A recent piece in Politico Magazine suggested that Democrats need a generic candidate who is “bland and inoffensive” to beat President Donald Trump in 2020.
The thesis was that Doug Jones pulled off an unlikely win in Alabama by running a safe, boring campaign on the party’s talking points and winning the support of activists and moderates alike as “Mr. Generic Democrat.”
Other possible candidates for Mr. Generic Democrat, according to the magazine’s contributing editor Bill Scher, are Tim Kaine in Virginia and Gary Peters in Michigan.
Yes, that Gary Peters, the junior U.S. senator from Bloomfield Township:
If “you want a Generic Dem with swing-state bona fides, check out Michigan Sen. Gary Peters. He’s made no waves since coming to the Senate three years ago. Many in Washington probably couldn’t even pick him out of a lineup. But his own dork-dad demeanor (Peters’ signature ad featured his family mocking his frugality) was the secret to becoming the only non-incumbent Democrat to overcome an onslaught of Koch Brothers money and win a Senate race in 2014.”
Dems target Bishop after tax overhaul passes
Democrats this week ramped up their attacks on GOP Rep. Mike Bishop, tying him to the Republican tax bill that passed Congress this week.
House Majority PAC, a super political action committee affiliated with House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, on Monday put up a billboard in Orion Township, suggesting the plan will raise taxes for middle-class families while benefiting the wealthy.
“Worst. Gift. Ever. Mike Bishop just voted to give you a new tax hike,” reads the billboard, which will be on display for four weeks, according to House Majority PAC.
The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee also launched digital holiday-themed ads against Bishop this week related to the tax bill.
Asked about the ads, Bishop’s campaign took the opportunity to attack Elissa Slotkin, a former top Defense Department official, who is seeking the Democratic nomination in the 8th District.
“Mike Bishop worked hard to provide tax reform that benefits families and job providers in Michigan,” spokesman Stu Sandler said.
“Meanwhile, DC resident Elissa Slotkin avoids paying Michigan taxes by taking her homestead deduction at her primary residence in Washington DC. Elissa Slotkin should ask her representative, Eleanor Holmes Norton, why she supports keeping taxes higher on struggling families.”
Slotkin’s campaign says she lives in Holly Township in Oakland County, where she is registered to vote, and will pay taxes in Michigan for this year.
Her campaign said Slotkin is not taking the homestead deduction in Washington, where the property she owns is occupied by her husband part time. He works at the Pentagon a few days a week since retiring from the U.S. Army.
Longshot switches gears
Kentiel White, a little-known Southfield Democrat who had been running for governor, instead is seeking to replace resigned Rep. John Conyers in the 13th Congressional District.
White has not yet announced plans to drop out of the gubernatorial race, but he confirmed Tuesday that he is running for Congress after filing paperwork with the Federal Election Commission.
White failed to gain traction in the Democratic gubernatorial primary and will also be a longshot in the 13th Congressional District, where he does not currently live, according to an address provided to the FEC.
References to White’s gubernatorial run have been scrubbed from his website, WhiteforGovernor18.com, which now highlights the congressional run he expects to formally announce next month.
State Sens. Coleman Young II and Ian Conyers of Detroit, the former congressman’s great-nephew, have already announced plans to run for the 13th District seat.
Other potential candidates include state Sen. David Knezek of Dearborn Heights, former state Reps. Rashida Tlaib and Shanelle Jackson of Detroit, Westland Mayor Bill Wild, Detroit City Council President Brenda Jones and Councilwoman Mary Sheffield.
Wayne County Sheriff Benny Napoleon would enter the congressional race as a front-runner if he jumps in, according to recent Target Insyght poll of 400 likely voters that also listed Wayne State Board of Governors member Kim Trent as a possible candidate.
Conyers III weighing decision
Former Rep. Conyers’ son said this week he hasn’t decided whether to run for his father’s seat, but didn’t sound eager to be a public figure.
Conyers, 88, endorsed John Conyers III, 27, when he announced his resignation Dec. 5.
“Let me go on record and say that I love my dad but I’m not him. So if I run, don’t just vote for me cause of him,” Conyers III tweeted early Wednesday.
“Vote because I actually believe and support us truly and I’m speaking up for us. If I run it’s not for legacy purposes, know that. And no, I’ve not made a decision.”
Conyers III, who has never run for public office, also tweeted recently that “the thing is everyone telling me to run has never been the child of a public person. Y’all don’t understand how your life and time not being your own effects you or your kids. You know how much my heart hurts for Malia Obama dawg?”
“Fame and public life is not dope. AT ALL!” he added. “Especially when you did not ask for it!”
Contributors: Melissa Nann Burke and Jonathan Oosting