5 Republicans To Watch in 2020

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Over the weekend, while out with my friends, I asked “what Republicans will run for President in 2020?” They all sort of looked at me with strange looks, one of them said “this is why we don’t invite you to things” while another asked “who wants to play Buckhunter?” Being a politico is difficult sometimes. After most of the table cleared out to go play Buckhunter, I was left with two others. Besides myself (a Libertarian) I was left with a Republican and a Democrat. While the three of us don’t generally agree on many political issues, we all agreed that Robert Mueller convening a federal grand jury to look into Russian meddling likely meant that Trump would either be impeached, resign, or not run for re-election.

Over the next half hour we came up with a list of five Republicans who we all thought could win the nomination in 2020.

 

Mike Pence

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The most obvious choice for the Republican nomination is current Vice President, and former Governor of Indiana Mike Pence.

Nobody wants to be Vice President, the position has no purpose outside of breaking a tie in the Senate, and most find it to be an exceptionally boring, and possibly worthless job.  John Adams, our nation’s first Vice President stated:


“My country has in its wisdom contrived for me the most insignificant office that ever the invention of man contrived or his imagination conceived.”

Adams may have been the first to complain about the office, but he wasn’t the last. The office is generally sought by those who have higher aspirations, and appearances suggest that Pence wants to be President. While he has denounced rumors that he would challenge Trump for the Republican nomination in 2020, he certainly has the pedigree for the position. Prior to being Governor of Indiana he served in the House of Representatives from 2001 till 2013, serving as the chairman of the House Republican Conference from 2009-2011.  

On the issues Pence is pro-life, pushed for a balanced budget amendment to Indiana’s state constitution, opposed government bailouts, is against increasing regulations, is for “stop and frisk” policies, supports the war on drugs, and is a hawk on foreign policy issues.

Pence would have a leg up for the nomination, especially if Trump doesn’t finish his first term. If he were to audition for the office, it’s hard to imagine that Pence, an establishment favorite, wouldn’t seek the nomination in 2020.

 

John Kasich

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The current Governor of Ohio sought the Republican nomination in 2016, and has been a staunch opponent of President Trump since the beginning. Over the last few years he has done as much as he possibly can to distance himself from Donald Trump, including skipping last summer’s convention, even though it was being held in Cleveland. Kasich, also an establishment favorite, served in the House of Representatives from 1983 till 2001, and supposedly turned down Trump’s offer to become Vice President.

When it comes to the issues, Kasich has been a staunch advocate for criminal justice reform; signing bills in 2012 and 2011 that make it easier for felons to find jobs, and advocating for shorter rehabilitation over prison for nonviolent offenders. Kasich favors “common core,” wants to “repeal and replace” Obamacare, and while he wants to cut corporate taxes, he also wants to raise taxes on oil companies, and move away from the income tax.

Governor Kasich has failed to rule out a 2020 Presidential run, and is planning several “policy forums” across Ohio and New Hampshire.

 

Nikki Haley

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The former Governor of South Carolina, and current UN Ambassador has never been a Trump supporter (despite serving in his cabinet). Her reputation is helped by the rumor that one of the key reasons she was chosen as UN Ambassador is because her former Lt. Governor in South Carolina, Henry McMaster, was a vocal Trump supporter. When Haley was named UN Ambassador McMaster became South Carolina’s Governor, the rumor is this was McMasters reward for supporting Trump.

Nikki Haley presents a unique opportunity for Republicans. Her Indian-American ancestry would essentially negate any perceived advantage Democrat Kamala Harris, another Indian-American, would have based on gender and ancestry alone. The fact that female minorities would have two qualified candidates to choose from would mean that they would be more likely to vote on policy issues, rather than following their heart strings.

While serving as Governor of South Carolina, Haley reduced unemployment from 11% to 4% and created 85,000 new jobs. She’s anti-Obamacare, pro gun rights, anti-immigration, and pro-life.

 

Rand Paul

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Another former presidential candidate, Senator Rand Paul is among the most ideologically consistent members of the Senate who easily won re-election last year. Senator Paul is a favorite among libertarian leaning republicans. During his time in office he has been critical of the NSA and the surveillance state that is supported by many establishment leaders, he’s been critical of our foreign policy, he’s one of only a few Republicans who has recently advocated for a full repeal of Obamacare, he’s  co-sponsored legislation with liberal Senators like Kamala Harris and Corey Booker on issues like criminal justice and bail reform. He’s been critical of Washington’s spending problem, while consistently vocalizing his opposition to new taxes and regulations.

