Trump’s Nightmare Opponents

Amy Klobuchar, Sherrod Brown and how to be a middle-class fighter.

Comments: 287

  1. I agree with this column, especially about Sherrod Brown, who can appeal to the working class and has the advantage of being younger than Biden and Sanders. Klobuchar has the disadvantage of being a woman. Sorry, but it still is a disadvantage.

  2. @goodlead I truly believe the opposite of what you wrote. I believe that Klobuchar has the advantage of being a woman. She is so much more than that and I think she is a very worthy candidate.

  3. @goodlead - Senator Klobuchar was the first woman United States senator elected from Minnesota and she is so popular that she helps to get other Democratic politicians elected in Minnesota. She got more laws passed than any other senator in 2016, she's smart, she's dignified and she's a leader. And, as a former prosecutor, Klobuchar can handle Trump lying on the stand - or debate lectern rather - without missing a beat.

  4. @goodlead Not sure how you figure being a woman is a disadvantage? Half the country are female and they are highly motivated to increase the influence and power share of women. I'm male, but I think in general, women make better leaders. The more in positions of power, the better. I pretty much assume that one member of the Dems ticket will be female. I suspect that it's only among the older generations where being female could be seen as being a disadvantage.

  5. The Democratic nominee will have to present a consistent, simple, appealing message beyond "I'm not Donald Trump!" That's what it takes to win.

  6. @NM It ain't Amy. Sorry..but screaming "I'll fight to get our democracy back!" ain't a good slogan..especially when there is absolutely nobody in this country hunting for our missing democracy...because it's not lost. Obama put reporters in jail. He spied on reporters phones and email. Trump has done neither. I'm sorry if the Truth hurts...but sometimes you gotta be a grownup and speak Truth to Power as Trump has done. I don't like his style..but I really really really don't like her style of Minnesota all. And she's my Senator!!

  7. @NM: Esteemed daughter of the Cairene scholar: “consistent, simple, appealing.” That’s the antidote to the Donald Trump poison. Doesn’t it seem so simple?

  8. A Klobuchar Brown ticket would seem to be a winner. I believe Klobuchar handled herself well in the Kavanaugh hearings and would present a huge problem for Trump. Brown is definitely the guy the white middle class was looking for when Trump conned them. And I think both can be persuaded to be even more progressive if they aren't quite there yet.

  9. @mr. mxyzptlk The president doesn't necessarily set the legislative agenda. A Democratic president will likely go along with whatever the Democrats can pass through the House and Senate. It's the Senate you have to worry about, not the White House.

  10. @mr. mxyzptlk "I believe Klobuchar handled herself well in the Kavanaugh hearings..." Almost. But when he got obnoxious about, "I don't know, have you?" she said something like, "I'll take that as a no," when I really wish she'd insisted HE ANSWER. It felt like she was backing down at his bullying and obfuscating. He should have been forced to answer.

  11. @Tokyo Tea I agree, that is the one thing that sticks in my mind. Kavanaugh had been belligerent with several Senators, so she should have been prepared, though, to give her credit, his questioning of her was more like a personal attack. She was clearly thrown by the question and I immediately envisioned her in a debate with Trump--he's a bare knuckle fighter, and if she can't respond or fight back hard, she will not win. That said, I have always considered her a strong contender for 2020. I'm really looking forward to the campaign season with so many strong candidates. The process, I hope, will put forward an outstanding candidate. It should, with this many candidates running who collectively represent the Democratic message. Both the platform and the candidate will be crucial.

  12. "The differences among most of the leading Democratic presidential candidates just aren't very big now". The main difference, I think, is that some mean exactly what they are saying, while others say what they know or assume we want to hear. It is up to us, voters, to sort them out.

  13. “In the 2020 field, two Democrats have the strongest track record of running as middle-class fighters: Amy Klobuchar and Sherrod Brown.” Both of these candidates are against Medicare For All. Over 60% of Republicans and 90% of Democrats want Medicare For All. 643,000 Americans go bankrupt each year due to medical cost. Over 30 million do not have health care insurance. Many people with insurance have deductibles of over $5,000 meaning that many cannot get treatment or delay it. Medicare for all would actually save us over $2 trillion over 10 years. So cost is not the issue, but rather corporate campaign donors If Amy Klobuchar and Sherrod Brown are not for Medicare For All, they are not fighting for the middle class.

  14. @steve I don't know where you're getting your stats, but I can assure you that 60% or Republicans do not want Medicare for All. I can tell you that 90% of the country gets their insurance through their employers and 99% of them don't want Medicare for All. Amy Klobuchar knows one thing. If she puts United Health out of business...Minneapolis will look just like Detroit from 20 years ago.

  15. @steve If they were not in favor of Medicare For All until now, you can be sure they will revise their opinion as soon as some campaign manager tells them which way the wind blows. Will you trust them then? I would not.

  16. @steve Give all the candidates a chance to lay out their positions on the health care crisis and other issues before rejecting them. Medicare for all is one possible avenue for addressing the problem, but the Medicare system does have some of its own limitations, I have found in my two years on the program. Find out what the candidates' plans are, their rationales for their approaches, and how they would implement and pay for their proposals before declaring anyone not an advocate for the middle class. That phrase certainly does not describe the Sherrod Brown that we Ohioans have come to know. There are very few Senators who have as consistently fought for the interests of the ordinary working men and women throughout their careers as Sherrod Brown has.

  17. I have yearned for many years to find a candidate in the "center". Certainly not right-wing and not too far tot he left, but someone with a common sense approach and a willingness to work with others for the good of the country. Maybe these two candidates can convince enough voters that an electable candidate with principles is the best way out of the morass that trump has created. One can only hope!

  18. I, too, prefer the more electable candidate. And I'm terrified that the Democrats will, again, find a way to lose. We'll be lucky to find a way to survive two more years of Trump. Six more years would be pushing our luck beyond endurance. And I was a Republican.

  19. @bnyc I agree, six more years of Trump may be the end of America, but I also feel democrats will find a way to lose. I think the democrats should have bold ideas, but electability in the general is paramount. So those ideas need to be tempered with reality. Talking down to half the population and calling them racists because they want border security is not going to win an election. Medicare for all and eliminating insurers, would drastically affect the people who get their insurance through employers, so the public option is a good idea, but medicare for all, while aspiration is not gonna happen yet.

  20. @thewriterstuff I cound not agree more. Trump and the republicans MUST be defeated! The democrats should not put up a candidate that the left wing of the party likes and can be easily attacked by the republicans. Choose an electable progressive candidate.

  21. @bnyc Democrats have won 6 of the last 7 presidential elections (that includes Gore and H. Clinton). The American people want a Democrat in the Oval Office. It's true that the Democrats still may find a way to lose in 2020 but historically that isn't the case.

  22. "They all favor climate action ..." This column emphasizes economic issues as the drivers for next year's election, as well it should. And to that end, climate change is everything, because if we do not concentrate on that, we will have no economic future. Climate change will drive the economies of the future, and America needs to be prepared. The Green New Deal is a necessary beginning. We cannot consider ourselves morally and ethically sound if we abdicate responsibility for future generations. It does not matter if we cannot control carbon emissions from countries like China and India at present. All of us on this earth are in the same boat. Societies actively working to develop alternative green energy technologies and who are robustly engaged in limiting their use of fossil fuels and consumption of red meat, will be the winners down the road. Policies dealing with wealth and income inequality (including increasing taxes on the rich), promoting equality with voting rights, and shoring up the social safety net (e.g., Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, and universal health care) are critical in the near-term. But properly coping with climate change is for all the marbles. We all need to be fighting the good fight by registering Democratic voters, in droves. That is one of the best things we can do, right now, to support the eventual Democratic presidential nominee. And Democrats regaining control of the presidency and Congress means everything for our future.

  23. @Blue Moon - you've highlighted the most important issue of our time, and Senator Klobuchar has been on the side of protecting our environment with a stellar voting record that even beats the estimable Senator Sanders by a few points - which means that while she was getting more laws passed than anyone else in the Senate, she didn't yield to Republican anti-science pressure to get deals done, she kept her firm commitment to protect our environment:

  24. I'm not a Democrat and i have no idea who's electable and neither does anyone else. If i wanted to vote like a drooling sheep for whoever the DNC and their donors try to game it for, i'd be a Dem. I'll vote for who i think best works in my interests. Having said that, i could be all in for Brown, but he's going to have to do better on healthcare then he is at this time. It would be awfully refreshing to be able to vote for a candidate who puts workers front and center and has walked the walk for a long time now. Hard pass on Klobuchar, who has no real vision and apparently treats her own workers as lower than dirt. Thank you but no thanks, next.

  25. @rtj I'm sorry to hear your comment on Klobuchar and how she treats her workers. I suspect neither you nor I really know the situation there. It may be true or there may be plenty of snowflakes out there who get their feelings hurt easily. The danger these days is that it's incredibly easy to throw dirt on someone. We're all in trouble if the little dust thrown at Klobuchar is enough to disqualify her in your mind. Even if it were true, how could that possibly disqualify her in the age of Trump! None of our presidents have been perfect.

  26. @rtj Hmmm, you just dissed the top candidate to date, smearing with innuendo and "dirt". Already starting, the Russian manipulation? Using a few too many set phrases, to be sure.

  27. @rtj Agreed!

  28. Run a popular Midwestern white male Senator from Ohio against Trump in 2020 (hopefully named Sherrod Brown) and watch the NY state Attorney General indict Trump the day after he leaves office in January 2021. White males and their wives from the Great Lakes states put Trump in office, and surely enough of them will be disappointed with what he's done to vote against him in 2020 if presented with a viable alternative. For Trump, 2020 means the Big House or the White House. I'm dreaming of the day in November after the next Presidential election, when Trump realizes that the biggest mistake of his life that he ever made was running for President in 2016.

  29. @george-Winter is coming, as Trump (aka Dan Scavino) opined (misappropriating The Game of Thrones' phrase). But in this case, the coming comeuppance will be when millions of Americans--hopping mad about their Trump/Republican tax increase--freeze Republicans out of office.

  30. @george "...the Big House or the White House." Will make Trump/Russia very dangerous for our country. A cornered rat will fight like a bear.

  31. @george Unlike the U.S. Attorney General, state attorneys general do not have to wait until Trump leaves office to take action. Although the USDOJ's position is that prosecuting a sitting president would be unduly disruptive, state officials can take the position that their state has little interest in whether Trump or Pence or anyone else is the one performing the duties of the POTUS. Thus, if being a defendant causes too many problems, Trump can jolly well step aside.

  32. It's clear that Trump plans on using the "socialist boogie man" card, equating the Democrats of trying to turn America into Venezuela, and that's going to resonate and consolidate his base, and maybe pull in some swing voters. While I like Warren (I believe Sanders is too old to run, but still like him too), I think somebody like Brown or Klobuchar can effectively counter that label. The key for them will be in making sure they present a progressive populist message loudly enough to win over the more liberal wing. There's a lot of things to be sorted out yet, but in the end what's more important than passing some progressive litmus test is finding the person - make or female - who can beat Trump - without that, no agenda will be possible.

  33. @Kingfish52 Every single Democrat in Congress is called a socialist at some point by the GOP. It is just what they say about anyone not in their camp. When they soft-pedal is it just an "extreme liberal". Remember how they have attacked Pelosi all these years and now we see why: she scares them big time. She is effective in her role and the GOP nearly convinced newbie Congresspeople to vote against her as leader because they knew she was formidable. Learn a lesson from that one. If the GOP hates any candidate, that means the person is powerful and effective.

  34. @nora m ~ Excellent observations! Re: "If the GOP hates any candidate, that means the person is powerful and effective." Too bad more voters in those swing states didn't realize that Hillary Clinton was hated/smeared because she was a powerful smart woman who would have made a good President.

  35. Electability is indeed the most important thing. Democrats need to have a short and relatively bloodless selection process, followed by absolute commitment to the candidate. Bernie and his supporters held their noses and withheld their votes from Clinton, so they got an historically awful president instead of one who didn’t quite toe their line. I hope that lesson has been learned.

  36. @Charlie B Really? More Bernie supporters voted for Hillary, than Hillary supporters who voted for Obama in 2008. That's why she got 3 million more votes than did Trump. Here is what Hillary supporters can learn. Americans like the ideas that Bernie proposed. A winning Democratic candidate should embrace those ideas.

  37. @Charlie B, Mark, the fact is that Hillary got more votes than Bernie in the 2016 primaries. For whatever reason, many Bernie voters didn't have the maturity to put the primaries behind them and vote in the general election for the Democrat who received the most votes. And their immaturity has cost us dearly.

  38. @Charles Dodgson I supported Bernie with donations and voted for Hillary and gave donations to her and every progressive group I could afford.

  39. Yet more infatuation with the middle from the chattering class. I think this springs from a basically one-dimensional concept of politics, by which politicians can be mapped onto a left-to-right or liberal-conservative line. In this view, you win by being just a little to the left or right of center.

  40. Americans always vote for the feelings of relatability and genuineness. (Believe it or not Trump is very genuine to his base!) As this article points out the policy differences between the announced candidates are minimal. Does the candidate feel in your gut “Authentic”? Authenticity and down to earth is what Americans vote for over and over.

  41. @Eric Blair I agree that Trump is authentic. He is very much inside what he is on the surface.

  42. They are both strong candidates and would pose a significant challenge to Trump. For me, the toughest and most mature idea developed candidate is Elizabeth Warren. Bernie and Biden need to recognize their time has passed.

  43. @Brad ... and yet, Biden's numbers are very good. Maybe if he ran with a strong, vibrant VP candidate and with a promise to "return to competency and sanity" in the presidency, it would be a win-win for all.

