Democratic Party Presidential Candidates for 2020

Innula Zenovka

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Not my country, I know, and I'm also acutely aware as I write this that I'm a Labour Party member who can sometimes be rather impatient with people who refuse to vote for the lesser of the two evils rather than for the minor party that most accurately reflects their views, even though I frequently share their misgivings about my party's policies to which they object, but I think this would be a deal-breaker for me if I were a US citizen:

Reproductive rights groups have criticized the US Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden for supporting an abortion restriction called the Hydeamendment.

The 40-year-old law bars the US government from paying for abortion services, even when recommended by doctors. The measure has the practical effect of excluding abortion services from Medicaid, a public health insurance program for the poor and disabled, which nearly 17 million women of reproductive age rely on.

“To support the Hyde amendment is to block people – particularly women of color and women with low incomes – from accessing safe, legal abortion,” said Kelley Robinson, executive director of the Planned Parenthood Action Fund, the reproductive health services group’s lobbying arm.
 

Beebo Brink

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We have over a year to go before the 2020 elections. Biden is the frontrunner now in 2019, but it's not a given that he will be the front runner in June 2020. Meanwhile, Warren and others are getting out there and building support. We have not need to choose the lesser of two evils to beat Donald Trump.
 

Kara Spengler

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I love this. We have over a year to go and more than one Democratic candidate may end up in a stronger position than Trump. If Warren keeps on with her Town Halls, she's going to build a solid base of supporters who are deeply invested in her campaign. She knows how to make it close and personal.
Warren is a fighter, that is for sure. I loved how the Rs thought they got rid of her when she was running the consumer protection thing .... then she came back to beat one of them for a senate seat.

My ideal ticket would be her and Bernie in either order. Then Pete storming in in a couple of cycles as by then people's first reaction to him will not be 'who?'.
 
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Kara Spengler

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Not my country, I know, and I'm also acutely aware as I write this that I'm a Labour Party member who can sometimes be rather impatient with people who refuse to vote for the lesser of the two evils rather than for the minor party that most accurately reflects their views, even though I frequently share their misgivings about my party's policies to which they object, but I think this would be a deal-breaker for me if I were a US citizen:


People like Joe because he has the air of Obama around him, as he has mostly been in hiding. If he was just another senator running right now no way would his numbers be so high. Once he actually has to debate the rest of the pack the polls will have him going down fast. Joe might be likable as politicos go but I would not want him given the other candidates out there.
 

Innula Zenovka

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We have over a year to go before the 2020 elections. Biden is the frontrunner now in 2019, but it's not a given that he will be the front runner in June 2020. Meanwhile, Warren and others are getting out there and building support. We have not need to choose the lesser of two evils to beat Donald Trump.
Thanks, Beebo. I wasn't suggesting that you would need to hold your nose and vote for him -- I just don't know enough about the electoral politics to comment.

Rather, I noticed the article and thought, "wow.. that really would make it very difficult to vote for him in the primaries, no matter what people say (rightly or not) about his being well-placed to beat Trump". I was going to post just that, and then I thought about something I'd written earlier about Brexit (and expect to be writing again quite soon, depending on how things turn out in the UK in the next few days and weeks) and thought I'd add that.

I think my general point is that while I appreciate the importance of electoral mathematics as well as anyone, mainstream political parties on the left need to beware of courting the other side's voters to the extent that their own loyalists get pushed too far.

I notice that Joe Biden is a Catholic. Nothing wrong with that -- so was I, once -- but I have to contrast his attitude with that of another Catholic, the UK's Ann Widdecombe, who used to be a loony right-wing front-bench Conservative and sometimes junior minister and has now come out of retirement, God help us, to become a MEP for Farage's Brexit Party.

She once said, which I thought was perfectly reasonable and proper, that her religious convictions would prevent her taking almost any ministerial position in our Department of Health because they would conflict with her party's bipartisan position that whether or not to have an abortion is a matter for the woman to decide, not legislators.

That is, her opposition to abortion would prevent her taking particular jobs, not that her party should change its policies to accommodate her religious views. That, to my mind, is how it should be.

So I wouldn't accept his religious views as an excuse for his position -- if his personal views on abortion are incompatible with those of his party, then if he's a man of any principle he would accept that this disqualifies him from seeking any high office that might force him to compromise them to what he considers an unacceptable extent. It shouldn't mean his party have to compromise their views to accommodate him.
 
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Beebo Brink

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Over and over again, Biden says things that are perfectly reasonable... if they were uttered 15-20 years ago. He's old in a way that Warren is not, that has more to do with mindset and attitude rather than physical age. Warren is consistent with her values but moving ahead with the times. She recognizes the problems we face and knows they are getting worse year by year. Meanwhile, Old Joe is just strolling along, complacent in his views, views that aren't outrageously awful, just slightly off-kilter for someone who is running for president.
 

Cristiano

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As a person, I adore Biden. His bromance with Obama was legendary and incredibly sweet. However, as a politician, I'm not a huge fan. There are a lot better options that do not have some of the baggage he does, and who have fresh ideas and perspectives that I think are important. We have the luxury of multiple fantastic candidates this time around. Biden is getting the most attention, but I hope that by the time the primaries come around the landscape looks very different.
 

Dakota Tebaldi

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I disagreed with his stance previously; but the fact that he has reversed himself after seeing his rivals get mileage out of criticizing his position is not a good look to me. How can I trust now that any position he takes is because he actually believes in it, as opposed to simply finding it the most politically convenient?
 

Beebo Brink

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I disagreed with his stance previously; but the fact that he has reversed himself after seeing his rivals get mileage out of criticizing his position is not a good look to me. How can I trust now that any position he takes is because he actually believes in it, as opposed to simply finding it the most politically convenient?
:qft:

Aaaannnnd this is exactly the kind of blunders I expected from Biden. I think 8 years as Obama's VP -- a position that kept him in the limelight but without an undue risk of self-immolation -- has dimmed people's memories of just how gaffe-prone he has ALWAYS been. So yes, he had an unpopular position within the Democratic Party, but a complete 180 degrees after criticism makes him look weak or self-serving. To be fair, it was a lose-lose position from the start, so god only knows how you get out of that kind of fix without some damage to "your brand."
 
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Pamela

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Still, people evolve. Obama, who I consider close to a saint, didn’t support gay marriage at one time.
 

Beebo Brink

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Still, people evolve. Obama, who I consider close to a saint, didn’t support gay marriage at one time.
It's all about timing. Obama came across as evolving. Biden came across as caving.

His new position falls more in line with my political leanings, but do I trust him? Hell, no. It feels like a shift of political convenience, which means he can cave the other way, too, if the pressure is strong enough.
 

Pamela

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It's all about timing. Obama came across as evolving. Biden came across as caving
Biden is no Obama, but no one is. Obama was up there with Lincoln. But I think Biden is an authentically good, if flawed, man. As an Anyone But Trump voter, I would be overjoyed to have any of the candidates rather than the World’s Leading Asshole.
 
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Kara Spengler

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Over and over again, Biden says things that are perfectly reasonable... if they were uttered 15-20 years ago. He's old in a way that Warren is not, that has more to do with mindset and attitude rather than physical age. Warren is consistent with her values but moving ahead with the times. She recognizes the problems we face and knows they are getting worse year by year. Meanwhile, Old Joe is just strolling along, complacent in his views, views that aren't outrageously awful, just slightly off-kilter for someone who is running for president.
Exactly, when people focus on how old a candidate is it misses the point. It is relevant up to a point, at a certain age a second term becomes a real factor. Just look at Bernie though, he is more popular to millennials than younger candidates and seems like his being in the same generation as his peers is just a technicality.