Michael Bennet

Are We Ready For Another “Revolutionary” Change, Beyond Barack Obama?

Democrats are faced with a challenge that will determine the Presidential Election of 2020.

Is the nation ready for another “revolutionary” change, beyond Barack Obama?

The nation elected a mixed race African American Senator to the White House eleven years ago, something much more “revolutionary” than electing the first Catholic President John F. Kennedy in 1960.

The question is whether the nation is ready to do any of the following:

Elect the first woman President (Elizabeth Warren, Kamala Harris, Amy Klobuchar, Kirsten Gillibrand, Tulsi Gabbard)

Elect the first mixed race woman President (Kamala Harris)

Elect the second African American male President (Cory Booker)

Elect the first Latino President (Julian Castro)

Elect the first gay President (Pete Buttigieg)

Elect our first Jewish President (Bernie Sanders, Michael Bennet)

Elect our first Hindu President (Tulsi Gabbard), who was born in the US territory of American Samoa.

Elect our oldest first term President at inauguration (Bernie Sanders, Joe Biden, Elizabeth Warren)

Elect the first President who will reach 80 years of age in office (Bernie Sanders, Joe Biden)

Elect our first sitting Mayor (Pete Buttigieg, Bill de Blasio)

Elect the first sitting Congressman since James A. Garfield in 1880 (Tulsi Gabbard, Seth Moulton, Tim Ryan, Eric Swalwell)

Elect a President younger than Theodore Roosevelt or John F. Kennedy (Pete Buttigieg, Tulsi Gabbard, Eric Swalwell, Seth Moulton)

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 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.

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).

17 Democratic Senators Have Learned Nothing From Great Recession, And Are To Be Condemned For Joining Republicans To Cut Back Banking Reforms

In 2008-2009, we saw the collapse of the American economy, with the biggest banks and Wall Street firms guilty of causing it.

None of those banks or Wall Street firms paid a price for their illegal, unethical activities, which destroyed the economy in a manner unseen since the Great Depression of the 1930s.

Under Barack Obama, the Dodd-Frank Law was passed to insure accountability of banks and Wall Street, so that what happened a decade ago would never happen again.

But now, under a Republican Congress, the action to destroy the Dodd_Frank Law is occurring, and has been assisted by 17 Democratic Senators, and only with at least 10 of them, could such action to eliminate Dodd-Frank have moved forward.

It is shocking to see 17 of the 49 Democrats and Independents in the Senate become turncoats who effectively joined in this evil act, and all 17 need to be called out and denounced.

The problem is too many politicians gain campaign contributions from the big banks and Wall Street, so it compromises their ability to represent their states in a proper manner.

The problem is that if these Democrats are repudiated, it would only aid Republicans in possibly gaining their seats, so the issue is that it is preferable to have Democrats who will support the party on many issues, even if not on this issue.

Liberals and progressives will argue that they should be “primaried”, but the reality is that would only help promote more Republican senators, so we are in an area that could be described as “between the devil and the deep blue sea”!

But we must at least list these 17 Senators, so we are all aware of their “treason”:

Michael Bennet of Colorado
Tom Carper of Delaware
Chris Coons of Delaware
Joe Donnelly of Indiana
Maggie Hassan of New Hampshire
Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota
Doug Jones of Alabama
Tim Kaine of Virginia
Angus King of Maine (Independent)
Joe Manchin of West Virginia
Claire McCaskill of Missouri
Bill Nelson of Florida
Gary Peters of Michigan
Jeanne Shaheen of New Hampshire
Debbie Stabenow of Michigan
Jon Tester of Montana
Mark Warner of Virginia

Ten of these 17 Senators face an election in 2018—Carper, Donnelly, Heitkamp, Kaine, King, Manchin, McCaskill, Nelson, Stabenow, and Tester.

Of these 10, only Carper, Kaine and King are in states that went to the Democrats. The other seven were Republican states, and makes the task of keeping their seats ever more difficult.

