It seems almost impossible to imagine. With a starting lineup of some 28 candidates, the race seems to now be a competition between the six who made the stage in the Las Vegas debate – with no disrespect to those who are officially still running but not able to make it to the debate stage. As Joe Biden oft says – “come on, people, get real.”
Looking at the mud fight that was billed as the Democrats’ Las Vegas debate, it is arguable that the best choices are no longer in the running.
The progressive wing of the Democratic Party might have been better served by candidates like New Jersey Senator Cory Booker or California Senator Kamala Harris. They lean to the left ALMOST as far as Senator Elizabeth Warren but without falling into the radical camp of senator Bernie Sanders. They are certainly as articulate as any of those in the lead – and more so that some of them.
Like their policies or not, they do have strong resumes – especially Booker who was the mayor of a MAJOR city (Sorry, Mayor Pete) and a United States Senator. He came to the race with stronger credentials than Barack Obama – and he made it all the way to the White House. Given the Democrats current flirtation with dogmatic socialism, Booker and Harris are more moderate, ergo more acceptable and more likely to win.
In terms of the so-called moderate wing of the Democratic Party, the best candidates fell off the earliest. In fact, they hardly got any traction whatsoever. Guys like Colorado Senator Michael Bennett. I saw him as the John Kasich of the Democrat field. You remember Kasich – the former governor of Ohio and candidate calling for harmony, unity and all things wonderful. Kasich was a bit of a whiner and that is the same quality I see in Bennett. In terms of projecting a public image, Kasich and Bennett are two guys you could not find if they were standing on a street corner by themselves.
Another moderate who seemed like he would be a good President was Congressman John Delaney. But he had two problems. True political moderates are persona non grata in the Democratic Party and he is not a good campaigner.
It is not small irony that those who drop by the wayside in the race to the Oval Office seem to personify the call for unity – like they actually meant it and could do it. Of course, the frontrunners all claim that they can unify the nation, but they campaign on divisiveness.
Some of the Democrats who dropped out of the race could easily pass the likability test – something the frontrunners seem incapable of doing.
As a conservative, however, I am not sorry to see the disarray on the progressive Democrat side. They may be on their way to nominating the worst possible candidate.
So, there ‘tis.