Primarily Speaking

image of Hillary Clinton in a bright blue suit standing in front of a U.S. flag, looking very presidential
The woman who should be president. [Photo: Barbara Kinney.]

Today's edition of Primarily Speaking is all about the folks who aren't running, except for the ones who might be!

Hillary Clinton definitively said she will not be running in 2020, for anyone who still imagined that would be a possibility. Of course she said it in the most Hillary way possible: "I'm not running, but I'm going to keep on working and speaking and standing up for what I believe. I want to be sure that people understand I'm going to keep speaking out." RIGHT ON.

Also not running: Oregon Senator Jeff Merkley, who will instead seek reelection to the Senate: "I've never been afraid of a tough battle. The question I've asked myself is, can I be more effective in making a difference on those being in the 2020 primary or by being in the Senate? ...It just comes down to that core sense that if we're going to make things happen, we've got to have a Senate that makes things happen." Correct!

Still undecided is former veep Joe Biden, who said last month that he's close to a decision and that his family is encouraging him to run. That is bad advice, because Democratic primary voters are not very enthusiastic about the prospect. In fact, yesterday, CNN's Alisyn Camerota asked a focus group of six Democrats how many of them want Biden to run, and none of them raised their hands. Ouch.

Also in the undecided category is former Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe, whose candidacy would complicate things for the other candidates because of his commanding fundraising ability and the broad loyalty he enjoys from Democratic fundraisers. For instance, Chris Korge, a prolific Democratic donor and coordinator, told CNN: "I did give a contribution to Kamala Harris, but when I gave it to her, I told her, 'If McAuliffe jumps in, I am supporting him.' I have made it clear to her, as well as every other person who has approached me, including five or six of them running, that if McAuliffe runs, I am supporting him." Damn.

And finally! Former candidate for Georgia Governor Stacey Abrams still hasn't decided what her next move will be, with lots of options on the table: "She said she will run for office again, and will decide whether for senator, governor, or president by late March or early April."
Until then, she has been crisscrossing Georgia — and making strategic national appearances — on a combination thank-you and mobilization tour, offering her experience as Exhibit A of a cause Democrats are pressing with renewed fervor: voting rights.

"The fight I see today is a fight for our democracy," she said at one of those stops, the Georgia Legislative Black Caucus's annual Heritage Dinner. "It's not a partisan fight. It's a hard fight, the fight to defend the right to vote in Georgia. Voter suppression is real."

Talk about these things! Or don't. Whatever makes you happy. Life is short.

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