The 2020 election is a very long way off. Much has to develop, particularly the candidates and their message. They will grow along with their crowds, refining their message and presence into a clear vision of how the nation reboots itself and renews for a new generation.
What’s remarkable at this stage is not just that the three leading candidates are women, but that as a unit they represent the spectrum of Democratic identity and policy. They’re likely to be the top contenders through the process as a result. They also have remarkably similar resumes and similar things to prove. In politics and personality, however, they create their own archetypes.
Is this going to be a choice between senators Harris, Klobuchar, and Warren? At this stage, they are at the very least the ones to watch. That is, by itself, an impressive and fascinating story. In my own opinion, and this is all just my opinion, it’s going to be a good one.
“Politics is not about power and money games, politics is about the improvement of people’s lives”
– Sen Paul Wellstone (D-MN), paraphrasing Eleanor Roosevelt
Sen Al Franken (D-MN) resigned today from the seat once held by Paul Wellstone. It came after many of his colleagues in the Senate expressed a lack of confidence in him from numerous allegations of inappropriate touching of women.
It is a sad day in Minnesota, but we move on. There are many lessons here, but what’s most important is that in a truly open system based on service to the people of the nation no one is indispensable. We are shaping the Democratic Party to be one which stands for principles first.
One week on, the election is still difficult to make sense of. Here are a few random thoughts as to what went wrong.
Bernie Sanders endorsed Hillary Clinton today. Nearly every story on this event contains the word “finally”, but that is not entirely justified. This is a process, not an event. Today’s message was dragged out until Sanders could get every concession to his movement that he could, and for good reason. That is primarily what Sanders was in this for all along – real, progressive change.
Now, it’s up to Sanders and Clinton to sell it. The process is not over.
Hillary Clinton came to Minnesota on Tuesday, ahead of Caucus Night. It was a good move, given that most of the states involved in Super Tuesday are primaries. As an evening caucus Minnesota was one of the few states not already voting but up for grabs. Coming here gave her something to do that was productive at the last minute. So why not?
Then again, Minnesota is strangely a key state at this point.
On a night where about 1/3 of the delegates are at stake it looks very bad for Sanders. Of the 12 states contested he is only sure of winning his home turf of Vermont. Key battlegrounds include Massachusetts, Colorado, Oklahoma, and Minnesota – all of which are places where Sanders has been putting newly received treasure into at an incredible rate. It may not be enough as polls in all of them save the Star of the North show Sanders behind.
This could be the last stop for the Sanders campaign – and the start of the long healing process ahead of the convention on 25 July.
The Democratic Party is locked in a titanic struggle for its soul – an existential battle over the true meaning of what it means to be a Democrat, to be a progressive, to be a liberal.
Clinton versus Sanders has, for many reasons, brought the old fight to the surface. It’s worth working through if only because the end result can and should be a united party that firmly stands for something. But what is that?
There are four views of change, four visions of progress, which separate Sanders and Cinton.
On February 1st the actual voting starts in the Presidential race – sort of. That’s the date of the Iowa Caucuses, an event which is much more involved than simply voting. You have to show up and stay there for your candidate, literally taking a stand. Polls show that whether you do it by likely caucus attendees or possible attendees the lead for Clinton is small at best.
That’s a reflection of how much Sanders has caught fire through this pre-election season, and for good reason. Sanders is fighting for the soul of the Democratic Party – making it stand up for working people and a fair economy once more. It’s a good and noble effort and something to be happy about. But when it comes time for me to caucus, a month later in Minnesota, I’ll be supporting Hillary Clinton.
What it comes down to, for me, is how I read the job description.