It is time to meet the presidential candidates because the 2020 electoral circus has begun. Okay, so who is really running for President, and who might run for president.
It is hard to tell because the 2020 race looks wide open. To make matters worse, the media is speculating about silly celebrity candidates while ignoring serious contenders.
For instance, Michelle Obama, who is probably not running, gets more attention than US. Senator Kamala Harris (D-California). Notably, most oddsmakers list Harris as the most probable Democratic nominee.
Okay so who is running for president and who is not. To help you keep track and meet the presidential candidates here is my 2020 Race for the White House Scorecard.
2020 Race for the White House Scorecard
This scorecard is divided into three sections, who is running for president, who might run for president, and media bullshit.
Who are the Presidential Candidates
Here are the credible presidential candidates who have officially announced they are running. Note there are a few other official candidates like Andrew Yang out there but I do not take them seriously.
U.S. Senator Kamala D. Harris (D-California)
Who is she? Junior Senator from California, and a former prosecutor. Harris is an upper-class attorney of Tamil heritage from who is trying to portray herself as African-American and the black candidate. (Her father was from Jamaica but her mother is from Chennai, India).
Running as. The black candidate, and centrist turned leftist. Harris has a reputation as a moderate but she is drifting farther left. Notably, Harris is embracing leftist big ideas single-payer healthcare and basic income.
Strengths. Harris is a woman, she’s black, she’s good-looking, and unknown on a national level. She’s from California, which will give her an edge in the Super-Tuesday primaries. The Golden State will in that event in 2020 for the first time. She’s not Donald J. Trump or Elizabeth Warren. Oddly, Harris could appeal to dissatisfied conservatives because of her past as a tough on crime prosecutor.
Weaknesses. She’s from California, and unknown on the national stage. A wild card is Harris’s past; which includes questionable love affairs and marijuana use. Note: such personal foibles did not harm Trump in 2016. Harris’s reputation as a moderate and a law-and-order prosecutor could come back to haunt her in the Democratic primaries.
US Senator Amy Klobuchar (D-Minnesota)
Who is she? The Senior US Senator from Minnesota; and like Harris, a former prosecutor.
Running as. The white Midwestern Soccer mom and the no-drama candidate. As for policies, etc. Good question.
Strengths. She’s a moderate, she’s unknown on the national stage, and offers voters a just folks persona. There’s a decided lack of drama around Klobuchar; although she reportedly has a terrible temper, and likes to throw office supplies. Since her reputation is a blank slate Klobuchar is free to reinvent herself.
Weaknesses. She’s moderate, and unknown on the national stage. Klobuchar’s work as a corporate attorney could come back to haunt her on the campaign trail. In addition, the Midwestern Soccer Mom image could turn off male voters and African Americans.
US Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-Massachusetts)
Who is she? Harvard professor turned professional radical and leftist crusader. US. Senator from Massachusetts. Before that she was President Obama’s first pick to run the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.
Running as? The champion of the people and a 21st Century Franklin D. Roosevelt.
Strengths. She’s friendly, honest, and down to Earth. Unlike Harris, Warren is not a born again leftist, instead she’s the real deal. A long history of big business bashing and crusading for leftwing social causes will make her popular in today’s economic environment.
Weaknesses. For all her intellectual vigor, Warren appears wishy-washy. Warren likes to say and do stupid things like falsely claiming to be a member of the Cherokee Nation. However, the same habit did not keep either Trump or George W. Bush (R-Texas) from winning presidential elections. She’s from Massachusetts and she’s a Harvard professor.
US Senator Kirsten Elizabeth Gillibrand (D-New York)
Who is she? The junior US Senator from the Empire State. A former Congresswoman and a native of Upstate New York. Gillibrand began her career as a conservative “Blue Dog Democrat,” but keeps moving steadily leftward to keep up with voters.
Running as? The friendly national soccer mom and the no-drama candidate. Note: voters will have time telling her from Amy Klobuchar. Gillibrand is branding herself as a leftwing crusader for single-payer healthcare, the jobs guarantee, and full employment.
Strengths. She’s flexible, pragmatic, attractive, and capable of appealing to a wide variety of voters. Gillibrand is unknown nationally, but she is a no-drama candidate.
