Housekeeping comment: This is a post about the 2020 presidential election. Yes, I know there is a midterm election happening in 37 days. Our focus should be, has been and will be primarily on that and other present-day issues. But this is an almost top-10K politics and pets blog, and if we can take time to talk about gardening, gaming, TV, movies, cat-shaving, home improvement, etc., without shattering the republic due to a lapse in concentration on the midterms, by golly I think we can occasionally cast our speculation forward without all coming to naught.
Senator Elizabeth Warren made an unsurprising announcement at a town hall yesterday (NYT):
Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts declared on Saturday that she would “take a hard look” at running for the White House in 2020 once the midterm elections are over, and called on the country to elect a female president to fix the “broken government” in Washington.
Ms. Warren made the announcement during a town-hall meeting in Holyoke, Mass., where she was decrying President Trump and Senate Republicans for digging in behind Judge Brett M. Kavanaugh, the embattled Supreme Court nominee who has been accused of sexual assault. She described the hearings as a spectacle of “powerful men helping a powerful man make it to an even more powerful position.”
“I watched that and I thought: time’s up,” Ms. Warren said, according to a transcript and video of her remarks provided by an aide. “It’s time for women to go to Washington and fix our broken government, and that includes a woman at the top.”
She continued, “So here’s what I promise: After Nov. 6, I will take a hard look at running for president.”
Senator Amy Klobuchar hasn’t mentioned throwing her chapeau into the ring, but an article by Aaron Blake and Dave Weigel in The Post speculated about her possible future as a 2020 nominee. It recounted the moment when Kavanaugh angrily demanded to know if Klobuchar is a black-out drunk in response to a politely posed and relevant question.
During the hearing, Kavanaugh publicly apologized to Klobuchar after the break, perhaps perceiving that his taunting question came across as rude and aggressive, especially since Klobuchar had just shared that her 90-something father is a recovering alcoholic.
The scene at the hearing — in which Kavanaugh was defending himself against allegations of sexual assault — has at once thrust Klobuchar into the national spotlight and reinforced what could be her central shortcoming as a 2020 contender for the presidency. In a party that by most accounts is searching for liberals and powerful personalities to counteract President Trump, Klobuchar has crafted a brand almost diametrically opposed to that. In many ways, Klobuchar’s running and winning in 2020 would defy conventional wisdom, just as Trump did in 2016…
“While she’s a down-the-line Democratic vote, she doesn’t have an image here as the partisan bomb-thrower,” said Minnesota Republican consultant Mark Drake. “I think Democrats are looking for someone who is the partisan bomb-thrower. She’s the senator next door, not the bomb-thrower next door.”
If both women run, we’ll be treated to all sorts of dumb stereotypes. I don’t look forward to that, but I’d love to see either Warren, Klobuchar or both in the race and/or continuing to play prominent roles within the party. Kamala Harris and Kirsten Gillibrand too.
It’s tempting to think that Hillary Clinton’s loss proved we’re just not ready for a woman president in America. I wondered that myself early on, but I don’t anymore — there’s a difficult and unfair double-standard the first woman president will have to overcome, just as President Obama had to clear extra hurdles to become the first black president. But I do believe it’s possible.
Clinton’s loss, rather than arguing against women’s viability as presidential candidates, is an argument in favor of it. She was sandbagged by a decades-long media defamation campaign, bogus “dynasty” charges, Russian active measures, third-party sneering and voter suppression, and she still won the popular vote by millions.
On the contrary, I think the Democrats NEED a woman on the ticket in 2020. Whoever she is, she will not only be an effective foil to Trump, she’ll be a walking reminder that we can’t afford another misogynist on the Supreme Court. May the best woman win.