Bernie Sanders

Major Moment: Joe Biden Confronts Voter Who Challenges His Age And His Son Hunter Biden

Yesterday was a major moment in the Presidential campaign of 2020, with Joe Biden confronting an Iowa voter who challenged his age and his son, Hunter Biden.

Biden answered in a very appropriate manner, and gave this blogger renewed confidence in his candidacy, after many doubts earlier.

Biden has gone through the worst tragedy anyone could experience, the loss of a son, Beau Biden, which clearly put him into a period of depression, and Biden has known what tragedy is, with the loss in 1972 of his first wife and their daughter in an auto accident, in which both Biden sons, Beau and Hunter, were seriously injured.

Joe has been a survivor, but has also shown his humanity and compassion as a result of these tragedies in his life, including his aneurysm that nearly killed him in 1988, requiring brain surgery.

One could wish that Joe was younger, but in comparison to Bernie Sanders and Michael Bloomberg, both around the same age, with Bernie 14 months older and Bloomberg nine months older, this author would still prefer Joe in the White House.

Joe needs not to defend his son Hunter, as when one looks at the careers of Donald Trump’s sons and daughter, and how they have used their father’s name and reputation to benefit themselves, there is no need for Joe to defend his son.

As far as the concern with Joe’s age, as with the other two future octogenarians, it would still be preferable to have a younger nominee, such as Pete Buttigieg, but at this point, while this author likes Pete, it will ultimately be up to the voters in the next few months as to whether youth is preferred over age and experience.

Any concerns about Joe’s ability to perform against Trump now seems laid to rest after the way he handled this Iowa voter.

And as far as what if something happens to Joe in the White House, it could not be worse than with Donald Trump, and the same basic concern is there for Sanders, who suffered a mild heart attack, and Bloomberg, as no one can guarantee health.

That makes, however, the smart choice of a Vice President ever more urgent, no matter who the Democratic nominee is in 2020!

Donald Trump Impeachment Trial Could Affect Democratic Presidential Contest,With So Many Senators Unable To Campaign During Trial

The upcoming Donald Trump impeachment trial is likely to have an effect on the race for the Democratic Presidential nomination.

Since it is likely to be held in January, a month before the Iowa Caucuses, New Hampshire Primary, South Carolina Primary, and Nevada Caucuses, the six Senators (Elizabeth Warren, Bernie Sanders, Amy Klobuchar, Cory Booker, Kamala Harris, Michael Bennet) who are candidates for President will be unable to campaign, on days of the trial.

They are required to sit in their Senate seats and listen to the testimony, without speaking, and cannot choose to do otherwise, as it would be against protocol.

If it stretches through the whole month of February, they will not be able to campaign in the 14 states scheduled to vote on Super Tuesday, including California, Texas, Virginia, Colorado, Massachusetts, Minnesota, North Carolina, and Tennessee, among others.

That should help such candidates as Joe Biden, Pete Buttigieg, Julian Castro, Steve Bullock, Tulsi Gabbard, Tom Steyer, Michael Bloomberg, and Deval Patrick.

Whether the impeachment trial will ultimately change the dynamics long term of the race will be interesting to see if it evolves.

5th Democratic Presidential Debate In Atlanta: Mayor Pete Is The Winner, But Kamala Harris And Cory Booker Also Improved Their Position

The fifth Democratic Presidential debate in Atlanta on Wednesday solidified Pete Buttigieg, Mayor of South Bend, Indiana, as the most impressive person on the stage, defending himself in a professional manner.

Kamala Harris and Cory Booker also improved their position relative to the others, while Elizabeth Warren held her own.

Joe Biden,unfortunately, flubbed and hesitated, and just seemed “old”, not improving his position, and not raising large amounts of money, but still a front runner in many polls.

Tom Steyer is clearly going nowhere, and the most disturbing candidate was Tulsi Gabbard, who seems too close to Fox News propaganda, and just comes across as totally unacceptable, and being a Congresswoman from Hawaii is, if anything, less significant, than dealing with urban problems, as Mayor Pete has for the past seven plus years.

The fact that Gabbard has been in the military is overshadowed by the fact that Mayor Pete also has, and Gabbard has no chance to be the nominee.

Neither, ultimately, does Andrew Yang or Bernie Sanders, who has been co opted by Warren, while Amy Klobuchar chugs along, looking more like a potential Vice Presidential choice.

