2020 Presidential Candidates: Why Each One Deserves Your Vote

After several grueling minutes of exhausting research, APN is proud to present to you your 2020 Presidential candidates! After reading this exciting blog post, you will find out why each one deserves your vote (and why they are tragically flawed, as are all human beings).

Enough with the pleasantries and introductions, let us commence! Drum roll please…  in alphabetical order, we have:

Democratic Presidential Candidates

Michael Bennet

Michael Bennet, Presidential candidateExperience: Legislative – Senator from Colorado (2009-present).
     Education – Superintendent of Denver Public Schools from 2005-2008.
Signature Policy: Fix our political system: campaign finance and lobbying reform, end partisan gerrymandering.
Economics: Center-right of party; raise the minimum wage, invest in infrastructure, create a public-option for healthcare.
Foreign Affairs: Appears centrist, sparse on the details.
Core Message:
 Politics and governance are not and should not be the same thing. Our problems are not that hard to solve if politicians stop campaigning and start working with the public interest in mind.
Why You Should Vote for Him: Democrats should be making their case to mainstream America, not to the far-left of the party. Biden is too old and has too much baggage to do this effectively.
Tragic Flaw: One “t” or else Google thinks he’s a football player. It’s tough running for President when someone with the same name is more famous than you.
Website: https://michaelbennet.com/

Joe Biden

Joe Biden, Presidential candidateExperience: Executive – Vice-President under Obama (2009-2017).
     Legislative – Senator from Delaware from 1973-2009.
Signature Policy: Defeating Donald Trump.
Economics: Right of party: promote free-trade, invest in education, support the Affordable Care Act.
Foreign Affairs: Center-right of party, “We must fight for our values … wherever they are under attack.”
Core Message:
We’re in a battle for the soul of the nation. Don’t give up on America! Let’s come together in bi-partisanship. We can work across the aisle, but Trump threatens our core values as Americans.
Why You Should Vote for Him: We need the most experienced candidate who can smoothly guide us away from Trump’s America without distractions and in-fighting.
Tragic Flaw: Age, both in body and in politics.
Website: https://joebiden.com/

Cory Booker

Core Booker, Presidential candidateExperience: Legislative – Senator from New Jersey (2013-present).
     Executive – Mayor of Newark from 2006-2013.
Signature Policy: The boldest proposals for criminal justice reform: legalize marijuana, end cash bail and give clemency to all Federal prisoners of non-violent drug offenses.
Economics: Center of party. Supports “opportunity accounts” or “baby bonds” for all children, paid for by restoring the estate tax to 2009 levels. He also supports a version of the federal jobs guarantee.
Foreign Affairs: Unclear. No specifics on his website currently.
Core Message:
In America, no one should be left behind. We can channel our common pain into common purpose.
Why You Should Vote for Him: Fighting social and economic inequality must be the highest priority of the next President. The best way to accomplish this may be through a pragmatic approach, building consensus without casting judgement on anyone.
Tragic Flaw: Optimism.
Website: https://corybooker.com/

Pete Buttigieg

Pete Buttigieg, Presidential candidateExperience: Executive – Mayor of South Bend, Indiana (2012-present).
     Military – Lieutenant in the US Navy Reserve (2009-2017)
Signature Policy: unclear
Economics: Center of party. Supports a public option for healthcare, debt-free college, a $15 / hour minimum wage and a version of the Green New Deal.
Foreign Affairs: Center of party: use force when there’s a threat to the US, or to prevent atrocities as part of an international coalition.
Core Message:
A new generation should craft policies with long-term goals in mind.
Why You Should Vote for Him: We need a fresh start and it would be exciting to make history by electing the first millennial and the first openly gay President.
Tragic Flaw: Inexperience.
Website: https://peteforamerica.com/

