Democrats in 2020: I’d Like ___ to Run Against Trump

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To the Editor:

Sorry — I can’t choose yet. I like all the Democrats. There is so much talent this year. Strong, smart women like Elizabeth Warren and Kamala Harris. Good-looking young veterans like Mayor Pete and Seth Moulton. Unlike President Trump, they all seem to have moral values.

I am looking forward to the TV debates to hear more of their ideas. I believe they will stay positive and avoid attacking one another. Contrasts will be highlighted between the party’s message and that of the Republicans, who won’t even act to save democracy from an unfit and criminal president, let alone legislate. When the time comes next year for me to vote in the Iowa primary, I will have a clearer idea of the best challenger.

In my long life, I have voted for only two presidents I actually liked — John F. Kennedy and Barack Obama. I hope I can make it three in 2020.

Patricia Welch
Davenport, Iowa

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Elizabeth WarrenCreditMark Felix for The New York Times

To the Editor:

I am a physician who enjoys an enviable lifestyle now, but who grew up in poverty. I have just sent Elizabeth Warren my first presidential campaign contribution ever. She is an expert at three things our country needs, which together make her rise above the other candidates:

1) Detailed policy proposals to improve life for ordinary Americans, not just ideas.

2) Experience with shepherding legislation through Congress.

3) A credible track record at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

I don’t really care if she’s a woman. I don’t care if she’s black, white, Asian or Latina. I don’t care if she’s a geek or whether she would be fun to have a beer with. She is an intellectual giant, a committed thinker for the benefit of common Americans, among whom I count my patients, my family, my friends and myself. She has the most merit for the most difficult position in the world, at a time when it is apparent to most of us that merit counts.

Mary Jo Groves
Springfield, Ohio

Pete ButtigiegCreditElizabeth Frantz for The New York Times

To the Editor:

I’m a 71-year-old white Southern hetero male, an agnostic and a Vietnam-era veteran. And my candidate is emphatically Pete Buttigieg. Why? Because I find him to be the most articulate Democratic candidate by far, and the most morally grounded — both of which, of course, make him the starkest possible contrast to Donald Trump.

Morality is the only issue that can lead to Mr. Trump’s defeat in 2020. Mitch McConnell has done all that would be normally necessary to ensure Mr. Trump’s re-election (“It’s the economy, stupid!”) by giving away tax cuts amounting to $1.5 trillion the government didn’t have in order to stimulate an already strong economy with a flood of irresponsible deficit spending. All that stands in the way of that strategy succeeding is Mr. Trump’s reprehensible character.

With voluntary military service, a strongly voiced “New Testament” personal philosophy and brilliant communication skills, Mr. Buttigieg would make the clearest case possible for a moral choice in contrast to the ethical horror show that is Donald Trump.

Mr. Buttigieg is young. He’s gay. Fine. Important to me is that he and his political message are morally compelling.

Ned Gardner
Apex, N.C.

Bernie SandersCreditMaddie McGarvey for The New York Times

To the Editor:

Bernie Sanders has been my dream politician since he was mayor of Burlington, Vt. He has not changed a bit, still committed to the same policies and values. I’ve seen videos of Bernie from 35 years ago saying what he says now. These are not old ideas. They are current in every election and every year, and they will move us forward.

In 2016, we heard that Bernie’s agenda was “impractical.” Now these same policies are the basis of many of his competitors’ campaigns, although it is doubtful that their commitment to these progressive values would be strong enough to endure past their election. Bernie’s lifelong commitment to improving the lives of all Americans, and indeed the world’s citizens, cannot be matched, nor can the compatibility of his rhetoric with his record.

We should all support Bernie, because he has always supported us, even when his positions were unpopular. He is right. There is no middle ground on climate change, justice, health care and everything else that is important.

Susen Shapiro
Egg Harbor City, N.J.
The writer was one of the organizers of Atlantic County for Bernie.

Joe BidenCreditElizabeth Frantz for The New York Times

To the Editor:

The road to victory in 2020 lies in electing a moderate and pragmatic candidate in the primaries. Joe Biden automatically comes to mind.

Although I’d love nothing more than to see — finally! — a woman be elected to the highest position in this nation, the chances of either Elizabeth Warren or Kamala Harris being chosen this election cycle are unlikely.

While Bernie Sanders’s platform is exciting and electrifying, he is too far left and more radical than the vast majority of voters. Should he win the nomination, I fear, President Trump will surely win re-election in 2020.

Joe Biden, while “boring” and espousing incrementalism to the frustration of leftists, represents the Democrats’ best chance of capturing the White House next year.

