‘People would be foolish to underestimate Michael Avenatti,’ says Nicolle Wallace
Porn actress Stormy Daniels’ lawyer Michael Avenatti, who was made famous by non-stop coverage on CNN, is getting serious consideration from MSNBC as the next commander in chief.
Avenatti traveled to the Iowa State Fair and said Thursday, which is the unofficial kick-off of 2020 Iowa Caucus campaigning, with a flood of White House hopefuls speaking at a major annual Democratic Party fundraiser. Over 20 possible Democratic contenders have visited Iowa in the past two years, but never in such quick succession.
Friday’s biggest attraction — Michael Avenatti, attorney for adult film star Stormy Daniels and cable news phenom — grabbed nearly all the headlines and pointed to what may lie ahead for the Democratic primary. He quickly cut to the chase about his peculiar appearance at the Iowa Democratic Wing Ding Dinner in Northern Iowa, The Daily Beast reported.
“What, you may be asking, is a porn star lawyer doing here tonight to speak with you about our party and our republic?” Avenatti said at the top of his speech.
He’s considering a run for the presidency, and MSNBC panelists say Stormy Daniels’ lawyer ‘stands out’ as a 2020 contender.
The Free Beacon reports:
Wallace said Avenatti’s massage of being a “fighter,” telling his personal story, and connecting with voters “hit a lot of the right notes.” He talked about shaking up Washington, which Wallace likened to Trump’s own populist rise.
Avenatti has no political experience or known policy expertise, but he has gone on television numerous times since his client, Daniels, filed a defamation lawsuit against Trump. Daniels alleges she had an affair with Trump and was paid not to talk about it, which Trump has denied.
Philip Rucker, the Washington Post‘s White House Bureau Chief, said Avenatti stands out among Democratic candidates for how he resembles Trump.
“You look at the field of Democrats right now, and Avenatti’s the one who stands out. He’s the one who’s not a politician,” Rucker said. “If he gives the base what they’re looking for and shows he can go toe-to-toe with Trump, he’d have a chance.”
Wallace said Democrats may want someone with Avenatti’s fighting spirit.
“It they decide they value a fighter most, people would be foolish to underestimate Michael Avenatti,” Wallace said.
Political science professor and MSNBC contributor Jason Johnson agreed.
“I have always said they need a fighter,” Johnson said. “You need someone who is not going to take the high road because the high road doesn’t work with this guy [Trump].”
Johnson suggested Avenatti run with Eric Holder, the former attorney general in the Obama administration who has been floating his own potential candidacy.
“Democrats are going to want to win, and whoever they think can win, regardless of what his or her background might be, that person can be ahead,” Johnson said. “And if Avenatti can give a good speech, why not?”
The lone dissenter on Avenatti’s prospects was Jennifer Rubin, a Washington Post columnist.
“Just because Donald Trump ran as a celebrity and has become the worst president in history, doesn’t mean the Democrats should duplicate it,” Rubin said.
She said Democrats are different from Republicans because “they do care about some of the policy issues.”
“They better get someone with a decent personality,” Rubin said. When Wallace asked who that might be, Rubin said they haven’t found one.
Wallace said she has not talked to a single Democrat who feels good about their pool of potential Trump challengers. She also said she was not pushing for Avenatti but merely considering his chances.
“I’m not advocating for another person who hasn’t worked in politics, I’m just saying, why not?” Wallace said.