Delaney dropped out of the nomination process on Friday
Delaney dropped out of the nomination process on Friday (Photo: Gage Skidmore, reproduced under Creative Commons license(

John Delaney has end­ed his bid for the Demo­c­ra­t­ic nomination.

You could be for­giv­en for ask­ing: “John who?”

Delaney dropped out of the nomination process on Friday
Delaney dropped out of the nom­i­na­tion process on Fri­day (Pho­to: Gage Skid­more, repro­duced under Cre­ative Com­mons license(

The for­mer rep­re­sen­ta­tive from Mary­land was actu­al­ly the first Demo­c­rat to announce his bid for the White House, all the way back in July 2017, but has spent two and a half years mak­ing almost no impact at all on the race.

Delaney – who poured over $20 mil­lion of his per­son­al for­tune into this point­less bid for pow­er – final­ly con­ced­ed defeat on Fri­day, only three days before the Iowa Demo­c­ra­t­ic cau­cus­es. In a state­ment, Delaney admit­ted that he was unlike­ly to reach the 15% bar need­ed to reach the sec­ond bal­lot in cau­cus meet­ings, but wor­ried that remain­ing in the race might split the so-called “mod­er­ate” vote.

Even with this low assess­ment of his chances, Delaney was prob­a­bly over­selling him­self – his poll num­bers have dragged along below 1% for the entire­ty of his cam­paign, and over 60% of Democ­rats do not even know who he is, let alone why on earth they should entrust their vote to him.

This has been the case through­out his campaign.

Last autumn, at a time when his rival Bernie Sanders was draw­ing crowds of tens of thou­sands to his events, Delaney was able to muster a measly grand total of eleven sup­port­ers at a speech in Iowa. A reporter for The Guardian apt­ly described it: “A near total lack of support.”

Part of this dis­mal show­ing came from Delaney’s sin­gu­lar­ly unin­spir­ing mes­sage to Democ­rats. He declared that the bold plans of pro­gres­sives were a bridge too far, and promised to dis­tin­guish him­self by work­ing hand-in-glove with Repub­li­cans. He was dead wrong, and the vot­ers could see it with their own eyes.

His main pol­i­cy idea – that every­thing should stay more or less the same, and not change too much – was shown to be a farce at the sec­ond round of Demo­c­ra­t­ic debates. As he blath­ered along, com­par­ing pro­gres­sive pri­or­i­ties to “free stuff,” Eliz­a­beth War­ren final­ly turned to him and quipped: “I don’t under­stand why any­one would go to all the trou­ble of run­ning for pres­i­dent of the Unit­ed States just to talk about what we real­ly can’t do and shouldn’t fight for!”

Delaney’s con­cept of how to con­duct pol­i­tics was equal­ly dreadful.

He argued fierce­ly for the ben­e­fits of bipar­ti­san­ship„ pitch­ing him­self as a man who could reach across the aisle and work with Repub­li­cans – an argu­ment that makes no sense con­sid­er­ing that the Repub­li­can Par­ty has mor­phed into a Trump-wor­ship­ing cult that enthu­si­as­ti­cal­ly embraces scorched earth tactics.

Just where does Delaney fig­ure that com­pro­mise could be found? Has he not been wit­ness to the last few years of Repub­li­cans attack­ing pro­gres­sive insti­tu­tions and pri­or­i­ties with an almost man­ic gleefulness?

Delaney ought to know by now that Mitch McConnell is a man who does not give an inch. And the rest of his cau­cus are of the same mind.

John Delaney’s with­draw­al from the race will be met with indif­fer­ence from most vot­ers – and pos­si­bly a hint of relief from some Iowans, who have had almost three years of Delaney turn­ing up in their state to tell them that they shouldn’t dream too big. But we haven’t nec­es­sar­i­ly seen the last of Delaney, as sources say he is con­sid­er­ing a guber­na­to­r­i­al run in Mary­land in 2022.

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