Seth Moulton Says He’s Thinking of Running for President in 2020
He'd join a crowded field, including his own Massachusetts colleague, Elizabeth Warren.
Seth Moulton is back to talking about running for president in 2020 again. The congressman has long harbored presidential ambitions and tried to set himself apart in the past as an agent of change. But after spending the months leading up to the mid-terms in a failed attempt to oust Nancy Pelosi from her leadership position, he got a little quieter about the prospect.
But apparently he’s recovered from losing a battle he once said he thought he had a “100 percent chance” of winning. On MSNBC’s Morning Joe, when asked if he was considering running in 2020, Moulton replied, “I am. I’m seriously looking at it.” He went on to hit some of the same points he’s always mentioned to tout his credentials, such as his military service, as well as his ability to reach residents of middle America, pointing to his experience campaigning for Conor Lamb in Pennsylvania and Amy McGrath in Kentucky.
His tone has changed on Pelosi in the interim, though: When asked how he thought she was doing, he acknowledged that she was doing “a great job in standing up to Trump,” and complimented her maneuvering during the shutdown fight and steps to hold the administration accountable. But he reiterated the importance of the term limit concession Pelosi made, and indicated that he was going to “continue fighting to make sure that this new generation of leaders, including the most diverse class of freshmen we’ve ever had come to Congress, actually have a voice in our future.”
In practice, he’s butted heads with the de facto leader of the new progressive class. Back in November, he called an Alexandria Ocasio Cortez tweet criticizing the Pelosi opposition “offensive” for suggesting the opposition was coming from the right of Pelosi. According to the website voteview, which tracks Congressional voting records, Pelosi was the 35th most progressive member of the 2017-2019 Congress, while Moulton ranked 159th.
Moulton indicated he’d base his decision on “whether this is the best way I can serve the country in 2020,” acknowledging the “amazing candidates” who have already announced (including fellow Massachusetts resident Elizabeth Warren), and saying he was asking himself, “Can I contribute to this debate?” He’d face many other Democrats, with some other high-profile candidates yet to announce, and some disadvantages: An MSNBC graphic faced criticism in February for listing out an exclusively white and male list of potential challengers. And Moulton may have some name recognition concerns—the graphic used Sherrod Brown’s picture for him.
But his bigger issues may be back home in Massachusetts. Moulton faced a roasting from constituents back in November over his Pelosi efforts, with one voter telling the Boston Globe she had been “loving” him until the Pelosi campaign, which she criticized for dividing Democrats during a “resounding blue wave.”