Top 15 Democratic presidential candidates in 2020 – BY NIALL STANAGE – 12/27/16 06:00 AM EST

Democrats grappling with the shock of Hillary Clinton’s loss to Donald Trump are also beginning to turn their attention to 2020, and pondering who could defeat Trump as he vies for reelection.warrenbookergillibrand

Here are The Hill’s initial rankings of where the potential candidates stand.

1. Sen. Elizabeth Warren (Mass.)

How would the 2016 election have panned out had Warren challenged Clinton in the primary? That’s one of the great unknowables of Democratic politics. But now, there is little doubt that the Massachusetts senator is the leading contender for the 2020 nomination.

Warren, a former Harvard Law School professor, has been beloved by the left throughout her late-blooming political career, largely because of her no-punches-pulled attacks on banks and the financial industry. She got under Trump’s skin via Twitter during the 2016 campaign too.

The recent news that Warren will join the Senate Armed Services Committee in January has stoked speculation that she is looking to bolster her foreign policy and national security credentials in advance of a presidential run. Warren would be 71 by the time of the next election, but she is three years younger than Trump.

2. Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.)

Sanders came from semi-obscurity in the Senate to give Clinton a serious run for her money in the battle for the Democratic nomination this year.

He won 23 contests and amassed more than 13 million votes. He also fired the enthusiasm of young voters and progressives, two pillars of the Democratic base that Clinton struggled to charm.

The Vermonter’s focus on income inequality and his broader point that the system is rigged against working Americans resonated. Sanders’s main problem when it comes to a 2020 run could be his age. He will be 79 next Election Day. Still, Sanders might well be tempted to try one more time — especially if Warren stood aside.

3. Sen. Cory Booker (N.J.)

Booker raised eyebrows earlier this month when it emerged that he would join the Senate Foreign Relations Committee when the new Congress convenes. As with Warren and the Armed Services panel, his decision was interpreted as an effort to burnish his resume for a potential presidential run.

Booker is just 47, and he is one of only two African-Americans in the Senate for now. (That number will rise to three in January when California’s Kamala Harris will be sworn in.)

He is also one of the most media-savvy members in the upper chamber — a trait that has been apparent since the start of his career, when his first, failed bid to become mayor of Newark was captured in a sympathetic documentary, “Street Fight.”

Booker is far from the most liberal member of the caucus. During the 2012 presidential campaign, he criticized an Obama campaign ad that hit Mitt Romney’s business record, insisting on NBC’s “Meet the Press”, “I’m not about to sit here and indict private equity.”

An optimistic view is that he could bridge the gap between the progressive and center-left strands of the party. Skeptics will question whether he is a little too corporate-friendly for the tastes of Democratic primary voters.

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Clinton and Trump Agree the Opioid Epidemic Is a Problem. Their Plans Couldn’t Be More Different. – JULIA LURIESEP. 29, 2016 6:00 AM

Clinton has a $10 billion initiative, while Trump wants to build a wall.

Drug overdoses are killing roughly the same number of people each year as HIV/AIDS did at the height of the epidemic—and far more than car accidents or gun violence. The majority of those overdoses are from opioids, a class of drugs including prescription painkillers, heroin, and fentanyl.

So how would the presidential candidates solve this monumental problem? Hillary Clinton presented a detailed initiative last year to spend $10 billion over the next decade on substance abuse and addiction. Donald Trump contends that building a wall on the Mexican border would solve the problem by stopping the flow of drugs into the country. Here’s what we know about the details of their plans so far:

Clinton’s $10 Billion Plan to Curb Overdoses

The Initiative to Combat America’s Deadly Epidemic of Drug and Alcohol Addictiontakes a multipronged approach to the epidemic, with $7.5 million going toward a state-federal partnership in which the federal government would allocate $4 of funding for every $1 each state committed. An additional $2.5 billion would go toward drug treatment programs funded directly by the federal government. The goals of the plan include:

  • Develop better drug abuse prevention programs such as classes, after-school programs, and mentorship programs
  • Make evidence-based treatment more accessible by expanding inpatient and outpatient services and increasing the number of trained providers
  • Remove obstacles to insurance coverage of substance abuse treatment, particularly among Medicare and Medicaid
  • Give naloxone, an opioid overdose reversal drug, to police, fire departments, EMTs, and other first responders
  • Change regulations that prevent nurse practitioners and physicians’ assistants from prescribing buprenorphine, a medication that many see as the gold standard of opioid addiction treatment, and change the rules that cap the number of patients a doctor can prescribe the drug to
  • Train prescribers to be more cautious when prescribing opioids for pain
  • Direct providers to check drug monitoring programs before prescribing the opioid painkillers to make sure that a patient doesn’t have multiple opioid prescriptions
  • Reform the criminal justice process to prioritize rehabilitation and treatment over prison time for low-level drug offenders
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This Simpsons Clip Illustrates Why Donald Trump Could Win – PEMA LEVYSEP. 21, 2016 6:00 AM

