- The Washington Times - Thursday, August 8, 2019

Robert Wolf, the founder and CEO of the investment firm 32Advisors and a former economic aide to Barack Obama, recently took to “Fox & Friends” to say to Democrats running for president in 2020: Hey guys, it’s time to “whittle the field.”

Agreed. Heartily agreed.

“If you’re not showing yourself to be electable, in my view, it’s time to move on,” Wolf said.

It’s been that time for some time, really.

The Zero-Percent Club of Democrat contenders includes these names: Kirsten Gillibrand, Bill de Blasio, Amy Klobuchar, Marianne Williamson, Tom Steyer, Michael Bennett, Tim Ryan, Tulsi Gabbard and Wayne Messam, according to Emerson College numbers.

The Near-Zero Club? Its members, according to the same recent poll, include Julian Castro, Cory Booker and Andrew Yang — and very nearly, almost, just about, Kamala Harris and quite possibly, Pete Buttigieg.

So time to whittle?

Actually, more to the truth, the whittling’s been done. It’s just time for the whittled to admit they’ve been whittled. Some of these candidates never even had a chance. The fact they entered the race at all shows only their personal, perhaps even selfish, ambitions to win some moments in the national spotlight, rake in a few campaign bucks and make a name that could buy them future opportunities in politics, business or what have you.

It’s high time to stop pretending.

“Hey, What Happened to Wayne Messam?” rang one headline from Splinter just this week.

The better headline could have been, “Hey, Who the Heck is Wayne Messam?”

It’s a headline that could have just as easily been affixed to stories about several of the other Democrat candidates, as well.

And it’s not that America doesn’t love a good political contest, or respect the political process of selection. But it’s that political campaigns in America have grown oh-so-very-long in recent times, to the point of never ending. Just as baseball season has bled into football season and football season into hockey season in the sports world, America’s presidential races seem to suffer the same sort of overlap, despite the four-year difference between actual elections.

And to what end?

For what benefit, save the selfish?

Republicans, in 2016, presented voters with a large menu of candidate choices. But at least these GOPers were fairly well-known. At least they had the political chops, the executive experience, the leadership backgrounds to stand on solid White House aspiration grounds. The few who didn’t — Jack Fellure, for instance, of West Virginia; Andy Martin, for another, of Connecticut — had the good sense to withdraw early. They didn’t even make it to the television debate phase, for goodness sake.

But Democrats? This batch of campaigning libs?

They’ve been stubbornly resistant to seeing reality.

“It should be about the polls,” Wolf said on Fox News.

But it’s not. If it were, only Joe Biden, Elizabeth Warren, Beto O’Rourke (dubious, but hey, OK), Bernie Sanders and maybe, just maybe, Harris and Buttigieg would remain in the race. Instead, the American people are being treated to a circus show of media punditry that suggests, in all seriousness, Gabbard, say, could break out and win — despite her 0.8% stat from Emerson, despite her similarly sad and sorry showing in other surveys, both recent and not-so-recent. Yes, she’s a good debater. Yes, Drudge Report polls put her as the debate winner.

But likely voters aren’t impressed enough to elect her. That’s what the polls say. And that’s what the polls are saying about most of the remaining Democrats in the White House race. Isn’t it time Democrats listened?

Even a former Obama adviser would say yes.

• Cheryl Chumley can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter, @ckchumley.

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