Monday, August 24, 2015

All the Other Democrats!

Last time we covered the candidacy of Hillary Clinton but this time her rivals in the Democratic Party get the spotlight. She is certainly not the only one running  and the others are worth considering. Here's a quick run down of the rest of the pack.

Bernie Sanders is a current Senator from Vermont, having previously served in the House for 16 years where he voted against the resolution authorizing action in Iraq in 2002. He has also been an outspoken critic of the Patriot Act. Oh and he’s the only Socialist in Congress, though he’s running as a Democrat. He tells people that he’s a Democratic Socialist, here’s a long treatise on what that means.

He’s drawing large crowds, over 28,000, with his populist message. Sanders speaks out against the rich and powerful, banks and is favor of affordable higher education. Here’s what he calls 12 Steps Forward. Oh and Bernie recorded an album of folk music in the 1980’s! Bernie Sanders is doing well in polls, and could present a challenge to Hillary. Perhaps she might incorporate some parts of Bernie’s platform into her own. Which one will win? We will see in 2016.

Jim Webb was Assistant Secretary of Defense, Counsel for the House Veterans Affairs Committee,‪  and Secretary of the Navy under Ronald Reagan because of his experience as a decorated Marine Corps officer in Vietnam. In a tight Senate election in Virginia, Webb beat George Allen. Webb had broken off from the Republican Party over the Iraq War. Many people including myself consider him a man of integrity. The most important and interesting aspect of Jim Webb is he brings a more conservative slant to the Democratic Party.  The Washington Post covered his views recently. I’m actually rooting for this one but he also seems a long shot-did he announce too late? Still, he could raise his profile to who knows where he might go. He is also the best selling author of ten books.  

Lincoln Chafee was in the US Senate representing Maine from 1999-2007 and was the only Republican in the Senate to vote against the authorization to go to war in Iraq. He was arguably the most liberal Republican in Congress, one reason he eventually became a Democrat. He was later Governor of Maine from 2011 to 2015. Lincoln’s father had been a governor as had been two other ancestors so it was unusual when he became a Democrat in May 2013 at the urging of Martin O’Malley! He is a farrier and wants the US to switch to the metric system.  George Will finds him to be a most unlikely man to run for president and in truth he has not attracted much attention yet.  Another long shot? See what he had to say about himself on the Tavis Miley Show and decide for yourself.

Martin O’Malley is the former governor of Maryland and former Mayor of Baltimore where he instituted a zero tolerance policy. Did that help or hurt Baltimore? Opinions vary.  His tax hikes while governor have proven unpopular while some his other initiatives such as legalizing gay marriage were more popular, his time as Governor has been a mixed He’s also been the driving force behind the Celtic rock band “O’Malley’s March” since 1988. He seems like a long shot candidate but anything is possible.

Joe Biden the current Vice President is considering running for President. He’s done surprisingly well as the Veep; he was not quite as gaffe prone as he was predicted to be.  Everyone likes Joe Biden. However he did not seem to be interested in becoming president until now. His son recently died and had asked his father to consider running so now Biden is considering a run. He hasn’t even declared yet but he already shows up as 3rd in some polls! Way to go Joe!

Al Gore is the famous ex-Vice President, “Almost President”,  Oscar winning, Grammy winning, Noble Peace Prize winning author of  “An Inconvenient Truth”.  Salon thinks he needs to run for president. I don’t, we have enough candidates for one election!

That’s a run down of all the Democratic candidates available to run for President in 2016. Hillary Clinton is heavily favored to win, but then, she was expected to win in 2008 but the unexpected happened. No one knows who will win in 2016 but at least the Democrats have fewer candidates to choose from the Republicans. At least they won’t have Donald Trump in the debate arena with them!