The day after the second Democratic Presidential Debate, I predicted that California Congressman, Eric Swalwell would dropping out of the race on News 13. He had a bad moment with Pete Buttigieg that made him look unlikable on national TV, in a debate he barely got on stage to begin with.
Eric Swalwell was never going to be President. He ran for the White House to raise his name ID and bolster his chances to get reelected to the house or to secure another opportunity down the line.
He was a tourist.
It’s a strategy that is used all over the country by a significant percentage of candidates. They run for office to sell books, push for another position, or simply because it’s fun. Nothing more. Many times they’ll drop out before it gets too expensive.
And sometimes they win. Donald Trump started out as a tourist, but with nothing really at stake at the time, he said what he wanted, took some chances and actually got elected.
Now in a field of 20 Democratic presidential candidates, almost half of them are tourists. They eat up television time from the candidates that can actually raise money, and add to the conversation.
“Why not?”, “I’ve got nothing to lose” many of them will say.
That’s right, but if you get past the primary, then the party will lean on you and that normally makes things a little more interesting. It’s why the GOP was worried about Trump in 2016, and why Bernie Sanders still worries Democrats.
Beware the tourist candidate. Not just the ones running for President but the ones running in your communities. Ask them why they’re running and ask them some hard policy questions.
Eric Swalwell was a tourist in the race for President. Luckily, he got out before any damage could be done.