2020 Candidates: John Delaney

Welcome to our recurring series “Who The Fuck Are All These Fucks?” in which we profile, in brief, each of the 2020 candidates for president. This series is not meant to be exhaustive, and you’re encouraged to look into each candidate on your own.

Hello, friends. We’re touching the bottom of the barrel as we move into part ? of our ??? part series on the Democratic candidates.

NAME: John Kevin Delaney
AGE: 55
OCCUPATION: Candidate for President
PREVIOUS OCCUPATION: Member of the House of Representatives from Maryland

John Delaney was born in New Jersey. Later, he left New Jersey. This was a smart move and he has not regretted it.

Delaney has degrees from Columbia and Georgetown Law and worked most of his life in finance, founding Health Care Financial Partners and later CapitalSource, both lenders that focused on specific markets.

He was elected to the U.S. House in 2012, representing Maryland’s 6th district, which includes all of western Maryland. Delaney lived in Potomac, a D.C. suburb that had recently been included in the GOP-leaning district and that helped turn the district blue through gerrymandering. Neat!

Delaney is actually a fierce opponent of gerrymandering and sponsored legislation in Congress to eliminate it by creating independent redistricting commissions. He rejects the label “moderate” but like… he’s broadly moderate, supporting stronger criminal justice laws, cannabis legalization, action on climate change, a balanced budget, term limits, and DACA – but he opposes single payer healthcare and is more hawkish on foreign policy than most progressive candidates.

“Hold on,” you say, because you are just a strawman to advance this conversation on my terms, “I’ve never heard of this guy. He’s a congressman? When did he announce his presidential campaign?”

He’s not a congressman.

Delaney announced his campaign on July 28, 2017. That’s no typo: he’s been running for a year and a half already. He declined to run for Congress in 2018, saying he was focused on the White House. In late 2017, Delaney said, “I also have never liked the cat-and-mouse games that some politicians play about running — running, not running, running when everyone knows they’re running. So my view is I came to the decision to do it. I’d like to spend a lot of time working to achieve it, and I felt that was the right thing to do to achieve that.” He reiterated this during a campaign stop in New Hampshire; at the time, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti was in Manchester to stump for Joyce Craig, the Democratic candidate for mayor – helping Craig get elected mayor of New Hampshire’s largest city was popular for Democrats in 2017, who hoped she could use her clout to help their 2020 campaigns. Delaney said he was being more honest about his reasons for being in New Hampshire than Garcetti, former vice president Joe Biden, or Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders, all of whom were in New Hampshire around the same time.

Delaney sees his candidacy like Jimmy Carter’s 1976 campaign. California Governor Jerry Brown was the favorite to win the nomination, with other candidates considered big contenders. Few speculated that Carter, then Governor of Georgia, would emerge as the nominee (Brown didn’t actually run until Carter became the front-runner, partly because he supported another candidate who chose not to campaign in New Hampshire and who never fully recovered from that choice – and partly because primaries were a relatively new concept and most “candidates” thought the convention would still be the place where the nominee was decided; there’s a lot of goofy things about the 1976 election, like the fact that Nobody won Iowa – “uncommitted” came in first, Carter came in second). Delaney might be right: by travelling around the country, he could make himself known to the people and garner their support.

Except he seems to have squandered his year-and-a-half lead, so now we’re talking about major candidates with nationwide name recognition.

So here’s John Delaney, candidate for president. Are you interested in a boring ex-CEO who thinks he’s going to be the next Jimmy Carter?

“No,” you say, still a strawman. “That sounds very dumb.”


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