Weaknesses. She’s white, unknown nationally, and Gillibrand’s background as a corporate attorney could come back to haunt her. In particular, Gillibrand once worked for a firm that defended tobacco companies.
Her soccer mom act and ice queen persona could turn off male voters. In addition, Gillibrand’s born-again leftist act could offend voters on both sides of the aisle. She’s also something of an opportunist, a trait that did not harm Trump.
US Senator Cory Booker (D-New Jersey)
Who is he? The junior US Senator from New Jersey, the former mayor of Newark, and a former reality TV star.
Running as? The second coming of Jesse Jackson, the black candidate, pragmatic problem solver.
Strengths He’s male, he’s black, he’s Christian; incredibly Booker has been spotted inside a church at prayer. He’s good on TV. His gender could Booker an edge in a female heavy slate. Yet he takes strong stands on leftwing issues.
Weakness Booker is somewhat creepy looking, he looks like Lex Luthor. He’s bald, (note that did not hurt Dwight D. Eisenhower). In addition, Booker has beliefs outside the mainstream, for instance, he’s vegan. Finally, he’s from New Jersey.
US Senator Bernie Sanders (I-Vermont)
Who is he? Socialist intellectual from New York turned grumpy town radical in Vermont. Incredibly, Sanders; who was born before Pearl Harbor, is the junior Senator from Vermont?
Running as. The second coming of Eugene Debs, the champion of the working people, Bernie.
Strengths. He’s male, he’s white. Like Trump, Bernie is a tough, gruff, no-nonsense campaigner with a strong appeal to grass roots Democrats and working-class Americans.
He’s a very creative campaigner with a passionate following. Strangely, for a socialist Sanders is the best grass-roots fundraiser in the field. In fact, he raised $5.9 million on his first day of campaigning on 19 February 2019, Politico claims.
Significantly, like Trump, Sanders seems to be immune to traditional political attacks. For example, Sanders’ socialism and Jewishness had little effect on voters in 2016.
Unlike, Klobuchar, Harris, and Gillibrand, Sanders is a social Democrat with no pro corporate baggage. Despite his age Sanders is very attractive to younger anti-establishment voters.
Finally, Sanders does well in Red States and Rural Areas which could be the key to victory in 2020. In fact, University of Massachusetts-Amherst Professor Brian F. Schaffner claims polls show Sanders could have beaten Trump in states like Wisconsin in 2016.
Weaknesses. He’s Jewish, he’s grumpy, he’s cantankerous, he’s male, he’s white, he’s from New York. Plus, Sanders is an intellectual, and he’s a socialist. However, none of that stopped Bernie from winning 20 primaries in 2016 and nearly derailing Hillary Clinton’s quest for the nomination.
He’s old; 77 and will turn 80 in the White House if he wins, but voters do not seem to care. Plus, Bernie’s age could be an asset with aging Baby Boomers who want to stick it to younger Americans.
He lost once, historically Americans do not give losing candidates a second chance. For instance, just one defeated presidential candidate; Richard M. Nixon (R-California), made a successful comeback in the 20th Century.
Who might run for President?
US President Donald J. Trump (R-New York)
The Donald has not officially announced a run. However, the infrastructure for a Trump presidential run; including a website and a highly organized reelection campaign are in place, Politico reports. Hence, everything is ready if Trump wants to run.
On the other hand, the Donald has a history of doing the unpredictable. Thus I will not put the President on the running list until he makes an official announcement.
Who is he? You already know.
Running as? Once again the champion of the people, the working class, the common man, and the white race. The white candidate. Plus, this time around the Donald will claim he is defending America from Socialism. Trump.
Strengths. He’s an incumbent president. The last three incumbents won reelection easily. Trump is popular with the Republican base. However, incumbency has not helped some formidable presidents like LBJ stay in office. Trump is a highly creative, and energetic candidate with a passionate following.
Weaknesses. He’s an incumbent president who has failed to deliver on many of his promises. A large percentage of Americans oppose most of his policies.
Trump is the least popular incumbent president in recent history. In addition, many people are sick and tired of all the drama surrounding his presidency.
