Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders never really stopped campaigning. He's leaving Washington again Friday for a swing through Kentucky, Ohio and Pennsylvania for a series of rallies against the Republican tax plan.
The road trip will bring together MoveOn, which teamed with Sanders for pro-Obamacare events earlier this year, and the political organization spawned from Sanders' 2016 campaign, Our Revolution.
Next Wednesday, Sanders will be in Baltimore for a rally with Maryland gubernatorial candidate Ben Jealous. There the former NAACP leader, who already has the backing of Our Revolution, will announce his own statewide "Medicare for all" plan.
It all comes after a week in which Sanders endorsed Chuy Garcia
in the race to replace retiring (presidential contender?) Illinois Rep. Luis Gutiérrez
. No surprise there — Sanders backed Garcia's 2015 (nearly successful) challenge to Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel
. And Garcia supported Sanders early on in the 2016 Democratic primary. It's mostly notable because Sanders picked so quickly between his allies: 2016 convention delegate and Chicago Alderman Carlos Ramirez-Rosa
, a member of the Democratic Socialists of America, is also running in the primary
. If Garcia wins, he'll be out of the mayoral mix in 2019, when he was expected to take on Emanuel again — something that had Chicago politicos chattering.
Republicans are paying attention to Sanders, too. The GOP opposition research firm America Rising this week sent a fund-raising email headlined "President...Bernie Sanders?"
A notable look at Sanders' recent moves comes from Politico's Gabriel Debenedetti
, who reports: "Sanders has been working closely with figures who are close to the party establishment he's long railed against, like American Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten
. And he's been meeting with international affairs experts such as Bill Perry
, a defense secretary in the administration of President Bill Clinton
, around a series of speeches designed to define his international vision, one year after running a campaign heavy on domestic policy and light on the rest of the world."
News and notes:
BIDEN 'WOULD SAY NO' RIGHT NOW: Former Vice President Joe Biden
sat down with NBC's Al Roker
for a book talk this week, and here's what he had to say about 2020: "If the Lord Almighty came down right this moment, I gave him my word as a Biden, and said the nomination is yours, but you have to take it right now, I would say no
KERRY IN DES MOINES: Former secretary of state and 2004 Democratic presidential nominee John Kerry
is in Iowa on Friday. He's hitting a campaign event for Attorney General Tom Miller
at the Waveland Golf Course in Des Moines, in his first trip to the state in years
GUTIÉRREZ A 2020 PROSPECT? Retiring from his seat representing Illinois in the House, Rep. Luis Gutiérrez is "at least entertaining the idea of running for president," a source familiar with his thinking tells me. "The very short answer is, he hasn't ruled anything out," the source said, pointing to Gutiérrez's news conference announcing his retirement in Chicago on Tuesday and noting that he plans to travel the country "and energize immigrant and Latino voters." The source said Gutiérrez plans to visit Western and Southern states — not the typical Iowa and New Hampshire route for presidential prospects — to engage the immigrant, Latino and Puerto Rican communities.
"I'm kinda excited about Luis. He's awesome and can bring something real to the debate. Don't know his chances but he's not a slouch, and is probably one of the more known Latino figures in the country," one Democratic strategist emailed me. That person added that white Democrats like Julián and Joaquín Castro, but Gutiérrez has "more authenticity."
TIM RYAN WANTS FRANKEN OUT, TOO: Ohio Rep. Tim Ryan
, a frequent early-state visitor this year, called Thursday for fellow Democrats Rep. John Conyers
and Sen. Al Franken
to resign amid recently surfaced allegations
of sexual misconduct against both men. "I agree with (Rep. Nancy
. Conyers should resign. And for that matter, Franken should resign too. These are credible allegations, and I believe these women. Congress should set the example for all industries and be a safe place for women to work," Ryan tweeted.
Why this is notable: Most members of Congress, both Democrats and Republicans, have said the Senate Ethics Committee should investigate Franken. Ryan went a clear step further.
SCHUMER MEETS CUBAN, SCHULTZ: Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer
told supporters at a breakfast at Manhattan's Harvard Club last week that he'd met with Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban
and Starbucks executive chairman Howard Schultz
— and, in Schultz's case, talked about 2020, Page Six reports
. Both are the subject of some 2020 buzz — but some Democrats say they think it was more likely just Schumer fund-raising.
LANDRIEU BOOKS A SOUTH CAROLINA TRIP: New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu — who many Democrats believe is seriously weighing a 2020 run — booked a trip to South Carolina, where he'll speak December 9 at the state Democratic Party's Spratt Issues Conference. Also there will be California Rep. Adam Schiff.
MOULTON'S 'NEW GENERATION OF LEADERS': Rep. Seth Moulton
of Massachusetts -- who has vented for months about House Democrats' leadership -- has big ambitions for the military veterans he is backing in the 2018 midterm elections. "I'm literally recruiting a new generation of leaders for the party," he told me
. Moulton, who has criticized House Democratic leadership all year, rolled out his third batch of endorsements of military veterans who are running for House seats — eight this time, bringing his total list of candidates he's backing to 19. Moulton said he is telling veterans who are running for House seats "to be authentic leaders just like they were in the military. ... We just don't have enough of that right now."
Why this matters: Moulton, unlike a lot of outside agitators, is also putting in the work. Behind Nancy Pelosi, he's the biggest House Democratic fund-raising draw. Moulton has already visited Iowa and New Hampshire this year and shows up on most lists of vice presidential prospects.
The week ahead:
— Sunday, December 3: California Sen. Kamala Harris campaigns
in Atlanta with mayoral candidate Keisha Lance Bottoms
ahead of Tuesday's runoff election.
— Friday, December 8: President Donald Trump
holds a campaign-style rally
in Pensacola, Florida — just 25 miles from the Alabama border, four days before the special Senate election there between Republican Roy Moore
and Democrat Doug Jones
— Friday, December 8-Saturday, December 9: New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu and California Rep. Adam Schiff appear at the South Carolina Democratic Party's Spratt Issues Conference.
Before you go:
Outgoing Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe
is said to be eyeing 2020 "seriously
." ... What former President Barack Obama
was up to Friday morning: Meeting Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi
in New Delhi.