Over the weekend Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Mn) joined Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Ma), Senator Kirsten Gilibrand (D-NY), Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA), and Hawaii U.S. Rep. Tulsi Gabbard as official candidates for the Democratic nomination for President.
As I write this there are more women than men officially announced:
• Former HUD Secretary Julian Castro (D-Tx)
• Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ)
• Mayor Pete Buttigieg (D-South Bend), and
• Former U.S. Rep. John Delaney (D-Md)
That’s nine in total, and there are others, too numerous to mention, stretching their legs in the wings awaiting their moment in the spotlight, and you have some idea of what we’re in for.
We are 51 weeks from the Iowa Caucuses and exactly one year – today – from the New Hampshire primary.
Cable chat show anchors wag their fingers at us, scolding that so many other Western nations have had women as heads of state. They don’t mention that, none of them have had a Black head of state nor, even, a Black Foreign Minister as we have had with both Colin Powell and Condoleezza Rice appointed by a Republican, George W. Bush.
A former boss of mine, a leader in promoting women in his business, used to say “This is a competitive environment. How can anyone expect to succeed while keeping half the talent out of management?”
He was ahead of his time.
I say “Good for the Dems” for having so many women running for office. Having one woman, or one Black, or one Hispanic, or one Jew makes them too easy a target. When a wave of “Ones” is coming at you, it’s too hard to pick them off for their real or imagined shortcomings.
With at least five women in the race for the nomination, it becomes their strategic problem to differentiate themselves from the pack.
At some point – and pretty quickly – the Klobuchar team will start feeding out “oppo” about Harris. Or, Warren will begin to pick out unfavorable policy positions taken, speeches given, and votes cast, by Gilibrand.
Those attacks will be met by the 2019 equivelent of “Oh, yeah? THAT’s the way you want to play?” and off we’ll go.
And the other women in the Presidential race may not be their biggest problem. Those 34-or-so Democratic women newly elected to the U.S. House appear to little patience (after one month, one week, and one day in office) for going along to get along.
Led by 29-year-old Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY), the most outspoken are unabashed Progressive-Socialists who will soon discover that the fastest way to the front of the line in the Capitol to be interviewed on a cable network is to pick a fight with a female candidate for President.
Meanwhile, the men in the race for the Dem nomination will have the same problem that many Republican males faced in the 2018 mid-terms running against women: They won’t have the grammar for it.
According to CNN.com, there will be at least 12 debates during the primary season beginning in June of 2019 and continuing at one-per-month through November. Then they move to two per month for January, February, and March of 2020 with at least one in the run up to the early states: Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina, and Nevada.
It will be interesting to watch how the debate attacks are conducted along gender lines. Men have a long history of attacking other men in a debate, but will the men in a Democratic debate attack a woman and risk being compared to Donald Trump in the 2015-16 debates?
Women will have a wider field of fire to attack men in those debates, but how will they deal with attacking – or being attacked by – another woman?
By the time the Democratic field is set we might have twice the current number of candidates.
More women. More men. More political maneuvering.
On the Secret Decoder Ring page today: Links to the Democrat primary and caucus schedule and to the current Dem debate plan.