  44. @Brad I like Warren, too, but I believe the republican hit job has already succeeded with the same people who swallowed the poison about Secretary Clinton. Sadly,I believe she is unelectable. At least the republicans will bestuck with the crates of plastic tomahawks they’ve doubtless ordered to wave during her speeches.

  45. @Brad Thanks for voicing my same view. I hope Elizabeth Warren catches on with most folks - she’s offering real solutions. No Biden No Bernie No Bloomberg

  46. I was hopeful about Brown and Klobuchar myself. Then a look at their records certainly made me pause. Neither one touts any sort of national healthcare system - Brown has an incremental approach. And both voted for last year's military/"defense" increase. How will we ever be able to afford our increasingly desperate domestic needs if we pay $717 billion dollars per year of our tax dollars to fund new weapons of war and 800 military bases around the world? Look at the list - only eight Democratic senators voted against the increase...these included Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, and Jeff Merkley of Oregon.

  47. Thank you for this comment. I also am unaware of any ideas either of them have about our biggest problem - the environment - and how we are equitably going to deal with that problem. What I see as the moral and economic rot in this country resides in the military industrial complex, mindless patriotism tied to mindless forever wars and support for repressive right wing regimes including those in power in Saudi Arabia and Israel. A Democratic candidate who conducts foreign policy in a business as usual manner - continuing expensive violent "wars on terror" in far away countries, drone and air attacks that wreak havoc on civilians, constant regime change efforts because contrary to all evidence since the time of Vietnam we know best, Israel all good etc etc, is really a nonstarter for me although I will unenthusiastically still pull the lever for even that Democratic given Trump. But the decline in our country will continue under such a Democrat albeit a little more slowly. Indeed, it is very curious how much of the Democratic Party and almost all of the MSM fail to see any connection between the moral and economic decline internally and our out of control militarism, hundreds of bases and war mongering throughout the world. Rome anyone?

  48. @Mike1968 Mike - I agree that discussing the connection between our domestic decay - both from a moral and a physical lens- and our militarism around the world seems to be off the table for both the Democratic Party and the mainstream media. Seems to be a literal third rail. Only eight Democratic senators voted against last year's military/"defense" budget increase; fewer than forty nay votes from Democratic Congressmen/women for the same. The issue needs to be brought to public consciousness, which is why I continue to raise it in this comment section and elsewhere and hope others will as well.

  49. Don’t you think that with potential Democratic Presidential candidates having not yet announced that they are going to run in 2020 it’s just a tad premature to be discussing which Democrat has the best chance of beating Trump? Assuming he runs I think Joe Biden has the best chance of wooing Republicans away from Trump. It seems to me that too many of the current Democratic candidates think they have an advantage by virtue of the fact that they are women. It didn’t work for Hillary in 3016 and I doubt it will work in 2020 either.

  50. I'm all-in for Sherrod Brown who knows how to appeal to working class voters in the important red, but swing, state of Ohio. Yes, he's a white male, but there are many great female candidates as well as others like Stacy Abrams who would make a very formidable ticket against Donald Trump and the Republican Party. I hope Brown will decide to run because he has populist appeal to the very voters who deserted Hillary Clinton and so far he seems to have very little baggage.

  51. @Paul Wortman Dream team Brown/Abrams 2020 but I long to live in the country where it could be Klobuchar/Abrams 2020.

  52. Amy's one of my Senators--so proud of her! And love her snappy come back to Trump's tweet...he said she looked like "a snowman or woman" by the end of her speech given here in Minneapolis with snow falling...she replied, "...wonder what your hair would look like after being out in the snow!" Gotta love it. But seriously, as a woman the same age as Amy, I am just so excited to see several terrific women running...and whether it's Amy or Kamala or Liz Warren--any one of whom would be ten times the President Trump is, I am ready, as are many people to see a woman on the ticket, whether as President or as VP. Bring it on GOP. Our candidates have EVERYTHING your candidate does not: Integrity, intelligence, poise, honesty, a work ethic and a clean record. I am feeling optimistic, here in Minnesota, as the snow continues to fall.

  53. @Eva Lockhart You took all the words right out of my mouth. So many worthy candidates. We can decide who is best for our country. Let them make their case. So happy to not be talking about the size of hands this time around.

  54. @Eva Lockhart - I think Klobuchar’s comeback perfectly clobbered the taunter in chief. The trick will be to best him on the third grade level in a debate and then take the discussion only to the intellectual level where he usually gasps for air, somewhere far short of the tree line.

  55. @Eva Lockhart. And she can’t even keep a staff.

  56. Don’t you think that with potential Democratic Presidential candidates having not yet announced that they are going to run in 2020 it’s just a tad premature to be discussing which Democrat has the best chance of beating Trump? Assuming he runs I think Joe Biden has the best chance of wooing Republicans away from Trump. It seems to me that too many of the current Democratic candidates think they have an advantage by virtue of the fact that they are women. It didn’t work for Hillary in 2016 and I doubt it will work in 2020 either.

  57. @Jay Orchard No one will woo Republicans away from Trump if they still support him. That ship has sailed. And if you think Biden can win you need to think again. Not only does he have a millennial problem, he was a woman problem. I would skip the election if he were my only choice.

  58. If Klobuchar and Brown don't want to embrace medicare for all, they could certainly make a case for implementing a public option. Private insurance wouldn't go away for people who, for unfathomable reasons, want to keep dealing with the insurance companies, and the rest of us could have an alternative. At this point, employers are able to use health insurance benefits to keep employees in a state of indentured servitude. People who are older and still working but not old enough for Medicare are in a particularly vulnerable spot. They face the double peril of job loss and loss of health insurance. Those pre-existing conditions do stack up over the decades. I'd enthusiastically support medicare-for-all, but if the only way to sell publicly funded health care is to allow private insurance to survive, how about a serious discussion about allowing people to participate in a public Medicare program.

  59. @Claire Elliott, yep, a public option buy-in, with ACA-like subsidy rules, solves the most pressing issue of the non- and under-insured ... and is a clear step toward true universal coverage. But the public option should provide roughly equivalent coverage to that in the ACA plans, so they're not the alternative of last resort only; maybe two or three of them would be needed.

  60. @John D. take a look at Australia's national health care (also called Medicare) which provides health care for all for a 2% levy on income tax, and provides an option for private medical insurance to allow the option to choose a doctor/specialist, and use private instead of public hospital plus covering other extras like dental, physio etc. Lived here in Australia for 24 years (expat NewYorker) and have received top notch care from both systems. By the way, I am 82 with a myriad of pre-existing conditions and pay about $200 Australian dollars a month for private insurance. ($145 US)

  61. @P.Gorman My former student just moved from US to Australia. Her description of routine care in Australia is pretty horrifying. No one even takes vital signs ... if you had high blood pressure - the leading silent killer - it would go undiagnosed for years. Australian health insurance is cheaper than it would be in the US because Australian health care is cheaper ... and no wonder.

  62. It was very telling in the recent Mid-terms that while there were many gains for the Democrats, so many of the races were very close, and many of the results took ages to tabulate. This tells me that many of these races could have gone either way. As a matter of fact, is NC even done yet? I have not heard. What the Democrats need to do is build on their gains and add more, hopefully in the Senate. They need to turn close races into bigger wins. They should not ignore 2019 either. If there is a race out there, they should try to win it. (NYC elects their mayor during an "off" year, 2017 for instance) I am not an identity politics kind of person. I do not insist that the candidate be a certain gender or race or religion. I am neither white nor male, but I would have no trouble voting for one, if was the right "white guy". I voted for Obama twice.

  63. David himself is a devoted member of the the tepid center left. So not only does he think these people would win. He is turned on by them. So this is much more than just a pragmatic argument.

  64. @Robert Roth Brown is definitely not tepid center left. He's been fighting as a pr-worker progressive for years. He's about as left as Warren.

  65. These are the type of candidates who will win back WWC voters who supported Obama but went with Trump in ‘16. DNC and coastal media that gush over Warren, Harris, and other progressive darlings don’t get it (yet). Presidential elections are pendulum swings to the opposite of the incumbent’s worst flaw (real or perceived). JFK youth to Ike age; Carter clean to Nixon crook; Reagan decisive to Carter dither; Obama peace to Bush war; Trump raw fear to Obama intellectualized hope. And now with so many major flaws to choose from with this Trump administration we need to focus on the flaws that will turn off his soft supporters. It’s the corruption and lack of real support to issues that impact the wallets of the WWC, and these candidates have the standing to do that.

  66. @Jay Coastal here, but not gushing over anyone yet. I'm looking for candidates who truly support the "wallets of the WWC" and don't just pretend to do so. Examine closely the records of Klobuchar and Brown and make sure that they are solidly for the WWC, not just giving rhetoric. Who supported their campaigns in the past - who are they beholden to? If you/we don't like what we see - hold them to account. I'm not happy with Klobuchar and Brown voting for our endless military/"defense" budgets - this discussion needs to happen, at least going forward. Guns versus butter? So far, guns are winning by a country mile. while we've done little to support all those who are struggling.

  67. @Jay The unpleasant truth is that today's white non-college educated working class person is not your grandfather's white non-college educated working class person. Eighty years ago, there were many very intelligent people who did not attend college because of financial circumstances or because of discrimination against their race, religion or gender. Henry George, arguably the most brilliant American economist of the 19th century, left school at age 14. President Harry Truman was not a college graduate. Today, with many exceptions, someone under the age of forty who was never interested in college probably is not very smart. That could reduce their wages. That also makes them vulnerable to the lies that got Trump elected. Even some with college educations are not able to understand that NAFTA and trade agreements in general increase employment and standards of living and that immigrants are not responsible for slow economic growth. .."

  68. @Lance Brofman, Offensively stereotypical thinking regarding folks who don't have college degrees. This type of "logic" loses democrats elections.

  69. Missing from this excellent column identifying two highly electable Democrats: the foolishness of the far Left in the Democratic Party who demand Medicare for all and free college for all instead of the logical and powerful first step of expanding Medicare and Medicaid for millions more people, and reducing college costs and loan burdens. The word from GOP insiders is that it's Trump trolls trying to attack their most formidable rivals under a left wing guise - but I also wouldn't put it past David Sirota and his ilk (he just publicly attacked Kamala Harris - a member of, ostensibly, his own party - for releasing a music mix!) But Democrats are too smart to fall for that too-blatant ruse and elect Trump again. We know that Senator Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota got more laws passed than ANY other senator in 2016 - she's smart, she blew past that 'first woman senator' tagline so fast that she helps others in her state get elected, and, as a former prosecutor who dealt with criminals, she'll know exactly how to handle Trump in a debate (assuming he's not under indictment by then!) That all said, whichever candidate you are excited about, Democrats, battle for them cleanly through the primaries, and then get behind, and vote for, the Democratic nominee for president. It has never been more important.

  70. Also important to recognize: Klobuchar would be one of the best friends the far Left and every non-millionaire voter could have as we recover from Trump's foray into authoritarianism: Senator Klobuchar has already made it a priority to override Citizens United, reform election laws, and automatically register people to vote when they turn 18. She also pledged to expand laws protecting online privacy. Combine that with her bipartisan negotiating power getting more laws passed than anyone else in the Senate - she would restore the power of the vote back to the people instead of corporations, billionaires and enemies of state who want to control our democracy. There is no better first step toward real progress than that. #KlobucharforRealProgress

  71. @common sense advocate I agree completely with you. I am a strong progressive by almost any standard, and I am mystified at the "Medicare for All" or bust mentality out there in most of the primary field. My husband and I like our insurance (he is a federal retiree and we are insured through that program). We have very small co-pays and no deductibles as well as a choice of doctors and no red tape. Being switched to Medicare is not the least bit appealing to us. We'll still vote for whoever the Democratic nominee is. But I suspect moderate voters who like their insurance now (and there are 10s of millions of them) will not, especially after the fiasco and high costs of the Obamacare rollout. Having a Medicare buy-in and strong, affordable public option with better subsidies provides quality access for all. This is such an obvious, sensible route to take that I'm surprised there aren't more people like Kobluchar suggesting it. She has had my support from the start.

  72. @Brenda - I hear you, and in addition to many people not wanting to leave their current plans - Klobuchar's immediate priority of expanding Medicare and Medicaid rolls to include millions of the uninsured will save thousands of lives and improve the lives of millions.

  73. It's not just about electability and the ability to govern. It's also about coattails. 2020 needs to be a wave election. Besides beating Trump soundly, the Democratic candidate needs to generate enough enthusiasm in red(ish) states to help the Democrats win back the Senate. Without the Senate, Medicare for All is a fever dream either as a replacement for private insurance or as a voluntary buy-in option. So is any aggressive movement on income inequality or climate change. Or voting rights. Or a Supreme Court that believes it has a role to play in protecting the rights of ALL Americans. 2020 is not just about beating Trump. It's about taking back the three branches of government from a dishonest Party complicit in attacks on democractic institutions. The GOP cannot govern without the presidency but they can still obstruct with the Senate. They should be stopped.

  74. @LT I totally agree. It's important that the Democratic candidate brings out never-before and infrequent voters to not only win the Presidency, but to also take back the Senate & keep the House. The Republicans are destroying our country, with or without Trump, and too many Americans don't seem to understand that.

  75. @LT You make an incredibly important point. Everyone who dreams of ideological purity in the Democratic nominee needs to stop and think about this. In 2020 there are two things on the ballot: 1) The White House. This is obviously goal #1, it is so important. But we have to also keep in mind goal #2. 2) Congress, and especially the Senate. Without capturing the Senate, all that ideological purity will be wasted and we'll be in for another cycle of gridlock. Specifically, no Medicare for All (or any improvement on health coverage at all)without the Senate. Also, it is likely that at least two liberal (and perhaps a conservative) SCOTUS judges will be up for nomination in 2021 - 2024. The Senate will be crucial in the next cycle. And how do Democrats retake the senate? Maybe Maine and Colorado. But they need two more, given that Alabama will likely be lost to Republicans again. And where else will Democrats get a win? Montana, Iowa, North Carolina, Arizona... Democrats need a candidate with coattails in those states too. By all means give ideological purity air time to set the agenda for future cycles. But in this one, when choosing the candidate, focus on the way to make measurable headway on the progressive agenda.

