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Commentary: Democratic presidential field narrows as candidates drop out

Dr. James B. Ewers Jr.

Commentary: Democratic presidential field narrows as candidates drop out
March 12
00:15 2020

By Dr. James B. Ewers Jr.

The number of candidates running for the Democratic presidential nomination has thinned out. As you recall, what seems like only months ago, there were 29 candidates running for the highest office in the land. Debates were held over two nights because of the large field. At times, there were simply too many people, all talking at the same time.

Each of the 29 believed they could win. In my opinion, if they thought otherwise, they should not have entered the race. Politics are not for the weak-hearted. If you have thin skin, then don’t bother to run for political office. Credit goes to each candidate for fighting the good fight. They had both courage and stamina and did their best. While most were unsuccessful at the end, I believe the American people benefitted from this crowded and diverse field.

As time went on, I wondered how long this crowded field would remain crowded. Former Senator Mike Gravel was one of the first candidates to throw in the towel. He suspended his campaign on August 6. He has endorsed Senator Bernie Sanders. Will his endorsement carry any weight?

Most recently, Senator Elizabeth Warren announced the end of her presidential bid. I suspect her defeat in her home state of Massachusetts led to her demise. Joe Biden won that state and according to reports, did not spend any advertising dollars.

With candidates leaving the race, we are left with three candidates. Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard is still in the field. She is a former Iraq veteran. She has not been an active campaigner so we will see what happens along the way.

Most pundits opine the race will come down to Bernie Sanders or Joe Biden for the Democratic nod. It was only weeks ago that Sanders was leading the field so many thought he would be the guy.

The South Carolina primary changed the atmosphere and the political landscape. Congressman James Clyburn’s endorsement of Joe Biden was a defining moment. His announcement came three days before the people in the Palmetto State voted. 

Biden’s victory in that state gave him the much-need push for Super Tuesday. He won the most states and now is poised to keep the momentum. I believe that Sanders is on his heels. He doesn’t think so, but public opinion says otherwise.

Elizabeth Warren has yet to endorse a candidate. Her ideas align more with Bernie Sanders; however, I don’t think they can get along with each other. Sanders allegedly made some disparaging comments about her and Senator Warren has not forgotten them.

The Democratic goal must be singular and that is to defeat the sitting president in November. Mr. T and his group must exit stage left. The Democratic list of candidates has dwindled so it is now time for the party to develop a strategy. The overarching talking point must be to convince the American people that it is way past the time for a change.

It is my thinking the country must decide between Sanders’ movement and Biden’s moderation. The Democratic National Convention will be held in Milwaukee, Wis. beginning Monday, July 13. The Democrats must go into the convention with one heartbeat and one voice. It can’t be a repeat of the last Democratic convention when the presidential nominee was uncertain. Being united is a must!

The person in the White House now poses a serious problem for those of us who believe in democracy. We must let the bells of freedom ring with our votes in November. Our mantra must be to go to the polls and cast your ballot. Hesitation in November will bring on stagnation for the next four years.

Our country can’t afford it.

James B. Ewers Jr., Ph.D., is a former tennis champion at Atkins High School and played college tennis at Johnson C. Smith University where he was all conference for four years. He is a retired college administrator and can be reached at ewers.jr56@nullyahoo.com.

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