Now that Jay Inslee has ended his campaign for the Democratic presidential nomination, I have to choose a new candidate to support. To that end, I recently watched the CNN town hall on climate change, which actually consisted of a lot of town halls, one for each participating contender.
I generally liked them all, but three stood out in my mind.
One is Elizabeth Warren. I haven’t been impressed with her previous discussions of climate change, but this time she managed to impress me. This woman is “wicked smart” and she does her homework. And, she intends to do the right thing. As a president, I think she’ll be a good choice for the climate fight.
As a candidate, I’m not so sure. She’s very animated and sometimes close to “strident.” I think this can lead to an unfavorable impression — one which has no basis in logic, and which has a lot to do with the fact that she’s female rather than male, but is still a real phenomenon.
Another is Pete Buttigieg. He’s one of two candidates who tended to pay attention to the question that was asked. He also spoke with a calmness, and a tone of genuine compassion, which I see as a winning attribute in a candidate.
The one who impressed me most, is perhaps the one I least expected to: Andrew Yang. He is well-informed, smart, and has done his homework. He knows the issue — really, I get the impression he might know the details better than the others. He said nothing about angry retribution for climate crimes, he talked about solutions — the emphasis is on problem solving. His plans are truly bold, but such that people can wrap their minds around them. On several specifics, he echoed my own opinion (e.g. nuclear power — don’t count on it, but don’t discourage it either because it can’t save us but it can help). And, he spoke with calmness, a firm tone of leadership, and with the true confidence that comes from ability and knowledge.
And, more than any other, Yang actually answered the questions he was asked. It was a breath of fresh air.
So I’m still undecided. I like Elizabeth Warren, but I see weaknesses as a candidate (not as a president). I have the same opinion of Bernie, who I also like. I like Buttigieg but his homosexuality could be a big weakness as a candidate (not as a president). And this Andrew Yang guy impresses the hell out of me.
Climate change bottom line: well done by most candidates, but Yang clearly best.
General bottom line: Too often, far too often, the candidates (all except Yang and maybe Buttageig), when asked a question, launched into a speech having little or nothing to do with the question. By the time they finished, you couldn’t even remember what the question was! Fortunately CNN was smart enough to put the question at the bottom of the screen while the candidate was speaking (good job!).