Candidates for the 2020 Democratic Nomination for President
Cory Booker is from New Jersey and has always had a passion for politics as he was previously Newark’s Mayor for quite some time and then moved on to be New Jersey’s Senator. Andrew Yang is from Manhattan, New York and has been passionate about entrepreneurship and created his own company but recently has stepped up to the plate and is seeking to become America’s next president. It seems unusual as he has not had political experience like Booker but has worked closely with the White House when Obama was president. Looking closely as both websites, they do have some background information on where they come from. Booker definitely emphasizes his background more than Yang. Booker tells his story of being a lawyer for his people who are being taking advantage by slumlords. That clearly shows the injustice he sees in the community and how he used his college degree and overall education to help others. He uses his community, his passion and the injustice in the world to be able to motivate him to be even more of a role model for all Americans.
One thing that he doesn’t have on his website are his policies and what he strives to work for as a president. Booker creates an environment where his community can come to his aid and he will work with his resources to find a solution. Based on Fenno, he uses a person to person approach with his public. He wants people to know where he came from and who got him to where he is now. Booker wants to represent the unrepresented. I wouldn’t say he is issue-oriented due to his lack of policy representation on his website. He wants people to know he is willing to hear their stories and what their solutions could be. His slogan, “We Rise”, shows his commitment to engage with his community and Americans together in order to create a better America.
Yang, on the other hand, has included all of his policies. His main policy is UBI, Universal Basic Income, which advocates for all Americans 18 and older to receive about $12,000 a year as a replacement for welfare, food stamps, and homelessness. He also talks about his background like Booker but doesn’t go in depth on how it helped him get to where he is now. He is more involved in making Americans know that he is an entrepreneur and willing to find solutions on creating more jobs now that technology is getting more advanced. Based on Fenno, he is more issue-oriented, he works better with technology and showing his policies than engaging with people on a personal level. This could be because he doesn’t have that much experience with politics like Booker, which could not give him much credibility. Through his policies, he is able to communicate what he wants to do with the presidency and gain voters that way. He shows how passionate he is in creating more jobs for Americans. Unlike Booker, Yang has more experience in the business world, so he definitely knows about the burden of being responsible for people’s livelihood. His slogan, “Humanity First”, shows the difference in agenda between both candidates, Yang is more concerned with improving lives of humanity in the way he sees fit while Booker wants to improve the lives of American people with them coming along. There is definitely a different perspective of campaigning by the two candidates showing each distinct traits, accomplishments, and motivations.
Texas in 2020?
Moving toward the democratic primaries, two young members of the party from Texas are campaigning for president. Although Texas has traditionally fallen as guaranteed win for the republicans, more and more democrats from Texas are emerging into the national media spotlight. This began in 2018 with Beto O’Rourke challenging the incumbent Ted Cruz for a seat in the Senate. From this, some are starting to see Texas, the former Republican stronghold, move more in the direction of a swing state in coming elections. Mirroring this, two candidates from Texas, Julián Castro and Beto O’Rourke, are running for the democratic nomination. If either were to win it would make them the third president from Texas. However, both candidates differ greatly from the two Texans who have occupied the office they are campaigning for previously. Neither embody the progressive attitudes of LBJ and the Great Society or the modern conservatism of George H. W. Bush.
These two candidates walk a fine line between the mainstream interests of the Democratic Party, the traditional values of Texas, and the emerging Latino voice in the State of Texas. At this early stage in the election cycle it appears that Julián Castro and Beto O’Rourke are focused more on fundraising. This creates an early competition within the Democratic field, both candidates wanting to be the voice of the party in their home state of Texas. Castro presents on his website that his campaign has already locked in the support of Texas democrats. In this article on his website he boasts the support of thirty three elected democrats within the State of Texas. This shows a very party centric attitude in which the support he is claiming is not from the voters but instead form the party elites. This differs from Beto where he is trying to make his campaign appear as if it was very much supported by the people, labeling his campaign a “grassroots movement”. He shows this more explicitly with his slogan “We Are All In This Together”. However Castro has also moved to improve his image amongst voters by pledging to visit all 50 states in his campaign. With his family’s immigrant backstory and his latino identity Democrats are also beginning to see Castro as a more unifying candidate in the 2020 presidential ticket (Mercia CNN). This point is emphasized with his slogan “For the Future” stressing the importance of unity amongst all Americans.
