2020 Diaries: Week 1’s contenders summarized

William Outzen, Columnist

An exciting week has passed. The Cockroaches—I mean candidates, are declaring left and farther left. In one corner, we have Pete Buttigieg, Mayor of South Bend, Indiana. His claim to fame? He’s a Democrat from Indiana who isn’t named Evan Bayh. Just imagine Pete the Prospector and you’ll be close.

Next up, hailing from New York, we have Senator Kirsten Gillibrand. If you can think of something interesting, let me know. While you’re at it, do the same for John Delaney. Former Representative from Maryland, first to launch his campaign, and … nope, still don’t care. Jim Gilmore called, he needs you to stop being boring.

Next, we have the first member of the Old Folk’s Home, Elizabeth Warren. She’s trucking along, acting all indignant at donations. That’ll change when she realizes that no one cares. At least she’s interesting, not only her weird policies but even her DNA. For now, she’s in the top two, only behind Senator Kamala Harris.

Harris, for her part had a decent launch. No large scandal, successfully overshadowed a few others, acted properly indignant with the Ralph Northam situation, and raised a sizable amount of cash. Polling wise she sits in a solid spot, which will change once the other contenders stop smiling at her. California has moved its primary date forward to help her out, the question is whether Iowans will reject her first.

Julian Castro (Housing and Urban Development secretary under Obama) is running for vice president. But don’t tell him; he’s still in denial.

Then we have Tulsi Gabbard, representative from Hawaii. When she’s not alienating her base, she’s pretending to be relevant. She’ll hit Iowa, get lost in the corn, appear a week later, and no one will even realize she was gone. At least the beaches in Hawaii are nice come February.

Finally, we have Cory Booker, Senator from New Jersey. He’s here to hug it out. Forget campaigning, he’ll give you a nice group hug at the convention. Don’t believe me? Ask T-Bone.

So who won this week? Our very luck Kamala Harris. Her announcement was well-timed, she capitalized on early donations, and successfully buried some unfavorable stories. Quite impressive for a West Coastal elite. Our runner up is Pete Buttigieg, who wins by merely not losing. He had a stealthy good week, highlighting differences with his fellow contenders and not saying anything weird. May the election gods guide them forward.

Our biggest loser was Cory Booker. Right when he made his announcement, the Ralph Northam story broke, effectively slamming his opening shut. He’s lost all momentum, which is terrible luck. Biden and Sanders hover just off-screen, ready to capitalize on any weakness. If he wants any shot, he needs to do something big to recapture the attention.

Finally, my prediction. Right now, all I can say is that it won’t be Harris, Sanders, or Biden. Biden is weird, Harris is too far left, and Sanders doesn’t appeal to independents. Which moderate will claim the nomination? Until more enter I can’t say, except it won’t be Delaney. That guy’s just boring.

William Outzen is a junior political science major. He can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected]