Bernie Sanders

The State Of The Democratic Presidential Race Before The First Debates At The End Of June

We are about two and a half weeks before the first Democratic Presidential debates, which will be held in Miami, Florida on June 26 and 27, and broadcast on MSNBC.

With 23 candidates, and only 20 scheduled to make it to the debates, based on public opinion polls and financial contributions, how do things stand at this point?

Joe Biden is comfortably ahead but is starting to make blunders and causing criticism to begin at his whole approach to his campaign, acting as if he does not have a major challenge, but that attitude will change quickly on the debate stage.

And if one looks at history, the front runner never ends up as the nominee in any Presidential competition.

So who seems to be charging ahead to challenge Joe Biden?

Bernie Sanders has been upended by Elizabeth Warren for the time being, and Mayor Pete Buttigieg continues to be a sensation in Town Hall debates.

Kamala Harris is also looking in good shape at this time.

On the other hand, Seth Moulton and Steve Bullock, late announcing as part of the race, may both fail to make the debate stage, while non politicians Marianne Williamson and Andrew Yang are certain to be there, and one wonders if they will have any impact.

Others, such as Amy Klobuchar, Cory Booker, Julian Castro, Jay Inslee, and Kirsten Gillibrand are waiting hopefully for a big improvement in their fortunes at the end of June.

One thing is certain: A large number of the candidates will not survive the summer as serious contenders, as the first debate, and the second one in Detroit, Michigan, at the end of July, will cut down the competition, likely by one third to one half of the 23 contenders at the beginning of this competition.

Average Age Of Presidents Is 55: Should Democrats Choose A Younger Nominee?

The Democratic Party faces a quandary: Should they choose a younger nominee as more likely to attract younger voters?

Three times in the past half century, the Democrats picked a much younger nominee than the Republicans:

1976 Jimmy Carter 11 years younger than Gerald Ford

1992 Bill Clinton 22 years younger than George H. W. Bush

2008 Barack Obama 25 years younger than John McCain

All three of those Republicans were far less provocative and controversial than is Donald Trump.

Is nominating someone (Bernie Sanders or Joe Biden) who is older than Donald Trump a wise choice?

Is nominating someone only a few years younger (Elizabeth Warren, Jay Inslee, John Hickenlooper) a wise choice?

Or would it be far better to nominate someone much younger than Trump to attract younger voters, particularly millennials, someone in their 50s or 40s as a multitude of potential nominees are (ranging from Amy Klobuchar at age 60 down to Pete Buttigieg at age 39)–and including women, minorities, and a gay man to move the nation forward in the 21st century, with a greater guarantee that they will live out their one or two terms in the White House?

This is what Democrats in upcoming caucuses and primaries next year have to come to grips with, with no easy answer as to what should occur!

New York City Mayors, Other Mayors And The Presidency

New York City has had Mayors who have sought the Presidency, but never has a NYC Mayor reached the White House.

With the announcement by present NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio of him becoming number 23 to run for the White House, this is a good time to look back at failed runs for the White House by NYC Mayors, and the history of other Mayors who have run for President.

DeWitt Clinton was the Federalist nominee for President in 1812 against President James Madison, but lost.

John Lindsay switched from the Republican to Democratic Party in 1972, but lost early in the process and withdrew his candidacy by April.

Rudy Giuliani was leading in polls in 2007 as a potential Republican nominee, but flopped badly and withdrew in January 2008.

Michael Bloomberg, a Republican, then an Independent, then a Democrat, considered announcing in 2016 and 2020, but decided not to at the present time, due to Joe Biden entering the race with similar views.

Additionally, a future President ran for Mayor of NYC in 1886 as a Republican, and ended up third, and yet went on to the White House, and that was Theodore Roosevelt.

Additionally, we have former Buffalo, New York Mayor and New York Governor Grover Cleveland who went on to the Presidency in 1884.

Other Mayors who ran for the Presidency include:

Hubert Humphrey of Minneapolis, Minnesota, who went on to the Senate and Vice Presidency, but lost the Presidential election of 1968 to Richard Nixon.

