Booker, Beto, Bernie, and Biden: The Unannounced Democratic Presidential Candidates
Here’s the follow-up to yesterday’s column on Democratic presidential candidates which focused on those who have declared they’re running. Today’s continuation features a look at the top candidates who remain, at least for now — “undecided.”
READ: AN EARLY LOOK AT THE DEMOCRATIC PRESIDENTIAL FIELD
I believe the odds of Donald J. Trump either running or being the eventual nominee for re-election are less than 50 percent. There’s certainly some chance that Trump will either be indicted, impeached, won’t win his party’s bid, or hopefully save us all the giant embarrassment of a lengthy trial and choke on a bag of cheeseburgers.
However, under the unthinkable presumption that “Teflon Don” (Trump, not Gotti — though sometimes it’s hard to tell the difference) somehow manages to avoid prison and stay out of the grave, here’s my shrewd political analysis of the remaining Democratic presidential candidates, focusing on those who have yet to declare their candidacy nor make an official announcement about future plans.
Let the presidential derby now begin:
Cory Booker is the cleanest politician ever from New Jersey, the state widely viewed as The Sopranos of politics. Booker will likely be a force to contend with for decades to come. Yet, it remains to be seen if Booker wants to endure the same vicious mudslinging certain to blasted in his direction by the well-oiled Republican hate machine that smeared another trailblazing Black man who broke so many barriers for others. Indeed, the Right does have a vicious gift for making lies stick, even when things aren’t at all true. Sen. Booker isn’t much beloved by the far-Left, either — so he has some work to do. His ass-kissing capitulation to Big Pharma only a few years ago on the critically-important federal bill that would have allowed importing medicines from Canada (and elsewhere) at much cheaper prices set off a signal flare to progressives everywhere that this guy is no Booker T. Washington. Hell, he couldn’t even pass the cool test at a concert by Booker T. & the MGs. [Note: Google is your freind]. Sen. Booker also bombed in some national media spots in recent months, fumbling easy softball questions, which gives me pause that he’s ready for the scrutiny of a grueling national political campaign. It’s now up to Booker to prove me wrong and win our support. I’ll keep an open mind.
Beto O’Rourke is a charismatic former U.S. congressman representing El Paso, which I think is a town located somewhere in western Ecuador. He’s young, great-looking, energetic, and gives a fiery campaign speech. He even speaks fluent Spanish, which is certain lock up all the support of all those millions of undecided illegal aliens who dress in Halloween costumes and vote multiple times in our elections. Viva Beto! Trouble is — Beto lost to Holy Cruzader, who lost to Donald Trump. He couldn’t even beat “Lyin’ Ted.” Even most Republicans hate Ted Cruz. So, if Beto can’t defeat Cruz, how the bloody shit is he going to trump Trump on a much bigger stage? To Beto’s credit, he’s been cool as hell when under fire. Even when the guy sweats, he looks cool. Beto says all the right things. He’s a unifying force. He’s a fresh face, except for the fact he’s a White male — which means as a Texan within the Democratic Party he might as well be Lyndon Johnson campaigning at Hyannis Port. Probably a solid VP-choice at this point. Already, the hashtag #harisbeto2020 is trending on Twitter — I kid you not.
Bernie Sanders is the ideal progressive presidential candidate, provided you add a dash called a sense of humor and subtract about 20 years. I know, ageism isn’t fair. It’s downright discriminatory. Sanders would be 79 if somehow he’s inaugurated on Jan. 2021, which would be like awarding the “Best New Artist” Grammy to Bob Dylan. Yeah, the sound and message are inspiring — but what in the holy hell are you doing up there onstage, Bernie? History will rightly remember Sen. Sanders as a maverick political figure, the first in the modern era to run openly as an avowed Socialist yet not come across as the bastard lovechild between Stalin and Mao at Ho Chi Minh’s communist orgy. Bernie was that tasty souffle baked fresh and smelling so wonderfully delicious way back in the year 2016 when we were all naive and thought the monstrosity of Trump was impossible; but he’s now a stale political leftover, Thanksgiving turkey and dressing with freezer burns hopelessly distasteful to many voters should he mistakenly thaw (out of) his mind and decide to run. Please, Bernie — I beg of you and I say this as one of your most enthusiastic supporters — don’t run. Be the respected elder statesman. Continue to speak out. Be our voice on the critical issues. Be smart enough to recognize these time’s they are a-changin’ — but that you’re not the ideal candidate, nor the right personality for this race. Willie Mays, Mickey Mantle, Johnny Unitas — they all played at least one season too long. Learn from history, Bernie.
