Democrats' first 2020 debate is only months away

Those hoping for a break from high-pressure politics after the November midterms are out of luck. After just a short couple of months to catch our collective breath, it'll be time to start thinking about the 2020 presidential election.
The first Democratic presidential debate is just months away, Politico reported Monday, and potential candidates are already vying for one of the primetime spots on the debate stage.
"By the early spring at the latest you'll be seeing debates, and I think probably in the first quarter of 2019," David Axelrod, a top adviser to former President Barack Obama, said on his recent podcast. "I think the sense of urgency among Democrats, and the sense of possibility among potential candidates is such that you're going to see that."
Prospective candidates like Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) and former Vice President Joe Biden already have name recognition across the country, but other presidential hopefuls need to start fundraising and strategizing intensely enough that they earn a spot on the first debate stage. If there are too many candidates, like in the 2016 GOP primary, Democrats will need to be broken into two groups, with the second debate group being seen as second-tier candidates.
"The first stage gets the primetime hour, the second group gets the 11 o'clock hour and you're competing with Jimmy Kimmel or Stephen Colbert," former Iowa Gov. Tom Vilsack told Politico"Good luck with that." Whether any Democrats will announce their candidacy as memorably as President Trump did remains to be seen, but either way, they will have just months to ramp up their campaigns before running full steam ahead toward 2020.Now that Beyonce and Jay-Z are off the road, another power couple is taking their place: Hillary and Bill Clinton.
The Clintons announced Monday they will visit four cities in 2018 and nine in 2019 across North America in a series of conversations dubbed “An Evening with President Bill Clinton and former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton.” It is being produced by tour promoter Live Nation, the company behind Michelle Obama’s massive tour to promote her new book as well as tours for Beyonce, Taylor Swift and Bruno Mars.
The couple will hold joint conversations at the shows and share “stories and inspiring anecdotes that shaped their historic careers in public service, while also discussing issues of the day and looking toward the future,” Live Nation said.
The Clintons remain a favorite target of Republicans and their re-emergence on the political scene weeks ahead of the midterms could give the GOP fresh fodder and create headaches for Democrats seeking to move on from the 2016 election.
They will kick off the trek Nov. 18 in Las Vegas at 5,200-seat Park Theater. They will visit Toronto’s Scotiabank Arena on Nov. 27, Montreal’s Bell Centre on Nov. 28 and Smart Financial Center in Sugar Land, Texas, on Dec. 4.
“Attendees will have the opportunity to hear one-of-a-kind conversations with the two leaders as they tell their stories from some of the most impactful moments in modern history. From the American presidency to the halls of the Senate and State Department, to one of the United States’ most controversial and unpredictable presidential elections, they provide a unique perspective on the past, and remarkable insight into where we go from here,” Live Nation said in a statement.
The Clintons’ first show next year will be April 11 at the nearly 3,000-seat Beacon Theatre in New York. The tour wraps May 4 at the Forum in Inglewood, California.
The Clintons will also visit Philadelphia’s The Met, Detroit’s Fox Theatre, DAR Constitution Hall in Washington, D.C., and Opera House in Boston.
Tickets go on sale Friday at 10 a.m. local time at LiveNation.com.