Did you watch the Democratic Town Halls on CNN earlier this week? As I thought might happen after seeing some of these candidates on a stage, I’ve got an early favorite.
No idea who I’ll be voting for next year yet, but my faith in Elizabeth Warren is renewed.
Warren has a fantastic mix of charisma, passion, and wonkishness that you just can’t get anywhere else. Her ideas are bold, detailed, and she is good at explaining and justifying them. I feel like we need really forceful action on climate and the economy, and she is right there with me. She’s been walking the walk for years now. My only reservation about Warren is her age. All other things equal, I’d prefer someone a bit younger. But all other things aren’t equal. She is an outstanding candidate, and her age doesn’t seem to hamper her perspective at all. She is tuned in to what’s going in this country. If I were voting today, I’d be voting for her.
Close second is Kamala Harris. She is more centrist and punts on questions a little more than I like, but she’s a really powerful presence on stage and I can tell she cares deeply. Her proposals are well-delivered and well-reasoned, and she seems very open to discussion. I’d be happy to vote for her in the primary.
I liked Sanders more than I expected to. If he picks up the nomination I’ll vote for him in a heartbeat, and if it comes down to it (it’s still early days), I’ll *probably* pick him over Biden. That said, his temper and attitude concern me. He’s gotten better at managing both but he’s a hair too brash to be my top choice.
Mayor Pete had a really strong showing. He has this amazing gift to deliver nuanced, well-considered answers off the cuff, and I like him a lot. I don’t remember anything he said that I disagreed with. That said, I do worry he’s too young. He talked a lot about his mayoral experience, but the White House is a very different ballgame, especially in the current political environment. I really wish he had more experience on the national stage. He was also a bit too even-keeled for me, like the opposite extreme in attitude from Bernie. I would like to hear more passion and more compassion from him in addition to the perfectly clean, perfectly delivered answers. He reminded me a lot of Barack Obama, which is both a good thing and a bad thing. In retrospect these days, I find myself wishing Obama had been a little forceful, and I get the same sense about Pete.
I have to admit I was a bit disappointed in Amy on Monday night. I haven’t ruled her out, but she came off a little snipey and angry to me. She had a tendency to throw “All right?” and “Okay?” at the end of her statements in a way that felt condescending, especially in a room full of Millennials (and I hate to say this, but it reminded me a bit of the way Trump talks). Hopefully someone on her staff talks to her about it before her next appearance. I was also disappointed in her answers on climate change. The Paris agreement was insufficient to begin with; rejoining it on day one is a prerequisite, not a solution. I am glad she supports the GND but she has also said that she wouldn’t support every measure in it, such as attempting to reduce air travel by building high-speed rail. I don’t get why a cheaper alternative to carbon-spewing air travel would be a bad thing. All that said, I love Amy, I’ve voted for her every time I’ve seen her name on a ballot, and there’s no telling what’ll happen between now and next year.
Do you have an early favorite? Did the Town Halls move the needle for you at all?