Last week’s Presidential Sweepstakes news might be considered a bit disheartening for those whose primary objective for the 2020 Presidential Election is defeating President Trump (although I would venture that the President’s supporters probably didn’t consider the rest of week’s news particularly heartening). As the Special Prosecutor’s investigation and report remain in process:
- My initial reaction to Sen. Kamala Harris (CA), now that I’ve heard parts of her speech themes and researched a bit further into her background and positions, is that she’d be an ideal Democratic opponent from Mr. Trump’s point of view: an underqualified (I would submit that being a prosecutor and two-year Senator do not constitute sufficient presidential qualifications), avid progressive who will be certain to win California and New York … and against whom, as things stand today, the President would arguably have a realistic hope of holding Pennsylvania, Michigan, Wisconsin, Florida, Arizona, and Georgia while making the Democrats work to hold Minnesota, Nevada, and New Hampshire. Attached is a December, 2018, link to an article setting forth what various professional political operatives see as the 2020 Presidential swing states.
- If former Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz decides to run as an independent, Mr. Trump’s chances to be re-elected are significantly enhanced. I have always felt — long before I was aware that the Bush family felt the same – that Ross Perot siphoned enough votes away from President G.H.W. Bush in a sufficient number of states to tip the race to then-Candidate Bill Clinton in 1992.
- Former Vice President Joe Biden is waiting too long to declare his intentions. While all understood that he had no heart for a 2016 due to the loss of his son, saying that he’s got “family concerns” holding up his decision at this point is simply dithering. By this time, he should either have made peace with his family concerns … or realized that he can’t, and said so. In the first full week of January of this year, he should have come to the podium and either declared for the presidency — thereby freezing out some centrists who probably won’t run if he does — or indicated that he wasn’t going to run, enabling those centrists to get in and counteract the early momentum of the avid progressives who, I would suggest, will make easier matchup opponents for the President. Mr. Biden needs to get in … or get out.
- Finally, a run that will most probably be merely a footnote to the 2020 race that nonetheless gives me hope for the future: South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg’s candidacy for the Democratic nomination. Mr. Buttigieg is one of the announced hopefuls that I had never heard of before he declared. The Mayor, 37, an Afghanistan veteran and the first openly gay candidate to seek the presidency, is impressive, and provides what I find a powerful nonpartisan cross-generational message regarding our need to prepare for the changes to our people’s lives and occupations being and to be caused by automation. (Attached is a link to his video.) I believe that we could be very well served by electing Mr. Buttigieg president … some day. The mayoralty of a small Midwestern city does not provide sufficient grounding for the presidency; he needs some seasoning as Indiana’s Governor or U.S. Senator.
Much more to come.