The primary elections have just begun and I’ve already aged 46 years as a result. If the Iowa Caucus taught us anything, it’s that it’s time to nap for the next 25-50 years the Democratic process can sometimes be a hot mess.
Much like when you and an acquaintance keep forcing small talk and suggesting you get lunch whenever you run into each other, parts of the primary election process have us asking: why are we doing this?
First of all, this whole ~delegates~ thing is p confusing and nonsensical. As we saw with Iowa, a candidate can win the popular vote but still end up with fewer delegates than another candidate, as was the case for Senator Bernie Sanders. It seems wrong that someone with the most votes can lose, which is also how we ended up with Donald Trump as president after he lost the popular vote but won the electoral one. You live, you learn, right? Oh, we didn’t? F*ck.
In order to secure the nomination, a candidate needs to receive 1,991 delegates. By the end of February, there are still a lot of states to go — some with a lot more delegates to give out.
But with so many people in the race, some are growing concerned that no one will receive all 1,991 delegates needed for the nomination, and then the nominee will have to be chosen through a *~*contested convention.*~*
IMO, this system is outdated and needs to be adjusted, but until then, we are unfortunately stuck with it this time around. So, it’s probably best we know exactly how it works, so we can have informed opinions on what needs to be fixed in the future.
Without further ado, I will break down how the delegates system works, why a contested convention might be necessary and how it will work, and then I will proceed to scream into my fourth cup of coffee of the day.
Let’s talk about these delegates
Delegates are representatives who cast votes on their state, district or territory’s behalf for the nominee at the Democratic National Convention, which will be held in Milwaukee on July 16th.
There are 3,979 delegates. A candidate needs 1,991, a majority, to secure the nomination. There are also 771 superdelegates, but we’ll get to them later.
Delegates work differently in each state, because why make anything simple and comprehensible? Much like Democratic policies, Democratic primaries aren’t a winner take all situation. For example, just because a candidate won the most votes in a state doesn’t mean they take home all the delegates. Instead, candidates generally get delegates proportional to their performance in the state based on some complicated formulas.
This means in a close state race, two candidates can receive the same amount of delegates, like when Sanders beat Buttigieg in New Hampshire, but they both received the same amount of delegates. In Iowa, the proportional allocation was different than in New Hampshire, so while Sanders again beat Buttigieg in numbers, he received fewer delegates than him.
Long story short, delegates are a messy bitch who live for drama.
Another thing about delegates: you have to pass the 15 percent threshold of popular votes in order to win any delegates at all. That explains why both Warren and Biden didn’t receive any delegates in New Hampshire, and Warren left Nevada empty-handed.
The idea here is to make sure that only top-earning candidates stay in the race. The delegates are allocated proportionally, but only to candidates who are doing well. This (kind of) makes sense in a less populated race, but with so many candidates on the 2020 ballot, things are getting a little sloppy. The 15 percent threshold isn’t quite high enough at this point, as it’s not that unlikely for candidates to keep missing it with so many others making up the percentage.
They’ll all keep pushing forward, taking up delegates, and eventually, it might get to a point where a candidate would have to start winning states by a very large amount in order to get all of the delegates needed.
So, what happens then?
The nomination would come down to a vote at the DNC in July, aka a contested convention. This there would be a “second ballot,” whereby 771 superdelegates get to cast their votes for whomever they want making whoever had the most votes/delegates up until then essentially irrelevant, in theory.
Superdelegates are basically members of the DNC who are free to support any candidate they want if no candidate crosses the threshold on the first ballot. We would hope that the superdelegates would vote for whichever candidate clearly has the majority of support from the voters, but they are not required to. They can choose whoever they want, really.
There’s already so much tension within the Democratic party in this election, as it seems to be at a crossroads of deciding whether to lean more left or towards the middle, so having the final decision be made by the establishment and not the people seems like a recipe for disaster and revolt. And one that could ultimately divide the party at a time when we need to stand together if we’re going to defeat Donald Trump.
At this point, all we can say is get out there and vote for the candidate you support. The democratic process is much more powerful if we all participate.
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Welp, the Iowa Caucus…happened. And who is the winner?!?! This is fun: As of Monday afternoon, we’re still not sure! The Iowa Democratic Party has vowed to release results by 5 p.m. on Tuesday, with a day-long delay due to an apparent issue with the new app that was used to tally the votes.
Is this a hugely important democratic process or my mom trying to figure out how to log in to her email?
There are a few factors that could be to blame for the chaos that has spun from the Iowa Caucus, one being that this year they decided to report three different results: voters’ initial candidate preferences, their final candidate preferences, and the number of state delegates awarded. It’s possible this led to confusion in tallying the votes on the app, which also experienced “a major coding error” and was inadequately tested.
But even beyond that, the mess that has been made here may be a smaller symptom of larger issues within the caucus process. Alright, let’s roast the Iowa Caucus. Iowans, we adore you — don’t take it personally.
First, let’s begin with the diversity issue.
The state of Iowa is about 90% white, which is, in technical terms, really fucking white. It’s also disproportionate to both the country, which is 60% white, and the Democratic party, which has about a 40% base of people of color.
The Iowa Caucus is thought to be a crucial race for candidates since it usually sets the tone for the rest of the races. Whoever wins Iowa has an advantage, as their win tends to show voters in the other states who probably has the best chance at winning. It’s a highly influential process, so having mostly white people participate is unfair, and doesn’t paint an accurate picture in terms of who everyone in the country would vote for.
