Should Michael Avenatti run for president in 2020? | The Tylt
Should Michael Avenatti run for president in 2020?
According to the Des Moines Register, Avenatti has been glad-handing around the state, the first contest of primary-season. Avenatti told the paper his candidacy was sincere and not merely an attempt to retain a national attention.
Avenatti has faced some criticism that his interest in a potential presidential run stems mostly from an effort to raise his own personal profile. He denied those claims Thursday.
"I would never think to come to Iowa in order to use the state or the people of the state to raise my profile," he said. "And obviously if I do this, then I intend to work hard and I know that ultimately the trust of the citizens of Iowa is going to have to be earned."
Avenatti has shared a brief position paper—"not an exhaustive list"—on his personal Twitter account. The lawyer covers a wide range of topics, taking a relatively centrist Democrat point of view on everything from immigration to gun control. The existence of the paper, however, shows some thoughtfulness on Avenatti's part.
Yet as recently as May 2018, Avenatti has been denying that he is interested in running for elected office. When asked by the Atlantic about blocking a CNN reporter who has been critical of him, Avenatti was defensive:
He says he didn’t mean to block Lizza; “Even if it was purposeful, and it wasn’t, who cares? Am I not allowed to block people now? When did that happen?”
Besides, “I’m not elected,” he said. Is getting into politics something he’d be interested in doing someday, by the way? “I don’t think so,” he said. “I haven’t really thought about it. Right now I’m trying to get through this case.”
There are many writers and journalists who believe Avenatti is not the right person for the Democratic party, and his bluster could actually distract from better-qualified candidates. Eve Peyser wrote in a piece for Vice:
If we fight Trumpism with Trumpian tactics, American politics will continue to be a pissing match of who can be the most outrageous and entertaining candidate. Can't we go back to having presidents who have some experience in politics prior to their run for the highest office in the land? Can't we go back to having presidents who are primarily politicians and not media personalities? There are so many deeply qualified Democrats and left-leaning politicians that could be the party's 2020 candidate—like Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, and Kamala Harris. It's not always bad when a celebrity enters the political realm—see: Cynthia Nixon's bid for New York governor—but the reason Nixon's campaign feels legitimate is because she was involved with New York politics long before she decided to run for office.
In a piece for the Los Angeles Times, Jessica Roy agreed with Peyser's thesis that an Avenatti candidacy would be detrimental for the country's politics.
Some people say Michael Avenatti is the perfect counterpart to Trump. My colleagues in D.C. point out that he's brash, media-savvy, and loves to antagonize people. He’s not afraid to take swipes at his opponents on Twitter. Hillary Clinton proved in 2016 that being extremely qualified and declining to stoop to his level is not the way to beat Trump in a presidential election. Maybe to beat Trump, the thinking goes, the Democrats need their own Trump.
Thanks to Trump, we are all still living in the 2016 election cycle. A Trump-Avenatti head-to-head on the campaign trail would continue that mind-set through the next decade.
CNN reporter Chris Cillizza wrote in an op-ed for the outlet that despite the comparisons to Trump, Avenatti is missing a crucial component that Trump rode to success—name recognition.
While Avenatti has been a mainstay on cable news for the last several months, he does not have the decades of visibility and a name synonymous with almost cartoonish wealth that Donald Trump had when he began his campaign.
[T]he reality is that, for all of his obvious and, at the time, not-so-obvious problems, the simple fact is that Trump was a far more credible national candidate than Avenatti. People knew him. Many of them admired him for his wealth, his fame, the beautiful women he always seemed to have on his arm. That's simply not the case for Avenatti. People don't know him -- and those that do don't think all that much of him.