We Lost 3.

In the wake of New Hampshire, we’ve lost three Democratic candidates.

Do you know Michael Bennet was still running for president?  What about Deval Patrick?  They’re both out of the race now.

Patrick entered the race too late to make a difference.  Maybe if he had run in 2016, he would have had a better chance but, by the time this year rolled around, most people didn’t remember who he was.

Michael Bennet was the type of candidate who, in the past, would have been treated like a serious contender but who, in 2020, was just too conventional to make much of an impression.  Bennet tried to make his ability to win in a swing state a part of his appeal but is Colorado really a swing state at this point?

Andrew Yang has also dropped out and I’m going to miss him.  He was the last likable candidate in the race but, in retrospect, he was always more of an online phenomenon than a real world contender.  Hopefully, he’ll run for office in New York.  Since New York is going to keep electing Democrats anyway, it would be nice to see them elect one who isn’t a jerk.

I Like Andrew Yang

I like Andrew Yang.

Don’t get me wrong.  I won’t be voting for him.  I disagree with the majority of his policy proposals.  As far as politics are concerned, though we both share some common concerns about Donald Trump,  we are on opposite sides of the partisan divide.

But, on a personal level, I like the guy.  Unlike the professional politicians that he’s facing in the Democratic primaries, he seems to be running because of a sincere love for this country and a desire to make it a better place.  Obviously, you have to a high opinion of yourself to think that you could be President but it’s still hard not to notice that Yang seems to be far more modest and open-minded than Biden, Warren, Sanders, Harris, Buttigieg, or O’Rourke.  While the other contenders are hopping onto every trend and saying whatever they think their base wants to here, Yang has consistently been the only candidate willing to say that there’s more to campaigning and governing than blindly punishing the other side.

There’s a lot of talk about how candidates like Harris, Castro, and O’Rourke have hurt themselves with bad debate performances.  To me, the talk should be about how Yang has risen in the polls after each debate, despite never being given as much time to make his case as the other candidates.  Obviously, many people are responding to Yang’s promise of a universal basic income but there’s also an authenticity to Yang that is missing in the other candidates.

I may not agree with Andew Yang on a lot of things but he is the sort of person who I wish we had more of in politics.

Gillibrand’s Out

Kirsten Gillibrand ended her presidential campaign yesterday so we are now down to just 20 major Democratic candidates.

Though it may be hard to remember now but Gillibrand was a big deal in the early months of 2017.  That was when she made a name for herself by voting against every single Trump cabinet nominee.  At the time, she got the type of fawning coverage that, today, is usually reserved for Elizabeth Warren.  Gillibrand was also the first Democratic presidential contender to regularly curse while giving interviews.  The next time Beto strategically drops an F-bomb, remember that he’s ripping off Kirsten Gillibrand.

It’s easy to say that Gillibrand’s presidential campaign failed to catch on because donors never forgave her for leading the charge to pressure Al Franken into resigning his seat.  I know just how easy it is because I said it on twitter right after I heard that Gillibrand was withdrawing from the race.  It is true that, after Franken resigned, many Democratic donors did announce that they would never give money to Gillibrand.  (I have honestly seen toddlers react to breaking a favorite toy with more maturity than many Democrats have shown over losing Al Franken.)

However, having watched her campaign for the last five months, I think there was another reason why Gillibrand never gained much momentum in the race.  She was simply a terrible candidate.  If Kirsten Gillibrand told you the sky was blue, you would still want to step outside and check before taking her word on it.  If you offered her a big enough contribution, you could probably convince Gillibrand to flip and declare that the sky’s actually green and she only said it was blue because she was originally elected from a conservative, upstate district where voters were not smart enough to understand what colour the sky actually was.

With Gillibrand withdrawing, it falls upon Andrew Yang and Bill de Blasio to carry the banner of New York in the Democratic primary.  Yang is perhaps the only interesting Democrat running this year and he doesn’t seem likely to drop out any time soon.  As for de Blasio, dropping out would mean returning to New York City so it’s probably for the best that he stay in Iowa where no one knows him.