Is Kamala Harris Indeed “The Female Barack Obama”? The Hype Seems Not To Be Happening For 2020

California Senator Kamala Harris seemed to be on the road to becoming “The Female Barack Obama”, a person of mixed race, attractive appearance, and the potential to be the Democratic Presidential nominee in 2020.

But, surprisingly, Harris has languished in the background, seemingly faltering, while Mayor Pete Buttigieg of South Bend, Indiana, has surged to number four among Democratic candidates, replacing Harris.

While it is too early to write Harris off, the feeling is developing that she will not win any early state in February, and might have trouble even in California on Super Tuesday, by the power of Joe Biden, Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, and Pete Buttigieg.

In theory, Harris could be a Vice Presidential running mate, but more likely, she will simply have a long career in the US Senate, and maybe pursue the Presidency in a later time in the mid to late 2020s.

The Democratic Presidential Race Thins As Tim Ryan And Beto O’Rourke Withdraw From Race

The Democratic Presidential race is thinning as Ohio Congressman Tim Ryan and former Texas Congressman Beto O’Rourke have withdrawn from the competition in the past week.

Both were considered moderates, and some thought O’Rourke had a real chance to move ahead, but both candidacies floundered without much public support in polls and in fund raising.

Both Ryan and O’Rourke were the rare white men running for the nomination, with the only serious such candidates left being Joe Biden, Bernie Sanders, and Pete Buttigieg.

There is also Michael Bennet, Steve Bullock, and Tom Steyer, but the most competitive white men are Biden, Sanders, and Buttigieg.

The odds of a woman or a minority person being the nominee seems more possible, which is fine, but if that happens, it will mean the Democratic Party has not nominated a white man for President since 2004.

Alternative Candidates Who Might Enter The Democratic Presidential Race

Hard to believe, but rumors are spreading that there could be alternative candidates who might enter the Democratic Presidential race.

These would include:

2016 Presidential nominee Hillary Clinton

Former First Lady Michelle Obama

Former 2004 Presidential nominee John Kerry

Former NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg

Former Attorney General Eric Holder

Former Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick

Ohio Senator Sherrod Brown

Most of these ideas are totally preposterous.

It is time for Hillary Clinton to pass the torch finally, and make an unequivocal statement she will not run, as she would divide the party and the nation in such a way that would be totally destructive.

Michelle Obama is not going to run, too smart to consider it.

John Kerry is another too old nominee, who is from the distant past, 2004 as a Presidential candidate, and would be 77 when taking the oath, and the last thing we need is another old candidate.

The same goes for Michael Bloomberg, who would five months younger than Bernie Sanders and nine months older than Joe Biden, and would be one month short of 79 in January 2021, too old, and really too divisive with his record as NYC Mayor, and not loyal to the Democratic Party.

Eric Holder and Deval Patrick would only create more racial division, with Cory Booker and Kamala Harris and Julian Castro already in the race, and Holder highly controversial and being 70 the day after the inauguration, and Deval Patrick just another Massachusetts politician, but with no real constituency to run.

If any candidate deciding to run makes sense, it just might be Sherrod Brown, who considered running, and would be a strong competitor from Ohio, but if he is to run, time is of the essence. He would be 68 at the time of the inauguration, and might be a good Vice Presidential choice instead of for the Presidency.

But except for Brown, really, the next Democratic Presidential nominee needs to come from the present, rapidly dwindling list, and dreaming of alternatives needs to end!

A Sense That Pete Buttigieg Is On The Rise As A Moderate Alternative To Joe Biden

The big winner of the Ohio Presidential debate this past week seems to many to be Mayor Pete Buttigieg of South Bend, Indiana, who is seen as on the rise as a moderate alternative to Joe Biden.

Mayor Pete has been successful in raising large amounts of money in the third quarter, and his debate performance demonstrated his intelligence, his knowledge, and his perception of what Americans want, similar in his understanding of what Americans were looking for as when they voted for Barack Obama in 2008.

He is not promoting “pie in the sky”, massive changes in four years, as Bernie Sanders, and even Elizabeth Warren are doing, knowing full well that the nation is not going to elect a Democratic Congress large enough in majority to do the kinds of path breaking changes that Franklin D. Roosevelt and Lyndon B. Johnson were able to bring about in 1935-1936 and 1965-1966, respectively.

As Pete has said, we first need to recover from the chaos and anarchy of Donald Trump, and to expect the nation to go to the far left, and support a required end of all private health insurance, is simply not reality.

This blogger takes the view that Americans should have a choice of keeping the health care coverage they have, or move toward government control through Medicare, but not force it on everyone over a four year period, and always allow private health insurance as an alternative, left up to the decisions of individual Americans and their families.

