Dave Begley: Live from Council Bluffs

Our occasional correspondent Dave Begley was on hand when the obscure (John) Delaney clause in the field of Democratic presidential candidates brought his quixotic campaign for the Democratic presidential nomination to Iowa this week (photo of Dave with Delany courtesy of Dave). Dave is a Nebraska attorney practicing elder law and estate planning in Omaha. Dave posed a question to Delaney from the small group gathered to hear him and filed this report:

Today I depart from my regular format. I thought Power Line readers might find a genuine answer to my question interesting for personal reasons when they are facing long odds, if that’s what I got:

DDB: Congressman, you are a man of great achievement. You graduated from Columbia and Georgetown Law. You started two businesses and took them both public. You were elected to the House of Representatives. But right now, you’re not doing so good. So how do you keep going? What motivates you?

JD: Well, I’m married to an amazing woman [some women chuckle] and I have four amazing daughters. And so actually that’s what keeps me going in life. [Applause]….

Good point and who could disagree with that? The candidate then used my question to make his pitch:

JD: Listen, I’ll tell you why I am running for president. Because the “why” really matters. To me that’s the most important thing. I believe in my heart and soul that what I’m running on, which is to bring the country together and start solving some of these problems that we all know are solvable and lead a country where we can rethink our future in a positive way. I really believe that.

The odds have always been against me. When I started my first business – you know how Donald Trump got 400 million bucks from his dad – my dad helped me carry in the furniture. No one expected me to succeed. I was the youngest CEO in the history of the New York Stock Exchange. I’ve created thousands of jobs. My businesses were well admired. … When I first ran for Congress, no one said I could win…. I believe I am going to win this…. We have to beat Trump. That’s actually all that matters…. I believe we have to beat him with a candidate that can win the center. … This election is not going to be a turnout election. We’re going to have a huge turnout. This election is going to be fought in the center. … The candidate that wins that [the center] is going to win in 2020 and the candidate that wins that is one who can go toe-to-toe with Trump and kick his ass. [Applause].

Delaney seems to me a cross between Bobby Jindal and Carly Fiorina: Rhodes Scholar smart and with great business savvy. That combination, however, didn’t even work in the Republican party. I don’t see it would work in the Democrat primary.

Delaney holds himself out as a big climate warrior. He proposes net zero carbon emissions by 2050. He wants to put a price on carbon and “give it back to the people.” He also spoke of subsidizing the new direct air capture industry. This apparently involves sucking carbon out of the air and then transporting it in pipelines that would be built parallel to existing oil and gas pipelines.

I was surprised to hear that 70 percent of Florida Republicans believe in catastrophic anthropogenic global warming. Delaney purports to think he can swing the votes of Senators Rubio and Scott and voters in other coastal states. For a look at a carbon tax bill that Delaney supported, see Willis Eschenbach’s Watts Up With That? post “The Deutch energy tax.”

Delaney believes Americans – and apparently illegal aliens – have the right to own their own data and the right to digital privacy. I doubt that Google and Facebook would approve.

He is, of course, in favor of universal health care. Since he is a union man, however, he doesn’t favor a single payer system.

I was also surprised to hear from a Georgetown Law graduate that since 60 percent of Americans allegedly get their news from social media there is a need to regulate it. The First Amendment applies to the New York Times, Facebook, President Trump’s tweets and Power Line.

In addition to his dystopian plan for net zero carbon emissions, he had one particularly eccentric idea: the US would essentially replicate the UK’s Prime Minister’s question time. Congress and the President would debate issues for three hours once every quarter. This may be a naked bid to enlist the support of C-SPAN aficionados.


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