It’s yet another case of white people getting their say broadcast, while minorities aren’t given much of a say at all.
Lol, CNN is so offended that the Iowa results are late and it’s hilarious. I mean, it’s a 90% white process that many disabled and working class folks can’t participate in but… omg they’re LATE.
— Ashley Nicole Black (@ashleyn1cole) February 4, 2020
Next up is the issue of accessibility.
For people with disabilities, the Iowa Caucus has been a nightmare in the past, effectively disenfranchising large groups of people.
There are long lines that last for hours in specified locations. Promises had been made that 2020 would be more accessible for people with disabilities, but according to a piece in the New York Times, people who had tried to inquire about how to receive help with access weren’t getting many helpful answers.
It’s also hard for some people to attend the caucus because of when it takes place.
The Iowa Caucus typically starts at 7pm, and takes some time to participate in (usually about an hour, not counting the time spent waiting in line). This makes it difficult, if not impossible, for people who work nights to participate. Technically people should be able to leave work to vote, but as someone who works in service, I can tell you right now, if I asked my boss to leave a shift for hours, they would be like, “Lol, no.” This means a lot of working-class people simply don’t have the time to participate. To say nothing of the fact that the caucuses force people to procure or pay for childcare in order to… exercise their fundamental right to participate in democracy. Yeah, that doesn’t seem right. (Children are definitely allowed to attend the caucuses — but as we said, they can run late, and a 6-year-old with even the world’s most tricked out iPad can’t be asked to sit quietly the entire time.)
And then there is the issue of the coin toss.
Yup, you read that right, literal coin tosses are implemented in the case of a tie during the caucus process, and that coin toss actually determines how many delegates a candidate will get. Again, I ask, is this an important democratic process or a bunch of 8-year-olds trying to see who gets to eat the last Oreo? Coin tossing seems a bit arbitrary, juvenile, and inaccurate when it comes to an election, does it not?
We should consider the possibility that the Iowa Caucuses are stupid. https://t.co/uouS9tPaDS
— Ian Millhiser (@imillhiser) February 4, 2020
What happened last night is a whole ass mess, but perhaps we should take it as a sign that we need to re-evaluate this entire system and make some updates that can ensure a more fair, diverse, and accessible process. Idk sounds like that would p be chill.
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And then there were 20.
This week, 20 people running for president took the debate stage in Detroit, Michigan, a state that Trump became the first Republican to win since 1988. The debates were moderated by Andy Cohen — I mean, CNN journalists — who seemed to put their questions through a Drama Optimizer and repeatedly baited candidates into attacking one another. Welcome to 2020.
Night one took a turn familiar to any casual “Real Housewives” viewer, with Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders going after low-polling moderates like Season 1 OGs schooling a freshman cast member who tries to come for them at the reunion. Night two, featuring former VP Biden and new target Kamala Harris, less substantive and more personal. To return to “Housewives” parlance, if night one’s theme was “Do you even want to be here?” then night two was more “I have the texts!”
Now, we await two mass extinctions — the global die-off of species and the long-awaited exodus of Democratic candidates for president. Only 10 candidates can take the debate stage in September (there are currently 25 in the race) and the donation requirements to do so have doubled. Thank goddess this era of excessive candidates is almost over.
Below, we sum up each candidate’s debate performance with a few words and a corresponding GIF. We’ll update this list after tonight’s second round of debates.
Pundits wondered if Sanders was at risk of “berning out” after last month’s lackluster debate performance temporarily pushed him lower in the polls. But this week, he was on fire. Moderates who attempted to attack his Democratic Socialist stances underestimated the 77-year-old’s feistiness, and the senator even dismissed some of the moderators’ questions as “Republican talking points,” The audience loved it.
Warren expertly defended attacks that her policies were unrealistic and sank zingers like Megan Rapinoe making a penalty kick in the quarter-finals. In one particularly memorable line, she shot back at a stunned John Delaney for questioning whether big changes to Medicare and immigration policy could alienate moderate voters.
“I don’t understand why anybody goes to all the trouble of running for president of the United States just to talk about what we really can’t do and shouldn’t fight for,” she said.
If you can’t get down for Medicare for all, then…
RIP, John Delaney, who was publicly executed by Elizabeth Warren on the thirtieth day of July in the lord’s year 2019. The former congressman from Maryland, who moderators pointed out has a personal fortune of $65 million, was the evening’s unwitting punching bag. After he accused Warren of pushing “impossible” policies, Warren unleashed the biggest burn of the night (see above.) John, you can see yourself out.
The South Bend mayor, who clearly underestimates our ability to remember that he is young (we know Pete, you can stop saying it), urged fellow candidates not to focus so much on how Republicans will frame their ideas because Republicans will call them socialists no matter what they do. He also tried to bring constitutional reform back, saying: “This is a country that once changed its Constitution so you couldn’t drink, and changed it back because we changed our minds. You’re telling me we can’t reform democracy in our time?” Cheers to that.
Minor league candidates like O’Rourke and Amy Klobuchar didn’t get much airtime between the frontrunners’ slaying of the amateurs. The former Texas congressman lost a ton of momentum after June’s meh debate performance, and he did little to restore it this round. Hopes were high for Beto, but at this point in the race, he’s kind of a wilted beanstalk.
