Washington Post political reporter Aaron Blake ranked the 2020 Democratic presidential nominees on Saturday, and it became clear that the Post is looking for an ultraliberal nominee, and somehow cannot see how that leaves a lot of room for voters to sniff extremism and vote to re-elect the president. Blake handicaps Kamala Harris as the front-runner:
1. Sen. Kamala D. Harris (Calif.): Nobody’s launch has been as impressive as Harris’s, save for Sanders’s fundraising haul. The California senator seems comfortable in her own skin, on-message and sharp, and it has made her a somewhat surprising early favorite in betting markets. The big early question for her, though, is whether her past “tough on crime” stance toward criminal justice fits with today’s Democratic Party.
It's amusing to see how liberal reporters are just like liberal voters, and the problem for Democratic contenders is that they aren't radical enough. Being a prosecutor is actually a liability... and then liberal reporters get upset when President Trump says the Democrats are soft on crime.
At #2, socialist Bernie Sanders apparently is liberal enough (and who needs the S-word?): "[H]e started off with a bang, raising nearly $6 million in about 24 hours — about four times his nearest competitor. That’s coming from the base he already built, yes, but that’s also kind of the point: 225,000 people gave to his campaign almost immediately, signifying a sizable reassembled base with which to start in a crowded field where assembling such a base won’t be easy."
In third, socialist Elizabeth Warren is his toughest competitor: "Her supporters would like to believe the Native American stuff doesn’t matter, but that doesn’t explain why Warren feels the need to keep addressing it....That said, her credibility on liberal issues is matched by basically only one other person on this list, (see No. 2 below), which keeps her near the top."
Socialism equals "credibility on liberal issues."
Beto O'Rourke comes in at #6, and despite being way too liberal for Texas, he wasn't liberal enough for the in-house Democrats at The Washington Post:
But what exactly will he run on? We tend to judge candidates like O’Rourke relative to whom they’re running against — in O’Rourke’s case in 2018, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Tex.). But is he really the liberal hero Democrats are looking for, or just the guy they really wanted to unseat Cruz? O’Rourke didn’t exactly run on a hugely liberal platform, and there will be pressure to define himself almost immediately if he gets in. There is lots of upside here, though. Lots. [Italics in the original]
Sen. Amy Klobuchar is #7, and Blake thinks it's fair, not sexist to question her angry-boss issues. It's funnier on ideology: "If she can shake this, though, she may have the best claim to the moderate/pragmatic mantle in this race — a lane that could be pretty wide." Klobuchar's lifetime American Conservative Union score is 4.71 percent. And she's the "moderate"!