John Hickenlooper

The Second Night’s Democratic Debate: Kamala Harris, Pete Buttigieg The Stars, But Eric Swalwell And Marianne Williamson Gained Notice

The second night’s Democratic Party debate has two clear winners—Kamala Harris and Pete Buttigieg.

But Eric Swalwell and author Marianne Williamson also impressed this author and blogger, although no one in reality would think that Williamson would have any chance to win the nomination.

Joe Biden’s dominance is no longer such, and it could be a sign of troubles ahead, as his performance was lackluster, while not eliminating him, but a lot of homework is ahead if he is to keep his lead in the polls.

Bernie Sanders came across as strong in his views, but one still has to wonder how his ideas can be seen as pragmatic and possible, were he to be elected, which seems doubtful.

The remainder of the list—John Hickenlooper, Michael Bennet, Kirsten Gillibrand, and Andrew Yang—did not come across well to this observer.

So at this point, while nothing is final, one would think the true competitors are, besides Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders, the following in no special order:

Elizabeth Warren

Kamala Harris

Pete Buttigieg

Julian Castro

Amy Klobuchar

Jay Inslee

Cory Booker

Eric Swalwell

We are far from knowing who will be the nominees of the Democratic Party, however, and the people will decide in the caucuses and primaries beginning about seven months from now.

The Second Debate Mix: What To Expect

The second Democratic Presidential debate will take place on Thursday, June 27 from 9-11 pm on NBC and MSNBC.

It includes the following ten candidates:

Joe Biden

Bernie Sanders

Pete Buttigieg

Kamala Harris

Kirsten Gillibrand

Michael Bennet

Marianne Williamson

Eric Swalwell

John Hickenlooper

Andrew Yang

The group includes the former Vice President and US Senator; four other US Senators; a member of the House of Representatives; a Mayor; a former Governor; and two independent, out of government candidates.

This debate has more of the so called “heavyweights”—Biden, Sanders, Buttigieg, Harris—with the other six candidates seen as much weaker in likelihood of long term survival.

Joe Biden must defend himself as the clear front runner, and avoid any more gaffes, after some controversial statements about his past ability to cross the aisle and work with past racial segregationists, as well as his continued habit of touching and hugging women and children, violating their personal space. He could be harmed by a poor performance, but one must remember how good he was in debates in 2008, and against Sarah Palin and Paul Ryan in Vice Presidential debates in 2008 and 2012.

Bernie Sanders will come across strongly, but has many concerned that he cannot carry the nation in the upcoming Presidential election, with the fact that he embraces the word “Socialist”, which can be abused by Trump and the Republicans against him. He will be engaged in major combat with Biden for sure, as Sanders attempts to overtake him in future polls and fundraising.

Pete Buttigieg has been involved in a major crisis as South Bend, Indiana Mayor, with the recent murder of a black man by city police, and he is under attack for the racial troubles involving the law enforcement community. He should do well in the debate, but can he overcome the massive lead of Biden and Sanders over the rest of the contenders, is the question.

Kamala Harris should come on strong as well, but will need to clarify her stand on the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), which she compared months ago to the Ku Klux Klan. The assumption is that she will continue to flourish and possibly grow in support.

Some people think Marianne Williamson and Andrew Yang, outsiders who clearly have great ideas and intellect, might shine, but somehow, this author and blogger does not see it succeeding.

Of the remaining four, it seems to this author and blogger that Eric Swalwell has the best shot of survival, just a gut feeling, but that Kirsten Gillibrand, Michael Bennet, and John Hickenlooper have little chance of lasting much beyond the first couple of months of the debate season.

My gut feeling is that out of this group that Biden, Sanders, Buttigieg, Harris, Swalwell, and possibly Williamson and Yang will survive to go on for another day.

This would make the 20 candidates diminish to 12—-and one can say only possibly Steve Bullock, Montana Governor, who was not allowed in the first set of debates, might still have a shot of those few who are not in this debate, leaving Seth Moulton, Congressman from Massachusetts, and the new announced candidate, former Pennsylvania Congressman Joe Sestak, out in the cold.

So expect out of 23 candidates, 13 will make it to the future debates.

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

Four Presidential Candidates Who Should Run For Senate Instead

It is clear, with the announcement today officially that Montana Governor Steve Bullock is running for President, making for a total of 22 candidates, that there are simply too many, and that some of them need to give up the fight, and run instead for the US Senate, to bolster the chances of a Democratic take over in 2020.

