Democrats hobble toward their first 2020 presidential competition,
there is no clear front runner. The polls are all over the place,
and the candidates and pundits are relying on them to project a
winner. These polls have an average margin of error approaching
nearly 6%, with small sample sizes, making them questionable for
drawing serious conclusions as to their results. When you add in all
the social media platforms, many of which are omitted, the outcomes
are further in doubt.
is still viewed as giving the winner the momentum she/he will need to
become the eventual nominee, and the candidates are attacking each
other as if they are children in a sandbox. Déjà vu
all over again.
1980, George H.W. Bush won the Republican Iowa caucuses and was
supposedly on his way to the White House before Ronald Reagan
overwhelmed him to lead the Party to a crushing victory over
President Jimmy Carter. In 2016, Hillary Clinton’s alleged
Iowa victory, and subsequent primary triumphs, coupled with her
campaign’s data analytics, had apparently assured her election
to the presidency. Then Trump happened.
Hillary has inserted herself into the 2020 Democratic primaries by
attacking Bernie Sanders for being “anti-woman” on behalf
of Elizabeth Warren who she is quietly advising with the expectation
that she would be a major player in an eventual Warren
administration. Hillary is like Freddy Krueger, the antagonist in A
Nightmare on Elm Street horror film. She just won’t leave
the political stage after screwing up a race she should have won, and
she still blames everyone else but herself.
noted in last week’s column, the five current leaders among
2020 Democratic candidates--Bernie Sanders, Joe Biden, Pete
Buttigieg, Elizabeth Warren, and Amy Klobuchar—are so flawed
that either will be easy pickings for Trump. His political machine
is operating effectively in every sphere of America’s political
life: race, immigration, income, class, religion, sexual orientation,
and region. Neither of the aforementioned candidates has a
comprehensive understanding of and the intersections between the
aforesaid indices of political orientation.
the Democratic political class seems poised to repeat the same
mistake of 2016 unless Mike Bloomberg is the standard bearer. He has
a firm grasp of the relevant issues, but more importantly, he is
growing in his understanding of them, with the advice of a racially
and ideologically diverse team of advisers, and he has shown a
willingness to change his views above and beyond political
his key assets, in addition to his wealth, may be that he is not
weighed down by the petty squabbles among his competitors and that
his policy positions encompass the divides in the contemporary
electorate. And his billions provide him the latitude to pursue a
political path that is not impacted by donor preferences. But his
trek to the nomination is not guaranteed.
far, his platform prescriptions have enveloped and improved upon
those of his rivals. For example his approach to health care has
subsumed those of Biden, Sanders, Klobuchar, Warren, and Buttigieg,
and he appeals to the broad American populous on gun control,
criminal justice, voting rights, and social justice.
most problematic program area is his “stop and frisk (SAF)”
policing strategy, which disproportionately targeted African
American, Asian, and Latinx males during his tenure as Mayor of New
York City from 2002-2013. Although he apologized, shortly before he
announced for president (which many consider opportunistic), it still
lingers in the political ether. He will suffer withering attacks
after his likely electoral breakthrough on Super Tuesday in March.
addition to his mea culpa, Bloomberg’s best defense for
SAF is to contrast its effect with the negative consequences of
Clinton’s 1994 Crime Bill. Biden, Sanders, and the
overwhelming majority of the Congressional Black Caucus voted for it,
and it contributed to significant numbers of minority males being
killed, incarcerated with draconian sentences, and reduced employment
opportunities post-incarceration as so cogently outlined in Michelle
Alexander’s seminal book, The New Jim Crow.
SAF is considered to be a disqualifier for Bloomberg, then Warren’s
cultural appropriation of Native American identity which benefitted
her economically and occupationally, and Harris’s and
Klobuchar’s discrimination against males of color while they
served as city and county attorneys, respectively, should also be
fair game for comparison, as should Buttigieg’s work for
McKinsey and Company. “Let him (or her) without sin cast
the first stone.”
also instituted a ban the box initiative to prevent employers from
asking about an applicant’s criminal record during his mayoral
term. Thus SAP may not prove to be the Achilles heel of the
Bloomberg campaign that many expected it to be.
his Greenwood Initiative, which he announced on January 19th
at the site of the Tulsa massacre, is a response to “…one
of the deadliest and ugliest attacks in American history…”
of the Black Wall Street business district and for
black economic justice. White villains murdered more than 300
African Americans in 1921, and this proposal dwarfs Pete Buttigieg’s
Douglas plan for the same group.
its broad array of programs—home ownership, criminal justice,
black business development, poverty alleviation, etc., Bloomberg’s
blueprint, with its $70 billion plus price tag, is the closest to the
African American proposal to reparations which no other presidential
candidate has come close to replicating. Additionally, he is
addressing a potpourri of concerns of all Americans, and its
implications for K-12 public education are positive in that it would
ameliorate many negative influences in students’ overall
critical component to Bloomberg’s electability is his funding
of former Georgia gubernatorial candidate, Stacey Abram, in her Fair
Fight project. She is crisscrossing the nation to counter
Trump’s voter suppression activities: gerrymandering, purging
of voting rolls, and the promotion of more rigid Voter ID legislation
which the other Democratic aspirants are largely ignoring. This
focus may prove acute in a close election.
Abrams is the only contemporary Democrat who would bring value-added
to a Democratic presidential ticket. Unlike Warren, Klobuchar, and
Harris, she would not be a polarizing figure among any group of
voters. Since the present Democratic political environment dictates
that a woman be selected for the VP slot, she is the only female who
could bring a cross-section of voters, across Party lines, into the
Democratic fold. With Abrams as his running mate, whom he has
already respectfully approached, Bloomberg would be unstoppable.
will take a deeper dive into the election next week.