Julian Castro

Early Caucuses And Primaries Favor Different Democratic Presidential Nominees

A year from now, the early Presidential caucuses and primaries create a situation where different candidates may have an edge, and are likely to create more complications in deciding who will gain and who will lose favor.

The Iowa Caucuses might favor Minnesota Senator Amy Klobuchar or Ohio Senator Sherrod Brown.

The New Hampshire Primary might favor Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders or Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren.

The Nevada Caucuses might favor California Senator Kamala Harris or Colorado Senator Michael Bennet.

The South Carolina Primary might favor either New Jersey Senator Cory Booker or California Senator Kamala Harris, with its heavily African American Democratic membership in that Southern state.

On Super Tuesday, March 3, Harris might be favored in her home state of California; and former San Antonio Mayor and Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Julian Castro or former El Paso Congressman Beto O’Rourke might have the edge in Texas.

As the month of March wears on, with a number of Midwestern primaries in Michigan, Missouri, Ohio and Illinois, Klobuchar and Brown would seem to have the edge, assuming no one has become the obvious Presidential choice after Super Tuesday, as at least seven other primaries are conducted that day.

Of course, based on past elections, it could be that the nominee would be decided simply by the large number of states conducting their primaries on March 3 (at least 9 states, including the giant ones of California and Texas).

One Year To The Iowa Caucuses, And The Democratic Presidential Race Is Wide Open And Even Chaotic

One year from February 3, a Monday in 2020, we will witness the 2020 Democratic Presidential Caucuses, the first test on the road to the Presidential nomination, as it turned out to be exactly 11 years ago on January 3, 2008, when Barack Obama won out over Hillary Clinton.

One year out, it is impossible to figure out who will be the Democratic Presidential nominee, but with the urgency that it is essential that whoever is selected is able to win the Presidency, and save the nation from a second term of Donald Trump or a succession of Mike Pence.

Within just one month, February 3 to March 3, assuredly, the field, which may start as high as 25 candidates, will be winnowed to no more than 5, and March 3, Super Tuesday, with California and Texas and a vast number of other states voting, could cut it down to no more than 3 finalists.

A prognostication, which may prove to be totally preposterous in retrospect in a year, this blogger senses that the following five will be the ultimate finalists:

Vice President Joe Biden, representing the older, establishment, experienced group of candidates and the Barack Obama legacy.

Senator Sherrod Brown of Ohio and Senator Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota, representing the Midwest heartland, and like Biden, appeal to white working class voters.

Former San Antonio Mayor and Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Julian Castro, a Latino, and younger by months if he became President than Bill Clinton, from Texas, representing the largest minority in America in a state and section of the nation with growing potential to turn Blue in the next decade, and transform the Electoral College in favor of the Democrats long term.

Senator Kamala Harris of California, mixed race (mother from India and father from Jamaica), often called “the female Barack Obama”, representing a candidate who revolutionizes the whole election process with her presence, and if she wins California, it could propel her into front runner status.

I would sense that the Presidential-Vice Presidential team will come from this group of five, but we shall see as the next year transpires.

2019 Will Be The Most Significant Year Since 1968, Tumultuous And Transformative

The year 2019 will assuredly be the most tumultuous and transformative year since 1968.

The Democrats taking over the House of Representatives means full investigation of the Presidency of Donald Trump, and the likelihood of the impeachment of Donald Trump.

It might seem that Trump will survive in office, but this blogger believes he will be forced out by resignation, and a deal whereby his children and son in law will avoid prosecution, if Donald Trump agrees to resign.

The pressure on Trump will grow, and his health will likely get worse, and while it might seem that he will not give in and resign, the same thought 45 years ago about Richard Nixon, this blogger’s belief that he will leave office by mid year is strongly held.

If he leaves office no later than June 20, 2019, then Trump will have served exactly 29 months, matching the exact term of President Warren G. Harding from 1921-1923, which is the 4th shortest term of any President in American history.

The likelihood of a President Mike Pence is strong, but he would face party opposition from a number of Republican potential challengers, including John Kasich, Jeff Flake, or Bob Corker, all of whom will not be in public office in 2019.

Also, the likelihood of growing conflict between Chief Justice John Roberts and President Trump will become part of the story of the end of the Trump Presidency.

And Nancy Pelosi, the best Speaker of the House since Thomas “Tip” O’Neill (1977-1987), will play a major role in the events transpiring next year.

And also expect a major battle between the “old timers” (Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders), as well as between them and a new generation of leadership much more diverse, for the Presidential Election Of 2020, including Amy Klobuchar, Kamala Harris, Cory Booker, Julian Castro, Eric Garcetti, and Chris Murphy, among other Democratic contenders.

