Major League Inside Politics Nears the Trade Deadline

Major League Baseball’s trading deadline is fast approaching – August 1st, to be precise. American and National League contenders are looking to bolster their squads for the pennant stretches, playoffs and, should all go well, a World Series championship. But baseball’s general managers, skippers, and fans are not the only ones mulling and proposing improving their teams and chances before the trade deadline.

Both the Democrat and Republican parties are considering their prospects heading into the main event of the 2024 presidential election. From their establishment to their grassroots, both parties are considering whether to stick with their 2020 nominees or make a trade that will maximize their chances of keeping or recapturing the White House.

Ironically, despite only one announced primary opponent with little chance of succeeding, it is the Democrats who likely will nonetheless trade in their successful 2020 nominee, Joe Biden, to bolster their chances of retaining the oval office.

The grapevine in Sacramento is rife with more than speculative word that Governor Gavin Newsom is champing at the bit to be his party’s nominee. He would be difficult to defeat, even if Biden chose to stay in the race. Already, Governor Newsom has trolled Florida’s GOP governor and presidential candidate, Ron DeSantis; toured southern states rallying Democrats, including Florida, from which his state banned all governmental travel; and has even visited Iowa to “help” campaign from Mr. Biden. Given the lack of opposition from Team Biden, it is hard to believe Governor Newsom is doing this sans Mr. Biden’s blessing.

Further, to preempt his smooth slotting into Mr. Biden’s shoes before the trading deadline, er…primary season gets underway, Governor Newsom’s allies are floating the idea of adding Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer to the ticket as his vice-presidential pick. Governor Whitmer and her new Democrat controlled Michigan legislature has been busy passing similar far-left laws, such as the repeal of a right-to-work law and increasing censorship, mirroring many of those enacted in California under Newsom, and which are, of course, wildly popular with progressive primary voters. Further, Governor Whitmer should already be deemed a serious rival, given the heavy female demographic of the Democrat Party’s base.

Of course, such a move precludes any pretense of ideological balance on the potential ticket, with both governors being progressives; however, given what will doubtless continue to be an adoring and abetting press, Newsom and Whitmer can rest assured the regime media in league with the Democrats will package the pair to the electorate as “moderates” – you know, just like Joe Biden.

Yes, whether Newsom’s allies’ transparent attempts to damn Whitmer with faint praise as being worthy of the number two slot will prove successful remains to be seen. True, should Whitmer be able to mount a campaign in the relatively short span of time between Biden’s announcement that he is not running again and the Democrat convention, the Newsom team has already started laying out the narrative that it is the Michigan governor who put her personal ambition ahead of party unity. She can overcome this line of attack, but she also may decide to take Newsom up on his offer.

After all, it does seem as if the Democratic establishment, including many in Biden’s camp, are not opposed to making a trade for Newsom prior to the deadline. It is another matter whether they would be equally inclined to trade for Whitmer. So, too, though the party’s progressive grassroots are also desirous of a trade before the deadline, as Whitmer’s furious passage of progressive legislation indicates, she has work to do before she can establish similar progressive credentials to Newsom. More reason for Whitmer to seriously consider the number two spot – that is, if Newsom is serious about offering it.

It would be remiss to omit an historical irony regarding Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., who is currently running a courageous, yet Quixotic, primary campaign against Mr. Biden (or anyone else who may arise). In 1968, Senator Eugene McCarthy’s (D-Minn.) strong showing against incumbent Democrat President Lyndon Johnson was credited as the catalyst for the latter’s decision not to run for reelection. Afterwards, Senator Robert F. Kennedy (D-N.Y.) entered the race and was reviled by his primary opponents as a ruthless opportunist. Now, heading into the 2024 election, Sen. Kennedy’s son has shown some of the weakness of an incumbent president of his own party; and, for the effort, like Eugene McCarthy, will be shunted aside by Democrat primary voters for Gavin Newsom. RFK, Jr. deserves better, but he will not get it from this lot. And he knows it, which only ennobles his effort.

Thus, as the trade deadline approaches, everything points to the Democrats trading their dead armed starting pitcher, Joe Biden, for the slick pitching of lefty, Governor Gavin Newsom and, perhaps, Governor Gretchen Whitmer gets tossed into the deal to work out of the bullpen. While I personally do not gamble, for those who do, consider this one last bit of insider innuendo emanating from Sacramento: President Obama is pressing Mr. Biden to retire. (Now where have I heard something like that before…)?

Next week: will the GOP team stand pat with the flame throwing wildness of Trump?

An American Greatness contributor, the Hon. Thaddeus G. McCotter (M.C., Ret.) represented Michigan’s 11th Congressional district from 2003-2012, and served as Chair of the Republican House Policy Committee. Not a lobbyist, he is a frequent public speaker and moderator for public policy seminars; and a Monday co-host of the “John Batchelor Radio Show,” among sundry media appearances.

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About Thaddeus G. McCotter

An American Greatness contributor, the Hon. Thaddeus G. McCotter (M.C., Ret.) represented Michigan’s 11th Congressional district from 2003 to 2012 and served as Chair of the Republican House Policy Committee. Not a lobbyist, he is a frequent public speaker and moderator for public policy seminars, and a Monday co-host of the "John Batchelor Show" among sundry media appearances.

Photo: SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA - SEPTEMBER 14: California Gov. Gavin Newsom speaks to union workers and volunteers on election day at the IBEW Local 6 union hall on September 14, 2021 in San Francisco, California. Californians are heading to the polls to cast their ballots in the California recall election of Gov. Gavin Newsom. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)