By any measure I am aware of I qualify as a senior citizen. In what may seem as a contradiction to that I am among the many who think that the Democratic Party’s leadership is too old. Today I continue the series with a look at four people who are in the mix of possible 2020 Democratic presidential candidates: Joe Biden, Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren. Given the opportunity I think any of them would be a good, and possibly great, President of the United States. That said I hope they all decide not to run and I am willing to bet I am incorrect in two if not three of the cases. Let’s explore.
In January of 2017 I put Joe Biden in the Progressive Hall of Fame. I was that certain his illustrious political career was over. Now I’m not so sure. Going back to the 2000 debates if you look at them objectively Joe won them. Remember that field included Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton and John Edwards. That’s a big league lineup of political debaters. Biden has a political resume that few can come close to. In reality he probably should have been president already, but it never worked out that way.
A major school of thought in Democratic political strategy is that we have to get the union vote back if we are to win nationally. If there is any established Democratic politician who has credibility with and feels at home with blue collar workers it is Joe Biden. I like him personally, (we have never really met although we attended an event together in Charlotte, North Carolina in 2012.) Our policies and values are almost identical. All that said I hope he chooses not to run. If he does there is a very good chance he will not be the nominee. I want to see him go out on a high note and I don’t want to put a lot of Democrats (including myself) in the position of supporting someone else. If he were to be the nominee I would embrace him with open arms. I just think the Democrats need to go younger.
I have voted for Hillary Clinton three times in my life; in 2008 in the Florida primary, along with in both the 2016 North Carolina primary and general election. I endorsed her in 2016 even before she formally declared. All that said, I hope she doesn’t run and don’t expect her to. Of late the Clintons have fallen out of favor as campaign surrogates. I hope Hillary makes selected appearances and stick mostly to private fundraising.
When you read my positions on policy they are often almost a carbon copy of what Bernie Sanders professes. I find him to be a very likable man and I don’t think I’m alone. It is amazing but at close to 80 young people love him. If you are looking for a surrogate to rally the youth Bernie should be at the top of your list. Based mainly on the age factor I’d like to see Bernie concentrate on being an A list surrogate for a younger candidate. I don’t know what his ultimate decision will be but if he declares his candidacy I will not be among the surprised.
I basically detest the use of the word “fighter” by Democratic candidates. On many occasions I have suggested they call themselves “workers” instead. I want an elected official to work, not fight, for me. However, if I had to describe Elizabeth Warren with one complimentary word it would be fighter. She has a cerebral feistiness to her that I love. When it comes to working tirelessly for workers and consumers she is without equal. She is a Senator for life from Massachusetts and that’s where I feel she can do the most good. “In season” she is also a great surrogate and in demand on the speaking/fundraising tour. Do I think she will run? The answer is: Almost certainly.
While I do not feel the Democrats’ optimal candidate is among today’s four, I would vote for any of them in a heartbeat over anyone the Republicans could conceivably come up with!
Well, we are now one-third of the way through the list. More to come and it doesn’t get any less confusing or easier.
Please note: This article was written well in advance of publishing in order to accommodate my holiday travel and grandpa time schedule.
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One thought on “2020 Democrats – Old Boys & Girls”
I would also support three of your four. But I’m afraid the Clinton name is too damaged. Alas, the other three are, to be perfectly frank, too old. I think it’s time for younger blood. I’ll reserve my comment about younger prospects until your column about them.
P.S.: In your second paragraph you said 2000, when you meant 2008.
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