Of the 17 Senators, only 8 of them, those from Colorado, Delaware (2), New Hampshire (2), Virginia (2), and Maine came from states carried by Hillary Clinton in 2016.

So, sadly, we do not have the privilege and ability to call for the defeat of the ten who are running this year, but even true of the seven who are not running, as they are still better than Republicans to hold the seats.

Otherwise, the Democrats will lose all chance of ever gaining a majority, if they stick to an extreme progressive view of who is acceptable as a Democratic member of the US Senate.

However, one point should be made clear, that none of this list above should ever be considered seriously for President, with the reality that only the two Virginia Senators, Tim Kaine and Mark Warner, are even talked about at all as potential nominees.

Tim Kaine may have run for Vice President with Hillary Clinton in 2016, but his support of repeal of the Dodd Frank Law should disqualify him and Warner for future Presidential consideration.

The Future Of The Democratic Party: Younger Liberals In The US Senate

When one sees that Maryland Senator Barbara Mikulski, California Senator Barbara Boxer, and Nevada Senator Harry Reid are retiring in 2016, and know that other older Senate Democrats have limited time left in the Senate, it makes it clear that it is time to examine who among the “younger” generation of liberal Senate Democrats may be perceived as the future of the Democrats beyond Hillary Clinton, Joe Biden, and even Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders.

Even if Hillary Clinton becomes President, where is the hope for liberal Democrats in the future, as there are very few Democratic governors. The “youth” movement in the Democratic Party is therefore in the hands of the following younger liberal Senate Democrats:

Connecticut Senator Chris Murphy (41)
Hawaii Senator Brian Schatz (42)
New Jersey Senator Cory Booker (45)
New York Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (48)
Colorado Senator Michael Bennet (50)
Delaware Senator Christopher Coons (51)
Wisconsin Senator Tammy Baldwin (53)
Minnesota Senator Amy Klobuchar (54)
Michigan Senator Gary Peters (56)
Virginia Senator Tim Kaine (57)
Oregon Senator Jeff Merkley (58)
Rhode Island Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (59)

These are the present Democratic hopes for the future, to make an impact on the level of Mikulski, Boxer, Reid, along with Vermont Senator Patrick Leahy, California Senator Diane Feinstein, Florida Senator Bill Nelson, Maryland Senator Ben Cardin, Illinois Senator Dick Durbin, Connecticut Senator Richard Blumenthal, Massachusetts Senator Ed Markey, New Mexico Senator Tom Udall, Oregon Senator Ron Wyden, Rhode Island Senator Jack Reed, Michigan Senator Debbie Stabenow, Washington Senator Patty Murray, New York Senator Chuck Schumer, Minnesota Senator Al Franken, and Ohio Senator Sherrod Brown, as well as Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders.

Of course, more liberal Senate Democrats yet unknown could be elected in 2016, including Kamala Harris in California and Patrick Murphy in Florida, and hopefully, the Democrats will take back control of the United States Senate, and some new Democratic governors might be elected, assuming a coattail effect of the candidacy of the Democratic nominee in the Electoral College, still highly likely!

“Gang Of Six” Becomes “Gang Of Eight” On Immigration Reform

As a new immigration reform plan is unveiled by Senators, the “Gang of Six” described yesterday in a blog entry has now become a “Gang of Eight”.

Joining the group, which had included John McCain of Arizona, Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, Marco Rubio of Florida, Charles Schumer of New York, Bob Menendez of New Jersey, and Dick Durbin of Florida are Republican Senator Jeff Flake of Arizona and Democratic Senator Michael Bennet of Colorado.

President Obama is to speak about this issue in Nevada on Tuesday, and it seems as if, finally, there may be a move toward real action on an issue that has been highly divisive, including a failure to get a McCain-Ted Kennedy bill through Congress in 2007 under President George W. Bush, who had pushed for it, but failed to see it succeed. Let us hope for quick action!