Here’s My Underinformed Take on the Democratic Field

Tracy Barbutes/ZUMA

I am deliberately not following the Democratic primary race closely yet. I figure there’s no point in getting too worked up at this early stage, and I’ll be better able to make a reasoned judgment later if I try to avoid making strong judgments now. However, I do have gut feelings about what I’ve seen so far. How could I not? So for better or worse, here they are:

Joe Biden: A perfectly fine guy, but he represents a past generation. It wouldn’t kill me if he got the nomination, but I wouldn’t be thrilled either.

Cory Booker: Seems a little too scripted, no? But it’s early days. He has plenty of time to show he can fulfill his potential.

Pete Buttigieg: A pure creation of PR. He’s been carefully building his persona for years, but it’s never been clear if there’s anything behind it. He may be young, white, and articulate, but he’s also massively unqualified.

Kamala Harris: Serious, experienced, and has acquitted herself well in the Senate. Progressive, but not so progressive that she can’t appeal to moderates. I’d be happy to see her nominated.

Jay Inslee: Takes climate change seriously. I love that, but I don’t know much more about him.

Beto O’Rourke: “I’m just born to be in it.” This is not a good reason to think you should be president.

Bernie Sanders: Old, crotchety, and takes himself way too seriously these days.

Elizabeth Warren: Serious and principled. A little too much of a single-issue obsessive for my taste, but I’d be happy to see her nominated too.

Julián Castro, Kirsten Gillibrand, Amy Klobuchar: I don’t know enough about these candidates to have even a sense of whether I like them.


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