Massachusetts

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.

George H. W. Bush And John Adams: Comparisons

With the death of George H. W. Bush, we can make many comparisons with John Adams.

Both were born in Massachusetts.

Both served as Vice President under their Presidents for eight years, John Adams under George Washington, and George H. W. Bush under Ronald Reagan.

Both only had one term as President, defeated for reelection.

Both are seen as lower in ranking than their predecessors, George Washington and Ronald Reagan, who served two terms in office.

Both had the President elected after them rank higher in rankings of Presidents, and both Thomas Jefferson and Bill Clinton served two terms in office.

Both outlived their wives.

Both had a son become President, and live to see that occur.

Both reached to the age of 90, with Adams being the longest lived until Ronald Reagan, then Gerald Ford, then George H. W. Bush, and then Jimmy Carter surpassed his age.

Bush died at the oldest age of any President, although Jimmy Carter could surpass Bush if he lives to March 22, 2019.

Both died after 25 plus years in retirement.

Both have been rated higher than their son, John Quincy Adams and George W. Bush, in rankings of historians and political scientists, and it is unlikely that their sons will ever surpass them.

Keep Top Leadership Of House Democrats Now, But They Need To Step Aside After Presidential Election Of 2020 For Newer Generation

There is a rebellion in the House Democratic majority by newly elected Progressives who want a different House Speaker, House Majority Leader, and House Majority Whip.

This is tempting, but unwise, as it was Nancy Pelosi, Steny Hoyer, and James Clyburn who brought about the victory of Democrats in the Midterm Elections of 2018, and everyone knows that Nancy Pelosi, despite her faults and shortcomings, was a master at raising money and promoting Democrats across the nation.

We also know that Nancy Pelosi was the best Speaker since Thomas “Tip” O’Neill from 1977-1987, and accomplished the best House performance in 2009-2010 in decades,including getting the passage of ObamaCare, the Affordable Care Act. Her experience and skills are priceless at this time.

On the other hand, all three Democratic leaders will have reached the age of 80 by 2020.

So the solution is let these three leaders who brought about the Democratic revival stay as leaders for the next Congress, but with a declaration that they will groom other younger, progressive types to replace them in the next Congress, the 117th, in 2021-2022, and more influence over legislation

Key committee assignments and other House leadership positions below the top three leaders need to be given to people who have shown their ability to lead, such as Adam Schiff, Eric Swalwell and Karen Bass of California, Joe Kennedy III of Massachusetts, Tim Ryan and Marcia Fudge of Ohio, and others as well.

It is time for the House leadership to agree to their own term limits, but usher in the future with their smart, experienced leadership for now, and groom others for such leadership in two years.

The key thing, above all, is to insure that the House Democrats show accomplishments in the next two years, and are, therefore, able to keep control in 2020, and hopefully, with a winning Democratic Presidential nominee in the 2020 Presidential election, expand their numbers,and elect a new House Speaker, Majority Leader and Majority Whip two years from now, and applaud the efforts of the veterans who made them successful in 2018 and again in 2020.

Trend Toward Older First Term Members Of Congress–Mitt Romney And Donna Shalala As Examples Of Trend

A trend that has developed lately is that some new members of Congress are older than usually at their swearing in, as compared to previous times.

We have two such examples in the 116th Congress.

Newly minted Senator Mitt Romney of Utah, the 2012 Republican Presidential nominee, will be two months short of age 72 in January. He lost the race for a Senate seat in Massachusetts to Senator Ted Kennedy in the Midterm Elections of 1994, 24 years ago, but now will be in the Senate a quarter century later.

Donna Shalala, former Secretary of Health and Human Services under President Bill Clinton from 1993 to 2001, after being President of Hunter College from 1980-1988 and Chancellor of the University of Wisconsin, Madison, from 1988-1993, was then President of the University of Miami in Florida from 2001-2015, and President of the Clinton Foundation from 2015-2017. She is now the new Congresswoman in the Miami, Florida district that was occupied by Ileana Ros Lehtinen from 1989 through 2018. It earlier had been the seat of the revered Claude Pepper from 1962-1999.

