by A. Altieri D’Angelo
The recent run-off election for the Senate seat in Georgia concluded the 2022 midterm elections (the Midterms). And the U.S. is already focusing on who will run as the Democratic Party (The Party) candidate (the Candidate) for president. Several qualified democrats are considered likely candidates.
The Midterm results demonstrate that the electorate desired a particular political philosophy. The men and women who were elected comprised conservative as well as liberal candidates. Democrats, however, did choose individuals who were in favor of some form of abortion rights. The recent elections did not establish a Candidate profile that could win the presidency.
But it is clear that a successful Candidate, in addition to being a competent leader and administrator, must be capable of uniting the various factions within the Party, such as Mid-Westerners, Blacks, Latinos, Progressives, and Moderates. The contestant must also be able to appeal to independent voters and disillusioned Republicans. Such a person must be pragmatic and able to compromise. Above all else, the contestant must have a national reputation.
Given the above requirements, only four individuals (in this writer’s opinion) have a real chance to be nominated as the Candidate; they are profiled in order of electability:
President Joe Biden (Age 80)
Biden is a very successful president. He has managed to pass historic bipartisan legislation and rallied the free world against Russian aggression and China’s hostile foreign policy. Unfortunately, inflation has led to low approval ratings, and he mismanaged the Afghanistan withdrawal as well as the immigration issue.
Biden’s greatest weakness, however, is his age. He will be 82 when and if he seeks the presidency. Many democratic and independent voters wish to see a generational change even though they highly regard the current president.
At this point, however, Biden is the most formidable 2024 Candidate for 2024.
Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer (Age 51)
Democratic Governor Gretchen Whitmer won a second four-year term and had one of the best election results of any candidate in the Midterms. Whitmer campaigned on her successful economic policies and support for abortion. She created a coalition of white and minority voters.
She is the best-placed democrat to re-establish the Midwestern partnership between Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania voters and the Party. Of course, she would gain massive support from women voters across the country.
Her executive experience as Governor would be very valuable in carrying out the responsibilities of the presidency.
Pete Buttigieg (Age 40)
Buttigieg was a South Bend, Indiana mayor, ran for president in 2020, and became Secretary of Transportation under Biden. He served as a naval officer in Afghanistan and has a degree from Harvard as well being an Oxford University Rhodes scholar.
Buttigieg is doing an excellent job as Secretary and is more popular than Biden or Harris. However, Buttigieg has limited executorial experience. His time as mayor and U.S. cabinet officer does not automatically qualify him as being capable of managing the country’s affairs.
If elected, he would be the youngest president; and a gay Christian. (Some voters may not be happy to vote for someone with such attributes.)
Kamala Harris (Age 58)
Kamala Harris is an experienced attorney who was the District Attorney of San Francisco and went on to be California’s Attorney General. She served as the junior senator of California for only four years before being sworn in as vice president.
Many people consider Harris to be the top alternative candidate if President Biden does not run. Harris has the benefit of seeing how the executive branch of government gets things done. Such experience gives her an edge over other candidates. Unfortunately, Harris has been a lackluster VP. She has made some mistakes. She was assigned to manage the immigration and border issue; the perception of an out-of-control border has led to harsh criticisms of Harris’s leadership.
The following are potential nominees that are not top contenders:
Jared Polis (Age 47) Governor-Colorado
Amy Klobuchar (Age 62) Senator-Minnesota
Gavin Newsom (Age 55) Governor-California
Josh Shapiro (Age 49) Governor-Pennsylvania
J.B. Pritzker (Age 57) Governor-Illinois
Bernie Sanders (Age 81) Senator-Vermont
It is anyone’s guess if the people mentioned above will choose to run in the Democratic primaries. But there is no doubt that everyone listed herein except President Biden must begin to make themselves known to the voters. They must become household names in all parts of the country. And by doing so, they will need to justify why they should be considered presidential material.
Let the games begin!