  76. @Manuel Great points ! The Senate is probably more important than dumping his unfitness. Why, you say?? Impeachment becomes a reality if Dems have both the House and Senate, the crimes of trump and his family will become front and center and the Repubs in the Senate will be malleable so impeachment and jail for the miscreants via the SDNY is not a stretch. If one of those republicans could be McConnell the rest will fold.

  77. I think I was right when I said the Dems intend to fight the 2020 campaign on their dislike of Mr. Trump, not their ideas. I think they know the extremism of their ideas will sink them, so if they keep quiet on that front on concentrate on how much they don't like Mr. Trump, how tired we all are of his unconventional presidency, and how much everybody should want to return to presidential normality, they believe they can win. To that end, a known quantity, a boring centrist candidate, is their strongest bet; one who can pull disaffected centrist Republicans into their orbit. They don't have to worry about losing the far left vote because they have nowhere else to go and hopefully have learned their lesson about supporting third party candidates. Well, who does all this point to? Hillary, of course--sorry!

  78. @Ronald B. Duke You would have voted against FDR four times, I suppose?

  79.’re kidding, right?

  80. Wanted: A candidate for president who is not beholden to too many special interests, and who would like to win the election by working hard, articulating clearly where he/she stands on issues that matter most to a majority of Americans, and who has a clear and verifiable record of public service and putting others ahead of self as a part of his/her current position. Other attributes for this position we are striving to fill are honesty, a sense of humor, and a willingness to work with others who are more knowledgeable about certain areas of national and international importance. Preferable candidates will be able to form and articulate clear and concise, to-the-point statements to all Americans, and not only to one's base or cronies. We are not interested in any flash-in-the-pan candidates who are overly chummy with network pundits and scandal-mongers, or who spend their free time tweeting. Any candidate for this position who enjoys entangling themselves in a quagmire of personal business mixed with governing, innumerable personal and/or financial scandals, the hiring of questionable advisors and personal "fixers," or dog whistling to racist groups need not apply. We look forward to receiving your dossiers, including tax forms, work history, and recommendations from constituents, colleagues, the titans of business, industry, academia and from anywhere else where you have significant ties to average Americans.

  81. @furnmtz Ah. So no politicians need apply....

  82. Perhaps the best thing that could happen would be for the Democratic Party to nominate either of these two, and then have them lose. Trump is an engine for creating Socialists, and we are going to need millions more of them if we are going to save the planet. The stakes are far higher than the mere presidency of the United States. We need a new global economy focused on the commonwealth, instead of on the primitive accumulation of personal wealth. If four more years of Trump gets us to a real solution, rather than just another moderate Democratic speed bump on the road to extinction, then we need to bear that burden for our children and grandchildren.

  83. @Walter Bruckner, That's certainly taking the long view, but it feels like a reckless gambit. Given what Trump has "accomplished" in two years, imagine what his soi disant "mandate" would look like if he were reelected. That would be more than not having speed bumps on the road to extinction, it would be removing the speed limit.

  84. @Walter Bruckner - there would be NOTHING more dangerous than handing the election Trump again! The cancers he's causing by deregulating toxic chemicals, the water supplies he's poisoning, the women's reproductive rights he's attacking, gerrymandering and voter suppression, the guns he's pushing, his treaty withdrawal and arms race with Russia, his attacks on a free press, and 100 Trump-appointed alt-right judges and 2 Supreme Court justices eradicating civil rights for decades! This isn't just 4 years you are sentencing the U.S. to - Trump's impacts will last for generations, and some will permanently scar our people and our environment. But even though we disagree on how dangerous it would be to have Trump infect the presidency for 4 more years, I know that you will support Senator Klobuchar's drive to restore voting rights, automatic voter registration for 18-year-olds, overturning Citizen's United, and protect our online privacy. Because Klobuchar got more Legislation passed than any other senator - we know she has the horsepower and the negotiating skills to restore voting rights to individuals instead of corporations and oligarchs. Restoring the right to vote is the most urgent first step towards any progressive platform. #KlobucharForRealProgress

  85. @Walter Bruckner I am not sure what your true colors are but your kind of thinking got us Bush in 2000 and Trump in 2016. Enough voted for Ralph Nader who preached there was no difference between the parties and we needed someone other than Gore. We wouldn't have the climate concerns we have had Gore been elected and we wouldn't have invaded Iraq on false pretenses. Then Jill Stein and others (see Susan Sarandon and Bernie Sanders' followers) took critical votes away from Hillary Clinton. Had Clinton won we wouldn't have Kavanaugh and Gorsuch on the Supreme Court; we wouldn't have pulled out of the Paris Climate agreement, dissed NATO or abandoned our allies in Europe and Asia. And we would be doing more about the environment, healthcare and justice. So you play the long game and vote for trump hoping it will spur more socialistic enthusiasm for 2024. Not me and hopefully not any right minded voter. We can't wait that long. I want him out yesterday, actually 2 years ago.

  86. Klobuchar. Brown is about as exciting as white bread without butter or jelly. Klubuchar is young, attractive in her looks and personality, sharp (she's a lawyer), midwestern and a woman, which will help he in this cycle. Additionally, she doesn't come with a lot of baggage. The whole "mistreatment of her underlings" thing, if there is indeed anything to it, will blow over, and, whatever it is, it is NOTHING compared to the way Trump treats people — like the illegal immigrants he has been employing and paying 20% of the going wage for skilled jobs, for example. She should pick a relatively non-threatening minority person as her running mate, and she should run on the issues as she sees them. Trump's got nothing to sell but xenophobia -- no accomplishments other than giving himself and his rich friends a tax break. As another commenter said, once we kick his *ss ot of the White House, let's send it to the Big House — then beef up our cyber defenses and sanction Russia until it shrinks into oblivion

  87. What do you mean by “non-threatening”? To whom? Why? Poor word choice or thoughtlessness or worse?

  88. Thank you for mentioning how trump treats his subordinates - look at the turnover in the White House and the never ending books regarding how dysfunctional it is.

  89. The choice between ideology and electability is a false one. Candidates win by re-setting the terms & changing the debate more often than by passing some ideological litmus test designed to appeal to "swing voters" or moderates. Of course defeating Trump is urgent, but re-establishing the country's right to have meaningful political debates & elections instead of manipulated food-fights is equally urgent.

  90. @Martin "Candidates win by re-setting the terms & changing the debate more often than by passing some ideological litmus test designed to appeal to "swing voters" or moderates." I could have written this myself, except that you wrote it much better. And the debate changes even more once they are in office.

  91. Regarding David's assessment of Texas Democrats falling short in the 2018 election, he is speaking primarily, if not solely, about Ted Cruz's survival of Beto O'Rourke's challenge. This narrow perspective ignores the effect of Beto's coattails on down-ballot races, which were impressive and to this day still cause palpitations in the Texas Republican Party. Our Sen. John Cornyn is on the agenda for 2020 and I'm sure he's rooting for Beto to run against Trump instead of taking aim at the Senate a second time. Beto is, if anything, more popular today than he was election eve last November. In the meantime, Sen. Cruz has done zero for the state of Texas, which is par for his course for the entirety of his 1st term in Washington. Two more years of increasing numbers of Latino and black voters coming of age, bolstered by the influx of new residents hailing from California and other Democrat-heavy states do not bode well for state-wide office candidates from US Senate on down. Beto is the last person Cruz would hope to have to face in 6 years. His 2.6% margin of victory was the closest any Republican running for statewide office has come to losing in more than a quarter of a century. Republicans' winning margins are typically in the 10-20% or higher range. In 2020, Beto will be neither a wild card nor a black horse if he chooses to run, regardless of which race he picks. He is a force to be reckoned with.

  92. @Glen I agree with much of what you said, but let's face it, Cruz is disliked much more than Cornyn. I would expect Cornyn to do better against Beto than Cruz did.

  93. I was all enthusiastic about Sen. Klobuchar after her measured, non-bombastic performance at the Kavanaugh hearing. (Cf. Harris, Booker.) But, inasmuch as I've worked for elected officials who abused their staffs or let senior staff abuse the junior staff, I have no tolerance for people who misbehave this way. Usually, staff have no reason to make false complaints. If she's guilty of it, I can't support her for any public office. It's really disappointing for me. Tulsi Gabbard would be an appealing candidate. She served in the Army. She resigned as vice chairwoman of the Democratic National Committee, presumably over its shenanigans to implant Hillary Clinton as the party's candidate. She met with Bashar al Assad, sensible if one thinks talking with one's political opponents is a good idea, as opposed to telling them they have to quit public office first and then you'll talk with them, as foreign policy mavens are wont to do, with a decades-long string of failures ranging from Castro to Assad. Against that, though, she seems to have retreated from a nasty form of homophobia she embraced many years ago to a weird one, in which she enthusiastically agrees that gays and lesbians are entitled to legal protection but is iffy about their full humanity. That makes me uncomfortable, even though I'm the last person to embrace identity politics and only use the adjective "woke" derisively. I would vote for her, though, based on all I know now.

  94. I see the ticket of these two fine public servants as exactly what the Democratic Party needs to bring an end this national nightmare. They are smart, come from key areas of the Midwest, and have positions which are solid and immune from serious criticism from all but Mr. Trump's most vociferous supporters - for whom nothing but "slash and burn" whatever comes out of the mouth of a member of the Democratic Party is sufficient. Most importantly, their positions on the important issues of the day make sense, are not over the top, and will appeal to a broad range of voters - because they make sense. So welcome Senator Klobuchar, and hope to say the same to Senator Brown. I am getting excited about 2020!

  95. As things are going, I expect trump will not be in the running come 2020. I am looking for the most qualified candidate to restore respect and trust with our allies, especially trust. That is where trump has done the greatest damage to our country. Assuming Democrats hold their majority in the House and gain a majority in the Senate, Congress will be able to begin the healing process domestically. But the healing of foreign relations must come from a strong, honest, compassionate president.

  96. "About 56 percent preferred the more electable candidate." Thank goodness. If the Democrats nominate an anti-business extremist, we would be stuck with Trump for another 4 years.

  97. @BobC In a country where businesses are allowed to destroy the climate and banks are allowed to wreck the economy, because people are conned into being afraid of "anti-business extremists" that don't exist, what we really need is a real information and real debate.

  98. @BobC By anti-business extremist do you mean someone who might object to giving business more huge tax breaks while pushing for a complete lack of regulation?

  99. Of all the women running, Klobuchar is far and away the most electable. As we say, she's got it going on! She is a rock solid midwesterner. She profusely emanates midwestern culture and values. This is a really big deal, bigger than many realize. Coastal types are severely despised throughout much of middle America and of course, the deep south. She has the smarts to do the job but she does not come across like an Ivy professor. Unfortunately, when a politician throws around too much brain power, that turns far too many off. She is reachable and people can relate to her. She is like a Sherrod Brown with lots of personality and spunk. Her policies are progressive but not so much as to alienate masses of red state Americans. Change has to be incremental. The Arabs keep telling us that regarding modernity, but the same principle applies here. People fear radical, sudden change, even if they are miserable. They long for the familiarity of the status quo. She can give one heck of a speech. Rhetorical skills still do matter. Her sharp wit will be a perfect weapon against Trump's childish name calling. I can see her saying in a debate, "Looks like someone needs to time out." She has all the ingredients to soundly beat Trump. His minions are already out trolling her claiming that she is rough to work for. If she were a man, that would be called leadership. That's what we need. Someone who can put the hammer down.

  100. @Bruce Rosenblit - outstanding post! You are exactly right - and, in a 2016 tally, she got more laws passed than any other senator, and as a former prosecutor, she'll have no trouble at all calling out Trump's lies when he's in the witness stand, ahem, debate podium!

  101. @Bruce Rozenblit As one of Amy's constituents, I concur completely. We have been fortunate to have had her as our Senator for the last 14+ years. Many say she is too "Minnesota nice". And then others say that she is difficult to work for. What I would say is that she is as demanding of others as she is of herself. She works hard but has not always sought the limelight, so some think she hasn't accomplished much. Actually, she has gotten more bills passed in the last year than anyone while working in the minority. That is because she truly wants to work for the people and doesn't care if someone else gets some (or all) of the credit. As for not being far enough left for the Dems, she is plenty progressive with ideas that can bring people together. She grew up in our area and I would be proud to call her Madam President.

  102. @Bruce Rozenblit People fear radical change? Did you pay attention to Trump's campaign. He campaigned on tearing down the government. And perhaps someone can explain why that for Democrats slow and moderate is the way to go while the Republicans have been successful with candidates from Reagan to Trump who have been anything but.

  103. The reality is that none of the candidate so far have any chance of beating Trump. Not only will he comfortably win 2020 the Republicans will get another two terms with Mike Pence. It will be a long time before the Democrats take the presidency unless they find a inspirational and intelligent candidate which is looking highly unlikely. But anything could happen.

  104. You’ve already said that in this thread and it’s just as wrong the second time as it was the first.

  105. Oh please. By the time 2020 roles around, if he isn’t impeached or in prison that is, an earthworm will be able to beat him. People are getting tired of the constant unrelenting chaos. Even the people he was able to con into voting for him.

  106. @ST ...OMG! That is the most depressing comment I’ve seen in a long long time.

