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Sun Jan 13, 2019, 02:43 PM

John Delaney: Democratic Don Quixote or genuine American dreamer?

Source: The Guardian

John Delaney: Democratic Don Quixote or genuine American dreamer?

The former congressman and multimillionaire insists he can unite the party and take the White House back from Trump

David Smith in Friendship Heights, Maryland
Sun 13 Jan 2019 06.00 GMT

At an old electricity substation in north-west Washington, perhaps fittingly for the Donald Trump era, colourful murals of John F Kennedy have disappeared behind wooden boards for months, due to construction work. But a few minutes’ walk away, past a Metro station, a bland shopping mall and the Maryland border, is the new election campaign headquarters of a man working hard and spending big in an attempt to assume the Kennedy mantle.

Elizabeth Warren, Tulsi Gabbard and Julián Castro may now have stolen his thunder, but former congressman John Delaney was the first Democrat with national political experience to formally announce a 2020 presidential campaign. Hoping to prove that the early bird catches the worm, he did so all the way back in July 2017. He has been hustling for votes ever since, with a Kennedy-inspired message of common purpose. Critics, opinion polls and his campaign Twitter account (with just 12,000 followers) suggest he is more Don Quixote, embarked on a romantic but doomed quest.

Delaney has made 21 trips to Iowa, the first caucus state, visiting all 99 counties and making 214 stops. He has also made 10 trips to New Hampshire, the first primary state, visiting seven counties and making 96 stops. Having spent $3.5m, recruited staff and opened offices, he has become Exhibit A for America’s never-ending campaign, in stark contrast to the UK and other countries where general elections take a month or two, four or five years apart.

“I do think our election cycles are very long and I don’t think that’s great,” admits the affable Delaney. But he reasons: “The presidency of the United States is a very unique elected position. So if anything merits a longer vetting process, the presidency does to some extent. In general our election cycles are too long, but this job is so consequential that I don’t think it’s a bad thing to give people more time to get to know you.”

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Read more: https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2019/jan/13/john-delaney-don-quixote-american-dream-president-2020

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