Each Candidate’s Best Path to the Presidency

By: Hayden Cunningham

Joe Biden – Stay Quiet and Stay Awake

Photo Courtesy of Gage Skidmore

Arguably the strongest candidate in the democratic race, Biden’s best bet is to rely on both his name and Obama’s legacy. Everyone knows Joe Biden and for the most part, he’s not radical. What you see is likely what you’ll get. Biden is by no means a moderate; he is significantly further left than a moderate democrat. But he appears that way when you compare him to Sanders and Warren. Biden knows this and all he has to do is stay out of the spotlight and let the radical candidates fade away. His main problem is his health. At 76 years old, he would be the oldest President in history. Unlike 73 year old Donald Trump, Joe Biden’s age shows. He appears sleepy, disoriented, confused, etc. Biden needs to add the enthusiasm and charisma that Obama had while he defends the administration he was Vice-President for.

Bernie Sanders – Calm Down

Photo Courtesy of Gage Skidmore

78 year old Bernie Sanders is even older than his competition Joe. The difference here is that Bernie sounds almost senile. To be more appealing to voters, he needs to relax and not seem so tense. But this advice does not just apply to personality, but policy as well. When you propose so many radical policies that will change the entire structure of American government, it will not end with gaining the support of people over the age of 30.

Elizabeth Warren – Win the Radicals

Photo Courtesy of Edward Kimmel

Warren basically stole Bernie’s thunder. As the democratic primaries continue, Sanders and Warren cannot coexist. One of them will be the candidate for the far left. If Warren wants a chance to push for the candidacy, she is going to have to knock out Sanders as soon as possible and face Joe Biden who will presumably be the candidate for moderate liberals. One glaring problem she has is her lack of explanation for policies. Proposing mass change and large increases in social welfare is great, but it starts to be a problem when you can’t give a reasonable explanation for how it’s going to be paid for. She also faces the problem of her appearance; Elizabeth Warren is shrill. Unlike Kamala Harris, Hillary Clinton, or other female politicians, Warren does not voice her policies with a strong affirmation. When you sound like you don’t believe in your own policies, neither will the voters.

Kamala Harris – Resolve your History

Photo Courtesy of Gage Skidmore

Kamala Harris has a really bad track record. Tulsi Gabbard single-handedly took her down during the democratic debate simply by pointing to her years as a prosecutor. As Gabbard pointed out, “There are too many examples to cite but she put over 1,500 people in jail for marijuana violations and then laughed about it when she was asked if she ever smoked marijuana. She blocked evidence that would have freed an innocent man from death row until the courts forced her to do so. She kept people in prison beyond their sentences to use them as cheap labor for the state of California, and she fought to keep a cash bail system in place that impacts poor people in the worst kind of way.” Kamala Harris is the best bet of securing the black vote in the democratic party, but her record will certainly jeopardize that. If Harris wants any chance in this race, she needs to resolve the criticism about her professional career as a prosecutor.

Beto O’Rourke – Don’t be a Headline

Photo Courtesy of Gage Skidmore

I think Beto is having a contest with himself for who can have the most outrageous comment in this election. The mistake Beto O’Rourke makes, and frankly everybody in the primaries except Biden does, is that he makes statements that may help him win the primary but will absolutely ruin him in the general election. The common rule of thumb for democrats has always been to run towards the left in the primary, and run towards the center in the general election. But in the world of social media and videos, what you say will come back to hurt you. If Beto makes it out alive of the primary, he’s going to have to defend all the absurd statements he has made so far.

Pete Buttigeg – Policy not Sexuality

Photo Courtesy of Gage Skidmore

It seemed like when he first started running for President, his policy was “I’m gay vote for me.” Since then, that statement still remains but some policy has begun to circle around it. Playing a “card” in politics is 50/50. Hillary played the woman card and lost, but Obama played the race card and won. If Buttigeg wants to play the gay card, it will only help him so much. Pete Buttigeg is the social policy candidate. Sure, democrats focus way more on social issues than their republican counterparts, but Buttigeg is the dark house candidate that can gain a lot of favor by millennial who care more about social problems in the country. This, however, does not make him a strong candidate overall. To perform well in the primaries, he needs to knock out the unpopular candidates beneath him in the polls and just maybe will he gain some steam. His social stances are still radical, as he proposes zero restrictions on abortion, socialized healthcare, and advocates for “The Equality Act” (which sounds nice in the title but the policy itself is radical).

Andrew Yang – Gain a Loyal Following

Photo Courtesy of Gage Skidmore

Sigh. Although he is arguably the smartest and nicest man on the debate stage, Andrew Yang largely goes unnoticed. Yang is what democrats are supposed to be. Although conservatives will disagree with nearly all of his policies, he is knowledgeable and can be respected. He’s mostly substance, unlike all other candidates. Yang has made it a priority to actually campaign off of policy, and his economic policies are what he is most passionate about. Unfortunately it does not look like he will rise in popularity. However, if Yang can avoid the democratic theme of campaigning off emotions and race, build a following that supports him, and continues to explain the specific policies he wants to propose and what factual evidence he has that they may work, he could be a prominent role in the future of the party.

Donald J. Trump – It’s all About Policy

Photo Courtesy of The White House

Donald Trump did not campaign off policy in 2016. He campaigned off the thing that made him the billionaire businessman he is today: his name. This election will be different. Democrats will do everything they can to push him out of office (as we see them continuously threaten to impeach), and the biggest popular vote loss in American history may prove to mean something with 2020’s electoral votes. President Trump’s administration may be at risk due to his rhetoric and tweets, but fear of the radical left and his policy achievements will win him re-election. Unlike the left and the media, his followers know when to freak out about the things he says and when to laugh. They know how President Trump talks! President Trump walks the line of audacious and crazy. Because of this, President supporters have the ability to separate his words and his actions. This will ultimately be the mindset that wins him a second term.

Besides single-handedly taking down the biased mainstream media, he has the following achievements: Removing unnecessary regulations that hurt small businesses, nearly 4 million new jobs, fastest manufacturing growth in over three decades, lowest Black, Hispanic, Asian, unemployment ever recorded, removing the Obamacare individual mandate, moving the Israel U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem, prison reform that primarily helped black individuals, renegotiated a deal to replace NAFTA, increased military funding, withdraw from The Paris Climate Accord, withdraw from the Iran Deal, easing tensions and negotiating with North Korea, cracking down on Syria, cracking down on NATO allies paying their fair share, placing constitutionalist judges on the Supreme Court, signed policy to help veterans and the VA, and cracked down on illegal immigration. Not bad for four years in office. Plus after the Mueller Report, President Trump has had no major scandals while in office. That’s something the scandal-infested Obama administration cannot say.

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