Michael Bennet

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!

The Jewish Members Of The 113th Congress

In the 113th Congress, due to meet on January 3, there will be a total of 34 people of Jewish heritage serving over the two years of that Congress.

There will be 12 Senators and 22 House members, with the only Republican being House Majority Leader Eric Cantor of Virginia.

The 12 Senators include newly appointed Senator Brian Schatz of Hawaii, just appointed and sworn in yesterday for a two year term, before Schatz has to run for the remaining two years of the term of former Senator Daniel Inouye.

The other eleven Jewish Senators include:

Barbara Boxer and Dianne Feinstein of California
Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut
Michael Bennet of Colorado
Ben Cardin of Maryland
Carl Levin of Michigan
Al Franken of Minnesota
Frank Lautenberg of New Jersey
Charles Schumer of New York
Ron Wyden of Oregon
Bernie Sanders of Vermont

Among the House members are:

Henry Waxman of California
Ted Deutch, Lois Frankel, Alan Grayson and Debbie Wasserman Schultz of Florida
Jan Schakowsky of Illinois
Sander Levin of Michigan
Eliot Engel, Steve Israel, Nita Lowey and Jerrold Nadler of New York

Jewish members of the two houses of Congress come from:

California
Connecticut
Colorado
Florida
Illinois
Kentucky
Maryland
Michigan
Minnesota
New Jersey
New York
Oregon
Pennsylvania
Rhode Island
Tennessee
Virginia
Vermont

The Abuse Of The Filibuster By The Senate Minority: Time For Reform!

As the political year ends, the record shows that the use of the filibuster tactic by the Republican minority in the US Senate has reached an all time high.

It used to be that the filibuster was utilized by Southern Democrats opposed to the passage of civil rights legislation.

Now it is used as a weapon to stop ALL action in the Senate, with simply the threat of a filibuster preventing progress on legislation, or presidential nominees for the federal courts and other offices.

The number of motions for cloture has doubled in the past few years, and has nearly quadrupled since the 1970s and 1980s, and was used in the single digits until the 1970s.

It used to be that mounting a filibuster meant a group of Senators taking turns in speaking on the floor for hours and hours, while now just the threat stops action.

Is this proper use of the filibuster, just to say a group will mount a filibuster, and all action is paralyzed as a result?

Of course, the answer is no, so the Democratic majority and Senate President and Vice President Joe Biden will have one chance to change the rules of the Senate, on opening day of the 112th Senate on January 5, 2011.

The move to reform the filibuster is being led by junior Democrats, including Senators Tom Udall of New Mexico, Claire McCaskill of Missouri, Michael Bennet of Colorado, Jeff Merkley of Oregon, Sheldon Whitehouse of Rhode Island, and Mark Warner of Virginia. But senior Democrats, including Tom Harkin of Iowa and Carl Levin of Michigan also back the idea of reforms.

The problem is to realize that the Democrats could be in the minority in the Senate in 2013, and the desire to retain influence if they are the minority, so tinkering with the Senate rules on the filibuster, as well as other tactics, such as the ability of one Senator to use the “hold” tactic on action, must be carefully considered, so as not to reverberate on the Democrats in the future times when, inevitably, they will NOT be the majority!

Importance Of Latino Vote For Democrats!

The Democratic Party suffered major losses in the Midterm Elections of 2010, but it could have been far worse had it not been for solid Latino support in many states!

A couple of seats in the House of Representatives were saved because of Latino votes in Arizona, and the Senate seats of Harry Reid in Nevada, Michael Bennet in Colorado, and Barbara Boxer in California were retained due significantly to the Latino vote in those states for the Democrats!

Additionally, the Latino vote also helped Governor Pat Quinn to win in Illinois, and Jerry Brown to win the Governorship of California!

The only place that the Latino vote seemed to help Republicans was in Florida, where Marco Rubio won the Senate seat, but the difference is that Latinos in Florida are more heavily Cuban American, a voting bloc which tends to be strongly Republican. With Marco Rubio himself being a Cuban American, and replacing an elected Cuban American, Mel Martinez, who held the seat until he resigned in 2009, Florida is therefore a special case!

It is clear that the Latino vote can have a dramatic effect on the fortunes of  the Democratic Party in the 2012 elections, and be a decisive factor in the re-election campaign of President Barack Obama!