Latinos In Congress Gain Major Role In 116th Congress

There are 57 million Latinos, from Puerto Rican heritage, as well as Cuban, Mexican, and one from Ecuador in the United States as 2018 comes to an end.

A record of 43 Latinos will be sitting in the 116th Congress, with some in leadership roles, as Latinos now constitute 18 percent of the total population, the nation’s largest minority group.

New Mexico Representative Ben Ray Lujan has been chosen by the Democratic Caucus to be Assistant Democratic Leader, the fourth ranking position in the House Leadership, and could be on the road to being a future Whip, Majority Leader, or even Speaker of the House in the future.

Meanwhile, Nevada Senator Catherine Cortez Masto will be in charge of the party’s campaign arm for Senate races in 2020, the first Latina to have a position of authority in the Democratic Party.

The Congressional Hispanic Caucus will be headed by Texas Representative Joaquin Castro, and his brother, Julian, is about to announce his candidacy for President, the first serious Latino to compete for the White House.

The caucus will pursue comprehensive immigration reform; reconstruction in Puerto Rico after Hurricane Maria; raising the minimum wage; lowering the cost of health care; and dealing with climate change.

Ten new Latinos are coming to Congress, the largest increase ever, with five Democrats who were first time candidates defeating Republican incumbents in November, including one Latina.

Four other Latinas will be in the new Congress, including two from Texas, and one from the Bronx, New York, and one born in Ecuador.

35 of the 43 Latinos in the next Congress are Democrats, to 8 Republicans, with only one new Republican Latino, elected in Ohio, the first Latino ever elected from Ohio.

Seven other first time Republican Latinos Congressional candidates lost, in the era of the anti Latino and anti immigrant rhetoric common to Donald Trump and his administration.

And two Republican Latinos lost their seats in California and Florida, not a good sign for Latino impact on the Republican Party in the future.

The Best 14 Potential Democratic Presidential Candidates For 2020

As one looks ahead to 2020, this author and blogger wishes to indicate who he considers to be the 14 best potential Democratic Presidential candidates for 2020.

There are an estimated 30 or more potential candidates who might announce for President, but many of them seem wanting in many respects, and as stated by this author yesterday, having more than about a dozen would be counterproductive.

Of course, individual politicians who wish to run are not going to concern themselves with numbers, but I wish to indicate the list that I feel is the most legitimate, and most likely, that we will see the final few Presidential contenders emerging  as  serious possibilities.

So in no special order, except by geographical sections, here goes:

Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont

Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts

Senator Chris Murphy of Connecticut

Senator Cory Booker of New Jersey

Former Vice President Joe Biden of Delaware

Senator Sherrod Brown of Ohio

Senator Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota

Former San Antonio Mayor and Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Julian Castro of Texas

Former Congressman Robert Francis (Beto) O’Rourke of Texas

Governor Steve Bullock of Montana

Senator Jeff Merkley of Oregon

Senator Kamala Harris of California

Mayor Eric Garcetti of Los Angeles

Congressman Eric Swalwell of California

So the list includes 8 Senators, 2 House members past or present, three Mayors past or present, 1 Governor, and 1 former Vice President of the United State, who served in the Senate for 36 years..

It is an impressive list, heavily weighted toward US Senators, but with some alternatives from elsewhere, and some from farther left and others more toward the moderate center, with the question being what is the best strategy for the Democrats for the Presidential campaign of 2020.

Early Speculation On Democratic Presidential Ticket For 2020

Here we are in mid March 2018, and already, speculation is beginning as to who might be on the Democratic Presidential ticket for 2020.

This is a fun game, with no likelihood that it is truly a forecast of the future.

However, right now, those on the left of the Democratic Party dream of a ticket of Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders and Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren, both who face reelection in November, but seem unlikely to have a serious challenge for their Senate seats.

But to believe that two far left Democrats can together be elected seems to this observer to be a pipe dream, not to be taken seriously.

And putting a 79 and 71 year old in 2020 on the ticket is a bit much, as even having one candidate in his or her 70s is seen by many observers as a problem.

Consider that Sanders would be 83 after one term in office, and Warren would be 75, and it just does not add up as likely to have both of them, or even maybe one of them on the ticket.

A second scenario has former Vice President Joe Biden running with Massachusetts Congressman Joe Kennedy III or Minnesota Senator Amy Klobuchar, a more centrist ticket.

But Biden will be 78 two weeks after the 2020 election, so would be 82 at the end of a first term. There are rumors that he might declare he would only serve one term, and let Joe Kennedy or Amy Klobuchar be next in line ready to succeed, as after one term as Vice President, Kennedy would be 44 in 2024, and Klobuchar would be 64. The appeal particularly of a Joe-Joe ticket is very high right now.