Joe Biden is a remarkable man, a marvelously gifted public servant, a political natural, and a beacon of abject sincerity. I even supported Biden once, but that was way back in 1988 when he first ran for president. Since then, Biden has padded his public image and enhanced his sterling reputation as a party leader and global statesman. He’s become a sort of Dwight D. Eisenhower figure within the modern Democratic Party, a likable and trusted old anchor that surely knows how to get things done. For this reason and given his Vice Presidential pedigree, Biden becomes the automatic ringmaster should he enter the big tent of the 2020 circus. But he also has Bernie’s age issue to contend with, which is an albatross. Fact is, Democrats are now looking to the future, not the past. As seasoned, sincere, and smart as Biden is as a national political candidate and voice for progressive policies, he’s going to have a tough time persuading many of us that he deserves to be the oldest nominee for president ever in American history. If only we could stick Biden, Bernie, Harris, and Beto into a political blender and hit the whip button — that would be the perfect Democrat milkshake. I defy anyone to watch this short clip of Biden and not acknowledge his innate humanity and fitness to be president. [CLICK HERE]
Hillary Clinton. I know what you’re thinking. Oh gawd, please fucking — no. I’m totally on board with the “no” crowd on this one. Remember my comments earlier about Bernie Bob Dylan? Hillary Clinton might as well be Tammy Wynette baking cookies in the kitchen. She’s more “Yesterday” than Sir Paul McCartney. To be fair, Mdm. Clinton should and will go down as one of the most remarkable women in American political history. She overcame innumerable obstacles, including a 24/7 hate-conspiracy machine, her own lack of charisma, gross misogyny, and the fact that her idiot hubby couldn’t keep his dick tucked inside his pants, and yet somehow still served effectively as First Lady, U.S. Senator, and Secretary of State. But she’s also lost to the last two eventual victors, which kinda’ makes her into the Marv Levy of contemporary American politics — someone many of us both respect and feel sorry for who got a raw deal because of a bad kicker. Really, I feel sorry for Hillary. Like Bernie, she shattered lots of barriers and laid a solid foundation for future generations, mostly women (there are likely to be at least four in this race). Okay, I’ll say it — if she would have ditched Bill Clinton’s sorry, cheating, lying, miserable ass, and not deleted all those e-mails, she’d probably be our president right now.
The Field is the real Democratic darkhorse. Maybe even the favorite. Out of the shadows of anonymity have come Jimmy Carter (1976), Bill Clinton (1992), and Barack Obama (2008). Each eventual winner upset heavily-favored, far better-known establishment figures, so-called “machine politicians” in the Democratic primaries. The same thing might very well happen again in 2020, although if you don’t mind me saying — Jimmy Carter may be a bit too old to run again. “The Field” includes names like Michael Bloomberg, a smart and successful New Yorker who is actually a bonafide billionaire and not some bronze encrusted popover used to mop up the extra prime rib gravy at Lawry’s. There’s also Sherrod Brown, who I’m told is a Senator from Ohio which is certainly from a crucial state, but who absolutely no one knows outside of the three big C’s — Cleveland, Columbus, and Cincinnati. If Brown stuck up a convenience store, there’s no need for a mask. Nobody would recognize him. As for Amy Klobuchar, the current Senator from Minnesota, she’s going to have a difficult time differentiating herself from a field already packed with gifted and capable women fully qualified to be president.
It’s going to be
an excuciating an exciting next two years.
I do enjoy your columns. Let me tell you about Sherrod Brown. He is a very humble public servant who knows what is needed to rebuild the tax paying middle class. He will be able to communicate with everyone and be comfortable with leaders from other countries. He will look out for this country and understands a Global economy. His wife, Connie Shultz (Google this Pulitzer Prize winner) will communicate with women at their level. I am looking forward to his announcement!
I agree with Teresa. Sherrod Brown deserves more of your attention. The big upside to him is that with a solid progressive resume he won a statewide race in Ohio in 2018 by 8 points. Think about that. The downside is that he’s a middle aged white male, and that’s not where the energy of the party is. However, I think something like a Brown/Harris ticket could be very formidable. Agreed that recent polls have him back in the pack, and the primary map doesn’t favor him, but don’t write him off. I know that popularity (of anything) is not a big selling point for your interests, so I’m suggesting that whether he’s viable in 2020 or not, he’s someone you probably want to get to know.
Thank you for the insight, Teresa. I look forward to watching and learning more.
I agree with Teresa and NPC. Sherrod Brown is a solid choice, a real stand up guy with a consistent track record and someone that would represent the country well. However, having said that, if he winds up being the Democratic nominee in 2020, I’ll gladly eat Nolan’s hat…
Based on early media coverage, it’s starting to look obvious the 2-3 choices the media is starting to anoint as frontrunners.
Nolan, this isn’t a game like baseball and football. Corporate Dems would love for Bernie to stop pulling the party to the left. How did that work out for shitlibs in 2016? It was Bust with Hillary and if this next primary is not about social platforms and aspiration and populism, we’ll have Don the Con Inc til 2024.
Here is an even more moving speech by Joe Biden addressing surviving military families, it is well worth the almost 20 minutes.
It makes you wonder what a great president he could have been.
Excellent analysis as always. It appears that identity politics will be central to the D pathway to president. In that vein I have two suggested tickets.
The first is the Warren/O’Rourke coupling. It could be billed as the Native American/Hispanic ticket. The broad majority of Americans have 1/1000th Native or Hispanic blood so it automatically captures that demographic.
The second is the Harris/Anybody ticket. She shrewdly called out ICE as the new KKK instantly making her a front runner. That statement appeals to independent and moderate voters in mid-western swing states. The only question is can she hold on to that lead.
Looking forward to your insights as the race to 2020 moves forward.