March 21, 2019
By Robert Kuttner | Mar 21, 2019
Will Democrats Snatch Defeat Out of the Jaws of Victory? So let’s see. We have two old white guys, one of them still the darling of the party’s young left and the other standing for what remains of the party’s center. Elizabeth Warren, meanwhile, is in many ways a far more creative radical than Sanders, but if he has a lock on the hearts of the lefties, Warren will have trouble gaining traction.
Call me an ageist, but in my view 78 is just too old to run for president. This would likely hurt either Bernie or Biden in the general election.
As for youth, we have Beto. But this party has had far too many young charismatic leaders who were campaigning on a smile and a shoeshine, and putting off deciding what they stood for to be decided later. Such candidates are ready made to be the candidates of Wall Street.
And then we have the identity left. There is a way to talk thoughtfully about race and class in a way that reminds white people and black people of their common interests against the one percent. Demos Action has a brilliant project on this called the Race Class Narrative. It’s all about both/and. I am the wrong person to be saying it, but I wish I heard more of this from the candidates.
Face it, the Democrats will have a hard time winning unless they maximize turnout from black and Latino voters—and they will have a hard time winning unless they can gain back the white working class voters of the heartland who Hillary Clinton lost. Both/and.
This was of course the Obama coalition. But Obama once elected did not deliver enough soon enough. His economic appointees were nearly all Wall Street Democrats.
Regular people are hurting even more than they were when Trump was elected. This election is the Democrats’ to lose.
A true economic populism that bridges race and gender is the key to victory, especially against a president who proved to be a fake populist. Let’s hope the Democratic nominee figures that out.