There was a plethora of items that could have been the big story of last week but I chose to build today’s article around one that was far from unexpected – Joe Biden’s entering the 2020 contest. With that in mind and a whole lot more, let’s explore.
In January of 2017 I put Biden in the Progressive Hall of Fame and firmly believed his political career was over; (one of the few prerequisites). Perhaps that was wishful thinking on my part. Nobody is perfect and after decades in public service there is plenty to pick on in Joe’s record nonetheless he is a solid Hall of Famer.
I’ve lost count (and don’t intent to catch up for some time) but the media tells me there are now 20 candidates chasing the Democratic nod. I’ll take their word for it. I am nowhere near an endorsement and Joe didn’t get me any closer. I live in a Super Tuesday state and will have to make up my mind by March 3, 2020. I almost never miss an opportunity to vote and this certainly won’t be one. (I average well less than one miss per decade and that includes primaries, special and municipal elections.)
There are several in the field I am not taking seriously but I can’t see them winning the nomination and there will be plenty to choose from in the primary so it really doesn’t matter. Whoever the nominee is will be someone I will have no problem supporting. The problem is who to endorse and vote for in the primary! For me it is literally a dilemma of great choices!
I will admit to having a soft spot for Biden. Amtrak Joe; how could you not? He strikes me (and a lot of other people) as a warm, regular guy. Yes, he is a human gaffe machine, but that is because he is sincere; (beats the hell out of a serial liar!) He also has the best resume in the field. The problem is the Democrats ran some great resumes in recent years that all lost (Al Gore, Jr., John Kerry and Hillary Clinton). American voters are not the best hiring managers. How can a long time, loyal Democrat fail to support Joe?
Then we have Bernie Sanders. I have twice (and deservedly) named him as the Progressive of the Year. It is difficult to think of any other individual who has done more to advance the progressive agenda in recent years. Tough to not support Bernie!
While Elizabeth Warren may have concentrated mostly on consumer protection she is certainly a champion of the little guy and gal. She is also cerebral and quick to make an intelligent and knowledgeable comment.
When I think of Kamala Harris expressions like “the real deal” and “the total package” come to mind.
I can’t see him winning it all but who hasn’t gained respect for Pete Buttigieg? Brains and bravery pretty much sums him up. Two words I would never use when describing the current occupant of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue!
Let’s not forget about Amy Klobuchar. One of her finest moments may have occurred during a losing effort – the Kavanaugh hearings. Wisdom and poise were on display. She may not be flashy but she sure is competent. I eat steak not sizzle.
Talking about a smart guy who will cut a dashing figure on the debate stage and campaign trail I give you Cory Booker. He was a Division I athlete (football at Stanford) and a Rhodes Scholar.
The above is by no means a complete list and I neglected to mention several names that I respect. The bottom line is that at this point making a decision is difficult. It seems like picking one means you have to ignore several other great choices. I’m simply not ready to do that yet.
Here is the reality all progressives are faced with. It does not appear that Trump will be removed either by impeachment or forced resignation prior to the 2020 election. Therefore it is up to us, the American voting public to save the republic. The only viable contender will be the Democratic nominee. We have to resolve that we will not make the perfect the enemy of what will certainly be a great choice. We have to agree to support the eventual Democratic nominee. First and foremost, that means showing up at the polls. Without votes everything else is at best window dressing. For those of us inclined and able, volunteer and/or financial support is another option. Campaigns, especially national campaigns, are expensive to wage. As someone who is a veteran of many campaigns and still a bit old school there is no substitute for “ground troops”. Phone calls and door knocks work and if he holds true to form, DNC Chair Tom Perez will put some dollars into those efforts.
Joe, you made an already uncomfortable decision even more so. Well, history tells me that the field will be thinner by March of 2020. Don’t expect me to be an early endorser this time around.
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