A Guide to the Democrats Who Won't Be President

Michael Avenatti? Hillary Clinton? James Comey? Nope!

by Eve Peyser
Aug 16 2018, 9:48pm

Photo of Hillary Clinton by JEWEL SAMAD/AFP/Getty. Photo of Michael Avenatti by Jennifer S. Altman/For The Washington Post via Getty

Donald Trump hasn't even hit the halfway point in his first (and hopefully only) presidential term, but the 2020 race has already begun on the Democratic side. Trump's apparent unpopularity has convinced dozens of thirsty Democrats that they would have a shot against him. This list includes plenty of viable candidates—Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, and Kamala Harris, for example—but there are also the dreamers who have no shot of winning, but nevertheless persist. To get it out of the way, let's run down this list of the hopeless so we don't have to talk about them again:

Michael Avenatti

Lawyer Michael Avenatti came into the public eye when he began representing porn star Stormy Daniels, who claims she had an affair with the president in 2006 and that he paid her to never tell anyone about it. A frequent guest on cable news, Avenatti has become a political celebrity using decidedly Trumpian tactics. Recently, he made a trip to Iowa where he announced: "I’m exploring a run for the presidency of the United States, and I wanted to come to Iowa and listen to people and learn about some issues that are facing the citizens of Iowa and do my homework."

He is bombastic and annoying, politically inexperienced, and as I previously wrote: "I want to die... Jesus Christ, kill me now... It's all very bad."

Andrew Cuomo

The Democratic governor of New York—who's currently facing off against blossoming leftist icon Cynthia Nixon in the primaries and is widely despised by the progressive base—can't fix the New York City subways, but people are still speculating about his 2020 run because we're all very sick.

Trump recently dared Cuomo to run against him in 2020. So we'll see.

Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson

He's not running... at least not in 2020. Alas...

John Delaney

If you've heard of this guy, it's because the obscure Maryland congressman earned some press for declaring his 2020 candidacy insanely early. (He's the only one on this list officially running for president.) His hopeless campaign is all about bipartisanship and pragmatism and sounds like something out of a particularly wretched West Wing episode. The only people who care about his run are the consultants and campaign staffers who will work for the millionaire, who can afford to self-fund even if he doesn't attract any donors.

Cory Booker

"Everywhere Booker goes, the subject of a 2020 presidential run follows," CNN wrote of the New Jersey senator in June. He's been traveling around the country, open about the fact that he's considering running, and the subject of many news articles about serious Democratic contenders for the next presidential election.

He's a long shot for many reasons, but first and foremost, he's a vegan. We will never have a vegan president.

Eric Garcetti

The LA mayor "is so far down the list of potential Democratic nominees, he’s almost invisible," wrote LA Times columnist Steve Lopez last month. If and when he does achieve visibility, noted Lopez, he'd have to answer criticism about his city's scandals and struggles, including the homeless problem and a horrible story about sexual abuse in the LAPD.

Kathy Griffin

Kathy Griffin became a resistance fighter when she did a photo shoot where she held a bloody replica of Donald Trump's head, and got in a lot of trouble. She hasn't announced any intention of running in 2020, but wouldn't it be funny if she did? Yeah, kinda.

James Comey

Above, we see former FBI director and ferocious member of the Resistance James Comey in Iowa. Sure, he claims that his wife is from there, but whenever an important political figure goes to that Very Important state, you've gotta wonder.

Hated by Democrats for mishandling all the Hillary Clinton shit, and hated by Republicans for the Russia investigation, Comey must be very lonely. He recently said, when asked about his legacy, "I hope to be forgotten." But considering he's been promoting his memoir and tweeting, it doesn't really seem like that's what he wants!

Steve Bullock

The governor of Montana. Nah. Sorry. Next!

Howard Schultz

When he stepped down as Starbucks executive chair in June, Schultz "ignited suspicions about potential political ambitions, including a possible 2020 bid for the White House—speculation fed by his going-away message, which sounded quite a bit like a stump speech," per Vox. In 2020, does it seem like Democrats will love extremely wealthy white men who have run multinational corporations?

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez

This one is literally impossible since she won't be 35. Sorry everyone.

Eric Holder

Barack Obama's former attorney general is thinking seriously about a run, but Joe Biden is likelier to run and seems better positioned to cash in on any nostalgia for that administration.

Hillary Clinton

Hillary might've majorly boned it when she ran against Trump in 2016, that doesn't preclude her from trying again. Although I admit I rolled my eyes at her campaign, I'm kind of hoping she tries again in 2020. After all, Trump may not like being president, but he loved running against Hillary. If America was really a reality TV show, the 2020 season would have to bring back all the major players, right?

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