While Paul may have some issues with establishment republicans; his crossover appeal with both libertarians and (some) democrats, as well as his popularity with millennials could mean a well-run campaign leading up to 2020 could secure his nomination.

 

Ben Sasse

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The freshman Senator from Nebraska has always been a vocal opponent of Donald Trump. In the lead up to the 2014 election, Sasse ran as the “anti Obamacare” candidate and ran as a strong social conservative.  

When it comes to Obamacare, he has consistently voted to repeal as much of the act as possible. In his short time in office, he has also taken a surprisingly libertarian view on foreign policy issues; joining Senator Paul in opposing additional sanctions against Russia, and opposing selling weapons to Saudi Arabia.

When it comes to the economy, Sasse has consistently been against government regulations, while calling for more privatization and a revamp of the tax code.

Like Kasich, Sasse also hasn’t ruled out a 2020 run. In the last few months, Sasse has popped up across the state of Iowa; whether he’s talking policy, or just driving for Uber, the Nebraska Senator has made sure that Iowans know who he is.

 

As Republicans continue to distance themselves from President Trump, it doesn’t look like the party would have much difficulty in finding a better candidate in 2020.

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5 Progressives to Watch in 2020

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I found myself in an interesting situation the other day.  While talking to one of my progressive friends, in between insulting republicans, capitalism, and Donald Trump, she would wax poetically about socialist icon Bernie Sanders, and how she couldn’t wait to see him as President in 2020.  “I hate to break it to you,” I told her, “but the corpse of Bernie Sanders will never be President of the United States.” And he won’t, despite what he may say, Senator Sanders will be pushing 80 in 2020, and by that time I imagine he will be retired to one of his three homes. After watching my friend quickly go through the five stages of grief, she asked me, who I thought could be the Democratic nominee for President in a couple of years. After briefly thinking about it, I gave her five names.

 

Elizabeth Warren

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“There is nobody in this country who got rich on their own. Nobody. You built a factory out there—good for you. But I want to be clear. You moved your goods to market on roads the rest of us paid for. You hired workers the rest of us paid to educate. You were safe in your factory because of police forces and fire forces that the rest of us paid for. You didn’t have to worry that marauding bands would come and seize everything at your factory….Now look. You built a factory and it turned into something terrific or a great idea—God bless! Keep a hunk of it. But part of the underlying social contract is you take a hunk of that and pay forward for the next kid who comes along.”

The Junior Senator from Massachusetts, Elizabeth Warren was first elected to office in 2012. Since then, she has made quite the name for herself. The former Harvard Law Professor has been a champion of the Occupy Wall Street movement, bemoaning corporate greed as a national crisis that can, and should, be addressed by raising taxes on the rich, and increasing job-killing regulations. She has made public statements on the dangers of deregulation, and how it only helps billionaires, while being a big fan of expanding the welfare state.

Despite her progressive credentials, Elizabeth Warren preaches about the powerful one percent, and the evils of greed while cashing in handsomely.  The woman who has falsely claimed to be part Cherokee, has, according to Politico, made a small fortune

Warren earned nearly $535,000 in 2009, including $310,000 for teaching law at Harvard University, according to financial disclosure reports she had to file as a political appointee of President Barack Obama.

She took home $507,000 in 2010. Neither of those figures included the salary of her husband, fellow Harvard law professor Bruce Mann, or the $192,722 Warren earned between 2009 and 2010 for chairing the congressional panel tasked with overseeing the bank bailouts. The totals also did not include the roughly $138,000 she earned between September 2010 and July 2011 while launching the federal Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, according to separate salary records obtained by POLITICO.The Cambridge couple reported at least $4.6 million in financial investments and property.

While she would absolutely be a strong candidate in 2020, her hypocrisy would be easy to exploit, for whichever Republican she would have to face.

 

Cory Booker

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Our platform calls for a balanced deficit reduction plan where the wealthy pay their fair share. And when your country is in a costly war, with our soldiers sacrificing abroad and our nation facing a debt crisis at home, being asked to pay your fair share isn’t class warfare – it’s patriotism.

 

The former Stanford football player, Rhodes Scholar, and mayor of Newark has been New Jersey’s Junior Senator since 2013, and he may be one of the more interesting Democrats in the Senate, primarily because he doesn’t identify as a progressive, and has a history of bi-partisanship.  New Jersey Democratic Party leader, George Norcross, called him a “New Democrat” stating

“he’s representative of a new Democrat — a Democrat that’s fiscally conservative yet socially progressive.”

