If you didn’t know who Seth Moulton is, or that he was running to win the Democratic Party’s 2020 presidential nomination, don’t feel bad. You’re not alone.
In fact, so few Americans were aware of Rep. Moulton’s campaign that the congressman was finally compelled to announce the inevitable on Friday — his presidential campaign is over. Moulton is the fifth Democratic candidate to drop out so far.
Moulton drops out
Moulton’s announcement came in an interview with The New York Times that was published on Friday and was set to coincide with a planned speech before the Democratic National Committee.
Moulton did not endorse any of his Democratic rivals for the nomination, but did speak highly of former Vice President Joe Biden. He suggested that, other than Biden, only Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren and Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders had any real shot at winning the party’s nod to take on President Donald Trump.
“I think it’s evident that this is now a three-way race between Biden, Warren and Sanders, and really it’s a debate about how far left the party should go,” Moulton told The Times.
That remark about “how far left” his party was willing to go was a crucial factor of his ill-fated candidacy. Moulton was one of the very few candidates attempting to hold a “moderate” position among a field of progressive candidates.
Moulton, a U.S. Marine Corps veteran who served multiple tours in the Iraq War, had spoken out against the drift toward socialism by some in his party.
In an interview in May, Moulton said, “There are elements of our party that are going too far toward socialism. The fact that I, as a Democrat, get asked now in interviews like this, ‘Are you a socialist?’ I mean, I never even imagined that a few years ago. Give me a break, I’m a Democrat, not a socialist.”
Plans to continue in Congress
Though his presidential campaign never got off the ground — Moulton never drew more than 0 percent in the polls and raised only $1.2 million — he isn’t ready to throw in the towel on his political career quite yet.
Moulton intends to run for re-election for the Congressional seat he first won in 2014, and which led to his being a member of the House Armed Services and House Budget Committees. He reportedly faces several Democratic primary challengers for the seat.
As part of his re-election bid, Moulton plans to relaunch his old political action committee, Serve America, which places a focus on veterans and military service issues, such as post-traumatic stress disorder — something he has dealt with personally since his service in Iraq.
Moulton never really had a chance at earning his party’s presidential nomination, but while conservatives will differ with him on a variety of issues, his remaining in the Democratic Party should be supported, if only to stave off the creep of socialism from the far-left.