Without the Senate, any Democratic President will face the impossibility of accomplishing his or her goals for the nation, both domestically and in foreign affairs.

So some friendly advice as follows:

Steve Bullock of Montana, run for the US Senate, and since you have been a popular Governor for two terms, spend your time on helping the Democrats gain the Senate majority and defeat Senator Steve Daines.

John Hickenlooper of Colorado, the same advice for you, run to defeat Cory Gardner, one of the most endangered Republicans.

Beto O’Rourke of Texas, you could really help make the Lone Star State turn “Blue” after your close race against Ted Cruz in 2018. Run to retire John Cornyn.

And Stacey Abrams, who is rumored to be thinking of announcing for President, instead you should run for Senator in Georgia, and defeat David Perdue.

The American West A Rare Location For Presidential Contenders And Nominees Historically

Historically, the vast majority of Presidential contenders and nominees have come from no further west than the Great Plains.

And only two Presidential nominees, Richard Nixon, and Ronald Reagan, have been elected from the vast area west of the Great Plains. Even Nixon, when he ran for President the second time in 1968, was actually a resident of New York, while Reagan had spent his early life in Illinois, before migrating to Hollywood for an acting career.

Only two Presidential candidates, other than Nixon and Reagan, have made it as the nominees of their party, both from Arizona–Senators Barry Goldwater and John McCain.

The Mountain States have been particularly lacking in Presidential contenders historically, with only Senator Gary Hart and Congresswoman Patricia Schroeder of Colorado; Governor Bill Richardson of New Mexico; Governor Bruce Babbitt of Arizona; and Senator Frank Church of Idaho having ever conducted campaigns for President, along with Senator William Borah of Idaho early in the 20th century.

Now, we have two Coloradans, former Governor John Hickenlooper and Senator Michael Bennet, contending for the Democratic Presidential nomination, and the soon to be contending Governor Steve Bullock of Montana, expected to announce in mid May.

Looking at the Pacific Coast states, we have only had Governor Jerry Brown of California and Senator Henry (Scoop) Jackson of Washington who have contended for the Presidency, along with Senator Hiram Johnson of California attempting a run in the early 20th century.

Now, we have Senator Kamala Harris of California and Congressman Eric Swalwell of California, Governor Jay Inslee of Washington, and Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard of Hawaii, all running for the Democratic Presidential nomination.

Other than California, the likelihood of a future nominee or winner of the Presidency from those states west of the Great Plains would seem to be highly unlikely, as the population is much smaller than in the rest of the nation, although growth has been going on in some of those states, particularly Colorado, Arizona, and Washington.

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

And Now Number 22 Announces: Colorado Senator Michael Bennet

When this author and blogger published yesterday about the impending announcement of Presidential candidacy by Montana Governor Steve Bullock, he did not know or imagine that Colorado Senator Michael Bennet would “jump the gun” and announce, probably two weeks before Bullock is expected to announce for President.

In any case, once Bullock jumps in the race, with Bennet already now in, we will have 22 Democratic Presidential candidates, the most ever.

However, one can be sure that once the debates begin in late June, and go on for every month, and once the question of money, polls, and adequate staff support start to kick in, we can expect that by the fall, probably half of the group will not be competing in the Iowa Caucuses and the New Hampshire Primary and beyond.

The newest entrant is the 7th sitting US Senator to announce, and has been in the Senate for ten years, first appointed to replace Ken Salazar as he became the Secretary of the Interior under President Barack Obama a decade ago.

Bennet graduated from Wesleyan University, and then Yale Law School, where he was editor in chief of the Yale Law Journal.

Previously, Bennet had been the Chief of Staff to Denver Mayor John Hickenlooper, before the latter became Colorado Governor. Ironically, now Bennet is competing with his former boss for the Presidency. He was Superintendant of the Denver Public School System from 2005-2009 before his appointment to the Senate. He was elected to a full term in 2010, and reelected in 2016.

Bennet’s father was a major figure in Democratic politics, having worked for Hubert Humphrey, Jimmy Carter, and Bill Clinton; and his grandfather was an adviser to Franklin D. Roosevelt. The father also was President and CEO of National Public Radio, and President of Wesleyan University, so Bennet comes from a very distinguished background.

