Like any other voters, I have always wanted to know a Democratic candidates policy positions and their vision. Obviously, this is especially true of Democrats running for president. Because I have been around long enough, I’ve seen some elections where Democratic primary voters had little to no choices — the 2000 and 2016 primaries were down to two candidates in those years. Something I have come to realize is that I never really considered was a Democrat’s strategy for winning an election and governing. At least I should say, it was never something I explicitly weighed when considering a presidential candidate. But after the George W. Bush, Obama, and now Trump Administrations, it is a factor that I have to consider for 2020. And given the number of choices we have in this election and the consequences for our democracy and planet, I believe it is a driving force for some of the “energy” in the political debates I have read on Daily Kos.
To steal a line from Corey Booker, defeating Trump is the baseline for what all Democrats need to do. What else are they going to do? How are they going to accomplish their goals? And the answers to those questions are crucial for winning an election and governing.
There are multiple strategies being thrown around by the Democratic candidates. I will generalize them for now:
- Close the political divide by finding common causes that the nation can rally around. Candidates who promote this strategy believe that their are reasonable Republicans that can be negotiated with to pass bipartisan bills. The slogans are “I’m a uniter and can reach across the aisle.” Examples of candidates who embrace this governing strategy are Biden, Klobuchar, and Booker. And I am placing Michael Bennet in this group because he has touted bipartisanship.
- Communicate directly with the American people to rise up and demand of their elected represenatives to vote for popular bills. The strategy is base upon the idea that Congressmen and women and others in the U.S. Senate are responsive to their constituents demands. Sanders is a proponent of this strategy to overcome Republican obstructionism in the U.S. Senate.
- Fight for your legislation, but if you fail to get it through a Republican Senate, utilize executive orders to achieve progressive goals. Kamala Harris and Steve Bullock have embraced this governing strategy.
- A hybird between fighting for your agenda and building concensus. If I understand this strategy properly, you fight against the entrenched interests but try to find consensus with your opponents. Kirsten Gillibrand touts this political strategy.
- Fighting for your agenda and changing the political system that prevents legislation from moving forward. An example of this is eliminating the filibuster in the U.S. Senate and/or electing more Democrats to the Senate and other offices across the land. Proponents of this political strategy are Warren, Buttigieg, Inslee, and O’Rourke.
- Criticize the base of the Democratic Party as being out of touch or too far left. This includes inoculating yourself from the political charge of being a “socialist.” I place Hickenlooper and Delaney under this political strategy.
If you do not see your candidate placed under any of the political strategies for winning an election and governing, it is because I have not been able to find much info about the lesser known candidates.
OK Mr. Smarty Pants Merlin1963. Which political strategy do you think is the best? I’m so glad you asked. It’s the fighting for your agenda and changing the political system strategy that I endorse.
What are your thoughts?