Democrats on edge after 2020 election season’s ragged launch

For Democrats, this was supposed be a moment to begin easing three years of built-up of anxieties. Instead, the launch of the 2020 presidential primary has left the party deeply unsettled and President Donald Trump gleeful about the chaos.

Party leaders are on edge over embarrassing technical issues that marred this past week’s Iowa caucuses, as well as lower than expected turnout in the leadoff state. Front-runners Bernie Sanders and Pete Buttigieg face questions about their long-term political viability, while some supporters of the two leading women left in the race — Sens. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts and Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota — are raising alarms about what they view as persistent sexism.

“It’s a hard start,” said Laura Keeler, a 35-year-old from Concord, New Hampshire.

Indeed, it’s far from the 2020 launchpad most Democrats envisioned as they eagerly anticipated their opportunity to take on Trump. The turbulent start to this election year has also crystallized the challenges confronting Democrats in trying to mount a formidable challenge to an incumbent backed by an energized and united Republican Party and fortified by a soaring economy.

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“We’re capable of shooting ourselves in the foot,” warned Jim Hodges, an ex-South Carolina governor who supports former Vice President Joe Biden in the 2020 race. Hodges is among those who predict that Sanders, a Vermont senator who is a self-described democratic socialist, would be a weak general election candidate.

With one primary contest complete and the second scheduled for Tuesday in New Hampshire, some sorting of the Democratic field has begun.

Though The Associated Press has been unable to declare a winner in last Monday’s Iowa caucuses, Sanders and Buttigieg, a former mayor of South Bend, Indiana, emerged in an effective tie.

Biden, the longtime national front-runner, finished a distant fourth in Iowa. He’s now facing a money crunch, a staff shakeup, and a looming challenge from billionaire Michael Bloomberg. The former New York City mayor isn’t competing in the early states, but is spending hundreds of millions of dollars in later contests.

AOC mixes up two ‘very different’ economists in Instagram post about 4-day workweek

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., who holds a bachelor’s degree in economics from Boston University, had to correct herself Saturday evening after mixing up two “very different” economists during a lengthy Instagram discussion.

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“UGGGH TYPO,” the freshman congresswoman wrote after confusing John Maynard Keynes, an early 20th-century British economist who theorized that government spending was linked to economic growth, with Milton Friedman, a free-market American economist and 1976 Nobel Prize winner.

Ocasio-Cortez mistakenly combined their names into “Milton Keynes.”

“I was just reading today about how in 1930, famed economist Milton Keynes predicted that by 2030 GDP and technology would have advanced so much that it would allow everyday people to work as little as FIFTEEN HOURS a week and provide for their families,” Ocasio-Cortez said while discussing the benefits of a four-day workweek with her Instagram followers.

“It’s John Maynard Keynes,” she clarified in a later Instagram story. “Mixed his name with Milton Friedman — a (very) different economist.”

Ocasio-Cortez, who considers herself a democratic socialist, advocates for Medicare for All and a $15 minimum wage, among other progressive economic ideas.