“Even as their staffs and political advisers have already begun scouting out office space, interviewing potential aides, and plotting out strategy for the 2020 presidential election, most haven’t completely made up their minds about entering what’s expected to be one of the most crowded primary contests in history.” – NPR, 11/14/18

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Everywhere I go across this great nation, everyone from hard-working coal miners to dedicated public school teachers come up to me and ask, “Senator, are you going to run for president in 2020?” Journalists have been asking the same question in every interview I give, and I’m constantly mentioned in articles listing possible 2020 candidates. While this is all very flattering, let me say once and for all that I haven’t even considered running for president in 2020. I mean, the presidential election is so far away, it’s really the last thing our party should be worrying about right now. That being said, I understand some of the confusion given the 2020 presidential campaign buttons with my name on them that, due to a shipping error, were accidentally delivered to the office of the DNC.

Now, I can understand what this looks like, but I can explain. By no means did I commission someone to design a presidential campaign logo, then order a shipment of buttons with said logo on them. That would be an insane thing for a person who hasn’t even thought about running in 2020 to do. You see, what happened was that I recently had an eye doctor appointment and I got the all clear from my optometrist that I still had 20/20 vision. So obviously I ordered a box of buttons to commemorate the positive diagnoses, as one does.

However, I understand that this misunderstanding has only increased presidential speculation, even though that’s the last thing I ever could want. Many people also point to my recent trips to Iowa and New Hampshire as proof that I must be plotting a run for the highest office in the land. But the fact of the matter is that Iowa just happens to be my go-to vacation destination. What’s more relaxing than visiting one of Iowa’s several agricultural museums? And personally, I’ve always said that Cedar Rapids is the Miami of the Midwest (speaking of which, Florida’s another great state). And I didn’t go to the Iowa State Fair because of the caucus, I went because I’m passionate about butter sculptures.

Also, my recent trip to New Hampshire was simply the result of a wrong turn I made while driving. I pulled over for directions and, lo and behold, I found myself shaking hands, kissing babies, and talking about the economy in a rural diner with blue-collar workers. Purely accidental. I don’t even know how those photographers got there!

So the idea that I’m spending day in and day out coming up with ideas for catchy slogans, or daydreaming about who will play me on SNL, or adding songs to a Spotify playlist titled “Campaign Songs” is totally preposterous.

I am very happy right where I am, in the Senate. All of my focus is on fighting for the people in my state, as well as people in other states such as Florida, Ohio, and Pennsylvania, just for example, and promoting progressive values and ideals. And quite frankly I’m too busy pushing through legislation, fighting Trump’s policies, and setting up my super PAC to even think about 2020 right now.

So let me say this definitively, once and for all: I am not running for president. But please note that I’m using the present tense, as in “I’m not, in this very moment, right now, today, actively running for president.” You see how words can mean different things like that? Anyway, I hope this puts this rampant speculation to rest. I won’t even entertain the idea of a run until we’re much closer to the presidential election actually kicking off, which at this point is still weeks away.