While the New Jersey democrat supports an expanded role of government in our everyday lives, he’s also proven that he’s willing to cross party lines on issues like criminal justice reform, an issue he has worked closely with Rand Paul on in the past.

As far as his liberal credentials are concerned; Booker is pro-choice, believes that increased government spending is necessary for economic growth, believes that increasing income tax is necessary to reduce the deficit, and is against the privatization of social security.

Watching Senator Booker seek the Democratic nomination could be entertaining, especially if he’s running against a strong progressive like Elizabeth Warren, who would likely use Booker’s support of Wall Street against him.

 

Kamala Harris

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“Doing nothing while the middle class is hurting. That’s not leadership. Loose regulations and lax enforcement. That’s not leadership. That’s abandoning our middle class.”

The freshman Senator from California, and former California Attorney General has only been in office for a few months, but has already proved to be one of the more insufferable progressives out there. Reading through her twitter feed makes a rational human being want to bang their head against the wall.  

Free higher education, throwing more money at government run schools, killing unborn babies, and fixing the non-existent wage gap are just a few of the issues the rising star has made a priority for her first term.

Perhaps she is best known for a Senate hearing in which she asked Jeff Sessions several questions, then didn’t give him a chance to respond before yammering on with her own agenda.  It was at this moment, as I watched CNN call Republicans sexist for cutting Harris off in order to allow Sessions to answer, that I knew she had to be a rising star. After all, when Democrats wouldn’t let Betsy Devos answer questions directed at her during her confirmation hearing, no Democrats were called sexist.

The good news is that California Governor Jerry Brown, and other Californians, are actively trying to secede. With any luck, she won’t be eligible to run for federal office by the time we get to 2020.

 

Jerry Brown

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Economically, minimum wages may not make sense. But morally, socially, and politically they make every sense because it binds the community together to make sure parents can take care of their kids.

The above quote pretty much sums up a progressives attitude towards the economy. It’s also why I expect the current Governor of California to at least explore a possible run for President in 2020. During his time as Governor, he has successfully expanded the welfare state to the point where over 9,000 businesses have fled California, unwilling, or unable to comply with the state’s insane tax and regulatory requirements.

Governor Brown’s legacy will include having the nation’s highest poverty rate, a massive housing shortage caused by increased housing costs, an unsustainable water supply, and one of the worst education systems in the country.  But his lasting legacy will likely be how under his leadership, California has $77 BILLION dollars in unfunded liabilities for an excessively large state government.

Like all progressives, Brown loves throwing around tax payer dollars, the first paragraph in his 2017 budget, for example, states;

“The past four budgets have significantly expanded government spending. The Legislature and the governor have focused the spending on counteracting the effects of poverty.”

While common sense dictates that spending cuts, deregulation, and the free market could help make California great again, Brown completely ignores that sentiment, particularly when it comes to education spending

 “Funding is expected to grow to $74.6 billion in [fiscal year] 2017-18 — an increase of $1.1 billion since January and $27.3 billion over six years (58%).”

Apparently, Brown believes that spending money in an inefficient manner on education will fix one of the nation’s worst education systems.

If he runs, I think his campaign could be even more entertaining than Rick Perry’s failed attempt a few years back. It would be fun watching someone as economically illiterate and self-righteous as Brown crash and burn on a national stage.

 

Tulsi Gabbard

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All Americans should have access to affordable healthcare through Medicare or a public option. We must ensure universal healthcare and empower the government to negotiate with pharmaceutical companies to bring down the price of prescription drugs.

I have to admit, I have a crush on the Congresswoman and veteran from Hawaii. This woman voluntarily served two tours in Iraq, and since then she has consistently stood for a policy of non-intervention overseas, even when it goes against her own party.  She is adamant in her opposition of the NSA’s bulk data collection, and she introduced a bill to stop arming terrorists. Her moral character, and consistency are beyond admirable.

Gabbard is proudly anti-establishment,  originally endorsing Bernie Sanders in the 2016 election, the establishment was angered at her less than enthusiastic “endorsement ” of Hillary Clinton. 

Despite that, she is a staunch progressive when it comes to domestic issues. She believes Obamacare didn’t go far enough and is one of the leading voices calling for universal healthcare.  She is anti nuclear energy, and personally protested the Dakota Access Pipeline.

 

Her consistency on the issues, and her endorsement from Bernie Sanders, makes me believe she is the favorite to win the Democratic nomination in 2020.