Sunday Reading: The Democratic Presidential Front-Runners

August 11, 2019 0 By JohnValbyNation

This summer, more than twenty Democratic Presidential candidates have assembled to participate in a series of debates and present their proposals on everything from climate change to Medicare for All. This week, as the field begins to narrow, we’ve compiled a selection of pieces on several of the front-runners currently stumping around the nation and competing for the chance to challenge Donald Trump in the 2020 election. In “In the Ring,” Sheelah Kolhatkar profiles Elizabeth Warren and explores whether the Massachusetts senator can position herself as a pragmatic advocate for the middle class. In “First Person,” Dana Goodyear chronicles the California senator Kamala Harris’s record in her previous career as a prosecutor and examines her viral performance in the early debates. Evan Osnos considers whether former Vice-President Joe Biden’s legislative history will be perceived as an asset or a burden to his Presidential prospects. In “One-Man Band,” William Finnegan writes about the highs and lows of Beto O’Rourke’s Presidential campaign and analyzes his Senate run against Ted Cruz, in 2018. Finally, Benjamin Wallace-Wells considers the trajectory of the Vermont senator Bernie Sanders’s relentless, progressive campaign and traces the political journey of Pete Buttigieg, the understated mayor of South Bend, Indiana. The stories of these candidates are surprising and often illuminating. We hope that you’ll explore them this Sunday.

—David Remnick

“In the Ring”

“In a primary race that is splitting Democratic voters between a desire for a return to the status quo and a desire for dramatic change, Elizabeth Warren’s candidacy falls closer to the side of insurgency.”

“First Person”

“Kamala Harris won her Senate seat in the election that gave Donald Trump the Presidency. Now she is a leading contender in the Democratic effort to unseat him, the only black woman in a field that, with six female candidates, is distinguished by an unprecedented number of women.”

“Pete Buttigieg’s Quiet Rebellion”

“Against the image of the millennial left, and of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Buttigieg appears to be a more prosaic political character. But, in his own understated way, he is suggesting a sharp break with the past.”

“Will Joe Biden’s History Lift Him Up or Weigh Him Down?”

“Biden’s capacity to change—not only things but also himself—is still at the heart of his Presidential prospects.”

“One-Man Band”

“Beto O’Rourke frames his decision to run for President now, rather than later, as a matter of generational responsibility.”

“The Dream Deferred”

“Hillary Clinton’s loss gave Bernie Sanders’s efforts a new urgency. The electoral map, with its imposing swaths of red, pointed to a crisis confronting American liberalism.”

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