At a recent event for a 2020 Democratic hopeful, I was struck by a question from the audience. Cloaked in a floral dress and cool demeanor, the woman ever-so-slightly raised her hand. “I saw you speak in New York a few weeks ago. You were different – subdued, diplomatic, placating. Is this just the California version of you? Who’s the real you, Senator?”
This primary season will be one for the history books. The House of Bush has fallen to a bombastic TV-star businessman with no political experience. A neurosurgeon — who makes watching paint dry seem interesting — has surpassed well-known governors in the polls. And a little-known senator from Vermont has proven to be a formidable opponent to…
It’s 2016! This year we’ll elect the next president of the United States, and it may even be the first time many of Stanford’s current undergraduates vote for president. However, while the likes of Donald Trump, Bernie Sanders, Hillary Clinton, Ted Cruz, John Ellis Bush, and the rest of the bunch compete for our attention, our current president is making all the headlines.
After countless controversial statements composing what seemed like an eternity, most of the country , the media, and even the Republican leadership has moved to denounce Donald Trump’s most recent “ban all Muslims” remark. Thus brings to full circle Trump’s long journey from being an irrelevant, hilarious “carnival barker” who says crazy things to a very real, very relevant, very frightening, and very dangerous GOP-frontrunner who says even crazier things. As Hillary Clinton puts it, he isn’t funny anymore. He’s dangerous.
The United States presidential election has long been something of a strategy game between the GOP and the Democratic Party. Phrases like “sacrificing the general to win the primary” or vice versa have arisen out of the traditional notion that a candidate must portray him or herself as conservative/liberal enough to win the party nomination but moderate enough to win the general election. In the last two presidential races, the Republican Party toyed with degree of ideology—they nominated candidates who were more “down the middle” than extreme so as not to alienate moderates.
Today is October 23, 2015. As of this moment, twenty candidates have announced they will be running for President of the United States, two have already decided to and subsequently suspended their campaigns, and one has recently opted against entering the fray after it seemed to late to become a serious contender. Three primary debates have been previously held and analyzed, and millions of dollars have been sunk to run television advertisements, make hats and t-shirts, and otherwise prepare for the road ahead.
Last week we had the first opportunity to see the Democratic presidential candidates debate each other on national television. Shortly after, ABC News, Bloomberg, CNN, The Guardian, The New Yorker, The New York Times, NPR, POLITICO, Slate, TIME, Vox, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post and a multitude of other political commentators told us that Hillary Clinton was the clear winner.
It seems as if most Democrats are either Feeling the Bern or Ready for Hillary, the notion being that the two are mutually exclusive. The leading candidates have yet to directly attack each other, but the former is often viewed as a revolutionist, the latter a calculated establishment politician. But must the Democratic Party really choose between idealism and pragmatism? I don’t think so.