The Democrats have had a particularly rough time regarding their electoral fortunes. Despite having numerous productive and impressive candidates, Hillary Clinton was a lacklustre Presidential candidate.
However, with the Trump Administration growing increasingly unpopular and the immense negativity projected onto the President both globally and within the USA, the Democrats have a strong chance of regaining the Presidency in the next presidential election. However, they cannot bank purely upon the anti-incumbency factor – they need a credible, sound and charismatic leader.
Not Bernie Sanders
Although Bernie Sanders is a very charismatic individual, he was unable to successfully navigate internal, Democratic Party politics and it is unlikely he will fare significantly better in a second Presidential election run.
Furthermore, Bernie has come to signify a ‘hard left’ American socialism (he is routinely touted as the American version of Jeremy Corbyn) but Americans are suspicious of anything excessively socialist due in part to a lingering, Cold War mentality. As such, Sanders is unlikely to be a good candidate to field for the purposes of retaking the presidency.
Hillary Clinton Is Not Worth a Re-run
A significant reason for Clinton’s loss was the controversy surrounding her use of e-mails while she was Secretary of State. President Trump is coming under increasingly intense scrutiny regarding the investigation into his alleged links with Russia and it is unlikely that this will be forgotten during the next Presidential election. If they hope to capitalise on this, the Democrats need a leader who is free of defence and security scandals. This rules Clinton out.
Elizabeth Warren: The Charismatic Option
Elizabeth Warren is a senior Democrat Senator with an impressive background, and she is particularly charismatic. Like Barack Obama, she was a prominent legal scholar before entering politics. She has taught and researched at impressive institutions such as the University of Texas School of Law, the University of Michigan, the University of Texas at Austin, the University of Pennsylvania Law School and Harvard Law School. She has also been directly derided by Donald Trump.
Chris Van Hollen: A Sound and Credible Contender
Chris Van Hollen is a Senator who spent much of his youth growing up in South Asia (as his father was the US Ambassador to Sri Lanka and the Maldives) and this background would be particularly useful as the US tries to counter an increasingly resurgent, aggressive China and for to expanding American partnerships in a crucial region for various purposes
The issue is that the US Constitution may prevent him from becoming President since he was born in Pakistan – however, Ted Cruz was born in Canada, and he could still run to be the Republican nominee. He studied Philosophy at Swarthmore College, followed by a Master’s in Public Policy at the Harvard Kennedy School and a Juris Doctor (JD) at Georgetown University.
Amy Klobuchar: The Rising Star
Amy Klobuchar has been variously referred to as a ‘Rising Star’ and the ‘smartest US Senator’. She is also the first woman to be elected as a Senator for Minnesota. She has a legal background like Elizabeth Warren but in practice rather than academia. She has also been suggested as one of the women most likely to become the first female President of the United States by both the New York Times and the New Yorker.
Mazie Hirono: The Impressive Senator from Hawaii
Mazie Hirono is credited with a lot of firsts. She is the first elected female Senator from Hawaii, the first Asian-American woman elected to the Senate, the first U.S Senator born in Japan and the USA’s first Buddhist senator.
Identity politics could mean that Hirono faces far more barriers than Elizabeth Warren, Chris Van Hollen and Amy Klobuchar would if they sought the Democrat nomination but she has a strong track record.
Having completed her Juris Doctor (JD) at Georgetown University, she was honoured by a coalition of leaseholders in the Hawaii House of Representatives (where she served from 1980 to 1994) as Legislator of the Year in 1984.
3rd November 2020
Unlike many other left-leaning parties across the globe, the Democrats tend to support freer markets and freer trade. As such, the Democrats could well perform better than the Republicans on the economic front. They also advocate social liberalism, which is particularly popular amongst younger generations and very different to Republican conservatism.
First of all, however, the Democrats need a strong leader.