RadioOnFire.com – The Democratic presidential candidates all have something unique that captures their identity. It could be a signature proposal or issue, or a broad theme they’ll run on — or it could be their personality if they don’t have a substantive idea that stands out.
Here’s the one big thing for each candidate — what you should know if you know nothing else about them.
- Joe Biden: Hey, remember Obama? (Also: I can beat Trump.)
- Bernie Sanders: Revolution! Thanks to me. (He takes credit for pushing the rest of the field toward progressive proposals he championed first, like “Medicare for All.”)
- Pete Buttigieg: The fresh face. (How many other Midwestern, gay, millennial, Afghanistan veteran mayors are in the race?)
- Kamala Harris: The “largest working and middle-class tax cut in a generation,” as she calls it. The LIFT Act would provide a tax credit of up to $6,000 a year.
- Elizabeth Warren: The “wealth tax.” (A 2% tax on Americans with more than $50 million in assets.) She’s also running a policy-heavy campaign in general.
- Beto O’Rourke: As of this week, it’s his $5 trillion climate change plan.
- Cory Booker: His theme is “Justice for All,” including criminal justice reform and an expansion of the Earned Income Tax Credit.
- Amy Klobuchar: She depicts herself as a practical Democrat. Her first policy proposal was a $1 trillion infrastructure plan.
- Michael Bennet: Another moderate who calls himself a “pragmatic idealist.” (He rejects popular Democratic proposals like Medicare for All and free college.)
- Julián Castro: He’s put out an immigration plan that rolls back policies implemented by Trump and George W. Bush.
- John Delaney: He promises only bipartisan proposals in his first 100 days.
- Tulsi Gabbard: She says she’s anti-war and will talk to “both adversaries and friends in the pursuit of peace.”
- Kirsten Gillibrand: She has emphasized issues like sexual assault and reproductive rights, but her first campaign proposal is a “clean elections” campaign finance plan.
- Mike Gravel: He’s running on a platform of “ending all wars.”
- John Hickenlooper: He’s a centrist and is basing his campaign on that, criticizing progressive Democratic proposals like the Green New Deal.
- Jay Inslee: He’s basing his campaign on fighting climate change.
- Wayne Messam: His big idea is canceling student loan debt. (His campaign advisers hope he’ll do well in the southern states and with African-American voters.)
- Seth Moulton: Foreign policy, national security and defense.
- Tim Ryan: He says he wants to “rebuild the middle class.” (He’s concerned about the decline of the industrial Midwest.)
- Eric Swalwell: He’s running on gun control.
- Marianne Williamson: She’s calling for a “moral and spiritual awakening.”
- Andrew Yang: He wants to give every citizen $1,000 a month — a universal basic income — to combat job replacement from automation.
The bottom line: Is this all you need to know? Of course not. Go study them, hear them talk, watch them debate this summer. But this should help you cut through the noise.