports The New York Times. However, both remain skeptical about their chances or if there will be an opening.
Kerry has been wondering out loud whether he should have run, according to associates who have spoken with him, who say he’s finding it hard to watch former Vice President Joe Biden’s mistakes. However, they said Kerry thinks Biden remains the party’s best choice to defeat Trump.
In addition, ex-Attorney General Eric Holder is considering a last-minute run, according to a Democrat familiar with his thinking, but has also conceded it may be too late to enter the race.
Columnist Connie Schultz, who is married to Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, said there is “more anxiety than ever.” There are many people urging Brown to join the race, she said.
Democrats close to Clinton and Bloomberg say the only way they’ll run is if Biden is badly weakened or drops out, neither of which is expected to happen by the end of this calendar year. At that point, the deadline to be on the Super Tuesday ballots in states like California and Texas will have already passed.
Clinton has become more vocal this month. She said last week that Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, D-Hawaii, is backed by Russia as a third-party spoiler. People close to her say she is concerned about Biden’s chances and about Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s liberal politics, but she’s also happy with not being on the ballot.
Bloomberg has raised eyebrows by putting off a fundraising request from a third-party group until he knew more about his own intentions, said Democrats familiar with their conversation.