Dem Strategist: None of the Potential 2020 Dems Have ‘Captured Our Hearts Yet’

Oprah Winfrey / Getty Images


Patti Solis Doyle, a former senior adviser to both Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama, admitted that none of the potential Democrats considering a presidential bid in 2020 have captured the hearts of party members.

The Democratic strategist spoke with the Hill's Amie Parnes about how the Democratic Party is still trying to find a replacement for former President Barack Obama more than a year after he left office.

"There's a definite yearning for ‘Who's my next great love?’" Solis Doyle said, describing her party. "And the problem is we're not really loving anyone we see. So we're looking for someone we're not expecting."

Parnes' Hill piece talked about how the Democrats appear to continually have a different "flavor of the month" when it comes to who is best suited to replacing Obama.

When Oprah Winfrey delivered a powerful speech at the Golden Globes last month, she provided a jolt of excitement to a party still reeling from a stunning 2016 election defeat. And some Democrats fell in love with the idea that the television personality could become their next standard bearer.


Fast forward to Tuesday, when Rep. Joe Kennedy (D-Mass.) delivered a State of the Union response for his party. It was enough for some Democrats to long for the days of Camelot.

A #JoeKennedy2020 hashtag quickly emerged on Twitter and a USA Today headline captured the moment: "Rep. Joe Kennedy sounded a LOT like Barack Obama."

Kennedy and Winfrey were the buzz in January, but the Democratic Party celebrated several other candidates over the last year, including Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D., Mass.) with her ‘She persisted’ moment in early 2017, and later with Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D., N.Y.) on the heels of the cultural #metoo movement against sexual harassment and assault.

Solis Doyle said President Donald Trump is the main reason Democrats are anxious and cannot wait to get to 2020.

"People are clamoring so early just because Trump is so bad," she said. "So we keep looking for that person. ‘Who's gonna be the best to battle Trump? Who's charismatic enough? Who can go one-on-one with him in a debate?'"

While she acknowledged that she liked Kennedy's Democratic response to Trump's State of the Union address on Tuesday, she said, "one Democratic response does not a savior make."

"We're shopping. We're shopping. We're shopping. But it’s fair to say no one has captured our hearts yet," Solis Doyle added.

Democratic strategists are expecting a crowded field with as many as 30 potential candidates competing for the nomination, including heavy hitters like former Vice President Joe Biden, 2016 primary runner-up Sen. Bernie Sanders (I.,Vt.), and a number of senators: Kamala Harris (D., Calif.), Cory Booker (D., N.J.), Warren, and Gillibrand.

Cameron Cawthorne

Cameron Cawthorne   Email Cameron | Full Bio | RSS
Cameron Cawthorne is a Media Analyst for the Washington Free Beacon. He graduated from the University of Virginia in 2013. Prior to joining Free Beacon, Cameron was a Legislative Assistant in the Virginia General Assembly and a War Room Analyst at America Rising.

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