Meet the potential Democratic candidates for President of the United States in 2020
by Brian Moniz
With a grossly incompetent, racist, sexist, transphobic, homophobic, corrupt, treasonous, fascist, dictator-wannabe in the oval office embarrassing all of us on an hourly-basis, the position for President of the United States looks open and available, and you can bet this upcoming election is going to have a very crowded field on the Democrat side with many candidates applying for the job. Here is a rundown of likely candidates, a few “maybe’s”, and a couple “long-shots” for the 2020 presidential election, as well as how Trump will attack them if they are the nominee.
The most likely:
Elizabeth Warren (68)
She’s the outspoken, tough, take-no-crap senator from Massachusetts who always seems to be fired-up about one issue or another, and that’s why we love her. She has been a strong supporter of women’s and LGBT rights, in favor of raising the minimum wage, and very much against the corruption of money in politics. She was spotlighted in the political world years ago for calling out those in congress who shield big businesses from committing fraud after receiving bailouts, told the CEO of Wells Fargo, John Stumpf, to his face that he needs to resign in shame for scamming so many people during the Wells Fargo multiple-accounts scandal, and coined the saying, “too big to fail is now too big for trial” when asked why congress never goes after big banks and CEO’s for illegally foreclosing on families homes they don’t own. She never backs down from a fight, is not afraid to speak her mind, and, like most of the country, (and the rest of the world), despises Donald Trump. If the nominee, she will be fearless in going for Trump’s jugular during the debates.
Trump will attack her gender and compare her to “Crooked Hillary” as being just another “nasty woman”. He will also call her “Pocahontas” (which is extremely racist) after Scott Brown accused her of lying about Cherokee ancestry to win her job in the Senate.
Kamala Harris (52)
She’s the Junior Senator and former district attorney from California (San Francisco), who, like Elizabeth Warren, is very passionate and vocal when it comes to social justice issues. Harris is very strong on gun-control and helped propel Proposition H in San Francisco which would have prohibited most firearms in the San Francisco county. She’s very much against the death penalty, is pro-abortion, and believes in more funding for poorer schools to prevent more kids from ending up as criminals, and even received an endorsement from the Federation of Teachers. She is in favor of San Francisco’s immigration policy when it comes to criminal investigation, arguing that people should be able to approach and engage with the police without the fear of being deported. Harris created the Environmental Justice Unit in San Francisco and prosecuted many companies and industries for pollution and violating environmental protection laws. She has been tough on cyber-criminals and scammers, especially those who target senior citizens, to help in preventing identity theft.
Trump will attack her mysterious relationship with Steve Mnuchin, our current Secretary of the Treasury. He will argue that she is disloyal, since she voted against Mnuchin’s nomination after he gave her money for her own campaign. Trump will also find a way to blame the death of Kathryn Steinle, the American girl who was fatally shot in San Francisco in 2015 by an undocumented immigrant, on Harris, arguing that it was her policies that made criminals like that able to come into the country and hide in sanctuary cities like San Francisco and kill American citizens (his probable words, people, not mine!).
Bernie Sanders (75)
Yes, Bernie! He could and should run again, if nothing more than to just keep everyone else honest. Not only has Bernie been in the political game a very long time, but we know from the last election that he’s a straight shooter who isn’t afraid of calling out everyone on both sides, including his own colleagues. Yes, he is going to be four years older this time around, but the strength of the support he received not just from his base, but from younger voters, is proof that voters don’t give much thought about age. If someone is smart and sharp then age shouldn’t be a factor. Trump was seventy when he won; Hillary is seventy-one; again, voters on both sides don’t care. Bernie, like Warren, wants to go after big banks and corrupt companies that cheat the system and wants to remove loopholes for CEO’s and billionaires to avoid paying their fair share and collect corporate welfare. He also made it clear that taxes on the upper-class will go up, especially on those in the top 1%. Bernie is the most “pro-people” out of all the potential candidates, and what makes us like him so much is how he doesn’t just tell you what you want to hear. He simply says, “This is what I am for, vote for me or don’t, but I won’t BS you to get your vote.” People respect and appreciate that, even Republican voters. Bernie’s main message to Americans is that we all pay our taxes, every working citizen from 18–100, so you should be entitled to share in the profits that America provides. It shouldn’t all go to the top one-tenth of 1% of the country. Bernie believes in leveling the playing field and giving everyone a chance to be successful, and that no one who works full-time should live in property.
