There is nothing more comforting for frightened Democrats than knowing President Trump will be up for reelection in 4 years. Before we introduce our fantasy league of potential presidential candidates for 2020, we need to clear the air about who should not run in 2020.
As much as I supported Secretary Clinton in the primaries and the general election, she should absolutely not run in 2020. The Democrats suffered losses across the board, highlighting the imperative need for change within the party. Hillary Clinton represents the establishment Democratic party, and many disgruntled voters felt that it became a party no longer for the average American. However, Hillary Clinton is a trailblazer for women and many liberal issues that had never before stood on the Democratic platform. Hopefully her hard work in the 2016 election, and her entire life, opens the doors for progressive Democrats and creating a government that resembles it constituents in the near future.
Senator Bernie Sanders brought that change to the Democratic party that the Clinton establishment failed to spark. Additionally, Sanders excited millions of young adults and introduced them into the political process. But after the convention, those same young adults did not show up in large enough numbers to vote for the would-have-been first female president. While I believe Senator Sanders is too old to run again, especially 4 years later when he will be nearly 80 years old, I think his voice and his progressive platform would serve the party well for a younger Democratic candidate to champion.
The last two names that have floated around for potential presidential candidates in 2020 that I disagree with are Michelle Obama and Joe Biden. While I love them both (I mean who doesn’t love them), they would not be my first choice. Biden will be very old as well, and while he does have that ability to reach young voters like Sanders, he is too closely associated with the Obama administration. I firmly believe that 2020 needs to be a clean start for the party and that we should aim for a completely fresh administration. I am a huge fan of Michelle Obama, but I would want to see her get elected experience before she runs for the highest office. Perhaps the former First Lady will be groomed for the presidency for a future election, and I would be ecstatic to see her grace and intelligence enter the Oval Office. However, we need a Democrat who is prepared to take on Trump in 2020 and is ready to right the ship that his administration has already begun to sink after only 10 days in office. Here is our top 5 list of Democrats we would be thrilled to see run in 2020.
- Elizabeth Warren
- The senior US Senator from Massachusetts is currently one of the most high-profile Democrats and is a vocal advocate for progressive issues on Capitol Hill. She made our list because she is the younger and academic voice to Bernie Sanders, someone who could rejuvenate the Democratic party. Before being elected to the Senate, Warren was a decorated law professor at Harvard University and a published author. She is perhaps one of the most intelligent sitting senators based on her academic record, and she was also rumored to be on Clinton’s VP shortlist in 2016.
- Kirsten Gillibrand
- The junior US Senator from New York is my personal favorite for a 2020 run. While serving in the US House, she had a fairly moderate voting record. That changed when she was appointed to the Senate to take Hillary Clinton’s seat when Clinton was nominated for Secretary of State. She has voted against confirming nearly all of Trump’s nominations and has championed progressive legislation in the Senate.
- Cory Booker
- The junior US Senator from New Jersey is another one of the most high-profile Democrats currently. He recently made headlines for being the first sitting senator to question another sitting senator, Jeff Sessions, at his confirmation hearing for Attorney General. He is ambitious and unwavering in his beliefs. He was elected to the US Senate in 2012 and was previously mayor of Newark for 6 years. He has attended Stanford University, University of Oxford, and Yale Law School. He was also rumored to be on Clinton’s VP shortlist in 2016.
- Kamala Harris
- The junior US Senator from California was just elected to the Senate in 2016 and has showed immediate star-power. While she will have only been in the Senate for 4 years, Obama was in the same position when he ran for President. Her prior jobs include her being twice elected and serving as the Attorney General of California. The progressive is the first Indian-American and second black woman elected to the US Senate.
- Tammy Duckworth
- The junior US Senator from Illinois has many accolades and personal attributes that make her a great option to run, despite her being recently elected to the Senate in 2016. Previously, she served two terms in the US House of Representatives and before that she did state-sponsored work for veterans. This is fitting because Duckworth served in the US Army for the Iraq War where she traumatically lost both of her legs. Not letting anything hold her back, the second Asian-American woman elected to the US Senate is an energetic and passionate American hero.
It just happens to be that all of our top 5 picks are senators. Not only are they all experienced and capable of handling the presidency, but they reflect what America really looks like through what could be the most diverse primary in US history. It will be interesting to see in upcoming years how their actions reflect a possible presidential run.