The author and spiritual advisor who’s never been in politics kind of… slayed? Williamson gave sharp and pointed answers to questions related to racial justice, demanding other candidates acknowledge the racial dimension of the Flint water crisis and other environmental issues. She was the only candidate to state plainly that she would offer reparations to African Americans in amounts up to $500 billion. She did, however, promise to fight the “dark physic forces” that made Trump president.
In the few minutes she did speak, Amy Klobuchar managed to advocate a moderate agenda without using the same Republican talking points of some of her peers. But her lack of vigor in either direction almost makes her less memorable — she’s not progressive enough for the cool kids’ table, but not cynical enough for the purple state moderates. The whole debate we couldn’t help but notice Klobuchar shares a haircut and temperament with a certain SNL character.
Tim Ryan of Ohio made barely any impression outside of his truly gigantic size compared to the other candidates and finding himself on the receiving end of several well-earned Bernie clap backs. After accusing Sanders of not understanding health care policy, Sanders reminded he wrote the actual bill in question, after which Ryan asked him to stop yelling at him.
Honestly, it’s still hard to pick him out of a line-up.
Nice to meet ya, Steve. Bullock is the governor of Montana who didn’t qualify for last month’s debate but lucked into a spot after Eric Swalwell dropped out of the race. Bullock definitely tells jokes at barbeques like “What do you call a Democrat from Montana? A Republican!” and tried to sell voters on his centrist message — one he thinks can coax blue-collar voters away from Trump.
Hickenlooper also took a beating from the progressive frontrunners, whom he accused of promoting “wish list” economics that would “FedEx the election” to the GOP. Hickenlooper also opposed legalizing weed as governor of Colorado, but oversaw legalization because it was the “will of the people.” What a narc.
Trust us here, the best GIF to represent John Hickenlooper is this GIF of John Hickenlooper’s self-own asking Bernie to throw his hands up if he’s going to pursue radical changes.
Harris proved herself a formidable opponent for Sanders, Warren and Biden during last month’s debate. That made her a target this round, and her opponents got in some very clean shots. Gabbard highlighted her uncharitable record as a prosecutor, which Harris struggled to defend, while Biden and Bennet questioned her health care plan. She mainly responded to attacks by claiming the others were lying about her plans or mischaracterizing her record, but didn’t really point out specifics.
Many outlets declaring Biden a winner of last night’s debate seem to categorize a “win” as “slightly better than last month’s disaster.” Biden was indeed better prepared to absorb attacks from every single candidate this round, which gave him the most talking time of either debate (over 20 minutes). He effectively questioned his opponents’ more radical health care plans but fizzled out defending his records on immigration and criminal justice.
Booker seems to have fully surrendered the “let’s win this election with love” approach to Marianne Williamson, and we are here for it. Booker unleashed his signature staredown as Biden went after his criminal justice approach as mayor of Newark, criticizing the city’s use of stop and frisk. Booker shot back: “Mr. Vice President, there’s a saying in my community — you’re dipping into the Kool-Aid and you don’t even know the flavor.”
Castro saw a huge bump after his June debate showing. He maintained his sparkle last night, but might not have done much to add to it. He continues to argue persuasively for the repeal of a part of the U.S. Code that criminalizes crossing the border and had a strong response when Biden asked why this wouldn’t just motivate more people to enter the country, to which Castro responded: “Mr. Vice President, it looks like one of us has learned the lessons of the past, and one of us hasn’t.” Not to mention: Julián Castro can get it.
(feat. Cory Booker)
Bill de Blasio
The mayor of New York was heckled throughout the debate, with protesters shouting “Fire Pantaleo” in reference to the police officer who killed unarmed black man Eric Garner. Several candidates on stage did ask De Blasio why he hadn’t fired the officer. De Blasio spent most of his speaking time on offense, but his attacks fell pretty flat because honestly nobody really cared that they were being criticized the man who 9 million people are already mad at because the subway doesn’t get them to work on time.
The climate change candidate wore his hot-scientist spectacles and persuasively criticized the others’ climate plans for not going far enough. He was also one of the only candidates to address Republicans other than Donald Trump, and noted how limited any Democratic president will be if the party doesn’t take back the Senate in 2020. He tried to interject in more kitchen table issue discussions but just didn’t get called on.
Yang had the least amount of speaking time — he spoke less than half as often as Biden — but made an impression when he did. Most candidates awkwardly pivot when asked a question they don’t want to answer, but Yang was able to frame his novel Universal Basic Income platform (he wants to give every American $1,000 a month) as an effective solution to a range of political issues. He also used his favorite line that no one is more fit to beat Trump than “an Asian man who likes math.”
Gabbard was the sleeper hit of the evening, coming out as the most Googled candidate of the second debate. The Hawaii congresswoman did her oppo research on Harris and launched some brutal attacks, highlighting one of Harris’ biggest vulnerabilities in the race: her time as a prosecutor, during which she made a few moves inconsistent with a progressive agenda. Gabbard also highlighted her military service and expertise.
Michael Bennet spoke very slowly, making us wonder if the Colorado senator snuck an edible into his carry-on. Remember those moderate punching bags from Tuesday? Bennet filled in for last night’s brawl. He went after Harris’ health care plan and accused her of taking insurance away from employees. This kinda backfired when Harris reminded us that the fact that we rely on employers for health care makes no damn sense and that Bennet is using “Republican talking points” when it comes to health care.
