Pete Buttigieg

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.

Back From Wonderful Vacation In London And Paris With My Older Son, And Ready To Resume Regular Commentary On American Politics, Government, And History

I am happy to announce that I have returned from a wonderful vacation in London and Paris with my older son, and am ready to resume regular commentary on American Politics, Government, and History.

I had never traveled overseas since my younger son was Bar Mitzvahed in 1996 in Israel, but my older son has done a lot of travel in Europe, some for work purposes, and also for vacations. He wanted to treat me to an all expenses paid trip to my two favorite European nations, the United Kingdom and France, to honor me for Fathers Day, and for his 40th birthday, with him being born on that day in 1979.

We saw all of the historic and cultural sites I had always wanted to visit, and it enriched my historical and cultural knowledge, and increased the bonding I have for my older son, but with equal feelings for my younger son as well. This was a trip of just the two of us, since we had not spent much time together over the past decade since he moved to the Washington DC area, and myself continuing to reside in South Florida.

I was totally out of touch for the two weeks in regards to the news, and only now am catching up on the events, including the danger of war with Iran; the resignation of White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders; the threat to have mass deportation of undocumented immigrants by Immigration and Customs Enforcement; the usual maniacal behavior and utterances of Donald Trump; and the preparations for the first Democratic Presidential debates in Miami this coming Wednesday and Thursday, June 26-27, with Joe Biden and Pete Buttigieg not having the best fortune in this past week, and Elizabeth Warren seemingly surging for now, while others are hoping for a breakthrough as a result of these two nights of debates.

I plan to comment daily on those events and trends that seem worthy of the most attention, and I am glad to invite my readers to return to a daily interaction, although while visiting Washington DC in two weeks from now for tourism and family, it is possible I might miss a day or two as a result.

Thanks, everyone, for your patience, as I took the most wonderful and enriching trip imaginable in the past two weeks.

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.

Is America Ready To Elect A Gay Man As President? The Rise Of Mayor Pete Buttigieg

South Bend, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg has been the big surprise of the political season, coming across as very intelligent, very competent, very charming, and very inspiring as a potential Democratic Presidential nominee.

If elected, he would be only 39 years and one day old on Inauguration Day 2021, making him by far the youngest President, nearly four years younger than Theodore Roosevelt and more than four and a half years younger than John F. Kennedy.

The fact that Mayor Pete is gay and has a husband, Chasten, who would be First Gentleman, has not harmed him, except among older generation religious hypocrites, including the evangelical Right, who would not vote Democratic in any case.

But if we could elect a Catholic in John F. Kennedy and mixed race African American in Barack Obama, both at young ages (43 and 47 respectively), why could we not elect a younger gay man who has more knowledge, education, compassion, and common decency than Donald Trump?

And were Mayor Pete to be the Vice Presidential running mate instead, imagine the debate between him and Vice President Mike Pence from the same state, Indiana—a gay man against the most hateful anti gay basher in American politics?

Mayor Pete would “slaughter” either Donald Trump or Mike Pence in a nationally televised debate!

Average Age Of Presidents Is 55: Should Democrats Choose A Younger Nominee?

The Democratic Party faces a quandary: Should they choose a younger nominee as more likely to attract younger voters?

Three times in the past half century, the Democrats picked a much younger nominee than the Republicans:

1976 Jimmy Carter 11 years younger than Gerald Ford

1992 Bill Clinton 22 years younger than George H. W. Bush

2008 Barack Obama 25 years younger than John McCain

All three of those Republicans were far less provocative and controversial than is Donald Trump.

Is nominating someone (Bernie Sanders or Joe Biden) who is older than Donald Trump a wise choice?

Is nominating someone only a few years younger (Elizabeth Warren, Jay Inslee, John Hickenlooper) a wise choice?

Or would it be far better to nominate someone much younger than Trump to attract younger voters, particularly millennials, someone in their 50s or 40s as a multitude of potential nominees are (ranging from Amy Klobuchar at age 60 down to Pete Buttigieg at age 39)–and including women, minorities, and a gay man to move the nation forward in the 21st century, with a greater guarantee that they will live out their one or two terms in the White House?

This is what Democrats in upcoming caucuses and primaries next year have to come to grips with, with no easy answer as to what should occur!

New York City Mayors, Other Mayors And The Presidency

New York City has had Mayors who have sought the Presidency, but never has a NYC Mayor reached the White House.

With the announcement by present NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio of him becoming number 23 to run for the White House, this is a good time to look back at failed runs for the White House by NYC Mayors, and the history of other Mayors who have run for President.

DeWitt Clinton was the Federalist nominee for President in 1812 against President James Madison, but lost.

John Lindsay switched from the Republican to Democratic Party in 1972, but lost early in the process and withdrew his candidacy by April.

Rudy Giuliani was leading in polls in 2007 as a potential Republican nominee, but flopped badly and withdrew in January 2008.

Michael Bloomberg, a Republican, then an Independent, then a Democrat, considered announcing in 2016 and 2020, but decided not to at the present time, due to Joe Biden entering the race with similar views.

Additionally, a future President ran for Mayor of NYC in 1886 as a Republican, and ended up third, and yet went on to the White House, and that was Theodore Roosevelt.

Additionally, we have former Buffalo, New York Mayor and New York Governor Grover Cleveland who went on to the Presidency in 1884.