In this classic episode of The Simpsons, local villain Montgomery Burns goes to the doctor and receives what should be devastating news. “You are the sickest man in the United States,” his doctor informs him. “You have everything,” including pneumonia, juvenile diabetes, and a little bit of hysterical pregnancy, as well as “several diseases that have just been discovered in you.” Mr. Burns replies that “this sounds like bad news.” But it turns out that while any one of his ailments could be fatal on its own, having them all at once is life-saving; there are so many diseases trying to take over Burns’ body that none of them can get through. Burns leaves the doctor’s office gloating that he is “indestructible.”

Medically speaking, this diagnosis doesn’t make much sense. But when it comes to the 2016 election, there’s some truth to it.

In this analogy, Donald Trump is, of course, Mr. Burns. Trump has said and done innumerable things that, individually, would normally derail a presidential candidate. But the sheer volume of Trump’s problematic positions, actions, and statements actually works to inoculate him from all of them.

In a campaign, each side tries to construct a coherent narrative about the other that will resonate with voters. In 2008, Barack Obama convinced voters that John McCain represented a third term of the unpopular President George W. Bush. In 2012, Obama won by successfully painting Mitt Romney as a millionaire who didn’t care about ordinary Americans.

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Trump and Clinton’s free trade retreat: a pivotal moment for the world’s economic future – Dan Roberts in Washington and Ryan Felton in Detroit Saturday 20 August 2016 10.24 EDT

Never before have both main presidential candidates broken so completely with Washington orthodoxy on globalisation, even as the White House refuses to give up. The problem, however, goes much deeper than trade deals

 Michigan voters listen to Hillary Clinton’s economic speech at Futuramic Tool & Engineering in Detroit last Thursday.

Enemies in politics and opposed on nearly all fronts, Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton have found themselves united together against Barack Obama and a tradition that has kept America in charge of the world economy’s rules for more than 70 years. The next president of the United States is rethinking free trade.

In Washington, that tradition was taken for granted for so long that it rarely attracted much attention even in the business press, let alone dominated the politics pages of an entire election season. But in 2016, America’s faltering faith in free trade has become the most sensitive controversy in DC – never before have both main presidential candidates broken with the orthodoxy that globalisation is always good for Americans.

The proposed Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP), between 12 countries around the Pacific rim, excluding China, suddenlyfaces a wall of political opposition among lawmakers who had, not long ago, nearly set the giant deal in stone. Parallel negotiations between the US and Europe, known as the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), are suddenly even more behind: hamstrung by similar opposition as well as complications created by Britain’s vote to leave the European Union.

The White House has refused to give up, however, as it weighs the stakes of a system of multilateral deals largely invented by the US after the second world war. Before he left for his summer vacation, Obamapromised one last attempt to ratify TPP in the lame-duck session of Congress before he leaves office.

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5 numbers that mattered this week – By STEVEN SHEPARD 07/16/16 07:47 AM EDT


A whopping 74 percent of have barely heard of Donald Trump’s new running mate Mike Pence. | AP Photo

5 numbers that mattered this week

Continuing our POLITICO feature, where we dig into the latest polls and loop in other data streams to tell the story of the 2016 campaign. Here are five numbers that mattered this week.

Indiana Gov. Mike Pence — Donald Trump’s now-official choice of running mate on the GOP presidential ticket — enters the national political arena as a virtual clean slate, according to an average of two recent polls.

In this week’s CBS News/New York Times poll, a whopping 74 percent of registered voters said they hadn’t yet heard enough about Pence to have an opinion. An additional 13 percent described themselves as undecided or refused to answer the question.

Only 5 percent of voters in the CBS News/New York Times poll said they have a favorable opinion of Pence, and 8 percent viewed him unfavorably.

More voters had an opinion of Pence in a McClatchy-Marist poll this week: A combined 68 percent said they hadn’t heard of Pence or had no opinion. Pence’s favorable rating was just 12 percent, compared to 21 percent unfavorable.