When Bennet won his second term in 2016, he gained more votes than Hillary Clinton, who won the state. He also won more votes than any Democrat in Colorado history in a state wide race, and more votes in rural counties than any Democrat in Colorado history.

Bennet has been a typical Democrat in his record on voting, and has been noted for sharp attacks on Senator Ted Cruz, causing more views on C Span when he attacked Cruz in January 2019 for his hypocrisy on the federal government shutdown spurred by President Donald Trump.

Bennet was born with a Jewish mother and Christian father, and while not observant, he acknowledges his Jewish roots.

Bennet underwent what is termed as successful prostate cancer surgery in April, and says it is cured, but that could become an issue in the campaign.

The fact that he was born in New Delhi, India, while his father was an aide to the US Ambassador to India, could become an issue as well, although it seems that he was born on the US Embassy grounds, which would be US territory. This is similar to John McCain born in the Panama Canal Zone, which his dad was serving at the US Navy Air Station in 1936.

Whether Bennet, who is 54, can make a dent in the Presidential campaign is yet to be seen, but at the moment, not perceived as likely. He portrays himself as a pragmatist and centrist. Coming from Colorado, a key purple state that has gone to the Democrats lately, makes him significant, although John Hickenlooper, his former boss, is also competing with his aide for the Presidency.

Will Democrats Go Back To A White Male Presidential Nominee After Three Times Not Doing So?

In the midst of a revolutionary situation in Democratic Party politics, where we have six women and four people of color announcing for President, the question arises whether the Democratic Party will go back to the old standard of a white male Presidential nominee in 2020.

It is often not thought about that the last three times, the Democrats nominated a man of color (Barack Obama), and a white woman (Hillary Clinton).

With the growing number of people of color in the population, and the clear cut advantage for Democrats among women, the question is whether that means the Democrats need to continue down the road they have been on, and in so doing, likely alienating many middle class and working class white males, particularly in the Midwest and South, who feel they are being overlooked and ignored.

So is it wise to nominate Joe Biden, Bernie Sanders, Pete Buttigieg, Beto O’Rourke, Eric Swalwell, Tim Ryan, Jay Inslee, John Hickenlooper, John Delaney, or Seth Moulton?

The ultimate issue is what strategy is best, so that the Democrats regain the Presidency and the Senate, and retire Donald Trump, and lead to his facing criminal prosecution.

Reality Of Democratic Presidential Contenders: They MUST Win Home Or Regional State Primary Or Caucus To Survive To Later Battles

With up to two dozen or more Democrats as Presidential contenders, history tells us that such candidates MUST win their home or regional state primary or caucus in 2020 to survive to later battles.

As a result, we will see winnowing down of candidates during the month of February and early March 2020, after some candidates drop out as a result of a poor performance (by comparison and journalistic judgment) at upcoming debates being held monthly starting in late June and the early primaries and caucuses.

So IF Bernie Sanders or Elizabeth Warren fail to win New Hampshire and or Massachusetts. their candidacies will be effectively over.

So IF Amy Klobuchar, or Pete Buttigieg, or Tim Ryan fail to win Iowa or Minnesota or Michigan or Ohio or Missouri, their candidacies are dead in the water.

So if Julian Castro or Beto O’Rourke fail to win Texas, they will be knocked out of the race for the White House.

So if Kamala Harris or Cory Booker cannot win in South Carolina, with its heavily African American Democratic registration, their Presidential candidacies are doomed.

So if Kamala Harris, or Eric Swalwell, or Tulsi Gabbard, or Jay Inslee, or John Hickenlooper fail to win California or Nevada or Washington, their campaigns will effectively end.

All of the states mentioned above have their primaries or caucuses taking place between February 3 and March 10.

The state of New York will also have its primaries in either February or early March, still undetermined, and Cory Booker or Kirsten Gillibrand would be expected to win that state in order to survive for a longer period.

Notice that the one “national” candidate who does not need to win any specific state or group of states to be viable is former Vice President Joe Biden, who could lose some, win some, but would likely have greater staying power in the race than anyone else.

So by the “Ides Of March” (March 15 or two days later, March 17, when Florida, Arizona, Illinois, and Colorado have had their primaries), we are likely to know who the Democratic nominee is for President.