Is this the most ambitious man in America?
The first Democratic presidential candidate to campaign in Iowa after the midterms will not be Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, or even Hillary Clinton.
It will be (drumroll, please) Rep. Eric Swalwell.
The 37-year-old Swalwell would be the youngest candidate for president since William Jennings Bryan in 1896. Bryan was 36 when he wowed the Democratic convention that summer with his famous “Cross of Gold” speech, stampeding the delegates to vote him the nomination.
Bryan’s oratory was legendary. Swalwell’s? Not so much.
Yes, but he’s almost as pretty as Beto O’Rourke.
Democrats, always looking for someone as dreamy and charismatic as JFK, will probably fall in love with the guy.
Swalwell is not just another empty suit.
Swalwell has advocated the repeal of the No Child Left Behind Act, and increasing funding for education, while decreasing funding for defense. He has also advocated for renewable energy jobs to be created with federal stimulus money. He has stated he would attempt to raise the cap on the Social Security payroll tax (which currently applies to annual earnings only up to $110,000 as of 2012), so that wealthier Americans would pay more into the program. He has proposed the idea of a “mobile Congress”, with members casting votes remotely, while spending more time in their districts.In March 2013 Swalwell led in the writing of an open letter to John S. Pistole, Administrator of the Transportation Security Administration (TSA), opposing the new policy which would allow passengers to bring knives on-board airplanes. He is a strong supporter of LGBT people, and is staunchly pro-choice.
For a Democrat, not too bad. But that’s his problem. He’s halfway rational. In order to win the Democratic nomination in 2020, rational isn’t going to cut it. The candidates will try to outdo one another in how nutty they can sound. It’s apparent that, although he espouses some typical left-wing views, he’s just not crazy enough for Democrats.
Usually, someone of Mr. Swawell’s youth and inexperience runs for president in order to be considered for the second spot on the ticket. But Swalwell wouldn’t have much to offer the eventual nominee. He’s from California — a state the Democrats won’t have to fight hard to win. Unless he tacks left in the primaries — far left — he’ll be out of step with most of his party. And, let’s face it, he is definitely the wrong gender and color. The party’s relentless obsession with identity politics means that the vice presidential nomination will have to go to a woman, a minority, or a representative of the LGBT community.
Ambition is a fine thing, but there’s a fine line between delusions of grandeur and a burning desire to move up. Swalwell falls closer to the former than the latter.