A third scenario would be Joe Kennedy III, at age 40, and only having served in the House of Representatives, running for President, with the famous Kennedy name behind him, and Senator Kamala Harris of California or New jersey Senator Cory Booker or former Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julian Castro of Texas or his twin brother Joaquin Castro, Texas Congressman, as Vice Presidential running mate for the young Kennedy, with Harris being 57, Booker being 51, and the two Castro brothers being 46 in 2020.

This third potential combination would bring youth and diversity to the ticket in a rapidly changing America.

This is only the beginning of the speculation for 2020.

Hillary Clinton’s New Memoir: Will It Destroy A Possible Future Candidacy Or Promote It?

Hillary Clinton’s new memoir on her Presidential campaign is out, and the question is whether it will destroy a possible future candidacy for President, or promote it.

Clinton certainly blames herself for some of the actions and statements that doomed her, but also places a lot of blame on others, including former FBI Director James Comey; her rival for the nomination, Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont; Today Show Host Matt Lauer, who moderated a debate that she feels was poorly handled by him; and of course, Donald Trump.

She points out her belief that there was definite Russian collusion for Donald Trump; makes clear her disgust at Trump’s tactics during the campaign; makes clear her belief that Trump was and is totally unqualified on experience and judgment to be our President; and tells us she is not going anywhere into the distance, but will continue to speak up on issues and personalities, including on Donald Trump.

Clinton recognizes that millions love her and voted for her, and gave her a 2.85 million popular vote margin, but that millions others hate her with a passion, and that sexism played a major role in her defeat, along with disgust by many at her husband, Bill Clinton, even though millions of others admire and support her husband and his Presidency in the 1990s.

Clinton informs us that while she will continue to be part of public discourse, she will NOT run for President again, which seems totally sensible and rational.

While she has run twice already, there is no desire to match Henry Clay and William Jennings Bryan, who ran and lost three times; or Thomas E. Dewey and Adlai Stevenson, who ran and lost two times.

It is indeed time for fresh leadership, and so the idea of Bernie Sanders at age 79 in 2020 running for President is a terrible idea, and even Joe Biden, who this blogger loves, and believes that he would have defeated Donald Trump had he been the nominee, running again at age 78 in 2020, is not a good way to go.

Rather, we need YOUNGER leadership, such as Senator Chris Murphy of Connecticut; Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti; Senator Kamala Harris of California; Senator Cory Booker of New Jersey; Former Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Julian Castro of Texas; Lieutenant Governor Gavin Newsom of California (running for Governor in 2018); Senator Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota; Senator Kirsten Gillibrand of New York; Senator Jeff Merkley of Oregon; Governor Andrew Cuomo of New York; Governor John Hickenlooper of Colorado; Senator Sherrod Brown of Ohio; Senator Mark Warner of Virginia; Senator Al Franken of Minnesota; Senator Tim Kaine of Virginia; and former Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley, among others.

Senator Elizabeth Warren is also talked about, as with Sanders and Hillary Clinton, but being in the 70s by 2020 makes her NOT a good choice, and she is also extremely controversial, and would be unlikely to gain any more support in the proper places and states to be elected President, because if anything, she is more vehement and more controversial to many than Sanders or Clinton.

Again, we need NEW leadership, with a preference for the YOUNGER part of the above group.

Analyzing Hillary Clinton’s Choice For Vice President: Most Likely To Be A Sitting US Senator

It is two days until Democrat Hillary Clinton announces her Vice Presidential running mate, and it is almost certain, looking at history, that it will be a sitting United States Senator.

If one looks back historically from 1944 onward, every VP nominee except one and a half times (to be explained in next paragraph) was a sitting Senator.

The only exceptions were Sargent Shriver (second choice after Senator Thomas Eagleton withdrew over his mental shock treatments being revealed) in 1972, and Congresswoman Geraldine Ferraro in 1984, and those were the two worst Democratic defeats ever in their history.

So 16 out of 18 elections, a US Senator ran for Vice President:

Harry Truman 1944
Alben Barkley 1948
John Sparkman 1952
Estes Kefavuer 1956
Lyndon B. Johnson 1960
Hubert Humphrey 1964
Edmund Muskie 1968
Walter Mondale 1976 and 1980
Lloyd Bentsen 1988
Al Gore 1992 and 1996
Joe Lieberman 2000
John Edwards 2004
Joe Biden 2008 and 2012

Notice that 8 of the above 13 Senators who ran for VP were from the South or Border states, and two were from Minnesota–and keep this in mind as you read further down on this entry.