  107. "They [the swing voters] are typically patriotic and religious." It's a quibble but I take issue with the first part of this statement. The swing voters are "typically patriotic" as compared to the resistance? As compared to the Democrats? As compared to others who might vote for Klobuchar or Brown? Do patriotism and religious (i.e., conservative Christian) mean the same thing? Just what does it mean to be a patriot? That is a timely and important question. Mr. Trump and his Trump Republicans have often accused his critics of being unpatriotic. Trump and his Trump Republicans would have us believe that patriots worship the cloth flag itself, genuflect before the military, never criticize the president, do not speak out or exercise the right of peaceful protest. We the critics disagrees. The flag is a symbol of our aspirations and values, including such things as democracy and the free press. The military reports to civilian leadership. True patriots must be skeptical, hard thinking, outspoken, tolerant, decent, concerned about the least among us.

  108. @Robert Patriot: “My country, right or wrong; if right, to be kept right; and if wrong, to be set right.” Carl Schurz, 1872 What the GOP doesn't get is the last part. Being a patriot means confronting and changing what is wrong.

  109. @Robert No one much likes it when I say it, but since the days of lapel flagpins in the late 60’s to the present I’ve become totally negative about the American flag. As a teacher I always left out the added “under god” part and would have stayed seated had I had the courage. I’m ok with people putting up a flag on special days like July 4th or Memorial Day, but I can be pretty sure that anyone flying them privately year round is likely a hard right republican and trump enabler. As good old John Prine sings, “Your flag decal won’t get you into heaven anymore.”

  110. Not questioning would have meant us still being a Britidh Criwn colony What are the phoney whiney “ patriots “ afraid of? Real progress for all

  111. At first I was leery of the amount of Democrats running, and wished for bad old days of smoked filled, back room politics. I thought it was getting to be like a menu in a Greek diner, too much from which to choose. But lately, I’ve been inclined to enjoy the candidates, and their differing opinions. Who knows, they may all listen to the people and in the end compromise their positions. A little socialism and little centrist and a lot more honesty. God, don’t we as a nation need that the most. So Amy Klobuchar give us your ideas. We’re all listening.

  112. @David J It's important to remember that a lot of Democrats entering the field is really excellent. There are 18 jobs to fill quickly. 15 Cabinet positions, Attorney General, Vice president and, President. One of the worst of many bad things about the Trump administration is most, maybe all of those 18 jobs are filled with people that are inappropriate to have filled those positions. Also, they don't survive in the Trump circus long. Let hope for a strong 2020 team that can hit the ground running and stay on track and get things actually done.

  113. @Anne, good point. I hadn’t thought of it that way. I hope Americans aren’t that complacent that they haven’t realized that not one of trump’s cabinet is qualified for the position they hold.

  114. Senator Klobuchar looks like a winner. Perhaps Jon Tester would like to run as her VP and I predict they can win the hearts and minds of Middle Americans. I also have no problem with Senator Klobuchar demanding excellence from her staff. Results matter. How you get there is a matter of preference. America deserves results, I think Amy can deliver. Klobuchar-Tester in 2020.

  115. We Dems may be pushing too hard on Medicare for All: People with workplace insurance want to keep it and not go with Medicare for All. Republicans don't want it either. Fortunately, though, other ideas, some overlooked, are out there, for instance: Medicare-X Provides Low-Cost, High-Quality Care In Every Zip Code "U.S. Senators Tim Kaine (D-VA) and Michael Bennet (D-CO) introduced legislation to create Medicare-X, a public plan that would offer families, individuals, and small businesses additional, low-cost health insurance choices and create more competition in the marketplace. The Medicare-X Choice Act would build on the Medicare framework to establish a public insurance plan offered on the individual and small business health exchanges, allowing Americans to choose among the existing private insurance plans or a public one." Medicare X sounds affordable, do-able, and acceptable even to nay-sayers like Bloomberg and Howard Schultz. (To learn more, Google it or go to Senator Tim Kaine's website.)

  116. @Jim Muncy People can keep their employer-provided insurance only if it's still available. Once this Medicare option is available, what's to stop employers from dropping their plans and sending people out to buy their own? Why present a half plan when you can just do it right the first time? There's no "pushing too hard" on this issue. If candidates aren't willing to even talk about Medicare-for-all, we'll never get it. Plant the seeds now and keep growing the idea, even if it can't happen overnight. Democrats need to start playing the long game. We're where we are now because that's what Republicans have been doing for decades, while Dems have just been saying "We can't do that right now."

  117. @Jim Muncy I cannot see any scenario where current Medicare beneficiaries are not given substantial economic incentives to support the new arrangement. Those are the only ones who have to be given enough if monopsonistic healthcare price control system such as Medicare-for-all has any chance of being enacted. After that, there are various interests that may or may not be given incentives or compensation to go along. Those incentives could be permanent or phased out over time. The first reaction from many current Medicare beneficiaries to the idea of Medicare-for-all, might be related to the issue of others getting immediately what they have paid into for many years while they did not get any benefits. At minimum, current Medicare beneficiaries would chafe at the idea of having to pay new taxes to pay for Medicare-for-all, and not getting anything for those taxes, other than the Medicare already have now. The proposed status of current Medicare beneficiaries will be the key factor if a Medicare-for-all type system has a chance of being enacted. To put it bluntly, current Medicare beneficiaries will have to be bought-off. One fair way to garner the support of current Medicare beneficiaries would be to grant them a special deduction that could be applied to their adjusted gross income for Federal income tax purposes. The special deduction could be the total amount paid for Medicare tax by both themselves in all years that they were...

  118. I would remind the Baby Boomers that they’re taking more out of the system than they put in. Someone needs to point out that they will very soon be subsidized, bigly, and that paying a little more in tax is the least they could do to compensate their children and grandchildren have

  119. Do not underestimate Donald Trump. He was able to defeat 16 Republican presidential candidates most of whom were career politicians. He also defeated Hillary Clinton who was destined to win but didn't. She also had had some political experience. President Trump can hold his own against any Democratic candidate. He did it once and he can do it again. President Trump will win in 2020.

  120. @WPLMMT But trump did not win the popular vote; he lost it by almost three million. It was only because we use the antiquated Electoral College that he won. It is truly time now to have the supposed "One man/one vote" in order for every man and woman in the country eligible to vote to have each vote counted.

  121. @Frances The Russians helped, too. And so did the media. Hillary made some grave errors in judgment, which didn't help, and neither did the DNC. And the other candidates whom Trump bullied out of the competition were too gentlemanly to stand up for themselves, so what hope would we have that they would have stood up to a real threat instead of a player? Hopefully, the Democrats have learned from the mistakes made in the 2016 election.

  122. @WPLMMT Its not 2016 anymore. People know Trump better now and don't like what they see.

  123. "One was a candidate whom the voter agreed with on most issues but who might struggle to beat President Trump." Missing from this report is what characteristics, if any, the Monmouth pollsters identified as disadvantageous for a Trump challenger. Or were electability criteria left open to the respondent's interpretation? Many contend that Bernie Sanders could have defeated Trump handily in 2016. It would be interesting to know whether this poll got any information that supports or casts doubt on that contention.

  124. Polls that showed Sanders easily beating Trump are based on the rampant ignorance of the social media set. Sanders was never attacked by the Republicans in 2016...the reason being that they were smart enough to know that he was doing their dirty work for them. And they were right. He poisoned Hillary with enough voters to swing the electoral college votes of three normally blue states to make Trump the president. If they had started to believe that he was a serious opponent, they had plenty to hit him with. For instance,his early on overt friendliness with extreme leftist dictators like the Castros and Daniel Ortega. Ortega being the one that is currently viciously oppressing dissent in Nicaragua. Sanders went down and met with him and then came back to sing his praises to Reagan. They would also have been very willing to site the fact that Sanders has been in Congress for around THIRTY YEARS with pretty much nothing major to show for it. Even Hillary never really attacked Sanders much. She pointed out his voting history on gun control and that was about it. She showed respect for his candidacy just in case he became the nominee. Wish he had have shown her the same. Sanders was one of the bigger reasons the lunatic Trump won.

  125. It's very odd to exclude Warren as a top fighter for the middle class - her proposals to tax the wealthy are enormously popular, as is Medicare For All. Medicare For All not a winning issue? so speaks a man with a great corporate health plan. Time to get out of the office, David!

  126. @AF The probability of the 2020 election resulting in a change in the tax code that significantly reverses the massive shift in the in the tax burden away from the rich and onto the middle class is still very probably low as long as the Democrats continue to combine such tax proposals with plans to spend the proceeds. However, a plan to raise taxes on those with assets above $50 million and/or incomes above $10 million and use all of the proceeds to reduce the taxes on everyone else might have a much higher probability of being enacted. It is hard to envision the Democrats being politically savvy or ideologically flexible enough to embrace a policy of directly shifting the tax burden away from the middle class and onto the rich. The Democrats have generally been deluded in their belief that the current level of taxes on the middle class is politically sustainable. In Hilary Clinton's speech announcing her candidacy, she said that the middle class pays too much taxes. She never mentioned a middle class tax cut again, which severely hurt her chances in the general election. Most Democrat politicians are not aware that by far the best thing government could do for most middle-class households would be to lower their taxes. Thus, in many cases, middle-class voters have been willing to grasp at any chance they think could lower their tax burden, and thus support candidates who promise them a tax cut, no matter how odious the candidate.."

  127. But most voters do have corporate health insurance plans they like. So when you push "Medicare for all, get rid of insurance companies," they hear "we want to take away your health insurance". Good luck with that.

  128. The good news for Republicans is that a candidate with an actual legislative record and experience, and who isn’t a socialist, doesn’t stand a chance.

  129. It would be refreshing if even Democratic presidential contenders ran on virtues related to the executive branch - the budget, their vision for various agencies, imperial versus deferential view of powers, their cabinet team, experience as governor of a large state, foreign policy direction. Running on a legislative agenda for an executive office, as everyone seems to be doing, makes little sense to me. I know, "vision for party and country" and all that. But still. For example with Klouchbar, her skill in legislating seems like an argument for keeping her in the Senate. We need good people there too, perhaps even more so.

  130. The results of your survey sounds like people are more hoping to get rid of Trump than they are willing to support the people who stand for the things they say they want. I get it. If Trump is on the ballot, I'll vote for any Democrat running. (i'll probably do that anyway.) We should all be wary of letting the Republicans pick our candidates. What you say about the progressives having no place else to go is also true for the moderates. The field is just getting started. I'm not really up on Klobuchar yet, but from what I read of her she has had a lot of success passing bills on noncontroversial issues, mixed with a couple of spoonsfull of good old Midwestern judgementalism. I'll be interested in seeing how she hopes to tackle health care (fever dream? Please!), taxation, and the Middle East. It won't be enough to build a better world for kids and puppies. (Not that there's anything wrong with that.) I realize that the more progressive candidates will be easier to attack, but the Republicans will try to blacken any name followed by a D. It would be hard to see a retreat to the status quo, even if it was the only way to defeat Trump. The real question in my mind is whether or not the Democratic party can resist doing business as usual.

  131. Beating Trump is not enough. We must stop igniting processes of climate change that will continue to wipe out conditions of human life on Earth. Klobuchar? She leads the Senate in passing bills -- in a Senate controlled by coal-state Mitch McConnell. As president, she would lead more steps approved by coal-state Mitch McConnell. As we move past the point of no return in igniting forces of climate change. Might as well nominate and elect the original: Neville Chamberlain. PS -- It was cruel to liken Sherrod Brown to Klobuchar.

  132. @Dick Purcell Mitch McConnell will probably still be in charge of the Senate beyond 2020. It would be great if he weren't, but he probably will. So our progressive policies will need to pass his Senate.

  133. I’ve voted for Amy Klobuchar in 3 senate races, but I have a hard time considering her for President. Her nuts and bolts approach to legislating and tendency to avoid controversial issues works well in congress but isn’t the leadership role I’d expect from a President. I would be happy to be proven wrong, however.

  134. @TraymnWhat about Klobuchar as running mate for Sanders or Warren?

  135. We need radical activists to press hard on climate control, justice and peace issues and the rest. But let's not confuse the issue by trying to elect an activist. If we try, we may lose. And what activist worth their salt can ever conceive of pushing the button or ordering drone strikes. Let's leave the activism to McKibben and his ilk. Let's just hope it's Klobuchar he's pressuring from the left.

  136. I refuse to speculate, or make up my mind about anyone this early in the race. We need to know more about each candidate, and you can bet that we will be looking for coverage of all of the candidates, not just a favored one or two.

  137. There's only one potential Democratic presidential candidate who would take modern-day Ohio, and that's Sherrod Brown, who was a true progressive long before most people "got woke." And by winning Ohio, the presidency would be his.

  138. @corvid Trump and some of his advisers assert that Trump is a free trade advocate who wants to eliminate all tariffs and trade restrictions. In that respect Trump could be thought of as less likely to destroy the world trading system than he truly committed protectionists like Peter Navarro, Bernie Sanders and Sherrod Brown who are prime examples of the "progressivism of fools" branch of protectionists. The only objective of tariffs supported by those protectionists is to transfer wealth to the employees and owners of favored domestic producers. That the costs and losses to the rest of Americans far exceeded the gains to the employees and owners of favored domestic producers is never a concern of the "progressivism of fools" branch. One tactic the USA has used to get the upper hand in trade negotiations was to use American women to do the face-to-face negotiation. Many foreign cultures were unused to dealing with women at that level. This gave the USA an advantage when negotiating the trade deals, that made America the worlds' largest and strongest economy. It is distressing that many leftist protectionists like senators Bernie Sanders and Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) were so quickly able to go from complaining that trade deals like NAFTA and the TPP were examples of corporate America exploiting the workers of the world, to agreeing with Trump's false assertion that the trade deals were one sided against American business interests..."