On the issues, Castro has listed more of his views on his website. He shows his opposition for the President’s policy on immigration and the wall. He has also taken a clear stance on the justice system as well as police brutality. Beto is yet to list any specific issues on his website however he has covered these topics previously in his 2018 Senate campaign. In 2018 Beto addressed these issues, however, he took a more moderate stance likely to be able to appeal to swing voters in a Texas general election. On his website Castro lists his experience in the executive branch serving as President Obama’s Secretary of Housing and Urban Development. Currently it seems as if Beto is carrying his name recognition from his failed 2018 Senate election. This experience has provided significant media attention compared to Castro. However, Beto has also had to contend with his initial claims from 2018 where he said that he currently had no other job ambitions outside of the Senate(CBS).
Despite their differences both candidates are going heavily for a person to person relationship with their constituents. These two young candidates have strived to conduct their campaign in a very personal manner of reaching out to voters. Alongside other candidates they have attempted to distance themselves from PACS instead opting to show the image of a grassroots campaign. This tactic is due in part to the success and acclaim of Bernie Sanders with young Democrats in the 2016 election. Both Castro and Beto have a long election cycle ahead of them with a Democratic field that only seems to grow bigger. There is much more campaigning to be done and the fight for campaign funding is only just the beginning. In order for either to become a strong national contender in the 2020 election, one must first win the support of their fellow Texans.
“Beto O’Rourke Isn’t Running for Senate, Says He’s ‘Made a Decision’ about Future.” CBS
News, CBS Interactive,
Merica, Dan. “Iowa Democrats Have Struggled to Organize Latinos. Julián Castro Is Trying to
Change That.” CNN, Cable News Network, 3 Mar. 2019,
Ramsey, Ross. “Analysis: A Potential Texas Shootout inside the 2020 Presidential Race.” The
Texas Tribune, Texas Tribune, 14 Dec. 2018,
SWA #4: Presidential Primaries & Elections
Pete Buttigieg’s personal characteristics and priorities are generally encompassed within his slogan: It is time for a new generation of American leadership. Buttigieg, praised as a progressive millennial, war veteran, and devoted husband is about to finish his eight term as the mayor for South Bend, Indiana. In 2017, he was elected as the chair of the “Automation and the Impacts on America’s Cities” task force at the United States Conference of Mayors. Barack Obama also named Buttigieg one of the four progressive Democrats that represented the future of the party. Throughout his various efforts, his priorities seem to lie with global economic growth and advancement of industries. Since his mayoral term started, South Bend’s role was “reimagined” with large increases in job growth and improved technology applications. Based on his website, Buttigieg’s self-presentation is unambiguous. I believe that he represents both home-styles, but one more than the other. His social interactions and persona are absolutely person-to-person. When people mention Pete, they think of someone similar to them who is stepping up to make a difference. People see him for exactly what he is: war veteran and husband. Seems to me that he has made a strong connection with his voter base. I consulted a few stories covering Buttigieg and they all displayed the same theme evident in Pete’s personality and goals. Although an underdog, Pete has coalesced substantial support from the Democratic party. So much in fact, that he is now tied with Senator Elizabeth Warren at third in the 2020 caucus race. The New York Times specifically focused on Buttigieg’s desire to strengthen the party by winning back Trump supporters: the working white class. Pete stressed that this is the best and most logical way to defeat Trump, not by trying to broadcast exposure.
Jay Inslee is currently the Governor of Washington, serving out his second term since 2012. Before that, he was a member of congress since 1998. Contrary to Pete Buttigieg, Inslee’s website slogan better represents his goals and aspirations for the future more so than what he stands for. Clearly, the only issue that has Inslee’s undivided attention is climate change. I don’t blame him, it’s a huge issue that is already impacting my generation and probably generations after me. Inslee has established himself as an issue-oriented contender for the presidential race, which is evident all throughout his webpage. This is evident in one of his website headings: “From fighting climate change to winning better pay and benefits for working families, Governor Inslee has worked his entire life for all of us”. As the Governor of Washington, he has worked hard to lead his state to having the best economy in the country as well as the most environmentally friendly. The Atlantic also states that “On his watch, the state has boosted health care, increased access to early-childhood education and college, raised the minimum wage, expanded paid family leave, invested in infrastructure, and established in-state net neutrality, all while leading the country in job growth, overall personal-income growth, and GDP.” Inslee is trusted and known for getting the job done making daily progress. Unlike Buttigieg, Inslee’s webpage (thus campaign) has a direct mission and list of goals set for defeating climate change. His campaign also proudly announces that they have signed the No Fossil Fuels Money Pledge.
Given his strong advocacy for a greener environment, there is not much else the media is willing and able to focus on. Inslee believes that a strong green message will bring everyone together and win his candidacy. Most of the stories discuss if his binary platform will win enough support to win.