A long range goal is extend Medicare in stages, first to those between 50-65, then those in their 40s, then those in their 30s, and continuing on, but again with private insurance allowed if preferred.

And in foreign affairs, Mayor Pete would offer a revival of American respect and responsibility, veering away from the disastrous and reckless diplomacy of Donald Trump, and would restore American rationality and respect among our allies, and recognition that he would not be pushed around by authoritarians as has been occurring with Donald Trump.

A young, dynamic President is needed, and Mayor Pete fills the bill, following in the Democratic Party tradition of John F. Kennedy, Jimmy Carter, Bill Clinton, and Barack Obama. A new generation of leadership is required.

The Two Democrats Who Might Replace Joe Biden, And Both Are From The Midwest Battleground

Further thought and analysis on the Ohio Presidential debate of Tuesday makes this blogger and scholar believe that two Midwesterners–South Bend, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg and Senator Amy Klobuchar—come out as the stars of the debate.

Both were very strong in promoting a moderate center left vision of the Democratic Party, which gives the party a better chance of success against Donald Trump.

Being from Indiana and Minnesota respectively gives either or both a better opportunity to contest the states lost by Hillary Clinton in 2016 by small margins.

So if Joe Biden slips, which seems very possible, both offer an equivalent vision of what Biden stands for, rather than the more leftist Elizabeth Warren or Bernie Sanders.

There are still three and a half months to the first contests in Iowa and New Hampshire, so despite early indications that Biden, Warren, and Sanders have a dominant position, there is still time for alternatives, and the most likely, clearly, are Buttigieg and Klobuchar.

Impressions Of The Fourth Democratic Presidential Debate In Ohio–Eight Of The Twelve Should Continue

The Democratic Presidential debate last night showed strong performances right from the beginning by Mayor Pete Buttigieg and Senator Amy Klobuchar on the subject of health care, challenging Senator Elizabeth Warren and Senator Bernie Sanders on their promotion of Medicare For All.

Joe Biden held his own, which is significant, and Julian Castro and Kamala Harris improved their position. Bernie Sanders looked in good health, and Cory Booker made some good points regarding the need to focus on the record of Donald Trump, more than criticism of some candidates by others.

Totally unimpressive were Tom Steyer, Tulsi Gabbard, and Andrew Yang, and they should drop out of the race, as there are simply too many candidates.

Beto O’Rourke harmed his candidacy by his consistent stand on gun regulation including confiscation of weapons, not a winnable tactic.

In realistic terms, there should be eight Democrats left in the race—Joe Biden, Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, Pete Buttigieg, Amy Klobuchar, Julian Castro, Kamala Harris and Cory Booker.

Ohio Debate On Tuesday Will Start Winnowing The Field Of Democratic Candidates For President

The Columbus, Ohio debate among 12 Democratic Presidential candidates will likely start the winnowing of the field, which is much too large.

As things stand now, Senator Elizabeth Warren and South Bend, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg seem like the candidates that are gaining.

Warren is taking support away from Bernie Sanders, who is recovering from a heart attack, and will be watched closely on Tuesday for signs of weariness. Sanders knows Warren is a problem for him, and has pointed out that she is a believer in capitalism, and is not a Socialist, which actually helps Warren’s image.

Mayor Pete is likely the major moderate Democratic alternative to Joe Biden, who has to deal with the issue of his son, Hunter Biden, and Ukranian connections, although it seems clear there is no corruption involved, at least as far as we know at this point. Also, Joe Biden is coming across, sadly, as not quite up to par mentally at times, a very worrisome situation for him. Meanwhile, Mayor Pete continues to make a great impression, including in the CNN gay-lesbian-transgender debate this past Thursday, and has gained a lot of financial support.

Whether Kamala Harris can recuperate from a decline in support is debatable. Beto O’Rourke and Julian Castro have also failed to take off in recent months, and have made some errors that harm them.

While Cory Booker gained enough financial backing to stay in the race, it still seems unlikely that he is going to be a serious candidate for the Presidential nomination.

Andrew Yang has had unexpected good fortune, but still it seems a real long shot that he can get anywhere gaining enough support to move forward.

Amy Klobuchar so far has not made much of a dent, and Tulsi Gabbard and Tom Steyer, in their first debate, do not seem likely to make any real move toward serious contention.

So Tuesday’s debate will likely narrow the field as we move closer to the Iowa Caucuses and New Hampshire Primary four months from now.