Tracey Braverman
Brooklyn

Jay InsleeCreditRuth Fremson/The New York Times

To the Editor:

My choice for a presidential candidate is a leader who comprehends climate change and is proposing bold plans to stem this crisis: Jay Inslee.

Governor Inslee has set forth a $9 trillion climate infrastructure and jobs plan. Mitigating climate, as he notes, creates jobs, boosts the economy and makes our lives safer and more sustainable in myriad ways.

Our planet is being pummeled by the dangerous symptoms of a disrupted climate. Globally, people’s lives and property are at risk, and a million wild species are expected to go extinct. The costs of ferocious fires, huge hurricanes and overwhelming floods are growing. Serious climate mitigation, as proposed by this governor, will start to bring this chaos under control.

As a retired science teacher, climate activist and grandmother, I wholeheartedly support the candidate who recognizes this crisis and is committed to do what is needed to soften its blow.

Sally Courtright
Albany

Kamala HarrisCreditAudra Melton for The New York Times

To the Editor:

This early on, my support is behind Kamala Harris. I believe she is no-nonsense and can take on President Trump without falling prey to retorting his schoolyard taunts. I appreciate her legal prowess and believe she can own him in a debate. I also love her support for gun violence prevention, and her stances on criminal justice reform, refugees and immigration, and a woman’s right to choose. I’d like to see her come out with a clearer policy on reversing the effects of climate change and moving toward a green economy.

My next choice is Joe Biden, simply because he appears to be the most palatable choice to those Republicans and independents who may consider voting against Mr. Trump. I hope that if Mr. Biden gets the nomination, he chooses Ms. Harris as his running mate. I’d be 100 percent on board with that ticket.

I’m a 40-year-old stay-at-home mom who was devastated when Hillary Clinton lost and didn’t realize until that moment just how much it meant to me to see my gender represented in the Oval Office.

Patricia Boe
Santa Ana, Calif.

Amy KlobucharCreditRachel Mummey for The New York Times

To the Editor:

At this early stage I’m supporting Senator Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota. She strikes me as a pragmatist with Midwestern common sense. I like her moderate voice, with no overpromising. I’m ready for less bluster and less drama. Another plus: Ms. Klobuchar has had some success working with Republicans in the Senate. I believe she has the potential to be an excellent president.

Can she win? Perhaps. She’ll have to do well in Iowa and build on that success.

I am a “yellow dog Democrat” and will support the nominee of the party, whoever she may be.

Katherine McGhee
Austin, Tex.

Andrew YangCreditChristopher Lee for The New York Times

To the Editor:

I have always been keenly aware that I am an Asian-American. I was the Asian guy at debate camp. The Asian guy on the law journal. It is a commonality of the Asian-American experience.

For people like me, Andrew Yang’s candidacy is inspiring. He offers bold ideas. His supporters see him as the candidate who wants to eradicate poverty. The candidate who wants to prepare for the transformative economic impact of automation and artificial intelligence. The candidate who wants to ensure that every American has access to health care.

The first Democratic debates are approaching. Mr. Yang will have an opportunity to introduce himself to a new audience, for whom he may still be the Asian guy running for president. For people like me, Mr. Yang is the candidate with bold ideas for the future and the best chance of winning it all.

David Han
Washington

Julián CastroCreditSarahbeth Maney for The New York Times

To the Editor:

I am a Latino millennial who is supporting Julián Castro, former Housing and Urban Development secretary, for president. Part of my reason stems from the symbolism his campaign brings. As he is the only Latino candidate in the race, Mr. Castro’s story is also my story. I, too, am the son of immigrants who was able to attain a higher education despite decades of politics and policies that have sought to denigrate my community.

But Mr. Castro’s candidacy goes beyond its symbolism. His campaign has released concrete policy proposals around immigration, education and criminal justice that matter not just to Latinos in California, but to all people of color.

Defeating President Trump is important, but who and what comes next matters more. Mr. Castro is going bold and deserves a fair shot to make his case to the voters.

Christian Arana
Berkeley, Calif.

Beto O’RourkeCreditElizabeth Frantz for The New York Times

To the Editor:

In the expansive field of candidates for president, Beto O’Rourke stands out in the arena of possibilities. The possibility of bringing us all back together. The possibility of righting our course in history. The best possibility of gaining votes from young and old, whatever color or walk of life. His response to the N.F.L. kneeling protest is one of the most piercing and eloquent statements I’ve ever heard, by any politician. Beto brings a clarity of vision, an electric pulse of what America feels.