If you’re already a Gillistan, your girl didn’t let you down last night. If you’re not, you probably didn’t become one in the last 24 hours either. Gillibrand had the fourth most speaking time, but she failed to make any distinguishing statements. She brought up Biden’s 1981 vote against providing childcare assistance to all families, which he justified by saying parents (read: mothers) should not be encouraged to work outside the home. I found this attack convincing, but Biden saw it coming and prepared a decent response.
I’m pretty sure my debt from student loans exists only to give me at least one number that is higher than my weight after a weekend of ordering Thai food and drinking gallons of tequila sodas. Or, it exists due to a vicious cycle of recession, rising costs, and inflation. Who’s to say!
Regardless, we all know student loan debt is very real and extremely hard to pay off. Like, I think I’ll finally be debt-free after my third divorce (assuming all my settlements go in my favor). This debt looms over borrowers, impeding them from taking career risks, buying houses, starting families or taking whatever steps they want towards the enriched and enlightened lives we all deserve. For those of us who vote partly with our wallets not because we’re exceedingly wealthy, but because we are most certainly not, how candidates plan to address American’s $1.5 trillion of student loan debt is a major point of consideration. Let’s take a look at how 10 candidates prioritize student debt and how they plan to help alleviate some of the stress.
With one of the more generous proposals in terms of student debt, Warren wants to make tuition-free college universal. On top of that, she has a plan to cancel up to $50,000 of student loan debt for households that bring in less than $100,000 year. Borrowers with a household income of $100,000 to $250,000 would see some debt cancellation, but those with a household income over $250,000 would see none. She’d fund this through taxes on the wealthiest Americans.
While student loan debt isn’t a major issue she’s running on compared to some of her competitors, Harris has said she would support Bernie Sanders’ legislative plan to cancel all debt. A strong critic of for-profit universities, she helped hold one of the largest chains of these types of colleges in the nation, Corinthian Colleges, accountable after it filed for bankruptcy — earning a $1.1 billion judgment against the college for predatory and unlawful practices. The senator and former U.S. Attorney is in support of debt-free college (she co-sponsored the Debt-Free College Act of 2018) and reforming the current student loan system — particularly its interest rates. Harris believes that student loans should be on par with federal lending amounts, and capped with a rate of 3.5 percent.
During his 2016 bid for the Democratic nomination, Sanders pledged to make public college both tuition-free and debt-free. (While tuition-free college means higher education would be free for everyone, a debt-free approach would ensure people pay what they can afford and the most help would be provided to students who need it most.) Later, he introduced the College for All Act, which would provide tuition-free education at public colleges.
In June, Sanders announced another plan that would eliminate student debt for 45 million borrowers and make public college tuition-free. The plan, which would cost around $2.2 trillion, would be paid for by a tax on Wall Street transactions. That plan would also cover college costs for students whose families earn less than $25,000 a year. Unlike Warren’s proposal, his plan would offer debt cancellation even to wealthy families who earn over $250,000 a year.
Though Booker hasn’t announced an exact plan, his previous career moves suggest that he would take big steps to make college more affordable. Two signs that point to this: he co-sponsored a bill introduced by Hawaii senator Brian Schatz that would facilitate greater cooperation between states and the federal government to help students afford college.
He also introduced a bill in the Senate that would give every American child $1,000 when they are born. This money would be put in an account watched by the Treasury Department and earn about 3 percent interest until the child is 18 — which could give them their own college savings account.
The former Housing and Urban Development secretary has proposed tuition-free public college. In terms of addressing existing student loan debt, he’s proposed a plan that would forgive debt after 20 years of payments and allow borrowers to pay nothing back until they make about 250% of the federal poverty line, around $31,225. His plan would also partially forgive loans for people who have received any sort of public assistance benefits for three out of five years.
Beto hasn’t commented a ton on his plans for student loan debt, but as a congressman, he did support a proposal in 2015 from President Obama that would allow students to attend community college for two years at no cost. Additionally, he has commented that students who go to public universities should be able to do so for free. He’s also in favor of forgiving some debt for students who go into public service.
While we also haven’t heard that much from Buttigieg, the youngest candidate in the race, in regards to student loan debt, we do know a bit about his perspective on the issue. Buttigieg is only 37 and went to Harvard, and has said that together he and his husband have about $130,000 in debt. He’s not in favor of exclusively free college, but did release a proposal last month that would make public college debt-free for low-income students and facilitate a “state-federal partnership that makes public tuition affordable for all and completely free at lower incomes — combined with a large increase in Pell Grants that provides for basic living expenses and keeps up with inflation.”
Buttigieg, a veteran, has also proposed broadening opportunities for young people to earn debt relief through national service.
Gillibrand is in favor of lowering refinancing rates to 4 percent and allowing borrowers to refinance through the federal government. Additionally, she has spoken out about the idea that borrowers should be automatically enrolled in income-driven repayment plans. She’s also backed Sanders’ bill which suggests that she may be open to a free college proposal of some sorts. But as a presidential candidate, she has not announced her own plan.
