The Democratic 2020 Presidential Hopefuls Show Their, Uh, Stuff at the Center for American Progress

Photo Illustration by The Daily Beast

It’s the first game of the grapefruit league season, so to speak—the Center for American Progress’ annual May confab, where many of the expected contenders for the next Democratic presidential nomination come to show their stuff. Some Third World-ish traffic—I sat on one single block of Independence Avenue for about 40 minutes—denied me the privilege of seeing Sherrod Brown (who I doubt is running anyway), Amy Klobuchar (who probably is but who isn’t generating the buzz she was a year ago), and Julian Castro (who… is, I guess?). But I saw enough of the biggies—Kirsten Gillibrand, Cory Booker, Bernie Sanders, and Elizabeth Warren—to get the picture.

So here’s my observation. I heard a lot of words from that stage, the usual Democratic buzz words, and they’re all good words. The event showcased some young talent (I was impressed by environmental activist Mustafa Ali) and gave a few somewhat more familiar faces a chance to shine (New York Mayor Bill de Blasio was surprisingly effective, spending the bulk of his 20 minutes talking about crime reduction, which was an interesting thing for a liberal to emphasize to a roomful of liberals, stressing that in his New York, cops are now known to give citizens their email addresses and cell phone numbers, “because there’s a different reality, a different focus, a different bond between police and community.”)

I heard many interesting things. But one word I didn’t hear much at all surprised me. “Trump.”

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