So it would seem to this blogger that, based on history, one can assume that three cabinet officers—Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Julian Castro, Secretary of Labor Tom Perez, and Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack (a recent name added to the mix), would be unlikely to be chosen.

So that would leave the following as possible choices, all US Senators:

Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts
Cory Booker of New Jersey
Tim Kaine of Virginia
Sherrod Brown of Ohio
Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota
Al Franken of Minnesota

The problem is that Massachusetts, New Jersey, and Ohio have Republican Governors, so at least temporarily, a seat would be lost by Republican appointment, which could be crucial to organization of the US Senate next year.

So it would seem to this blogger that Tim Kaine is the most likely choice, followed by Amy Klobuchar (bringing a woman to the ticket, but not the highly controversial Elizabeth Warren).

In two days, we shall see!

The Reality Of Terrorism Worldwide Requires A President With Knowledge And Experience, NOT Slogans And Braggadocio!

The reality of terrorism worldwide presents a massive challenge to the next President of the United States, as it did to George W. Bush and Barack Obama.

We cannot afford to have an ignoramus, or a mercurial personality, to sit in the White House, such as Donald Trump.

We need a person of vast experience and knowledge, and a cool, measured handling of stress, and Hillary Clinton demonstrated that as Barack Obama’s first term Secretary of State from 2009-2013.

And Hillary Clinton needs a Vice President who has demonstrated similar traits, and the more one looks at the various Vice Presidential possibilities for Hillary, the more Virginia Senator Tim Kaine looks in many ways as the best choice.

He serves on the Foreign Relations and Armed Services Committee, and has had vast government experience as Richmond Mayor, Governor of Virginia, and now Senator from Virginia.

While he is not exciting or dynamic, he has a cool, balanced personality, and were an emergency to arise, Tim Kaine could certainly fill the shoes of the Presidency.

This is not to downgrade Elizabeth Warren, Julian Castro, Tom Perez, Cory Booker, Al Franken, Amy Klobuchar, Sherrod Brown, and Tom Vilsack, among others.

But on further reflection, it just might be wise for Hillary to select Tim Kaine!

After So Much Vice Presidential Speculation, New Names Show Up!

Both Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton are busy keeping us guessing as to who will be their Vice Presidential choices.

After so much speculation, it turns out, according to latest hints, that others not originally considered likely choices, are surging ahead.

So for the Republicans, Indiana Governor and former Congressman Mike Pence seems like the front runner, with Alabama Senator Jeff Sessions also becoming part of the discussion.

And for the Democrats, suddenly, Secretary of Agriculture and former Iowa Governor Tom Vilsack seems like a possible choice, with Secretary of Labor Tom Perez of Maryland and Virginia Senator, former Governor, and former Mayor of Richmond Tim Kaine as other possible choices.

Compared to bigger names, such as Newt Gingrich or Chris Christie on the Republican side, or Elizabeth Warren or Julian Castro on the Democratic side, these potential choices seem less exciting and dramatic, but that does not mean that there is not an argument for them.

Pence is less controversial than other VP choices for the Republicans, although he signed a bill against the civil rights of gays and lesbians in public accommodations that had to be changed under protest, and with many businesses canceling plans to expand into Indiana, and with him concerned about a gubernatorial race that looks very difficult to win. He is a hard right wing conservative Republican who the Christian right loves, which makes him unable to expand the base of the Republican Party. But Pence does not have a big mouth, and is not considered a bully, as Gingrich and Christie are.

Sessions is the typical Southern conservative very similar to past Southern Democrats up to the 1960s, very hard line on immigration, but the first US Senator to endorse Trump. He is not appealing personally as Pence is.

Tom Vilsack was actually considered on the short list for VP for John Kerry in 2004 and for Hillary Clinton, had she won the nomination of the Democrats in 2008, and is a pleasant enough fellow, and is from a “swing” state.

Tom Perez is Hispanic, Dominican heritage, and also very well liked by Hillary Clinton, and a very effective Secretary of Labor for Barack Obama.

Both Vilsack and Perez as cabinet members do not endanger any Senate seats, which is a plus for both of them.

Kaine was on the short list for VP in 2008, and is well liked, and has been Mayor of Richmond, as well as Governor and Senator, and also Democratic National Chairman, and also well liked by Hillary Clinton. Fortunately, with a Democratic governor in Virginia, an appointment to replace him would be a Democrat. And to top it off, Kaine speaks perfect Spanish, as this blogger has seen on the news reports, a very impressive plus, considering that 55 million Americans, out of 320 million speak or are od Spanish origin.

Trying to guess the ultimate choices for Vice President has become more complex and difficult, so we shall have to wait and see, but it will be interesting to witness what transpires!