Democratic presidential candidates, loosely ranked

A friend of mine did this earlier this week as a Facebook post and without any explanations; God forbid I be so succinct. Standard disclaimers; this is extremely early and I reserve the right to change my mind at any time and for any reason. Furthermore, this is only for the primary; I will vote for any of these people with a song in my soul and a spring in my step against the shitgibbon in 2020.

Also, I’m only including people who have at least announced an exploratory committee.

  1. Kamala Harris. Absolutely my horse, as far as such things go, at the moment. I have some concerns about her record as Attorney General of California, as I suspect many of her fans do, but those are tempered by several notable accomplishments (“You will begin the marriages immediately.”) and a near-perfect record in the Senate thus far. In addition, she’s my favorite of the candidates as a human being. I would, to trot out a well-worn phrase, like to have … well, not a beer, as I don’t drink, but some sort of tasty beverage in her presence.
  2. Elizabeth Warren. Very close to Harris; her age and race are the main things holding her back from the top spot. Call me names if you like; my preference where I have a choice at this point is to vote for people of color, and she is going to be 70 before the election happens. I’m sorry; I want someone younger for the toughest job in the world.
  3. Pete Buttigieg. I know, I’m as surprised as you. I think this guy has the potential to be an outstanding President. I really, really don’t think it’ll happen in 2020, but I would like him in the race for a while to get him some name recognition and get his ideas out there. Seriously, y’all, go watch some interviews.
  4. Kirsten Gillibrand.  At this point we’re starting to dip into the candidates that I don’t know a lot about, honestly; she gets the edge over #5 mostly because, if I’m looking at candidates that I don’t know much about, I lean toward electing someone with Senate experience over someone with mayoral and Cabinet experience. Yes, I know Buttigieg is #3. I know a lot more about him and I ain’t gotta be perfectly consistent anyway; deal with it.
  5. Julián Castro. Kinda already discussed him with #4 up there. To be clear, we’re still in “no real reservations” territory here; I just don’t know a lot about him to push him any higher or lower.
  6. Amy Klobuchar. At this point we’re entering “minor reservations” territory. Klobuchar has the reputation of being extremely difficult to work for. I’m not sure how genuine that is, but it’s not a characteristic I really want in a President. However, she still gets the edge over …
  7. Cory Booker.  Booker is the first candidate I have genuine policy differences with, as his record on education and charter schools while mayor of Newark, New Jersey was terrible. That said, so was Obama’s. I probably will not have the opportunity to vote for someone whose positions on K-12 education I actually like, but at the moment I know I don’t like Booker’s. On everything else that I know about, we’re still good.
  8. The ones I haven’t heard of. My friend’s list includes people named Yang, Delaney and Williamson; I couldn’t even tell you their first names and I assume they are vanity candidates of one sort or another. However, as effectively anonymous, “pick them out of the phone book” ciphers, they nonetheless remain preferable to
  9. Tulsi Gabbard and
  10. Bernie Sanders. It might surprise you to see Gabbard’s name ahead of Sanders’. Most of the people I pay attention to who are following the race closely despise Gabbard, who does more or less seem to be terrible. However, I personally don’t know much about her, and my loathing for Bernie Sanders increases every time he opens his mouth. Right now, I’d vote for her over him, but hopefully I will never have to make that choice. That would probably change if I looked more deeply into her record, but as I don’t expect her candidacy to last very long I don’t plan on investing that effort. Sanders, who has no chance, is going to stay in the race acting exactly like a hypothetical Russian stooge might act at every possible opportunity until the very moment his money dries up. I am already desperately tired of him, and he’s not going to go away.

We’ll revisit in a month or two, and see if the rankings have slid around at all, and who else might have jumped in. Whee!

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Luther M. Siler

The author of SKYLIGHTS, THE BENEVOLENCE ARCHIVES and several other books.