There is No Shortage of Talent and Promise

A Brief Look at Democratic Up and Comers

Good News?

I mentioned last week that we would take a look this week at some promising politicians among Democrats, looking towards 2024 and beyond. This is by no means an exhaustive list – this is simply a few that I have noticed that auger well for the country should they continue to rise in the ranks.


Let’s start at the top. It is too soon in his tenure too say for sure, But Hakim Jeffries is giving every indication of being an exceptionally solid and capable leader in the House. Should be find the opportunity to serve as Speaker, I expect him to do well. So far, he has kept a very diverse membership unified, on message, and in good spirits, engaging at every opportunity.

Two others come to mind who ran for president last time that could do so again should Biden decide not to run (which I do not expect to be the case at this point) or in 2028. One of these is Amy Klobuchar. The only negative I hear about her is that she is very tough on her staff. But her staff turnover is not bad.

She is a consummate legislator and organizer, knows how to reach across the aisle and how to fight, and has mastered all the important issues. I thought she was an excellent candidate last time, would welcome her back in the arena. Her campaign last time was pretty solid but did not catch fire.

Another one I have long admired who I think could do the job well is Senator Cory Booker of New Jersey. He is one of the deepest and most caring members of Congress. I think he is an unlikely run again – his campaign just never caught on, but we could sure do a lot worse. I hope he has a leadership role going forward.

There are several new members of the House that look promising. Again, too soon to tell, but several who are veterans, have community volunteer and leadership experience, and seem both intellectually strong and communicative. Let’s see how they do.


More than a couple that look promising, but here are some I have my eye on. One is the newly elected governor of Maryland, Governor Wes Moore. I admit to a personal prejudice here – he is a fellow 82ndAirborne Division vet, having led troops in combat in Afghanistan. Clearly a bright fellow (phi beta cappa out of John Hopkins and a Rhodes Scholar), a published author, and a good mix of business, public service, and political experience.

He is also the first Black governor of his state, only the 3rd Black elected governor in the country’s history. He strikes me as well grounded, practical yet visionary, and capable across the board, with very high potential for national leadership. Check out his biography: .

Others are a bit better known and also show the kind of leadership one would hope to see rise in America. Here I would include (in no special order) Tim Walz of Minnesota, Josh Shapiro of Pennsylvania, Michelle Lujan Frisham of New Mexico, and Andy Beshear of Kentucky. Others that are less likely but possible include Jay Inslee of Washington (whose campaign never caught on last time) and Roy Cooper of NC.


Oh yeah. Let’s not forget that guy Joe Biden. Yep, I worry about his age as do many people, but he has proven to be a much better president than I hoped for, in almost every area. And he has become, late in life, a heck of a good campaigner. History is going to look very favorably on Biden, whether he is a one term or two term president. We owe him a lot already for what he has accomplished.

You will note that I have not included the current Vice President on this list. She has long been problematic in my view. By all accounts, she was an above average state attorney general, and I know she was a top tier senator. But her campaign for president never caught fire. I never got the feeling of knowing even why she was running.

She seems to be doing better of late as VP, but still does not strike me as very good at this. Given her performance and past campaign, this does not look like the future to me.

I remain a real fan of Secretary of Transportation Buttigieg, but who knows if the country is yet bold enough to go for him. Not likely, but not impossible.

Who Else?

There is a lot of rising talent out there at all levels, and new generations coming online. Too soon to know most of them, but what I see and here at all levels is encouraging to say the least.

What about the Republicans? I think there is a better than even chance that Trump will not get their nomination, but looking at the party nationally, it is hopelessly corrupted and damaged by the MAGA movement.

The amount of anger, alienation, extremism, and racism so firmly entrenched in that party is unlike anything we have seen since the early 1900’s. There are too many within party leadership who foster that anger and alienation for the most base reasons. The few moderates left are irrelevant. Sure would like to see a genuine moderate right of center party rise up and offer a constructive vision. The Republican party of today is a disgrace. Would be conservatives, and the country, deserve better than this.

See you next week. A completely different change of pace coming for that one. I hope you will have fun with it.

       Bill Clontz

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3 replies to There is No Shortage of Talent and Promise

  1. Personally, I like Manchin at the moment. He has been good at working both sides of the aisle. That is certainly needed.

    • Actually, feels to me like he has worked the other side more than his own Lets see how we all do going forward.

  2. I think your closing question may be an even more important one, that is, who will the Republicans nominate? While I absolutely detest The Donald for his personality, his ethics, and his message, I wonder whether his nomination — and subsequent defeat . . . aye, there’s the rub — would be the best for United States and the free world. It certainly depends on his success at alienating enough voters to assure that defeat and would hopefully have significant down-ballot benefits. Helluva dice roll, though.

    Looking in a positive direction, I would like to see John Kasich reappear on the national stage. Sadly, since he stumped for the Democrats in 2020 this is unlikely.

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