Former Maryland congressman John Delaney, a man so obscure I couldn’t use his name in the headline, is running for president on a bold platform of “nothing good is possible.” For some reason, he hasn’t gained much traction, so he’s turned to trolling in order to break through the crowded Democratic field.
Over the weekend, Delaney was heartily booed at the California Democratic Party’s state convention, a crowd of notoriously progressive Democrats, for using his time to slam Medicare for All. He then tried to Tweet Through It, which is inadvisable under any circumstance. One person who noticed his tweets, however, was logged on Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez:
Delaney responded with the standard refrain of a man who hasn’t been owned: Debate me, coward.
Unfortunately for Delaney, Ocasio-Cortez wasn’t having it. Corbin Trent, the congresswoman’s communications director, was asked by ABC News about the prospect of such a debate, and responded with a resounding, “Lord, no. I think she’s said her piece.” The response bewildered at least one Atlantic reporter, but makes complete sense if you think about it for even half a second.
According to a recent Morning Consult poll, roughly a quarter of people polled have apparently heard enough about John Delaney to form an actual opinion of him. He’s languishing at 1 percent in that same poll, alongside spirit healer Marianne Williamson. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, on the other hand, is already one of the notable active names in the Democratic Party after having been in Congress for all of five months. What could she—or the movement for Medicare for All—possibly stand to gain from debating this guy?
If Delaney actually wanted to debate Ocasio-Cortez, there was an easier way to do so—in Congress. But Delaney gave his congressional seat up in 2018 in order to make a vanity run for president as an off-brand Howard Schultz. (One measure where Delaney does top the Democratic field? Personal wealth.)
And so now Delaney is relegated to being humiliated in the Democratic primary and taking a page out of a certain right-wing infant’s book by demanding Ocasio-Cortez’s time and platform. Don’t worry, though—if history is our guide, Delaney will be punching left in a regular cable news gig by the time the Democratic National Convention rolls around next summer.