Democrats, stop talking about the blue wave

NY Congressional primary winner Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has become a star in the Democratic Party.
NY Congressional primary winner Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has become a star in the Democratic Party. AP


Over here…behind the cardboard refrigerator box in the alley. That’s it. Just come a little bit closer.

Why am I hiding? That’s easy. Because I don’t want just anyone to hear what I have to say.

Why is that?

Because I’m a Democrat who thinks we all need to shut up about all this blue wave stuff.

You say the midterms are OURS and then it’s on to 2020?


Are you crazy? Keep your expectations low. OK, lower still. Think snake-in-snowshoes low. I’m very superstitious. And, yes, that is a dusting of salt on your shoulders. You’re welcome.

Look, two things. First, stop talking like we’ve already got this in the bag. We don’t. There is much work to be done.

Second, and this is the really hard one to say out loud, but someone has to do it: If you’re old and white and male and you want to run for Congress or the presidency, thank you for your service. Now donate, knock on doors or take snacks and water bottles to the young, dewy-eyed canvassers but FOR THE LOVE OF GOD stay out of the race.

Has Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez taught you nothing? Stacey Abrams? Cory Booker?

The news that John Kerry hasn’t ruled out a 2020 presidential run should register one reaction from Democrats: Just no. 2004 called and wants its yellow Livestrong bracelets back. Even with the telegenic Chiclet-toothed John Edwards as his running mate, Kerry couldn’t win. Or to put it another way, the last time Kerry ran for president, “Napoleon Dynamite,” a movie about a quirky, fractious teen, was making its debut.

I know Kerry says it’s unlikely he’d run but I’m saying — just between us — he needs to never even speak the words.


Oh, Uncle Joe. Everyone’s favorite veep meme. But Joe Biden and pseudo Dem Bernie Sanders, another prez possibility, are in their late 70s and — I will whisper this because it sounds so horribly ageist — they’re too old to run for president.

They just are. I’m too old to wear purple eyeshadow and spaghetti straps. I just am.

There’s a wonderful scene in “Raising Arizona” in which Holly Hunter noisily demands a toddler. “Go get me a toddler,” she says over and over to Nick Cage, who, amazingly, delivers. Tweaking this a bit is my new mantra: “Go get me a Kennedy.”

Let’s just settle this here and now. Joe Kennedy III, who will be 39 in 2020 is my choice. Or, perhaps he could be the veep nominee to a firebrand of the future like Kamala Harris or Kirsten Gillibrand. We Dems have a lot of talent with little name recognition. We need to focus.

The time is near. They are watching us in Trumpland. We need to get it together and do it quickly. I’m the candidate whisperer. Let’s do this.

Celia Rivenbark is a New York Times best-selling author and columnist. Visit www.celiarivenbark.com.