(The original essay on the 2020 candidates is here and should be read, if you haven’t already. It’s the last update was before the debates and will remain as such as a backgrounder to this rundown.)
Democratic Front Runners Update
By John C. Dvorak, (ver. 1.2 8-5-19)
The current front-runners in the Democrat camp for President has changed a little. Hillary remains on the sideline watching Joe Biden stay at the top of a list largely because the same polls that had her winning all along show that Biden has the best chance of beating Trump.
After two debates things have not changed substantially. A link to the major polls is here.
The DNC is currently working with the news media to promote Joe Biden despite his age, his penchant for flubbing, his background of exaggeration and even plagiarism, and the whole “creepy Joe” thing.
This is largely because of, not despite, Donald Trump. Each of the Biden flaws has a perceived analog with Trump. Let’s look at the list of Biden flaws.
1) Age. Trump is in his 70’s too.
2) Penchant for flubbing and gaffes. Trump says weird things all the time.
3) Exaggeration and plagiarism. Trump is the king of hyperbole and the co-author of his book, Art of the Deal says he (the co-author) wrote the whole thing by himself.
4) Creepy Joe the perv. Trump accused by x-number of women of assault and stories about Jeffrey Epstein-related pedophilia are all backed up by the “grab them by the pussy” comments.
So whatever is “wrong” with Biden, the thinking goes, is far worse with Trump. So what would normally disqualify a normal candidate in a normal election is negated by this odd zero sum thinking employed by the Democrats.
Anyone familiar with the details of the above list can find an easy Apples to Oranges comparison that, depending on your personal perspective and bias, favors either candidate.
Overlooked by the Democrats is that the second two items may favor Trump because the evidence against Biden in on film and on the record (versus hearsay), putting Biden at a disadvantage.
Still, no other candidate, save non-candidate Hillary, matches the overall Biden government experience or even his charisma. And then there are the polls showing Biden as a guy who can beat Trump by the most. And the concept of “by the most” seems important.
After the 2016 debacle where Hillary was going to beat Trump by a huge margin this “by the most” is the most important element because you can’t take a chance.
Throughout this process the Democrats have dug themselves into a hole that seems impossible to dig out of. The party has never fully recovered from its successful neo-liberal direction employed by Bill Clinton. Nobody seemed to continue this direction resulting in George Bush and then what had to be objectively described as a gimmick candidate in Barrack Obama which began a period of holier than-thou-virtue signaling highlighting a smart and charismatic President that did very little besides blame Bush for any problems in the country.
This unfortunately became thematic as the Democrats became the virtue signaling good guys and their blame of the “other” targeted Trump even before he stepped foot in office. As a whole the party adopted an identity politics strategy which set out to identify vague oppressors and the oppressed.
This triggered an odd divisiveness over all issues of debate. It even became a woman versus man issue as one of the largest voting blocs, i.e. straight white males were taken to task as horrible oppressors to be hated on.
If this wasn’t suicidal enough, the party became non aspirational to an extreme and it chose Hillary Clinton as its candidate with the catch phrase “I’m with her.”
The aspirational Trump catch phrase “Make America Great Again” was just enough to push him over in the swing states. This was no small feat for a guy who never ran for office, ever.
To further dig themselves into a ditch, the Democrats adopted the notion that “America was never great in the first place” and other demeaning concepts as if that would draw in the public because we all hate the country? This weird negativism does not play well and is still being employed by the Democrats as if their only base of support is the disaffected and the subversive haters.
Even in the first debate essentially all the candidates agreed on open borders and free Medicare for all. This combination is ludicrous by any logic, but there it was. Various candidates walked backed these notions after the debates as best they could. Then the topic was reintroduced in the second debate with similar assertions for free Medicare for all illegals. Biden has reservations.
Bernie Sanders, my pick before the debates, is a non-starter for a number of reasons which I first did not understand. First of all, it was not the DNC who scuttled his campaign in 2016, it was the media. By this I mean the so-called mainstream media, NBC, CBS, FOX, WSJ, NYT and the WAPO.
The media refused to cover Bernie’s large rallies. The media covered the large Trump rallies one after the other. The media covered the tepid Hillary rallies one after the other. But it ignored the massive Bernie rallies. It still does.
