I haven’t been writing here much.  I was trying to get on the ballot for my local race for County Commission.  You can see what I’ve written lately at my campaign website here.

There’s a debate next week and the horserace has been evolving.  I figured it might be time to write down some thoughts before the debate.  And, as a bonus, I’ll do a pre-debate Top 5 candidates.  As usual, I figure you can read polls for yourselves, so I’m giving you my preference.  I’ll do a debate post and a regular Top 10 after the debate too.  Stay tuned for those.

I find myself on the fence about whether the Dems should have gone on with impeachment hearings or should have included more Articles of Impeachment.  I can see both sides.  The Dems have mostly done a good job in the process (Intel Committee much better than Judiciary).  The fears that pursuing impeachment would doom the Dems politically have proved mostly to be unfounded.  There may be a little blow back in certain purple districts and the Trump base may get energized, but this hasn’t been a “Democrats lose the Presidential election” moment.  The upside is that you didn’t lose the Democratic base by not doing impeachment.  And there is still the fact that some vulnerable senators will have to take votes on this.  Vote for impeachment and they risk a primary or depressed turnout.  Vote against and they fire up the Dems against them.

Polling has shown a fall for Elizabeth Warren.  She’s back to 3rd or 4th now, where she was previously considered a co-front runner with Biden.  Bernie Sanders, meanwhile, has been cruising under the radar while Warren and Mayor Pete go after each other.  I predict Bernie may start to get some attention at the next debate.  If he doesn’t, the other campaigns are making a mistake.

As always, whoever ends up as the Democratic nominee, I’m going to vote for that person over Trump.  It’s not a hard call.  Trump is corrupt, is wrong on almost everything, and has made the U.S. a laughing stock across the world.  A change needs to happen.  When I’m ranking my preferred candidates, I look at their policies, but there really aren’t than many differences between them.  The differences are style and focus.  For me, all things being equal, I’ll take a woman over a man.  It’s time for us to have a woman in charge.  And if the nominee is a man, a woman needs to be on the ticket.  I also prefer relative youth to the 70 year olds who are running (with the obvious exception of my stated preference for Warren).  So with that being said, here’s my ranking.  For now.

  1. Elizabeth Warren.  Staying Steady.  You didn’t really doubt I would have her here, did you?  She may be less likely than others to win the nomination now, but she’s still my #1.  The hope I have is that her recent fall sets her up to overachieve with superior organization in Iowa and then take that momentum into New Hampshire.  If she ends up 4th in Iowa, she’s probably done.
  2. Pete Buttigieg.  Staying Steady.  I’m inclined not to like certain things about Mayor Pete.  He’s less authentic than Warren for my money.  Of course, if you want authenticity and consistency in their beliefs, you go for Bernie.  He’s also gone pretty hard after Warren lately.  They’re going after the same voters I think.  But.  He’s got the potential for enthusiasm in the Democratic base.  Plus, if it’s not Warren, I want someone young in the job.  And he’ll do a good job against Trump in the debates.  If Trump agrees to do the debates.
  3. Joe Biden. Up 2 spots.  Of the white male septuagenarians in the race, Biden is the best choice.  I moved Biden up because I want to make clear that, if it’s between Biden and Bernie, I want Biden.  Joe has some major issues, but Bernie’s campaign is also the mostly likely campaign to stay in the race way past when they should and his supporters are the mostly likely to vote not D and undermine the eventual nominee.  My case for Joe is that he dominates early and basically wraps it up.  That gets Bernie out of the race, hopefully.  And lets the Dems move on to the general sooner.
  4. Amy Klobuchar.  Staying Steady.  I still have in the back of my mind that her staffers were not treated well by her.  But she focuses on women’s issues and is from the Midwest.  She keeps Minnesota safe from Republicans’ recent thoughts that they can take that state.  She’s probably a better choice as VP still, but if Warren falls further, Klobuchar needs to stick around to keep a woman in contention.
  5. Cory Booker. Down 2 spots.  Cory is not on the debate stage, so we’re probably at the beginning of the end for his candidacy for the top spot.  He’d be a good option for VP with Warren or Klobuchar.