This week the 2020 presidential election enters a new yet still early phase as the first of the Democratic primary debates will be held as the process to whittling down the unprecedented crowded field continues to expand and not contract.
Former Pennsylvania Congressman Joe Sestak announced over the weekend that he (too) would be a candidate for the presidency, bringing the number of challengers to President Donald Trump’s re-election to 25.
That’s not 25 random folks who decided to do a bucket list run for president by having their name placed on a New Hampshire primary ballot that at this point is going to resemble a Chinese restaurant menu but over two dozen men and women who possess some form of official standing by virtue of the elected office they hold (or held) or financial support.
Granted most of the announced canidates won’t even make it to a local cable access channel debate let alone one hosted by a major news network.
Below in no particular order is a list of the top candidates crowding the frontseat of the Democratic Party’s clown car along with their Trumpian “forever name” (where applicable).
Joe Biden, Delaware
- Claim to Fame: Longtime US Senator, Former Vice-President
- Advantages: Poll leader (money magnet), longest tenure of government service, mulligan nominee from 2016
- Disadvantages: Poll leader (target), gaffe prone, old white man in a party for no old white men
- Trump “Forever Name”: Sleepy Joe
- Claim to Fame: US Senator, socialist icon, runner-up for nominee in 2016
- Advantages: 100% Name ID, hardcore grassroots network, 2nd most experienced candidate in the field, won New Hampshire in 2016
- Disadvantages: Needs to meet higher expectations, considered Hillary spoiler, Venezuela, could end up being the Ron Paul of the Left
- Trump “Forever Name”: Crazy Bernie
Pete Buttigieg, Indiana
- Claim to Fame: Mayor of South Bend, first openly gay presidential candidate
- Advantages: Surged out of nowhere, Gay activists have flooded him with money, viewed as moderate & non-threatening, combat vet, polished speaker
- Disadvantages: Perhaps Mayor Pete has outkicked his coverage, he’s still mayor while running around the country running for president, his popularity could have been a fad fading away once voters get serious
- Trump “Forever Name”: Alfred E. Neuman
Elizabeth Warren, Massachusetts
- Claim to Fame: Harvard professor, the “dreamgirl” candidate the Left wanted to nominate in 2016, third most experienced US Senator in the race, close proximity to New Hampshire
- Advantages: The media’s big crush, extremely favorable and constant coverage, the feminist candidate in the race
- Disadvantages: Comes off like a school marm, wooden and socially awkward, thin-skinned, and then there’s that Ancestry test
- Trump “Forever Name”: Pocahontas
“Beto” O’Rourke, Texas
- Claim to Fame: Even in defeat made Texas “bluer” and put Republican US Senator Ted Cruz on the ropes, raised an astounding $80 million in senate run
- Advantages: Was the Democrats’ “rock star” candidate in 2018, young, considered “Obamaesque”, would put Texas back in play
- Disadvantages: Inexperienced, an opportunist seeking a bigger promotion after losing a bid for a lower one, Betomania has fizzled out for the time being
- Trump “Forever Name”: Crashed so fast the president never got to settle on one. Yet.
Kamala Harris, California
- Claim to Fame: Mixed-race female statewide elected official from the Democratic bastion of California
- Advantages: The media swoons for Kamala as much as Warren, a black candidate in primaries where a substantial share of the electorate is African-American, can raise major west coast dollars, will receive lion’s share of California’s huge delegate pot
- Disadvantages: America might not be willing to buy what California is selling as the new “normal”, Trump would run against the West Coast Way, and then there is former mayor of San Francisco, whom she dated openly while he was married.
- Trump “Forever Name”: None as of yet. The president seems reluctant to directly engage with Harris, perhaps out of concern for endangering his outreach with black voters.
Cory Booker, New Jersey
- Claim to Fame: Former mayor of Newark, other prominent black candidate for president, aggressive harasser of Republicans appearing before committees he sits on
- Advantages: Ability to raise money from across the Hudson in New York City, could perform well in Deep South, shameless willingness to demagogue (it should not be an advantage but in this party….)
- Disadvantages: The New Jersey presidential primary is scheduled for June 2nd, political theatrics tend to make him look buffoonish, eclipsed by the other candidates
- Trump “Forever Name”: Once again, aside from Trump hinting that he is well-versed in Booker’s life, the president has largely ignored the New Jersey senator, once again leading one to assume that Trump is making a concerted effort to avoid attacking the field’s two most high-profile African-American candidates.