An expectedly crowded Democratic primary field is going to be elbowing each other in order to get into the first 2020 presidential election debate as early as spring 2019, because not being included in that field might wind up being a disqualifying event, Politico reported Monday.
"By the early spring at the latest you'll be seeing debates, and I think probably in the first quarter of 2019," former President Barack Obama adviser David Axelrod said on his podcast. "I think the sense of urgency among Democrats, and the sense of possibility among potential candidates is such that you're going to see that."
With the debate schedule moving up to just a few months from now, in addition to creating a crowd, a candidate cannot get backburnered to the "undercard" debate after the main event – aka a "sideshow for also-rans," according to Politico.
"The first stage gets the primetime hour, the second group gets the 11 o'clock hour and you're competing with Jimmy Kimmel or Stephen Colbert," former Gov. Tom Vilsack, D-Iowa, told Politico. "Good luck with that."
Like it or not, the media and the big-ticket donors – not the American people – will decide the early front-runners who get the main debate stage.
"There's no question, you've got to have a certain degree of legitimacy, and that is anointed by the media, and they make their mind up who is going to be the front-runners, and they concentrate on them," former Sen. Mike Gravel, D-Alaska, told Politico.
The name recognition leaders among President Donald Trump's Democratic challengers include: former Vice President Joe Biden, Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., Sen. Cory Booker, R-N.J., and Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif. They should be expected to be center stage, if they are interested.
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