  139. Thanks so much for giving us both sides of every debate NYT, not just the far right, but the center right too. Balanced, and fair. Well done sir.

  140. @Garrett Clay In the age of Trump the division is between those who refuse to think and those who feel compelled to think. The conflict is not between right and left. Trump’s base is terrified of complexity. Donald and his staff offer answers that in the long run will only make matters worse.

  141. One of the reasons we spend so much of the GDP on health care is health insurance. So if moderates run on cutting the cost of healthcare while leaving health insurance alone, they will have trouble fulfilling their promises, and not fulfilling promises like reining in the cost of health care leads to disillusioned voters that Republicans are expert in wooing.

  142. @sdavidc9 Medical prices are controlled in various ways in the rest of the developed world. In Japan, all medical care prices are listed in a book. The prices set in the book are usually less than a third of those in the USA. An MRI that costs $1,200 in the USA costs $88 in Japan. Japanese insurance companies are private as are most doctors. Japan spends less than a third per capita on medical care than America. However, the Japanese are greater consumers of medical care than Americans. They visit doctors and hospitals more often, have much more diagnostic tests such as MRIs. They also have better health outcomes as measured by all metrics such as life expectancy. They also wait less for treatment than Americans do as Japanese doctors work much longer hours for their much lower incomes. Japan's explicit price controls are roughly emulated in other countries via the use monopsonistic systems. Monopsony, meaning "single buyer" is the flip side of monopoly. A monopolist sets prices above free market equilibrium. A monopsonist sets prices below free market equilibrium. It does not matter if there is an actual single payer or many buyers (or payers) whose prices are set by the government or by insurance companies in collusion with each other. More competition among sellers generally leads to lower prices. However, more competition among buyers leads to higher prices..."

  143. I think it's far too soon to identify the 'most likely to defeat Trump' label. Winning big at home is no guarantee of winning big all over, or at the very least, in those states David Leonhardt lists as critical to denying Donald Trump his victory. But what the columnist does nail in a big way is how close most of the declared candidates (except Bloomberg, who is close to announcing) are to each other's positions. I have a relative who despairs "the Democrats can't get their act together." To which I reply, well they certainly did in the mid-terms, and while all politics are local, they had the unified power and support of the DNC. We are only at the beginning. I want to see these folks move beyond the excitement of their announcements and onto the debate stage which should show which have the sharpest minds and ability to think on their feet.

  144. It’s time to get back to midwestern values. Forget about celebrities. Forget about anyone from New York or the west coast. Oprah couldn’t beat Trump. Big names aren’t going to get it. Bernie and Warren are too far left. Love them but it is not going to happen. Stabilize the country. Restore order to our institutions of government. It always happens. Elect Republicans. They go wild with tax cuts and deregulation. Economy tanks. Elect Democrats to clean up their mess. Repeat.

  145. @Lake trash Yeah, I'm tired of the cycle as you describe it and want to get off. And there is nothing radical about Sanders or Warren, even if Sanders does claim to be too good to be a Dem. On the issues, Warren and Sanders are where most Republican voters are. I'm done with Democratic self-consureship in the name of eking out "victories" without a mandate to do anything with them except clean up after Republicans.

  146. Brown is dull in manner and dull in intellect. He has few good ideas. Klubacher, on the other hand, is bright and personable. Women don't get to be Senator without skills (some men do). Please don't lump the two of them together. At best, he's a VP candidate who might deliver Ohio. I think he would become the Democratic Dan Quayle if nominated as VP. . As for those who think Klubacher is insufficiently liberal, Congress writes the laws. If we have a Democratic president and a Democratic congress, the laws that will make it through will be determined by the most right wing Democratic Senators, not the president. Furthermore, there's climate change, tax reform to address inequality, and Medicare for all. You can't do all at once. Given the history of health reform, the Democrats should leave Medicare for all to last.

  147. @Tom The biggest falsehood promulgated by Trump and many of the (mostly Democrat party) politicians who oppose NAFTA and other trade agreements is that America has entered into terrible trade deals. This is particularly dangerous, because so many people who are now vehemently opposed to Trump appear to have bought into it. The exact opposite is the truth. The USA may not be number one in everything, but we are definitely number one in negotiators and lawyers. If two foreign countries, say Brazil and Argentina were in a trade related dispute, both sides will usually hire American negotiators and lawyers. One tactic the USA has used to get the upper hand in trade negotiations was to use American women to do the face-to-face negotiation. Many foreign cultures were unused to dealing with women at that level. This gave the USA an additional advantage when negotiating the trade deals, that made America the worlds' largest and strongest economy. It is distressing that many leftist protectionists like senators Bernie Sanders and Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) were so quickly able to go from complaining that trade deals like NAFTA and the TPP were examples of corporate America exploiting the workers of the world, to agreeing with Trump's false assertion that the trade deals were one sided against American business interests..."

  148. If there is anything to be learned from Barack Obama it is that it is not enough to get elected - we need someone who is going to be able to change the national conversation. What Democrats really can't afford is another Democrat who tries - and fails - to meet the other side on their ground, using their terms. We can't afford to have a President who let's the impression stand that both sides are at fault, who believes in compromise for compromise's sake. The Republican party has been led rightward by it's extremely conservative leadership, and the so called moderates in congress have all marched in lockstep. Any Democrat will have a good chance against Trump, as long as the contenders don't form a circular firing squad and democratic voters don't let Donald Trump manipulate them into choosing the candidates he wants. He typically says the opposite of what is true, so if he says he would love to run against Warren as an opponent, you can bet he doesn't. I don't think reporters have any idea what the public wants. Remember Dewey vs. Truman. If nice won elections, Donald Trump wouldn't be President, and the NewsHour would have more viewers than Fox and Friends.

  149. @DebbieR Do you recall anything about the 2016 election? Anything at all? Like who drew the crowds, who had a clear message versus appeals to emotion? The effect of Obama's economy on his own voters who had elected him? the effects of U.S. results internationally on our country? Who had three or six events in a day versus who was happy doing two a week? Had you paid attention to news sources not sworn to one candidate, you'd have had a much clearer understanding of why the election went the way it did. Now's a great time to drop the sources that told you all the incorrect ''facts'' and then spread out your reading over multiple sites. Even big-city papers across thecountry don't all agree with each other.

  150. @DebbieR Focus on taking back the senate.

  151. The middle ground is there for the taking, the Trump experiment is over for the voters who couldn't vote for HRC. If Shultz and Bloomberg both run, and even if they don't run, the democrats will have to convert to a centrist stance, or lose.

  152. If the Democrats want to ignore Progressives then they can run without us working their campaigns, giving donations, or voting for them.

  153. @Samuel Mello It's a big country, Samuel. If you want legislation that suits California progressives to a T, you'd better pass it in California. If Democrats are to win the Presidency and the Senate, there will be Democrats in office who will be significantly to your right. Sorry, but them's the facts. You can choose to pout and not support the party, but the alternative is a Trump or a Pence.

  154. @ Samuel Mello So you're saying that if you can't have everything your way, you would prefer to abandon your progressive principles, and everything good that a more moderate Democratic agenda ( which would no doubt include many progressive programs ) might accomplish, in favor of sitting it out and taking the very large risk that the Trump and the GOP continue to drag down our country? If that's the case, I would say you have a bigger problem than your misunderstanding of how politics works: I can hardly think of anything in life that works without some compromise.

  155. @Samuel Mello It's this kind of fit of pique that gave us the current administration and it's effects on the judiciary, climate change, civil rights, clean air and water. It seems you have not been affected where it hurts. Do you even care about those who have been? What part of the Klobuchar message that you can be progressive and electable is not pure enough? My father used to recite a ditty about a hapless motorist when commenting on the dangers of Being Right" to the point of self destruction- "He was right, dead right as he sped along, and he's just as dead as if he'd been wrong."

  156. The probability of the 2020 election resulting in a change in the tax code that significantly reverses the massive shift in the in the tax burden away from the rich and onto the middle class is still very probably low as long as the Democrats continue to combine such tax proposals with plans to spend the proceeds. However, a plan to raise taxes on those with assets above $50 million and/or incomes above $10 million and use all of the proceeds to reduce the taxes on everyone else might have a much higher probability of being enacted. It is hard to envision the Democrats being politically savvy or ideologically flexible enough to embrace a policy of directly shifting the tax burden away from the middle class and onto the rich. The Democrats have generally been deluded in their belief that the current level of taxes on the middle class is politically sustainable. In Hilary Clinton's speech announcing her candidacy, she said that the middle class pays too much taxes. She never mentioned a middle class tax cut again. Presumably due to pressure from Sanders, who pushed her to the left, which severely hurt her chances in the general election. Most Democrat politicians are not aware that by far the best thing government could do for most middle-class households would be to lower their taxes. Thus, in many cases, middle-class voters have been willing to grasp at any chance they think could lower their tax burden, no matter how odious the..."

  157. Wil you run? I am too old but this is truth, simple.

  158. Voting is emotional. Issues are not the big thing and you’re right, the Dems will all have similar storylines. With all the current technology, can’t anyone in the Democratic Party perform a competent study of who, what and where? It sure worked with Putin, trump, and Wisconsin. Why would the research be so different than selling toothpaste? It doesn’t matter what the issues are if you don’t get rid of this hulk in the WH.

  159. ROLE OF MONEY IN THE ELECTORAL PROCESS To win the upcoming general election in 2020 Americans voters would like to hear a clear vision for the 21st Century and beyond. Campaign contributions is something else and Trump will have plenty of it. Can money alone drive him to victory?

  160. Coastal elitist ? Guilty as charged. Now that I admitted it please explain what’s so noble about the citizens of the rust belt and why I should feel so especially empathetic towards their plight.

  161. @GC Really! Because they’re citizens, and have been duped by the most part, by years of news that separates us. However, there are many who for whatever reason are upset and just want to vent their conditions and thumper has used that to steal from them. How come so many farmers who feed us, are going belly up, and are having to sell their property, because they cannot afford to have loans to buy new equipment let alone seed!

  162. @GC, In a word, values. In my experience -- I grew up on the east coast -- people in the midwest rust and farm belts are more rooted in reality, and in the land they live -- and frequently work -- on. Maybe you oughta get out and check out the rest of the country. You might learn something about the parts of America that aren't always in the media spotlight.

  163. @Buck Thorn I would dispute the notion that people who voted for Trump were rooted in reality. Farmers especially voted against there own interests, as the administration's trade policies so starkly show. Watching this happen is both frustrating and disllusioning. Trump's base and their lack of ability to deal with reality is as much of a problem as anything facing us.

  164. The question is not who is the most attractive Democratic candidate to one group of voters or another--but who can win the Presidency. We need a candidate who is honest and scandal-free, who has experience in government, and who knows what needs to be done to repair the damage done by Trump and to move the country forward--not to "make America great again"; we are great; but to make America sound again. Gender and ethnicity count, too. We have had a fine black President, and a female Democratic candidate who despite her faults won the popular vote in 2016. But white males can still vote, and there are lots of them. The winning ticket for 2020 may just be an outstanding white man for President and a woman for VP. There are several women well qualified to become Vice President. For President, I'd say Sherrod Brown.

  165. I wouldn't be terribly surprised if there were a mastermind behind the attempted toppling of the top Democrats like Klobuchar, Northam and the like. Whomever runs for President is going to need the endorsement and support of the Democratic governors, senators and representatives, but if they're not there because they have been toppled like dominoes, the Republicans who take their places are not going to offer their support to the Democratic candidates and will give it to Trump, instead.

  166. Perhaps liberal voters who are reluctant to vote for someone not far left enough need to remember what healthcare was like before the ACA. Obama didn't get to go as far as he wanted with it, but it changed the entire conversation. Now people are demanding coverage of pre existing conditions and keeping adult children on the parent's policy longer. These did not exist before Obamacare. He moved the goal post, and Americans won't except less. That is not nothing. The next logical step is a public option. As for free college, let's first help those already in tremendous debt from college loans. We have an entire generation of people unable to afford a home or children. That will have a real impact on our economy in the very near future. Most importantly, we must get Trump and his criminal cabal out of the White House asap. Our country can not survive a second term.

  167. @MJ A public option would be the death knell of private health insurance, and maybe we could get private lenders out of the student loan business.

  168. @MJ It is crucial to encourage education, particularly STEM. However, student loans should be repaid (though the terms of those loans should be as unburdensome as is feasible). By the way, I noted a typo: "won't except less", should be "won't accept less".

  169. Just saw Warren tonight. This editorial is spot on. She should read it.

  170. I always believed if Clinton had put Sherrod Brown on her ticket as VP the Blue Wall would have held and she would have won the Presidency. The fact that she lost was due to managerial malpractice. Now the Democrats could be on the cusp of making the same mistake and going with identity politics. It was unforgivable that in a state like Wisconsin which Clinton lost by 1% that in the last month of her campaign she had no scheduled stops there. Here the liberal media is also largely to blame. Their reporting is always on the photogenic and liberally progressive candidates. Beto and Abrams have gotten a lot of ink. And what distinguishes them? They lost.

  171. @Babel I agree, Clinton made such an error in not asking Sherrod Brown to be her running mate. It was so obvious but that always seemed to be Hilary’s downfall.

