Approximately 20 Democratic presidential hopefuls are attempting to remove President Donald Trump from the White House in 2020.
Getting to Know Sen. Michael Bennet
If Senator Michael Bennet (D-Colo.) becomes the 46th President of the United States of America, Citizens United (allowing labor unions and corporations to advocate for certain political candidates) might become a thing of the past.
And Sen. Bennet would not stop at Citizens United because he wants a lifetime ban on Congressmen becoming political lobbyists, automatic voter registration, statehood for the District of Columbia, a ban on political gerrymandering, ranked choice voting and more transparency on super PAC fundraising spending.
To put it bluntly, Bennet wants to totally shake up the American political system.
Bennet said, “So much of what we want to get done, from climate to healthcare to changing tax code, is going to require us to reform the way this democracy works.”
The senator from Colorado continued, “There’s not an alternative mechanism for us to resolve our disputes and move the country ahead. If we need to clean it up the way Teddy Roosevelt cleaned it up when he became president, before we can do a lot of this work, that’s something we need to do.”
And unlike many of his Democratic presidential opponents, Bennet does not believe that simply removing President Donald Trump from the White House will bring about unity amongst politicians.
He sees the division amongst political parties as something more systemic that needs to be addressed in the legislative branch as well as the executive branch.
Bennet said, “This idea, somehow, that Donald Trump is the problem, and if we get [rid of] Donald Trump, it’ll all go back to the bipartisan work that was done here, some people are saying. That’s clearly incorrect.”
The Democratic presidential hopefuls says with the skyrocketing price of elections thanks to Citizens United, more gerrymandering and the removal of certain key elements of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, has led to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and the House Freedom Caucus playing “shutdown politics.”
The concept of shutdown politics has allowed the House to shutdown bills, without a vote, that make it through the Senate.
Citing the “Gang of 8” immigration bill as an example, Bennet said, “We’ve made almost no progress over the last 10 years. I don’t want to be here 10 years from now, we wasted another decade of the American people’s time, and that’s why I’m running for president.”
However, Bennet’s plan to ban former Congressmen from working as political lobbyists has gained some traction and bipartisan support.
The lifetime ban for Congressmen even has support from one of Bennet’s biggest adversaries, Senator Ted Cruz (R-Texas).
Bennet famously went viral after he voiced his displeasure with the 35-day government shutdown in early 2019, criticizing Sen. Cruz’s “crocodile tears.”
The viral rant seemed the opposite of Bennet’s usual low-key personality.
Liberal Democrat Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) has also supported the idea of a lifetime lobbyist ban for former Congressmen.
“For a long time, I couldn’t get anyone on that bill,” said Bennet. “I don’t know if they’ve got their own plan, but I hope they look at my plan.”
Bennet introduced legislation to ban Congressmen from working as lobbyists several times, even campaigning on the issue in 2010.
Nevertheless, Bennet disagrees with colleagues who want to do away with the filibuster.
Bennet also disagrees with Mayor Pete Buttigieg who wants to expand the United States Supreme Court from nine judges to 15 judges.
“Nobody has said to the American people, ‘Oh, here’s why we need to pack the Supreme Court,’” said Bennet while shaking his head. “They’re just ignored in the [glare] of the cable television lights and in the competition to try to raise money to satisfy the DNC.”
Mayor Buttigieg wants five Democratic justices, five Republican justices and five chosen by the other 10 judges.
Bennet disagrees citing Buttigieg’s lack of experience in Washington, D.C., saying, “I think if he had seen it up close, he might have a different approach.”
Despite Bennet’s criticism of the 15-judge system, Elizabeth Warren, Cory Booker (D-N.J.), Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) say that they are open to the idea of 15 judges, with 10 from the two dominant political parties.
Before dropping out of the presidential race, Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) said that she would consider the 15-judge United States Supreme Court idea.
Despite his bold plans to change the political power structure in Washington, D.C., Bennet has yet to make a dent in Democratic polls.
Some publications have openly asked why Bennet remains in the race for the White House.
Nevertheless, Bennet did receive a key endorsement last weekend at the New Hampshire Democratic Party Convention on Sept. 7.
Former presidential candidate (1984) and Colorado Senator Gary Hart endorsed Bennet for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination.
Stunningly, Hart beat Walter Mondale in the New Hampshire Democratic primary in 1984 after Mondale easily won the Iowa caucus.
Mondale was the Democratic favorite going into the New Hampshire primary.
However, Mondale lost New Hampshire because the state allowed a large group of independent voters to participate in the 1984 Democratic primary.
Hart said that Bennet “has the intellectual capacity at all levels” to become the next President of the United States of America.
Although many have said that Bennet’s moderate views have made it difficult to stand out in a pack of progressives, Hart does not see Bennet’s moderate views as an impediment to success in the 2020 Democratic presidential primary.
Hart said, “I don’t think the Democratic Party at its core has changed all that much,” in regards to critics who have stated that the Democrats have gotten too liberal with their policies.
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