The Presidential Marathon, Part One

If you flip on any news channel, listen to any podcast, or walk into any café, someone will start rambling on about the 2020 presidential election. There will be a litany of opinions, ranging from,

“I just miss Obama!”

to,

“Bernie would have won.”

to even,

“I can’t wait for my boy Mike Pence to seize the throne!”

But who are the contenders vying for President of the United States? From my research, I have compiled a list of over 20 people who have expressed real interest in running. Over a period of time leading up to the first Democratic debate, each contender will be examined based on their policies, their past, and their chance to win. Let the countdown begin!

“Please don’t leave me for Bernie again!”

Elizabeth Warren

Current Senator of Massachusetts. On paper, Elizabeth Warren is right on most issues. She is an expert on financial regulation, setting up the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. She takes zero money from corporations. She was an early advocate for a $15 minimum wage and Medicare-For-All. Warren had a lot going for her in 2016 too; progressives from all over the country were begging her to run, her policies were populist at a time of growing populism, and many Democrats wanted an alternative to neoliberal establishment figures like Hillary Clinton. But according to an article from The Hill in 2013 (not long after Warren became a Senator), she decided not to challenge the powerful former Secretary of State. This showed a lack of political courage at a moment in history when a fighter was needed to overcome Donald Trump.

Warren endorsed Clinton over Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders in 2016, despite saying this about her,

Warren highlights Clinton’s corruption in 2002

I think there is no doubt that she still believes this. However, as she mentioned, the pressures are very different when you make it to Washington. My assessment as to why she did that was to gain some position of power and influence within the potential administration. That, um, didn’t work.

And of course, there’s that ridiculous Native American DNA situation that continues to follow her. To summarize the “controversy”:

  1. Warren’s family lore stated that she had a Native American ancestor in her family tree.
  2. Warren tried to get in touch with fellow students at her university that shared this family lore.
  3. Republicans smeared her, making her out to be a phony who got into an Ivy League school due to affirmative action. And Republicans hate affirmative action.
  4. Warren took years to actually respond, but screwed up with a DNA test video uploaded right before the 2018 midterms.

As stupid as it may be, this really does rile up GOP voters. And I never underestimate the effectiveness of riled up GOP voters.

On foreign policy, she barely has one.

So basically, while I think she is right on most policies, I am worried about her as a politician. Would she actually stand up to the Democratic establishment and its rich donor class? I hope so.

Can she win the nomination?

She has a decent chance. If Bernie doesn’t run, I can see most of his supporters moving to Warren. Her home state of Massachusetts is an obvious primary win for her, and she has a clear advantage in progressive northeastern states such as New Hampshire, Maine, Rhode Island and Connecticut. The real test for Warren is if she is just as strong in the Midwest as Bernie was in 2016. If Bernie does run, every state will get more difficult for her. There is little indication that she has any chance of picking up a southern state.

Can she win the general?

I won’t lie to you… I am worried she will lose to Trump. There are two reasons: Republican hatred, and Warren’s untested potential in the Midwestern states. If she wins them over with her working class policies, then it will be a landslide victory.


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