Kirsten Gillibrand

Is It Time For A New Generation Of Leadership For The Democrats?

After watching both Democratic Presidential debates this week, one has to ask the question:

It is time for a new generation of leadership for the Democrats?

The Democratic Party, historically, has regularly gone for younger candidates for President than the Republicans.

Witness Franklin D. Roosevelt, age 51; Adlai Stevenson, age 52; John F. Kennedy, age 43; Lyndon B. Johnson full term, age 56; Hubert Humphrey, age 57; George McGovern, age 50; Jimmy Carter, age 52; Walter Mondale, age 56; Michael Dukakis, age 56; Bill Clinton, age 46; Al Gore, age 52; Barack Obama, age 47.

Compare this to Dwight D. Eisenhower, age 62; Gerald Ford, 1976, age 63; Ronald Reagan, age 69; George H W Bush, age 64; Bob Dole, age 73; John McCain, age 72; Mitt Romney, age 65; Donald Trump, age 70.

So nominating Bernie Sanders, age 79; Joe Biden, age 78; or Elizabeth Warren, age 71—all of whom would be the oldest first term nominated Presidential candidate—might be the wrong way to go!

Might it NOT be better to nominate, at their ages at the time of the Presidential Election of 2020?

Pete Buttigieg age 39

Tulsi Gabbard age 39

Eric Swalwell age 40

Julian Castro age 46

Beto O’Rourke age 48

Cory Booker age 51

Steve Bullock age 54

Kirsten Gillibrand age 54

Kamala Harris age 56

Amy Klobuchar age 60

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.

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.

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

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.

More Presidential Contenders In 2020 Than In 2016: All Time High

America is about to witness the largest number of Presidential contenders in its history, as up to 26 Democrats are getting ready to compete in the first two Town Hall debates—on June 26 and 27 in Miami and July 30 and 31 in Detroit.

This includes Senators, Governors, Congressmen and women, Mayors, and businessmen and women, including seven Senators, four Governors, six Congressmen and women, four Mayors, a former Vice President, three businessmen and women, and a former state representative. Some of these are former governors, members of the House of Representatives, and former Mayors.

The Republican Party had set the all time record of 17 contenders in 2016, and it led, sadly, to Donald Trump winning their nomination and the White House.

This number of 26 is pure insanity, and needs to be cut down dramatically, and assuredly, public opinion polls, financial support, and staff growth will quickly eliminate many once the first two debate dates are done, as comparisons on issues and personality, and the likelihood of mistakes and blunders will narrow the field.

Expect that at most ten contenders might survive to the point of the Iowa Caucuses, the New Hampshire Primary, the Nevada Caucuses, and the South Carolina Primary, all taking place in February 2020, before the massive Super Tuesday on March 3, when 12 states, including California, Texas, Massachusetts and Virginia have their primaries.

If one had to guess now who will be the final ten, they would be in the estimate of this blogger the following alphabetically: Joe Biden, Cory Booker, Pete Buttigieg, Julian Castro, Kirsten Gillibrand, Kamala Harris, Amy Klobuchar, Beto O’Rourke, Bernie Sanders, and Elizabeth Warren.

If that is the final ten, it would include the former Vice President, six Senators, two Mayors, and one Congressman. It would also include four women, one Latino, one mixed race, one African American, four white Anglo men, three white Anglo women, and one gay male and one Jewish male.

The Decision Of Sherrod Brown Not To Run For President Opens Opportunity For Amy Klobuchar Of Minnesota To Be The “Midwest” Candidate

The decision of Ohio Senator Sherrod Brown to forego an opportunity to run for President as a Midwesterner in a time when the Midwest is clearly the battleground in the Electoral College in 2020 is a open opportunity for Minnesota Senator Amy Klobuchar to be the “Midwest” candidate.

Klobuchar is the only Midwesterner likely to run, although Ohio Congressman Tim Ryan, a fellow moderate, has hinted at running, but being a United States Senator is an edge over being a House member.

The main point against Klobuchar is the report that she is a nasty, unpleasant person to work for, but even if that is true, the record shows many others also have that reputation, including Presidents ranging from Lyndon B. Johnson, Richard Nixon, Bill Clinton, to Donald Trump in the last half century.

Also, it is said she is too ‘moderate” in that she does not believe that everything promoted and promised by Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, and others is possible in the next term, and that she will not promise what she sees as campaign propaganda, leading to disillusionment when it is not possible to accomplish these massive pledges.

This seems perfectly reasonable to this author and blogger, and Klobuchar has a solid record of accomplishment, and of “crossing the aisle” to gain bipartisan support on legislation. She is in the DFL (Democratic Farmer Labor Party) tradition in Minnesota, the heir of Hubert Humphrey, Eugene McCarthy, Walter Mondale, Paul Wellstone, and even Al Franken (unfairly forced out of the Senate) by bullying over unproved charges of sexual harassment promoted aggressively by New York Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, for whom this author and blogger lost all respect.

Klobuchar will be 60 in 2020, close to the ideal average age of most Presidents taking office, and she would bring to the Presidency a sensible commitment to social justice, avoiding extreme statements that would only assist Donald Trump and Mike Pence in their reelection campaign.

She would also bring a reasonable woman into the Presidency, more cautious and sensible in her rhetoric than the alternative female candidates.

And if she chose Julian Castro of Texas, we would have a Democratic ticket of a woman and a Latino, overcoming two barriers at once, and leaving Castro, who would be age 46 in 2020, open to a future run for President after two terms of President Klobuchar, and be the precise average age of Presidents, mid 50s, in 2028.

