Who are these people and what do they want?

Jared Hussey
Jul 9 · 13 min read
(Photo/Fortune)

Out of the 96 Democratic candidates for President of the United States, you only know like six of their names, and can probably only pick four of them out of a lineup.

That’s why I’m here to help. What follows is a comprehensive breakdown of each candidate’s strengths, weaknesses, and how my 56-year-old Aunt Birdie — a divorced teacher with four cats and an alcohol dependency — thinks about the field.

Bernie Sanders

Strengths

  • It often goes overlooked, but “Bernie” is a fun name
  • His Civil Rights record speaks for itself
  • Is a very adept basketball player, so, if the presidency comes down to a 1v1 game, Bernie is the guy to beat

Weaknesses

  • His Ben & Jerry’s ice cream flavor — “Bernie’s Yearning” — is essentially just mint chip
  • There is a theory circulating online that Bernie invented time travel and actually went back in time to start segregation, only so he could fight it in the then-present day and use it to bolster his reputation. Huge if true
  • If Bernie wins, Democrats will have to confront the scary thought that if he was not railroaded four years ago, then maybe the country could have avoided this whole Trump presidency

What Aunt Birdie Thinks

“He’s sexy for an old man.”

Joe Biden

Strengths

  • Believe it or not, he was once Vice President of the United States under his good friend Barack Obama
  • He gets a bad reputation for giving unwarranted back rubs, but, if you ask for one, woah boy, this guy’s got magic thumbs
  • He always gets a seat on the bus
  • He’s always willing to work with you, whether you’re a Republican, segregationist, or cancer

Weaknesses

  • It’s not a good look that “Is he racist?” has become a talking point
  • Has completely reversed on abortion, and is now anti-birth

What Aunt Birdie Thinks

“He looks like the older version of a kid I went to college with who died in a house fire.”

John Delaney

Strengths

  • If this whole president thing doesn’t work out, he’s on the shortlist to play Hank Hill in the live-action King of the Hill movie
  • His big policy proposal is cloning himself 330 million times and giving each American their own personal John Delaney

Weaknesses

  • He has already campaigned in every county in Iowa, which is nice, but begs the question: Did this guy not have anything better to do?
  • He spends a lot of time reaching out to Trump voters, and wastes valuable campaign funds washing and drying his white robe every week

What Aunt Birdie Thinks

  • “‘President Delaney’ sounds like the fictional president on a show like 24 or something. That’s not a real president name.”

Andrew Yang

Strengths

  • Wants to give me money just for being me, which is sweet :)
  • His supporters are called “The Yang Gang,” and who wouldn’t want to be a part of the camaraderie and fun that being associated with a gang entails

Weaknesses

  • Has virtually no political experience, and, by “virtually,” I mean absolutely none
  • As surprising as this might sound, many white Americans are not only racist against black people, but also Asian people. (Note: Yang’s ethnicity is not a weakness, but the fact that he’s running for president in a racist country definitely is)

What Aunt Birdie Thinks

“That’s a good-looking Asian.”

Julián Castro

Strengths

  • Other than Fidel Castro and his family, every other Castro I’ve ever known has been delightful
  • Supports free trade, and everyone likes free shit
  • It would be nice to go from a cool name like Barack, to a dumb, generic name like Donald, to another cool name like Julián

Weaknesses

  • I’m not sure if Americans want to put in the extra work of having to learn how to get the accent mark every time they want to type this guy’s name
  • He is a twin, which means, yes, there’s a chance he’s the good one… but what if he’s not?

What Aunt Birdie Thinks

“My ex-boyfriend was a twin and one time I got drunk and had sex with his brother. I told him I didn’t know it wasn’t him. But I knew.”

Marianne Williamson

Strengths

  • She was Oprah’s spiritual advisor, which means, if she wins, we all might get new cars, or at the very least all-expenses-paid trips to the Caribbean
  • Big Witch Energy
  • Say what you want about her kookiness, but you can’t deny that she comes across as a genuinely good person

Weaknesses

  • Definitely listens to Morrissey
  • She would probably pick a ghost or something as her Vice President, and it’d be such a hassle to light candles and summon it every time we need to break a tie in the Senate

What Aunt Birdie Thinks

“I did peyote with her once after PotteryFest in D.C. and we ended up licking Honest Abe’s feet at the Lincoln Memorial and they called the Capitol Police on us.”

Tulsi Gabbard

Strengths

  • Best friends with Russian president Vladimir Putin, so that definitely helps her chances of winning an election in America
  • Not a lot of people can pull off that bad-ass streak of gray hair
  • Wants to end war, which probably isn’t a bad platform

Weaknesses

  • Volcanoes
  • She is Samoan American, but is not The Rock. That brings her down a few pegs
  • No way in hell we have two presidents from Hawaii before we even have one president from Minnesota (Note: This is NOT an endorsement of Amy Klobuchar)

What Aunt Birdie Thinks

“Tulsa? Is that what her parents meant?”

