A female Democrat for US president?
FROM THE STANDS - Domini M. Torrevillas (The Philippine Star) - October 17, 2019 - 12:00am

Watching the CNN coverage of the third 2020 Democratic presidential debate Monday was an educative experience. Unlike our pre-election campaigns, the American candidates were highly educated, intelligent and bold as they answered questions of moderators and exchanged piercing commentaries with their rivals. They came prepared  with well-studied plans, for the highest post in their land waiting ahead, with no dependence on destiny, dancing-dancing, singing, and leaning on fans’ adulation translated into votes.

The Democratic 2020 race is the first in there being six women candidates, which is more women running for president than ever in United States history.

R29 Editors writes that all of the women in the race are very different – their policies, personalities, pets. “We already ushered in the most diverse Congress in history in 2018 – who is to say we can’t elect a female president in 2020?”

Shortly before the debate, of the women hopefuls, the name Elizabeth Warren rang loud and clear as “a front-runner for the Democratic presidential nomination… (She) has steadily climbed in the polls, the only Democrat who is assembling a broad coalition of voters and growing her support, an obvious indicator of future success. She has parried attacks from her rivals and largely avoided tough questions from the press…Since the beginning of the cycle, Warren has been regarded for her bold positions and the simple fact that she has a clear point of view that allows her to be on offense every day. No other Democratic campaign can say the same… But what’s remarkable about Warren’s rise, and her durability, is that it’s coming in the face of considerable headwinds blowing within the Democratic electorate.”

Michiah Prull, CEO of Avalanche, writes, “There is a persistent belief that gender is a barrier to electability, even though people are choosing Warren. Gender being a barrier is a view held as much by Warren supporters as anyone else. But what we are really seeing in Warren’s rise is that people recognize that gender is a challenge, but people also think she is up for it, and that she can overcome this barrier. Democrats are worried about winning. And at the same time you have a bunch of people saying, ‘Let’s support a bold female candidate with bold progressive ideas, someone who presents optimistic views in the face of a dark view of the country.”

R29 Editors writes that Warren is “The Policy Wonk,” churning out progressive policy proposals like clockwork, making her unofficial campaign slogan, “I have a plan for that.”

R29 Editors present us with pictures of the six other women candidates,  articulate and bold at the CNN-covered debate. 

 Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, “The Army Vet,” is 38 years old, the only millennial and the youngest woman in the race. An army vet, she was deployed to Iraq and Kuwait, and has spoken out for sexual assault survivors in the military. Her platform centers on military non-intervention, and she has spoken out strongly on the need to address climate change. Her controversies include her secret meeting with Syrian dictator Bahar al-Assad, her past anti- LGBTQ+ rhetoric (she’s apologized and has since advocated for LGBTQ+ equality.)

Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, “The Feminist,”  is one of Trump’s most vocal critics, voted against more of his cabinet nominees than any of the other candidates. She is running the most woman-centric campaign on a platform that includes the Family Bill of Rights, a wide-ranging proposal tackling maternal and child health, and  affordable child care.  She has reversed her past views on guns (she used to have an A rating from the NRA) and immigration (she used to be more hardline). 

Sen. Kamala Harris, “The Prosecutor,” runs on a progressive platform that includes Medicare for All, reforming cash bail, relieving the cost of living for middle-class families through the LIFT Act, and combating the high rates of maternal mortality among Black women. In the Senate, “she has eviscerated Trump stooges such as Attorney General William Bar and Justice Brett Kavanaugh with her incisive questioning.” She is the second Black female senator (the first was Carol Boseley Braun from Illinois), and would be not only the first female president, but the first Black female president and the first president of South Asian descent.

Sen. Army Klobuchar, “The Senator Next Door,” is a moderate Democrat who has positioned herself as a pragmatist and reaches across the aisle to get things done. Since making her presidential bid, she has announced an optimistic infrastructure plan and a $100 billion proposal to combat the opioid crisis.

Marianne Williamson, “The Guru,” is an author, activist, and Oprah’s spiritual advisor. She is running on a message of love and wants to establish a US. Department of Peace. 

*      *      *

Aside from the CNN program, I have a copy of VOX’s guide to where the 2020 Democrats stand on abortion, the topic the candidates considered crucial. The candidates converge on two important documents: Roe vs Wade, which allows abortion according to women’s right to control their bodies except up to the trimester stage of their pregnancy, and the recent Hyde Amendment, which bans federal funding for abortions, putting Medicaid out of reach for many low-income Americans. 

The female candidates are for Roe v. Wade, and against the Hyde Amendment. Where do the male candidates stand? The same. 

Andrew Young supports codifying Roe and repealing Hyde, and providing “safe and affordable abortion services to all Americans… I have the feeling that if men became pregnant instead of women, there would be absolutely no restriction on reproductive rights.”

Sen. Bernie Sanders believes that abortion is a constitutional right for all women. He supports a Roe litmus test for judges, and his Medicare-for-all-plan would make abortion free to all patients.

Beto O’Rourke’s reproductive rights plan includes repealing Hyde and guaranteeing private insurance coverage for abortion, and codifying Roe in statute.

Bill de Blasio has been at the forefront of expanding abortion rights during his tenure as New York City mayor.

Sen. Cory Booker, pledges to work to repeal Hyde and codify Roe and nominate judges who are supportive of Roe. He promises to take a umber of executive actins to protect reproductive rights, including ending the domestic and global gag rules. If elected, he would create a White House Office of Reproductive Freedom.

Rep. Eric Swalwell is an original co-sponsor of the EACH Woman Act, which would repeal Hyde, and co-sponsor of the Women’s Health Protection Act and of legislation to repeal the global gag rule.

Jay Inslee support repealing Hyde and codifying Roe in statute. He signed Washington state’s Reproductive Parity Act, which guarantees public and private insurance coverage for abortion.

Joe Biden said, “I laid out a health care plan that’s going to provide federally funded health care for all women and women who now are denied even Medicare in their home states.”

John Delaney and John Hikcenlooper supports the Hyde Amendment.

Julian Castro: as former housing and urban development secretary, he committed to nominating judges and Cabinet members who are “pro-choice.” He backs repealing Hyde and codifying Roe v. Wade. “All women should have access to reproductive care, regardless s of their  income or the state they live in.”

Email: Email: dominitorrvillas@gmail.com

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