A Democrat Just Announced He’s Running for President and It’s Not Who You Expected

Can a pro-business moderate make it in the Democratic party?

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John Delaney is running for president.

Wait, who?

Delaney, a third-term Democratic congressman from Maryland, announced he was running for president on Friday, becoming the first elected official from the party to throw his hat into what is likely to be a crowded primary field. Unlike colleagues in the Senate, such as Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, and Kamala Harris, no one was talking about Delaney as a plausible candidate before this week—and they still may not be. A former banker with a net worth of about $90 million, Delaney’s most notable political accomplishment came in 2012 when he unseated longtime Republican Rep. Roscoe Bartlett, a survivalist who advocated that all Americans keep a year’s supply of food in the event of a societal collapse.

In a platitude-laden open letter on his campaign site, Delaney explains that he has decided to run to cure the “excessive partisanship” gripping Washington and he emphasizes his history of working with Republicans. His first video even features testimony from former Republican Rep. Richard Hanna:

It’s not exactly a message designed to appeal to the party’s ascendant left wing, nor is there a particularly strong appetite among Democrats at the moment for a moderate, business-casual white guy. But for now, Delaney has the field to himself. His prospective opponents better hurry; the next presidential election is only 1,194 days away.

SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

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SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

payment methods

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