You’ve probably noticed there’s a Democratic primary coming up. Presidential candidates have been lining up since practically the day after the last election. They’ve mostly declared their intentions on TV shows or campaign videos, but some have opted for the perfect setting to kick off their campaigns and get noticed—everything from a whiteout snowstorm to a family room couch.
We now have 23 viable candidates— of whom most of us can name only 10 at best. The primaries begin early next year, so we’ll be narrowing down that number soon with the help of the debate process. Since it’s hard to imagine a debate with 23 candidates all trying to get a word in edgewise, the Democratic National Committee (DNC) has devised criteria based on polling and donations to qualify candidates for a firm spot on the first debate stage at the end of June.
First, they have to show 1% support in three approved polls (family polls don’t count). My question is: who’s being polled? Nobody has asked my opinion—unless requests were among the 72 political emails I automatically delete every morning. According to my own anecdotal poll, it’s a rare person who has picked a favorite candidate at this point, so how valid are these polls anyway? Sounds a little like an American Idol stacked popularity contest.
To qualify, candidates must also have 65,000 donors to their campaigns with at least 200 of them in 20 different states. That probably further explains the 72 emails I delete regularly—they’re asking for money. Most people I know are holding off on donating to see how things shake out. So who’s donating? And why would you donate if you haven’t decided on a favorite?
The first debate round will be divided into two nights with 10 candidates on each stage—still hard to get a word in edgewise—but better.
In any case, the Democratic primary is kind of a circus this election which is an apt metaphor considering the clown the winner will be running against. Democrats are being careful not to attack each other this time around. Remembering the negative groundwork they laid in the last primary for Republicans to build on, they’re saving their vitriol for the Big Bozo.
I saw Nancy Pelosi at the Commonwealth Club recently. Someone asked her which Democratic candidate was her favorite to win. She said any one of them would be better than what we have. A couple of nights later I saw Adam Schiff who went even further when he suggested any breathing person would be an improvement.
See—they haven’t picked a favorite yet either! I rest my case re the polling issue.
Maybe you’re a news junkie who’s tried to stay on top of every breaking story since the election, but here’s a little quiz to see how closely you’ve been paying attention to all these Democratic hopefuls:
1. Kennedy was elected President at a young age. How does Pete Buttigeig’s age compare?
a. Pete is 4 years younger
b. Kennedy was 4 years older
c. They’re both the same age
d. Pete is 6 years younger
2. The reason Biden was a no-show at events in San Francisco and Iowa:
a. He’s still looking for a comfortable pair of walking shoes.
b. His new hair plugs haven’t taken root yet.
c. He might not want to mess up his front-runner status
d. Who knows?
3. Which of the following does NOT describe Tulsi Gabbard?
a. Tulsi is a Hawaiian woman
c. Iraq War Marine vet
d. an avid Warriors fan
4. Who will most likely NOT be on the first debate stage:
a. What’s-his-name, the mayor of Miramar, Florida.
b. Mike Gravel, the octogenarian who doesn’t want to win.
c. The 141 other minor Democratic candidates who didn’t meet the polling and donations qualifications.
d. All of the above.
5. Which is NOT represented in the diverse group of candidates?
a. old white guys
b. five people of color
c. an openly gay person
d. a Native American (kind of)
e. a Lichtenstein pirate
6. Oprah has a special connection to candidate Marianne Williamson:
a. they both endorse Weight Watchers
b. Williamson also dated Stedman
c. she’s Oprah’s spiritual advisor
d. they both declare that the Kassatex spa robe in silver sage is one of their “favorite things.”
7. Which is a real campaign slogan this year?
a. I’ll still be alive in 40 years.
b. With age comes wisdom.
c. The best man for the job is a woman.
d. I got a plan.
8. The Presidential race will be over after:
a. 12 primary debates
b. Primary elections and Caucuses spanning 10 months.
c. two Conventions
d. more debates
e. Election Day, Tuesday, November 3, 2020
f. All of the above
We’re just getting started!
There’s still a year and a half to go before the last act of the Greatest Show on Earth when we’ll finally get to see who’s left standing in the ring.
Key: 1. D 2. D 3. D 4. D 5. E 6. C (I know, hard to believe!) 7. D 8. F