MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow doesn’t know who will oppose Donald Trump in the 2020 election, but cautions that current stars of the Democratic party might not be among the candidates.
“I think it is hard to know what’s going to happen over the next four years,” Maddow told TheWrap. “I feel like the only thing that seems clear to me is that individual leaders in the Democratic party and the Democratic party itself are called upon now to distinguish themselves in different ways then they might have been when Barack Obama was president.”
Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton essentially polarized the party in 2016, but Maddow feels that Democrats need to move forward if they want to defeat Trump.
“I don’t think that the Bernie/Hillary split in the Democratic Party is the most important thing in Democratic politics anymore,” Maddow said. “Different times call for different heroes … different leadership and different strategy.”
Maddow recently told TheWrap that her staff’s “internal mantra” is to treat the Trump administration like a silent movie and cover “only what they do, rather than what they say.” She has noticed a few rising stars in the Democratic Party that are making names for themselves by taking a page out of Maddow’s playbook and holding Trump accountable.
“We already have a set if household names, not just in Democratic politics but in politics at large that are different than what we were talking about leading up to the election,” she said, pointing to Sally Yates, Adam Schiff and Kirsten Gillibrand for “voting no on so many of the Trump cabinet nominees” and Jerrold Nandler for pursuing Trump’s taxes with “such aggression.”
“I’m not saying any of those people are candidates for president. I don’t even think that’s the right thing to be looking for at this point. It just shows you that you never really know who is going to be at the tip of the spear, who is going to be important and valuable when the whole character of the fight in the country changes,” Maddow said.
The MSNBC host explained that rising stars of the Democratic Party are often forgotten about by the time a presidential election rolls around, so people shouldn’t fall in love with a particular candidate.
“I remember during the George W. Bush era when Henry Waxman was a huge deal, people thought he was going to run for president because in Congress he had a key oversight role and he played it like a pit bull,” she said. “Who knows exactly how it’s going to evolve but I think a lot of Democratic elected officials are thinking about what they’ve got to offer … this is sort of their moment to do something that is important for the whole country.”
In February, “The Rachel Maddow Show” racked up MSNBC’s largest total viewer audience ever in the 9 p.m. ET timeslot and the best performance among the key news demo of adults age 25-54 since November 2012.