kellyanne conway reminds me of that one really mean elementary school teacher who grabs you by the arm and sinks her talons into your flesh as she glowers at you for like accidentally running too fast or whatever
Happy International Woman’s Day. We are the history makers and glass sealing brakes of tomorrow girls. There is no way of stopping us in achieving our own dreams, not in the world we live in. Thanks to the woman that came before us there are no limits for us any longer. Always stand strong, believe in yourself and chase those dreams because the world needs you. Our place is at the top of the World. And we are certainly here to stay. ❤️✊🏼
so I figured I’d give my hot take on 2020 Democratic nomination because why not?
No Country for Old Men:
Jerry Brown: Brown’s name, to my shock, has come up a few times. The first a most major problem is that Jerry is ALREADY 79 years old, and will be in his 80s by 2020. Not to be grim, but it’s mathematically unlikely for a man who is 82 on taking office to live to serve two full terms, even one term would be a gamble. Past the mathematical issue, Jerry is a household name in California politics but over 40 years has never managed to build up a base of support outside is home state. Best known as “Moonbeam” two flopped runs for President hint how round 3 would go even if he was 10 years younger.
Bernie Sanders: It’s pretty clear that Bernie is at least thinking about another run at the Presidency. His problem is in the same as Brown, if slightly less intense. He’s 75 right now meaning he’ll be 79 election day 2020 asking people to vote for a President who will be in his 80s in office is a tall order. I realize that age for whatever reason didn’t hunt the 70 year who eats trash, never sleeps and hates work outs, but I feel like a nearly 80 year old can’t get away with it. I’ve heard many of his supports saying he should run on age alone. Past this Bernie failed to connect with black and latino voters in 2016 and has made a few notable missteps since becoming a mega political figure. More and younger progressives are interested in running and the fandom around Bernie is unlikely to relight with the same flame in 2020, even if it did, it was not enough in 2016, he needs to widen his support outside of white liberals and college kids to win the primary.
Joe Biden: again age is the biggest single problem he’ll be 78 years old on election day 2020, and like Bernie it’s pretty clear Joe is at least thinking about it. Again I think asking voters to have a President in his 80s is a bridge too far. Though the health of the sitting President might be a factor, if Trump very unhealthy lifestyle plus the horrible stress of being President leads to Trump looking sick, weak and unhealthy after 4 years, even a older man who was slim and fit and sharp might benefit next to a fat slow unhealthy mess. Though it might also serve to highlight the risks of an older President. Past age Joe has no geographic or Ideological base. While remembered with a level of fondness by Democrats, his image is as something of a drunk uncle (I know he does not drink) who’s fun and says what we’re all thinking. I’m unsure that translates and the warm fuzzy feeling people have about him as a member of the Obama team I don’t think boost him much. His last two tries to run for President were total failures and his 2015 non-run didn’t show very impressive polling for a sitting VP
Hillary Clinton: While much younger than the 3 other people in this camp (she’ll be a youthful 72 come 2020) and younger than Trump, she’s a woman and as we saw in this campaign women are badly punished for showing signs of age. It seems fairly clear Hillary does not want to run. Her running would set all the former Bernie people’s hair on fire and generally the press would have a field day printing nasty stories and playing the 2016 primary all over again along with “have the Democrats learned nothing?” all pretending that Hillary didn’t win the popular vote and is super out of touch, blah blah blah. What’s more many of her hardcore supporters suffered a soul crushing loss and might not have the energy to gear up for a 3rd bitter battle to the nomination, while many feminists who like Hillary but aren’t worshipers likely feel it’s time for a new younger woman to try to take down the glass ceiling
When you’re famous, they let you do it:
Kanye West: he said he will run for President, if he means it, or remembers saying it, who knows. A lot of people will say in the age of Trump we should count out any rich or famous person. However this over looks that the Republican Primary voter and the Democratic Primary voter are very different. The later is more likely to be college educated for one thing, as well as ethnically diverse and think experience is important. Getting back to West, he’s generally seen as a huge egomaniacal crazy person. His troubles with mental health are public record with his very public break down in November 2016 (and some other things). His ego and weird need to pick a fight with the First couple of hip hop Jay Z and Beyonce has made him a messy and controversial character even with-in Hip Hop and the black community. What’s more is November trip to Trump Tower and on stage weird pro-Trump rant are unlikely to go away. Also there’s the in-laws, his wife is someone a lot of people love to hate, and his step-mother-in-law Caitlyn Jenner has gotten a lot of well earned stick for being a Republican Trump supporter and rather tone deaf on most issues.
Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson: He has a history, low key granted, as a Republican, has not really voiced any support for any policies or issues. On the plus side he’s handsome, can laugh at himself and seems generally likable and well liked. That said there’s no proof he’s smart in any way and much of his history has been playing over the top characters and then over the top characters making fun of the fact that he’s the Rock. All of which might give Democratic votes Trump flashbacks. If he can speak clearly on issues and takes progressive stands on things he’ll have an outside shot, but if he can’t sound like an adult and draw a line under the guy who stars in the Baywatch remake he has no hope
Mark Cuban: As boorish and bullying as Trump, with vague political ideas that mostly circle around Ayn Rand and discount libertarianism Cuban is unlikely to get Democratic voters hot. Voters will likely also dislike his early softening on Trump after the election. That said Cuban has clearly made a lot of money, a lot of Democratic Primary voters loath Trump and might wish for a candidate who only bullies, attacks, and mocks the object of their hate, his money and experience with politics before now puts him above Johnson or West but behind the next guy
Mark Zuckerberg: One of the handful of business people in the 21st century to be a household name. Young, tech friendly he and his company seem the very embodiment of white millennial ideas of diversity and inclusion. Sadly for the Zuck the place one might expect him to most popular, with people under 35 who are on-line a lot is the place he’s the least popular. Justified or not a lot of people get a creepy big brother vibe from Facebook and Zuckerberg has become something of a Hollywood stock villain type, with Jesse Eisenberg’s Lex Luthor just being a retread of his performance from The Social Network. indeed that movie is a major problem for Zuckerberg, he’s a villain and a creep in a hugely popular movie all about him. Zuckerberg is and always has been a slightly awkward, slightly off nerd, and lacks the charm to fight off attacks that he stole Facebook from someone, he’s too California tech kid to be relatable for much of America. That said weirdly Zuckerberg might play well with older voters who didn’t see the Social Network, don’t understand the problems people have with Facebook and see a young, fairly good looking young man who built a company they know and likely use, who’s used his money to do good stuff, who has a charming and beautiful wife and a multi-ethnic family, basically a kind of anti-Trump. Outside of the story of how Facebook started I’ve never heard any stories of him being a jerk on a personal level, and while we laugh at him feeding cows, some people like when the big city liberals come out and get their hands dirty.
The (White) Dude abides:
Steve Bullock: Freshly re-elected in a bad year for Dems out of a Red state. All sounds good, but the state is Montana, who’s Democratic party is hardly reflective of the national party. In a party headed to the left it’s unlikely a western conservative will get people off. past this he has no national name recognition, and his last name is a British slang term for a testicle, something the internet will love
John Hickenlooper: a two term governor of a key swing state that Democrats need to win, Hickenlooper has a fairly progressive record, will likely make stoners and college students happy because his state has legal pot (even though he didn’t support it, that’s likely to be a detail glossed over by 2020). counting against him is that he’s largely unknown outside his state and political nerd circles, and he has a frankly ridicules name and is skinny and odd looking. A strange looking man with a very weird lass name, politics can be piety that way.
Terry McAuliffe: another governor from a key swing state, but like Bullock and Hickenlooper with very little name recognition outside is own state. Past this McAuliffe will have been out of office for 3 years, the 2017 race is likely to get far more attention than his race and if Tom Perriello replaces him, he’ll have been beaten in what looks and feels like a Clinton Bernie rematch, with Perriello as Bernie, close links to the Clintons will likely get him tarred as a corporate Democrat.
Still feeling the Bern:
Tulsi Gabbard: A lot of ink has been spilled about Gabbard, but she’s young, very pretty, multi-ethnic from a minority majority state with a military record. Her support for Bernie endears her to a block of his voters. However, she’s just a Representative, no one since Garfield has jumped from the House to the Presidency. Again remember Democratic Primary voters different from Republican ones. Her support for Assad has won her alt-right fans, but both those facts will likely be horrifying to most Democratic voters. It’s unclear if she’ll be able to use her status as a minority and woman to hide from attacks based on past homophobia and islamophobia. Finally her early meetings with Trump, her statements about Russia and Putin and the bridges she burned down with non-Bernie supporters in the party are all likely to hurt her badly
Elizabeth Warren: Likely the only person the American Left liked more than Bernie going into 2016, and her being a lady and feminist well known for forcefully speaking her mind warmed her to one group Bernie struggled with, Feminists. That said Warren likely suffered damage by sitting out the 2016 primary as long as she did, hardcore Bernie supporters feel betrayed and did nothing to win the hearts of Clinton fans. Past that Warren’s tone and attacking passion has made her a hate figure for Republicans but not widened her appeal past the left of her own party.
The Senator from somewhere
Sherrod Brown: A populist leftie in a key swing state. Downsides being he sided strongly and early with Hillary, thus is “no longer a progressive” to Bernie supporters. Much ride on if Brown can be re-elected in a state that is getting redder all the time, his raspy voice has never lent itself to rising oration, and it’s a little unclear what he brings to the table, despite his best efforts he’s never captured the left of the party’s hearts and minds the way Sanders and to an even greater degree Warren did before 2015.
Chris Murphy: having been in room with Chris Murphy, Chris Murphy thinks he should be President. He’s young, good looking and has laser focus on one easy to understand policy idea that is fairly popular with base Democrats. Sadly for him, that policy is gun control. While nothing he’s saying is radical the NRA will do anything to stop him, and his campaign will likely get attacked early and often by Newtown truers fueled by Alex Jones. bluntly Murphy is not a great speaker or a very interesting guy, nice enough but likely to struggle in any state without be cities with gun crime problems, like say Iowa or New Hampshire.
