Opinion | Democrats Lining Up for 2020

To the Editor:

Re “May the Best Woman Win,” by Michelle Goldberg (column, Jan. 22):

After the total disaster of Trumpism, America needs and deserves the empathy, compassion and fair-mindedness that only a woman can bring to the Oval Office. While I would vote for a ham sandwich over Donald Trump, 2020 and beyond will be the era of powerful women with governing experience and the patience and understanding it takes to lead the nation.

Kamala Harris, Elizabeth Warren, Kirsten Gillibrand and most likely Amy Klobuchar are all capable candidates, and I expect there will be other women who will enter the fray.

We are a long way off until the 2020 election, but I applaud the women who have thrown their hats into the ring now, as Americans need to get to know and evaluate their strengths and weaknesses and help choose the woman with the best chance of taking back the White House. The midterms in 2018 showed that women are on the move in American politics, and there is little doubt in my mind that the best woman will be our 46th president.

Henry A. Lowenstein
New York

To the Editor:

While I wholeheartedly agree with Michelle Goldberg’s argument that it would be nothing short of poetic justice for President Trump to lose re-election in 2020 to a female Democrat, I worry that she is too optimistic about a female Democrat’s chances in a general election, even if she can get through the competitive Democratic primary.

While none of the three female senators currently in the race — Senators Elizabeth Warren, Kirsten Gillibrand and Kamala Harris — have been in the public eye as long as Hillary Clinton was, it is still likely that they will be as thoroughly criticized by the right-wing media ecosystem as Mrs. Clinton was, given how focused right-wing media has always been on tearing down female Democrats. This is apparent in its continued obsession with Nancy Pelosi and its focus on its newest target, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.

While I am energized by the recent successes of female political candidates in the 2018 midterm elections, I fear that it will be difficult to overcome the constant right-wing media torrent.

Shalaka Joshi
New York

To the Editor:

I’m hoping the 2020 Democratic primary will look like something the Republicans had in 2016: a large field of candidates that held multiple debates that allowed voters to compare candidates head to head. At this point, it’s best to ignore the prognosticators; anyone can fumble. We know this from past Joe Biden bids for the presidency.

Four years ago Democrats saw the antithesis of democracy — a back-room, preordained front-runner whose critics were labeled either misogynists or de facto enablers of the G.O.P.

Michael Buitrón
Long Beach, Calif.

To the Editor:

“Democratic Pack Views O’Rourke as Lone Wolf” (front page, Jan. 20) portrays Beto O’Rourke as at best disloyal for complimenting but not endorsing a Democratic candidate in a Texas congressional race, while refusing to oppose Will Hurd, the Republican candidate. Mr. O’Rourke remained neutral in the race.

The implicit argument was that Mr. Hurd should have been opposed simply because he was a Republican. Contrast this with Democrats’ criticisms of Republican House members and senators who blindly stick with President Trump, whatever he does, because he is a Republican.

Frankly, I prefer a candidate who can recognize the possibility that candidates from both parties have merit to a candidate who feels that — for the sake of the party — he needs to support a party member regardless of merit.

Lauri Steel
Los Altos, Calif.

To the Editor:

Re “A $200,000 Speech by Biden Was Priceless to a Republican” (front page, Jan. 24):

In this era of hyperpartisanship, it’s refreshing to read about former Vice President Joe Biden’s praise of Representative Fred Upton, a Michigan Republican, during last fall’s congressional campaign, for supporting legislation that provided hundreds of millions of dollars in federal support for cancer research.

As a registered Democrat and a cancer survivor, I for one am gratified that Mr. Biden had the political courage and personal decency to publicly thank Mr. Upton for his strong support of this landmark bill. This is just the sort of leadership that our country desperately needs.

Robert Sachs

To the Editor:

We are missing the importance of Joe Biden’s appearing to support Fred Upton in his speech. Mr. Biden could have thanked Mr. Upton, and many others who supported Mr. Biden’s medical research bill, at the time the bill was passed and since then. But since we know Mr. Upton crafted a bill in 2017 to repeal Obamacare, we see in full view Mr. Biden’s lack of good judgment, which makes him a poor candidate to be president.

If Mr. Upton’s bill to repeal Obamacare had succeeded, and if new cancer research offered new treatments and hope, millions of uninsured Americans would not have been able to receive the new, novel, wonderful care.

Gail Shorr
Wilmette, Ill.
The writer is a retired pediatrician.

To the Editor:

In every presidential race since at least 1980, the more “likable” candidate won. (Although I despise Donald Trump, I don’t claim that he’s less “likable” than Hillary Clinton.)

We liberals have Elizabeth Warren, who thinks that she can somehow win the next likability contest, despite her already divisive reputation and easily stereotyped policy positions. Who else is vying or expected to be vying for the Democratic nomination? Other coastal liberals, of course: Senators Kamala Harris, Cory Booker and Kirsten Gillibrand.


Republicans — even those from the coasts — are more likable to the varied geography of America. Democrats, on the other hand, win only when they nominate someone from outside their Northeast and West Coast strongholds. Barack Obama was from Illinois. Bill Clinton was from Arkansas. Jimmy Carter was from Georgia. Their likability and appeal stretched beyond the coasts in a way that the current crop of potential candidates won’t.

Senators Warren, Booker, Harris and Gillibrand won’t win, and they’ll draw Democratic resources and attention from someone who can. Here we go again.

Jonathan Carey
Hoboken, N.J.

To the Editor:

Most of us with an ounce of sanity recognize that the current administration is a disaster. Our country needs a chief executive who can bring a steady hand to the tiller. Democrats, this is not the time for hope. It is the time for reason. It is the time to nominate someone who can win.

The only candidate who can rescue us from the current national mayhem is Michael Bloomberg. Elizabeth Warren, Cory Booker, Kamala Harris, Julián Castro, Tulsi Gabbard, etc. Get real. Come down to earth. You simply do not have the throw-weight to tackle Donald Trump. Joe Biden, you’re a good man. But you’re a two-time loser. Stop dreaming.

Democrats need to unite behind a viable candidate. And the only viable candidate for 2020 is Michael Bloomberg. He can go toe to toe with Mr. Trump. Mr. Bloomberg is Donald Trump’s worst nightmare. Realistic Democrats, stop fooling around. If you want to win, Mr. Bloomberg is your candidate.

Peter Cotch
Rockport, Mass.

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