It might seem a bit early to begin the process since we have not even gone through the 2018 midterms yet, but it is always fun to look ahead to see who may run for the Democrats in 2020 against, presumably, Donald Trump. Most pundits put the field at about 30 potential candidates. This writer looked at thirteen different websites from National Review to the Washington Post to Slate to see who they are mentioning. In order to make this list, I decided to winnow the field to any person mentioned on at least six of those websites and then assign a weighted value to determine the early odds. That resulted in eleven people who made the cut.
Surprisingly despite the buzz, people like Oprah Winfrey and Mark Zuckerberg, although mentioned by some sources, did not make the cut. The closest any celebrity came was Dawayne (The Rock) Johnson which would be kind of cool. Unsurprisingly, only one source listed any of the current two who have sort of declared their candidacy- John Delaney and Luis Guitierez. Without further ado:
#11. Former Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick. He’s looking for a job since serving his terms in Boston. Patrick really hasn’t been doing much to be in the news of late which might be a good thing. And although he has a somewhat interesting life story, there are some ghosts in his closet. Still and all, he meets the criteria for a Democratic candidate- he’s a minority. However, he’ll have to get himself out there in the news lest people start saying, “Deval who?”
#10. Virginia Senator and former Vice Presidential running mate of Hillary Clinton, Tim Kaine. In some respects, Kaine may believe that he should be the next in line since the election was stolen from Hillary and he should be the VP right now. However, Kaine may be too associated with Hillary and that may just be the ultimate turn off for some Democrats. Besides, when the wind blows his hair, he strikes an uncanny resemblance to the late Red Skelton.
#9. Ohio Senator Sherrod Brown. Brown is a Democratic Senator in a state Trump won easily in 2016 and Brown will first have to win reelection in 2018 before he can entertain thoughts of a 2020 Presidential run. Described as some as a moderate in the party, this writer does not see it as he has fallen under the Svengali gaze of Chuck Schumer. Still, if the party wants to open up to a milquetoast candidate from a key state, Brown should be watched.
#8. New York Governor Andrew Cuomo. Well, he has executive experience and he does, at rare times, buck the party line. Cuomo reminds this writer of a claymation figure left in the sun for too long. His problem may be his home state where another New Yorker with better odds (read on) is being mentioned and this comes on the heels of a carpetbagging New Yorker losing in 2016. He may be too much New York for Democrats to suffer.
#7. Minnesota Senator Amy Klobuchar. She is the non-comedian, non-groping Senator from Minnesota. Two other things in her favor- she’s female and she’s considerably younger than the last great female hope, Hillary Clinton. She’s not much of a household name, so watch her over the next two years to see if we hear more from her.
#6. New Jersey Senator Corey Booker. The junior Senator from New Jersey has the Democratic base all juiced up with his over-the-top ridiculous rants, tweets and crying episodes. But, Democrats have to make sure no skeletons shake from his past. He was the mayor of a corrupt, decaying city (Newark) before he was Senator and Newark remains pretty much decaying and corrupt. Also, his electoral victory in 2014 was nothing to write home about and may have some Democrats leery. Still, he is black and that is always a plus in the party of identity politics.
#5. New York Senator Kirsten Gillibrand. She’s the other New Yorker in the mix and for the life of me I do not understand what people see in her. As a Senator, she has had electoral success, but word is that in her former Congressional district, she’s not too well-liked and those folks might know a little more about her than the cosmopolitan folks in New York City. Generally low key, she’s been speaking out more of late and some of the comments are unhinged. Still, she has one selling point: she’s female.
#4. California Senator Kamala Harris. She’s often mentioned alongside Gillibrand which must really upset the Senator from New York. There is no secret that her run for the Senate out of very blue California was a stepping stone to higher office. The only question is whether it is too soon to take that plunge. Almost from the day she won her Senate race, her name was mentioned as a future presidential candidate. Not only is she female, but she’s black. Not only that, she was Attorney General in California and backed sanctuary cities. Not only that, she’d be the female version of Barack Obama only with a better resume.
#3. Former Vice President and Delaware Senator Joe Biden. Everyone’s favorite drunk uncle sounds like he is considering a run. His down home, folksy “Ah, shucks” persona plays well when he’s not cursing on an open mic. But, that is part of the Biden aura. On the plus side, he has the executive experience being a good soldier for Saint Barack. On the downside, he’s old (as in ancient), represents the old guard of the Party and he’s a white male.
#2. Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren. Personally, I did not think there was a voice more grating than that of Hillary Clinton, but Warren has it. She’s slightly younger than Uncle Joe, but not by much. Unlike Uncle Joe, she has the correct chromosomes for a Democratic candidate. Of course, her fake Native American heritage is the laughing stock of the political world and something she’ll likely not live down. This may be the first candidate that will have to submit saliva to Ancestry.com to prove her lineage. Besides being female, she’s all the rage with the populist wing of the Party. But, can anyone point to any legislation with her name on it that does not involve a post office? Hmmm…sounds like Hillary Clinton.
#1. Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders. Someone even older than Biden leads the field early on in light of his 2016 challenge against Clinton and there are many Bernie Bros out there who believe the nomination was stolen from him (Democrats seem to believe everything is stolen from them when they lose). But, here’s the kicker: Sanders is not even a Democrat and is instead a member of the Socialist Party and runs as Senator as an independent. In a weird sort of way, the Ichabod Crane of American politics holds a certain sway and he at least engages in debate once you get by the spittle that emerges from his lips. It’s even money on this octagenerian.
So there you have it: the not-so-young, the very old, the claymation figures, the blacks and the females who have the early lead in what may become a clown car of a Democratic field come 2020. I suspect that in the interest of diversity, whoever emerges will choose a Hispanic as a running mate (Julian Castro, anyone?).