Analyzing potential 2020 Democratic presidential candidates

Ryan Neely, Guest Reporter

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The 2020 presidential election has everybody on edge. In recent history, presidents have typically won re-election, but given how many rules have already been broken in the past few years, it stands to reason that the next Democratic nominee could very well become president. Therefore, it is fitting to analyze just who is truly worthy of this honor. Due to how campaign finance laws work, presidential nominees tend to only hint at their candidacy until campaign season starts, but at this point, it isn’t too difficult to see who our likely candidates are.

Joe Biden

Joe Biden is the safest choice for Democrats. He is from Scranton, which will help him in Pennsylvania (a very important state in 2020), and among the working class voters from that area and those like it who have quite famously been alienated by the Democratic Party as of late. He also, by any measure, has the experience necessary, being a longtime senator and vice president.

There is, however, one major factor weighing against him. Joe Biden is quite old. The current oldest president at the time of inauguration is Donald Trump, being age 71. Joe Biden is 76 right now. This will not only raise concerns of his health and energy, but also how younger voters will be able to support him. Sure, they were able to get behind Bernie Sanders, but that was only because of his socialist policies and outsider status. How are college kids going to get excited over Joe Biden?

Michael Bloomberg

Yes, currently Michael Bloomberg is registered as a Democrat. At the time of writing at least. All joking aside, his opportunistic nature will certainly be a barrier to the nomination. Michael Bloomberg is very business friendly and very authoritarian. Democrats might be able to ignore the latter, but it’s hard to see them looking past the former.

Michael Bloomberg is undeniably an intelligent person, which raises the question of why he is apparently trying to fight this seemingly unwinnable battle. Sure, he would have a good chance of winning if nominated, most assuredly securing the independent vote, but that’s a very big “if”. Even if his Democratic affiliation at the moment is just means to kickstart an independent run once he inevitably loses the nomination, it’s hard to see him gaining any serious traction.

It’s a real shame, because Michael Bloomberg clearly had an agenda bigger than New York City as mayor. He was beyond just “fixing roads” or “plowing snow”. He knew that his real job was to educate the heathens on their terrible excesses. Soda taxes and climate initiatives were needed to keep those pesky citizens in check. Perhaps he should suddenly decide that he is a devout Catholic and seek the papacy. At least then people might start taking him seriously.

Hillary Clinton

Nominating Hillary Clinton again would be unwise, so it stands to reason that the Democrats might go for it. She is definitely one of the weakest possible candidates, due to the plethora of scandals she’s been involved in.

However, she should be taken seriously. Name recognition is worth quite a bit in politics, and she has it for sure. In addition, she also has the connections necessary to gain valuable endorsements, and if she gets the nomination, she may win simply by the virtue of being not Donald Trump

Bernie Sanders

Once again, age is one major inhibitor to an otherwise powerful candidate. However, this isn’t seeming to deter Bernie Sanders from pursuing the nomination. Other factors that could work against him are that he could cannibalize others that share his message, and that nominating a socialist would certainly alienate many independent voters.

Still, Bernie Sanders has his fans, and they could come out in droves in 2020. He should not be underestimated. This is especially concerning considering that, if nominated, Sanders would not be a typical Democratic president. Could you picture him, for instance, uttering the words “ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country”, as John F. Kennedy did? The very character of this nation will be challenged if Sanders becomes president.

Elizabeth Warren

Elizabeth Warren has many factors working against her. Notably, that whole “native American” scandal, as well as her general lack of charisma. Elizabeth Warren makes Hillary Clinton look personable. With so many others vying for the nomination, factors like this cannot be ignored. Considering the competition (assuming they actually run), Elizabeth Warren just is just not a serious contender.

Cory Booker

Cory Booker has given some very confrontational speeches lately in the Senate. Perhaps he is positioning himself as the Democratic version of Donald Trump. That raises the question: Do the Democrats really want their version of Donald Trump? That couldn’t possibly play well in the general election. Cory Booker just isn’t the right fit for 2020.

Beto O’Rourke

While Beto O’Rourke made quite a splash in the 2018 election season, ultimately, he did not win. Granted, his numbers were very impressive given the circumstance. His resume, however, is not very impressive. The highest office he has held is in the House of Representatives, and that’s about the only relevant experience that he has. Beto O’Rourke is so marvelously unqualified to be president that he would be foolish to even run.

Conclusion

The Democratic nomination could either be highly contested or a shoe-in, depending on who decides to run. Somebody not listed could even become the nominee. That said, Joe Biden seems to stick out among the rest.

All he would need to do is convince America that he is the reasonable alternative to Donald Trump. Make no mistake, Biden is not a moderate by any means, but if he can successfully distance himself from the recent socialist influence on the Democratic Party, he could end up being a positive force within it, and may even carry them to victory, bringing in four or so years of the same old Democratic policies that have left America rotting in mediocrity compared to its former glory, yet still standing nonetheless.