Julian Castro

Kamala Harris Withdrawal From Presidential Race Changes The Equation

It was surprising that California Senator Kamala Harris withdrew from the Democratic Presidential competition yesterday, something no one could have predicted would happen so early.

Senator Harris said that money took her out of the race, as she is not a billionaire, and that brings up the issue of the absolute necessity to do something to prevent the future political scene only being based on personal wealth, as with Michael Bloomberg and Tom Steyer, who should not have the ability to compete simply based on their personal wealth.

The need for a turnover of the Citizens United Supreme Court decision of 2010, and the passage of another equivalent McCain-Feingold Act is urgent.

For right now, Harris’s withdrawal changes the equation, giving potential new life to New Jersey Senator Cory Booker and former San Antonio Mayor and Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Julian Castro, as otherwise, there will be no diversity to the Democratic debates coming on December 19 in Los Angeles, plus the future debates in the early months of 2020.

And the question also arises as to where Harris staff will gravitate, with the possibility of them going to South Bend, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg or Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren, as the most likely campaigns that may gain such support.

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.

Kamala Harris, Julian Castro, Amy Klobuchar, Cory Booker: All These Candidates On Free Fall

California Senator Kamala Harris, former San Antonio Mayor and Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julian Castro, Minnesota Senator Amy Klobuchar, and New Jersey Senator Cory Booker are all in free fall as Presidential candidates.

Raising money, doing well in polls, and stirring media interest has been very difficult, and unless the situation changes drastically in the next two months, it could be some of these potential candidates may not survive to the Iowa Caucuses and New Hampshire Primary, and certainly not beyond then.

Any of these candidates could still, theoretically, be in the running for becoming the Vice Presidential choice of the Presidential candidate, of course.

But it is reaching the time when the number of candidates needs to dwindle down dramatically, in order for the Democrats to have competitive candidates debate in a smaller group, and in a more serious in depth manner.

Deval Patrick Joins The Presidential Race Belatedly

Former Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick entered the race for the Democratic Presidential nomination this week, further muddying up the waters at a time when we need fewer candidates.

Patrick is impressive in many ways, but being connected to Bain Capital, the company started by Mitt Romney, is not a plus, and it seems to this blogger that he has little chance to be a major factor in the race, in that sense joining former NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who has decided not to compete in the February 2020 contests in Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina and Nevada.

The concern is that by having ever more contenders, the Democrats will shoot themselves, and help Donald Trump to win the Presidency, even after he is impeached by the House of Representatives, but failing to be convicted in the US Senate.

The fact that there are still ten contenders in the MSNBC debate this coming Wednesday in Atlanta, cosponsored by the Washington Post, is not good, as clearly some of them have zero chance to be the nominee.

At the same time, other contenders, including Julian Castro and Steve Bullock, are probably now no longer to be seen as serious contenders.

But one cannot see Tom Steyer or Tulsi Gabbard as serious contenders, and they are in the upcoming debate.

Hopefully, the number of contenders will soon decline rapidly after this fourth debate.

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!

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.

CNN Makes Major Contribution To Addressing The Issue Of Gay, Lesbian, And Transgender Rights, Essential For Social Justice

CNN made a major contribution last night to addressing the issue of gay, lesbian and transgender rights, essential for social justice.

Nine Presidential candidates had a half hour each to answer questions and make clear their views on this crucial topic.

Cory Booker, Joe Biden, Pete Buttigieg, Elizabeth Warren, Kamala Harris, Beto O’Rourke, Julian Castro, Amy Klobuchar, Julian Castro, and Tom Steyer participated between 730 pm and midnight.

Bernie Sanders did not participate due to his recent heart attack, and Tulsi Gabbard and Andrew Yang claimed scheduling issues made it impossible for them to be present.

Particularly impressive, in the mind of this blogger and author, was Pete Buttigieg, the first openly gay Presidential candidate, who has made a good impression on many people on many different issues, and has been successful in raising millions of dollars in the third quarter of 2019, and is fourth in most polls.

But all of the candidates are open minded and tolerant, a stark difference from the evangelical right wing Christian view advocated by Vice President Mike Pence, and promoted by Donald Trump, despite his total lack of religiosity his entire life. Trump has ended the policy of tolerance of gays in the military, and has shown no willingness to have an open mind on gay rights, including judicial appointments of nominees clearly anti gay, using religion as an excuse for discrimination.

The Likely Long Term Result Of The Third Democratic Presidential Debate: Probably Seven Of The Ten Are Still Viable

Upon further reflection about the Houston Democratic Presidential debate last Thursday, it would seem that three candidates have lost the likelihood of having a real chance to be the nominee of the party in 2020.

Those would be:

Andrew Yang, who offered ten families $1,000 a month for the next year as part of his promotion of $1,000 a month for all adults over the age of 18, which drew some attention when he said it, but is seen as a death knell for his candidacy, even though Republican President Richard Nixon suggested a similar plan of $500 a month nearly fifty years ago.

Julian Castro, who by, seemingly, bringing up ageism as an issue about Joe Biden, made many enemies, and it is likely to derail his campaign, and probably kills any chance of him being the Vice Presidential nominee.

Beto O’Rourke, who by calling for mandatory buyback of AR 15s and AK 47s gave great propaganda to gun enthusiasts and the National Rifle Association, who will use what he said against Democrats to scare gun owners to vote Republican, not an insubstantial number. While one can understand O’Rourke’s sincere emotions after the El Paso and Odessa-Midland shootings in August, it is a guaranteed defeat for any Democrat to follow through as O’Rourke has, not because it is wrong, but because it is not winnable in a national election, despite all of the mass murders that have occurred in recent years.

Additionally, since the ageism issue has been brought up, it could be that the two oldest potential nominees–Bernie Sanders and Joe Biden–who would reach 80 early in the next term, might find that their candidacies might worry and concern voters, especially at a time when Donald Trump is showing signs of mental decline, even though he is four and five years younger than Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders, respectively.

So more attention will likely be paid to other candidates—Elizabeth Warren, Pete Buttigieg, Amy Klobuchar, Cory Booker, and Kamala Harris.

With 141 days to the Iowa Caucuses, it is far from certain what will happen in the battle for the Democratic nomination for President.

Did Julian Castro Destroy Himself With His Criticism Of Joe Biden? That Should NOT Be So!

The biggest story coming out of the Houston Democratic Presidential debate was Julian Castro criticizing Joe Biden for contradicting what he had just said earlier about his health care plan.

It seems that Castro had, somehow, misinterpreted what Biden said, but many thought it was Castro trying to draw attention to the fact that Biden seems to many NOT to be as mentally alert as he has been in the past.

The charge of “Ageism” has been lodged against Castro, but it seems to this blogger to be unfair, as many around the Democratic Party establishment have been saying such thoughts privately.

This blogger has always admired Joe Biden, but is also concerned about his mental acuity and memory, as he and Bernie Sanders would both reach 80 years of age early in the term.

So even if Castro was a bit unfair, the issue of mental acuity of people reaching their 80s in the Presidency IS an issue that needs to be addressed.

We need a totally competent person with no slip ups to challenge Donald Trump in 2020, and it is very worrisome to have the oldest potential Presidential candidates in history who might not be up to the task under the pressures and stress of a campaign, and then of four to eight years of the most difficult job in the world, the American Presidency.

So I say give Julian Castro a pass, and be happy that he has, at least, addressed the age issue, which needs to be resolved before the nomination process is finished, as it could be crucial to the future of the nation!