Since we last looked at Dem candidates, three more have entered (or are about to) who are interesting. None of them I think will take the nomination from the more established candidates. But all three could have some influence and may be heard from in the future. They are Tim Ryan, Andrew Yang, and Pete Buttigieg. Though, as Ryan has noted, Carter, Bill Clinton, Obama, and Trump knocked off seasoned players themselves. Still, after their surprising, to them, loss in 2016 I don’t think Dems will go for any untested rookie at the top of the ticket.
Ryan is a moderate congressman from Ohio who in 2016 challenged Nancy Pelosi for leadership of the party in the House. He is not loony but a relatively pro-business type who seems to have union support. His platform of raising the specter of a failing economy conflicts with current economic reality and would be catnip to the president if the good economy continues. He announced his bid on “The View,” tacking to the cultural left to appease the party mouth breathers. A hard left nominee could choose him to make the ticket less truly appalling. Being from Ohio can’t hurt either, as Dems will need that to pick off the president.
Andrew Yang, though I hear personally engaging, is a standard issue millennial candidate. He is an Asian-American startup tycoon. Emphasizing the tech cure-all mindset his demographic lives by, he also champions the UBI so beloved of those who think all problems are material. Yes, I know, Milton Friedman liked the idea too. But Uncle Miltie is not around to update his approval in current circumstances. One of the appeals of the idea is that a straight income payment would allegedly eliminate much of the welfare bureaucracy. Well, have you ever heard of a Democrat implementing a reduction of the welfare state in this day and age? Me neither.
The third is Pete Buttigieg, the mayor of South Bend, Indiana. While having no chance at the big office, he is currently doing well in the media primary. Many a candidate, like Scott Walker and Tim Pawlenty, did well the year prior to the real race too. They did not survive the eventual cut, being too interesting too early. He is an Afghan war vet, Rhodes Scholar, and yes, check the box, gay. However, he loses whatever resume points he has when he rambles on about how he isn’t afraid of socialism. No matter, as no mayor, and no contender that much out of nowhere, is going to seriously challenge big beasts like Sanders and Biden this time. That is, if Joe survives his current touchy feely travails. So, politically, the gentleman is DOA come early next year.
However, they will be around for a bit and could have a say. That becomes more so in a brokered convention, where minor candidates could be influential on the first ballot.
So, three more unworldly rookies in the middle of a political environment full of campaign predators and lush menace. Welcome boys.