These Democrats Should Run for President Next

Rene Deanda/Unsplash

Robert Crohan/Staff Writer

In America, politics have become so mainstream that we cannot avoid them even if we try.

What our elders said should be reserved for serious matters is now a passive conversation topic. We probably know where most of our friends lean on the political spectrum and conversations have even turned to the 2024 election, to the delight of some and dismay of others.

While I have been mostly satisfied with Joe Biden’s presidency thus far, I am looking forward to seeing who can succeed him in 2024 or 2028. I will support him if he chooses to seek reelection, but he may face the many rising stars in the party who can tackle his record, from both the left and right. While Vice President Harris would be a good candidate, but, in my view, not the strongest.

I admire many of these much-mentioned names and hope that these few accept the challenge after Biden and Harris’s time:

First and foremost, is Stacey Abrams, the 2018 Democratic nominee for Governor of Georgia. Most Democrats credit Abrams for turning Georgia into a blue state. She started her efforts with the Georgia Democratic Party during the Obama years and demonstrated an understanding of genuine coalition-building. Stacey Abrams came within a hair of winning Georgia’s governorship because she knows how to build a diverse and excited coalition of voters who are aware of what changes are needed. Likewise, she is incredibly smart and charismatic, popular and served in the Georgia House.

U.S. Rep. Cori Bush of Missouri also comes to mind. She has been one of the loudest and proudest voices in the 117th Congress, unabashedly going after voter suppression and racism in the many ways they emerge. A Black Lives Matter activist, she supports pressing reforms in the criminal justice and police systems and has called out members of Congress who lied about the 2020 election. She can bring inspiring energy and a passion for racial justice to the Presidency.

Every presidential primary has a passionate outsider, and New York City mayoral candidate Andrew Yang was that person last year. He ran for president as a political populist and newcomer to promote a universal basic income for every American, while warning of the dangers of technology. Yang is on track to win the mayorship in New York City and understands the importance of sharing facts and reaching out to those who have been left behind, and that you may disagree with. In addition, his populism makes him electable.

Another rising star in the party is former U.S. Rep. Beto O’Rourke of Texas. Beto might not be the Stacey Abrams of Texas, but he sure knows how to run a mighty good campaign! After his nail-bitingly close loss to Ted Cruz, he moved to register Texans to vote, help statewide candidates, and run to take on President Trump. He has demonstrated genuine care for others, rushing home to El Paso after a deadly shooting to comfort his community and raising millions for Texas after February’s devastating storm.

A more controversial pick is U.S. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio Cortez of New York. Something of a superstar for young progressives, AOC has been flouted as a potential candidate despite her young age. She has been the leading voice for key proposals such as Medicare for All, the Green New Deal and a minimum wage hike, while addressing overlooked issues like colonialism and inspiring women of color to pursue public office. Her passionate drive would make her perhaps our most progressive president in history.

Newly-elected US Senator Raphael Warnock of Georgia has stood out as well. Reverend Warnock seized the spotlight alongside his friend Jon Ossoff in winning Georgia’s tight Senate race this year. He has worked to advance essential pandemic relief while still serving as the pastor of Ebenezer Baptist Church. He continues the fight for black lives in Congress and represents a compassionate counterpart to the religious right.

Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts could return for the race. She is representing a commitment to fighting for the average everyday Americans through bold action. She helped create the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and her reintroduced wealth tax will collect billions from America’s richest, at only a minimal percent. She also supported a Green New Deal and a Blue New Deal to protect our natural environment. Her candidacy inspired women everywhere and helped make liberal economics the new normal among the democratic electorate.

A less-known but still prominent figure is Senator Tammy Duckworth of Illinois. I have written about Duckworth in the past, endorsing her to be Vice President. She seems to have continued her great legacy into the 117th Congress. She is a veteran who lost her legs in the Iraq War and has moved to protect veterans and the country they served. She moved to block military promotions until the Pentagon protects impeachment witnesses. Her action has helped quell fears of Democrats being anti-police and anti-military.

Many are also excited about Governor Gavin Newsom of California. Although his popularity has dwindled, Governor Newsom appears to have his eyes on the White House. His handling of COVID-19 has drawn praise, and he has set the record straight when it comes to climate change. He runs what is seen by many as a success story, as California bourgeons with jobs and young Americans. He shows an understanding of the demands of higher office and stood up to the excesses of the Trump Administration.

The current US Secretary of Transportation, Pete Buttigieg, has a big future ahead of him, “Mayor Pete” was one of the youngest presidential candidates in history, breaking barriers as the first openly gay man to run for the highest office in the land. In addition to his military service, he has presented new ideas and a willingness to try new approaches. His leadership of South Bend helped the city recover and set an example for other cities. He is also a strong campaigner, winning Iowa in 2020.

Senator John Hickenlooper of Colorado has shown potential to be president. While his presidential campaign flew under the radar, Hickenlooper was a successful governor of Colorado, helping to move the state to renewable energy. He warned Democrats against reverting to socialism and won reelection as governor in 2014, a very bad year for Democrats. He helped bring gun control, Medicaid expansion, and the legalization of marijuana to Colorado and can bring larger versions of these things to America, while appealing to rural voters.

As 2020 demonstrated, many new and unknown faces can appear, and they will. But for now, here’s to hoping that these leaders throw their hats in the ring. They share many different ideas, backgrounds, and campaign tactics that can build a winning coalition for 2024 and beyond, and help strengthen America.


The opinions presented within this page do not represent the views of PantherNOW Editorial Board. These views are separate from editorials and reflect individual perspectives of contributing writers and/or members of the University community.

Photo by Rene DeAnda on Unsplash

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