Senator Maize Hirono (D-Hawaii) has decided to jump in on the Schultz 2020 debacle, but unlike many of her Democratic colleagues, she’s not going into attack dog mode. In one of the more moderate and refreshing approaches to Howard Schultz’s announcement, she’s suggesting that the billionaire Democrat run as a Democrat. (The Hill)
“I welcome everybody, in fact I think Schultz should run as a Democrat,” Hirono said on CNN’s “New Day.”
“If his ideas are all that great he should be able to articulate them as a Democrat.” …
During her interview Hirono declined to endorse any one candidate for the Democratic nomination.
When host John Berman pressed her about any preference she might have, Hirono said “I would be delighted if we nominated a woman.”
That’s a bit different from Ben Smith’s idea that Schultz run as a Republican in the GOP primary. (His chances in either one would probably be the same, but it would definitely make for some fine comic diversion.)
What Hirono is suggesting is pretty much the same thing I was discussing earlier this week, though with one notable exception. As I pointed out then, had Schultz gone on television last Sunday night and said that he was considering running for the Democratic nomination, none of the current brouhaha would be taking place. He would have quietly taken his place in line along with the dozens of other Democratic hopefuls and they would have welcomed him aboard. All of the hatred pouring down on Schultz from Democrats this week is based entirely on the fact he suggested he might run as an independent.
And that’s the problem with Hirono’s suggestion that he join the Democratic primary race. That ship has sailed. The only memory that the Dem primary voters are going to have of Schultz now is the anger they felt when he threatened to suck up some moderate Dem votes and potentially give Trump an easier path to another four years. Of course, the base also doesn’t seem to be in the mood for a “moderate” these days any more than they are for another “effing white male billionaire.”
One last note from the Hirono interview that I wanted to point out. I left in the answer to another question she was asked in the excerpt above. When asked if she was endorsing anyone for the nomination yet, she demurred. Her only comment was that she’d like to see the party nominate a woman. I’m guessing she’s heard that her fellow senator from Hawaii is not only an announced candidate but conveniently enough a female. But Hirono isn’t going to toss an endorcement to Gabbard? Ouch. Things might be getting a little frosty out on the islands this month.