Julian Castro

Julian Castro, Presidential candidateExperience: Executive – Secretary of Housing and Urban Development (2014-2017), Mayor of San Antonio, Texas (2009-2013).
Signature Policy: People First Housing – ending homelessness, making rentals more affordable, encouraging home ownership.
Economics: Center of party. Supports Medicare-for-all. However, beyond his housing plan, there is a lack of specifics on his website currently.
Foreign Affairs: Unclear. No specifics on his website currently.
Core Message:
The rent is too damn high!
Why You Should Vote for Him: Maintaining housing affordability is a key challenge for the next President, and we need someone who understands and has experience working on this issue.
Tragic Flaw: Last name: I can see the right-wing attack ads already.
Website: https://www.julianforthefuture.com/

Bill de Blasio

Bill de Blasio, Presidential candidateExperience: Executive – Mayor of New York City (2014-present).
     Legislative – New York City Council (2002-2009).
Signature Policy: Currently unclear.
Economics: Center-left of party. Supports paid sick and family leave, a $15 / hour minimum wage, free Pre-K and Medicare-for-all.
Foreign Affairs: Unclear. No specifics on his website currently.
Core Message:
I will not rest until our government serves working people.
Why You Should Vote for Him: Who better to take on Donald Trump than another New Yorker?
Tragic Flaw: But will he even win the New York primary? What’s his path to victory?
Website: https://billdeblasio.com/

John Delaney

John DelaneyExperience: Legislative – Representative from Maryland (2013-2019).
     Business – Founded Health Care Financial Partners in 1993, a company providing financial services to the healthcare sector; and CapitalSource in 2000, also a financial services company.
Signature Policy: Opposition to Medicare-for-all and free college.
Economics: Center-right of party: Supports a $2 trillion infrastructure plan, a $15 / hour minimum wage, a public healthcare option (but not Medicare-for-all) and a carbon fee-and-dividend (but not the Green New Deal).
Foreign Affairs: Unclear. No specifics on his website currently.
Core Message:
Let’s stop all the noise and find a common-sense path forward.
Why You Should Vote for Him: Democrats should be making their case to mainstream America, not to the far-left of the party. Michael Bennet doesn’t oppose Medicare-for-all strongly enough. We need to fight back against socialist nonsense!
Tragic Flaw: He’s unknown, aggressively-moderate and a financier running in a Democratic primary. Good luck to you, bro.
Website: https://www.johndelaney.com/

Tulsi Gabbard

Tulsi Gabbard, Presidential candidateExperience: LegislativeRepresentative from Hawaii (2013-present), Honolulu City Council (2010-2012)
     Military – Major in the Hawaii Army National Guard (2003-present).
Signature Policy: Ending regime change wars, such as US involvement in Iraq, Syria, and Libya.
Economics: Left of party. Supports 100% renewable electricity for the country by 2035, free college and Medicare-for-all,
Foreign Affairs: Left of party. While not a complete pacifist, she is philosophically non-interventionist. However, due to her ties to Hindu nationalists, some consider her a mixed-bag, even on her signature issue.
Core Message:
We all pay the price for interventionist regime-change wars. We can make change together, because there is no force more powerful than love.
Why You Should Vote for Her: It’s time to end the wars of aggression, spread peace and bring our troops home. We need someone with military experience to do this, because she understands the real threats we face and will make sure to care for our veterans. We need someone with more government experience than Marianne Williamson to do it effectively.
Tragic Flaw: Friendly with the wrong dictators.
Website: https://www.votetulsi.com/

Kirsten Gillibrand

Kirsten Gillibrand, Presidential candidateExperience: Legislative – Senator from New York (2009-present), Representative from New York (2007-2009).
Signature Policy: Support for women’s rights, from fighting sexual assault in the military to protecting and expanding access to reproductive healthcare.
Economics: Center-left of party. Supports Medicare-for-all, federal jobs guarantee, postal banking, a $15 / hour minimum wage, paid medical and family leave and a carbon fee-and-dividend system.
Foreign Affairs: Center of party.
Core Message:
We can’t lead through fear. We need to remember what it feels like to be brave.
Why You Should Vote for Her: The future is female. When a solid, well-qualified progressive candidate runs to be the first woman President, we should support her.
Tragic Flaw: A party divided – for some, she may seem too similar to the last Senator from New York who ran for President.
Website: https://kirstengillibrand.com/

