News & Politics

Colorado Senator Runs for President. His Brother at the New York Times Recuses Himself

Sen. Michael Bennet, D-Colo., makes his way to the Senate floor in the Capitol before a vote on a continuing resolution to re-open the government which subsequently failed, on Thursday, January 24, 2019. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call via AP Images)

On Wednesday, Sen. Michael Bennet (D-Colo.) announced his candidacy for president in 2020. He will be the second Colorado Democrat in the race, after former Gov. John Hickenlooper (D-Colo.). Bennet also has a brother at The New York Times. Shortly after the senator declared his candidacy for president, the U.S. newspaper of record announced that his brother will recuse himself from 2020 presidential coverage.

“Editorial Page Editor James Bennet has recused himself from any work generated by the opinion desk related to the 2020 presidential election,” The New York Times announced on Twitter. “He will not discuss, assign or edit any editorials, Op-Eds, columns or other Opinion pieces focused on candidates or major issues in the campaign.”

This seems fitting, if perhaps overbroad. The New York Times is upholding a high standard, and that is admirable.

Besides his brother at The New York Times, Bennet also has a few other interesting relationships. He was the chief of staff under then-Denver Mayor John Hickenlooper, now his competition in the 2020 Democratic presidential election.

The newly minted presidential candidate has been dubbed “the accidental senator” by the Colorado Springs Independent because he entered the Senate replacing Ken Salazar, who became President Obama’s secretary of the Interior. Bennet waltzed into re-election in 2016 after Arapahoe County District Attorney George Brauchler, the GOP’s preferred candidate, refused to enter the race. Bennet handily beat Darryl Glenn, an El Paso County Commissioner.

Bennet served as superintendent of Denver Public Schools (DPS), the same school system that recently declared it shares the same values as the anti-Christian Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), which accuses mainstream conservative and Christian organizations of being “hate groups” like the Ku Klux Klan. Under Bennet’s watch, dropout rates decreased, but DPS fell deeply into debt.

As for Bennet’s policies, he wants to abolish the Electoral College (like so many other 2020 Dems). While Bennet condemned Trump’s border wall as “medieval,” he voted for 700 miles of border barriers in 2013.

Despite his ten years in the Senate, only one of Bennet’s bills has become law— a bill revising the federal charter for the Blue Star Mothers of America. (He has cosponsored 51 bills that became law, including the First Step Act.)

In April, he announced a diagnosis of prostate cancer. A surgery later that month was reportedly successful.

In announcing his candidacy, Bennet merely repeated Democratic pablum.

In his campaign video, he admitted that most Americans do not know who he is, and he promised to govern more than campaign.

“We cannot be the first generation to leave less to our kids, not more. That’s why I’m running for President. Let’s build opportunity for every American and restore integrity to our government,” the senator tweeted.

Indeed, Americans should not leave less to their kids. That’s why we should oppose socialism and big government policies, as well as the demonization of dissent from liberal orthodoxy. Let’s leave more free market prosperity and more free speech to our children, not less.

Michael Bennet is more of the same — he isn’t even the first 2020 Democrat from Colorado. Bennet’s resume may be impressive, but can he really stand out in a crowded Democratic field? His brother’s recusal from The New York Times may be one of the most memorable facts about him.

How long before he drops out and endorses Kamala Harris?

Follow Tyler O’Neil, the author of this article, on Twitter at @Tyler2ONeil.