Fricke column: Counter-speculation, and a case for Sanders
November 11, 2018
This is a response to syndicated columnist Peter Funt's "Onward to 2020; age, gender key for Democrats" (Nov. 8 Post Independent). I liked Funt's speculation as to whom Democrats should nominate for their presidential ticket in the 2020 election. I am going to speculate in a different direction, though.
A woman presidential candidate would be ideal for Democrats in 2020, but they may not be in a position to have that ideal candidate when dealing with Donald Trump. A woman vice-president might be an option.
I don't believe that Sen. Kamala Harris, 54, Democrat from California, or Sen. Amy Klobuchar, 58, Democrat from Minnesota, have the name recognition that former Vice President Joe Biden, Sen. Bernie Sanders or Sen. Elizabeth Warren have across America. Yes, Biden, Sanders and Warren will be older by 2020, but it will be the experience and wisdom that these potential presidential candidates possess on the national stage that will prevail.
The Democrats will need familiar faces with strong backgrounds to defeat Donald Trump. In other words, Democrats will need the heavyweights to fight the battle against Trump in 2020.
Even though Funt speculates that the Democrats and the Democratic National Committee will be looking for younger candidates to put on the presidential ticket, it will be a big gamble. They may opt for Sen. Corey Booker, Democrat from New Jersey. They might team him up with Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, Democrat from New York. Maybe they can team Biden or Sanders (if Sanders changes his affiliation from Independent to Democrat) with one of the younger candidates. There are many possible combinations for the Democratic Party for 2020.
The Democrats need to be very careful how they handle this presidential nominating process. They should not narrow their list to a final two early in 2020 or before the primaries begin. They need to let all of the previously mentioned Democrats run in the primaries. The more the better. Give the American people a choice in the primaries. They need to parade their talent in the primaries. This would disrupt Trump's strategy to bad-mouth one or two Democratic candidates.
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The establishment Democrats fail to recognize that the 2016 presidential campaign for Sanders was never really over. That flame has continued to burn in many pro-Bernie groups around the country and all over social media. There are millions of Bernie supporters who have held on strongly to the hope for another Bernie run for president in 2020. The presidential campaign for Sanders never died.
Obama, Schumer, Pelosi and Clinton will most likely push for Biden early. It could be embarrassing for the establishment Democrats to narrow their final choices too early especially one that leaves Sanders out.
Remember, Sanders may have actually won that first primary in Iowa in 2016, but Clinton stole Iowa by proclamation. Sanders went on to win New Hampshire immediately after Iowa. What if Sanders gets an early sweep in the Democratic primaries? The establishment Democrats could wind up with a very embarrassing situation, especially if they do not support Sanders in the beginning. This is why the establishment Democrats need to be careful and not mess up a good thing.
If the Democrats still shun Sanders, he should run as an Independent.
As an independent, it is my hope to have a national strategy and national structure for Sanders to run as an independent for president in 2020. If Sanders chooses to run as a Democrat, I am OK with that as long as he gets the full support of the Democratic Party. Sen. Sanders deserves a shot at the presidency in 2020 no matter if he runs as a Democrat or independent.
Before Sanders was forced to endorse Hillary Clinton in the summer of 2016, there were polls that showed that Sanders would have beaten Trump in the general election. America needs Bernie Sanders as a president or vice president. America needs his experience and wisdom. Sanders can make America sane again and heal the divide.
Randy Fricke of New Castle is a former regular columnist for the Post Independent and is now lead organizer for the Western Colorado Independent Voters. He is also author of "IF I WERE PRESIDENT/Saving Main Street America" (2014), and has a new book in the works.