The discrepancy is likely due to question wording: The CBS News/New York Times poll specifically offers respondents the option of saying they are undecided, or they haven’t heard enough about the subject to form an opinion. That leads to lower favorable — and, consequentially, unfavorable — ratings for all figures.

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America’s Election 2016: Immigrant Iowa – Vice News Published on Feb 1, 2016

The Iowa caucuses are the first major contest in the race for the American presidency. In the weeks leading up to caucus night, candidates descend on the state to shake hands, kiss babies, and woo supporters. While the caucuses don’t always signal which candidates will go on to win their party’s nomination, they do set the tone for the race going forward. And in this election cycle, the immigration rhetoric in Iowa has been uniquely harsh.

The number of Latinos in Iowa has doubled in the last decade, but they’re not just flocking to Des Moines and other urban centers. Immigration has radically transformed the state’s rural heartland, which was once lily-white. Fueled by the meatpacking industry’s demand for cheap labor, small towns like Storm Lake now have schools with student bodies that are 82 percent non-white.

With Republican candidates calling for ramped-up deportations and closed borders, young undocumented activist Kenia Calderon has made it her mission to include immigrant rights in the political conversation.

Live Blog: On the Ground at the 2016 Iowa Caucuses –

Donald Trump is the harbinger of GOP doom: The devastating history lesson that Republicans are completely ignoring – HEATHER DIGBY PARTON THURSDAY, AUG 20, 2015 10:49 AM PDT

More and more are candidates getting sucked into Trump’s immigration vortex — bad news if you’re a Republican

Donald Trump is the harbinger of GOP doom: The devastating history lesson that Republicans are completely ignoring

There was a time back in the day when I used to joke with Republican friends that I would happily support a constitutional amendment that would ban all presidential candidates from California if they would agree to ban all presidential candidates from Texas. The joke, of course, was that my home state, “the land of fruits and nuts” had recently produced two conservative Republican presidents, Nixon and Reagan, while Texas’s most recent contribution had been the man responsible for “Hey, hey LBJ, how many kids did you kill today.” In those days of post-Vietnam liberalism, that trade seemed like an excellent deal for the left.

It’s hard to imagine now, but from Harry Truman until Bill Clinton, California voted for a Democratic president just one time, for John F. Kennedy in 1960. With a few exceptions here and there, California also voted for GOP governors and senators more often than not. Even though the state had a longstanding reputation for social tolerance and cutting-edge cultural change, politically speaking it was a conservative state, as red as Texas is now.

There were obviously many factors that contributed to California’s evolution into the deep-blue state it is today, from demographics to the culture war. But none of those things come close to the damage that then-Governor Pete Wilson did to the longterm interest of the California Republican Party in 1994, when he scapegoated Latino immigrants as the cause of all the state’s woes.

Wilson was running for re-election, and as part of his campaign to distract from the economic failure of his first term and increase turnout among his base, he ran on a platform promising to crack down on undocumented workers, and enthusiastically supported the infamous Prop 187, which set up a statewide system designed to deny any kind of benefits to undocumented workers, including K-12 education and all forms of health care.

(He also supported a constitutional amendment to repeal birthright citizenship, currently guaranteed by the 14th Amendment.)

Here’s the famous “they keep coming” ad the Wilson campaign ran that year:

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The Truth Behind the Biden and Gore Bubbles – By JACK SHAFER August 17, 2015

AP Photo.

Over the last week, you’d be forgiven for thinking that Joe Biden and Al Gore were two of the leading candidates in the 2016 presidential race—charismatic, principled leaders that voters wanted, nah, demanded, lead our nation for the next eight years.

After all, political reporters swooned last week at the news that Al Gore might make another run for the presidency. Reuters chased the BuzzFeed scoop, as did ABC News, the Christian Science Monitor, and other outlets. But severalaccounts quickly downplayed such a possibility, with a Gore spokeswoman saying there was “no truth” to it. The disappointment of reporters was palpable, not because the press likes Gore—they actually despise him with a passion—but because he is a known quantity on the campaign trail who, when milked, produces excellent copy.