Kamala Harris

Kamala Harris, Presidential candidateExperience: Legislative – Senator from California (2017-present).
     Judicial – California Attorney General (2011-2016), San Francisco District Attorney (2004-2011).
Signature Policy: Raise teacher pay across the country by $13,500 a year, paid for by expanding the estate tax.
Economics: Center-left of party. Supports Medicare-for-all, $15 / hour minimum wage, debt-free college, tax cuts for working families and a huge rent subsidy bill.
Foreign Affairs: Center-right of party.
Core Message:
Investing in our children, the future of our country, is the smartest investment we can make.
Why You Should Vote for Her: The best antidote to Trump is a tough, hard-headed woman nurturing us at home while at the same time being pro-active at confronting threats abroad.
Tragic Flaw: Does the prosecution rest? She’ll need to convince Democrats of her commitment to criminal justice reform.
Website: https://kamalaharris.org/

Jay Inslee

Jay Inslee, Presidential candidateExperience: Executive – Governor of Washington (2013-present).
     Legislative – Representative from Washington (1993-1995, 1999-2011).
Signature Policy: Fighting climate change with an ‘Evergreen Economy’ plan.
Economics: Center-left of party. Supports the Green New Deal with a $3 trillion federal investment over 10 years to create 8 million jobs, strengthening unions by repealing right-to-work nationally, and a $15/hour minimum wage.
Foreign Affairs: Unclear. No specifics on his website currently.
Core Message:
Defeating climate change is the most urgent crisis of our time.
Why You Should Vote for Him: Climate change is an existential threat, and fighting it must be the next President’s top priority. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has backed Inslee’s climate plan as the most comprehensive of all Presidential candidates.
Tragic Flaw: Tunnel-vision.
Website: https://jayinslee.com/

Amy Klobuchar

Amy Klobuchar, Presidential candidateExperience: Legislative – Senator from Minnesota (2007-present).
Signature Policy: Bringing down the cost of pharmaceuticals.
Economics: Center-right of party. Supports a public healthcare option, a $15 / hour minimum wage and increasing infrastructure investment.
Foreign Affairs: Center-right of party. “She would…modernize our military to stay one step ahead of China and Russia.”
Core Message:
Instead of divisive politics, let’s rise to meet the challenges of the day together and bring back the heart and soul of this country.
Why You Should Vote for Her: We need someone who can restore our democracy and lead the party to victory, even in red districts, as Klobuchar has proven herself capable of doing.
Tragic Flaw: Less exciting than some.
Website: https://amyklobuchar.com/

Beto O’Rourke

Beto O'Rourke, Presidential candidateExperience: Legislative – Representative from Texas (2013-2019).
Signature Policy: Unclear.
Economics: Center of party. Supports a public option for healthcare, a public credit reporting agency, simplifying the tax code,
Foreign Affairs: Unclear. No specifics on his website currently.
Core Message:
The challenges we face are the greatest in living memory. We can only meet them if we build a movement that includes all of us.
Why You Should Vote for Him: Our next President should be charismatic and a good communicator, if we are to reach infrequent voters and energize the electorate.
Tragic Flaw: Light-weight on policy.
Website: https://betoorourke.com/

Tim Ryan

Tim RyanExperience: Legislative – Representative from Ohio (2003-present).
Signature Policy: Unclear.
Economics: Center of party. Supports a public healthcare option, sustainable farming practices, healthy food and strengthening unions.
Foreign Affairs: Unclear. No specifics on his website currently.
Core Message:
 It’s time to do something! Let’s build the America we deserve.
Why You Should Vote for Him: We need a Presidential candidate from the rust belt to help us win back blue collar white voters from Trump. Tim Ryan is the candidate best suited to that task.
Tragic Flaw: Probably running for VP.
Website: https://timryanforcongress.com/