Cory Booker

Strengths

  • “First Lady Rosario Dawson” has a nice ring to it
  • He was one of the first politicians to be active on social media (but then was quickly overshadowed by the cast of Jersey Shore)
  • Has a lot of donors from Wall Street and Silicon Valley, so his campaign basically has an unlimited stream of money, sort of like he keeps doing the MOTHERLODE cheat code on Sims so he doesn’t actually have to work for anything

Weaknesses

  • Scientists have studied it piece-by-piece and examined it for years, but we are still unsure of what substance Cory Booker is made out of
  • I don’t even think people from New Jersey like him
  • Out of all of the Democratic candidates to have a black son, it is not him

What Aunt Birdie Thinks

“He shoveled my driveway once and then forced me to post a picture of it on Instagram.”

Amy Klobuchar

Strengths

  • Can hit an intern square in the head with a coffee mug from across the room
  • Was the first woman to be elected a Minnesota senator, and will be the first first woman to be elected a Minnesota senator to lose a primary race

Weaknesses

  • Can no longer ask to speak to the manager if she becomes the manager of the U.S.
  • Held a rally in a blizzard, which brings into question whether or not she is a yeti. We cannot afford a yeti president. Not now

What Aunt Birdie Thinks

“Amy Cobuller? Cockblocker? How do you pronounce it again?”

Bill de Blasio

Strengths

  • Among his achievements as mayor of NYC: $15 minimum wage, universal pre-kindergarten, a drop in crime, and the Nets got KD and Kyrie
  • If 2016 was any indication, being a loud, bombastic New Yorker is certainly enough to win the presidency

Weaknesses

  • Is actually just three dogs stacked up on top of each other wearing a suit
  • Rudy Giuliani is known for being a better mayor, and there’s no coming back from that
  • The New York Knicks

What Aunt Birdie Thinks

“Build-A-Blasio, sort of like Build-A-Bear, only instead of a stuffed animal, we build a better candidate.”

Jason Drexel

Strengths

  • A Rhodes Scholar, and is the richest candidate in the field
  • Has already released his tax returns, and, if I knew how to read or access someone else’s tax returns, I could tell you if this was a good thing or a bad thing
  • Is good friends with the lead singer of The Pixies, so, if he wins, we might get a pretty cool inauguration

Weaknesses

  • Is not real. That’s a picture of President Charles Logan on 24, played by Gregory Itzin

Mike Gravel

Strengths

  • Holder of the Power Amulet, which guarantees him good health for another 6,000 years
  • Total fucking heartthrob
  • Was woke before being woke was the woke thing to do

Weaknesses

  • That whole “Power Amulet” thing isn’t true. He’s really old
  • His campaign is being run by two high school kids, which is all fine and dandy until one dies in the next school shooting

What Aunt Birdie Thinks

“He threw a rock at me to announce his 2020 presidential bid.”

Eric Swalwell

Strengths

  • Supports strict gun control and can save the Gravel teens’ lives
  • 44 out of 45 U.S. presidents have been white men over the age of 35, and Mr. Swalwell definitely fits that category

Weaknesses

  • His student loan debt is through the roof
  • If you were to play a game of Fuck, Marry, Kill with the three young bucks — Swalwell, Mayor Pete, and Beto — Swalwell would be gone faster than you can spell his last name
  • Extremely bipartisan, but not tripartisan enough

What Aunt Birdie Thinks

“Swalwell that ends well. Ha!”

Jay Inslee

Strengths

  • He’s the only person running on the main platform of stopping climate change
  • Has the support of Bill Nye the fucking Science Guy
  • Can get to the last algorithm of a Rubik’s Cube before giving up

Weaknesses

  • There are dog accounts with more Instagram followers
  • Is kind of a downer with how he keeps reminding us that our world is dying

What Aunt Birdie Thinks

“I love the environment too but I simply refuse to vote for someone whose first name is just ‘Jay.’”

Kirsten Gillibrand

Strengths

  • Her last name is fun to say once you learn how to properly pronounce it
  • As we all know, smoking cigarettes makes you 30% cooler, and her past support of the tobacco industry indicates that this is one cool cat
  • Reminds people of Hillary Clinton, but with far less baggage

Weaknesses

  • Reminds people of Hillary Clinton, amount of baggage notwithstanding
  • Supports universal paid parental leave, which is fucked up. Parents shouldn’t get paid to leave
  • Probably not getting Al Franken’s vote

What Aunt Birdie Thinks

“She was my Congresslady for a few years and one time I got really drunk and egged her house. I don’t know why. Come to think of it, it might not have been her house. And might not have been eggs.”

Tim Ryan

Strengths

  • A true grillmaster
  • His former Congressman was convicted on corruption charges and later died. This is not a strength, but just a fun fact
  • A middle-of-the-road candidate, in that he is in the middle of the road with a cup begging for help, and you are sitting there in your car, pretending not to notice him

Weaknesses

  • Is not real. This is a picture of… Oh, what? Never mind. Tim Ryan is a real candidate? Wow.

What Aunt Birdie Thinks

“Don’t trust a guy with two names. I once dated a guy named Drake Blake. He stole my Swiffer, and then I bought a new one, and he stole that, too. Nothing else. Just the Swiffer. Tim totally looks like the type of guy that steals a Swiffer.”

