There were 6 Democratic candidates for the last debate of 2019. This was hosted by PBS and Politico on December 19 in LA. There are things I like about most candidates but at the same time, there are things that make me hesitant to support any of these 6 candidates. Therefore, I've outlined below some of my comments from this debate as well as reading the print and online media about their backgrounds and policy proposals.
You have fire in your belly and really care about the common person and you want to make a big difference in the U.S.. In terms of policy, you are the leading Democratic candidate with your many policy proposals. At the same time, I'm going to cringe a little and say your seriousness and screechy voice may be a put-off to some. I was a little disappointed that Warren didn't look directly at Buttigieg when being confronted by the Mayor of South Bend. That felt like a missed opportunity during the debate. I'd not advise my candidate to look down to pretend to take notes, but rather, have an honest disagreement about an issue through consistent eye contact. Also, having a little more of a sense of humor may help her better connected with some voters. I’ve heard some pundits say that Warren is too old to become president. However, she’d be 71 on election night and DJT would be 74. She has incredible stamina, sometimes staying after a campaign speech for hours ensuring those who want to take a selfy with her get their needs met. Also, she’s mentally and physically in great shape so it’s hard to imagine she'd be discounted regarding her age.
Yes, you’ve been Senator for many years representing Delaware but that doesn’t mean it qualifies you to be President. You were VP for Obama for 8 years and he doesn’t have the stones to come out and support you. Is Obama being too coy or does he prefer another candidate? Does it say more about your political and policy aptitude or Obama’s? Joe has worked hard at rehearsing things but regardless, he’ll have one or two gaffes at each debate. That indeed concerns me. One more thing, Joe, why did you help get your son Hunter that Burisma Holdings Ltd gig in Ukraine? It was reported that he earned as much as $50,000 per month for several months for his work. Even if the deal was legitimate, does it pass the eye test? Joe, why not hedge and avoid giving Trump any more ammunition? Whether you’ve recently decided to run for President or not, that will tarnish your legacy and perhaps your political aspirations. One more thing, you voted for the resolution to invade Iraq which was a major foreign policy blunder. Like Hillary, you thought it was a good thing with the intel you received from Bush and Cheney. Pardon my bluntness but should you not feel shame for believing critical information from the same culprits that stole the 2000 election?
Mayor Pete, I like you and you are so well spoken and I don’t have any doubt how well you’d do debating DJT. However, you’re running for Prez as a 37 year old. I know you’re very intelligent and wise for your age but do you have enough work and life experience to handle the job? Regarding South Bend, is it in better shape than when you arrived? What difference did your policies make in one of the largest cities in Indiana? I appreciate you’re a veteran and a Rhodes Scholar but wonder if it’s not yet your time. Hollywood and some rich folks have fallen for you but they’re not common folk so a little context is needed. I wonder why you haven’t resonated more with African-Americans? Also, be careful with Elizabeth Warren who feels a little threatened by your recent success as she’s trying to cast you as a ‘Wall Street Democrat.’ Yes, you are well spoken and have a good grasp on many policies but does that translate that you would do well with governing?
Andrew, I like you a lot and some of your ideas but not as President. You keep talking about AI and self-driving trucks and cars and how that will impact many industrial and service jobs but how many of those currently working blue collar have the intellect to follow your logic and predict the future? I like the fact that you created 'Venture for America,' which focuses on creating jobs in struggling American cities. Maybe talk about that more during the debates and while campaigning. In terms of foreign policy, we’d need to hear more about your ideas and proposals. What kind of a cabinet would you hire? Perhaps you can be a cabinet member if luck has it and a Democrat wins the POTUS in 2020. Perhaps a Commerce or Trade secretary in a Democratic cabinet? You're leadership material but that may be better leveraged outside of being our next Commander in Chief.
You are a successful businessman but got into the campaign later than the rest. He's a little stiff but you can see his campaign is not about self-promotion; he really wants to make a difference. One of his campaign slogans is 'We can take democracy back, together.' Tom Steyer is an environmentalist and is greatly concerned about climate change. According to his website, Steyer states he's is the only candidate prepared to use the emergency powers of the presidency to take on the climate crisis. But will he resonate with the voters in the early primary states? Being 62 years old makes him almost an ideal age to become President. Some say Obama needed additional seasoning and was too young at age 48. Anyway, if a Democrat wins in November, Steyer could be a key contributor to the administration, possibly in the EPA?
Bernie, your time has passed us by. There’s no way you’ll be nominated and win. You keep talking about oligarchs and plutocrats but that’s getting old even if some of it is true. Some are tired of that constant haranguing and yelling from the pulpit. Republicans will paint you as a socialist (even if your intentions are good) and someone who’s anti-religion whether it’s true or not. Besides, you’re Jewish and I’m not sure if the country is ready for a Jewish POTUS, let alone a Jewish Socialist POTUS (How the POTUS would paint you as it's an effective strategy to those who are not well read and lack the critical thinking acumen). Another critical factor is Bernie's age, he will be 79 years old before the election and would be the oldest candidate ever elected to the Presidency.
Amy, some newspaper columnists and analysts claim you were sometimes too demanding with your Senate staff and worry this demeanor may carry over to the presidency although I’m not necessarily in that camp. You’re a hard worker and demanding of yourself and your staff which can be a good thing. However, I’m not sure how much you resonate with the voters. I understand that you sometimes go after Biden as you two are courting the moderate vote. (A moderate who doesn’t take the working person for granted might be our only chance at defeating DJT). One more thing, several close friends and family have observed a little nervousness during the debates and that may scare some in the electorate. Even if you’re nervous, you have to provide the appearance that you’re not. Perhaps you’re an example of someone who’s not necessarily good at campaigning but could be quite effective at governing. If that’s the case, what can you do to improve your campaigning and debate skills?
In summary, all of these candidates have great resumes and it's difficult to know who is the best person to defeat Donald J. Trump in November. I've yet to decide although I think I've found my ideal candidate. They would have the schmooze ability of Biden, the fiery and caring demeanor of Warren with many policy proposals, the ideas and creativity of Yang, the financial means and environmental platform of Steyer, the intellect and speaking ability of Buttigieg, the dedication and determination for our country like Sanders and the pragmatism and policy ideas of Klobuchar. I'm really tired of choosing a candidate who's the lesser of two evils. Anyway, until I find such an ideal candidate, I will keep kicking the tires in the hopes of electing someone who can put us on the right path for the next 20 years starting in 2021.