I realize people are still keeping an eye on Bernie Sanders, Joe Biden and a few other “old white guys” when considering the Democrats’ 2020 POTUS nomination, but is the party actually going to give them a serious look? More to the point, are they going to place their bets on anyone with a Y chromosome? The Hill offers a peek inside some of the thinking going on at the DNC and various liberal insider groups and finds reason to doubt it. They’re still in shock over Hillary Clinton losing last time around, but at the same time, there seems to be a common perception that they really have no choice but to run another woman against Donald Trump in 2020.
Months later, it’s at times hard to imagine Democrats failing to nominate a woman as their standard-bearer against President Trump in 2020.
Some of the party’s strongest potential candidates are women, including Harris and Sens. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) and Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.). More pointedly, the rise of the #MeToo movement and Trump’s own controversies with women make it feel incongruous for Democrats to name a white male as their candidate in the next presidential race.
“The MeToo movement is a powerful force that could lead to Democratic midterm wins in 2018 and victory in the 2020 presidential race,” said Democratic strategist Brad Bannon.
Right off the bat, it’s entirely possible that the Democrats are preparing to shoot themselves in the foot by continuing to lash themselves to the cause of identity politics rather than working toward a truly colorblind (or genderblind in this case) society. If you’re examining your potential pool of talent and decide to limit yourself to the best woman, the best Hispanic or the best Protestant, you might get the best candidate. But the odds are against you. Perhaps simply focusing on finding “the best person” and letting the politically correct chips fall where they may might work out better for you.
Even more to the point, the comments from the Dem strategist quoted in that article are probably fairly typical in liberal circles and they make it clear the Democrats want to use Me Too for electoral gains, not helping women. Brad Bannon (who I’m fairly sure is not related to Steve) goes on to observe that, “The presence of a female candidate way at the top of the ticket in 2020 would be the best way to harness the energy of the MeToo force; a powerful current ignited by Harvey Weinstein’s behavior that could undermine Donald Trump’s campaign for a second presidential term.”
That doesn’t make for much of a bumper sticker or a stump speech, but you can see where they’re going with this line of thinking. Most of those women out there marching in the streets and calling for justice are actually interested in seeing an end to sexual assault and harassment in the workplace by powerful men. They’re fighting for a goal which actually means something. But the Democrats are plotting behind closed doors, not to figure out a way to stop men from behaving like Harvey Weinstein but to find an angle where they can harness those crowds of women into votes.
This is some seriously cynical politicking going on here, but it does have the refreshing value of being honest. What women need to ask themselves is if they really believe the Democrats will come through for them if they are rewarded with those votes or if they’ll be taken for granted. Ask many of America’s black voters how that’s worked out for them so far.