When we asked a few weeks back about what kinds of things you wanted to see on The Clock Out, one brave soul answered “politics,” and well, my friend, I am here to deliver for you.
Now, I must make a confession: I wasn’t hugely politically active until a few years ago, when a giant orange ape/person defeated the first female presidential candidate. Sure, I voted, I kept updated on issues that were important to me, and I even watched some debates, but I wasn’t particularly active (or even really knowledgeable) about politics in general before 2016. So, I’m kind of new at this.
Another confession – which isn’t really a confession if you follow me on Twitter – is that I’m a Democrat. Some may even say a liberal. I believe in a woman’s right to choose, universal healthcare, gun control, and the urgency of climate change. But that doesn’t mean I can’t see both sides of an issue, or the value in those on the other side of the aisle. I actually like my Republican governor here in Massachusetts and I agree with Republicans like John Kasich and Mia Love sometimes when I see them on television. Personally, I think we could all do a little better to listen to each other, but that’s just me.
Ok so now that we’ve gotten that preamble out of the way, let’s talk about the 2020 Democratic Presidential candidates. Honestly, the field is so crowded, I think I could announce that I was running and no one would blink an eye. “Internet Writer With No Political Experience Announces Candidacy!” sounds pretty cool, right? Anyway, with 16 candidates (as of this writing), it’s hard to keep them all straight, so I’ve taken to writing down my thoughts so when it comes time to vote in the primary, I can remember them. So, I figured I’d share them with you as we move toward the convention in July 2020 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin (the state Hillary forgot). I’ll update it from time to time as big things happen (Papa Joe getting in changes the whole thing) or just as my opinions shift. Let’s do it, shall we?
No. 16 – 11 (in no particular order): Wayne Messam, Julian Castro, John Delaney, Tulsi Gabbard, Marianne Williamson, Andrew Yang
Who the hell are you people? I mean that metaphorically since I know that you are, respectively: mayor of Miramar, Florida; the former U.S. secretary of housing and urban development and former mayor of San Antonio; a former Congressman from Maryland; a current Congresswoman from Hawaii; an author; and an entrepreneur. But, like…what are you doing? You know you don’t stand a chance in hell of getting the nomination, right? What the fuck is your game plan here?
No. 10: Amy Klobuchar
Ok, I’m just going to say it: this bitch scares the shit out of me. She may have played Brett Kavanaugh like a fiddle, but you’ve heard all of the stories about how she terrorizes her staff, right? Well, my momma taught me that you can judge people by how they treat the waitstaff in a restaurant, and I figure the same goes for your Congressional staff. Tina Fey may have said that “bitches get stuff done” back in 2008, but she certainly wasn’t referring to throwing office supplies at your staff. Next.
No. 9: Jay Inslee
This dude’s got some experience: he’s Governor of Washington, he was in the House of Representatives, he served in the Clinton administration, and he was in the Washington legislature. And I even respect that he’s centering his entire campaign around climate change and how it affects everything from the economy to public health. But I just don’t see how he gets to the finish line.
No. 8: John Hickenlooper
Is anyone going to be able to hold back their laugh when they say “President Hickenlooper?” No; you know the people of Colorado gave a little giggle every time they said “Governor Hickenlooper.” But then again, I suppose it’s better than the groan that is emitted when our current commander in chief’s name is uttered.
No.7: Bernie Sanders
So. Much. Yelling. I really don’t want it to feel like my President is my 80-year-old Jewish grandpa screaming at me all the time. Of course, right now it feels like the President is my other grandpa (the racist one) babbling incoherently about conspiracy theories and witch hunts, so I suppose getting yelled in an articulate manner would be an upgrade.
No.6: Beto O’Rourke
I’m nervous to put this in writing for fear it will forever damage my friendship with Kyle Bandujo, but I’m just not crazy about the former Congressman from Texas. I totally get the appeal, but he just doesn’t do it for me, even if he was “born for this.” (Really, dude?)
No. 5: Elizabeth Warren
Much like I get why people like Beto, I also get why people don’t like Elizabeth Warren. She sort of sounds like your know-it-all aunt who talks over everyone at Thanksgiving dinner and that’s annoying. But let’s be honest – she does know a lot, about a lot of things. She taught at Harvard, for fuck’s sake. Plus she’s shamelessly using her dog on the campaign trail, and I am here for it.
No. 4: Kamala Harris
According to Wikipedia, “Since becoming a Senator, Harris has supported Medicare-for-all, legalization of recreational marijuana, sanctuary cities, passing a DREAM Act, and lowering taxes for the working and middle classes while raising taxes on corporations and the wealthiest top 1% of Americans.” Sounds good to me – good enough for #4, anyway.
No .3: Kirsten Gillibrand
The reason I like Gillibrand is actually pretty simple: she admits to changing opinions. Who the hell does that? For example, Gillibrand was an advocate for gun rights while serving as a congresswoman from 2007 to 2009 in a rural NY GOP district and she received an “A” rating from the National Rifle Association (NRA) during that time. But since the shooting of her colleague of Gabrielle Giffords in 2012 as well as the Sandy Hook shooting in 2013, she’s shifted her stance on the regulation of weapons. She’s stated, “I just think as I’ve gotten older, I’ve learned more about life and sometimes you’re wrong. And you’ve gotta fix it. And if you’re wrong, just admit it and move on.”
And isn’t that the type of person we want as president – someone who is open to shifting their thoughts as they learn?
No. 2: Cory Booker
He was the mayor of a large city, so he gets management. He is a United States Senator, so he gets the Federal Government. He’s occasionally a little too self-aggrandizing for my taste, but I can’t deny the guy knows his shit. If you want to learn more about Booker, I suggest you watch the doc Street Fight, about his first mayoral campaign, on Netflix. Yeah, I’m a nerd who watches political docs on Netflix, but at least I’m relatively informed.
No. 1: Pete Buttigieg
I can’t pronounce his last name no matter how hard I try, but right now, I am all in on Mayor Pete of South Bend, Indiana. He’s literally everything: young, smart, a veteran, and has an unparalleled way with words. He and his husband are adorbs, but the fact that he’s gay isn’t the story; rather, it’s one part of the very interesting story of who Mayor Pete is. Nevermind that he actually has some very solid policy ideas, which you can hear here. Keep an eye on this guy, he may be the Barack Obama of 2020.