By Richard Eber, California Political News and Views
As the 2020 race winds down Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass) is set to be the Democratic standard bearer to oppose Donald Trump. The country will vote next November in what is almost certain to be a realigning election which will likely determine the course of American politics for a generation.
Wait a minute Richard! How can you say the Democratic nominee is all but decided when there are still two dozen candidates still in the race with the first primaries six months off?
The answer is simple Watson.
Even though two nights were needed for the first Democratic debates, there are less than a half dozen viable candidates left who have any chance to win. When fundraising, campaign organization, prowess in debates, political views, and charisma are added up, Elizabeth Warren is the likely nominee.
How was this conclusion reached? Let’s start with her strongest opponents.
Bernie Sanders: Although his methodology, use of the internet, and fund raising in 2016 is considered to be a working model for the political campaigns today, Bernie’s 15 minutes of fame are over and he stands no chance of giving an acceptance speech July 16, 2020 in Milwaukee. The reasons for this are many. Sanders lacks the ability to increase his base to win the nomination especially since there is a wide perception he cannot defeat Donald Trump Already, other Progressives who have supported him in the past are joining forces with Kamala Harris and Elizabeth Warren. His act, which was once invigorating has become old and stale; much like him.
Joe Biden: Even critics from the Democratic Party agree with Donald Trump’s assessment that the former Vice-President under Barak Obama doesn’t have the “right stuff” to become the Chief of State.. Much like his previous two attempts to capture the Democratic nomination, Biden continues to appear confused and make gaffes whenever speaking in public. That along with Biden’s age of 76 is hurting his chances in topping the Democratic field. While being a trusted individual with moderate political views has made him popular in the Rust Belt, there just is not enough gas in the tank to propel him to victory.
Kamala Harris: Despite her strong showing, especially in the first debate, Harris does not have enough appeal with mainstream Democrats to win the nomination. The junior Senator from California has extreme negatives attached to her positions on The Green New Deal, Reparations for descendents of Slaves, Healthcare for all, and eliminating I.C.E., to name a few. The Kamala Show will never “play in Peoria” nor the South, or most other States not named New York or California. Even though her political views are not that much different than Elizabeth Warren or Bernie Sanders, there is a trust issue that thwarts Harris from becoming the Democratic standard bearer. She needs experience which will not come in time for next years election.
Pete Buttigieg: Even though Mayor Pete has been greeted as a breath of fresh air during the first couple of Democratic Debates, he lacks the political cachet to win the nomination. Being gay is not the biggest handicap for him. Most Americans have overcome most of the previous prejudice on this subject. Being unknown with an incomplete resume has placed him an honorable mention position for heading the ticket. However, Buttigieg will likely gain serious consideration for being a viable candidate for Vice President coming from the swing State of Indiana.
Outside of the top five, there is no one who even touches 3% support from current polls. People such as Corry Booker, Bill de Blasio, Beto O’Rourke, Kirstin Guillibrand, John Delaney, Amy Klobuchar, and others just haven’t caught fire thus far. The only way anyone from the group could become relevant is if Joe Biden withdraws from the race and a moderate democratic candidate gains traction to provide an alternative to the current Progressive front runners.
This leaves us with Elizabeth Warren or as Donald Trump has called her “Pocahontas”. Even though she is on the extreme left of the Democratic Party, she seems a lot more palatable to middle of the road voters than does Bernie Sanders or Kamala Harris. The Senator from Massachusetts with her calm school teacher like demeanor appeals more to the critical suburban female than do her advisories.
Warren’s scholarly approach covers up some radical stands on issues that Republicans will no doubt exploit in the general election. They include:
- The Green New Deal that if implemented Republicans say would lead the United States into a deep Depression.
- Her association with “Me Too” politics which hurt Hillary Clinton so much.
- Decriminalizing crossing the border without papers, reducing immigration detention, and increasing funding for aid to Central America in her campaign’s newly unveiled comprehensive immigration platform allowing a pathway to citizenship for those illegals already in the Country.
- Closer scrutiny of Wall Street, corporate reform, a wealth tax, and other measures that Republicans say would stifle business, discourage entrepreneurs, and damage growth of the economy.
- In the first Democratic Debate Warren raised her hand in favoring the abolishment of private health insurance yet is a sponsor of a Democratic Bill in the Senate to reform Obama Care to limit raises in rates and to institute price control on the profits of insurance companies
To counter these views in campaign appearances President Trump told audiences “Whether you love or hate me you have to vote for me to protect your 401 K’s.” From this we are seeing a preview of coming attractions. The 2020 Presidential election may well become a battle over the voters’ hearts versus their pocketbooks. They will have to decide if electing a Democrat will send them to the Poor House rather than the White one on Pennsylvania Avenue.
As the likely Democratic nominee Elizabeth Warren has the best tools among the top Democrats to duel with the President. She is an unabashed Progressive yet is a strong debater. As a practical politician, she may move her campaign towards the middle of the road where most Americans reside. This task will be much easier for Warren if the nomination is wrapped up next spring.
If this is the case Warren can balance the ticket by appointing a more Democrat such as Michael Bloomberg, Mayor Pete, Governor John Hickenlooper, or some other individual from a swing state. One would not expect her to take the Thelma and Louise route and name a women to be her running mate but who knows in what will happen next in “leftist World”?
In any event the battle lines are quickly being drawn. A Trump vs. Warren collision course seems to be inevitable.
Richard Eber studied journalism at the University of Oregon. He writes about politics, culture, education restaurants, and was former city and sports editor of UCSB Daily. Richard is president of Amerasa Rapid Transit, a specialized freight forwarder.
The views and opinions expressed in this commentary are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official position of Citizens Journal.