Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) is one of the most-frequently mentioned politicians when the 2020 Democratic nomination for president is discussed, but the veteran senator said he's "not close" to wanting to enter that race, according to the Cincinnati Enquirer.
Brown is currently defending his Senate seat against Republican challenger Rep. Jim Renacci in a state that President Donald Trump won by 8 points in 2016.
"I'm not actively considering it," Brown said in an interview with the Enquirer, answering in a way that leaves the door open for him to consider it once he's past his Senate race.
What else did he say about it?
Brown acknowledged that he has heard the presidential buzz around his name, and that he has thought about the possibility of running for president even though he's not ready to commit himself to it right now.
"I don’t have the great desire to be president like a lot of my colleagues do," Brown said. "I hear it more and more. I think about it from time to time, but I'm not close to wanting to do that."
Why wouldn't he want to run?
The bigger picture of Congress might influence whether Brown wants to run for president, similar to how it influenced Hillary Clinton's thought process when she considered him for her running mate in the 2016 election.
At that time, Democrats didn't want to sacrifice Brown's Senate seat for him to run with Clinton; Republican Gov. John Kasich would certainly have appointed a Republican replacement.
That line of thinking puts a lot of stake in the 2018 gubernatorial election, which features Republican Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine against Democrat Richard Cordray, a former Ohio Attorney General and former head of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.
If Cordray wins, that would make it easier for Brown to give up his Senate seat to run for president, knowing he will be replaced by a Democrat.
For now, Brown will continue to focus on securing the Senate seat he's held since 2007. Multiple polls show Brown has a comfortable double-digit lead over Renacci.
(H/T The Hill)