If you have not watched him getting a haircut in El Paso, do so. It touched my heart. It soothed my soul. I find Beto the most likable and relatable candidate, and I think he has the capacity to bring President Trump down.

I am a restaurant owner and grandmother.

Peggy Barr
Portland, Ore.

Tulsi GabbardCreditMichael Starghill Jr. for The New York Times

To the Editor:

For me choosing a candidate is about four ‘I’s: integrity, intelligence, independence and issues. On these qualities the two Democratic presidential candidates I like most are Tulsi Gabbard and Bernie Sanders.

Why Tulsi? Because in many ways Tulsi is the antidote to Donald Trump. He dishonorably excused himself from military service with “bone spurs.” She made a point of not seeking re-election to the Hawaii state legislature so she could serve with her unit in Iraq. He has no integrity and admits he does not stand behind anything he says. She has a history of integrity and keeping her word. He speaks and acts like a fifth grader. She is an articulate, intelligent adult.

Tulsi has taken media flak on her foreign policy, but she has the best foreign policy values of the Democratic candidates, especially regarding going to war. Military personnel should not be pawns in a global power game. Those in command have a moral obligation to put servicemen and women at risk only where they are truly needed for national security. Every presidential candidate should have that view, but I bet you never heard one say that. Tulsi Gabbard does.

Blyden Potts
Shippensburg, Pa.

Michael BennetCreditNick Cote for The New York Times

To the Editor:

My favored candidate: Michael Bennet, a Colorado senator, center left and passionately angry about Republican damage to our country (his outburst against Ted Cruz went viral on YouTube). He has smart, progressive, practical solutions for our pressing issues such as income inequality, failing infrastructure, gun violence, etc. He is a strong supporter of women’s rights and medical care for all.

A senator since 2009, he is one of our most experienced candidates. He is articulate and engaging, as his CNN town hall made clear.

Mr. Bennet and other fine candidates such as Eric Swalwell of California, a member of the House Intelligence Committee, deserve to be heard.

I am a left-wing feminist and very concerned about poverty, immigrant rights, and the future of our judiciary, especially the Supreme Court.

Susan Korn
Chicago

John HickenlooperCreditTristan Spinski for The New York Times

To the Editor:

At this stage, my favorite candidate is John Hickenlooper. He has a great story of both business failure and business success, and has proved himself as the mayor of Denver and the governor of Colorado. I am not from that state but my friends from Colorado speak very highly of his pragmatic approach to solving problems by bringing people together. Colorado, like our country, is divided politically. We need a uniter.

Steve Troyer
Los Gatos, Calif.

To the Editor:

I am very impressed by Mayor Pete Buttigieg, whom I have seen twice on “The View,” in person at a town hall in Keene, N.H., as well as quite a few times on various news programs. Each time I am struck by his intelligence, lucidity, insight and wit. His values are deep, informed by his faith and human decency. Being a popular mayor of a Midwestern city could work to his favor: He is attuned to the people of South Bend and their needs, he has experience developing industry to provide jobs, and he has found ways to work well with Republican governors. What he does not have is the taint of Washington.

I believe he could win in 2020. Although a Harvard grad and Rhodes scholar, he is down to earth and connects well with people. That he served in the Navy Reserve in Afghanistan can only help his relatability. He represents a new generation and could motivate millennials to go to the polls. His speaking style is superlative, and he is quick on his feet.

The only possible “negative” — that he fell in love with and married a man — will be a positive to many.

Mayor Pete is the one for me — and could be the one for all of us.

Deborah L. Turner
South Newfane, Vt.

To the Editor:

While I am greatly encouraged by the collective strength of the vast field of Democratic presidential candidates, if I have to pick one person right now who I’d like to see in the White House, I pick Senator Elizabeth Warren, for these reasons:

  • She comes from a truly humble background and has risen to her position through grit, determination, intelligence and much hard work.

  • She understands the challenges faced by people who are struggling every day to make ends meet and support their family.

  • She is way out in front in proposing a sweeping set of plans to move our country forward. In particular, I’m inspired by her plan for universal child care.

  • She has the courage to take a position based on her understanding of what is right — as she recently did with regard to beginning impeachment proceedings.

  • She consistently speaks with the convictions of her heart.

  • It is certainly time we had a woman president.

I am a progressive, semiretired grandfather of three and a mindfulness practitioner.

Robb Kushner
Jersey City

To the Editor:

I’m 69 years old and retired. Although my personal financial situation is stable, I find living in a world where my neighbors cannot afford health care, child care, decent housing or education for their children, let alone retirement for themselves, unbearable. Making matters worse, I reside in a state that has been, and continues to be, devastated by the fossil fuel industry.

