The Democratic presidential sweepstakes are starting in earnest and faster than at any time in history. One major factor is money, with the other factors being money, money, and the need for national recognition.
For any true contender to have a shot after early next year’s Iowa caucuses and the New Hampshire Primary, a fast start is critically important to raise awareness and the almighty dollar. This nominating process will easily be the most expensive presidential election in American history.
It is still very early, but the betting has already begun. By March of 2020, only a handful of hopefuls will remain due to lack of votes and/or money. Who has a fighting chance to make the cut about a year from now?
Former Vice-President Joe Biden – Although not announced yet, early polls suggest his 45-years in the public eye result in automatic votes no matter what. He also likely has access to his former boss’s (Obama) campaign mailing list. With the sharp swing to the left and a youth movement, can 76-year-old Joe survive the many political changes around him?
Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) – Many feel 77-year-old Bernie was cheated out of the 2016 presidential nomination by the Hillary campaign. The socialist’s message resonates among the young and elite. But his ongoing ‘free stuff’ dialogue is being carried this time around by a host of candidates little more than half his age.
Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA) – The 54-year-old ‘female Obama’ has been promising a lot of ‘free stuff’ herself in the early stages of her campaign. If she can weather a brutal primary season, her promises will confound many of the taxpaying electorate come the General Election. Look for her to bow to whomever wins the nomination to possibly get the vice president slot.
Former Rep. Beto O’Rourke (D-TX) – A former three-term congressman, the 46-year-old far-left liberal is a rising star in the Democratic Party’s youth movement. He was a virtual unknown outside Texas until his failed bid for Ted Cruz’s senate seat last November. He fits the mold of where the far, far left is taking the party.
Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) – Badgered and mauled by President Trump who calls her ‘Pocahontas’ due to her thin claim to be part Native American, the 69-year-old top contender for the nomination has slipped in recent weeks and is trying desperately to shed the ultra-liberal Harvard tag by asking for a breakup of massive corporations like Google and Amazon. It may be too little, too late and will not bode well with corporate campaign contributions, that’s for sure.
Sen. Corey Booker (D-NJ) – The 49-year-old Rhodes scholar and former Stanford football player has been compared with his idol, Barack Obama. But all comparisons stop there. He has a bad case of foot in mouth disease and has even called himself ‘Spartacus’ during the confirmation hearings of Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh. Over the past few weeks, Booker’s own misguided words have turned off many who considered him campaign gold not long ago. It may be thumbs down for early leader ‘Spartacus.’
Former Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz – Easily the most hated man in the Democratic Party, Schultz is hinting he may run as an independent. It is a well-known fact that if that were to occur, there’s a likely chance his votes would split Democrats making Trump easily a two-term president.
Also-rans and vice-presidential hopefuls:
Mayor Pete Buttigieg (South Bend, IN) – Who? A 37-year-old, openly gay liberal. Absolutely no chance, but being gay, you never know as VP.
Former HUD Secretary and San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro (D-TX) – The Hispanic poster child for the Democratic Party, Castro has had difficulty gaining traction in a crowded field. Look for the 44-year-old to be a prime vice-president pick for someone.
Former Rep. John Delaney (D-MD) – The 55-year-old has no notoriety, no money and no chance; not even a vice-presidential nod.
Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI) – Her perceived conservative leanings make this former 37-year-old Iraqi veteran unpopular with the far-left crowd. Zero chance except re-election in Hawaii, but you never know.
Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) – The 52-year-old has problems with sticking to one side of an issue. Her wet political finger is constantly in the wind and it discourages anyone from taking her seriously. Big mouth, no base, but big electoral votes in New York.
Former Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper (D-CO) – The 67-year-old is running hopefully to appeal with independent voters. Has no sense of his own identity, so why should anyone care or remember that strange last name?
Gov. Jay Inslee (D-WA) – Excellent chance for the 68-year-old to be selected as a vice-presidential candidate by someone looking for a western politician to balance the ticket. More a moderate than far-left, his posture could tone down the top of the ticket.
Gov. Steve Bullock (D-MT) – Respected moderate who cruised to victory in 2016 in the reddest of red Trump states. The 53-year-old is Chairman of the bipartisan National Governors Assoc. Small electoral state, but vice-presidential timber.
Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) – The media jumped on her from the start of her campaign as a ‘meanie’ to her staff. The image has stuck with the 58-year-old and left poor Amy fumbling. No chance.
Dwight L. Schwab, Jr. is an award-winning national political and foreign affairs columnist and published author. He has spent over 35 years in the publishing industry. His long-running articles include many years at Examiner.com and currently Newsblaze.com. Dwight is an author of two highly acclaimed books, "Redistribution of Common Sense - Selected Commentaries on the Obama Administration 2009-2014" and "The Game Changer - America's Most Stunning Election in History." He is a native of Portland, Oregon, a journalism graduate from the University of Oregon, and a resident of the SF Bay Area. To read more of his reports — Click Here Now.