Bernie Sanders

Bernie Sanders, Presidential candidateExperience: Legislative – Senator from Vermont (2007-present), Representative from Vermont (1991-2001).
     Executive – Mayor of Burlington, Vermont (1981-1989).
Signature Policy: Democratic socialism (e.g. Medicare-for-all, huge infrastructure investment, taxing the wealthy, free college and eliminating all public student debt).
Economics: Left of party.
Foreign Affairs: Left of party. Would end US support for war in Yemen, bring our troops home and cut the military budget.
Core Message: 
We need a political revolution to overcome the destructive and corrupting influence of corporations and the wealthy.
Why You Should Vote for Him: Taking on the billionaire class will require a President willing to make enemies and someone who will stick to his principles, no matter what. Bernie’s decades of consistency, even when these ideas were not popular, shows that he is the right candidate for the job.
Tragic Flaw: Several – color-blindness, age, a divided party still recovering from 2016, lack of support from the establishment and a victim of his own success (he doesn’t stand out quite as much as before).
Website: https://berniesanders.com/

Elizabeth Warren

Elizabeth Warren, Presidential candidateExperience: Legislative – Senator from Massachusetts (2013-present), Creator of Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, Chair of Congressional Oversight Panel on the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) from 2008-2010.
Signature Policy: Restoring the middle class with an expansive list of serious, detailed policy proposals.
Economics: Left of party. Supports free college, massive investment in affordable housing ($500 billion over 10 years), universal childcare and pre-K, regulating Wall Street and breaking up the banks, breaking up big tech companies, cancelling most student debt, an ultra-millionaire tax and a financial transaction tax.
Foreign Affairs: Center-left of party based on current statements on her website.
Core Message:
Hard work should pay off for everyone, but instead, America’s middle class is under attack by billionaires and big corporations.
Why You Should Vote for Her: Unfettered capitalism presents an existential threat to our planet, to the middle class and even to itself. The next President must have a detailed plan and take an active role in re-writing the rules of our economic system to preserve our democracy and way of life.
Tragic Flaw: Overly wonkish and academic.
Website: https://elizabethwarren.com/

Marianne Williamson

Marianne Williamson, DemocratExperience: Nonprofit – founded the Peace Alliance nonprofit in 2004.
Signature Policy: Reparations for slavery – $200 billion over 20 years.
Economics: Left of party. Supports reparations, Medicare-for-all, Green New Deal, free college, guaranteed vacations and paid family leave, and breaking up the banks.
Foreign Affairs: Left of party. Supports creation of a Department of Peace.
Core Message:
We need a moral and spiritual awakening to lead our country to a new age of peace, prosperity and love.
Why You Should Vote for Her: The next President must display moral leadership above all, if she will prevail against the hate, fear and greed that is pervasive in our society.
Tragic Flaw: Too woo.
Website: https://www.marianne2020.com/

Andrew Yang

Andrew Yang, Presidential candidateExperience: Business and Nonprofit – CEO of Manhattan Prep, a test preparation company, from 2006-2012. Founded Venture for America nonprofit in 2011.
Signature Policy:  Universal basic income (UBI) of $1,000/month for all Americans.
Economics: Left of party. Supports UBI, Medicare-for-all, and a carbon fee & dividend system.
Foreign Affairs: Unclear. No specifics on his website currently.
Core Message:
 The future is coming sooner than we think. Let’s take everyone with us.
Why You Should Vote for Him: The future is seeming more stark and terrifying than ever, The President to guide us forward should understand the challenges that technology presents and should put people first in the solutions.
Tragic Flaw: Acronyms are scary.
Website: https://www.yang2020.com/

Candidate Graveyard

Eric Swalwell, DemocratEric Swalwell [dropped out]

Experience: Legislative – Representative from California (2013-present).
Signature Policy: Ending gun violence.
Economics: Center-right of party. Supports zero-interest student loans and universal healthcare coverage.
Foreign Affairs: Unclear. No specifics on his website currently.
Core Message:
Are you ready to go big, be bold and do good with me?
Why You Should Vote for Him: Gun violence is at epidemic levels in this country. The next President needs to make it a top priority to take on the NRA in his first year in office.
Tragic Flaw: Eric who?
Website: https://www.swalwellforcongress.com/

