Democrats badly in need of a messiah

Few of the candidates show signs of winning the hearts of a party that likes to fall in love

The Democrats aiming to unseat President Donald Trump include (from left) Pete Buttigieg, Elizabeth Warren, Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders. The writer says that with the election approaching, none of the leading candidates shows much promise of uniting
The Democrats aiming to unseat President Donald Trump include (from left) Pete Buttigieg, Elizabeth Warren, Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders. The writer says that with the election approaching, none of the leading candidates shows much promise of uniting a disparate base.PHOTO: NYTIMES

It started with a bang. Democrats in the United States were tripping over themselves at the start of this year to audition as their party's chief Trump-slayer. Even the local dogcatcher could defeat Mr Donald Trump, people joked. The field was the largest and most diverse in history - record numbers of women, non-whites, the first openly gay candidate, young aspirants and old.

Among those still standing, few show signs of winning the hearts of a party that likes to fall in love, as the saying goes. It was Democrats, after all, who produced John F. Kennedy and Barack Obama. Who will be their saviour in 2020?

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on December 20, 2019, with the headline 'Democrats badly in need of a messiah'. Subscribe