Bill Clinton, Hillary Clinton, Harry Reid, Nancy Pelosi and, of course, Barack Obama are the leading names in the Democratic Party today. But, where in the world are the young, inspiring new leaders for the next decade (or at least through 2012) that will bring fresh ideas, programs and vision to the American public?
Let's face facts. The Democrats seem like the old and aging political party at the moment. The Democrats today remind me of the Washington Redskins football team. They were both full of hope early in the season. And then they faded and our attention moved elsewhere.
While the Democrats have a lack of new national leaders, the Republican Party is bursting at the seams with new contenders ready to take on their role on the American political scene. Marco Rubio, Chris Christie, Mitch Daniels, Haley Barbour, Nikki Haley, Rob Portman, Kristi Noem, Bob McDonnell, Scott Brown, Eric Cantor, Susana Martinez, Brian Sandoval, Tim Scott and the list goes on of rising telegenic new superstars from the GOP with no real counterparts in the Democratic party.
The Democrats sound old and stale and the Rangel censure leaves a bad taste that they have been around for too long in power. It also presents an excellent case for term limits.
So who is out there for the Democrats? The new Governor of New York will become a national leader. Andrew Cuomo, the son of a former governor who is dating celebrity chef Sandra Lee, will become one of the new faces of the Democratic party.
While the incoming governor of California, Jerry Brown, belongs in the category mentioned above of Democrats who have been in power for too long, his new Lt. Governor Gavin Newsom is a fresh face for the Democrats on the West coast. The former mayor of San Francisco will, in all likelihood, be running for governor of California in four years and could become a national figure in the party.
Also, in California a new Democrat who could have national aspirations is Kamala Harris, the newly elected Attorney General in a very closely contested election. Kamala is the first woman, first African-American, and first Indian-American ever elected as Attorney General in California. She is someone that will bear watching.
But from there, the list of new progressive Democrats with a national future looks slim indeed. If anyone out there can provide me with names I would appreciate it.
I am writing a book on leaders for the next decade and so far am top heavy with Republicans so I am busily searching for up and coming Democrats to feature and interview.
Where are the Marco Rubios of the Democratic party? If the Democrats cannot present a new and inspiring face with fresh politicians, they will be seen as the party of the past.
No one can say that the Clintons are not the most popular Democrats on the national scene at the moment, both of whom are performing worthwhile jobs but they don't necessarily convey the future to American voters trying to decide which party will help them the most in 2012.
The debate over extending Bush tax cuts has been extremely shallow, with Democrats in Congress crying out about not wanting to help millionaires and billionaires while the president and leader of the party has been doing just that over the past two years with his overly generous support of Wall Street and business interests.
The Democrats not only need new ideas for the new decade but they need new leaders to deliver their message. At this point in time these new faces for the Democrats seem to be missing in action.
The Democrats can always say what the Redskins fan do year after year: Wait Until Next Year. But what happens when next year looks as bleak as this one?
The 2012 campaigns are already upon us and without any new fresh faces with creative ideas the other side of Congress could be lost two years from now and I won't even mention the possibility of a one term president in this blog -- will save that for later.....