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The 2020 twenty

May 2, 2019

I may have lost count. It may be twenty-two by now or thirty or fifty. Whatever the number it’s too bloody big. Any minute now I expect Bo, the Obama’s Portuguese water dog, to announce that he’s running for President of the United States.

NY cartoon

I confess I had mixed feelings when Elizabeth Warren was the first Democrat to throw her hat in the ring.

Don’t get me wrong. I bloody love Elizabeth Warren. I follow her on Facebook and Twitter. I love everything she says and does and have done for many years. I loved her when she was out and about pitching the need for the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, which she created in the aftermath of the crash of 2008. I loved her when she responded to Obama’s cowardly decision not to appoint her head of the bureau by saying, fine, I’ll run for Senate. I love that she won and I love that, whatever the Republicans threw at her, nevertheless, she persisted.

But my heart sank when she declared her candidacy. Too much baggage. Definitely not because she is a guiding light for progressives, but because many, many years ago, she declared her ethnicity as American Indian, which she clearly is not. Whatever DNA results have now come back, it was a claim she made to gain advantage. Do I blame her? I don’t know. I’ve never been in the situation she was in. I might have done the same, but I blame her for never admitting it. Do I think it precludes her from being President? No I do not. But I did think “Pocahontas” would haunt her and weaken her in a federal election campaign. And I wasn’t at all sure she could effectively handle Trump in a debate – not without being labelled “strident”, which, as everyone knows, is a distressing female trait which makes women unfit to be elected to the highest office in the land.

She should, I thought, have stayed out of the race and waited to be appointed Treasury Secretary in the next Democratic administration. (The thought of the apoplexy this would cause in Wall Street makes me laugh out loud.)

And yet, and yet… I listened to her speeches and thought how much better the lives of most US citizens would be if she was President.

Could this work? Maybe, if Bernie Sanders and his millions of young followers got behind her. Yes, it could work. Of course that would have involved Bernie butting out this time around. No such luck.

He became part of the ever expanding field. Just couldn’t stay away. I don’t blame him. If I’d experienced all that adulation in 2016, I’d want more of it. Again, don’t get me wrong, I love Bernie. And to be honest, I’d pay good money to watch him debate Trump, who would be completely punch drunk by the time it was over.

However, two super-progressives in the running is one too many. Sigh.

What about the rest of the field?

If I was a registered Democrat, I would give Kirsten Gillibrand a wide berth. This is a candidate who not all that long ago had a triple-A rating from the NRA and a stance on immigration that would make Trump beam with approval. Sorry, I just don’t buy her road to Damascus conversion. Plus, personally, I will never forgive her for demanding Al Franken’s scalp the second there was any suggestion of impropriety.

I quite like Amy Klobuchar. And I loved her response to Trump’s tweet about her formal announcement.


Yeah, that debate could be fun.

Then there’s Kamala Harris. I really like her. Many of the magical moments during the current administration have involved Harris grilling Trump lackeys.

When she announced her candidacy, I was ecstatic. I mean, how custom-made was this candidate? An African American woman who can deliver killer blows. How could Trump insult her without alienating all but his most diehard supporters? (None of whom would ever vote for a woman or an African American.) Delicious.

No doubt you’ve noticed that, with the exception of Sanders, so far I’ve only been talking about female candidates. Perhaps you’ve guessed why this is.


Yes, that’s right. Here we go again. For fucksake.

I could write an expletive-laced rant about this, but why should I when Rebecca Solnit has already summed it up so beautifully (and only resorted to saying fuck once). Seriously, click on the link and read her piece.

So, what about these men?

Granted, I wouldn’t mind seeing Biden debate Trump. I could almost live with hugs and massages past, but hair sniffing? No, sorry. Pack it in, Joe.

Mayor Pete – isn’t he just as cute as a button, with his fresh face and bright smile and refusal to wear a jacket? Here’s someone who knows how to roll up his sleeves. Whilst his experience as the mayor of a small town in Indiana does make him more qualified politically than Trump ever was for elected office, seriously, it ain’t enough. (I remember reading about a poll years ago – long before the marriage equality act – which indicated that more Americans would vote for a gay man than would vote for an atheist. No mention in the poll about a gay woman. Or any woman.)

Beto O’Rourke? Oh, puh-leeze. If you can’t beat Ted Cruz, you can’t beat Trump. Just cool your jets.

When Cory Booker gave his soaring speech at the 2016 Democratic convention I knew he was going to run for President. I have a lot of time for the guy and I think he’d probably make a pretty good President, but the media doesn’t seem to agree. He should be a front runner, but he’s getting almost no coverage and isn’t in the top five. (I can’t help wondering if the media has decided there can only really be one African American candidate and they’ve opted for Harris.)

I love the fact that Jay Inslee is running a nothing-but-climate-change campaign, but I can’t see him being around by February next year.

As for the rest… I’m sorry, could you remind me who the hell they are?

the 20

From → Columns

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