By Chicago Tribune
Democrats have had a lot of fun joking about the huge field of Republican presidential candidates and the clown car they keep piling out of. The Democrats, by contrast, couldn’t fill a minivan. And the way things are going, that may be a big problem.
Say what you will about the GOP, it has an abundance of people with the credentials to warrant real consideration. Jeb Bush, John Kasich, Rick Perry, Chris Christie and Scott Walker have extensive records as governors. Marco Rubio, Rand Paul and Ted Cruz have managed to stand out from the Senate crowd. Carly Fiorina was CEO of a major corporation. The rank and file’s main problem is sorting through them all.
Democrats, by contrast, have only five candidates. At the moment, it’s really a two-person contest between Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders. And those two options suggest the party could be in trouble come November 2016.
… Sanders, a self-styled socialist, has attracted big and enthusiastic crowds, but his positions veer too far left to be salable in a general election. Former Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley boasts excellent campaign skills, but he’s practically unknown beyond his home state. Former Virginia Sen. Jim Webb and former Rhode Island Gov. Lincoln Chafee are equally unknown but lack those campaign skills.
The pickings are so slim that talk is percolating about a late entrance by Joe Biden, John Kerry or even Al Gore. Anyone know how to reach Michael Dukakis?
How is it that a party that has won the popular vote in five of the last six presidential elections has so little presidential timber? Obama and the Clintons have towered over the party for so long that they’ve stifled the growth of other prospects. (my emphasis)