After months with his name floating on lists of potential candidates in next year's Democratic presidential primaries, former New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu gave his most definitive remark on 2020 yet.The headline on that story says, Mitch "cranks up presidential race chatter" by saying probably not. So that's weird.
Landrieu told CNN on Wednesday morning that he does not think he will seek his party's presidential nomination.
"I don't think so," Landrieu said when asked about a potential candidacy. "A lot of people have asked me that. I never say never, but at this point in time I don't think I'm going to do it."
Of course he could still do it. I think the Democrats are trying to flood the market with as many flavors of candidate as they can throw out there in 2020... so long as they're all flavors of mainstream Democratic Party thought. Talk about health care but keep the insurance companies on board. Talk about racism but don't challenge abusive police too loudly. Talk about climate change but try and get the fossil fuel producers to be "partners" in your resilience strategy. Whatever you do don't make any defense contractors mad. That sort of thing.
We can only speculate about how deliberate the strategy is but I would argue that it's at least a symptom of their consumer capitalism based understanding of how democracy is supposed to work. Just throw out an infinite number of niche brands of basically the same product so every individual can choose the one that most speaks to them. If you keep everyone divided up like that, there's less chance an anti-establishment movement campaign can get any traction.
So for the Dems, right now, the more candidates, the better. At least that's the theory. They don't necessarily need Mitch for that. But probably nobody is telling him to stay out at this point.