Biden didn’t make much noise about student loan debt until recently, most likely due to the fact that it is becoming such a hot ticket issue this election round (spoiler alert: college graduates are mad about the state of our government AND the state of our debt). In June, he released what Forbes describes as a “modest” loan forgiveness proposal that would improve the Public Service Loan Forgiveness program, which forgives some student debt for people who work full-time for either a government entity or nonprofit organization. But the program has a lot of issues and requirements and hasn’t provided as much relief as beneficiaries expected. Gillibrand also supports taking a closer look at it.
In 2015, Biden suggested that public education should be available through the college, rather than stop after high school.
The Minnesota senator, running on a platform of winning over moderates and centrist Republicans, is the only candidate to push back on the idea of free college for all. But she has expressed openness to expanding Pell Grants for low-income students, making it easier for borrowers to refinance their loans, and making two-year colleges effectively free.
There officially 19 candidates trying to win the Democratic nomination for president in 2020, and that shockingly does not even include Joe Biden, who is rumored to be declaring on Thursday. While keeping track of 19 different people’s policies, brand, background, and general vibe can be tough, the primaries are sooner than you think (it Iowa caucus is less than a year away), so it’s probably a good idea to start thinking about who you’re going to vote for and why. Unless you’re voting for Trump in which case…you do you, I guess.
We’ve rounded up some of our favorite policies from each of the 2020 candidates so you can get a jumpstart on figuring out who you’ll be stanning come primary day. Oh, and so you can be that b*tch on Twitter who knows everything and annoys everyone. Either/or.
Bernie Sanders: Medicare For All
Bernie’s leading policy proposal (of many strong ones) is Medicare For All. In fact, it’s so strong almost all of the candidates have come out and said #MeToo (but like, the good kind of #MeToo where they co-sponsor a bill that would give us all affordable health care). Basically, the plan would implement a government run single-payer health insurance model where individuals don’t have to pay out of pocket when they receive care. This would hypothetically be paid for by taxing America’s wealthiest 1%-ers. I personally love the idea of Elon Musk footing the bill for my anxiety meds, but that’s just me.
Sen. @BernieSanders challenged Trump to release his tax returns and made a strong case for Medicare for All on *checks notes* Fox News pic.twitter.com/jBd2ehaaGA
— NowThis (@nowthisnews) April 17, 2019
Kamala Harris: Background Checks
Senator Kamala Harris proposed a policy shift on gun control this past week at her CNN town hall. In it, Harris said that she would give Congress 100 days to pass gun reform legislation. If they don’t (which they won’t) she’d then sign an executive order mandating background checks for customers of anyone who sells more than five guns per year. Wait…the government is allowed to take action on gun reform? I’m shook.
Elizabeth Warren: Student Loan Forgiveness
Elizabeth Warren is out here dropping policies like she is an early aught’s Lil Wayne dropping mix-tapes. But since we have to choose one, this week Warren released a proposal called Cancellation of Student Loan Debt and Universal Free Public College, which would allow the federal government to forgive $50,000 in student loan debt for every person with a household under $100,000 (aka an estimated 42 million Americans) and eliminate college tuition at almost all colleges and universities. She’d pay for this by – say it with me now – taxing the rich. As if that isn’t tantalizing enough, Liz also wants to get rid of the Electoral College, break up big tech like Facebook and Google, stop drilling on public lands, and she was the first candidate to call for Trump’s impeachment. Honestly, start a book club and each month deep dive into her policies with a generous pour of a buttery Chardonnay because listing them all might take a while.
Student loan debt is crushing millions of families. That’s why I’m calling for something truly transformational: Universal free college and the cancellation of debt for more than 95% of Americans with student loan debt. Read all about it here: https://t.co/IG9J5CiNb7
— Elizabeth Warren (@ewarren) April 22, 2019
Julián Castro: Immigration Reform
Earlier this month Julián Castro laid out an immigration plan that would reverse Trump’s travel ban and decriminalize illegal border crossings. Castro is the first 2020 candidate to provide such a detailed immigration plan and policy wonks are going bananas for it. Frank Sharry, the director of the liberal immigration group America’s Voice told the Texas Tribune, the Castro “got his wonk on, and wonks appreciate it.” Side note: can we stop with the word wonk? It’s kind of…wonky.
My family’s story wouldn’t be possible without a country that challenged itself to live up to the promise of America. That was the point of the #AmericanDream: It wasn’t supposed to be just a dream. America was the place where dreams could become real. /1
— Julián Castro (@JulianCastro) April 21, 2019
Cory Booker: Criminal Justice Reform
Booker has long been active and passionate about Criminal Justice reform. After Trump signed the First Step Act (aka the one Kim K. worked on), Booker proposed The Next Step Act which further reforms sentencing guidelines, improves prison conditions, restructures law enforcement practices and training, and “bans the box” which prohibits employers from asking about criminal history in the early stages of interview processes. Also – and this is less of a policy and more of a fun fact – he is dating Rosario Dawson which means we’re one parallel universe away from First Lady Rosario Dawson. Think about it.
Beto O’Rourke: Marijuana Legalization
Beto O’Rourke shockingly proposed an education reform policy that mandates all students must learn to ollie before being able to graduate. Seems unorthodox but extremely gnarly – okay that isn’t true. O’Rourke backs most of the popular Democratic platforms, and has led the pack on being vocal about marijuana legalization. He wants to end the federal prohibition of da good stuff and expunge criminal records of non violent marijuana offenses. Not only does he want it legal, but he’s proposed expanding government funded research of cannabis. So actually, I’m going to stand by my description of calling him “extremely gnarly.”
