California Democratic Rep. Eric Swalwell ended his run for the presidency on Monday afternoon, making him the first candidate in the primary to drop out of the contest, but was anybody ever taking his campaign for the White House seriously? Was he?
Swalwell, who never managed to poll above 0 percent, managed to make it on the stage on the second night at the Democrats’ first debate in Miami last month.
Hints that Swalwell would end his campaign happened when he canceled Independence Day events in New Hampshire last week.
However, speculation about Swalwell’s run around capitol hill often included ulterior motives that attached themselves to the California Democrat.
Some wondered if he, like several others still in the race, simply used his run as a vehicle for: raising money, raising his name ID, or be considered for a higher office or appointment in a future Democratic administration.
This does not mean Swalwell may not have wanted to stay in the race longer and at least not be the first candidate to drop out, after all, political newcomer Maryanne Williamson has managed to survive in the primary longer than Swalwell.
Swalwell ran on stock liberal campaign issues, particularly gun control.
“Keep your pistols, keep your rifles, keep your shotguns, but we can take the most dangerous weapons from the most dangerous people,” he said during the debate when explaining his mandatory buyback program.
He later could not exactly explain how law enforcement would enforce such a policy but did say that police would be exempt from it.
He also went after former Vice President Joe Biden for being too old to run for office at the same debate in Miami.
“I was 6 years old when a presidential candidate came to the California Democratic Convention and said, ‘It’s time to pass the torch to a new generation of Americans.’ That candidate was then-Sen. Joe Biden,” Swalwell said. “Joe Biden was right when he said it was ‘time to pass the torch’ to a new generation of Americans 32 years ago. He’s still right today.”
However, the moment only caused backlash and accusations of ageism against Swalwell, particularly from Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders.
The short-lived Swalwell campaign must now transition to a re-election campaign where he will face off primary challenger Aisha Wahab for his Northern California seat.