Stormy Daniels’ lawyer, Michael Avenatti, ventured out of the scandal bubble for a few days and visited Iowa. He was the featured speaker (30 minutes!) for the Democratic Wing Ding Dinner. For a man being overly coy about presidential ambitions, Avenatti sure is embracing Iowa.
Unlike many 2020 presidential candidate wannabes, Avenatti has made several trips to the Iowa State Fair and Thursday he said he is seriously considering a bid for the Democratic presidential nomination, in preparation of his dinner appearance. Only two other presidential hopefuls or rumored hopefuls were in attendance at the Wing Ding Dinner. To put it kindly, they are both long shots. Maryland Rep. John Delaney, who has declared his candidacy, and Ohio Rep. Tim Ryan who is seriously contemplating a run.
“I’m here to listen to the great people of Iowa, explore the fair and see whether it makes sense to run for the presidency or not,” Avenatti said. “I’m serious about considering it. I haven’t made a decision as to what I’m going to do. I’ll make a decision in the coming weeks. Maybe a bit longer than that.”
Hmm. It is certainly well-established by now, if you have seen any of his appearances on cable television, the man has a very healthy ego. He enjoys the spotlight and he’s ready for a fight. Sounds like politician material to me. Is he in Iowa testing the waters for a presidential run? I think so. Why else is a Los Angeles lawyer visiting the Iowa State Fair? He talks like a candidate.
“The message is going to center on the need to take the fight to this President and that is the only way the Democratic Party is going to get back the White House,” he said. “And, furthermore, it is not just about fighting against Donald Trump, we also have to fight for things, we have to fight for Medicare for all, we have to fight for working people, we have to fight for college affordability.”
It sounds as though he plans to pattern a run like the one Trump did. He’s all about the fight and he is ok with abandoning civility. He wants to out-Trump Trump, so to speak.
“I know some of you may disagree with me. The answer to Donald Trump, you may say, is to do just the opposite of Donald Trump. Being noble, being kind, being classy. And I am all for each of those things,” he said. “But tonight, with our country under an unprecedented assault by a con man who fights only for himself and degrades the vulnerable and the powerless and regular hardworking people day in and day out, I believe that we must honestly ask ourselves as a party whether those we fight for can afford our gentleness.”
He added, “The moment we are living in is grave. It is critical. Trump doesn’t have the character, the heart, the knowledge or the wisdom to be President of the United States of America.”
Other high profile Iowa candidates didn’t show up, though. Some officials declined to attend the dinner once Avenatti’s name was mentioned as the speaker.
Local Iowa top candidates didn’t attend the dinner. Most decided to decline after hearing of Avenatti’s appearance.
But even as Avenatti boosted turnout, he made it difficult for some of Iowa’s Democratic candidates to attend the event.
The party’s gubernatorial candidate, Fred Hubbell, did not attend the dinner, citing a scheduling conflict. Neither did Cindy Axne and Abby Finkenauer, two Democrats running for Congress in Iowa
Black said the event sold around 300 to 400 extra tickets he attributes to Avenatti, but he added that Hubbell, Iowa secretary of agriculture candidate Tim Gannon and state auditor candidate Rob Sand all decided not to attend after Avenatti was announced.
Iowa isn’t ready for Avenatti. Since he is traveling with Matt Paul, a Democratic strategist that worked on Hillary Clinton’s 2016 campaign, maybe Avenatti will go on a listening tour to make his decision on whether or not to run. Those tours did wonders for Hillary. Lol!
— Michael Avenatti (@MichaelAvenatti) August 11, 2018