That seat in South Florida is an especially sacred seat in a sense, and Shalala will be one month short of age 78 when she joins the House of Representatives.

It Is Now Clear Donald Trump Will Face Fierce Opposition From Conservatives And Critical Republicans For 2020 Presidential Nomination

It is now clear that Donald Trump will not have a waltz to the 2020 Republican Presidential nomination.

The long term future of the Republican Party is at stake, after the disaster of the Midterm Elections of 2018.

Mike Pence can claim the Republicans are in good shape, but he is delusional, and we are on the way to a repudiation of not just Donald Trump, but his Vice President, even if by some chance, he becomes President before the Presidential Election of 2020.

It is assured that a President Pence would not be able to keep the office, and would be easily defeated in 2020, as is the case with Donald Trump.

So the question is where the Republican Party turns in planning its future.

The number of potential candidates is growing.

It includes those few who have had the smarts to speak out against Donald Trump, as anyone else is a public relations disaster.

So forget such Senators as Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio, Rand Paul, or Lindsey Graham, all of whom have lost all credibility.

The list, therefore, only includes newly minted Senator Mitt Romney of Utah, and outgoing Senators Jeff Flake of Arizona and Bob Corker of Tennessee, and outgoing Ohio Governor John Kasich.

It could also include two Republican Governors in “blue” states that easily were elected in 2014 and reelected in 2018—Larry Hogan of Maryland and Charlie Baker of Massachusetts–although neither Hogan, who has term limits in Maryland, and Baker, who has no term limits in Massachusetts–has publicly expressed interest in running for the White House.

But if the Republican Party wishes to survive long term, none of these, except possibly John Kasich, are seen as likely to have much effect in stopping Trump.

The one and only reasonable choice other than Kasich is a principled conservative of a younger generation who might inspire young people and educated people to return to the Republican Party.

That candidate is Nebraska Senator Ben Sasse, who would be 48, but nearing 49, by the time of the inauguration in January 2021.

If he were to run in 2020, with Nikki Haley as his Vice Presidential running mate, both only a month apart in age, it could be a winning team.

The Ultimate Outcome Of The Midterm Elections Of 2018: The Social Welfare, Social Justice State Is Permanent After 83 Years

The ultimate outcome of the Midterm Elections of 2018 is the success and institutionalization of the Social Welfare, Social Justice State, finally permanent after 83 years.

It all goes back to the New Deal of Franklin D. Roosevelt, and the passage of Social Security in 1935, bitterly fought by Republicans and conservatives of that era, and still argued about by such leaders as Barry Goldwater and Ronald Reagan over the next half century.

But in 1983, President Reagan and Democratic Speaker of the House Thomas “Tip” O’Neill negotiated a bipartisan deal to save Social Security, not destroy it as Reagan had wanted to do, and it is the fundamental part of the Social Safety Net.

In 1965, after years of opposition by Republicans and conservatives, Lyndon B. Johnson and his Great Society accomplished Medicare and Medicaid. It has continued to be attacked and condemned, but it has survived and is a great part of the Social Safety Net.

Then, in 2010, Barack Obama accomplished the Affordable Care Act or ObamaCare, with no cooperation from Republicans or conservatives, even though back in 1993, conservatives, with the support of Bob Dole and Newt Gingrich, came up with a very similar health care plan, in opposition to the Bill and Hillary Clinton health care plan, which ultimately failed of passage. Also, Mitt Romney in Massachusetts accomplished a very similar plan as ObamaCare, but ran against his own plan for the nation when he ran for President in 2012.

The Republicans continued to try to destroy ObamaCare ever since 2010, having 70 votes on it over the years, but Chief Justice Roberts and Senator John McCain in 2012 and 2017, respectively, backed continuation at crucial moments. Now, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has indicated that, clearly, ObamaCare is here to stay, so like Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid, ObamaCare has survived and become a permanent part of the Social Safety Net.

