Potential 2020 Democratic presidential field starts to take shape

Since Donald Trump’s election to the White House, Democrats have been anxious to pinpoint potential candidates up to the challenge of taking on the combative New York real estate mogul in 2020. Media speculation has run from the usual suspects like Bernie Sanders, Joe Biden and Elizabeth Warren, to those outside the political system, e.g., Mark Cuban and Oprah Winfrey.

While only one major, serious candidate has officially declared themselves for the Democratic presidential nomination, U.S. Congressman John Delaney of Maryland, identities of at least some of the remaining 2020 contenders were revealed by Politico Monday in a report citing sources with knowledge of meetings each had with former President Obama.

According to the piece, at least nine potential candidates have met with Obama, eight of whom visited the 44th president at his World Wildlife Fund office in Washington, D.C., as early as mid-2017.

Below is a list of Democrats who are weighing a run for the party nomination in less than two years time in order from least to most well-known by the general public.

  1. South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete Buttigieg, a former Naval intelligence officer who served in Afghanistan for seven months in 2013.
  2. Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, the only prospective candidate not to meet Obama in D.C., but in L.A. during a American Constitution Center dinner in May.
  3. Former New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu, brother of former Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-La.).
  4. Former Missouri Secretary of State Jason Kander; ran for Roy Blunt’s U.S. Senate seat in 2015; served as a U.S. Army Captain in Afghanistan after graduating from Georgetown University Law School.
  5. Former Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick, a Chicago native and personal friend of Obama who worked as a civil rights attorney for the Justice Department and later as a corporate lawyer for Texaco and Coca-Cola.
  6. Sen. Cory Booker (N.J.), mayor of New Jersey’s largest city, Newark, from 2006–2013; earned law degree from Yale University in 1997.
  7. Sen. Elizabeth Warren (Mass.), an Oklahoma native and long-time law school professor with a focus on bankruptcy statutes; consumer protection advocate whose work starting in the 1990s in the public domain was the impetus for the creation of CFPB in 2011.
  8. Sen. Bernie Sanders (Vt.), former mayor of Vermont’s largest city, Burlington; elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in 1990.
  9. Former Vice President Joe Biden; born in Scranton, Pa., served as U.S. senator from Delaware for four decades starting in 1973; received Juris Doctor from Syracuse University in 1968.

With at least 10 confirmed prospective and actual Democratic candidates lined up for 2020, the GOP’s 2016 field may seem small in comparison by the time primary campaign season starts in just over a year as three other rumored contenders — Kamala Harris, Terry McAuliffe and Kirsten Gillibrand — have yet to take a meeting with the party’s last successful presidential nominee.


[Photo courtesy The Hill]