‘You’d better not blink.’
That’s Sen. Michael Bennet of Colorado, responding to an observation Friday by MSNBC’s Willie Geist that, as the Coloradan has made the cut to appear on the debate platform with 19 rivals for the Democratic presidential nomination, he’ll have a chance to bring his ideas before a significant share of the potential primary electorate for the first time.
He’ll be on camera for about five seconds, he predicted with a laugh.
Two nights of debates, to accommodate the large field of candidates, are set for June and July, in Miami and Detroit, respectively.
Queried on the “Morning Joe” program over whether his moderate positioning and preference for consensus building over partisanship in Congress might be at odds with the current wishes of the Democratic Party’s liberal base, he allowed that the base is right to be “loaded for bear.” Voters, he said, “should be freaking furious” over income inequality, inequities in education, and lack of legislative progress on the environment or safety from gun violence. “They should be furious.”
Pitching not just his new book, “The Land of Flickering Light,” but his ideas for a public option in health insurance, a break in the decades-old stalemate over gun control and action to rein in climate change, Bennet called it an imperative to unseat Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, who, from Bennet’s vantage point across the Senate aisle, has subverted popular will on health care, guns and climate in favor of the entrenched status quo.
Bennet, to this point, has barely registered in the polls. ”What [the] polling shows is that this race is wide open,” he asserted, allowing that Joe Biden has opened up a lead over the field owing to name recognition and appreciation among voters for his lifetime of public service. Bennet told “PBS NewsHour” earlier this week that he didn’t see Biden as representative of the Democratic Party’s future.
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