Trump will go after Bernie’s identity as a Democratic-Socialist. Trump does not understand that Socialism and Democratic-Socialism are two different things. Socialism is the idea that everyone works the same hours for the same pay; whereas Democratic-Socialism is the idea that everyone can work as much or as little as they want, but if you work, and work hard, you should be entitled to greater rewards. It also keeps a lid on corrupt, highly-profitable companies from cheating their workers by not increasing their pay as profits increase. It’s your basic “Robin Hood” idea of taking the extra surplus of money from the top and using it to help those at the bottom so that everyone in this country has a chance to succeed. Trump will scare voters into thinking Sanders will want to turn America into a socialist hellhole, and that poor people will be coming for your hard-earned money!
Gavin Newsom (49)
The current Lieutenant Governor of California, former Mayor of San Francisco, and the more-than-likely future Governor of California. Gavin Newsom was one of the first prominent Democrats to be for same-sex marriage and marijuana legalization, he’s been firm on homelessness and treating the homeless as people and not trash. He started programs such as Care Not Cash which was made to create housing for the homeless; and Homeward Bound which is a program that helps young homeless be sent to a family member that can take care of them. He believes in creating more paths to citizenship and has been vocal in his support of the idea of sanctuary cities. Newsom, like Warren and Sanders, despises Trump and won’t be afraid to verbally shred him during the primaries and debates. What makes Newsom, in my opinion, the best choice for the Left to win is his charm. He is good-looking, suave, and very well-spoken, all good traits to have to get people to listen to you. He is cut from the same cloth as Obama when it comes to delivering a message with passion, poise, and believability.
A major reason Trump won is because Hillary Clinton, despite being extremely bright and hard-working, never came off authentic or genuine. Newsom understands that no one will win simply by arguing that the other candidate is crazy. Hillary’s campaign was just “Yeah, I’m not likeable…but Trump is worse!” If he runs, Newsom will make sure to have a strong, positive message that voters will be excited to get behind.
Trump will attack his looks. I know it sounds silly, but we can easily see Trump making fun of Newsom’s hair, his perfect teeth, his suave style, and compare him to a “player” who is trying to sweet-talk Americans for votes the same way a womanizer lures a woman into the bedroom. Yes, it’s childish and pathetic, but this is Trump we’re talking about…when isn’t he childish and pathetic? Trump may also go after Newsom for the same thing he’d go after Kamala Harris for — sanctuary cities. Newsom will get blamed for the death of Kathryn Steinle, and Trump will warn the country that if elected President, Gavin Newsom will protect illegal immigrants more than American citizens.
The possible, but too soon to tell:
Jerry Brown (79)
The oldest of the pack, Jerry Brown is the current Governor of California and a strong critic of Donald Trump. In politics, Republicans often promise to cut spending, whereas Democrats promise to raise taxes (on mostly the upper class). As soon as he took office for a second time, Jerry Brown both cut spending and raised taxes, turning a $27 billion deficit (yes, that’s billion with a “b”) into a surplus and now California, alone, has the sixth strongest economy in the world, soon to be fifth. Brown fixed every mistake his Republican predecessor made (sorry, Arnold! Still a big fan of your movies!) and used California to lead by example in showing what happens when the entire state is run my Democrats. Gay marriage, pot legalization, carbon regulations and many other great movements have all passed under Jerry Brown’s control. If elected President, Brown will no doubt run the country the same way he runs California. As of today, Brown has said he does not have any plans to run for President, but nothing is certain.