The Democrats and progressives have accomplished these great pieces of legislation since 1935, and the goal has always been to improve the laws, as no one ever said they were perfect, but it is the Democrats, not the Republicans who have advocated and succeeded in accomplishing the Social Welfare, Social Justice state, and they should be very proud of the work they have done.

So FDR, LBJ, and Obama are the three most successful domestic policy Presidents, and not just in the areas mentioned in this article!

Two Outliers: Republican Governors In Heavily Democratic States—Larry Hogan In Maryland And Charlie Baker In Massachusetts

In the midst of highly partisan elections being the norm in America under Donald Trump, we have the two outliers that are hard to explain.

In Maryland and Massachusetts, two heavily “Blue” states, we have very popular moderate Republican governors on their way to easy reelection victories.

Maryland, a heavily Democratic state, with strong backing from those living in the Washington DC suburbs, Larry Hogan has a 68 percent rating in his popular support, and is way ahead of Ben Jealous, the African American Democratic nominee for Governor, who was former head of the NAACP. Barack Obama twice and Hillary Clinton won the last three Presidential races by 25 to 26 points in each of those contests.

But somehow, Hogan is seen as an easy victor for a second term. He has 65 percent approval from Democrats, 64 percent backing from Independents, and 81 percent support from Republicans. Hogan has avoided being supportive of Donald Trump, and in fact, has been clearly critical of the President.

Every poll shows Hogan winning, as high as 58 percent, with a undecided percentage being as high as 10-18 percent in some polls, indicating the likelihood that Hogan will win a landslide victory of more than 60 percent in November. Hogan has had to deal with a heavily two thirds Democratic legislature and a Congressional delegation (7 Democrats to one Republican) dominated by Democrats.

Massachusetts, another heavily Democratic state, and a heavily (80 percent) Democratic legislature, and an all Democratic Congressional delegation, yet has had Republican Charlie Baker as its governor for the past four years, and in polls, Baker is ahead of his Hispanic Democratic opponent, Jay Gonzalez, by margins of 52 to 68 percent, depending on the poll. Barack Obama won by 26 and 23 percent, and Hillary Clinton by 27 points in the last three Presidential elections.

Baker has also shown himself to be a moderate Republican who has been regularly critical of Donald Trump, and has had as high as a 71 percent majority of popularity in his term of office, higher even than Larry Hogan in Maryland. One can assume that he will win two thirds or more of the vote on November 6.

So both Larry Hogan and Charlie Baker are outliers, on the way to what is conceived as a “Blue Wave”.

Key Democrats To Elect As State Governors: Andrew Gillum, Stacey Abrams, Ben Jealous, Gavin Newsom, Richard Cordray, J. D. Pritzker, Tony Evers, Gretchen Whitmer

It is urgent that Democrats, who at present, only have 16 state governorships, win a majority of the 36 gubernatorial races taking place this November.

Among the crucial races to win are the following:

Andrew Gillum in Florida

Stacey Abrams in Georgia

Ben Jealous in Maryland

Gavin Newsom in California

Richard Cordray in Ohio

J. D. Pritzker in Illinois

Tony Evers in Wisconsin

Gretchen Whitmer in Michigan

With other large states in Democratic hands and likely to remain so, including:

Andrew Cuomo in New York

Tom Wolff in Pennsylvania

it would mean that Democrats would control most of the larger states’ executive branches, crucial for reapportionment of seats in state legislatures and the US House of Representatives after the Census in 2020.

Only Texas of the top ten states in population would be likely to remain Republican, and with North Carolina (Roy Cooper) and New Jersey (Phil Murphy) and Virginia (Ralph Northam) and Washington State (Jay Inslee) all under Democratic Governors, it would mean 12 of the top 13 states with nearly two thirds of the nation’s population would be controlled by Democrats.