  172. Electability is the prime criterion. The worst Democrat is better than the best Republican. With electability being so crucial, I think Michelle Obama might be the best choice. She probably wouldn't be near the top of my list, otherwise. But I think she is absolutely qualified, and that misogynistic label of being "unlikable" certainly wouldn't work against her. She is ultra likable. But I doubt she could be prevailed to enter the fray. Alas. Another big alas is the the absence of Al Franken. He would have been a fantastic candidate. And President, too. I think the Democrats have an excellent chance of winning the White House, and holding onto Nancy Pelosi's House, too. The Senate is a much bigger challenge. The good guys now number 47. With the almost certain probability of losing the Alabama seat, that brings us down to 46. I think Sharrod Brown is wonderful, but if he leaves the Senate to become President, Vice President, or join the Cabinet, we would then be down to 45, because the Republican Governor of Ohio, in appointing his replacement, wouldn't play nice. I think picking up 5 Senate seats in 2020 would be very difficult. Massachusetts also has a Republican governor, but there is a small chance he would play nice, but I wouldn't bet on it. That becomes a major liability in making Elizabeth Warren our choice.

  173. @Matt Olson as you suggest, there'd be a huge problem with a Michelle Obama candidacy. She wouldn't do any campaigning, even in swing states. She wouldn't even bother registering as a candidate anywhere. The thing is: she's not running, no matter what. And yes, agreed that wasting a senate seat would be tragic.

  174. @Matt Olson Our senatorial system is absurd (1 million people having the same "pull" as 40 million, simply by virtue of where they live). The Senate should be elected in a similar manner to the House (obviously, that would mean more than 100 senators). Unfortunately, making that change would require the support of precisely those who benefit from the current unfair system.

  175. @Ed The issue of abolishing the Senate and Electoral College is already tearing this nation apart and it will continue to do so, I fear. They need to go, but red state voters will never give up on the outdated illusion that they are citizens of independent nations in a union of equals. That ended after the Civil War. It’s beyond time that our system reflects the actual reality that we are now one democratic nation and no longer a republic of sovereign states. In order to achieve this, we must abolish the Senate. But, I fear the consequences will be dire.

  176. "having been a harsh boss"......and considering the job and the opposition, and the monumental task ahead of undoing Trumpian damage, I'm not sure this is a bad thing.

  177. The bad boss issue would be at be said about any male, ever.

  178. A child born today is very likely to witness worldwide, mass extinctions in its lifetime, among other catastrophies. It's already underway. And yet this paper is still ignoring or dismissing the "pie in the sky" progressive movement and pushing a move toward the center to win over moderates and "swing voters". Yeah. This is the time. If not now, when? If we can't beat Trump with big ideas and a message about a massive investment in the future, we have no future.

  179. @J.C. Sadly you are wrong about campaigning on bold progressive ideas. I was once involved in "non-combatant evacuation operations." (Getting the U.S. citizens in a foreign country out of harms way.) The opening paragraph of the manual was: "By the time the politicians realize the need and act it is already too late to plan." Said sentence has of course long ago been expunged. There are millions of examples in history of people burying their heads in the sand with predictible and disastrous consequences. Overcoming this natural inertia by a candidate or a campaign is not realistic.

  180. @J.C. It is probably more realistic to gain the WH (and, ideally both congressional chambers) with a moderate message, then use that to "springboard" needed changes.

  181. @J.C. You have no future, sadly, but true.

  182. The far left will still vote for a Democrat, even if it's a more moderate Democrat. Democrats need to get the swing votes of the moderates, who are a sizeable group and who knows what happens with those votes if the Democratic party has a far left nominee.

  183. @Bryan Absolutely right. There would probably be a slightly lower far-left turnout for a moderate than for a far-left candidate, but that would not come close to overshadowing the impact on the independents vote.

  184. @Bryan I agree as long as their isn't a self-centered Sanders type candidate who would rather let a Trump win than support the Democrat that defeated him in the primaries. I had many exchanges with Sanders' supporters before the last election who said they wouldn't vote for Hilary no matter what. And the what here was obviously the election of Donald Trump. I blame Sanders for this, although I would have voted for him hands down and would again, against any Repig I've seen so far. In American politics we need to be pragmatic or leave the country to despicable criminals like Trump.

  185. Of course there's one other potential Democratic candidate who's good at convincing middle-class voters that he's on their side, speaks their language and shares their pain: his name is Joe Biden and he's eminently electable. Either of the senators who've been named here would make great VP's for a President Biden, though Brown's my choice because he could help the Democrats place Ohio in the win column (if they can't prove victorious in Minnesota they'll have no chance against Trump).

  186. Thank you, Mr. Leonhardt. I'd like to hear your views on the electoral college and the next election. Are the people to accept another electoral college defeat, if the popular vote doesn't align with their own? I foresee a lot of angry voters if that happens again.

  187. There’s no changing the stagnation of American living standards. The anomaly that was the period after World War II until approximately 1990 will never come back again. In a global economy, the United States becomes more like the rest of the world -rich and poor.

  188. @Mike DeMaio. 1980. The Reagan Restoration. With centrist "Democratic" connivance.

  189. This is a great article that finally tells the truth about both how the Democrats enabled the election of Donald Trump in 2016 and what they must do to take back the White House in 2020. In 2016 we let Trump come off as a “middle class fighter,” and this enabled his razor-thin victory with, as Mr. Leonard says, the support of those swing voters. Want to win in 2020? It’s somewhat simple—have a Democratic candidate that can one-up President Trump as a middle-class fighter and bring those swing voters to the Democratic side. Thanks Mr. Leonard for getting us down to these basics.

  190. "When Republicans can paint a Democrat as an out-of-touch elitist — like they did Hillary Clinton, John Kerry, Al Gore or Michael Dukakis — the Republican candidate often wins these voters. When Democrats can instead come off as middle-class fighters, they tend to win." That above says that centrist Establishment Democrats lose, and Progressives win. It also says the key to winning is doing what Trump did - highlighting grievances and running against the rigged system. But it only works if you are authentic. Trump won because he faked authenticity and his Trumpsters foolishly bought it. They thought he was "telling it like it is," when he was pandering to them. Running against the system while being authentic is what wins. Warren and Sanders have it, but the rest of the pack may not. All the full boat Progressives have authenticity.

  191. @Fourteen - Spot on, and nationalism is as easily picked up by progressives as the far right, because progress IS the American story. It just has to be told.

  192. @Fourteen "They thought he was telling it like it is." FYI - those Trumpsters still think he's telling it like it is.

  193. @Fourteen You're almost right. Bill Clinton and Barack Obama didn't win because they were centrist Establishment Democrats, but because they were Rockefeller Republicans in drag.

  194. Re: Klobuchar doesn't support Medicare For All. Democrats can either push immediately for Medicare For All, and then lose a nationwide election, or advocate strengthening Obamacare (especially its protections for pre-existing conditions) and then move gently in the direction of Universal Coverage when they win the White House and Congress. It's fantasy to imagine some FDR New Deal wave platform being sufficiently electable, given the realities of our Electoral College, as well as the voter suppression efforts instituted by Republicans. It's taken five years, but voters like Obamacare now. Democrats would do well to keep that promise of "You can keep your coverage", while also promising to make it better.

  195. @ImagineMoments - You have it backward. Medicare for all is a game winner for whichever side proposes it. 25% or more of Trump voters are Sanders voters, you didn't know that?

  196. @ImagineMoments If “Medicare for All” is like “Medicare Right Now,” it will require monthly premiums, and to get decent coverage you will want a supplemental policy, which is private health insurance—in addition to, not instead of, what the government covers. I’m in favor of a single-payer system, but “Medicare for All” doesn’t mean the demise of private coverage.

  197. @ImagineMoments What voters want is universal health care. Medicare for all is one option, but might not be the best one. Your comment is on the right track.

  198. The IRS is reporting income tax refunds on average are 8% less than last year. That means less money in the pockets of average Americans. Any democratic presidential candidate can point out that Trump’s very special big beautiful tax break for the rich was an epic catastrophe for working and middle class Americans.

  199. @BMUS - So Americans care more about how much their refund is than the actual amount of tax they have to pay? Would you rather pay $20K in tax and get a $1000 refund, or pay $16K in tax and get no refund? I cannot believe voters are that dumb.

  200. @Jonathan Few average Americans experienced significant tax relief from Trump’s plan. There are fewer deductions for the working and middle classes. It’s those that live in states like NJ, NY, and CA who will see the worst of it...but that is how it was supposed to work, right? Punish the taxpayers of the states that didn’t vote trump.

  201. @Jonathan You're right, the actual amount is the significant number. However, that does not negate the fact that the "direct" impact of the passed tax bill benefits the rich far more than it does middle class and poor, and that the net impact on the middle class and poor is to hurt them, especially in states with high state income tax. A modest drop in income tax does not make up for the resultant decline in government services, the ballooning of the deficit, and the damage to the environment (a combination of providing less resources to environmental agencies, and choosing administrators for the express purpose of PREVENTING environmental protection).

  202. "She is battling accusations of having been a harsh boss" She has been accused of being tough, harsh, mean and has a high rate of turn-over among staff and aides. Such staff and aides, even women, are more likely to acquiesce to demands of a male boss than a female one. Being nice in general or a nice boss is not always a plus for successfully holding high office. Getting things done is. She also gets elected, so so far, her personalty has not upset voters.

  203. @Joshua Schwartz. Except her staff is deserting her. Doesn’t that indicate “chaos”?

  204. Mr. Leonhardt says the differences between the leading Democratic presidential candidates aren't very big. There is something that differentiates Bernie Sanders from most of the rest. He has been consistent in his positions throughout his political life and hasn't had to backtrack and explain earlier positions that are in conflict with what they say they believe now. We already have a president who is willing to blow with the political winds and has no firm political beliefs. The Democrats should do better.

  205. How about Bernie joins the party if he wants to be the nominee?

  206. Why should he? The Dems -- who have no electable candidates outside the primaries -- need him far more than he needs the Dems.

  207. @Steve Sen Sanders is not a Democrat. And he, Joe Biden, and several other candidates are too old to be President. No Democrat under 60 should consider running. Thank them all for their service and tell them to run for governor, or the school board or head a task force if they want to contribute something positive to the US with the wisdom that comes with age. The presidency needs young people who can handle the work and the travel. Let the Republicans corner the market on old white men running the country (and failing like Trump and Pence.)

  208. The experience of the Republicans has shown that in a 20-candidate race, the nuttiest candidate is likely to win, while bland moderates fall to the back of the pack. How will the Democrats handle this?

  209. @Jonathan Only one Dem will win the primary. I really hope that no self-serving jerk will run outside the 2 parties, and split the Dem vote*. I would have no problem with an independent candidate, if all non-Republican candidates agreed that, at an agreed upon time, they would all back the "leading" non-Republican candidate (obviously, there would need to be agreement on how "leading" is determined). *We could easily change our electoral system so that that would not happen (so that an ignorant minority could not elect a Trump, even if he would be the last choice of over 60% of voters). However, doing so would require the support of the very same people who benefit from the unfairness of the system.

  210. I certainly hope that the Dems will nominate a moderate and try to win Independent swing voters. Something tells me, though, that the progressive left is going to overplay its hand and risk reelecting Trump by pushing hard for a progressive, socialist-talking leftist nominee.

  211. @Chris-zzz I agree, both because I prefer a moderate in most ways, and because that would offer the best chance of avoiding another 4 years of disaster.

  212. Fantasy: Biden offers the most patriotic of gestures and declares he will support Klobuchar and offers to serve as her running mate. He believes new blood is needed, that it is time for a woman to be president and that the threat to the country is so extreme he is willing to sacrifice his desires to insure a Democrat is elected. Biden asks Dems who may not want Klobuchar as their first choice to sacrifice their keenest desires and support Klobuchar to insure protection of the environment, protect and expand health care, advance the middle class and protect the country. Perhaps Biden will suggest that the Dems offer the Green Party the right to choose the head of the EPA and Dept. of Interior for their agreement not to field a candidate this cycle due to the extreme threat of a continued Trump presidency. I think the far left of the Dem party would still show up in great numbers and vote to overthrow Trump and the Republicans.

  213. "The 2018 attempts, in Florida, Georgia and Texas, all fell short." Leonhardt declines to provide context; possibly because it would demolish his point. Stacey Abrams overcame a massive state-sanctioned voter suppression effort to lose by a whisker. Beto O'Rourke came closer to winning a state-wide election than any Democrat has in 25 years.

  214. Please mention why Democrats "lost" in Georgia, Florida, and Texas. Lots of voter suppression and other disenfranchisement tactics likely threw elections to Republicans. And without fair elections--and access to secure and transparent voting and counting processes even the best candidates can lose.

  215. While it is an enjoyable pastime to pick the trifecta of Elizabeth Warren, Amy Klobuchar, and Kamala Harris, let’s face the real issue. Despite seventeen of our Intelligence agencies warning us of continued Russian influence in our elections, Trump continues to make Russian policies American realities. While I can fantasize about my perfect candidate, our democracy decays from within and the global order is thrown into chaos. Our priority is to dump Trump and Putin.

  216. As a Bernie voter and unrepentant FDR leftie, I would not worry too much about how progressive the Dem nominee's credentials are, as long as the party doesn't (suicidally) run someone like Bloomberg who would, however passively, defend billionaires' privilege, I vote party more than person, and I believe that whoever can attract the mass of voters outside of the corporate and financial fat-cats will be fine. Just about all of them will be running with similar principles and goals. The details of the next presidency will be pushed more by the mandate of the voters and the character of the congress they elect, and less by the President him/herself. In short, the next Democratic president will be fully aware of the public's mood and govern accordingly. The most important thing for the Dems, IMHO, is to get over their inability to use the language, For example, talk about universal health care in terms of Freedom - to change your job, to get care if you are out of a job, to not be one sickness away from bankruptcy, and to attract and hire people for your business without worrying about their health care.

  217. @mancuroc Totally agree. The FDR agenda was about freedom. That freedom has been badly eroded in the past couple decades. Indentured servitude is reality for way too many Americans. Health crisis event, education debt and corporate decisions to renege on retirement obligations can push almost anybody into it. I agree, any of declared or likely candidates except Bloomberg and Schulz will help get us back on track.

