On the night that the University of Kentucky was playing Mississippi State, I had a choice to make; I could watch the good but inconsistent Wildcats play against a hot Mississippi State team, or I could watch the live debate between the Democratic candidates for President. Like thousands of other Kentuckians, I chose the Wildcats.
It is not that I think choosing the best candidates to run against Donald Trump in November is a trivial matter not deserving my attention. It is that the opinion of Kentucky voters on who should be nominated for President by the two parties is of little or no importance here. By the time Kentucky voters go to the polls in the May primary to vote for President and other local and state offices, we likely will know who will be the two major party candidates.
Because the voice other Kentuckians is so unimportant in choosing the presidential candidates, I chose to pay little attention to the presidential wannabes hoping to become “leader of the free world.” While there still is too much native Buckeye spirit in me to be a die-hard UK fan, I do root for the Wildcats. It’s just that I don’t lose any sleep when they lose. I’m the ultimate fair weather fan.
I did not watch the Democratic presidential debate because there were still too many candidates running for the nomination. I decided I would wait unil the list of candidates was whittled down to just a few before I would pay close attention.
Well, as it always does, the small New England state of New Hampshire has played a major role in choosing the eventual party nominees for President. Two candidates — Colorado Sen. Michael Bennet and businessman Andrew Yang — have already thrown in the towel, and U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s poor showing in New Hampshire won’t help the Massachuetts senator’s chances of gaining her party’s nomination. The former frontrunner may be the latest example of a candidate who peaked too early. The more voters got to know her, the less they liked her.
Pete Buttigieg, the former mayor of South Bend, Indiana, finished second to Bernie Sanders in New Hampshire. But if either one of them gets the party’s nomination, I think Donald Trump will be elated. Sanders, an Independent who votes with the Democrats in the U.S. Senate, is a socialist, and I don’t think the American people are ready for a socialist president. I personally hope they will never be.
Buttigieg is Rhodes scholar. While being mayor of a mid-sized city in Indiana does not seem like much of a stepping stone to president, it is at least as good as — if not better than — Donald Trump’s experience was four years ago. However, Buttigieg is openly gay, and I don’t think a gay man can be elected President in 2020.
Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar may have done well enough in New Hampshire to boost her chances. She has a solid resume, having served in the Senate since 2006, graduated from Yale and the University of Chicago law school.
Former Vice President Joe Biden did not do well in New Hampshire, but he must still be considered one of the favorites for the Democratic nomination. Biden has been a around a long time — so long, in fact, that he inspired one of the columns in my book, “Cannon Fire.”
It was a column published in August 1987, when Biden was forced to withdraw from the Democratic race for President because he had plagiarized quotes made by a candidate for prime minister in Great Britain. Now, 33 years later, Biden still is running for President.
Here we are, more than eight months before we all have the chance to vote for President, and the primaries in small states are eliminating our choices. Does that seem like the best way to choose our President? Not to me, it doesn’t.
Reach JOHN CANNON at email@example.com.