Pete Buttigieg: ????
Mayor Pete has come out as a really strong contender this primary season, despite nobody know who he was like, 2 months ago. Pete has a lot going for him: a compelling story, inspirational speeches, the ability to speak 8 languages, a cute husband named Chasten, and two rescue dogs. What he doesn’t really have are policy proposals. When asked why his website does not have a policy section by Anderson Cooper at a CNN town hall, he said he thinks “it’s important we don’t drown people in minutiae before we’ve vindicated the values that animate our policies,” and that his website was being update with policy videos ASAP. Hmm…how do you say “you should really get on that” in 8 languages?
Mayor Pete Buttigieg: “It’s important that we not drown people in minutia before we’ve vindicated the values that animate our policies.” pic.twitter.com/ys1LuymKpS
— The Hill (@thehill) April 23, 2019
Kirsten Gillibrand: Paid Family Leave
Senator Gillibrand has firmly been an advocate for paid family leave and introduced the FAMILY Act, which guarantees new parents 12 weeks of paid leave from work, which is a f*ckload better than the zero guaranteed weeks of family leave the U.S. has now. The downside? few more parent-friendly policies like this and I might actually consider procreating.
Passing paid family leave is the right thing to do for workers, for families and for our national economy—and we can get it done now with the #FAMILYAct. I won’t stop until we do. pic.twitter.com/iQ7ymn62fe
— Kirsten Gillibrand (@SenGillibrand) February 13, 2019
Amy Klobuchar: Agriculture Exports
Surprise surprise, the Senator from Minnesota has views on agriculture exports. While potato farming isn’t incredibly flashy, it is critical to our economy and actually pretty important. Klobuchar wants to make it easier to export farming products and lift tariffs discriminating against US agriculture producers. So she’s like trying to make our smoothies cheaper and healthier? Okay cool.
Big news in the Senate! I’m on the Ag Committee and we’ve reached a bipartisan agreement on a new Farm Bill that will help strengthen Minnesota’s rural economy. This is what we can accomplish when we put politics aside and come together to create real solutions. pic.twitter.com/YuSVrKIlnL
— Amy Klobuchar (@amyklobuchar) June 8, 2018
Andrew Yang: Universal Basic Income
While maybe not the most talked about candidate, but Andrew Yang is an entrepreneur and philanthropist wants to introduce a universal basic income for all Americans. He’s proposing $12k a year ($1k/mo) for all Americans over the age of 18. He believes this will grow the economy by 13% by 2025. Does this make him the world’s first ethical billionaire? Perhaps!
Jay Inslee: Green Energy
Low and behold a 68-year-old white man is taking on climate change in this election, which is honestly very cool (just like the Earth should be – zing!). Jay Inslee is the governor of Washington State and wants us to capitalize on green energy to grow our economy and save the planet. Yes, he’s a long-shot candidate, but at the very least his campaign will have very cute totebags so hop on that!
I have decided to run for president to make sure that climate change is the number 1 priority of the United States. But we need 65,000 donors to put climate change front and center in the Democratic debates in June. Can I count on you? Donate here: https://t.co/qMSjloeHNk. pic.twitter.com/JHWaQJYd2z
— Jay Inslee (@JayInslee) April 11, 2019
Marianne Williamson: Reparations
You may not have heard of Marianne Williamson, an activist and author from Houston, Texas, who is most known for being Oprah’s spiritual adviser. Yes, that’s serious. Williamson has proposed $100 billion in reparations for slavery to help heal our country’s racial divide. Not bad for a white lady named “Marianne.” Also – and I cannot emphasize this enough – Williamson’s literal job is “spiritual adviser to Oprah”. That is enough of a policy for me. No more details needed.
Eric Swalwell: Gun Reform
Eric Swalwell wants to take your guns. Like, literally. And guess what? We love that. He wants to ban assault weapons and has proposed a buy-back plan for current owners, which has been successful in countries like Australia and the United Kingdom. Love those policies (and those accents)!
The right to live is supreme over any other.
We started our campaign with the Parkland community because ending gun violence will be my number ONE priority as President. #EnoughIsEnough
Let’s make gun deaths obsolete: https://t.co/FgC3uOQiiE pic.twitter.com/dA8c3tted2
— Eric Swalwell (@ericswalwell) April 15, 2019
Tulsi Gabbard the congresswoman from Hawaii wants to provide tuition free community college for all and as a former soldier believes we should be less involved in foreign conflict. John Hickenlooper is a pretty centrist candidate who supports common sense gun control and is passionate about reducing green house admissions. John Delaney is also happily in the middle of the road, and while he wants health care reform does not support Medicare For All. If elected he wants to expand free trade with China. Wayne Messam, the mayor of Miramar, Florida, is similar to Warren in that he wants to erase billions of dollars in student debt and make college affordable again. Just this week Massachusetts representative Seth Moulton announced his candidacy and wants to focus on military spending and using high tech weapons in combat. Congressman Tim Ryan from Ohio is a proponent of policy helping replace manufacturing jobs lost in the Midwest. And then there’s Joe Biden, who hasn’t announced yet but has low-key been in the race this whole time.
So basically, no matter what the issue that most appeals to you is, there’s probably a candidate out here talking about it. So figure out who then start donating, campaigning, and most importantly voting to get them elected. The fate of our democracy depends on it, or whatever.