Sam Yorty of Los Angeles, who ran for the Democratic nomination unsuccessfully in 1972.

Dennis Kucinich of Cleveland, Ohio, who also served in Congress, and was a Democratic candidate unsuccessfully in 2004 and 2008.

Martin O’Malley of Baltimore, Maryland, who also served as Maryland Governor, and ran unsuccessfully for the Democratic nomination in 2016.

Additionally, two Presidents who succeeded after the death of the incumbent President, had served as Mayors of small cities–Andrew Johnson as Greeneville, Tennessee Mayor; and Calvin Coolidge as Northampton, Massachusetts Mayor, and was successful in winning his own term as President in 1924.

And now, of course, we have four former Mayors running in the Democratic Presidential competition:

Cory Booker of Newark, New Jersey

Julian Castro of San Antonio, Texas

John Hickenlooper of Denver, Colorado

Bernie Sanders of Burlington, Vermont

We also have three sitting Mayors now running for the Democratic nomination:

Pete Buttigieg of South Bend, Indiana

Bill de Blasio of New York City

Wayne Messam of Miramar, Florida

Elizabeth Warren May Overtake Bernie Sanders As The Favored Candidate On The Left Of The Democratic Party

Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren seems to be improving her situation in the Democratic Presidential race, while Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders seems to be faltering, if one believes recent polls that have been published.

Everyone in their right mind knows that trying to assume that anyone has a long term advantage six weeks before the first Democratic Presidential debate is indeed foolish.

But right now, Warren, with her combative nature, and many specific proposals, seems to be improving dramatically in her image, while Sanders may have reached his peak, and is declining in the competition of former Vice President Joe Biden for the support of African Americans, a crucial voting bloc, with about 60 percent of the South Carolina Primary vote likely to be of that group, and 25 percent overall.

So instead of a heads on battle between Sanders and Biden, it could be that it will end up as Warren vs Biden, with Warren to be 71 in 2020, as compared to Biden being 78 and Sanders being 79 in 2020.

And, of course, do not forget Kamala Harris and Pete Buttigieg, and of course, always the possibility of someone else emerging as a “dark horse”.

Still Early, But Beto O’Rourke Seems To Have Fizzled After Early Boost In Presidential Polls

Former Congressman Beto O’Rourke of El Paso, Texas, who ran a tight race against Republican Senator Ted Cruz in 2018, seemed to be a “hot’ candidate for President as a result, and when he announced his candidacy, his star rose to be in the top few of the multitude of candidates.

But now, recently, his star has declined, and he is no longer seen as being as likely a nominee as some might have thought in the early months of 2019.

A lot of this transformation seems due to the brilliant start of former Vice President Joe Biden, who has soared in the polls since his announcement for President a few weeks ago.

Also, the interest demonstrated in South Bend, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg has interfered with O’Rourke’s campaign.

Additionally, California Senator Kamala Harris has also been doing quite well, right up there with Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren, while Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders has been also in decline.

All of this is, of course, no proof that any of these named candidates will not have ups and downs over the next months until the Iowa Caucuses and New Hampshire Primary come in February.

And someone not in the top few in polls now could emerge as the choice of the Democratic Party ultimately, but at least for now, O’Rourke has declined, but time will tell whether the decline is temporary or permanent.

Donald Trump’s Greatest Nightmare: Joe Biden, Who Can Take The Midwest And Pennsylvania Away From Him In 2020

It is very clear, a week into former Vice President Joe Biden’s Presidential campaign, that he has alarmed President Donald Trump, who clearly sees him as the most dangerous threat to a potential second term.

We know that because Trump is on a crazed Twitter rant on a daily basis against Biden, and for good reason.

Joe Biden is the closest to an “average guy” who has run for President, and served in high office as a Senator and Vice President.

He has always been seen as one of the “poorest” public officials, as he has few assets, other than his salary and pension; his wife’s teaching job at a community college; their home in Delaware; and whatever he has gained from his book publishing and lectures, nowhere near the level of the Clintons, or the Obamas, by any means.

Joe Biden came from a lower middle class background in Scranton, Pennsylvania, and has always been seen as a person who truly related to the white working class of Pennsylvania, and the Midwest, and to those without a college education,and his capacity for empathy and sincerity and concern for average Americans has always resonated as true and genuine.

