Democratic Primaries: who are the candidates?
The Democrats are pretty comfortable at the moment, and have a rather large amount smaller selection for President than the Republicans, but who are those running, or largely rumoured to?
Joe Biden is a household name by now, and is one of the most likeable VPs in a while. While the 72 year old hasn’t declared, or launched an exploratory committee, he has said he’s interested in running for 2016. He’s certainly got experience in seeking the Presidential ticket, in 1988 and 2008, failing to win the primaries both times, so the question is whether it could be third time lucky for Biden. He rates highly from labor unions, advocates for church and state separation, public health and progressive taxation, although has voted for the anti-gay “Defense of Marriage Act” and “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell” in the past, without apologising now.
Jeff Boss has been declared since December 2012, and has no experience in public office. He ran independently in both ’08 and ‘12, but won less than 2000 votes combined. He’s been featured in no polls, and is only running as a token candidate for people who believe 9/11 was an inside job. Only included in this summary for fairness.
Lincoln Chafee is not a household name. Until 2007, he was a Republican, albeit left-leaning, and only joined Democrats in 2013, after President Obama appointed him a co-chair of his 2012 campaign. Chafee, 62, votes conservatively on many economic issues, sitting on the utmost right of the Democratic Party. He lost so much public support during his one term as Governor of Rhode Island that he declined to attempt re-election, and his political career was called dead. Chafee claims “Fresh Ideas for America”, but whether he can deliver is another thing.
Hillary Rodham Clinton:
99% of voters know of Hillary Clinton, and it’s not surprising, as an ex-First Lady of both the US and Arkansas, Secretary of State and NY Senator. She offers the centre of the Democrats a huge name, and a huge chance to win again in 2016, but some think she may be more right wing than portrayed. Her big donors are on Wall Street, and she has a past of non-progressive views on LGBT+ rights. Her team aren’t just marketing her, they are marketing the Hillary brand. Her name recognition shows when the whole of her campaign is based off of Hillary, and her recognisable H with an arrow. She’s everybody’s frontrunner, but she was in 2008, so it’s a question whether history repeats itself.
The 2000 Democratic candidate has made absolutely no comment on the speculation that he will run for 2016, and it would be his 3rd attempt, after he tried in 1988 too. The man now known for his immense environmentalist campaigning is not being polled, but there are conflicting reports on his status from people close to him. However, if he runs, he could take chunks out of Hillary, and leave the door open to a 3, or even 4 way race with the additions of Biden and Sanders. His popularity has not dwindled since 2000, when he won a higher percentage of the vote than George W Bush, but lost Florida in controversial manners.
O’Malley was long touted as the only opposition to Hillary, but only declared at the end of May, and is now polling at 2% at most. He legalised same-sex marriage in Maryland. O’Malley also won as the only white candidate in the predominately black city of Baltimore’s mayoral elections. However, his support numbers have been lacking, and his early campaign touring has been uninspiring. He endorsed Clinton in 2008, and has said she would be “a great President” last year. His announcement video was particularly uninspiring (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Se-H0tiKNf8). But will he get a chance to “Rebuild the American Dream”?
Sanders is possibly the most exciting candidate in the race. An Independent Senator, who caucuses with the Democrats, he has experience as a Rep, Sen, and Mayor in Vermont. He announced on the lawn of the Capitol and has gotten truly engaged with the youth of today, engaging in reddit AMAs, and having by far the most active online campaign. The sole true democratic socialist in the race, he has recieved endorsements from the likes of Ben and Jerry (yes, the ice cream people), Glenn Greenwald, and Occupy Wall Street. The question is: can he carry enough steam to get neck and neck with Hillary, and if not, can he pull Hillary leftwards?
Jim Webb is the only Democrat with an exploratory committee, and he’s had it since November 2014. There’s also no sign of him declaring any time soon. The former Senator for Virginia has had very little action of late, but is another right-leaning candidate, and a self-styled “Reagan Democrat”. As an ex-military man, he supports strong defense, and pushing the US to the front of defense even more. His slogan “Leadership You Can Trust” begs a question: will there be any attempt at leadership at all from Webb? We’ll have to wait for longer to see.
Robby Wells is a bizarre candidate. In 2012, he stood for the Constitution Party. In 2008, he led the Savannah State Tigers to a 5–7 record in the FCS. His website claims he stands for “Eaglenomics”, and has a whole section devoted to it. And his heart seems to have changed in the last 3 years, as he’s now vowing free tuition, and sustainable energy, along with his Eaglenomics plan to restore the middle class. I don’t really understand Wells’ campaign, or his credentials, but he at least has something more than Jeff Boss.
This is a man somehow more confusing than Robby Wells. He only got 10% of the 2015 Chicago Mayoral vote. Yet his exploratory committee sat down and decided that the best way to spend his medical supplies millions was on a Presidential campaign. His website (non-campaign) boasts his weekly spot on a local Chicago gospel singing TV show. His website (campaign) claims his nearly 11% of the Chicago Mayoral vote “secured his place in the Windy City’s rich political history.” He is, seemingly, campaigning, having visited Davenport, IA in early June, but whether any of it will do anything is another matter, especially when only preaching to a crowd of two dozen, without any clear policy.