If he runs, Trump will go after his age — warning voters that Brown is senile, cranky, and that whoever he chooses for VP is just a heart-beat away from becoming President; a problem that can be easily fixed should Brown choose someone strong like a GavinNewsom or Elizabeth Warren as his running mate.
Mark Zuckerberg (33)
Mark Zuckerberg is the young billionaire social-media giant who came to fame after creating Facebook. If he wins, Zuckerberg will be the youngest person in American History to be President. He is thirty-three now, but will be thirty-five around campaign season. No one knows for sure what his policies would be, or what kind of message he will run on, but what we can say today is that Zuckerberg is very good when it comes to giving back. Zuckerberg has donated millions to charities, particularly ones that support young minds in schools paving the way in the fields of medicine and technology. In 2013, he appeared on the Facebook float in support of the LBGTQ community during the annual Gay Pride Parade; and in 2015 he voiced his support of the Muslim community and publicly stated that current and future Muslim employees will “always have a place at Facebook.” He supports Black Lives Matter, and in 2015, he and his wife, Priscilla Chan, donated $75 million to the [Zuckerberg] General Hospital of San Francisco, which cares for people who suffer from serious trauma, the elderly, uninsured working people, illegal immigrants, and the poor. In the past, he has supported and fund-raised for both Chris Christie and Cory Booker in New Jersey.
It’s unknown right now if Zuckerberg will run for President, but if he does, one thing Trump will not attack is his worth. At just under $70 billion, Mark Zuckerberg wouldn’t be just the youngest President, but also the richest. Trump may not even be a billionaire at all, if only he would show his tax returns, we would know for sure. Trump ran his campaign on the promise to “run the country like a successful business”. Having run one of the most successful companies ever, Zuckerberg would take away Trump’s credibility (whatever little he has left, if any at all) as the best businessman and negotiator in politics today.
Joe Biden (74)
We know him as Obama’s Vice President, but Joe Biden has accomplished so much on his own even before the Obama years. He was a Senator from Delaware and former Presidential candidate in 1988 and 2008. Whether or not he will run in 2020 remains a complete mystery since he has said back-and-forth that he won’t, only to change his mind and say that he “hasn’t decided yet”. If he does run, he will carry on his back a huge share in the success of the Obama administration — which gave us Healthcare, got the ball rolling on restricting carbon emissions in cars, controlled the debt ceiling crisis back in 2013, killed Bin Laden and Gaddafi, saved the economy from a second Depression, and can brag about his ability to negotiate well with Republicans in congress to get legislation passed. For whatever reason, Republicans in congress seemed to respect and get along with Biden. He was, and still is, a tough S.O.B. He could use that reputation as a key point in convincing the public that he can heal the hate between the two parties in this country better than anyone else, and get everyone to work together to fix our problems without fighting. Biden was born in Pennsylvania, a swing state that went for Trump back in 2016 that holds twenty electoral votes. Should he become the Democratic nominee, Biden will no doubt campaign there and (probably) take that swing state away from Trump.
Trump will accuse him of wanting to continue Obama’s work, which as we know isn’t a bad thing at all, but Trump voters think it is. Biden does have a zero-tolerance policy for BS during debates, as he showed back in 2012 when he squared off with Paul Ryan during the Vice-Presidential debate, and Trump will use that short temper to convince the country Biden is too emotional to be President. Talk about the pot calling the kettle black, right?
The looooooong shots:
Michelle Obama (53)
She is the former First Lady and wife of the very successful Barack Obama, 44th President of the United States. Although she says she won’t run, millions of people, including Democrats in congress, want her to run for President since her victory would put Barack back in the White House for 4–8 more years which is exactly what liberals want; and she wouldn’t be completely inexperienced. Michelle certainly played a hand in many of the decisions Barack made and provided her insight into most of his policies and choices. She can argue that she has more experience than Trump, and her being who she is, both African-American and a woman, would convince that many more people to vote. Her best quality is her poise. Michelle is as cool as a cucumber in the spotlight and not once over eight years did she ever let us see her angry or frustrated side; in fact, quite the opposite. She was always a class-act and held her head high no matter what challenge she was approached with. She is a role-model for young girls and women and a leader in pushing human rights for all citizens. If she runs, we really could have our first female President. However, let’s not forget that back in 2016, Michelle was the one who expressed that she couldn’t wait to get out of the White House. She may end up taking one for the team and run for President, and if she does run, I know one Californian who will be on the streets campaigning for “Michelle 2020!”
