No. of Recommendations: 15
In 2016, I supported Bernie Sanders because I thought he could beat Trump. Since then, however, I have been struggling with the Democratic candidates, waffling between and among Harris, Buttigieg, Biden, Booker, Klobuchar, and Warren.

One candidate I never considered was Colorado Senator Michael Bennet, whose low-key moderation and level headedness make him attractive as a president, but utterly boring as a campaigner. That's why Bennet didn't make it into the last debate, while less-serious candidates did.

Politico has published an important online article that every Democratic candidate and strategist should read (but won't). Bennet raises some intelligent issues that I haven't considered - issues that may figure greatly in the 2020 election. The following excerpts are just some of Bennet's comments that should be taken into consideration in crafting a winning campaign:

What would be [a voter's] takeaway from [the "Medicare for All" part of the debate]? What is Bennet’s takeaway, as a voter and as a presidential candidate?
He sits down and thinks, taking more than 30 seconds to ponder. Finally, he shrugs. “More taxes...”
Bennet, like many Democrats, is annoyed with what they see as O’Rourke’s habit of staking out irrational policy positions for the sake of going viral, saddling the party and its eventual nominee with baggage that won’t easily be shed... pledging at an LGBTQ forum to strip the tax-exempt status of churches that refuse to marry same-sex couples... an idea with the potential to alienate white conservatives and black liberals alike.
“Hell yes, we are going to take your AR-15, your AK-47...”
Bennet recalls, he was meeting with a group of blue-collar labor Democrats in New Hampshire. The group’s leader asked him, “Why are you talking about taking our guns?” When Bennet responded it was just one person, the man pushed back. Because nobody else on the stage challenged O’Rourke, the man said, [all the Democrat candidates] were perceived as agreeing with [O'Rourke's] stance...

Bennet made one comment in the Politico article that struck me as profound - and profoundly important for Democratic candidates and campaign strategists to study carefully, as follows:

“We’re going to pick a policy we can’t even unify Democrats around, much less bring in others who could support it from the outside. Which means we’ll wind up fighting a losing battle for that instead of achieving the other stuff,” Bennet adds. "That’s not catering to the people I talk to at town halls; it’s for the people on Twitter and the people on cable news at night.” [Emphasis added.]

The game of taking ever more radical positions in order to garner media attention may be successful in raising a candidate's profile, name recognition, and opportunity to appear in front of cameras. However, it will take a particularly clever and well-coached candidate to leave himself or herself some "wiggle room" to moderate the most difficult-to-achieve promises when it comes time to win the general election.

We need all of the diverse groups of Democratic constituents to show up at the polls in 2020. The linked Politico article is important because it reminds us of how our campaign promises may be making it more difficult to achieve what we need to achieve.
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