Heads up, you need to keep up with the news. It’s not cute anymore. That’s why we’ve created a 5x weekly newsletter called The ‘Sup that will explain all the news of the week in a hilarious af way. Because if we weren’t laughing, we’d be crying. Sign up for The ‘Sup now!
Pete Buttigieg officially announced his 2020 presidential campaign on Sunday, which makes him the – what is it, 69th? – person to do so. You probably know this strapping young cherub as Mayor Pete, and if so, you’re probably also aware of his hot husband Chasten and their two adorable rescue dogs. These are important facts in a 2020 race, but it’s time to get to business and figure out who is Mayor Pete is, what he stands for, and whether or not he will be getting your vote. Shall we?
I just announced I’m running for president of the United States. Join in and donate if you can. It’s going to be an amazing ride and I can’t wait to be on it with you all the way to the White House: https://t.co/edZnUvfc2I pic.twitter.com/OTi0YsAG5R
— Pete Buttigieg (@PeteButtigieg) April 14, 2019
Who is He?
Pete Buttigieg is not a boy, not yet a president. But he is a mayor, of South Bend, Indiana to be exact. He became Mayor Pete at the age of 29, so he’s one of those people who accomplished a lot at a young age, which is a) rude and b) really f*cking impressive. He was re-elected with 80 % of the vote in his second term, which is v impressive, especially as an openly gay man in Indiana, AKA Mike Pence’s stomping grounds. Our boy Pete also has extensive military experience. In fact, if elected he would have more military experience than any other president since George H. W. Bush. Pete served as a lieutenant in the U.S. Navy and took a seven month leave of absence to go to Afghanistan during his time as Mayor. He also graduated from Harvard. What, like it’s hard?
What are the Pros?
Mayor Pete is hella charming. He’s been described as the white, gay version of Obama. Which like, okay…I’m listening. Much like Obama, he’s an incredible speaker, and his inspiring speeches invoke hope and determination. He’s young enough that he isn’t out of touch with the younger generation and has seen firsthand the issues we have been handed, aka climate change, gun violence, and a dwindling economy. But he’s also old enough to not be brushed aside by older voters (proof: my dad likes him). Mayor Pete stands for a progressive America that wants to move forward with change, rather than move backwards with hate. He cares about racial justice, affordable healthcare, and the environment. In short, he’s an inspirational leader with a contagious vision.
Also – and we cannot stress this enough – he has two adorable rescue dogs named Truman and Buddy.
What are the Cons?
Although Mayor Pete has been getting a lot of buzz, he’s still considered a bit of an underdog. He doesn’t have much political experience beyond his terms as mayor, although those have been very successful. Also, I won’t lie…hearing him be compared to Obama does worry me a bit. Look, I love and miss Obama, but it’s no longer 2008 or 2012. Not to be a b*tch, but we might need more than inspirational speeches and a man who has big hopes for an America that can work together. Pete needs to prove he has things to bring to the table that will make real change in 2020 America and beyond.
Where Can You Learn More?
Wanna keep crushin’ on Mayor Pete? No prob. You can visit his website to learn more and donate to his campaign if you so please. You can also follow him on Twitter, his tweets are pretty fire tbh.
Heads up, you need to keep up with the news. It’s not cute anymore. That’s why we’ve created a 5x weekly newsletter called The ‘Sup that will explain all the news of the week in a hilarious af way. Because if we weren’t laughing, we’d be crying. Sign up for The ‘Sup now!
Images : Twitter (1), Giphy (2)
There’s a 50% chance you’ve made out with someone who’s running for President this year. JK, but honestly, maybe not JK because there’s so many people throwing their name in the race. Honestly, imagine making a brunch reservation for this many people? I’m already crying on the phone with the hostess at the thought. While we wait for our full party to arrive, lets get a breakdown of every person you didn’t know you need to know:
I launched a presidential exploratory committee because it is a season for boldness and it is time to focus on the future. Are you ready to walk away from the politics of the past?
Join the team at https://t.co/Xlqn10brgH. pic.twitter.com/K6aeOeVrO7
— Pete Buttigieg (@PeteButtigieg) January 23, 2019
Move over Pete Davidson, because there is a new Pete in our lives. Pete Buttigieg (yes, his name has “butt” in it. Let’s all take a moment to acknowledge that and move forward…) is the openly gay mayor of South Bend, Indiana. He’s a casual 38-years-old, making him the youngest candidate in the race, and potentially the youngest president in history depending on how all this shakes out. So basically, not only would he be the first openly gay president, he’d also be the first millennial president aka the first president who understands the importance of having a cohesive Insta Story.
When he was elected, he was the youngest mayor of a city with more than 100,000 residents, and he served as a U.S. Navy Reserve officer rom 2009-2017, so he’s got that sweet, sweet military background. He also took a leave of absence during his time as mayor to serve a seven-month tour of duty in Afghanistan because he’s just an overachiever like that. (Is Mayor Pete a Taurus? Can somebody check?)
Want to be the Ariana to Pete’s campaign? Check out his website here.