  218. I think it is true that the base for Medicare for All and ambitious economic restructuring (aka "socialism") is probably about the size of Trump's diehard base: about a third, give or take, as much as I would like to believe otherwise. However, messaging is the key to the swing vote. For example, message Medicare for All as "freedom for workers" shackled to jobs to keep affordable health insurance, affordable only because their employers pay around 70% of their premium instead of raising their wages and salaries. Call it the ticket to your "American dream" of starting your own business and being your own boss, without threatening the health security of your family. In other words, you're not losing something, you're gaining something. Freedom to be all you can be. Peace of mind that your family is protected no matter how you make your living or where you live.

  219. I believe Amy Klobuchar will be a strong candidate for the nomination but, based on what I have heard and read about her treatment of staff people, mountains would have to move before I would vote for her. As a reporter on Capitol Hill years ago, I came to know several US senators who were known for their meanness. They seemed to have the attitude that the rest of the world was far, far beneath them and this gave them the right to belittle, berate and generally make the lives of those who worked for them miserable. There was one senator, the late Lloyd Bentsen of Texas, who was berating someone on his staff every single time I was in his office for an interview. There were a couple of other senators at the time who seemed almost as bad. A president does not only have to deal with staff, he or she needs to recruit the very best and keep them working through long and difficult situations. Virtually everyone who works in the high pressure environment of Washington, DC, wants to do a good job They don't need to be horsewhipped, in other words. It backfires. Beyond the staff, most of the people with whom a president deals fancy themselves an equal to the president while being deferential to the office. They don't take kindly to being treated like a child. They have to be convinced, not ordered. Donald Trump has gotten to the top by mistreating almost everyone in his path. If the reports are true about Klobuchar, we don't need another personality disorder in the White House.

  220. @Doug Terry You need to get all the facts and not plant your opinion about Amy Klobuchar in cement at this early stage. Quite a few on her staff commend her demands as it makes them better quality workers; they admire her pursuit of excellence and low tolerance for poor work. I think it's great that she has high standards and expects the same of her staff. There are too many whiners and complainers in some young college graduates these days who want promotions but don't want to maintain the focus and time required to earn them.

  221. @Doug Terry - What reports are these?

  222. @me It is not "high standards" to which I object but let me say also that you are right that it is very early to write someone off as a candidate. Otherwise, I have a strong distaste for anyone who berates or puts down their employees. Keep in mind Capitol Hill is a tough place to work. If someone isn't productive and can't maintain the level of focus required, there are dozens of people ready to step in. There are people in their 50s and 60s on the Hill, but they are the exception, not the rule. It is also a young person's environment, so if people are bringing bad attitudes into their jobs because of tendencies in their generation, it would likely show up there early and strong. I maintain my position but am open to information that goes in another direction, always.

  223. I agree 100pct with this column, and I think a combination of these two on the ticket are the Democrats' best chance to win the swing voters. Brown is Biden, 20 years younger and without the history. The more I see these two, the more I believe they are the answer.

  224. Trump didn't have much problem defeating John Kasich, Jeb Bush or Marco Rubio. And as a matter of fact, despite the popular vote, he managed to defeat Hillary Clinton. We need to let the Democratic voters decide. There were plenty of Democrats who were elected on their progressive agendas.

  225. We know two things about the next presidential election. First, that the GOP will describe whoever the Dems nominate as a dangerous leftist with socialist ideas. Second, nobody knows who will get the Republican nomination. The former makes it nonsensical to prefer a "moderate" Democrat. Not only are they not that far apart, they'd all have to fight the same Republican descriptions, which do not rely on fine shades of meaning. Whether the Democratic candidate runs against an outraged, wounded Donald Trump or, at the other extreme, who ever reluctantly agrees to do it, the critical factors for him or her will be honesty and competence. One reality. All facts, no matter where they lead. Fixing the potholes. That's what we want the inspiration for---believing that the candidate who offers it will not lie and will actually do some work. (For us, not his or her family or some other country, which really used to be table stakes.)

  226. Amy Klobuchar is a moderate. If she manages to out some distance between this weekend's awkward start and a reasonably successful campaign, it will be as a centrist, with almost everyone else running to her left, and Mike Bloomberg to her right. Sherrod Brown, on the other hand, is a real progressive and, other than Bernie Sanders, the real threat to the Orange Menace in Trump country. --- Things Trump Did While You Weren’t Looking [2019]

  227. Mr. Leonhardt is carrying water for the financial elite. How? He is Trying to miscast the zeitgeist and Still trying to insist that a pro-corporate control candidate is good for the democratic party and good for Americans. If the party establishment does what it did last time and foist a pro-financial elite/pro corporate control of government candidate on voters, you can take that as intentionally trying to lose. The message of Sanders and Trump had remarkable parallels. Trump of course was lying and is a showman of (low) sorts. One of the Most Resonant notions was that the financial elite are running the show at the expense of average Americans. That notion is one Mr. Leonhardt will use any and every sophist trick imaginable to deflect and marginalize. (As will all the corporatists masquerading as centrists and even as liberals. New Democrats especially.) Many democrats have had trouble reconciling this notion with blind party loyalty. Vastly more are recognizing the bigger picture that the democratic party is the only avenue through which domination by the financial elite can be reversed in favor of real uncorrupted democracy by for and of the people. The "of the people" part has been replaced by 'of the financial elite' with the 'by' and 'for' parts following suit. They are figuring out that everything a candidate says is equivocating relative to the candidate's commitment to money in politics and acquiescence to Big Money calling the shots. Corporatists won't win.

  228. “Miscast the zeitgeist.” Good grief.

  229. @Trebor Great post...too bad I had to run through close to a thousand to stumble on it...not a good sign.

  230. I would jump at the chance to vote for a Klobuchar-Brown OR a Brown-Klobuchar ticket. And I'd contribute to it, too. These are two people who do not have outsize egos, who do their homework, who are intelligent, sincere, and honest. (Somewhat reminiscent qualities of 44 whom this voter sincerely misses!) Those qualities also make both Sen. Klobuchar or Brown more difficult for the marketer-in-chief to caracature.

  231. I’m reserving my judgement on these two for now. I don’t think “electability” on a state level translates to a presidential race. Romney was a GOP governor of Mass. I’m pretty sure McCain romped in every senate race he had. Both could not make the sale in their White House bids. All the way back in 2000, Hillary Clinton was anointed to be a future president like no one else in my lifetime, and she failed as well. Brown and Klobuchar have both been in the Senate a long time and they have little name recognition or reputation outside their home states. I don’t think that reflects well on them. Do they have any legislative accomplishments? What do they stand for? The author ignores these crucial issues. Whoever wins the Dem nomination is going to have to know how to tangle with Trump. They’re gonna have to have street smarts. Minnesota nice isn’t gonna cut it.

  232. @Jeremy Bowman As reported in the NYT, Sen Klobuchar (D-MN) was responsible for the most legislation which became law in 2016. Trump's "street smarts" haven't moved his approval ratings outside of a narrow range beyond 40%! He has worn out his welcome with farmers and others affected by his incoherent tariff wars. The GOP tax cut will be more of an issue as more people learn the damage done to working families after the 2018 taxes are filed. It might be time for a president who doesn't lie, doesn't spend working hours in "executive time" watching TV and calling his friends. Trump hasn't delivered the wins he promised. Senators Brown and Klobuchar might be the type of candidates the US wants to elect to clean up the disasters of the Trump years. I haven't seen any candidates other than Sen Klobuchar make their "I'm Running for President" speech in a snowstorm. Perhaps Minnesota Nice is underestimated in the "toughness" match-up.

  233. Most successful sponsor of legislation currently in the Senate. Amy Klobuchar.

  234. Klobuchar cut Al. Sherrod Brown survived 2016 in Ohio. And just so ya know, Hillary and Nancy are as tough as either of them. Same old mistake, confusing decency with weak.

  235. With such a big field of Dems (and more to come no doubt), unless someone comes over the top very quickly to clinch the nomination, I suspect they will rip themselves apart in the primaries and Trump will get a much clearer run than might otherwise be expected.

  236. Klobuchar is a strong candidate. While liberal in many of her positions, she’s got a way of communicating that conveys inclusiveness. I like Elizabeth Warren’s conviction and confident advocacy but that makes voters feel like they have to take sides if they vote for her. I would take her side but I am very concerned that our liberal democracy is in danger due to the deep divisions amongst our citizens and we need a true unifier to change this. That makes candidates who can unify, like Cory Booker or Amy Klobuchar more suitable.

  237. So, this poll phrased the question to include the assumption that /of course/ the candidate without strong positions would win, and /of course/ the candidate with strong positions would lose? That's a perfect example of the trouble with polls. Try asking, which would you pick, a candidate who shares your ideals and can win with them, or Hillary Clinton? I bet the candidate who shares your ideals and can win with them (not mentioning any names, but there was a chart in the Times the other day showing which potential candidates have had the most success in fundraising...) would win the poll overwhelmingly!

  238. Interesting piece. This information will be useful in sorting out the best candidate for 2020. I agree with you that Klobuchar and Brown are both strong candidates but it is much too soon to begin sorting out the candidates. I think in the time before the Democrats choose a candidate we need to hear their views on defining the international and national priorities and how they would propose to address these priorities, now and long-term. We really haven't done much to advance the quality of life for most Americans, and have not really addressed the economic stagnation that most Americans have experienced. Income distribution has not been good for decades and most families are going through life without saving enough for hard times and aging. It also seems that many of the school districts are unable to fund the salaries and classroom to provide a quality education. There are also many areas that are unable to fund needed improvements in water, sewage and the basic maintenance of roads, and municipal lighting. We are highly dependent on the shipment of goods, and fresh foods from farms and food processors to the millions of people who are living in increasingly dense and congested highways in and around our cities. It is congested, inefficient and unsafe. And many areas are turning into mass transit deserts. And we must provide for the ravages of fires, droughts, flooding and the other wilding of weather events that seem to be increasing due to global warming.

  239. The very fact that DJT quickly criticized “Minnesota Nice” Amy after her announcement yesterday to run for president speaks volumes.

  240. Recall that Sanders wiped the floor with Trump in ALL the pre-primary polls. That is Trumps nightmare opponent. Sanders rates as high on integrity as Trump rates low. Sanders is regarded as the most popular politician in the US. This is due in very large part to his integrity throughout his career. Warren comes from a genuinely middle middle class background. She is not corrupt and she speaks in the language of concrete policy and power orientation and not in platitudes. She would crush Trump. In debates she will go for the throat simply by having such a remarkable command of the facts relating to policy and telling the truth. Handwaving vague platitudes are not going to cut it this time around. Liberal stuff by itself is not going to cut it this time around unless it is connected with ending Big Money control of politics as one of the top two policy agendas.

  241. I agree but I do believe that she would come across more effectively if she wore her Pocahontas dress and native headdress.

  242. Leonhardt's column is correct at the core. Only a Democrat who can reach suburban women and what used be called the working class (white, black, brown) can slice through the Trump/Fox baloney haze and deliver victory. If Klobuchar can offer a non-groveling excuse for being a tough perfectionist boss, and avoid being painted as a two-faced control freak, she might overcome the rhetorical edges of Warren and the very tough Harris. If Brown can eclipse his Mr. Average looks and rather stolid demeanor with smart Harry Truman rhetoric, he could beat the field, even with Biden in it. Brown-Klobuchar or Klobuchar-Brown could nail it down, by building a blue base between the West and East coasts. . A good "dark horse" VP with class would be Adam Schiff, the best cool head against Trumpery.

  243. I’d love to see Klobuchar/Brown but can support the reverse. There are so many good choices this year! But to take the senate requires names at the top of the ticket that turn the middle of the country blue. And we need to get the senate out of McConnell’s hands!

  244. "The problem is, there are virtually no examples of Democrats winning close races without emphasizing persuasion. The 2018 attempts, in Florida, Georgia and Texas, all fell short." You lost me here. Florida, Georgia and Texas have the worst record of voter fraud and discrimination against progressives in the history of the world. Yet you point to Democrats as not doing enough. That's like saying Puerto Rico didn't throw up enough sand bags. Klobuchar is a good candidate. Let her make her case. But I will not be told by George Will or Brett Stephens who is the best candidate to beat Don. I'm with Warren. I doubt he'll be running.

  245. This piece and most of the comments don’t address one issue: planetary climate change. Much as winning a world war was this country’s paramount issue in the years after Japan attacked Pearl Harbor, this is the paramount issue now. Our ability to address other issues will hinge on how well we address this one. That we’re not treating it very seriously at all suggests systemic political and societal failure. Perhaps we’re not up to the challenge. That IS what it looks like.

  246. Anyone but Bernie. He and his Bros have alienated a large swath of those Democratic voters who consistently show up at the polls for every election...and who fiercely supported Hillary Clinton in the last election. Don't underestimate the strong disdain for Sanders among Mrs. Clinton's base. On social media, the most vocal among Sander's supporters are already assassinating the respective character, credentials and ideas of many Democrats who have telegraphed their intent to enter the Presidential race, along with maligning both Barack Obama's presidency and Mrs. Clinton's candidacy as regrettable. Two of the biggest drawbacks for both Ms. Klobuchar and Mr. Brown are their relative unknown status outside of their home states and their less than dynamic personalities in an era where political "stage presence" sadly trumps substance and intelligence. Perhaps campaigning on a national stage might help them both find a voice that connects with more of the national electorate. Even though the Democratic party is now represented by many more women in Congress, it remains unclear whether a large majority of the American electorate would actually vote for a female candidate for the number one position, President. Some polls have suggested that more Americans across all voting age groups are more comfortable with a male as their President, given a choice. Sexism might just be the most pernicious "ism" barrier to overcome in the US presidential race--at least for the near term.

