* It wouldn’t be a bare-knuckle election year involving Trump without a conspiracy theory. According to former George W. Bush spokesman Ari Fleischer, the reason that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi delayed sending impeachment articles to the Senate had much more to do with helping Joe Biden, than anything strategic involving pressure on the Republicans to allow witness testimony. “By timing the trial so it takes place during the Iowa lead-up, she has leverage over the liberals,” theorized Fleischer. His online theory metastasized into Fox News fodder and onto presidential tweet material. What gave it legs is the consensus that Trump would rather face Bernie Sanders than Biden, especially in Midwestern battleground states.
* “The Democrats cover everybody from Bernie to Bloomberg, and that does present a real problem in terms of making a decision. It’s not blendable at this point. And if the division continues, you’re not going to get a first-ballot candidate.”–Jerry Brown, former Democratic governor of California.
* It made sense last summer when the presidential debates kicked off–and it still does: a Joe Biden-Kamala Harris ticket. Like any other combination, it’s imperfect, but arguably better than Hillary Clinton-Tim Kaine. At some point, Sen. Harris will endorse, and that–as well as the timing–will be telling. And a potential turning point. In a party galvanized by #MeToo, a woman on a winning Biden ticket would be positioned as the de facto nominee in 2024 with the blessing of an octogenarian incumbent.
* “Our younger generation today is the most progressive young generation, I suspect, in the history of this country.” That was Sen. Bernie Sanders, among the many counting on youthful voters to, well, vote.
* “Our first woman president must ward off misogynistic depravity that knows no bottom.” Other than that, Sen. Elizabeth Warren is pretty much neutral on gender and presidential politics.
* “I’m the un-Trump. He breaks promises, I keep them. He’s a climate denier, I’m an engineer. He looks out for the people who inherited their wealth. I’m self-made.” That was Michael Bloomberg during his swing-state/Tampa visit. The rest of the candidates are also un-Trump, of course, but nobody can underscore it quite like this billionaire, former mayor of New York. Ironically, nothing will show Bloomberg’s commitment more than the billion dollars he’s pledging to defeat Trump–even if he’s not the Democratic Party’s candidate.