14:43 GMT +317 November 2018
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    U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) speaks at the Netroots Nation annual conference for political progressives in New Orleans

    Democrats Must See Past Trump ‘Shenanigans’ to Get Ahead in 2020 Election

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    The US might still have several weeks to go before the 2018 midterm elections, but politicos and politicians alike are already thinking about 2020, when the US presidency is up for grabs. US President Donald Trump’s fundraising is moving at full speed, and Democratic challengers are testing the waters for their chance to run against him.

    The Federal Election Commission reported Monday that Trump's reelection campaign has tucked away a cool $106 million since January 2017, when the real estate mogul took the oath of office, to be used in his effort to win a second four-year term in 2020.

    In addition, a CNN poll scouted the field of potential Democratic challengers to the Republican president, finding that voters preferred Joe Biden, who was vice president under Trump's predecessor, Barack Obama, by a huge margin, with one-third of those polled picking him over the 15 other possible candidates.

    Bernie Sanders, the independent democratic socialist senator from Vermont who nearly snagged the Democratic nomination from Hillary Clinton in 2016, was favored by only 13 percent, while Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren, once considered a firebrand progressive in the early Obama years but now embroiled in a high-profile spat with the president over allegations that her Native American heritage claims are either false or illegitimate, trailed with a distant 8 percent.

    ​Radio Sputnik's Loud and Clear spoke Monday with Anoa Changa, director of political advocacy and a managing editor of Progressive Army and host of the show "The Way With Anoa"; and Ted Rall, an award-winning editorial cartoonist and columnist whose work is at rall.com, about what's to come in 2020 from Trump and Warren, as well as the host of midterm races to be settled on November 6.

    Changa said that Warren appeared last week in Clayton County, Georgia, campaigning alongside Democratic contender for the state's governorship Stacey Abrams. "There really is no valid reason… for Senator Warren, of all places in America to be, to be in Clayton County, Georgia, unless she's running in 2020 and is trying to make sure she doesn't make the same mistakes, as a white progressive from the northeast, that Bernie Sanders made in 2016."

    Changa said she thought the way Warren handled the debate about her Native American heritage, which she attempted to settle by releasing a DNA test over the protestations of Cherokee Nation leaders, was "a mess," given all the progressive female candidates, especially women of color, who are running in the elections that are only three weeks away.

    "This back and forth with Trump… just feeds into his racism regarding indigenous people," Changa said.

    ​She noted that Idaho gubernatorial candidate Paulette Jordan, a Coeur d'Alene woman who also has Sinkiuse, Nez Perce and Yakima-Palus ancestry and would be "not only the first Native American governor, period, not only the first Native American woman governor," said that the $1 million Trump promised to a charity of Warren's choice if she could prove her indigenous heritage should be instead redirected toward supporting Native American candidates for office. Warren previously indicated she would like the money to go to the National Indigenous Women's Resource Center, an organization that addresses domestic violence issues experienced by indigenous women in the US.

    Rall noted that years ago, articles in publications from Warren's home state of Massachusetts were already pointing out her "tone deaf attitude." He noted that Warren lacks "that certain intangible gravitas that you kind of need" to run a national campaign, "not to mention the sensitivities."

    "I do not think all hope is lost," Changa said, making clear that she "doesn't care how much money [Trump] raises… What I do care about is, are Democrats really going to take lessons from this cycle, from what we're seeing happening here from Stacey Abraham and Andrew Gillam and so many others, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez? Whatever issues we have with people ideologically on issues, we do need to criticize and work through them and challenge, obviously, but there is something really powerful that's happening in terms of mobilizing people, even when we're being outspent… that's what we need to be capitalizing on and building on."

    "I really do think that Democrats and liberals in this country spend way too much time agonizing over Donald Trump and not enough time thinking strategically about what the actions should be and how to be proactive in engaging voters and people consistently, instead of just being reactive to his shenanigans. Because reacting to his shenanigans legitimizes what he's doing and saying — I'm not saying we should ignore it, but there needs to be some approach that is really strategic and cognizant of what he's actually doing instead of trying to act like we can play the same game with him."

    Rall noted that he sees "a lot of the mistakes of Hillary Clinton's campaign in 2016 starting to come to the surface in Elizabeth Warren's candidacy," most importantly the fact that she endorsed Clinton instead of Sanders in 2016, and now she's going to have to answer to the Bernie supporters whose allegiance she hopes to win this time around.

    One of Trump's biggest challenges will be that "in 2020, he's going to be the establishment," Rall said, "and what the Democrats need is an insurgent candidate who's radical and has an unabashedly progressive, leftist message that is going to present a clear alternative to what the Republicans are pushing."

    Plus, Trump himself proved that "spending doesn't mean much," Rall said, because in 2016 Clinton outspent him 6 to 1, and he still won.

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    Loud and Clear, mistakes, Progressives, Campaign Fundraising, campaign, 2020 election, Ted Rall, Anoa Changa, Elizabeth Warren
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