Old timers will remember the famous statement from Vietnam, "We had to blow up the village to save it." Hearing the expression in the recent Ken Burns' PBS special on Vietnam reminded me of the current state of the national Democratic Party.
Yes, many of the recent elections across the country ended up in the Democratic Party column, to the surprise of many. But I wonder how many wins were the result of the Democratic candidates and their issues, as much it was a push back of Trump and his chilling policies.
Also, reeling from the release of former Chair Donna Brazile's new book on the corruption within the DNC, one cannot help but think cleaning house in the Party, and then starting over, might really make the most sense. This writer has suggested that in the past and still feels that way.
So, if we start at the very top of the Democratic Party, with a new slate of Presidential candidates as the subject, who would be on that list? For this exercise, let's eliminate some of the obvious choices first--Vice President Biden, Vice President Gore, Senator Warren, and Independent Senator Sanders. Been there, done that. We said new, and let's start with ten names I have heard, but in many cases know very little about:
Senator Jim Webb (D., Va.) A former candidate for President who is a centurist by today's standards. He may be too old at 73, but he could draw Republican votes in a general election.
Governor-elect Ralph Northam (D., Va.) The trophy winner in Tuesday's elections. Discounted by a last minute push by the Republicans, the former Lt. Governor ran a solid race against an unpopular Trump and Ed Gillispie in the progressive state.
Congressman Joaquin Castro (D., Tx.) Bright, smart (Harvard Law School) and an obvious draw for the burgeoning hispanic vote. Might be a better VP choice.
Senator Kamala Harris (D., Cal.) Former AG of California, comes from the largest electoral college. Maybe too liberal, but could draw big from minority votes of women and African Americans.
Mayor Mark Landrieu (D., New Orleans) Very articulate campaigner from legendary Louisiana family. If not a candidate for the top spot, certainly the second.
Mayor Eric Garcetti (D., LA) Bright and effective chief executive for mega city. Untested nationally and question about how realistic a national race for President might be.
Mayor Pete Buttijig (D., South Bend, In.) Losing candidate for the DNC head, but very attractive, articulate and a darling of the press. Great resume is offset by potential liability of being openly gay.
Former Congresswoman Gwen Graham (D., Fla.) If she can win an upset election as Governor of Florida next year, she will certainly vault into the discussion. Famous Florida family, bright lawyer coming from the third largest state.
Mayor Kasim Reed (D., Atl.) Former Georgia State Legislator and lawyer, with impressive track record as CEO of a major city. Probably too young for the national scene but possible running mate or Cabinet level appointment.
Former Missouri Secretary of State Jason Kander (D., Missouri) Near miss candidate against Senator Roy Blunt in Missouri and favorite of former President Barck Obama. Resume is near perfect and could be candidate from important mid western state.
This is a place to start. These are the big hitters. But there could be a shining start among them. We never know. We in Florida found an unknown crown jewel in Reuben Askew. It is worth the time to look. We can add more and delete as needed. At the grass roots level. Let's get to know these people, as they do in New Hampshire--in our living rooms. Let's ask them tough questions. My guess is quality and potential will begin to show. It will spread by word of mouth, phone calls, emails, and on. This is the old fashion way but it has worked and can work again.
Let's think first this time, then get to work.
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