AuthorLueders, Bill

By now, many of us have had at least a good first look at the field of Democrats vying for the Democratic nomination for President, each and every one of them far better suited for the office than its current occupant.

The first debates have identified potential upstarts: Former Obama Administration official and mayor of San Antonio, Texas, Julian Castro; California Senator Kamala Harris; Pete Buttigieg, the earnest and charming mayor of South Bend, Indiana. Other lesser-profile candidates, including Minnesota Senator Amy Klobuchar, New York Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, Washington State Governor Jay Inslee, and Hawaii Representative Tulsi Gabbard, have also presented as formidable contenders.

Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders and Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren, arguably the top two progressives, have proven impressive, both on the debate stage and on the campaign trail. Warren, in particular, radiates the erudition and feistiness that will be needed to trounce Donald Trump. Her sharp critique of an economy that disportionately benefits "a thin slice at the top" is matched with specific policy prescriptions on everything from student debt to universal health care. "I've got a plan for that" has become a catchphrase of her campaign.

Up against Trump, whose shallow grasp of issues is compounded by his bumbling inarticulateness--"I know words, I have the best words," he once assured us--it's hard to imagine that Warren wouldn't blow him out of the water. But honestly, it's hard to see how any of the current contenders, with the possible exception of former Vice President Joe Biden, would not come across looking better in a debate against the Prevaricator-In-Chief.

The question will be whether it matters. Hillary Clinton, by any objective standard, bested Trump in all three of their debates. But the Republicans and Fox News proclaimed him the winner anyway and enough people--some of whom didn't even watch the debates--ended up voting for Trump to give him a narrow win in the Electoral College.

Predictably, there are grumblings about how Trump might win if the Democrats fail to nominate a centrist. As always, such talk ignores the history that the Democrats' strategy of nominating mild-mannered centrists, from Hubert Humphrey to Hillary Clinton, has often failed. A far better strategy would be to pick a candidate whom a broad swath of voters feel jazzed about.

In fact, Trump is such a...

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