The Gore episode (and the Biden one, which we’ll get to in a minute) inadvertently illustrated the press corps’ deepest prejudice. It’s not for liberals or conservatives—or even for declared candidates. What reporters lust for are contenders capable of generating usable story material, and these contenders are almost always the candidates who enjoy high voter recognition, often for a previous run for the presidency. Mitt Romney likewise moved the press corps from exhilaration to despondency in January when he flirted with a third run for the White House. The press wasn’t hankering for a Romney campaign any more than it was hankering for a Gore campaign. But their political longevity has produced giant flumes of coverage over the years, and that coverage can be captured and reused by reporters to write new stories. Veterans of previous Gore and Romney campaign are the greatest beneficiaries whenever rumor or scuttlebutt has it that either intends another run: a spin of the Rolodex, a few phone calls, and voilà, the reporter’s old notes are refreshed and a new news story is created.

The press corps’ preference for thoroughbreds—have not Mitt Romney’s presidential musings gotten more coverage this year than those of announced candidate George Pataki?—helps explain the disdain reporters have long-shot candidates. By necessity, presidential campaign coverage this far out from the general election must be of the horserace variety. The leaders must be handicapped only if to cull the field to a manageable size. No newspaper, magazine, TV network or Web site has the resources to cover in depth every declared candidate. A reporter could, I suppose, write a series of compelling story about James Webb or George Pataki if he put his mind to it. But who would read it? Few journalists are willing to write about the presidential candidates who can’t possibly win unless it’s to point out that the candidates can’t possibly win and that their every gesticulation is futile. Still fewer outlets are willing to run such coverage.

The ideal candidate in the press corps’ view is a veteran candidate who has kept his (or her) place high in the news since his last campaign. For Campaign 2016, the ideal candidate is Hillary Clinton, a previous loser in the presidential derbies who is always giving reporters new material to write about. Better to write in depth about one controversial Clinton email, the political reporter knows, than the entire policy platform of a Lincoln Chafee.

This ideal-candidate formula isn’t perfect. Long-shots sometimes have a way of becoming ideal candidates, even if they haven’t run before and sun-bathed in the news. During this campaign cycle, Bernie Sanders has turned the formula inside out. He’s neither run before nor been much of a newsmaker outside of his progressive mini-circles. The press has begrudgingly elevated his status from long-shot to contender because of his success in the polls and his skill at drawing crowds. Another outlier, Donald Trump, whom the press keeps predicting will pop and crash, has earned his way to contender status by virtue of his polling numbers. Given its druthers, the press would like to snub him and his gauche ways because there seems no way the current system could elect him president. But the press has proved powerless to suppress him. As with Sanders, the press must cover Trump because he has achieved notoriety that can’t be ignored.

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Iowa has an anger issue – By KATIE GLUECK 8/13/15 7:01 PM EDT

Hawkeye State Republicans are fed up with Washington and ho-hum presidential candidates. Enter Donald Trump.

An attendee places a corn kernel into a jar to vote for 2016 Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump in a television news station's

An attendee places a corn kernel into a jar to vote for Trump in a television news station’s | Getty

Iowans are mad as hell, and they know who to turn to — Donald Trump.

Outsider candidates have a history of gaining traction among Hawkeye State GOP caucus-goers fed up with Washington and establishment candidates more broadly. The Iowa agitation was loud and clear in the CNN/ORC poll released on Wednesday showing Donald Trump soaring with voters, despite a slew of highly controversial remarks made in the past few weeks, with retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson, another political outsider, coming in second.

“It is ridiculously early, but there’s no question that Mr. Trump and Dr. Carson, they’ve struck a nerve with Iowans who are unhappy with what they have seen coming out of Washington in recent years,” said Matt Strawn, the former chairman of the Iowa Republican Party. “Whether they are momentarily voicing their frustrations through nontraditional candidates or will ultimately caucus for them are two very different things, and the answer to that will come down the road.”

The Trump boom is playing out across the country as the bombastic businessman and slayer of political correctness continues to lead national polls. For many conservatives in Iowa and elsewhere, there’s the sense that even after electing a Republican Senate last cycle, giving the GOP control of both chambers of Congress, little has changed — and some are venting by aligning with Trump, who has no compunctions about railing against Washington and the political establishment, and to a lesser extent with Carson, who has never worked in politics.

In Iowa, the anger Trump is channeling starts at the local level and goes all the way to the top, said Sam Clovis, a prominent conservative Iowa college professor who is chairing Rick Perry’s Iowa effort, but stressed he was speaking as an academic. He said that the state has taken a more populist turn amid national debates over the reauthorization of the Export-Import Bank and trade bills — which “smack of crony capitalism” to the base, he said — and noted that some are still smarting from a vote some Republicans in the statehouse took earlier this year to back a gasoline tax.


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