Rep. Eric Swalwell joins the clown car posse of Democrats running for president

Wow, that Democratic debate stage is filling up.  Before you know it, there will be more Democrats debating than there will be watching on TV.

California Democrat Rep. Eric Swalwell announced on The Late Show that he is running for the Democratic nomination for president. 

The Bay area has produced some wacky, wild, and entertaining members of Congress.  Unfortunately for Swalwell, he ain't one of them.  He is about as obscure, as vanilla as your average Democrat can get.

He pushed the Russian collusion narrative so forcefully that it became painfully obvious he wanted to ride that pony all the way to the White House.  With collusion fading in the rearview mirror, just what is it that Swalwell thinks he can offer?



STEPHEN COLBERT: You've been very critical of Donald Trump, as you have been tonight.  In the past you've called him a wrecking ball, you called him a Russian agent.  You're a congressman.  What can you do to try to fix what you see as wrong with this country?

REP. ERIC SWALWELL: I've already done a lot, but I can do more.  I've been in Congress for six years, I've defended our country from the [House] Intelligence Committee, while democracy's been on the ropes.  I took a group of young members of Congress.  We started a group called Future Forum.  We've gone all over the country to listen to and stand up for the next generation of Americans.  And I see a country in quicksand, unable to solve problems and threats from abroad, unable to make life better here at home.  Nothing gets done.

I talk to teachers, and truckers, and nurses, and they feel like they're just running in place.  It's not adding up to anything.  I talk to people who are just like me, who are the first in their family to go to college.  They have a lot of student debt, get buy a home, can't start a business.  I talk to kids, who sit in their classroom afraid that they'll be the next victim of gun violence and they see Washington doing nothing about it after the moments of silence and they see lawmakers who love their guns more than they love their kids.  And none of that is going to change until we get a leader who is willing to go big on the issues we take on, be bold in the solutions we offer and do go in the way that we govern.  I'm ready to solve these problems.  I'm running for President of the United States.

Five Thirty Eight handicaps his chances:

The problem for Swalwell is that even though he theoretically has several advantages as a candidate, he's entering the race after others have staked out that ground.  As a Californian, he could have home-field advantage in the most delegate-rich state, plus access to its deep-pocketed Democratic donors.  But Kamala Harris, the state's junior senator, is also in the race.  As a 38-year-old whose rhetoric speaks to millennial concerns (he founded Future Forum, a group of Democratic U.S. House members who are focusing on millennial concerns and touts that he is still living with student debt), Swalwell could find a natural constituency among young voters.  But Pete Buttigieg, who is a millennial, is also trying to appeal to those voters, and polls show that Bernie Sanders is doing well with this demographic as well.  And while Swalwell has experience winning voters of different races (his district is about a third non-Hispanic white, about a third Asian and about a quarter Hispanic), it might not give him much of an advantage in a primary field that has such a diverse array of candidates.

Long before the Iowa caucuses in 2020, the Democratic field will be winnowed out.  Swalwell and a dozen or so other candidates are hoping to catch lightning in a bottle during the debates.  If they fail there, they will be toast and be forced to withdraw.

Swalwell is an angry young man, and with most of the voters upset with someone or something, if he can tap into that anger, he could surprise.  But Bernie Sanders does the angry old man bit a lot better, and Elizabeth Warren plays the angry woman card adeptly. 

So in the end, Swalwell will fade away and return to the obscurity he so richly deserves.

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