Cory Booker: He’s young, he’s black, he’s hot. Sadly for Cory every time he opens his mouth people want to hear Obama. Booker lacks Obama’s speaking skills and has failed to impress basically every time he’s gotten a prime time shot at the mic. Past that he doesn’t have a lot of accomplishments to his name, For whatever Reason Bernie supporters went after him hard early in the year for voting against Bernie, if this is a sign of the progressive reaction to him or not is hard to say. Booker seems to be skating on Street Fight 15 years later. Past that Booker is a single man, in politics being young, handsome, and always single makes people talk
Mark Warner: Senator from a key swing state, looks like he was sent from casting to play the President some time between 1940 and 1964. This hinges a lot on what the next 4 years looks like, Warner is not the fire breathing Trump slayer a lot of Democrats want right now, but will they still want that in 2020? Will Warner slowly become a national figure based off being the face of the Congressional inquiry into all things shady Russian and Trump? who can say, if not Warner is too bland and boring, if he’s the claiming face of justice slowly wading toward the truth, thats a leg up
Al Franken: Funny, witty, and good on the attack. Al is the kinda guy millions of liberals are turning to every week, the grandfather of political humor in the style of the Daily Show, as well as of left wing TV (MSNBC’s Maddow got her start with Franken on Air-America Radio) It’s the world he help build that’s keeping millions of Democrats sane. However most of them don’t know this, Al’s more or less been on ice since getting elected though his first book in 12 years might help people rediscover him. Another problem is Franken has been in comedy for 40 years, jokes that were funny and/or off color in the 1970s are surely offensive now, so there are surely hours of clips of Al saying racist, sexist, homophobic, and transphobic things as joke on SNL and later stand up and in his often crassly funny political books from the 1990s and 2000s
The Ladies doing it for themselves
Tammy Duckworth: A lot of women were put out and also made spitting mad that a sexist monster beat a woman for the Presidency and want a woman badly. Duckworth is a war hero with an inspiring story, a fresh and new face in the Senate. Sadly for her, her disability will surely be an issue, it wasn’t in her Senate race because she was running in a deep blue state, against someone who also had a disability and couldn’t walk well. However a FIT President is important and the standard to be a fit woman President was clearly higher, people won’t be comfortable with a President who has to sit to talk to world leaders. Past that she’s never been a great public speaker and would face “well she’s been a senator for what? 15 minutes?” criticisms
Tammy Baldwin: A strongly feminist Democrat from a state Democrats normally win but lost in 2016 and want back badly. Having heard her speak she’s not amazing but pays the bills. Sadly for her she’s a lesbian, her sexuality, the electability of same, would likely take over her campaign, with people gun shy about “identity politics” it would likely handicap her against more well known candidates.
Amy Klobuchar: One of the longer serving Democratic Women in the Senate, Al Franken’s other half, a well established member of the establishment liberal wing of the party. She likely will suffer by not being as well known as others, she’s also awkward both physically and in speech, funny she’s just a little big too nerdy, to nasally, plus as an establishment woman she’s likely to rub Progressives the wrong way
Kirsten Gillibrand: Young, beautiful, experienced in the Senate and having built on a rock hard anti-Trump record, one of the one’s to watch, the connections to Hillary (a blonde NY Senator holding Hill’s old seat) likely will get those hardcore Hillary supporters behind her, but also runs the risks of setting off progressives, her hardcore anti-Trump stand and not having jumped into the Clinton campaign as forcefully as some may help
Kamala Harris: A lot of people see her as grown in a lab as an admixture of Obama and Hillary. Young, Beautiful, smart, well spoken, black multiethnic and coming out of the State that is framing itself as the anti-Trumpland. Kamala has downsides of course, first being no one is gonna know how to say her first name, but if Obama got over it so will she, second the “what she’s a been a senator for 5 minutes?” her race is likely to get people talking about “identity politics” though she’s managed to make a good case on that, likely her time as Cali AG will bring the wrath of some parts of BLM but we’ll see how much that matters
Too Slick by half
Andrew Cuomo: Governor of a major anti-Trump strong hold, managed to score some out of state progressive brownie points with a very public free college plan that had both Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton next to him. However Cuomo is loathed by the progressive base of his state’s party and is seen by basically everyone in the know as a low-key political mobster, his New York sleaze factor is unlikely to go over well in Iowa or New Hampshire (just ask Chris Christie)
Gavin Newsom: Still young, still pretty Newsom has waited a long time to get from “rising star” to Star but he’s almost there, just has to manage to win the California governorship, but that seems pretty likely. Newsom has the record of granting gay marriages at the unthinkable time of 2004 which likely will buy him support of the LGBT community (or at least it’s professional activists) likewise he’s been pro-pot something likely to endear him to college students, much will depend on what he does with real power once Governor, and many will say that he’s only been in high office a year. Past that many again see Newsom as “establishment” making him not very popular with the left of his state party, how much this will be translated outside of Cali, if his slick California air and style will play poorly in eastern rural early primary states is hard to say