John Delaney 2020 presidential campaign
|Friends of John Delaney|
|Campaign||2020 United States presidential election (Democratic primaries)|
U.S. Representative from Maryland (2013–2019)
|Status||Announced: July 28, 2017|
|Key people||Terry Lierman (co-chair)|
John Davis (senior advisor)
|Receipts||US$4,997,566.39 (September 30, 2018)|
|Slogan||Focus on the Future|
The 2020 presidential campaign of John Delaney, the former U.S. Representative who represented Maryland's 6th congressional district from 2013 to 2019, was announced on July 28, 2017. Delaney was the first prominent Democrat to announce a campaign for the 2020 U.S. presidential election. If elected, Delaney would be the first Marylander to serve as President of the United States.
In May 2017, Chris Matthews, host of MSNBC's program Hardball and the husband of Maryland Democratic Party Chair Kathleen Matthews, said that Delaney had set up an office in Maryland that he speculated might be for a presidential run. At the time, Delaney's office denied this speculation. Later that month, Delaney said, "I am not running for president."
Delaney launched his campaign announcement with the publication of an op-ed column on the Washington Post's website, which coincided with the launch of a campaign Twitter account and YouTube account, on which he posted a five-minute video outlining his plans. Rumors of Delaney's campaign arose the day before the publication of his op-ed.
It is highly unusual for a serious presidential candidate to announce so early. Previously Pierre S. du Pont IV had held the record of the earliest announcement; du Pont announced his campaign for the 1988 election in 1986, 615 days before the start of the Iowa caucuses.
Delaney has said that launching his campaign at such an early date is in order to gain name recognition, and to elevate his national stature. Voicing his objection to playing coy about his intentions in an interview with Business Insider, Delaney said,
Time struck me as an asset, not a liability. I also have never liked the cat-and-mouse games that some politicians play about running — running, not running, running when everyone knows they're running. So my view is I came to the decision to do it. I'd like to spend a lot of time working to achieve it, and I felt that was the right thing to do to achieve that.
Delaney has also said of his strategy,
In many ways I'm running an old-fashioned kind of style campaign. The best analogy to what I'm doing is what Jimmy Carter did in 1976. In 1974, the New York Times wrote a story about the 35 people likely to be the Democratic nominee for president and Jimmy Carter wasn't on the list. But what he did was get in really early and spend a lot of time in the really important states.
In another interview, Delaney said of his campaign's approach,
At this point, it’s a very personal campaign, it’s focused on meeting as many people as possible...I am pursuing a bit of an old-fashioned strategy in some ways, which is meeting the voters.
Delaney has recognized that his campaign faces difficult odds, saying,
I know what I'm getting into. Obviously, this is a very significant undertaking but I really do believe I have something to say.....So just like [the] guy in Tiananmen Square when he stood in front of the tank didn't really quite know how he was going to beat the tank. . . . I understand running for president is a huge challenge but, you know, I'm ready for it.
Delaney said that he planned to begin his campaign by touring critical swing states. During a long congressional recess in August 2017, he begin touring the country, beginning in Iowa. In Iowa, he met with Democratic activists, interviewed potential campaign staff, and attended the Iowa State Fair with his family.
In late August, Delaney attended a New Hampshire Senate fundraiser in Brentwood, New Hampshire. While his visits to New Hampshire came incredibly early for a declared candidate (twenty-nine months before the state's primary), several other potential (undeclared) candidates were making similarly-timed visits to the state. Commenting on this, Delaney said of his visit,
It is early in a traditional context, but if you compare it to other people who are likely running for president, they're just not saying it. I'm early with my transparency, but not with my activities.
Delaney said that he hopes to take advantage of other prospective candidates being reticent about their ambitions. He suspects that he will be solitary in the field of declared candidates for the Democratic candidates for at least one and a half years. He believes it will be advantageous to be the only declared candidate at a time when voters already have an appetite to hear from alternatives to the incumbent presidential administration. Delaney said,
Normally people would say, eight months into a new president, let's give him a chance. I don't think people are really saying that.
On September 17, the campaign announced that Terry Lierman would serve as a co-chair. Lierman had previously served as the treasurer of Martin O'Malley's 2016 presidential campaign and the national finance co-chair of Howard Dean's 2004 presidential campaign. On September 20, the campaign announced that it had hired Iowa political consultant John Davis as a senior advisor.
In early April, Delaney began running ads in Iowa critical of the negative impacts that the Trump tariffs were expected to have on Iowa's farmers. Later that month, Delaney made his seventh campaign trip to the state of New Hampshire.
By the middle of May, Delaney said that he had made a total of 19 trips and held a total of 200 campaign stops in the states of Iowa and New Hampshire. He had thus far been focusing his campaign efforts predominately in those two states, as well as in South Carolina, another early-primary state. Delaney also campaigned on behalf of candidates running in the 2018 mid-terms, including those running in congressional and local elections in the states of Ohio and Maryland.
Prominent conservative columnist George F. Will wrote a column for the Washington Post in November 2018, in which he touted Delaney's blue collar roots and opined that Democrats should consider nominating Delaney if they are serious about defeating President Donald Trump in the 2020 election.
In his campaign, Delaney has promoted himself as, "a leading voice in Congress on 21st century jobs, education, veterans issues, and infrastructure."
In the op-ed announcing his candidacy, Delaney wrote,
The Democratic Party cherishes opportunity over birthright; wants people to earn a good living; offers a helping hand to the poor, the immigrant and those left behind; wants all Americans to have health care; embraces diversity, equality and justice; understands the importance of global engagements; believes that government can do transformative things; and stands ready to provide for our common defense. This is why I'm a Democrat.
Delaney believes that the Democratic Party needs to be a big tent. He intends to appeal to voters that are dissatisfied with the increasingly radicalized stances which both parties have adopted. A centrist, Delaney touts his own bipartisan credentials as evidence of his ability to transcend the partisan divide. Delaney proclaims himself to be a progressive interested in creating "real–not political–progress." Delaney views bipartisan cooperation as being more important than progressive goals.
Delaney has promised that, if elected president, he will act as a unifier, acting on a bipartisan-only basis in his first 100-day to advance existing bipartisan measures. He has promised that, as president, he will engage in quarterly debates with congress.
As of May 2018[update], as a congressman Delaney has voted in support of President Trump's positions 28.5% of the time, according to FiveThirtyEight's assessment. Delaney has criticized Donald Trump for, amongst other things, being divisive, saying,
As long as President Trump is in the White House, the Republican Party can never be the party that brings this country together, almost by definition. His principle operating philosophy is to divide people.
|List of political endorsements|
By the end of June, Delaney's campaign had raised more than $270,000 in funds, including more than $60,000 in individual contributions. By the end of September, the campaign had raised more than $750,000 in funds, and had more than $300,000 in unspent funds.
As of May 2018[update] Delaney had loaned his campaign committee $2.5 million of his own money, and had contributed, as opposed to loaned, an additional $80,000. He has also had received about $1.1 million in contributions.
|Quarter||Cash on hand at beginning||Cash on hand at end||Receipts||Disbursements||Debts/loans owed by campaign||Debts/loans owed to campaign|
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