Pete Buttigieg

Strengths

  • His husband
  • Is a former veteran and the youngest candidate, so it stands to reason he is probably the literal strongest of the field
  • Even though he represents the complete physical opposite of Barack Obama, he somehow still reminds people of our 44th president

Weaknesses

  • Generally speaking, people from Indiana are weird
  • Calls his wiener Deputy Mayor Pete, which isn’t as cute as it sounds
  • He’s like 5'8, and — this is true — 19 of the past 27 presidential elections have been won by the taller candidate

What Aunt Birdie Thinks

“I think he’s faking it.”

John Hickenlooper

Strengths

  • When he was younger, he started a brewery after he lost his job, which is truly the dream
  • He wants to “cut the red tape.” To be real with you, I don’t know what this means, but, sure, fuck that tape

Weaknesses

  • Just imagine you’re watching the Super Bowl and the president is in attendance and they show him on TV, and then Tony Romo is like — “And there he is, our fearless leader, the man we all look up to, our Commander-in-Chief: President Hickenlooper”
  • Helped get marijuana — the Devil’s lettuce, Mary Jane, bud, reefer, skunk, ganja, hazy blazy — legalized in Colorado. This would be a strength if it didn’t make everyone else super jealous

What Aunt Birdie Thinks

“I lost my virginity to a John Hickenlooper. That’s a common name, right?”

Michael Bennet

Strengths

  • This:
  • Out of all the candidates, this one reminds me the most of my dad

Weaknesses

  • See Strength #2
  • Bernie Bros treat him like the dean who wants to shut the frat house down
  • Didn’t wish me a happy birthday this year :(

Elizabeth Warren

Strengths

  • Out of all of the ideas of all the candidates in this race, Elizabeth Warren has the most
  • Can funnel a beer in 1.3 seconds
  • Has a Northeast attitude and a Midwest smile

Weaknesses

  • If she’s the nominee, we’re going to have to hear Trump call her Pocahontas, and that shit is annoying
  • It took a substantial amount of time to convince her that “Whorin’ for Warren” wasn’t a good campaign slogan
  • In the unlikely scenario of a zombie apocalypse, Elizabeth Warren possesses the rare gene that would allow her to think critically even if she is zombified. This would spell doom for mankind

What Aunt Birdie Thinks

*reading off Wikipedia *— “Did you know she wanted to be a teacher, but left school to marry her husband Jim?”

Steve Bullock

Strengths

  • Second-place finish at the annual “Steve Bullock Lookalike Contest” at the Montana State Fair
  • He wants to finds common ground with people who voted for Trump, like maybe negotiate for better healthcare as long as only one kid dies per day at the border. Art of the deal

Weaknesses

  • Is not real. That’s a picture of… Wait, what? This guy’s real, too? Steve Bullock? Holy shit.

What Aunt Birdie Thinks

“He looks like the perpetual third guy in line. Does that make sense? Like, the guy who is never next up, but who is right after that, steadily growing more and more impatient, but trying to keep his cool. He’s that guy.”

Beto O’Rourke

Strengths

  • He had dreams of being a rock star, which at the very least makes him one of the most relatable candidates
  • Was a member of the Spanish Honor Society in high school
  • Fuckable

Weaknesses

  • Let’s not forget: This nerd lost to Ted Cruz
  • His major policy proposal is for you to log onto his website and buy a $35 “Bet on Beto” t-shirt
  • Stood up on my table, broke it, said he’d pay me back, and then fucking ran. Puta

What Aunt Birdie Thinks

“Enough out of this guy. Take your shirt off or get off the fucking stage.”

Kamala Harris

Strengths

  • Holds the distinction of being the first black woman Joe Biden has ever spoken to
  • It’s fun to sing her name to that Muppets song — Kamala la, do dooo do do do, Kamala la, do do do do!
  • As the child of Jamaican and Indian immigrants, racist voters might get so confused that they accidentally vote for her

Weaknesses

  • An excellent public speaker, which sounds like a strength, but who the fuck knows what Americans like anymore
  • Her presidential campaign isn’t accepting any corporate PAC money, which isn’t nice. It’s rude to not accept gifts. Even when my grandma was poor and would always try to give me $10 every time I saw her, I would take it because I would much rather her have less money and feel like she did something nice than her have more money and feel like a failure. She is dead now

What Aunt Birdie Thinks

“Pamela Harris? She was a cop, right?”


Jared is an award-winning (that’s not true) writer who has published featured articles (also not true) in Playboy, Maxim, and Entertainment Weekly (no, no, and no). In his free time, he donates his time to help (don’t know where this is going, but it’s probably not true) inner-city youth learn how to read (yeah, not true). If you enjoyed this piece or would like to troll Jared on social media, his Twitter is here.

The Bigger Picture

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Jared Hussey

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I peaked in high school. https://jaredhusseyexperience.wordpress.com

The Bigger Picture

Oddly specific. Universally applicable. Submit your writing to biggerpicturemedium@gmail.com.

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