Nicholas Goldberg: Is Kevin de León toast?
By Nick Goldberg •Published November 12, 2018•Updated on November 4, 2018 at 12:17 pm
A few days ago I began the discussion of current Washington politics with two friends, and we discussed whether Kevin de León is still going to the Democrats’ coronation as “the new standard” of leadership and if perhaps some of the criticism that this guy received for his support of the Affordable Care Act are now going to get him labeled as “toast.”
In my case my friends are political journalists who have covered the Democratic primary in California. It’s been my experience that in these races reporters often say, “well, I didn’t like to go” to the candidate’s debate because “oh, it gets kind of nasty and so forth,” but then they end up getting caught up in the drama and the drama will keep them there rather than write about how the campaign is going rather than write about why the campaign is going.
But those two journalists and so many others who have covered this race have said that I like to get right in the middle of the drama, so I thought I would check that I am going to the Democratic debate. Then I thought I would write about the drama, because sometimes in politics the news media misses the drama. I have found sometimes they have missed the drama because they have been writing stories about the campaign while I have been hanging around with voters and people who have never been in a campaign.
And so I thought I’d go get a couple pictures and some information from my friends at Politico and I thought it would be interesting to see what kind of drama was going on. What we saw when we went to the debate was that it was very much a coronation for de León, which was expected. When we went inside the debate hall the place was filled with people who had chosen to make a political contribution by showing up at the debate in their $50,000 worth of clothes and shoes, and people carrying signs that said things like “de León for America” or “de León 2020” or “de León out, not in.” The whole atmosphere was very much, “It’s us against Kevin.” I like that slogan because it’s such a simple and positive way of describing the choice. “Us” versus “Kevin” describes a situation much more dramatically, but also makes it clear that it’s not just a choice between two of us against