A very strong key element that Michelle Obama has in her favor is that Trump doesn’t have anything on her. What would he attack? Her husband was a terrific President and he would be there at her side every step of the way. Another thing about Michelle Obama that makes her so dangerous to Republicans and Trump is that she has no scandals. None. Not one. Trump can’t put his finger on anything and cry that she caused it or say, “her emails!” She would be the purest of the candidates, and that would terrify and frustrate Trump and his voters. Having said all of that — having no scandals has never stopped Fox News and the Republican Party from simply making one up and milking it all day, every day until election day. Rush Limbaugh will drill the fake scandal on his radio show, Ann Coulter will write a book about it, and Sean Hannity, Fox and Friends, The Fox Five, and every conservative guest on Fox News will repeat how whatever fictional scandal they come up with is suddenly “the single greatest corruption in the history of America!”
Despite all of that, Michelle Obama should run for President. Putting Trump aside for a second, I honestly don’t see how she could possibly lose…to anyone. So, Mrs. (former) First Lady, if you are reading this…please give it some serious thought. Your country needs you.
Judith Sheindlin (74)
Probably the longest shot of any of the candidates. You might know her as Judge Judy from her hit reality television court show, but the woman off-camera, Judith Sheindlin, has been rumored to be showing interest in getting into the 2020 Presidential race. Although no sources have confirmed or denied this rumor, Judy Judge makes no secrets that she is just as disgusted by Trump as the rest of us. She is a strong supporter of same-sex marriage, better gun-control laws, and believes in better funding for public education. She may be a smaller woman, but her quick mouth and tough persona could make drill sergeants cry. Could you imagine her and Trump in the debates!? She will laugh in Trump’s orange face, tell him he has “‘stupid’ written on your forehead” and call him “a liar, liar, pants on fire!” She is very knowledgeable about the law, the constitution, and could very much “learn on the job” as Obama did. She could be a success in the campaign for the same reasons Trump was — she’s a celebrity, a reality TV star, and isn’t afraid to show her teeth. Her celebrity status as a well-known television star will work heavily in her favor in gaining popularity in the political world. She is a very long shot from running, but to watch her during debates would be enjoyable simply because no one would attack her. I pity the fool who makes that mistake first! Imagine the scene: A candidate starts their debate answer with, “I question why Judy is here. I mean, let’s address her lack of… (looks over at Judge Judy, sees that angry, hungry, you are dead meat glare) …never mind.”
Honorable Mentions: Mark Cuban, Al Franken, Dwayne Johnson, Cory Booker, Anthony Weiner, Tim Kaine, Maxine Waters, Ted Lieu. All possible candidates, but will more likely campaign or fundraise for someone else, or end up as someone’s Vice-President pick, instead.
Didn’t see your pick on this list? We will provide a follow-up list closer to election season as more names are thrown around and new faces step into the spotlight. Let me know in the comments below who you think should run and why? What would they bring to the table? How would they take down Trump? And who could be their VP? Let your voice and candidate be heard!
Brian Moniz is a 29-year-old man from San Jose, Calif. He studied filmmaking and writing at San Jose State University from 2010–2013 and got his bachelor’s degree in Radio-TV-Film. Throughout his high school and college years, he worked as a music and movie journalist and critic. Having only recently come out of the closet himself in 2014, Brian enjoys writing about LGBTQ issues. His only regret when it comes to his sexuality is that he didn’t come out sooner. Read more by Brian here.