John Hickenlooper [dropped out]

John HickenlooperExperience: Executive – Governor of Colorado (2011-2019), Mayor of Denver (2003-2011).
Signature Policy: A national jobs skills training program.
Economics: Right of party. Wants to “reboot American capitalism” and slash red tape to encourage entrepreneurs. Opposes Medicare-for-all and Green New Deal.
Foreign Affairs: Unclear. No specifics on his website currently.
Core Message:
Socialism isn’t the answer.
Why You Should Vote for Him: Since Democrats should be able to count on the votes of everyone left of center already, let’s focus on winning the votes of moderates and conservatives. Hickenlooper will be best suited to this task.
Tragic Flaw: Out of step with his party.
Website: https://www.hickenlooper.com

Zombie Candidates

An artist’s depiction of these campaigns.

Some candidates haven’t dropped out yet, but did not qualify for some or all of the debates. Here they are:

Steve Bullock
Mike Gravel
Wayne Messam
Seth Moultan
Joe Sestak
Tom Steyer

This list seems incomplete without mentioning the Republican primary — and I do hope there are debates!

Republican Presidential Candidates

Donald Trump

Donald Trump, 45th President of the USExperience: Executive – 4 years as President (by the time this is over).
Signature Policy: A wall along the southern border.
Economics: Right-Protectionist: cut taxes for the wealthy; start trade wars with no exit strategy.
Foreign Affairs: Confused. One day, he seems non-interventionist; the next, he’s threatening nuclear war.
Core Message: The elites have nearly destroyed our great country and only I can restore it to its former glory. Only I can do this because I’m so great, maybe the greatest. I will do it by attacking and disparaging people my supporters feel are inferior or unworthy to distract them from how much of their money I’m giving to the rich.
Vote for Him If:
You enjoy seeing brown people in cages and feel you are to blame for your own financial troubles. You wish to persecute those under you in the social order as those above you do the same to you. Alternate reasons: You’re in the 1% and really enjoy tax cuts! Or maybe you just liked him on ‘The Apprentice.’
Tragic Flaw: Narcissism

Bill Weld

Bill Weld, RepublicanExperience: Executive – Governor of Massachusetts (1991-1997), head of the criminal division of the US Department of Justice (1986-1988).
     Judicial – Chief Federal Prosecutor for Massachusetts (1981-1986).
Signature Policy: A balanced federal budget.
Economics: Conservative (cut taxes, cut spending even more).
Foreign Affairs: Center.
Core Message: America (and the Republican party) deserves better than Trump.
Vote for Him If:
You’re a Republican, or if you don’t care who wins the Democratic primary.
Tragic Flaw: Out of step with his party.

Check out the local and state level candidates who are running in the Athens, Georgia area here.

Photo credits

Pete Buttigieg photo by marcn on Wikimedia Commons [CC BY 2.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)]

Bill de Blasio photo by Kevin Case from Bronx, NY, USA on Wikimedia Commons [CC BY 2.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)]

Beto O’Rourke photo from Gage Skidmore from Peoria, AZ, United States of America on Wikimedia Commons [CC BY-SA 2.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)]

Elizabeth Warren photo from Gage Skidmore from Peoria, AZ, United States of America on Wikimedia Commons [CC BY-SA 2.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)]

Marianne Williamson photo by Marc Nozell from Merrimack, New Hampshire, USA on Wikimedia Commons [CC BY 2.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)]

Andrew Yang photo by Asa Mathat for Techonomy on Wikimedia Commons [CC BY-SA 4.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0)]

Bill Weld photo by Marc Nozell from Merrimack, New Hampshire, USA on Wikimedia Commons [CC BY 2.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)]

Zombie photo by Daniel Hollister on Flickr.com BY 2.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)]

 

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