Before I get into the who, here are some why…
I’ll vote for someone who I think can work the levers of government. A year ago I worked for a major party during election season, and in the early parts of that, the party primary for governor was going on. Some of the people I called would ask who they should vote for in that election, or–more subtilely–who I was voting for.
I was not going to tell anyone the answer to either of those questions. Firstly, my job was to get people out to vote, not to tell them who they should vote for. The primary was contested between three people. There were a couple of men with some very appealing-sounding ideas. Very Bernie-like. And a woman with a boatload of experience, and some ideas not as far along the progressive dimension as the men. This set of options clarified for me my current selection standards.
One of the men appeared, to me, to be an untrustworthy loon. It seemed clear to me that he couldn’t govern his way out of an open shoebox. The other guy had a little bit of experience in government, and would be working with a legislature controlled by the opposing party. I live in a state with term-limits for state legislators, which means that the legislators are ignorant about solutions until they have been in office long enough to be ineligible. The most they can know is how to use the rules of their office to do things. But the things they do is controlled by professionals within the fields they are trying to legislate about. “Professionals within the field” are also known as lobbyists. Or activists, depending on if you agree with them, I suppose.
So, which candidate to choose? The one with good ideas who can outmaneuver the opposition, rather than the one with better ideas who will be stymied at every turn.
Another factor of relevance is this: former legislators have experience with writing laws, which is good. And, in an era when we should dial back the Imperial Presidency, having the legislature performing legislative control over what the executive can do, and having an executive with some sympathy for that, is a good thing
Moving a current legislator into the executive comes with a cost, though. Congress is narrowly divided, and incumbents know the job better than new-comers (and are more likely to hold the seat, in a squinty-eyed partisan view of things).
So, what candidate to choose? It’s not a great thing to lose a current legislator, all things being equal. All things are never equal, of course, so probably “on balance” is a better way of looking at it.
So… look for a series of posts looking at the various Democratic presidential primary candidates. I’ll probably wait until, like, January of next year before making an actual selection, though.
Obviously, in November of next year, it’ll be “not-Trump.” Because that fascistic power-lusting fellow, and–possibly worse–his hangers-on, should be nowhere near the levers of power.