Add Democratic states likely to remain so, including Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Louisiana, Minnesota, Montana, Oregon, Rhode Island, and the possibility of winning in Maryland, Massachusetts, Maine, Vermont, and New Mexico, and you have a majority of Democratic run state governorships. Finally, Nevada and Arizona seem long shots, but could, in a “Blue Wave” be won by Democratic nominees for governor in those states.

But even if not a majority of states, if the large populated states are won, it will benefit the Democrats in the coming reapportionment of seats in the House of Representatives.

The Potential Exists For Youngest President In American History To Be Elected In 2020!

With disillusionment with “the older generation” widespread, the possibility now exists that America could elect a President in 2020 who could be younger than any President in American history.

Theodore Roosevelt succeeded to the Presidency at age 42 years and 10.5 months in 1901, upon the assassination of President William McKinley.

And John F. Kennedy was the youngest elected President, taking the oath of office at age 43 years and 7.5 months in 1961.

We have also had three younger Presidential nominees of a major party who lost their campaigns for the Presidency:

Thomas E. Dewey in the 1944 election, who would have been 42 years and 10 months if he had taken the oath in 1945

John C. Breckinridge in the 1860 election, who would have been 40 years and 1.5 months if he had taken the oath in 1861

William Jennings Bryan in the 1896 and 1900 elections, who would have been 36 years and 11.5 months and 40 years and 11.5 months respectively, if he had taken the oath in 1897 and 1901.

Now, in the upcoming election for President in 2020, there are seven theoretical candidates who would be younger than TR and JFK.

They include:

Congressman Seth Moulton of Massachusetts, who would be 42 and three months on Inauguration Day

Congressman Joe Kennedy III of Massachusetts, who would be 40 and three and a half months on Inauguration Day

Congressman Eric Swalwell of California, who would be 40 and two months on Inauguration Day

Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard of Hawaii, who would be 39 and nine months on Inauguration Day

Former Missouri Secretary of State Jason Kander, who is running to be Mayor of Kansas City, Missouri, in June 2019, who would be 39 and eight months on Inauguration Day

South Bend, Indiana Mayor (since 2012) Pete Buttigieg, who would be 39 and one day old on Inauguration Day

Facebook Founder Mark Zuckerberg, who has no political experience, who would be 36 and eight months old on Inauguration Day

The odds of any of these seven being the Democratic nominee are very long, and highly unlikely, as four are members of the House of Representatives (and only James A. Garfield was ever elected to the Presidency from the lower house); and two are or will be Mayors, and only Andrew Johnson, in Greeneville, Tennessee; Grover Cleveland, in Buffalo, New York: and Calvin Coolidge in Northampton, Massachusetts were mayors, although Theodore Roosevelt ran for New York City Mayor in 1886, but lost.

Finally, Zuckerberg would only be the second person never in public office after Donald Trump, and seemingly, a real long shot. If Zuckerberg were to become President, he would be the youngest nominee ever, three and a half months younger than William Jennings Bryan in 1896.

Four Potential African American Presidential Candidates: Cory Booker, Kamala Harris, Deval Patrick, Eric Holder

As we start to look ahead to the 2020 Democratic Presidential nomination battle, there is the possibility of up to four African Americans running for the Presidency.

Almost certainly running are New Jersey Senator Cory Booker and California Senator Kamala Harris (whose mother is Tamil Indian and father who is from the nation of Jamaica in the Caribbean, so she is mixed race).

Also likely to run is former Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick, and former Attorney General Eric Holder, both close friends of President Barack Obama.

At first thought, the chances of Kamala Harris seem the best, followed by Booker, with lesser chance for Patrick, and even lower chance for Holder.

A likely possibility is that either Harris or Booker might end up as the Vice Presidential nominee at the least.

With a race of maybe 20-25 Democrats announcing, an all time record if that happens, it is very hard this far ahead to project the scenario for what might happen in the winter and spring of 2020, but it is now only 18 months until we are in the heat of the Presidential nominating contest.