The 2018 midterms are right around the corner, and the Democratic Party seems torn between the old guard, who have lost all of their ideals save preaching the evils of Trump’s many “isms,” and the younger wave of progressives – along with crazy old Uncle Bernie – who would forever wedge “Socialist” firmly between “Democratic” and “Party.”
While some seem reticent to openly declare until after the November results are in, others are focused firmly on the 2020 election. At present, the anti-Trump zeal brings us around two dozen likely contenders for the Democratic presidential nomination. The list includes swamp critters and outsiders alike, both mundane and positively absurd.
Few elected officials have quite the history of playing the race card as Cory “Spartacus” Booker, but the Democratic senator from New Jersey has upped his game of late. Booker has berated DHS Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen and shed “tears of rage” at Trumps alleged insensitivity for third-world countries. He tried – and failed – to wield scripture as a political weapon and thought he could fool the nation into believing he was martyring himself by breaking Senate rules in the name of Truth after secretly securing permission to release new documents.
For those wondering when the theatrics will give way to the official announcement, Booker has declared that he will speak at the Iowa Democratic Party’s annual gala on October 6th. It’s an appropriate event for such an announcement, as The Hawkeye State is the first to hold presidential nominations. Both Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton attended the event in 2015.
Lest Spartacus hog all the glory, Senator Kamala Harris of California has done her share of political grandstanding lately – primarily during the Kavanaugh hearing. She got an early start on the first day, interrupting Senator Chuck Grassley (R-IA), the chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, just seconds into his introduction. On day two, she spent most of her time trying to trap Kavanaugh into either admitting something embarrassing or lying by asking a complicated question and demanding a yes or no answer.
She also took a shot at Kavanaugh for not shaking hands with Fred Guttenberg, father of Parkland victim Jamie Guttenberg. “If Kavanaugh won’t even give him a handshake, how can we believe he would give gun violence victims a fair shake in court?” Harris hasn’t confirmed the rumors that she’s considering a 2020 presidential run, but – perhaps more telling – she hasn’t denied them either.
Third in our list of crazy politicians who could well be the Dems’ 2020 pick, Elizabeth Warren(D-MA) is the only one who has actively announced plans to not run. Still, she is considered by many a prime choice for the nomination. There was some rumor that she and Bernie Sanders (I-VT) might pair up to face off against Trump. Apparently, her claims that she won’t run are about as believable as her status as a woman of color.
The list wouldn’t be complete without the great Bernie Sanders Claus and his tax the wealthy to death to provide Medicare for all plan. After the DNC gave him the shaft in 2016 and have, so far, attempted to do so again, one might not expect to feel the Bern anytime soon. But the recent and rapid influx of young socialists into the party and the growing support for his favored policies means that Bernie Sanders might actually stand a change of being the 2020 face of the Democratic Party.
For reasons unknown, Former chair of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, Steve Israel, seems certain that Joe Biden will be the savior of the Democratic Party in 2020. Though it seems unlikely that he’ll succeed, the former VP certainly does seem intent on giving it a shot.
Biden has tried for the Oval Office – twice. He has failed – twice. He finally managed to make vice president by riding the novelty of the Obama campaign, but even that did not stop most Americans from chuckling and shaking their heads at the very mention of his name.
What makes Biden any less likely to succeed than Sanders? As Liberty Nation’s Joe Schaeffer explained, Biden is an establishment warhorse who will not sit well with the progressive socialists working to take over the party. And for those of the old guard who remain, he represents a painful reminder of the Hillary Clinton vs. Bernie Sanders debacle that shattered the party in 2016.
Former San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro, who also served as secretary of Housing and Urban Development under Obama, has expressed his interest in running, but he won’t commit until at least after the midterms. In other words, he’ll probably run for president if his party retakes the House – otherwise he’ll just run home.
Jerry Brown, governor of California, has not denied the many rumors that he eyes the Oval Office, though he also hasn’t confirmed it. Brown falls into the category of Democrats who do well in states like California, but who probably couldn’t take the White House due to the large number of Democrats spread across the nation who own guns.
Representative John Delaney of Maryland – the only Democrat so far who has actually officially announced his candidacy – claims to desire a more bipartisan approach and touts a vision based on what he calls “my own American Dream.” Long story short, he wants to spend more money. He just wants to spend it in ways that make both establishment Democrats and Republicans happy. Like his more progressive counterparts, however, his claims that we’re not doing so hot financially under Trump could derail him.
Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti has officially declared that he will officially decide whether to declare his candidacy in early 2019. Also in the “maybe, maybe not” camp are Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper, Washington Governor Jay Inslee, former Secretary of State John Kerry, Former governor of Massachusetts Deval Patrick, and Representative Tim Ryan of Ohio.
Rep. Eric Swalwell of California told CNN he was considering a run. Terry McAuliffe, former Virginia governor, is supposedly quite serious about it. Obama era Attorney General Eric Holder told Stephen Colbert that he was thinking about it, and Martin O’Malley, the former Maryland governor who already failed in this endeavor once, says he’s keeping an “open heart and open mind.”
And of course, since Trump went from politically unexperienced businessman to president, there are a crop of Democratic outsiders hoping to do the same. Stormy Daniels’ lawyer, Michael Avenatti, has talked about running against Trump in 2020 and has already began touring the country. Billionaire Democrat donor Tom Steyer is considering running against Trump, but wants to see how the Dems do in the midterms. Howard Schultz, former Starbucks CEO, stepped down to focus on taking Trump down in 2020, and Reverend Race-Baiter himself, Al Sharpton, might well run for president – despite having failed multiple times to join the Senate.
A Grand Show
If this seems like a long and eclectic list, just wait. A full half of these probably won’t show any interest in running should their party fail to take Congress. And if they succeed – this will only be the beginning. What should be the real question for the Democrats is who has the best chance of beating Trump? Probably quite few on this list. But regardless of who leads the Dems just shy of the White House next time, it’s clear we’re in for a grand show.