US Election 2020 Who’s Who – Kamala Harris.

                        by David Parmer / Tokyo

On December 3, 2019 Senator Kamala Harris dropped out of the US 2020 presidential race. Funding and low polling and organizational problems were the reasons given for this. Harris had put up a good showing, and 2020 was over for her. Or was it? Or is it?

Kamala Harris, senator from California seems to be back in the 2020 presidential mix, this time not as a possible president, but as a possible vice president.

The race for the 2020 Democratic nomination saw the fortunes of former Vice President Joe Biden take a nosedive in the early days, and then come back strong after South Carolina. From former frontrunner to frontrunner again, Biden was back! And his momentum has been carrying him forward ever since.

Biden’s rivals, like Kamala herself in December, have been dropping out of the race lately. Mayor Pete Buttigieg, Senator Elizabeth Warren, Senator Amy Klobuchar are all gone, and soon it looks like Bernie Sanders will see the handwriting on the wall. Where does this leave Senator Kamala Harris? It leaves her as a top contender for Biden’s running mate as vice presidential candidate.

Harris as a prime choice for VP makes an awful lot of sense. She is smart and talented and has real government experience. Before she was a senator from California she was the state’s attorney general, i.e. the head of the state’s legal system. Before that she was a tough prosecutor.

Candidate Harris had a healthcare reform plan in place, had a record of being tough on crime was for sensible immigration but against Trump’s wall and wanted to lower middle class taxes. Nothing radical here. And that is just one thing to recommend her: her agenda was Democratic, but nothing radical.

What VP Biden brings to the 2020 race is “electability” and that is something the Senator Bernie Sanders lacks. The mainstream US media seems determined by sheer force of will to deprive Biden of the concept of “electability.” However the Democratic voters by choosing Biden over Sanders are joining the Biden camp and not the Sanders camp. It is as if the American people, if not the media, realize the absolute importance of electing a Democrat and ending the disastrous presidency of Donald Trump.

And that is why Biden is leading. Now, how does Kamala Harris figure in to all this?

Vice President Biden has two “musts.” He must show himself to be the embodiment of electability and he must unite the Democratic Party. Biden could easily do this with Kamala Harris as his running mate. While there is much excitement among the older generation over Biden, Harris would bring in women, young people, blacks and Latinos, and former Berni and Elizabeth and Pete supporters.

Will this come to pass? The odds are heavily in favor of Harris, but nothing is decided yet. Whether VP Biden has made his decision or not we don’t know. We will just have to wait and see, but one way or another Kamala Harris will be playing on the bigger stage for a long time to come.

Photo: Kamala Harris by Lorie Shaull via flickr

US Election 2020 Who’s Who – Bernie Sanders.

                      David Parmer/Tokyo

It is February 2020, and the race to be the Democratic nominee to face Donald Trump in the general election of 2020 is on. Now, the candidate leading the pack is the senator from Vermont, Bernard “Bernie” Sanders. The senator was born in 1941 making him 78 years old. This is not unusual in a field with former Vice President Joe Biden and Donald Trump himself being in their 70s. 

Senator Sanders graduated the University of Chicago in 1964 and from that time identified himself with left-leaning causes. After being a small town mayor he served in the US House of Representatives for 16 years. In 2007 he was elected to the US Senate where he serves today.

He now proudly calls himself a democratic socialist. He looks to the Nordic model of democratic socialism with high taxes and extensive benefits for all. The senator’s left-leaning positions are highly attractive to idealistic young people, particularly his positions on free university education, raising the minimum wage, protecting the environment, and dealing with global warming.

Sanders has always been an Independent, but he is now running for the nomination of the Democratic Party. The question for the Democrats is electability. Can their candidate be elected by more than a majority of the US populace, and especially in the states of Pennsylvania and Ohio? Can Sanders win against Donald Trump? Many people seem to think so. But is this reality, or thinking inside a bubble?

 Donald Trump would come out hard against the senator’s “socialism.” And in fact, he already has done so and he will continue to do so. Trump, being president, always has the spotlight and the microphone. Moreover, Trump is a ruthless and vicious infighter. Whoever faces Trump this election will be in for a bloody and dirty, tooth and nail fight. Many would argue that this is what Donald Trump does best. Could Bernie stand the test? Probably. The real question, however, is can Sanders get his message across to the majority of the American people, and convince them, against all odds, that HE is the best choice to lead the country?

It is hard to predict, but certainly Bernie Sanders will not give in or give up in this fight. Is it good for the Democrats? Is it good for the US? Let us know what you think about this.

Photo: Gage Skidmore via flickr