From Joe Biden to Tulsi Gabbard, the Politics Editor rounds up the top contenders to take on The Donald
Words Greg Taylor
It’s amazing that the world has survived two and half years with a gurgling, apoplectic balloon-animal wiggling his baby-sized Twinkie-fingers over America’s nuclear arsenal.
Over 800 days of sexual scandals, political incompetency, incarcerations, resignations, disarticulations, and Twitter messages that look that they were banged out by a rage-filled toddler with a learning disorder.
Yet President Trump remains popular with his core – the fist-clenching, invective-spewing Republicans who bought into his bile. And knocking him off his idiot’s perch in next year’s Presidential election is going to be a hell of challenge for whichever unblooded mug ends up getting the Democratic go-ahead.
But who, thus far, are the top contenders to get into the ring with the Tango Man? And remember, he fights dirty.
In a Sentence: Former Vice President and subject of a million fuzzy memes, he comes tanked up with Obama-era star power and good-old-boy, grey-haired nostalgia.
The Problem: Biden, a Washington old-schooler, also comes trailing unsavoury allegations of seedy behaviour, though it doesn’t seem to be hurting his polling as he ponders a Presidential run.
In a Sentence: The former Mayor of Newark who can talk, and talk, and talk, is an explosive street fighter so bad-ass that they made an Oscar-winning documentary about his bruising battles.
The Problem: The self-proclaimed “authentic” candidate has a whiff of the desperately inauthentic, trying so hard to say the right thing that even supporters cringe at his Shakespearian grandstanding.
In a Sentence: Disgustingly young, disgustingly bright, disgustingly brave, the mayor of rust-belt nowhere town South Bend speaks eight languages – eight more than some Trump supporters.
The Problem: Being mayor of a Great Lakes mini-city is scant training for the bloody horror show of Washington politicking, and it wouldn’t be beyond the Trump machine to attack Buttigieg’s sexuality.
In a Sentence: Hawaiian, Samoan, Hindu, female, young – Gabbard is an exciting intersectional hotpot who will boggle Neanderthal minds and could appeal to third way progressives.
The Problem: A career politician always has skeletons, and while early views on LGBT rights, Islam and Syria may have developed, they will haunt her, as will her lack of real-world experience.
In a Sentence: 6 years as California’s Attorney General burnished her credentials as a (somewhat disappointing) crusader for justice, before she became America’s second ever black female senator.
The Problem: Harris’s time as AG was hardly a progressive firestorm, with little movement on the death penalty or gay marriage, and allegations of dodgy practices are gaining momentum.
In a Sentence: A giant, spit-shined grin with a smidgen of rootin’, tootin’ Texan manflesh attached, he’s the centrist real-estate salesman your mum would probably fancy more than you do.
The Problem: Beto is wading in having (narrowly) lost a Senate race to evil penguin Ted Cruz, and his American-pie gentility could easily see him messily skewered by the sweaty Trump meat rocket.
Sen Bernie Sanders
In a Sentence: Your curmudgeonly, borderline-Commie uncle who waves his arms around furiously at every family gathering before falling asleep in his favourite arm-chair, dreaming of Castro.
The Problem: Bernie’s high-tax, high-spend mantra couldn’t beat Hillary Clinton’s textbook offer in 2016, and his rigid unconventionality alienates not only floating voters, but also his own base.
Sen Elizabeth Warren
In a Sentence: A piercing intellect with a Shere Khan smile, she’s been the progressive scourge of billionaires, lobbyists, Wall Street crims, and even her own Party for over a decade.
The Problem: The sexist lobby are in knots trying to tie her to Hillary Clinton’s failed campaign, and Trump is making hay over her bizarre and unproven assertions of Native American heritage.
In a Sentence: An entrepreneur and tech nerd who kicked off his campaign two years ago with a plan to give every American adult a basic income of $1,000, he has valuable Obama links.
The Problem: Who?