Donald Trump

Is Massachusetts Congressman Seth Moulton the Future of the Democratic Party?

The 2020 presidential election is still more than three years away, but for Democrats desperate to take back the White House, the time is now to start thinking about what kind of a candidate to run against Donald Trump.

Former Vice President Joe Biden is already pushing back on pressure from Democrats hoping he'll consider a political comeback. He is one of a few candidates, along with Sens. Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders - all over 65 - who Democrats are looking toward as early front runners.

But many Democrats are also questioning if that is a winning model against a candidate like Trump. Which is why many are open to finding new blood - a younger, possibly less polarizing figure.

Democratic political consultant Kevin Franck said Democrats have a precedent for promoting young candidates "who represent the Vanguard of the new generation the way that JFK did, the way that Bill Clinton did, the way that Barack Obama did when they won."

Who do the Republicans most fear? GOP political consultant Pat Griffin says not Warren or Sanders.

"Someone who sort of comes out of nowhere, like Trump did," he said. "The Democrats haven't come up with anything yet, even with Trump's bombast, that can compete with his directness and the change agent he is to Washington."

What Democrats need, Griffin said, is a change agent.

So who are the members of the new guard? One name that keeps surfacing is Massachusetts Congressman Seth Moulton.

Moulton has stellar credentials, including a Harvard education and a significant stint in the military that includes four tours in Iraq. Combine that with his desire to reach across the aisle - while at the same time blasting Trump - and you can see why he's become one to watch.

Last week, Moulton hosted eight of his Capitol Hill colleagues - New Democrats, he called them - from around the country to experience the state's innovation economy.

"It's a group of Democrats who are very willing to a work across the aisle," he said.

Moulton has been distinguishing himself as a moderate voice for change in Congress. He led a group of Democrats who backed Congressman Tim Ryan in an attempt to unseat House Minority leader Nancy Pelosi. And he has been one of Trump's most visible critics.

"Given Seth Moulton's background as a veteran and an Iraq war veteran, it opens up a whole new group of people that he can talk to that he has some feeling of community with," Franck said. 

And it's not just Democrats who are impressed.

"He and I disagree on things politically," Griffin said, "but the bottom line is this is a guy who can not only can appeal to the Democratic base, but can also begin to move to a place where Elizabeth Warren can never go and Bernie Sanders can never go - which is the middle, which is independence. That's how you win elections."

Moulton is one of a number of Congressmen and Congresswomen willing to push against the status quo - including fellow Massachusetts Reps. Joe Kennedy and Katherine Clark - who are being considered as potential candidates in 2020.

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