For this writing assignment I decided to compare and contrast the online websites of candidates for the 2020 Democratic nomination for president John Delany and Beto O’Rourke. John Delaney was born in Wood-ridge NewJersey, to a blue collared union family. Delany explains how he understands the American dream because he has lived it by being able to work his way through college and how the community help in with his law school payments. He has seen Bruce Springsteen over 30 times. Delaney’s campaign slogan is Focus on the Future. If elected Delaney’s future would present major reform in environmental, education, immigration policy. Delaney plans to implement a carbon tax that will “Reduce carbon admissions by 90% by 2050”. Delaney believes all students should be entitled to a k-14(community college or technical degree) education. Regarding immigration Delaney believes that a comprehensive reform on this issue should include a clear path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants and DREAMers, and an increased refugee cap for resettlement in the US. Delaney appears to take a person to person approach, he provides a lot of background info about him and his family, Delaney also makes it very easy for supporters to get involved or contribute through his engaging site. When looking at news articles that discuss John Delany it appears as though he may be a long shot for receiving the Democratic nomination for President. John Delaney doesn’t provide groundbreaking ideas or policies (such as the green new deal & medicare for all) to bring about the political change, rather Delaney focuses on finding ways to break through the partisan stalemate in Congress.
Beto O’Rourke began his grassroots campaign in his home town of El Paso, Texas. His website did not have a whole lot of information on it and it felt kind of Boring compared to John Delaney’s. Beto’s really emphasizes wanting to bridge the divide between Americans and provide access to universal health care. Beto also expresses the importance of economic reform that would make the economy work for everyone. Beto’s campaign slogan is “A vision for America.” Despite his website being kind of bland, Beto also makes it easy for people to get involved and support his campaign via his website. When looking at the media coverage of Beto O’Rourke many of the articles I found criticized him, calling him a Fauxbama or a accusing him of pretending to be a Kennedy. These articles worked to show how candidates such as Beto are taking a page out of former successful democrats’ books. Beto allegedly adopts and utilizes similar posture and speaking techniques that worked well for Kennedy, by doing this these articles claim that Beto is trying to channel this charisma and charm that helped Kennedy into office. The Fauxbama critique also comes from people saying that Beto is essentially a copycat by using many mannerism and techniques that Obama utilized during his campaign. By closely following the script of Obama and Kennedy, Beto might just fake it till he makes it.
The two candidates that I have decided to compare are Senator Elizabeth Warren and Julian Castro. They both come from different backgrounds and because of that they focus their campaign on very different issues. Elizabeth Warren advocates for the middle class and demands that people should start paying more attention to issues they face. She states that it is creating a gap between the rich and the poor that is getting harder to fix because of various reasons. She states that if elected should would do everything possible to strength labor unions in order to provide better working spaces for these workers. She also states that one of her priorities is to tax the rich a proper amount based on their wages. On the other hand, Julian Castro focuses his campaign on immigration. He states that his family had to go through this transition of moving to a new country; therefore, he understands the struggles that immigrants face. Similarly, because he is Latino, he wants to help minorities with the more prominent struggles being faced today.
Based on their background, both candidates demonstrate to be family oriented. Both of their webpages contained pictures of their families. Therefore, they are centralizing their campaign around them. Although, both are trying to appeal to very different groups of people, they both have strong messages about what they are trying to create. Something that is different from both candidates that really stuck out was the fact that Julian Castro runs his own page; whereas, Elizabeth warren does not. Although this is apparent when looking at their webpages, it seems that they have similar ways of governing. They seem to be focusing more on broader issues that they care about and not what every individual wants.
Looking at media circling both candidates there seems to be more controversy with Elizabeth Warren. Many of the media sources talk about the scandal with the DNA Testing that she performed in order to determine whether or not she has Native American blood (Boston News). On the other hand, there wasn’t a major issue that was presented against Julian Castro. Most news coverage was about his plans to help young Latinos and his plans to help the Latino community. In the webpages, there wasn’t a lot of discussion about what Elizabeth Warren is planning on doing with her campaign. The news constantly compares her candidacy with that of Hillary Clinton. This could be bad because the public saw the allegations that were made against Hillary Clinton and the emails, which really impacted her negatively. Similarly, they believe that the same thing will end up happening with Elizabeth Warren. Julian Castro, on the other hand, shows a lot of coverage dealing with the Hispanic community and with other people. In a lot of news outlets Julian Castro comments on creating opportunity for all people and portrays him in a way that makes him seem more friendly towards the public. These are two very different candidates, and both have really good ideas, but in the end the public is the one that get to decide who they name their next president.