Yes, it’s much too early, but I count at least fourteen Democratic candidates for president in the 2020 election. Here are a few impressionistic words on each of the candidates.
The True Progressives
1. Bernie Sanders: Bernie is principled, sincere, honest, and dedicated to helping working people. Yes, he’s a “Democratic socialist,” which is scary to the mainstream media. The establishment of the Democratic Party is against him. Advantage, Bernie.
2. Elizabeth Warren: She identifies as a “capitalist,” but she’s proven she’s willing to take on Wall Street, the big banks, and other special interests. She’s intelligent, sharp, and committed. Her weakness: a lack of charisma and the whole “Pocahontas” angle, i.e. her identifying as Native American on past occasions.
3. Tulsi Gabbard: A military veteran who’s strongly against regime-change wars, a vocal critic of the military-industrial complex, Tulsi has demonstrated poise, thoughtfulness, and coolness under pressure. The DNC and media are against her because she’s independent-minded and refuses to bow down before special interests. A dark horse candidate who may catch fire. (I’m so excited I’m mixing metaphors.)
The Usual Suspects (Milquetoast Centrists)
1. Cory Booker: A water-bearer for Big Pharma, Booker has a pleasant demeanor but takes few chances.
2. Kamala Harris: A former prosecutor, Harris seems to love prisons more than schools.
3. Kirsten Gillibrand: Rumor has it she asked her friends on Wall Street whether it was OK for her to run. They apparently said “yes,” so she announced her formal candidacy today.
4. Amy Klobuchar: Already with a sad reputation for abusing her staff and making ill-judged jokes about it, Klobuchar is an uninspiring centrist.
5. Beto O’Rourke: A millionaire who married a woman who will apparently inherit billions, Beto showed up in Iowa speaking in platitudes about the wonders of democracy in the USA. His only firm principle is that he believes he deserves to be in the race, perhaps because he looks a little like a Kennedy if you squint really hard.
1. John Hickenlooper: A governor from Colorado, Hickenlooper made his money by opening a micro-brewery. At a campaign appearance in Iowa, somebody broke a glass, and he helped to clean it up. Though he was afraid to say he was a “capitalist” on TV, Hickenlooper may have some potential.
2. Jay Inslee: Governor of Washington State, he’s made fighting climate change the central issue of his campaign. He’s got one of the big issues right, so advantage to Inslee.
Wild Cards and Also-Rans
1. Andrew Yang: A former venture capitalist and unconventional thinker, Yang has caught people’s attention by talking about a guaranteed income for all. A possible anti-Trump in the sense he’s a successful financier with brains and heart.
2. Pete Buttigieg: A gay mayor who’s also a veteran, Buttigieg got some air time recently by referring to Trump as a “porn president.” Comes across like a young Mr. Rogers.
3. Julian Castro: Formerly Secretary of Housing and Urban Development under Obama. And that’s all I know.
4. John Delaney: I just saw his name today. The end.
The Ultimate Centrist and Establishment Man
1. Joe Biden: Hasn’t yet announced, but it looks like he will. The presumed front-runner based on name recognition and his loyal service as Obama’s VP for eight years. Will have the full support of the mainstream media, the DNC, and the Washington establishment. A decent-enough man, Biden is effectively a moderate Republican.
Bracing Views, in all its power, fully supports Bernie Sanders and Tulsi Gabbard, real progressives who want to effect real change.
Which candidates do you like, readers? And which ones don’t you like? Look forward to your comments!
Update (3/19/19): Apparently two more candidates are waiting in the wings: Stacey Abrams and Andrew Gillum. Both are candidates of color who recently ran close but unsuccessful races in Georgia and Florida. Perhaps not presidential material (due to lack of experience on the national stage), they may emerge as strong candidates for a VP slot.