Christine Emba here this week. Yes, I’m a millennial. Yes, I speak for all of us. No, I’m not sorry for killing chain restaurants. Next up: the electoral college.
This is the week of Pete Buttigieg.
He’s a Rhodes scholar, Navy veteran, the young mayor of a midsize city (he was elected to lead South Bend, Ind., at age 29; he’s now 37), and apparently moonlights as an Arabic translator for hospital patients in tragic need. The hopeful gay millennial candidate has come out of nowhere and caught the nation’s eye — Cory Booker, formerly America’s Sparkliest Young Mayor™, must be grinding his teeth.
Buttigieg (it’s “Boot-edge-edge,” if you’re still struggling) has distinguished himself from the current Democratic field, and from most politicians generally, by seeming to have a well-thought-out and comprehensive position on almost any topic. He’s developed an opinion on everything from white nationalism (not just “economic anxiety,” but a larger context of disorientation and lost community and identity) to Chick-fil-A (does not approve of its politics, kind of approves of its chicken). Potential voters approve: Last weekend’s Emerson Poll showed him shooting up to third place in the race in Iowa, behind Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders, but ahead of Kamala Harris and Elizabeth Warren.
What are his chances of actually winning the nomination? Still slim — his experience is in governing a midsize city, he’s unusually young, and he’s still not really a household name. That said, in a field as wide as this one, anything could happen.
Continuing in her role as the most policy-oriented candidate, Warren rolled out yet another substantive proposal, this one focusing on family farms and antitrust measures for agriculture. Is anyone listening? Hard to tell.
Kirsten Gillibrand released 12 years of her tax returns and called President Trump a “coward” from a stage outside a Trump-branded high-rise in Manhattan. She’s clearly trying to goad the president and increase her visibility, but it’s getting harder to pay attention to any candidate whose name doesn’t begin with the letter B.
Meanwhile, rumors of Stacey Abrams as a potential Joe Biden VP pick continue to fly, and her team continues to bat them down in ever-sharper terms terms. One adviser: “What makes it particularly exploitative is that Biden couldn’t be bothered to endorse Stacey in the gubernatorial primary. Now he wants her to save his a--. That’s some serious entitlement.” (Biden did endorse Abrams, but he bowed out of a visit to campaign for her because of a “scheduling conflict.”)
— Christine Emba
|Position||Challenger||Change Over Last Ranking|
|2.||Bernie Sanders||UP 1|
|3.||Kamala D. Harris||DOWN 1|
|4.||Pete Buttigieg||UP 4|
|5.||Beto O’Rourke||DOWN 1|
|6.||Elizabeth Warren||UP 1|
|7.||Cory Booker||DOWN 2|
|8.||Amy Klobuchar||DOWN 3|
|9.||Kirsten Gillibrand||UP 3|
|10.||Stacey Abrams||RETURNS TO RANKING|
|11.||John Hickenlooper||DOWN 2|
|12.||Michael Bennet||DOWN 2|
|13.||Julián Castro||DOWN 2|
|14. (TIE)||Jay Inslee||DOWN 1|
|14. (TIE)||Howard Schultz||—|
Falls off ranking: Andrew Yang
Also receiving votes: Yang, Terry McAuliffe, Tim Ryan, Larry Hogan
Last week’s ranking: Round 8 | What 2020 Democrats and Richard Nixon have in common
Following week’s ranking: Round 10 | Joe Biden is getting dragged down by his own hands
Don’t forget to click on the yellow highlighted text above to expand the Ranking Committee’s annotations. Agree? Disagree? Share your thoughts in the comments. We’ll see you for the next ranking. Until then, watch your back: We millennials are everywhere. One might even become president.
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