We need a growing and prosperous economy that works for everyone. That’s what my campaign is about. pic.twitter.com/d8qNKMxyei
— John Delaney (@JohnDelaney) February 22, 2019
No, not Mulaney — but hey, that could be fun. A democrat, Delaney was the United States Representative for Maryland’s 6th congressional district since 2013. His main mission is to focus on the future and not the past; which means I’m guessing Countess LuAnn is his campaign manager. Whatever happens Before Lu, doesn’t matter. He’s also stated that he’s into bipartisanship, and make the Democratic party a “big tent” party that will bring new voters in. AKA, he’s this chick from Mean Girls:
What we do love about him? He sponsored the Open Our Democracy Act legislation that would make Election Day a federal holiday, so your boss can’t force you to choose between a paycheck and your country.
Into it? You can learn more about his campaign here.
Many ask if Universal Basic Income would cause massive inflation. It’s an understandable concern. But we would not be adding much to the supply of money. The economy is up to $20 trillion up $5 trillion in the last 12 years alone. pic.twitter.com/gb2E7C1dSm
— Andrew Yang (@AndrewYangVFA) March 1, 2019
Another day, another entrepreneur running for president. Can someone please tell rich people everywhere that America is not a startup? He’s… the most out there candidates in terms of what they’re running for. I am a huge advocate of Daring to Be Different (its why I only go out to bars in pajama jeans) but it might be too much of a stretch to advocate a universal basic income for everyone in a country where people cry “socialism!” when you lend your friend a dollar. But hey, I’m just saying that *I* think that’s too much of a stretch, and I (as you already know), wear pajama jeans out in public. The universal basic income he’s proposing is $1,000 a month — which I’m not sure would even cover my Take Out & Taxi habits (please help me budget), but I’m sure would be helpful to someone with financial skills and/or impulse control.
It is great that he continues to make the list of potential candidates even more diverse, being only the second Asian American to run — and the first to run as a Democrat. Uh, also, the lead singer of Weezer may be supporting him?
Thank you @RiversCuomo – you’re a true visionary. Honored to have your support for my campaign. Look forward to seeing you on tour! ????
— Andrew Yang (@AndrewYangVFA) January 3, 2019
Into it? Learn more about his campaign here.
— Tulsi Gabbard (@TulsiGabbard) March 5, 2019
An Iraq war veteran who has served as a congresswoman for Hawaii, Tulsi Gabbard seems very qualified for the job. She wants to make the minimum wage $15, which is great — but she’ll have to overcome her conservative past; mainly being against LGBTQ+ rights and some international issues. While these mainly were issues from over a decade ago, so was that one party where you wore a skirt over jeans — and thanks to the Internet, both memories will live on forever. Her campaign has already attracted support from some of the uh…more controversial wings of American politics like former KKK Grand Wizard (yes, that is what they call their leadership) David Duke and Russian bot accounts that were set up to celebrate her announcement.
Umm…yikes? If elected, Gabbard would be the first Hindi and first Pacific Islander to be President — along with being the first woman, which seems pretty antithetical to what the KKK believes in but hey, what do I know? I’ve never been a member.
Wanna find out more about Tulsi? Learn more about her here.
Beating Donald Trump is essential, but it’s not sufficient. We need lasting progressive change. pic.twitter.com/ONOSYAnyGy
— John Hickenlooper (@Hickenlooper) March 4, 2019
Pete Buttigieg: I’m going to have the weirdest name as a candidate.
John Hickenlooper: hold my beer.
John Hickenlooper’s career in politics actually started after he got fired from his job in oil and decided to open up a brewpub, which we’re kind of obsessed with. He feels that this experience helped him become an expert at “uniting” people together — kind of like how a bottle of Cabernet can unite people together on Mondays before The Bachelor starts. From there, he became the Mayor of Denver and ultimately the Governor of Colorado (blaze it, Hickenlooper).
He actually seems like a decent guy — supporting gun control, believing in the fact that the Earth is melting, and working to reduce homelessness. His major issue will probably be differentiating his point of view from all the other Democrats running against him with similar platforms and more of a name recognition.
Want to learn more about his campaign? Check out his website.
VIDEO: This is our moment, our climate, our mission — together, we can defeat climate change. That’s why I’m running for president. Join #OurClimateMoment today https://t.co/zg8ILGyk0Z pic.twitter.com/pUZVxyzfc5
— Jay Inslee (@JayInslee) March 1, 2019
Jay Inslee, Governor of Washington, is running with one thing in mind: attempting to reverse climate change and the damage we’ve all done to our planet. I hate to say that as a positive, and not as a “no sh*t,” but turns out some (or most) of our politicians think climate change is as real as Taylor Swift’s new secret single she’s releasing soon. (THEY’RE BOTH REAL AND THEY’RE BOTH HAPPENING.) Except one will kill us all! And it’s not Taylor this time.
Listen, I’m typing this while sipping out of a metal straw and eating vegan cheese for lunch. I want everyone to care about the environment, but I feel Jay Inslee’s issue will be just having this hill (or, melting snow cap) to die on. Ellie Goulding also does a lot to raise awareness for global warming, but you don’t see her running for office — you just see her running all the damn time. We’ll see, maybe he’ll add more issues to his rallying cries; but at the very least, I hope he gets every single candidate in a debate to admit that the Earth is actively melting and we’re all dying. Do that for us, Jay!
Here’s his website if you want to learn more.
Sure, none of these guys are current frontrunners, but who knows? One of these candidates could have a sudden surge of momentum and leap to the forefront of national conversation to make a splash (see: Barack Obama in 2008). But until then, it kinda seems like they’re all just other Best Original Song nominees in a sea of Shallow’s.