Tag Archives: Democratic field

Time for also rans to run for the sidelines

I won’t pussyfoot around on this matter.

The time has come for the Democratic Party presidential primary field to narrow itself to the leading, five or maybe six, contenders.

The rest of them need to go. Away. To the back of the room.

The leading candidates are now obvious to even the most casual observer. They are Joe Biden, Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, Amy Klobuchar, Pete Buttigieg and — yes, this one — Michael Bloomberg.

The rest of them are still polling in low single digits. They won’t gain any traction, no matter what they say or how much they contend their campaigns are about to ignite.

A couple of those back of the pack members disappoint me. I had some hope that perhaps Tulsi Gabbard might emerge. She didn’t. She cast that strange “present” vote on whether the House of Representatives should impeach Donald John Trump. Then we have Deval Patrick, a late entrant. The former Massachusetts governor sought to light a fire among African-American voters. I haven’t seen the spark yet.

Why include Bloomberg in the field of contenders who should continue? Well, dude’s got a lot of cash. About 50 billion bucks. He’s going to drop a few million of those dollars into this race. He has a message. He needs to be heard. Yes, I am skeptical of a mega-rich guy jumping in late, skipping the early primaries and then presuming to be the candidate for whom primary voters will flock because only he can defeat Donald Trump this November.

I’ve noted already that I am highly satisfied with the quality of the Democratic field that is angling for an opportunity to run against the president. I damn sure don’t support all of them.

The field, though, needs to winnow itself down to a roster of candidates who can compete strongly for their party’s presidential nomination.

To be candid, I am weary of the constant bickering and dickering over who among them is being left out of these campaign joint appearances.

Take a hike, also rans. Thank you for offering yourselves for our consideration. This isn’t your time.

Just who can slug it out with Donald Trump?

It is now a given. Donald J. Trump will conduct a mean, unorthodox and vile campaign for re-election as president of the United States.

The question facing Democrats as they look over their still quite large field of presidential candidates is: Who among them is willing and able to stand up to the onslaught that Trump will hurl at them?

I have my doubts about all of ’em.

I believe it is becoming clearer by the week, if not daily, that this campaign is going to rest between Trump and one of four, maybe five, Democratic contenders.

Joe Biden, Elizabeth Warren, Bernie (gulp!) Sanders, Pete Buttigieg and (maybe) Beto O’Rourke stand at the top of candidates who I think will stay the course beyond the first caucuses and primaries. If only Kamala Harris could shake the race up just a bit more.

It might be that someone will emerge as the gut fighter the Democrats will need if they have a chance of defeating the carnival barker in chief. Remember when former first lady Michelle Obama implored Democrats to “go high” when Republicans “go low”? We can kiss that mantra good bye, or so it appears to me at this moment.

Trump is a street fighter. The hideousness he displayed while beating Hillary Clinton in 2016 might resemble a hen party by the time he gets ramped up against whomever the Democratic Party nominates next summer to run against him.

I will lay this out right now, as if it’s a big surprise … which it isn’t. Any of the Democrats now in the field — with the possible exception of Bernie Sanders — would have my vote against Trump in November 2020. Why not possibly Bernie? Because his mantra about wealth inequality is becoming like a one-note samba.

Donald Trump never should have gotten elected in 2016. The Democrats’ major error was in nominating someone who had at least as many negatives going for her as Trump. I know what you might be thinking: Sure, you can say that now, even though you were predicting a big win for Hillary the last time. Well, I wasn’t alone.

I guess the task now for the field of Democratic challengers is for someone among them to emerge as the toughest of the bunch to handle the nastiness that is sure to come from the president.

I just wish someone could stake that claim.

Open White House race = many candidates


Here’s a fact of political life in America.

When there’s no incumbent involved in a campaign, you invite all comers to seek the office that’s being vacated. Everyone, or so it seems, becomes interested in the office at stake.

Such is the case with the White House. A two-term president, Barack Obama, is prohibited from running again. He’s bowing out in January 2017. The Republican field is as full as I’ve seen it in more than four decades watching this stuff; 16 men and one woman are running on the GOP side. It’s becoming quite an entertaining spectacle — to say the very least.

The Democrats? Well, until about two, maybe three weeks ago, it seemed that Hillary Clinton had that nomination in the bag. She still is the heavy favorite.

But she’s not going to anointed as the party nominee next summer, or so it appears. Vermont U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders has closed a once-huge gap. Former Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley is taking aim at Clinton, as is ex-Rhode Island Gov. Lincoln Chafee. We haven’t heard much yet from ex- Virginia U.S. Sen. Jim Webb.

But now we hear of a couple of big names — as in really big names — possibly entering the Democratic Party primary field.

One of them is Vice President Joe Biden.

The other? Get ready: It might former Vice President Albert Gore Jr.

Some media outlets are reporting that “insiders” are discussing the possibility of a Gore candidacy. My reaction? Holy crap!

He damn near was elected in 2000, winning more popular votes than George W. Bush, who was elected because he won a bare majority of electoral votes. What many folks have forgotten about that election is this: Had the vice president won his home state of Tennessee in 2000, there would have been no recount controversy in Florida, no “hanging chad” examination, no narrow Supreme Court ruling to determine who won that state’s critical electoral votes. Gore lost his home state to Bush. There you have it.

This election already is shaping as the most entertaining in at least a couple of generations. The thundering herd of Republicans is being overshadowed by a billionaire hotel mogul/entertainer/wheeler-dealer. The Democratic field is being dominated by a self-proclaimed “democratic socialist” drawing huge crowds and a former secretary of state with growing problems stemming from her use of a personal email account to conduct State Department business.

Will two men who’ve served a “heartbeat away” from the presidency now join the field?

We know that Vice President Biden is considering it. As for Al Gore? Stay tuned and hang on … maybe.


No diversity on Democratic bench? C'mon!

The Hill newspaper has a headline that shouts that actual and potential Democratic candidates for president lack “diversity.”

The Democratic “bench” is too, um, bland … or some such thing.

Hold on here.


The trio of mug shots that accompany the news story attached here tell me something quite different.

* Hillary Rodham Clinton is, quite obviously, a woman. She was first lady for eight years from 1993 until 2001. She served in the U.S. Senate and then as secretary of state. Enough said there.

* Jim Webb is a former U.S. senator from Virginia. He’s a Vietnam War veteran. He saw combat as a Marine. He served in the Reagan administration, not exactly a bastion of progressive principles.

* Bernie Sanders is an independent U.S. senator from Vermont. He’s a card-carrying, say-it-loud-and-proud socialist. He makes no bones about his share-the-wealth philosophy.

I won’t mention Sen. Elizabeth Warren, who keeps saying she isn’t running.

Oops. I just did.

Those three individuals look pretty diverse to me. They each bring a different set of governing principles to a presidential campaign.

Only one of them, Clinton, has declared her candidacy. Webb has formed an exploratory committee, while Sanders is keeping his options open.

I get what The Hill means, though, about the lack of “diversity.” It refers to the Republican field that so far has two Hispanic candidates — Sens. Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio. There well might be a woman, Carly Fiorina, in the mix as well. An African-American, Ben Carson, is likely to run.

Let us not dismiss the potential Democratic primary field as being bland and one-note boring.

Among the possible field of three — Clinton, Webb and Sanders — one can find plenty of ideological diversity.