by Thomas Valentine
The 2020 Democratic presidential primary has been heating up in the last couple weeks, with multiple new candidates jumping in the race and several more poised to announce their decisions this month.
Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, Cory Booker, and Kamala Harris are jockeying for position at the front of the pack. Sanders’ campaign reportedly raised $6 million in the first day after announcing his second presidential run, showing the 77-year-old avowed socialist still has a passionate base of support. Warren has continued to be dogged over controversies about her claimed American Indian heritage and can’t get through an interview or speaking engagement without being asked about it. Cory Booker’s tattered record as mayor of Newark, N.J., is being scrutinized. And Harris is being criticized on the left for being tough on crime in her career as a prosecutor and district attorney, which is a big no-no in today’s Democratic Party.
Waiting in the wings is former Vice President Joe Biden, who has said he will announce his decision soon. Failed Senate candidate Robert “Beto” O’Rourke has said the same.
Meanwhile, several lower-tier candidates have jumped in the race and are trying to make names for themselves.
Amy Klobuchar has tried to build a campaign around her Midwestern “Minnesota nice” brand, but multiple exposés have shown her to be anything but, as numerous stories have surfaced from former staffers claiming she is a nasty boss. Kirsten Gillibrand is facing questions over her connections to the Clinton family. Other Democrats jumping in include former Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper, Washington Gov. Jay Inslee, former San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro, and Hawaii Rep. Tulsi Gabbard. None of them seem to have distinguished themselves at this point.
A few big names have taken themselves out of the race. Hillary Clinton declared this week that she was not running, though with the Clintons you can never quite say never. Billionaire Michael Bloomberg has also said he won’t run, though if he does not like the rapid leftward drift of the party he may still decide to jump in. And former Attorney General Eric Holder, perhaps not seeing a path to the nomination, also said he isn’t running.
More Democrats are expected to jump in to the race later this month.
Photos via Flickr (Mobili / Gage Skidmore / Disney | ABC Television)