Broadly speaking, there are three wings of the contemporary Democrat party–the POC ascendancy, corporate globalists, and socialist progressives. Securing the Democrat presidential nomination will be contingent upon garnering each wing’s support, in respective order of importance. Obama won the 2008 nomination by dominating the POC ascendancy vote. Hillary similarly won it in 2016 by doing the same. That she had no purchase among socialist progressives didn’t matter.
In 2020, the POC ascendancy will belong to Kamala Harris. She will, as the only non-white female running, have unquestioned moral authority in any dispute with any other candidate. She is aware of the power this affords her and trades on it constantly.
Deval Patrick, the only potential POC candidate who wasn’t born with a silver spoon in his mouth and who had the potential to see Obama retconned from the first black president to the first mixed race president to make room for Patrick to claim the first black spot, appears to be definitively out. That leaves Questionable Cory as Kinky Kamala’s only real competition.
The corporate globalists like Kamala because she’s ambitious and unprincipled so can be corralled and controlled but also disciplined enough to stay on message without significant risk of deviation.
Her toughest sell will be to the socialist progressive wing. She’s keenly aware of this and has been working it relentlessly:
Expect more of that in the coming months and years. Cowardly Bernie Sanders needs enough cover to save face with the base he will betray again when he throws his support behind Kamala. She’s going to be sure to provide him with plenty of that cover.
But, but she’s polling substantially behind the putative frontrunner, Joe Biden!
What did polling look like at this point in the 2008 campaign? Taken December 5, 2006, exactly as far out from the 2008 election as we currently are from 2020:
Biden’s previous presidential campaigns, when the Democrat electorate was far more amenable to his demographic profile than it is now, were total non-starters. All he has going for him is his association with Obama. If it means denying a POC like Kamala or Cory Booker, Obama will not betray the ascendancy by endorsing his former lieutenant. The nomination is not going to one of the old white dinosaurs.
And Beta O’Rourke is too late. The Justin Trudeau and Emmanuel Macron moments have passed. Kamala is coming.
My modest suggestion to help ensure the 2020 election is as clarifying as possible: Insinuate that anyone who expresses support for a white Democrat nominee is lame and maybe racist. “Really? Another old white man (or woman in the unlikely cases of Elizabeth Warren of Kirsten Gillibrand)? I think it’s time we put our values into practice. I’m really excited about Kamala Harris.” Do your part!