The list of possible contenders for the 2020 Democratic nomination goes beyond Hillary Clinton and Senators Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders. It also includes former Vice President Joe Biden (left), Senator Kamala Harris of California (center), and Senator Cory Booker of New Jersey (right).
That, at least, is the line-up according to the New York Times, which has outlined the efforts of each candidate who is considering, or at least appearing to consider, a run for the nomination, and thus, the chance to unhorse Donald J. Trump, the most vilified man in America.
But perhaps what the Times didn’t say is as important as what it did: The aging white Democratic aristocracy might be replaced by younger, more energetic blacks and Hispanics less interested in bipartisanship than in revolutionary change.
If Biden runs, it will be his third try, and he is not, the Times reported, a sure candidate. He is, however, making the moves a candidate makes.
In the fall, he “plans to campaign up to four days a week after Labor Day, people familiar with his strategy said. In his speeches so far, Mr. Biden has struck a gentler chord than Mr. Sanders and Ms. Warren, delivering paeans to bipartisanship and beckoning Democrats to rise above Mr. Trump’s demagogic taunts.”
As well, the Times noted, Biden seeks the support of younger Democrats, and an “important step so far has been to help install a close ally, James Smith, as the Democratic nominee for governor in the early primary state of South Carolina.”
While Biden is tight as a tick with Palmetto State Democrats and would have no small measure of support among party stalwarts, particularly the party establishment that arranged the Clinton run, he knows where the party is headed. The party is moving left, “drifting from his institutionalist style and relative moderation.”
Like Sanders, Biden is an old man. He is 75. He ran for president 30 years ago, but revelations of plagiarism knocked him out of that race. Still according to Politico, Biden believes Biden can beat Trump, and so do others:
While some big money Democrats have been wary about pegging the future of the party with a former two-term vice president, some former Clinton donors have reached out with interest, as have former Obama donors.
“If someone emerges that the former VP believes can beat [Trump], I think he is at peace with that,” said one Biden-friendly donor. “On the other hand, if that person doesn’t exist or doesn’t run, you can expect Joe Biden to take a very serious look.”
Warren and Sanders
The Times didn’t say much about Sanders, except that he “looms over the 2020 race, boasting an unmatched following among activists and a proven ability to raise millions of dollars online” and that he “could be a powerful competitor for the nomination — and a daunting obstacle to Ms. Warren and other economic populists.”
Sanders, the Times reminded readers, is thoroughgoing radical who checks all the socialist boxes — “free” health care and “free” college tuition to name just two. Sanders’ past also includes full-throated support for the communist cause.
With Sanders, age again, is an issue. If elected, he will be nearly 80 when inaugurated.
Then there’s 69-year-old Warren, who, the Times reported, is “making the most concerted strides,” such as “regular buffet dinners in her Senate office with policy experts, recently hosting Kathleen Stephens, the former ambassador to South Korea.”
Warren also visited former Senator Harry Reid in Nevada.
On Saturday, Warren appeared at the annual convention of the American Federation of Teachers. “Ms. Warren was met with an enthusiastic crowd,” the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported, with teachers flanking the senators with “Educators for Elizabeth Warren” signs.
The Times did not mention one hurdle Warren might not surmount: Her unproven claims of Native American ancestry, as TNA noted last week.
Harris and Booker
Harris, the Times reported, “has been focused on backing Democratic women and candidates of color, endorsing over a dozen around the country,” and is promoting herself as the younger, diversity candidate.
In her travels, Ms. Harris offers herself as the herald of a rising, diverse generation of Americans. An unrelenting critic of the president, she is said to have grown more interested in the 2020 race as the midterm campaign has unfolded and Democratic women have mobilized to repudiate Mr. Trump’s party.
Some Democrats delight at the contrast between her and the 72-year-old president.
“I think this world needs a black woman as president,” said John Bowman, a former Missouri state lawmaker, after hearing Ms. Harris address an N.A.A.C.P. gathering in St. Louis last month.
Meanwhile, Booker “has campaigned with a message of uplift” and thinks he can “win over voters in red states as an African-American liberal from the Northeast.”
Booker campaigned for Democrat Senator Doug Jones in Alabama last year, the Times noted, might campaign through the South in the fall, and has locked down the support of at least one important lobbyist in New Hampshire.