Five Women Contending For Democratic Presidential Nomination: Who Has Best Chance, Or Will They All Cancel Each Other Out?

The Presidential Election competition for 2020 is certainly the most diverse ever seen.

Instead of seeing one woman or two women competing as in recent elections, we have a total of five women trying to gain the Democratic Presidential nomination.

The question which arises is whether America is really ready to elect a woman President in a nation which has so much misogyny, while so many other nations have had women leaders without any controversy.

The question is who has the best chance, or will they all cancel each other out, and we will end up with a male Presidential candidate in the end.

It would seem to this author and blogger that of the five women candidates for President, that Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard of Hawaii, who has the appeal of being potentially the youngest President at age 39 in 2020, has zero chance of being the nominee. Only one sitting member of the House of Representatives, James A. Garfield of Ohio in 1880, ever was elected President, and tragically, was assassinated six months into office, after being shot after just four months in the Presidency.

Among the other four, it would seem that New York Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, with her bullying of former Minnesota Senator Al Franken over unsubstantiated charges of sexual harassment, would be the second most like to fail in her bid for the Presidency.

The other three, Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts; Kamala Harris of California; and Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota all would seem to have a much better chance of survival.

However, Warren might be more to the left than the nation would tolerate; and Harris, being of a mixed race background, might face a daunting task of overcoming both racism, and what all women candidates face–misogyny.

So on paper, Klobuchar, from the Midwest, and coming across as more centrist a progressive, in the tradition of Hubert Humphrey, Eugene McCarthy, Walter Mondale, and Paul Wellstone, might have the best chance to be nominated and elected.

Time will tell ultimately whether any of the women will survive, or even if any of them might be a Vice Presidential running mate, with only Klobuchar, and possibly, Harris, agreeing to be in that role.

The Political Knives Are Out For Democratic Presidential Contenders

The Presidential Election is upon us in February 2019, as more Democrats are announcing their candidacies for President.

And as they announce or are about to announce, the political knives are out for them, both by opponents in the party, and Republican and right wing critics, out to undermine all of them by any means possible.

There is no question that Donald Trump operatives are part of the equation, but we also are getting reports on POLITICO, HUFFINGTON POST, BUZZ FEED, and the NEW YORK TIMES and WASHINGTON POST that make it clear that all candidates have flaws, imperfections, and issues that could derail their candidacies.

But of course, Donald Trump has plenty of flaws, imperfections, and issues, well demonstrated since he announced his candidacy in June 2015.

So what are some of the imperfections, shortcomings, flaws of Democratic contenders?

Joe Biden has a tendency to gaffes, stupid statements he makes very often, as he tends to be extremely wordy and gabby as a personality. Also, his handling of the Clarence Thomas-Anita Hill matter in 1991 bedogs him, despite his apologies on that matter. Additionally, he is known as having been the credit card Senator, because of major banks and their credit card operations being centered in Delaware, his home state. This has led to overly high interest rates for customers over the years, and to inability of many people to go bankrupt when they are strapped financially, particularly those who have student loan debt. Additionally, he was a sponsor of tough crime laws in the 1990s, which caused many minority groups in particular to face stiff sentences for drug convictions. And finally as Vice President, he swore in Senators for new terms or first terms, and tended to be “touchy feely” with daughters, wives, and other women in the families of Senators, which could be seen as a problem by the “Me Too” Movement against sexual harassment.

Elizabeth Warren has identified herself as a native American, and it has become an albatross around her neck, leading to her apologizing, but it remains an issue which Donald Trump has, and will continue to exploit. Additionally, many people think she is too shrill, but this is a double standard, as many male politicians, including Donald Trump, Chris Christie Newt Gingrich, and Rudy Giuliani are shrill as well.

Amy Klobuchar has now been revealed as a nightmare for her staff to work for, very temperamental, cruel, abusive, demanding, which is totally against her public persona, but a list of Senators tough to work for in the same manner, shows seven out of the top ten are women. So what does one make of this, truly something to shake one’s head over.

Tulsi Gabbard is criticized for her meeting with Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad, who has committed mass murder during the eight year long Syrian Civil War.

“Beto” O’Rourke has the record of several arrests when a college student, for minor burglaries and break ins, seemingly fueled by alcohol.

Kamala Harris is criticized for opposing the death penalty for a cop killer in California, and generally, for being opposed to capital punishment.

Many progressives are unhappy with Sherrod Brown, for being against a one step movement toward Medicare For All, suggesting a slower approach in that direction.

Bernie Sanders is criticized as too far left with his “socialist” views, thought by many to be the road to defeat, particularly with Donald Trump attacking Socialism, which he sees as the Democratic Party direction.

Kirsten Gillibrand is criticized for having “bullied” Minnesota Senator Al Franken to resign over accusations of sexual harassment. Also, her overly conservative record in the House of Representatives before becoming Senator is used against her.

Cory Booker is criticized for being too tied to Wall Street and Pharmaceutical companies, and some wonder if his revelation of a dating relationship with an actress is trying to hide his single status, which has led to rumors about his sexuality.

It is clear one has to have a thick skin to participate in the Presidential race, and it does make one wonder how anyone can survive such scrutiny and remain sane and balanced.

So, sadly, the desire for perfection in a candidate or nominee is gone, and we have to pick an imperfect person to run against Donald Trump, but with the understanding that no matter what the imperfections, Donald Trump is the worst President in American history in his character, his morality, his ethics, his utterances, and his actions.