Bring on 2020: Some Democrats end year with cam­paign events

The Saline Courier - - NEWS - As­so­ci­ated Press

BOS­TON — Many of the Demo­cratic can­di­dates look­ing to un­seat Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump in 2020 are spend­ing the last day of 2019 ring­ing in the new year with wouldbe sup­port­ers. El­iz­a­beth War­ren is mark­ing her an­niver­sary of form­ing a pres­i­den­tial ex­ploratory com­mit­tee with a speech at Bos­ton’s Old South Meet­ing House on Tues­day high­light­ing how she’d stamp out gov­ern­ment cor­rup­tion. The Con­gre­ga­tional church is fa­mous for be­ing the or­ga­niz­ing point for the Bos­ton Tea Party in 1773.

Bernie San­ders is hold­ing a year-end news con­fer­ence fol­lowed by an evening “Big New Year’s Bash” fea­tur­ing what the cam­paign de­scribes as “Prince’s long­time back­ing band” in Des Moines, the cap­i­tal of Iowa, which holds its lead-off cau­cuses on Feb. 3. Also cam­paign­ing in Iowa is New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker, who has a pair of house par­ties on Tues­day af­ter­noon.

Busi­ness­man An­drew Yang has in­vited sup­port­ers to mark mid­night at a late-night party in New Hamp­shire, which is set to hold the first pri­mary, on Feb. 11. Min­nesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar is do­ing an af­ter­noon town hall in New Hamp­shire, while Colorado Sen. Michael Ben­net also is trav­el­ing in the state.

The crush of events re­flects how lit­tle time there is to spare be­fore vot­ing be­gins. Even though cam­paign­ing ground to a near halt for Christ­mas Eve and Christ­mas, can­di­dates are bet­ting vot­ers will be more amenable to their mes­sages on the fi­nal day of the year.

“You’ve got to use ev­ery minute,” said Kelly Dietrich, founder and

CEO of the Na­tional Demo­cratic Train­ing Com­mit­tee, which trains can­di­dates and staff all over the coun­try.

Not ev­ery­one is get­ting into the New Year’s Eve ac­tion. For­mer Vice Pres­i­dent Joe Bi­den cam­paigned Mon­day in New Hamp­shire and had sched­uled no public events Tues­day. Mayor Pete But­tigieg of South Bend, In­di­ana, has a New Year’s Eve cal­en­dar sim­i­larly clear of public events.

Most of the can­di­dates don’t have events sched­uled for New Year’s Day, though for­mer Mas­sachusetts Gov. De­val Pa­trick is plan­ning to at­tend ser­vices at Mother Emanuel in Charleston, South Carolina, where nine African Amer­i­can church­go­ers were shot to death in 2015.

Dietrich said that some­times ac­tiv­i­ties like door­knock­ing can be more ef­fec­tive for can­di­dates dur­ing the hol­i­days since many peo­ple are home from work. They can also use times of tra­di­tional par­ties, like New Year’s Eve, to rally vol­un­teers and oth­ers who have helped with cam­paign­ing over the long haul.

War­ren, who was a Har­vard Law School pro­fes­sor be­fore be­com­ing a sen­a­tor in 2012, will be on her home turf in Bos­ton. While Yang will be in New Hamp­shire, his sup­port­ers are hold­ing a sep­a­rate New Year’s Eve party to “watch the ball drop” in his home state of New York.

Fundrais­ing also typ­i­cally de­clines be­tween Thanks­giv­ing and New Year’s Day. But Dietrich said can­di­dates still use the time to work the phones, and he in­structs clients to touch base with past donors who haven’t reached max­i­mum do­na­tion lim­its, re­mind­ing them to do so be­fore the end of the year.

“You can’t take time off when you’re run­ning for pres­i­dent,” he said. “Your va­ca­tion hap­pens the day after the gen­eral elec­tion.”

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