The media downplayed Bernie at every chance and still does so. Look at this recent MSNBC graphic.
The media works in concert with the DNC, for sure, but the media did not have to marginalize him to this extreme. Part of this may have to do with the fact that Bernie is not even a Democrat, he’s an Independent. Maybe that has something to do with it. The media itself was let off the hook by the Wasserman-Schultz revelations in 2016, giving them cover.
Whatever the case they are it again and Bernie is thus downgraded on the latest list which follows.
THE picks (in order of favorites to win):
Joe Biden The media is giving Joe a lot of cover as explained in the above essay. He leads in the polls and now it seems he’ll pretty much have to have a stroke onstage to fall much in the polls. Part of the problem is the rest of the field is generally not likeable. Biden has not performed well in either debate to say the least.
Elizabeth Warren – She blew it when she didn’t run in 2016, Back then she was sharper and seemed to constantly get Trump’s goat. Now she is burdened with the American Indian claims and her do-nothing Senate record. The media has given her cover too. She is still making promises she cannot deliver as she settles in on promoting an impossible socialist agenda.
Kamala Harris – After her attack on Biden she has become a player and needs to be monitored. She was blasted in the second debate by Tulsi Gabbard when Gabbard did Biden’s dirty work. Black Democrat voters like Biden better than her or Booker.
Pete Buttigieg – Remains a calm presence and a likeable novelty candidate. If the Democrats are going to lose in 2020, they might find it desirable to virtue signal by running an openly gay candidate. He may also be a CIA asset, if not an employee of some such agency. As long as the media promotes him, he’ll stay high on the list. He may linger longer than expected. VP possibility.
Bernie Sanders – Bernie Sanders moves way down after it becomes apparent that the New York Times, in particular, is out to quash his candidacy. Everyone else is following this lead. Unless this somehow changes, and there is no reason to suspect that it will, this is futility. His failure to get a fair shake will hurt the Dems when election day comes. The polls tend to keep him at number two as a buffer.
Hillary Clinton (still undeclared)– As long as Biden is riding high, she will not enter. But she is not out yet. Some think October is when she jumps in. She remains on this list until Nov. 1, 2019. And ask yourself why one lone pollster does not add her to the choices presented. Why not? Who is not interested in the result?
After the first round of debates it has become apparent that none of the people listed in the second tier have any sort of realistic shot at the nomination. The polls indicate that few people are interested in any of them. Exposure will help them in future endeavors and perhaps one of them will emerge as a VP hopeful.
Julian Castro – Demoted to second tier. Best performance at the first debate. Zilch performance at the second debate. One of the leaders in the race for VP which includes everyone in the top tier except Biden and Bernie.
Cory Booker – Unhinged, weird and off-putting. By voting against the Bernie Sanders Senate Amendment that would allow US citizens the right to buy expensive pharmaceuticals from Canada (where they are far cheaper) he sealed his fate appearing as a stooge for big pharma.
Tulsi Gabbard – Up from third tier and moving higher thanks to a decent debate presentation and recent attack on Harris. Only running to improve her profile in hopes of gaining a Senate seat in 2024 by unseating Mazie Hirono, who is something of an idiot and an embarrassment to the Democrat party. Gabbard takes a firm and old-fashioned anti-war posture. Seems to have a giant head, literally. Oddly some members of the right wing media hate her.
Beto O’Rourke – Moving further down. A great fund raiser and millennial hopeful. His lame “Trump must be impeached anyway” rants are not going to help him unless he is looking for the Maxine Waters vote. More recently he’s jumped on the “climate crises” bandwagon after seeing some polling results indicating that climate has dubiously emerged as the number one issue for democrats topping health care concerns. Blames the recent mass shootings on Trump. A phony.
Amy Klobuchar -- Not Presidential. She has been increasingly left out of the conversation. She did poorly in the debates as the first impression she gave was that of a nervous wreck. Should retire from the race after the next debate.
Kirsten Gillibrand – Hillary clone with baggage and a snooty demeaner. Sorority sister type that everyone hates. If you look up the definition of shrill in the dictionary you will find her picture. Should retire from the race shortly. Performed well in second debate which will mean she will continue to linger as a hopeful.
All the rest.
*(this will be updated as necessary)
This analysis was developed and used by the No Agenda Show as a common reference.
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