This does not mean that others, who had struggles, such as Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, Cory Booker, and Julian Castro do not also have empathy and sincerity and concern for average Americans. They most certainly do, but there is something about Joe Biden, with all of his faults and shortcomings, which all of the above have, that makes him seen in polls and generally as the most dangerous barrier to a second Donald Trump term in the Presidency.

Many have felt that if Joe Biden had somehow run in 2016, that he might have been able to overcome Hillary Clinton, win the nomination, and win the key states of Pennsylvania, Michigan, Wisconsin, and Ohio, and would have taken the Presidency, and saved the nation from the nightmare of Donald Trump.

Geographical Locations Of Democratic Presidential Candidates 2020: Every Area Represented

One thing is clear as the Democratic Presidential race heats up: Every area of the nation is represented, unless one wants to list the Great Plains as a separate geographical area.

We have three people from New England—Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, and Seth Moulton.

We have five people from the Mid Atlantic states—Kirsten Gillibrand, Cory Booker, Joe Biden, John Delaney, Andrew Yang (Entrepreneur and Philanthropist).

We have three people from the South—Julian Castro, Beto O’Rourke, Wayne Messam (little known African American Mayor of Miramar, Florida).

We have three people from the Midwest—Amy Klobuchar, Pete Buttigieg, Tim Ryan.

We have three people from the Rocky Mountain West—John Hickenlooper, Michael Bennet, Steve Bullock (not yet announced)

We have five people from the Pacific Coast—Kamala Harris, Eric Swalwell, Marianne Williamson (Author, Lecturer, Activist), Jay Inslee, Tulsi Gabbard.

And the latest news and leaks say New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio is about to announce.

And also, while no one takes him seriously, former Alaska Senator Mike Gravel (1969-1981), who is 88 years old, and also was an announced candidate for President in 2008, is also an announced candidate.

So if you count every candidate, even those who are not serious, we have 24 candidates announced, or soon to be announced.

No more than 20 will be in the debates, and one can be assured that Messam and Gravel will be unlikely to meet the threshold required to make the debates, and that de Blasio, Bullock, and Bennet, coming in after so many others, may not make the deadline either for the first debate at the end of June.

If one leaves out the two people who are not politicians along with Messam and Gravel, with none of those four seen as having any real chance to be the nominee, we are left with:

7 Senators–Sanders, Warren, Gillibrand, Booker, Klobuchar, Bennet, Harris

6 House of Representatives or former members–Moulton, Delaney, Ryan, O’Rourke, Swalwell, Gabbard

3 Governors or former —Hickenlooper, Bullock, Inslee

3 Mayors or former—Buttigieg, Castro, de Blasio

1 Former Vice President and Senator–Biden

Can Joe Biden Overcome The Obstacle Course Awaiting Him In 2020?

Former Vice President Joe Biden finally announced his campaign on Thursday, starting off as a front runner in polls.

But can he overcome the obstacle course awaiting him in 2020?

In his long career of 44 years in national office, 36 in the US Senate and eight years as Vice President, the longest public service record of any Presidential candidate in modern history, Biden came across as genuine, sincere, decent, and compassionate, and gained millions of fans, including this blogger and author.

But he also made judgments that are problematical, including being against school busing in Delaware; supporting the credit card industry in his state, and in so doing, undermining the ability of debtors to protect themselves by bankruptcy; his lack of protection of Anita Hill in the Clarence Thomas hearings in 1991, for which he continues to apologize but in an unsatisfactory manner; his support of an interventionist foreign policy in Iraq; his many gaffes, many of them harmless but still giving him a reputation for loose and thoughtless language; and his habit of being too touchy feely with women and girls, although never accused of sexual improprieties.

Biden also promoted tough crime and drug laws in the 1990s, which are now looked at as blunders that put too many African Americans in prison unjustifiably, and his leadership at different times of the Senate Judiciary Committee and Senate Foreign Relations Committee has been criticized. His ability to “cross the aisle” and work with many Republicans is seen by some as a weakness, while others see it as a strength.

