Presidential candidate John Delaney’s fine with the fact he’s no ‘household name’

  • John Delaney speaking with voters in Londonderry on Monday. PAUL STEINHAUSER / For the Monitor

  • John Delaney in Exeter in January. PAUL STEINHAUSER / For the Monitor

For the Monitor
Friday, March 09, 2018

The only declared 2020 Democratic presidential candidate is beefing up his campaign in New Hampshire.

And in an interview with the Monitor, Congressman John Delaney of Maryland also vowed to go up later this year on Granite State airwaves with campaign commercials.

This past week Delaney made his sixth trip to New Hampshire since announcing last summer that he would launch a White House campaign instead of running for re-election in 2018. Delaney met with Democratic activists and Granite State voters at events in Conway and Londonderry.

Delaney told the Monitor that he now has a full-time paid campaign staffer on the ground in the first-in-the-nation primary state.

Last month Delaney spent $1 million to run campaign TV commercials in Iowa.

He said he’ll “absolutely” have TV and radio spots running in New Hampshire as well. He said he’ll film the ads on the ground in the Granite State and they’ll run later this year.

Delaney, 54, was raised in northern New Jersey by working-class parents. He found success as a banking entrepreneur and is worth nearly $90 million, making him one of the wealthiest members of the U.S. House.

But he’s anything but a household name outside of his Maryland congressional district. And he’s considered a long shot in a Democratic presidential field that could eventually include 15 to 20 candidates.

But Delaney said that’s just what Democratic voters want.

“I think the party realizes that we’ve gotten destroyed in elections recently. We’ve lost the House, the Senate, the White House. We’ve lost two-thirds of the governors and a 1,000 state legislator seats. And so we have a problem,” he said. “And I think the Democratic Party realizes that we need new leaders with new ideas to get us out of this situation.”

Delaney compared the style of his grassroots campaign to that of a former Georgia governor who came out of nowhere to win the presidency.

“In many ways I’m running an old-fashioned kind of style campaign. The best analogy to what I’m doing is what Jimmy Carter did in 1976,” Delaney said. “In 1974, the New York Times wrote a story about the 35 people likely to be the Democratic nominee for president and Jimmy Carter wasn’t on the list. But what he did was get in really early and spend a lot of time in the really important states.”

And he predicted that by the end of this year, when the 2020 White House race will formally get underway, “we’re in the game.”