Steve Schmidt: In an unexpected turn of events, English Dean Phillips, a prominent figure known for his lineage as a liquor heir, gelato prince, and step-grandson of the renowned advice columnist Dear Abby, has officially thrown his hat in the ring for the Democratic nomination for president. Phillips, also serving as a Democratic congressman from Minnesota, filed the necessary paperwork with the Federal Election Commission on Thursday night, marking a significant moment in his political career.
Phillips is set to make his official announcement in Manchester, New Hampshire, on Friday. This move comes right before the deadline to appear on the primary ballot in the state. While some may perceive Phillips’ candidacy as a longshot, his chances of winning the Democratic primary in New Hampshire appear promising due to an intriguing twist – Joe Biden, the former president and fellow Democratic contender, will not be featured on the ballot.
The Democratic National Committee’s decision to strip New Hampshire of its delegates due to its refusal to reschedule its primary later in the year paved the way for this unique situation. State officials argue that their hands are tied by state law, leading to Biden’s absence from the ballot. This marks the first instance in history where a sitting president will not be featured on the ballot in New Hampshire.
While winning the primary may not translate to securing the nomination in terms of delegates, it could significantly impact the attention garnered by Phillips’ campaign. The mastermind behind this gamble is none other than former Republican operative Steve Schmidt, a name well-known for his role as John McCain’s campaign manager during the 2008 presidential election. Schmidt, who has spent the past decade and a half trying to redeem himself after his controversial decision involving Sarah Palin as McCain’s running mate, is now advising Phillips.
Schmidt’s involvement in Phillips’ campaign adds an intriguing layer to this political story. His reputation as a strategic consultant, coupled with Phillips’ unconventional candidacy, has generated mixed reactions within political circles. Rick Wilson, a co-founder of the anti-Trump Lincoln Project alongside Schmidt, has been vocal in his criticism. Wilson, a former consultant to George H.W. Bush, has labeled Phillips a “suicide bomber” pushed into this campaign by consultants with questionable motives.
As Phillips steps into the spotlight, all eyes are on the unfolding dynamics of this unique political race. With Schmidt’s guidance and a wave of curiosity surrounding his candidacy, Phillips’ journey in the Democratic primary promises to be a captivating narrative in the upcoming political landscape.