Other Mayors who ran for the Presidency include:

Hubert Humphrey of Minneapolis, Minnesota, who went on to the Senate and Vice Presidency, but lost the Presidential election of 1968 to Richard Nixon.

Sam Yorty of Los Angeles, who ran for the Democratic nomination unsuccessfully in 1972.

Dennis Kucinich of Cleveland, Ohio, who also served in Congress, and was a Democratic candidate unsuccessfully in 2004 and 2008.

Martin O’Malley of Baltimore, Maryland, who also served as Maryland Governor, and ran unsuccessfully for the Democratic nomination in 2016.

Additionally, two Presidents who succeeded after the death of the incumbent President, had served as Mayors of small cities–Andrew Johnson as Greeneville, Tennessee Mayor; and Calvin Coolidge as Northampton, Massachusetts Mayor, and was successful in winning his own term as President in 1924.

And now, of course, we have four former Mayors running in the Democratic Presidential competition:

Cory Booker of Newark, New Jersey

Julian Castro of San Antonio, Texas

John Hickenlooper of Denver, Colorado

Bernie Sanders of Burlington, Vermont

We also have three sitting Mayors now running for the Democratic nomination:

Pete Buttigieg of South Bend, Indiana

Bill de Blasio of New York City

Wayne Messam of Miramar, Florida

Elizabeth Warren May Overtake Bernie Sanders As The Favored Candidate On The Left Of The Democratic Party

Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren seems to be improving her situation in the Democratic Presidential race, while Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders seems to be faltering, if one believes recent polls that have been published.

Everyone in their right mind knows that trying to assume that anyone has a long term advantage six weeks before the first Democratic Presidential debate is indeed foolish.

But right now, Warren, with her combative nature, and many specific proposals, seems to be improving dramatically in her image, while Sanders may have reached his peak, and is declining in the competition of former Vice President Joe Biden for the support of African Americans, a crucial voting bloc, with about 60 percent of the South Carolina Primary vote likely to be of that group, and 25 percent overall.

So instead of a heads on battle between Sanders and Biden, it could be that it will end up as Warren vs Biden, with Warren to be 71 in 2020, as compared to Biden being 78 and Sanders being 79 in 2020.

And, of course, do not forget Kamala Harris and Pete Buttigieg, and of course, always the possibility of someone else emerging as a “dark horse”.

Still Early, But Beto O’Rourke Seems To Have Fizzled After Early Boost In Presidential Polls

Former Congressman Beto O’Rourke of El Paso, Texas, who ran a tight race against Republican Senator Ted Cruz in 2018, seemed to be a “hot’ candidate for President as a result, and when he announced his candidacy, his star rose to be in the top few of the multitude of candidates.

But now, recently, his star has declined, and he is no longer seen as being as likely a nominee as some might have thought in the early months of 2019.

A lot of this transformation seems due to the brilliant start of former Vice President Joe Biden, who has soared in the polls since his announcement for President a few weeks ago.

Also, the interest demonstrated in South Bend, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg has interfered with O’Rourke’s campaign.

Additionally, California Senator Kamala Harris has also been doing quite well, right up there with Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren, while Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders has been also in decline.

All of this is, of course, no proof that any of these named candidates will not have ups and downs over the next months until the Iowa Caucuses and New Hampshire Primary come in February.

And someone not in the top few in polls now could emerge as the choice of the Democratic Party ultimately, but at least for now, O’Rourke has declined, but time will tell whether the decline is temporary or permanent.

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

Yet Another Presidential Contender: Governor Steve Bullock Of Montana

We already have 20 Democratic Presidential contenders, and now another one is imminent: Montana Governor Steve Bullock. It has been made public that he will announce in two weeks, in mid May.

It would seem that Bullock could be dismissed as a serious candidate, but looking at his record gives one pause.

Bullock is 53, making him one of the younger potential Presidents, and he has been successful in a heavily Republican state, first as Attorney General from 2009-2013, and then as a two term Governor, elected in 2012 and again in 2016. He is also the Chair of the National Governor’s Association, elected last year to that position, which gives him more publicity and attention.

Bullock has been rated the most popular Democratic Governor in public opinion polls, and has managed to be effective with a heavily opposition controlled Republican legislature, with Democrats having been able to hold on to the Governor’s chair despite Republican statewide dominance, with Brian Schweitzer for eight years before Bullock, along with one Senate seat, that of Senator Jon Tester. He was the only incumbent Democratic Governor to win reelection in a state that Donald Trump won in 2016.

To survive as a Democrat, Bullock, like Tester, is a moderate Democrat, but he is pro choice; a believer in climate change; is supported by organized labor; refuses to cooperate with immigration authorities on the issue of separation of families on the border with Mexico; supports net neutrality; favors campaign finance reform; and backs gay marriage.

Bullock has emphasized the need for Democrats to gain support from rural and suburban areas, rather than focusing on urban areas, the traditional Democratic base. His visits in 2018 to Iowa and New Hampshire fueled belief he would announce for President, and now it is imminent.

As a moderate centrist Democrat, however, he is competing with Joe Biden, Amy Klobuchar, Beto O’Rourke, and Pete Buttigieg, and possibly others whose ideas are not fully developed as of yet. So the odds that a man from Montana could go all the way seems unlikely, but of course, he could be a Vice Presidential choice of the Democratic Presidential candidate.