  247. @Anson I'd like to see a disruption too, but the country is going through a rough patch now due to a major dispruption. I have a feeling the vast majority want to get back to a more 'sensible' middle ground (vanilla), but the global climate disruption is going to make that position untenable. Where's Bernie on that ?

  248. @JP I would like to point out to all that vanilla is actually the most popular flavor in the world. And it is s a flavoring derived from orchids (which i think is rather exotic). Let's hear it for vanilla!

  249. @Jeff Not sure why you say that the electorate would not vote for a woman when HRC had 3 million more votes than Trump. And that was with all her baggage. The Dems have a bunch of bright, attractive candidates most of whom are women. I bet Americans would vote for any of them.

  250. Presidents can be good father figures. I’d cast my vote for Sherrod Brown in a heartbeat. He’s intelligent, rumpled, down-to-earth, earnest - like a dad in television show. Right about now, boring sounds like heaven to me. Our country now has a gaping father wound. I think Sherrod Brown can begin the process of sewing us back together.

  251. @Kathryn We traded in Jimmy Carter for Hollywood Daddy in 1980. The country's gone way downhill ever since, with the Gilded Age restored and the country looted blind by the kleptocrats and plutocrats, with Democratic centrist collusion. Let's have no further talk of father figures. Sherrod's alright, but has little pizzaz. Charisma is an election factor, no doubt about it. But I'll take less charisma if it means taking less facade like Obama had. He's still got some 'splainin' to do about his first wife's restraining order.

  252. @Kathryn Cannot relate to this whole sexist father figure trope. Other countries have had and have women heads of state. We can too. We are overdue for a woman in the oval office. And women across the country are fired up after Trump's sexism, Kavanaugh debaucle and positive House results.

  253. @Help2Bendthearc - i totally hear you. My fantasy is Brown/Harris or Brown/Klobuchar. Then, the female VP can run, after two terms of Brown. Frankly, I want anyone who can beat Trump. I think the “it’s her turn” philosophy was ruinous with Hillary. It HAS to be somebody who can shred Trump. Four more years of him will break our country permanently. Of course a woman can do a terrific job and we’d be in good shape if Hillary had won. Maybe she actually DID! She certainly got my vote. That was a no-brainer.

  254. If the Democrats want to elect a President here is the perfect candidate: From the South Moderate social views Veteran Pro Choice Pro Second Amendment The current field is never going to beat Trump, including Brown. I am from Ohio and I would never vote for him because of his gun control views.

  255. @DWK So, basically, only a Republican could win as a Democrat? Despite Republicans actually getting far fewer votes than actual Democrats in most elections in the past 20 years?

  256. @DWK - I totally agree; the perfect candidate would be Mitch Landrieu (former mayor of New Orleans) and author of the book "In the Shadow of the Statues", about the confederate statues.

  257. @DWK I get it. You're going to vote for Trump, because you are a single issue voter (anti-gun control..)

  258. I don’t get it. You seem to be saying that vanilla, nothing more, is the flavor of the season. For those of us who ache for a clear articulation of the biggest problems we have to confront going for the candidate in the homogenous middle is a long way from appetizing. Paradise California is an hour North of where I live. I went and saw what is left of the town after the devastation left by the “”Camp Fire.” Block after block was razed and one cannot help but wonder, “Is my town next, am I next, will my government be there to help if my home burns?” Standing back from the loss you have to wonder who in Washington is doing anything to keep that little tragedy from being larger, the next time. Six hours to my south San Diego faces Tijuana—one of Trump’s points of obsession. In fact there is a crisis but it is about more than a couple of thousand immigrants: it is also about the estimated 70 million fleeing from pain filled failing states going to an uncertain somewhere. Paradise and her Camp Fire are the symbols for our neglect of the environment. Trump’s wall and his rejection of anyone whose skin is not white are the symbols of our inability to maintain order in the world. Empathy, the dynamic you argue for as the vehicle to Election success, is not enough. At some point we have to have intellectual acuity, an ability to identify problems and state clear steps toward their resolution. Even better that clear thought would stand on the shoulders of consensus. Warren2020.

  259. I’m holding out for Beto. I mean let’s face it, my cat would be better than trump but is he electable? Every democratic candidate will be a million times better than Trump but are they electable. Sorry to say it but it’s got to be a man on the top of the ticket. We need a win.

  260. @Oliver. Beto, as a white male has no chance whatsoever at winning the Democratic primary.

  261. @Oliver Beto's another Rockefeller Republican in drag. Look at his voting record. Clinton redux. And superfical? Gag.

  262. The democratic nominee will need to be someone young, charismatic and NOT an inside the beltway politician. He/she has not emerged yet, but they hopefully will and soon.

  263. With the possible exception of Corey Booker does anyone else see the irony that the race for the Democratic nomination has been dominated by female presidential candidates? Is the time now ripe for a viable woman at the top of the Democratic ticket who doesn't have a whole lot of dubious personal baggage? Hillary Clinton may have lost the presidency but maybe she helped pave the way for the next generation of women who want to become president.

  264. They have to persuade us they're 'on our side'? But how will they put into practice the policies for 'our side'? How to counter the objections of the opposition? Explain that. Too much personality talk, not issue talk. Reality TV politics. Sure the public is confused and manipulated. The media grabs us, staying safe and centrist, avoiding pros/cons of issues and the comparisons we need. We lag other democracies in economic mobility, security, health care---alll labeled 'left wing' here. Trump is a symptom of the failure in how our politics are explained to the public---- our norm of big profit media, and politicians dependent on corporate donors to run a campaign. Donors make candidates compete for big money, to keep their platforms within limits, while marketing themselves to voters. On the media, it's who is more electable, and which faction will a candidate appeal to more--- this week--- blue/red/women/men/blacks/whites, rural/urban on and on. Then they critique our polarization and identity politics! Nowhere on our media are we given concrete examples of how dozens of countries have been funding and using their universal health care--since the 20th C. It's one of our hottest issues --- but the US is on another planet---in the age of the internet. No accident. Who gives the best speech, warming our hearts? Klobuchar's speech in the snowstorm was a spectacle --her audience out there in rapt attention. Heart warming in that cold. She sounded good, like the others.

  265. @meredith I’m not sure why you’re blaming the media for public confusion. The stories you’re alluding to are out there. Subscribe (if you don’t already) to a major metro daily paper (digital is fine but print works even better). Then follow along. I’m a journalist myself and I can promise you that most of us are trying to serve the public. Those who rely on social media for their news will not feel as if they can trust the media. You need a reputable source that you can spend at least a few minutes with every day. Over time, you WILL feel better informed, and you will also be able to spot fake or biased “reporting” so much easier. (If you’re already doing this, I’m not sure what to tell you, and I’m sorry you feel this way.)

  266. How about a 3rd reason, that the 2000 and 2016 elections came down to some very close races, due to 3rd (party) candidates sapping votes from the Democrats especially. You can thank those elections for having given us the Iraq War and its trillion dollar costs, and 2016 brought perhaps the worst President in US history. How about that reason for why voters just want a candidate strong enough to win without having to count hanging chads. It's also becoming clearer that clinging to perfectionist beliefs for candidates is a losing game in a system that is totally geared to a binary option.

  267. @Tim Voter suppression and outright voter fraud stole the 2000 and 2016 elections. Same for 2004.

  268. Viewing Trump’s awfulness and the huge chaos and distress he has brought to this country and the world, it is obvious that no one but a board-certified crazy person would be interested in tackling the job of repairing the enormous damage he has done. I am therefore announcing with great reluctance and sadness today that I will not be running for President in 2020 because I am far too sane and sensible to ever desire the job.

  269. Personally for me it doesn't matter. My choice will be anyone but Trump. Even a moderate Republican might do though in truth that parties close association with the man has led me to conclude that I cannot vote for any of them, either. They adhere, these days, to Republican orthodoxy about as much as I have been to the moon. My decision has nothing to do with political ideology, and everything to do with being completely repelled by a man who has proven himself unfit for the role of POTUS. If our elected Congressional and Senatorial representation cannot remove him between now and the next election I assure you my vote will attempt to do it. And not to speak for others but I've a feeling the silent majority of American's are feeling the same way these days. As far as I'm concerned Trump is a (politically) dead man walking. I have had enough. John~ American Net'Zen

  270. @John Well said John.

  271. I don't consider restoring a truly progressive tax structure as "far left", we had it before and the country didn't consider itself communist or socialist. Also, the "fever dream" of eliminating private insurance is not wide spread at all, even among those on the fringe left. If we had a universal or single payer healtcare system it's a given that private insurance would also be available to those who could afford it, but it would exist in a much smaller role than it has now. We wouldn't be trapped into having only private insurance, and the insurance companies would have to actually compete with each other as well as the national system, which could push down prices and give people a real choice on how to get their healthcare. Instead we have regional monopolies of private healthcare, same as communications services now. Plus, imagine lifting the burden of providing health insurance on employers. Small businesses would be affordable to start up again, and large companies could provide training and maybe even a raise every now and then. This, to me, is NOT far left thinking, just common sense.

  272. Elizabeth Warren is the only woman senator of the five running that I would vote for. She has the smarts and she is brave enough to tell it like it is. And that’s why she can’t win, however. The other four women I find dull and uninspiring. I could go with Sherrod Brown but only if Biden doesn’t run. I can see Sherrod Brown selecting one of the women senators as a running mate and that might make the best ticket.

  273. "Both have also smartly avoided some ideas that play better with liberal Twitter than swing voters, like the fever dream of eliminating private health insurance." Rather than proposing to eliminate private health insurance, which would incur the wrath of this wealthy, capable of lobbying business, let private health insurance wither and die by itself by expanding programs like medicare and medicaid to individuals not now eligible to participate. Lower cost alternatives that offer equivalent or better services usually supplant existing programs. This could also be described as a "let the market decide" solution that would appeal to non-progressive voters, as well as to businesses that now pay (really, through employee deductions) for health care.

  274. The problem for Democrats is too many choices. Who wants to learn about 20 different people? Everybody knows Biden, Bernie and Hillary. Who wants to learn every bit of public information on the other 2 dozen? And most will be gone before their story comes out. This is especially bad for millennial's. They have the attention span of a gnat. In the end, the youngsters will vote for whomever they are told to vote for, but 21 months from now, is too long to hold their attention. The candidates should make promises to old people. The upside is they vote. The down side, they may not be around in 20 months.

  275. @Mike "Everybody knows Biden, Bernie and Hillary." Yes, we do. I'm a moderate Democrat yet a fierce partisan against Trump's Republican regime and party. Biden, Bernie, and Hillary are not what the Democratic party needs. The Republican candidates for President in 1996, 2008, and 2012 were all well known Republicans whom "everybody knew." Dole, McCain, and Romney all lost didn't they.

  276. @tom boyd "Dole, McCain, and Romney all lost didn't they." You'll never see a bumper sticker saying, "Save The RINOs".

  277. @Mike Don't worry, whomever gives the best speeches will be your primary winner. That's the criteria nowadays for Democrat candidates for POTUS.

  278. This is a dream team. After Trump I’m ready for people who can get things accomplished while remaining collegial.

  279. @Mrs Ming After Trump, I'm ready for any fully functioning adult.

  280. As a physician committed to the idea of a single payer model I have the following concern.It would be politically perilous for the Democrats to push for a full-on change in the system all at once.The Republicans say they are all about letting people decide for themselves what works for them(even if in practice they then ignore them). My advice would be a public option for Medicare for the 55-65 age group as a test For the next 4 years after the next election.My strong belief is that they will vote with their feet and move to Medicare.Those who prefer to stay with private insurance are free to do so.As an aside large corporations who now pay absurd amounts of money to insurance companies could then return that money as better pay to their employees.(good luck with that )

  281. @Basil papaharis Right on! I could not agree more. Dems should propose a gradually expanding public-option buy in rather than a rapid shift to single-payer insurance, which would amount to the incorporation of the entire medical insurance industry into the federal government and a massive expansion of the role of the federal government. That kind of change cannot be made quickly without generating widespread dissent and disruption. We need candidates who respect the views of all Americans. It will not do to have another President who only cares about the "base."

  282. @Basil papaharis That isn’t the single payer model. Poor people who don’t pay and the uninsurable will flock to your Medicare for Some that will result in the weakening of Medicare as we currently know it and result in a two tiered level of care.

  283. @TR88 Basically, Medicare for All will result in dramatically less health care for seniors, they very group who paid for Medicare the longest.

  284. I agree that the primary focus of Democrats should be to defeat Donald Trump. Those on the far left who will demand more in social programs than the public is willing to support must remember that there are many Democrats in swing districts who could well lose their seats if the election focuses on the ideology of the far left. I agree that Amy Klobuchar and Sherrod Brown are best positioned to take Democrats to victory in 2020. Amy Klobuchar's announcement speech yesterday was outstanding.

  285. @RF Medicare for all is considered "far left"--but the vast majority of Americans, including swing voters, support the idea. People need to realize that the "far left" (i.e. real socialism or something close the socialization of much of the means of production) simply does not exist in US politics. The "Green Deal New Deal" Democrats or as far left as the New Deal Democrats. The problem is this country has moved so darn far to the right over the past 40 years, most people simply don't know any better. So Clinton and Obama's center right policies (as opposed to far right policies) are now considered "liberal".

  286. @Bret Bless you for making this point. It's context that needs to be regularly repeated since the Republicans and movement conservatives continue to do so much to obscure the truth.

  287. @Bret I support Medicare for all, but my first concern is defeating Trump. I think mounting a moderate political campaign will attract more voters than one skewed to the left.