The Presidential Tough Mudder is Under Way ...

By my count - and it’s a moving target so by the time I hit ‘publish’ on this post the number will probably already be off again - there are at least 44 folks who are apparently or overtly considering a presidential run on the Democratic ticket in 2020. There may be more lanes than there were in 2016, but there are a lot of folks trying occupy each of them, and the lanes this time don’t break nearly as sharply and cleanly as they did, with Bernie owning the progressive lane (which Martin O’Malley tried and failed to compete for) and Hillary owning the Democratic establishment lane.

The 2020 Democratic Presidential field-of-mostly-daydreaming-hopefuls as I see it:

Progressive Progressives

  • Bernie Sanders

  • Elizabeth Warren

Regular Progressives

  • Jerry Brown (California governor)

  • Sherrod Brown (Ohio senator)

  • Bill De Blasio (New York mayor)

  • Jay Inslee (Washington governor)

  • Amy Klobuchar (Minnesota senator)

  • Jeff Merkley (Oregon senator)

  • Chris Murphy (Connecticut senator)

  • Michelle Obama (the most popular Democrat on this list)

  • Martin O’Malley (former Maryland governor)

The Progressive-ish Liberals

  • Michael Bennet (Colorado senator)

  • Cory Booker (New Jersey senator)

  • Steve Bullock (Montana governor)

  • Julian Castro (former HUD Secretary & San Antonio mayor)

  • Tulsi Gabbard (Hawaii Congressional rep)

  • Eric Garcetti (Los Angeles mayor)

  • Kristen Gillibrand (New York senator)

  • Kamala Harris (California senator)

  • Eric Holder (former Attorney General)

  • Beto O’Rouke (TX Congressional rep)

Establishment Centrist Liberals

  • Joe Biden (former Vice President)

  • Hillary Clinton (former Secretary of State)

  • Tim Kaine (Virginia senator)

  • John Kerry (former Secretary of State)

  • Terry McAuliffe (Virginia governor)

  • Seth Moulton (MA Congressional rep)

Business Centrist Liberals

  • Michael Bloomberg (former New York mayor)

  • Andrew Cuomo (New York governor)

  • John Delany (retiring MD Congressional rep.) - DECLARED

  • Bob Iger (Disney CEO)

  • John Hickenlooper (Colorado governor)

  • Sheryl Sandberg (Facebook COO)

  • Howard Schultz (former Starbucks CEO)

Not Entirely Clear What They Are

  • Mark Cuban (Dallas Mavericks owner, Shark Tank star, and businessman)

  • Dwayne Johnson (actor)

  • Richard Ojeda (former West Virginia candidate for Congress) - DECLARED

  • Tom Steyer (hedge fund billionaire turned climate activist)

  • Oprah Winfrey (media mogul)

  • Mark Zuckerberg (that guy)

I Don’t Know Anything About Them

  • Peter Buttigieg (South Bend mayor)

  • Mitch Landrieu (former New Orleans mayor)

  • Tim Ryan (Ohio Congressional rep)

  • Eric Swalwell (California Congressional rep)

And Michael Avenatti (the bombastic attorney who represented Stormy Daniels in her lawsuits against President Trump) and Deval Patrick (the former Massachusetts governor), both of whom floated the idea, have both announced their decisions not to run.

This is going to be a chaotic 23 months.