The New York Times chose two candidates to endorse as the Democratic candidate, for the first time in history, which in and of itself is a reflection of our fragmented political landscape going into the primary and the 2020 election. The Times sees Elizabeth Warren as the standard bearer for the left, the “radical” choice and Amy Klobuchar as the face of the centrist portion of the party, the “realist.” And the Times comments on the other front runners. New York Times:
Few men have given more of their time and experience to the conduct of the public’s business than Joe Biden. The former vice president commands the greatest fluency on foreign policy and is a figure of great warmth and empathy. He’s prone to verbal stumbles, yes, but social media has also made every gaffe a crisis when it clearly is not.
Mr. Biden maintains a lead in national polls, but that may be a measure of familiarity as much as voter intention. His central pitch to voters is that he can beat Donald Trump. His agenda tinkers at the edges of issues like health care and climate, and he emphasizes returning the country to where things were before the Trump era. But merely restoring the status quo will not get America where it needs to go as a society. What’s more, Mr. Biden is 77. It is time for him to pass the torch to a new generation of political leaders.
Good news, then, that Amy Klobuchar has emerged as a standard-bearer for the Democratic center. Her vision goes beyond the incremental. Given the polarization in Washington and beyond, the best chance to enact many progressive plans could be under a Klobuchar administration.
The senator from Minnesota is the very definition of Midwestern charisma, grit and sticktoitiveness. Her lengthy tenure in the Senate and bipartisan credentials would make her a deal maker (a real one) and uniter for the wings of the party — and perhaps the nation.
So much for the state of the center of the Democratic party. This is what the Times had to say about the left faction.
Mr. Sanders would be 79 when he assumed office, and after an October heart attack, his health is a serious concern. Then, there’s how Mr. Sanders approaches politics. He boasts that compromise is anathema to him. Only his prescriptions can be the right ones, even though most are overly rigid, untested and divisive. He promises that once in office, a groundswell of support will emerge to push through his agenda. Three years into the Trump administration, we see little advantage to exchanging one over-promising, divisive figure in Washington for another.
Good news, then, that Elizabeth Warren has emerged as a standard-bearer for the Democratic left. […]
Her campaign’s plans, in general, demonstrate a serious approach to policymaking that some of the other candidates lack. Ms. Warren accurately describes a lack of housing construction as the primary driver of the nation’s housing crisis, and she has proposed both increases in government funding for housing construction, and changes in regulatory policy to encourage local governments to allow more construction.
She has plans to sharply increase federal investment in clean energy research and to wean the American economy from fossil fuels. She has described how she would reduce the economic and political power of large corporations and give workers more ability to bargain collectively. And she has proposed a sweeping expansion of government support for Americans at every stage of life, from universal child care to free public college to expanded Social Security.
At the same time, a conservative federal judiciary will be almost as significant a roadblock for progressive change. For Ms. Warren, that leaves open questions — ones she was unwilling to wrestle with in our interview. Ms. Warren has proposed to pay for an expanded social safety net by imposing a new tax on wealth. But even if she could push such a bill through the Senate, the idea is constitutionally suspect and would inevitably be bogged down for years in the courts. A conservative judiciary also could constrain a President Warren’s regulatory powers, and roll back access to health care.
The article is lengthy and describes each remaining presidential candidate as well. This is a good piece to hang onto as a primer for each candidate’s stance and how they contrast and compare with the other candidates.
The only issue I take with the piece is that while I certainly appreciate the formulaic approach, for me the solitary issue in this election is beating Donald Trump. The Times doesn’t see it that way, they seem focused on politics as usual. I disagree. We are in chaos and crisis with Trump at the helm and that has been the case since day one. Details of implementing policy are suspended in a climate like this. Our only focus is retaking the White House and returning sanity to governance. The Times does not take that approach to it’s analysis, and I think that this piece is the lesser for it.
It’s quite a boon to Klobuchar to get this endorsement. Let’s see where that leads. As to Warren, of all of the candidates I admire her the most. I’m in favor of Joe Biden because I believe he can beat Trump and that, as stated, is all I can see, hear or think about. Perhaps I’m myopic. It goes without saying I’m obsessed. But Biden did surge ahead in South Carolina yesterday. Warren is running third, and Klobuchar is ranked fifth. Voters vote for a familiar face and that is why we’re saddled with the moron we currently have in office. I would not discount Joe Biden, not in this day and age.
Again, if this was a question of politics as usual and we could afford to take into consideration all of the shades and nuances of policy differences, perhaps another candidate, Warren most certainly, would be our logical choice. We are not in that position. We have been stuck in the political Twilight Zone for three years now. That’s why I’m sticking with my gut and trying to figure out the most electable Democratic to end this nightmare. So far Biden seems to be the man. If he’s not perfect, so be it. We don’t have a generational, rock star candidate, like Bill Clinton or Barack Obama on the bench — but Biden is competent, seasoned and an honorable man. Compared to what we’ve got now, Trump, a man who doesn’t have enough acumen to be a flea on the dog of politics, Biden is a prince.
Biden’s visibility and familiarity factor are what we need. Let’s get a Democrat back in the White House and then we can worry about details. The nation needs to heal and nothing else matters. Another four years of Trump is going to be catastrophic. This election is not about the market place of ideas. It’s about finding an acceptable alternative to Trump that the majority of the electorate will vote for and getting the reins of government out of the hands of a madman and back into the hands of a legitimate politician so that we can save our country. Let’s be realists, not purists. Or we will be obsolete.