Biden is a centrist Democrat in 2019 at a time when many progressives are much further to the left than him, and one wonders if he could gain the support of those to his left if he wins the nomination, as he is perceived as too close to the traditional power centers of the party.

Joe Biden has many positive attributes, but his negative side and shortcomings, as seen by many critics, could doom him in a race against Donald Trump, when the most important thing possible is to insure that Donald Trump does not gain a second term, as that would be destructive of every progressive goal in the short run and long run.

This blogger and author has always looked at Joe Biden as a hero of his, as much as earlier, Hubert Humphrey was his model of what a political leader should be like. But Humphrey had the same problem 50 years ago of being admired and praised, but seen by many as not the best choice to oppose Richard Nixon in 1968, against Robert Kennedy and Eugene McCarthy.

So the same quandary of 1968 awaits us in 2020, to find the best person to be successful against the greatest menace, Donald Trump, that we have had in a half century of American political history, far more damaging than Richard Nixon.

And while Hubert Humphrey was 57 at the time he ran for President in 1968, Joe Biden will be 78 shortly after the election, and as in 1960, 1976, 1992, and 2008, Democrats were able to elect a “new generation” leadership of John F. Kennedy (age 43); Jimmy Carter (age 52); Bill Clinton (age 46); and Barack Obama (age 47).

Should that be the direction for 2020 is the ultimate challenge for the Democrats.

And will Joe Biden be able to win the white working class of the Midwest and Pennsylvania? Will he be able to keep the African American community around him? Will he be able to draw moderate independents and alienated Republicans, who do not wish to vote for Donald Trump? Will he be able to win suburban whites, who veered toward Democrats in 2018? Will many seniors who supported Trump come back to the Democrats they once supported? And will enough young voters who have supported Bernie Sanders, who is 14 months older than Joe Biden, extend their allegiance to Biden if he stops the Sanders juggernaut?

These are the questions that will dominate the upcoming Presidential campaign of 2020.

Age Range Of Democratic Presidential Candidates

The Washington Post has done a study of the age range of all 20 Democratic Presidential candidates.

It turns out that half are under age 50, and half are ages 50-77.

Four are age 40 and lower, and six are between 40 and 50.

Four are in their 50s, and four are in their 60s, while Bernie Sanders and Joe Biden are in their mid 70s.

Of course, all 20 Democrats will be nearly two years older when the inauguration comes.

Interestingly, both Bernie Sanders and Joe Biden are in the lead in polls, despite their age, while two women, Kamala Harris and Elizabeth Warren between 50 and 70 are right behind them, and with Beto O’Rourke in his 40s also competing, and one of the four below age 40, Pete Buttigieg, also doing well at this point.

So we have a wide variety of age distribution, and the question is how the different age groups will vote once the primaries and caucuses begin in about 10 months.

The Ultimate Age Battle Looking More Likely To Occur: Late 70s Male (Biden Or Sanders) Vs. Millennial Male (Buttigieg)

An amazing situation may be arising: a battle not over man against woman for the Democratic Presidential nomination, but instead a battle over age between one of two candidates, both of whom are the oldest ever to announce for President and be seen as serious potential candidates, and a candidate who would be by far the youngest President in American history, with only William Jennings Bryan in 1896 being an actually younger nominee.

This blogger is referring to Joe Biden or Bernie Sanders vs Pete Buttigieg.

Biden would be 78 and 2 months on Inauguration Day; Sanders 79 and four months on Inauguration Day; and Buttigieg 39 years and one day old on Inauguration Day.

Both Biden and Sanders are twice the age of Buttigieg.

Biden and Sanders were born in the World War II era, so they are not technically “Baby Boomers”, those born from the beginning of 1946 to the end of 1964, the era in which we have had three Presidents born in 1946 months apart, with Bill Clinton in August, George W. Bush in July, and Donald Trump in June; along with Barack Obama, born in August 1961.

Buttigieg is part of the Millennial generation born in the 1980s, born in 1982, alongside two other Millennial candidates for President, Eric Swalwell, born in 1980; and Tulsi Gabbard, born in 1981.