A wild card is all the investigations and allegations swirling around the president. It is possible, Trump could run under indictment. In addition, the Donald could do something crazy or stupid as president and wreck his chances.
Who is he? A former Democratic Congressman from El Paso, Texas who attracted national attention by mounting a strong challenge to US Senator Ted Cruz (R-Texas).
Irish-American Robert Kennedy impersonator who tries to pass himself off as a Mexican-American.
Running as? He has not said. In the Texas Senate race, O’Rourke ran as a leftist but historically he has been a moderate.
Strengths. He’s from Texas; population 28.3 million, he has left-wing street credit, and O’Rourke is a creative and aggressive campaigner and brilliant fundraiser. Importantly, O’Rourke does well in places where Democrats historically fail.
Weaknesses. He’s sort of weird and goofy. The odd nickname and the strange habit of pretending to be Mexican could offend voters. In addition, Beto is unknown outside of Texas.
Governor Larry Hogan (R-Maryland)
Who is he? Maryland’s Republican governor who is being touted as a Trump alternative. He’s a cancer survivor.
Running as. Hogan claims he is not running but they promote him as an anti-Trump conscious candidate and a moderate alternative to the Donald. A 21st Century version of US Senator Eugene McCarthy (D-Minnesota) whose primary challenge destroyed Lyndon Johnson in 1968. The Republican who is not Trump.
Strengths. He’s not Trump. Hogan is a rare moderate Republican who does well with blue state voters. In addition, Hogan is a fiscal conservative but he has taken many liberal stands on issues. Hogan has refused to endorse or support Trump. In addition, Hogan will be in a great place if Trump suddenly drops out.
Weaknesses. Hogan is a staunch Never Trumper, but he has been quiet about the President’s policies. He’s not Trump. Hogan is a moderate in a conservative party.
Hogan’s background as a millionaire real estate developer could come back to haunt him. If he knocks off Trump, Hogan will become the most hated man in the Republican Party. In addition, if Hogan polls well other higher-profile Republicans will jump into the race.
If Trump drops out or falters these candidates could jump in: US Senator Rand Paul (R-Kentucky), former Ohio Governor John Kasich, US Senator Mitt Romney (R-Utah), former US Senator Jeff Flake (R-Arizona), US Senator Marco Rubio (R-Florida). and US Senator Ted Cruz (R-Texas).
Note: the ten people named above are those I consider serious presidential candidates with a good chance. There are many other candidates whose chances I will dismiss below.
The Presidential Candidates whose campaigns are Media Bullshit
Finally, there is a group of potential candidates whose presidential prospects I call media bullshit. I use the term media bullshit because the presidential speculations around these people are apparently a shoddy effort to attract attention by unethical journalists.
These individuals include: 2016 looser Hillary R. Clinton, former Vice President Joe Biden (D-Delaware), former Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper (D-Denver), Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, former New York Mayor and media tycoon Michael Bloomberg, former Massachusetts Governor Bill Weld (R-New York), former Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz, and Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard (D-Hawaii).
To explain, these candidates are individuals who stand no realistic chance; or have steadfastly said they are not running. For instance, neither Oprah Winfrey nor former first lady Michelle Obama has made any serious moves to run. Yet, media speculation about their chances is fairly common.
Also in this category, is wrestler turned movie star Dwayne “the Rock” Johnson, whose presidential ambitions appear to be a deliberate joke. Oddly, Johnson himself mocked his presidential ambitions on Saturday Night Live with the help of Oscar-winning actor Tom Hanks. Yet the media still treats Johnson as a serious candidate.
Why Many Presidential Candidates campaigns are Media Bullshit
I think none of these people has a realistic chance of being elected president. However, the media treats their campaigns as serious when all the evidence shows otherwise.
Disgustingly, I think several of these presidential candidates are receiving media attention only because they are white and male. In addition, “journalists” keep manufacturing new Great White Male Presidential Hopes; such as Schultz, to muddy the waters.
Thus, any news story that takes these people’s presidential chances seriously is bullshit. However, the individuals themselves are not bullshit. Instead, these individuals are the victims of media bullshit. The bullshit is that they are being portrayed as serious presidential candidates.