What is past isn’t always prologue, but Democrats can learn from our history.
I have written about this before; however, as the topic was also briefly and recently mentioned on a local podcast known to all, it bears repeating:
Since the Civil War, the only non-incumbent Democratic presidential candidates who have won (with the exception of Grover Cleveland’s non-consecutive second term) were first-time presidential candidates.
Here is the list. See for yourself:
1884 Grover Cleveland (first-timer/won)
1892 Grover Cleveland (but he already served one term as president/won)
1912 Woodrow Wilson (first-timer/won)
1932 Franklin D. Roosevelt (first-timer/won)
[1948 – Harry S. Truman ran for election while serving as president/won]
1960 John F. Kennedy (first-timer/won)
[1964 – Lyndon B. Johnson (sought the office before) ran for election while serving as president/won]
1976 Jimmy Carter (first-timer/won)
1992 Bill Clinton (first-timer/won)
2008 Barack Obama (first-timer/won)
So what should the Democratic party look for in an ideal nominee for 2020? A fresh face, new and bold progressive ideas, and an insistence on reality-based governance.
To that end, a framing of Trump as a phony [a “reality show” president as opposed to a “real” president] could be another interesting campaign narrative. It exposes Trump’s essential hollowness while reminding voters that genuine challenges require actual, mature leadership.
In other 2020 news, as of this writing, I have nothing to say about State Senator Richard Ojeda (WV) and his long-shot bid for the White House…aside from one point. If we are going to consider nominating a state legislator for a spot on the ticket, then why not former State Senator Nina Turner (OH)? Compared to Senator Bernie Sanders (VT), I think she would be a better option for the Democratic Left in 2020.