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Odds and Ends: Majority of Dems in 2020 don’t want to be president

Editors Note: On Tuesday, shortly after this column was published, Bernie Sanders entered the 2020 presidential race.

By the time this gets published, there could very well be at least three more Democrats running for president. While that is a bit facetious, there is truth to it. Ballotpedia has 11 notable Democrats who have declared they are running or have confirmed their intent to run. 

That list of 11 Dems doesn’t include people like former Vice President Joe Biden (who has been flirting with a run since 2016), Sen. Bernie Sanders – who is an Independent, but ran for the Democratic nomination in 2016 – and Ohio’s own Sen. Sherrod Brown, who has been touring early primary states, a public indication of “This whole running for president thing could be a fun little thing to do.”

Nonetheless, there are dozens of other names spat around by pundits daily. And while it’s hard to keep up with all of them, most of those campaigns are absolutely meaningless in the long run. Yes, those people all want the presidency, but some certainly don’t seem to have the same gusto as others, which is actually sort of intentional. 

There can only be one presidential nominee for the Democrats. I don’t think 11 people could even fit on a debate stage. So, why is there all this bustle for unlikely odds? As Democrats bet on themselves to win the nomination, there is something else that is key in national politics: Publicity. 

Running for president in the U.S. doesn’t require much political experience (see: John F. Kennedy, George W. Bush and Donald Trump). It is a lot of name recognition. There are some relatively little-known politicians who have thrown their hats in the ring. Why? They just want to gain a bit more national popularity and maybe cozy up to the nominee-to-be in an effort to land a spot in that nominee’s cabinet.

Let’s look at one person who could nail this in particular: Pete Buttigieg, mayor of South Bend, Indiana. Prior to announcing his run for president, people probably didn’t know much of him. Now, he appears as the second “Pete” in Google’s search bar under Pete Davidson – seriously, that’s some good star power. FiveThirtyEight even says that Buttigieg may just be doing this to “win by losing.”

That’s OK, too. The primaries are a good time for citizens across the country to see what politicians stand for and what makes them the best candidate. Just know that while some say they are running, they may really just be running for a higher position. Keep that in mind as we find out just how many Democrats can fit on one debate stage.

Please note that the views and opinions of the columnists do not reflect those of The Post. What do you think? Let Chuck know by tweeting him @chuck_greenlee.

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