Casey staying out of still-developing Dem 2020 race

The number of Democratic candidates seeking the party’s presidential nomination for 2020 will likely hover around two dozen.

The group will not include Pennsylvania Sen. Robert Casey.

Casey has been exploring the possibility of running for president in what promises to be a highly competitive race for the nomination.

He announced late last week that he has determined his greatest worth is in remaining a Pennsylvania senator representing the state’s constituents in that manner and influencing the party from that standpoint.

Given Casey’s status as a relatively moderate liberal Democrat, it’s hard to calculate just what that influence is at a time when the party is being heavily driven by its more radical left wing.

It would have been interesting to see how a voice that fits the more traditional Democratic platform would have fared in the presidential nomination race.

But we will never know.

So far, the race for the 2020 Democratic nomination has been marked by offbeat announcements from candidates choosing to make their big splash swilling beer online or trading barbs with late-night comedians.

It feels like there is a pronounced effort to be cool and attractive to the party’s younger voters who have tended thus far to favor a far left bordering on socialism platform.

Will that part of the party determine the Democratic nominee?

Will the more tradition liberal platform and candidates embodying it eventually hold sway for the nomination?

Will the party’s electorate base its votes on candidates perceived to be “beat Trump” centered or on the substance of their own ideas?

And, whatever posture wins out, how will it play on the national stage for the presidential election in the fall of 2020.

The only thing certain is a fascinating next 21 months. Our only wish – probably a naive one – is that the race not deteriorate into nothing more than daily blasts of President Trump and his response to them.

The Democratic Party – and nation – would be best served by a return to substantive debate on the issues that impact most Americans rather than the Beltway elite and high-paid consultants.