Both parties have overseen the gradual unraveling of our social safety net and the degradation of our natural environment. Bernie Sanders understands the gravity and the interconnectedness of issues that now face us and has a comprehensive vision of how best to respond.

Bernie is an experienced politician who is able to think globally and act locally; a politician who is able to listen to his audience and to convey his ideas in an easily comprehensible way; a man who always acts humanely and with kindness from an unshakable moral center even when he makes a misstep.

Do I think Bernie is electable? You bet.

Stephanie Ulmer
Pittsburgh

To the Editor:

Joe Biden’s experience, empathy, dignity, selflessness and ability to work with others along with his cleareyed view of right and wrong, his appreciation for the unique role America plays in the world and his recognition of the importance of our institutions and history are qualities sorely lacking in the White House today.

He isn’t xenophobic, homophobic, Islamophobic or misogynistic. His rhetoric isn’t divisive or bullying. He’s not enamored of overseas dictators or the gun lobby or religious zealots. And I trust he will avoid an addiction to Twitter.

He’s been a leader in the fight against climate change. He values alliances and knows the importance of the United States being a reliable partner. He supports reproductive rights, free trade and expanded health care. His middle-class sensibilities should appeal to those blue-collar voters who fell for the Trump con in 2016. And from his years as a senator and as vice president, Joe Biden knows the key players on the world stage and on Capitol Hill.

In my 40-plus years as a serious political junkie, I haven’t seen many others as qualified to sit in the Oval Office — so I’ll accept a few Biden gaffes in order to end the Trump Error.

Fred T. Rossi
Scotch Plains, N.J.

To the Editor:

I am an 81-year-old white woman who has voted Democratic since 1960. I favor Kamala Harris for a number of reasons. First, she’s a woman, which matters greatly to me. Coming from a large and important state that’s a microcosm of America, she’s a seasoned politician with a racial heritage reflective of the direction in which our country is going. She thus has the potential to convince all our citizens, whatever their color, they matter.

Her record, while progressive in some ways, is based on goals that can be realistically achieved. I believe she has the steadiness of character to withstand the rigors of a campaign against our current president. If she wins, it will restore our faith in ourselves and the world’s faith in us.

Rosemary M. Colt
Providence, R.I.

To the Editor:

Joe Biden can be elected as a transition president, one who likely will serve only one term. I believe he can repair international relationships and solidify common ground for the common good. After President Trump, I am desperate to return to decency, humanity and the rule of law.

At the same time, I can see myself supporting Elizabeth Warren and Kamala Harris. Both women know how to run winning campaigns and are outspoken about the things I care about most: income inequality among classes and sexes, social injustice, criminal justice reform (I am a former prosecutor married to former state attorney general). Both are greatly concerned with the working middle class and working poor. I like Senator Warren because “she has a plan for that!”

I like Gov. Jay Inslee for his focus on climate change. Please do something about this looming worldwide disaster! I like Mayor Pete for his intelligent, thoughtful way of expressing his ideas. I like his values, honesty, frankness and willingness to look at problems in a new light.

I think Joe Biden could take each one of the outstanding public servants running for president and have them serve in his cabinet or as agency heads: Warren as Treasury secretary, Harris as attorney general, Inslee at Interior, Mayor Pete at Housing and Urban Development, Castro at Immigration and Customs Enforcement, etc.

Judith B. Stephenson
Cambridge, Mass.

To the Editor:

I have two top choices for president. First is Kamala Harris and the second is Pete Buttigieg. My choices mainly come down to electability. If the midterms taught us anything, they made it clear that Democrats and independents want a big change from the status quo, as demonstrated by the huge number of women and candidates of color who were elected. Joe Biden, Bernie Sanders and others just seem like retreads and are too old. Others just don’t jump off the screen like Ms. Harris and Mr. Buttigieg.

Actually, I see them as a great ticket to run against President Trump and Vice President Mike Pence. The American people would be faced with a stark contrast in policy, demeanor and style. The debates would be must-watch TV and, I believe, would be a devastating rebuke of the current administration and carry the Dems to victory.

Andrew Brown
Livingston, N.J.

To the Editor:

Trying to get to sleep, I found myself mulling over the Democratic candidates. Is Joe Biden really the most electable? Will Bernie Sanders please, please just go away? Can Kamala Harris gain more traction? Then I realized the question I ought to be asking myself: Whom can I get passionate about for 2020? The answer crystal clear, I drifted off: Elizabeth Warren and no other candidate.

Jane O’Shaughnessy
New York