What Is a 'Steve Bullock' and Why Is It Running for President


Someone else is running for president, and his name is Steve Bullock!

Bullock, Montana’s two-term Democratic governor, is expected to announce a presidential run later this week, and has reportedly been weighing a presidential run since he won re-election in 2016, according to the Atlantic. Bullock has long denied having interest in running for Senate—GOP Sen. Steve Daines is up for re-election next year, and Montana’s other senator is three-term Democrat Jon Tester—telling the Montana Standard last year that he wasn’t sure he would “find being a senator that compelling.”

But who is Steve Bullock, you ask? I have no clue myself, but thankfully the Atlantic has provided us hundreds of words on the topic. This is particularly helpful given that Bullock appears to be one of what feels like hundreds of white men running for president with too much confidence and too little ambition for actually affecting change.

From the Atlantic:

Yes, another Democrat running for president. Another white guy. Another politician most of the country has never heard of. Another candidate who doesn’t have a lot of money to start with, or any real hopes of meeting the low bar to make the stage for the first debates next month. Another dude whose last name begins with B who thinks that entering the 2020 race after 21 others makes perfect sense.

Hmm.. OK, well that didn’t particularly help distinguish him. Could there be something else that sets him apart from this incredibly homogenous field? From the Atlantic, again:

“You look at this field, and there’s only one that’s won in a Trump state when Trump was on the ballot, or won statewide in a Trump state, period,” Bullock told me.
Bullock and his team were relieved when Sherrod Brown decided not to run, since the Ohio senator would also have made the argument about being able to win in a Trump state. Joe Biden’s entry, meanwhile, didn’t change Bullock’s calculus. Bullock’s team likes the contrast—if Democrats are looking for a white guy making an electability argument, a Bullock adviser told me, he’d be there as one who’s younger and actually has a record of winning in Trump states.

Well, at least he’s got that whole “elected by an entire Trump state” thing going for him. Because without it, what exactly would he be relying on? Let’s see…from the Atlantic, again, emphasis mine:

“I’m not so naive to say, ‘Okay, we got this done in Montana—it’s going to be easy in Washington,’” Bullock told me. But he has a suggestion for how to start: new federal campaign-finance laws to fight the world that’s sprung up since the Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision, pushing members of Congress to put bills on the floor once they come through the committee process and not just at the whims of the leadership, and end the filibuster in the Senate to make more people answerable for their votes. All of that, of course, would be up to the Senate, which is a job that Bullock has forcefully rejected considering.

Yes, this makes perfect sense: running for president on a platform of changing the Senate, rather than, you know, running for Senate in a place where Bullock might just be the only Democrat with a shot at winning.

Is it possible to know nothing about a candidate and simultaneously know everything you need to know about them? I think so.

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