By, Haley K. ’20 and Crystal Y. ’20
By now, you have probably seen Trump, heard Warren, and felt the Bern, but do you know how to pronounce ‘Buttigieg,’ how long Delaney has been running for President, or who Andrew Yang even is? Fear not; here’s a (hopefully) comprehensive guide to the 2020 Presidential candidates.
|Candidate||Party||Things to know about them||Platform focus|
|Cory Booker, 49||Democrat||Senator from New Jersey, former mayor of Newark||Criminal justice reform, unification of the nation|
|Pete Buttigieg, 37||Democrat||Mayor of South Bend (Indiana), Veteran, first millennial and openly gay presidential candidate||Generational identity, climate, economic opportunity|
|Julián Castro, 44||Democrat||Former Secretary of Housing and Urban Development, former mayor of San Antonio (Texas)||Universal prekindergarten, medicare for all, immigration reform|
|John Delaney, 55||Democrat||Former Maryland congressman, businessman, has been running since 2017||“Bipartisan problem-solver,” universal healthcare|
|Tulsi Gabbard, 37||Democrat||Congresswoman from Hawaii, Veteran (National Guard), has apologized for past work for an anti-gay advocacy group||Opposition to overseas military intervention, supported Bernie Sanders in 2016|
|Kirsten Gillibrand, 52||Democrat||Senator from New York, former congresswoman, has recently become a leading liberal in Senate||Women’s equality and opportunity|
|Kamala Harris, 54||Democrat||Senator from California, former Attorney General of California, former San Francisco District Attorney||Liberal civil rights, middle-class tax cut|
|Amy Klobuchar, 58||Democrat||Senator from Minnesota, former Minnesota attorney, hailed for her questioning of Brett Kavanaugh during confirmation hearings||Wants to reclaim swing states in the Midwest, combat opioid/drug addiction and cost of prescription drugs|
|Elizabeth Warren, 69||Democrat||Senator from MA, former Harvard professor, infamous DNA test||Income inequality, attack on middle class by corrupt politics and big companies|
|Marianne Williamson, 66||Democrat||Self-help author of more than a dozen books, lecturer, ran for Congress as independent in 2014 unsuccessfully, founded a charity for AIDS support||Proposed: $100 billion in reparations for slavery ($10 billion to distribute over a decade)|
|Andrew Yang, 44||Democrat||Tech executive, founded an economic development nonprofit||Universal basic income ($1000/month)|
|Bernie Sanders||Democrat||Senator from Vermont, former congressman, runner-up in 2016 Democratic primary||Medicare for all, free college, curtailing “the billionaires”|
|Donald Trump||Republican||Current president||Border control, immigration reduction, replace Obamacare, sizeable tax cuts|
|Richard Ojeda||Fallen angel, Democrat||Pulled out of the race
“When I was a child my grade school teachers told us all that anyone in America could grow up and become President. I now realize that this is not the case.” – his website, Ojeda for President
|Net neutrality, Veteran support, Financial sacrifice of Elected Officials|
Below is a more in-depth look at two specific female candidates, as both Gabbard’s and Harris’ controversial pasts deserve further exploration.
Tulsi Gabbard, a U.S. House Representative for Hawaii, emerges as another presidential candidate! She confirmed the news on January 11, stating that she is indeed seeking the Democratic nomination for the 2020 presidential election.
Gabbard’s experience in the House of Representatives began in 2013, after being elected in 2012. Prior to her political activity on a nationwide scale, she served in a combat zone in Iraq from 2004 and 2005. However, she also has political experience at the local level, having been in the Hawaii House of Representatives from 2002-2004. Back in 2016, she was a Vice Chair of the National Democratic Convention, before she resigned to endorse Bernie Sanders’ campaign.
Already her past has been called into scrutiny, as back in the early 2000s, she opposed both civil unions and same-sex marriage. She worked with her father, who ran a political action committee, to “protect traditional marriage” and subsequently promote conversion therapy. However in 2012, her views changed and she stated that she “believed same-sex marriage should be legalized throughout the United States.”
As seen in Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign, Gabbard’s past stances on homosexuality and same-sex marriage threaten to be very damaging to her campaign. As of right now, there has been fervor on social media surrounding the controversy, but no specific action taken against her. Perhaps as she articulates her current stance repeatedly during the campaign process public opinion will change, but that remains yet to be seen.
“When we stand united, motivated by our love for each other and for our country, there is no challenge we cannot overcome,” her official website reads. Then: “will you stand with me?”
Recently, Kamala Harris threw her hat into the ever-increasing presidential ring: on January 21, Martin Luther King Jr. Day, she confirmed the rumors that she had set her sights on a presidential run.
Harris, a Democratic senator from California, was born to an Indian mother and a Jamaican father. Before becoming involved in politics, she pursued a career in law—quite successfully, as in 2003 she was elected district attorney and became the first black woman to be elected district attorney in California. She broke more records in 2010, when she was elected to the position of attorney general of California: California’s first female attorney general, first African American attorney general, and first Asian-American attorney general.
Similarly to Gabbard, Harris’ past has come under fire in the short time that she’s announced her candidacy. During her legal career, Harris focused on human rights cases involving such topics as protecting America’s capitalistic economy and fighting against sexual trafficking. But those same cases caused a significant amount of backlash because of how she harsh her stances on criminal justice had been. Previously, she defended the death penalty on numereous occasions even as late as 2015. Additionally, a couple of lawsuits also contributed to her notoriety. Allegedly, one of her advisors left a year before the campaign started due to sexual assault allegations, and the issue was settled quietly for $400,000.
However, in the speech that she gave on Good Morning America where she confirmed the news, she stressed that her campaign focused on the people—in her eyes, “nobody is living their life through the lens of one issue. I think what people want is, they want leadership that sees them through the complexity of each of our lives and pays equal attention to their needs,” she said.
With around 600 days until the 2020 Presidential elections, candidates, campaigns, and platforms will inevitably undergo change, and now, more than ever, is the time to stay informed and aware of the political climate within the U.S. This summary of the current candidates is a brief preview of the next race for President.