Democrat: Elizabeth Warren

Two things before we begin. One: The Democratic field has a lot of good candidates but none who blows us away. Two: Any of them would be a significant improvement over Agent Orange, so count us firmly in the We’re With Whoever camp. And now, an oversimplified process of elimination: Andrew Yang is a one-trick pony. Nine figures later, we’re still not sure why Tom Steyer is running. Pete Buttigieg, a boomer in millennial skin, has zero support among African Americans and thinks the budget deficit is a top priority. Joe Biden is a decade out of time. Amy Klobuchar is probably a fine choice for a moderate, though the stories about the mistreatment of her staff are suboptimal. The contrarian in us found perverse joy in the notion of endorsing Mike Bloomberg, who will light money on fire and is already renting space in Trump’s head, but we’re not that nihilistic; also, stop-and-frisk.

That leaves Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren.

We’d be happy with either becoming president. We have doubts about the electability of both. Bernie’s going to get hammered as a pinko commie, and for all the energy he generates, his theory about turning out enough new voters to compensate for the scared-shitless suburbs seems like a high-risk wager. Warren has a different problem. Her base is the party’s intellectual class—and editorial boards (we know, we know)— but she hasn’t generated the kind of grassroots excitement that feels like victory.

If 2016 taught us anything, however, it’s that electability is a crapshoot. So instead, we focused on a second question: Who could get stuff done?

Sanders believes the revolution that puts him in office will clear a path for Medicare for All and other sweeping legislation. Throughout his career in Congress, Sanders has been more effective as an advocate for progressive causes than as a nuts-and-bolts lawmaker. Make no mistake: That kind of leadership can be effective for presidents.

But we think this is where Warren will shine. She’s been an in-the-weeds senator and an in-the-weeds candidate, even to her detriment. In a divided Washington where a Democratic president will have to ride herd over a fractious Democratic caucus—from Joe Manchin to, well, Bernie Sanders—her wonkish attention to detail is more likely to get gains.

But to reiterate: Bernie is fine. Warren is fine. We’re With Whoever 2020!

Republican: Bill Weld

Donald Trump is a racist, mendacious, narcissistic child in a septuagenarian’s body. Bill Weld is a grown-up, libertarian-leaning Republican with bipartisan governing experience. Weld has no chance of winning. What a world.

U.S. Senator
Democrat: Cal Cunningham

We punted. We decided. Read our statement on the decision here.

Republican: None of these

Last year, for a fleeting moment, Thom Tillis pretended to be the independent senator he promised to be in 2014. After Trump declared a border emergency—so he could circumvent Congress and divert funds to his precious wall—Tillis wrote an op-ed criticizing the president. Trump and the MAGA crew lost their minds, and within a few weeks, Tillis did a 180, and he’s been kissing Trump’s ass like there’s no tomorrow ever since. Unfortunately, his three primary opponents aren’t any better: Paul Wright is insane; Larry Holmquist is a tea-party nut who ran against Richard Burr in 2016; Sharon Hudson is endorsed by Lincoln-was-a-tyrant-guy Larry Pittman. No thanks.

U.S. House
District 2: Deborah Ross (Democrat)

This bluish seat was created during court-ordered redistricting last year; the two main candidates are Deborah Ross, a former legislator and U.S. Senate candidate, and Monika Johnson-Hostler, a Wake County school board member. While we like both, we think Ross is likely to be more effective.

District 4: David Price (Democrat)

We appreciate what Daniel Lockwood is doing. A socialist, he wants to shift the Overton window away from policies that he believes have failed. But that’s not enough for us. David Price is a local institution, and with Democrats in control of the House, he’s an institution with seniority. Price is smart, he knows his district, and he’s been a progressive leader since before many of us can remember.

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5 replies on “The INDY’s Endorsements for President, U.S. Senate, and Congress”

  1. While I support Warren and Sanders, was this part of the equation again this time around?

    “And, yeah, while we think the world of Bernie, it’s about time we had a woman in charge.” – Indyweek 2016

  2. W.r.t. the necessity of Sanders as “a nuts-and-bolts lawmaker”, all we need is the Senate to sign a treaty with Canada extending their Medicare to citizens of both countries. Consider that massive economy of scale.

  3. Do you remember when Indy Week endorsed Trump for the Republican nomination in 2016? I do. I haven’t trusted this publication since.

  4. I will try not to be too shouty as I am fine with people and groups expressing their views, and I look forward to your input as always. I am curious as to the rationale to the notion that we should not vote for the candidate with the best positions or wants to change the most of our many injustices but instead vote for some candidates that will “work better” or “know the system” I can get the logic I suppose I just know that from history that strategy does not work out that well in the long term, just look at LBJ and the Civil Rights era, sure he did pass several key acts that did much to end segregation. but it did not actually fix all of the issues and we are still here 60 years later and still fighting for the same stuff MLK, SNCC, Black Panthers and so on campaigned for back then. Maybe we need to focus on what the missing piece is here, a movement of us on the streets and a candidate that will shout down the establishment and reveal to us all that is wrong with our system will make it better for us. A candidate like Bernie will not in and of itself fix our issues, getting congressmen who support his agenda will not fix all of the issues, we will need to be out in the streets shutting stuff down and forcing change on a stubborn and powerful elite. Warren, good on some issue quite awful on others, will not inspire activism but passivism and I think that will not be what we need for the country or even our home. I apologize for the length and do not want to really put you all down as I do appreciate and love this paper, I am just curious about this point.
    Also what is the holdup on the Cunningham v. Smith race why even consider Cunningham he has so much big money in his campaign, Why!

    Love you all keep it up

  5. The top priority of the Buttigieg platform is a fight for democratic institutions. His #1 stated goal according to answer in the last debate is protecting the vote with reforms like HR1. He is polling at a dismal 4% and Klobuchar is polling at literally 0% among black voters. Your description of him as a boomer in a millennial skin suit is, I guess, an attempt to explain his cool headed, commanding, uniting demeanor in a negative light by using ageist rhetoric? He has the broadest coalition with respect to getting support from all age groups and ideologies and I think can certainly connect with the black community on issues of voters rights, faith, and service to our country. Flawless he is not, but we destroy a chance at great outcomes if we are waiting for perfect.

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