For months now rumors have circulated over who might step forward to lead "The Resistance" for the Democrats and make a run for the White House in 2020. While many names have been tossed around, two candidates from Obama's administration, VP Joe Biden and Attorney General Eric Holder, are the only ones to have seemingly taken the next step of directly hinting they would be interested in a run.
Biden made his most direct expression of interest back in May at the SALT conference when he said "at this point, no one in my family or I have made the judgment to run...I may very well do it."
Meanwhile, Eric Holder recently raised some eyebrows about his future political aspirations when he told Yahoo News that he was looking "to be more visible." Here's more from the Washington Times:
"Up to now, I have been more behind-the-scenes. But that's about to change. I have a certain status as the former attorney general. A certain familiarity as the first African-American attorney general. There's a justified perception that I'm close to President Obama. So I want to use whatever skills I have, whatever notoriety I have, to be effective in opposing things that are, at the end of the day, just bad for the country."
"Now is the time to be more visible. Now is the time to be heard. … I thought, frankly, along with everybody else, that after the election, with Hillary Clinton as president, I could walk off the field. So when she didn't win, I thought, 'We'll have to see how this plays out.' But it became clear relatively soon — and certainly sooner than I expected — that I had to get back on the field and be in effective opposition."
But, while Joe and Eric may be interested in a 2020 bid, we suspect that neither potential candidate will get very far along the campaign trail without the blessings of their former boss. Unfortunately, according to Politico, Obama seems to have gone all-in on his long-time friend and former Massachusetts governor, Deval Patrick.
Barack Obama is nudging him to run. His inner circle is actively encouraging it. Obama world's clear and away 2020 favorite is sitting right here, on the 38th floor of the John Hancock Building, in a nicely decorated office at Bain Capital.
And Deval Patrick has many thoughts on what he says is Donald Trump's governing by fear and a dishonest pitch for economic nostalgia, while encouraging a rise in casual racism and ditching any real commitment to civil rights.
Obama strategist David Axelrod has had several conversations with Patrick about running, and eagerly rattles off the early primary map logic: small-town campaign experience from his 2006 gubernatorial run that will jibe perfectly with Iowa, neighbor-state advantage in New Hampshire and the immediate bloc of votes he'd have as an African-American heading into South Carolina.
Valerie Jarrett, Obama's close adviser and friend, says that a President Patrick is what "my heart desires."
David Simas, Obama's political director in the White House and now the CEO of his foundation, used to be Patrick's deputy chief of staff and remains perhaps his biggest fan on the planet.
Obama himself—who is personally close to Patrick, and counts him among the very small group of people whom he thinks has actual political talent—has privately encouraged him to think about it, among others.