While it remains to be seen if any Republican cares (or is that, dares) to take on Mr. Trump in the 2020 presidential sweepstakes, it’s obvious there are a plethora of Democratic partisans feeling eminently qualified to replace him in the Oval Office. At last count, there were 13 declared candidates, and 12 maybes.

Based on those numbers, which will surely change, it seems to me that if you subscribe to the basic tenets of the party of FDR, this may be your time to run. C’mon, admit it. There have been times recently when perhaps you’ve thought to yourself, “You know, I bet I could do a better job of being President than that guy.”

Sure, hat-tossing Senators such as Cory Booker, Kirsten Gillibrand, Amy Klobuchar, Elizabeth Warren, and Bernie Sanders, former or current Representatives Tulsi Gabbard, John Delany, and Robert “Beto” O’Rourke, past and present Governors Jay Inslee and John Hickenlooper, former HUD Secretary Julian Castro, businessman Andrew Yang, and spiritual advisor Marianne Williamson may have scooped up a bunch of money already, but there’s plenty more out there. (At least, the government seems to think so.)

Back before the 2016 election, an article in The Washington Postsuggested how easy it was to actually run for president. It may well be that all the above mentioned read that piece. Just in case you missed it, and assuming you’re 35 and a natural born U.S. citizen, Step One said to fill out FED Form 2, Statement of Candidacy. Takes about a minute. You just put in your name, address, party affiliation, office sought, and then designate a Principal Campaign Committee. That can just be something simple like, “NAME for President,” or you can get creative, such as, “I Want To Live In The White House And Fly On Air Force One A Lot.” It’s totally up to you.

Basically, I’m pretty sure Step One allows you to beg, I mean ask, people for money. And no, you can’t use it to buy lottery tickets. Although, come to think of it, that may be a way to raise the big bucks you’ll probably need to run an effective campaign. So maybe it’s okay to play Mega Millionsevery week with donated funds. But you can’t keep any of the winnings for yourself. (I know, I know. What a pity. But it’s the law.)

Next, claimed the article, you have to get your name on the ballot in several states. That doesn’t mean you have to go visit those states if you don’t want to. Personally, were I you, I’d skip North Dakota and Vermont now. Florida might be a good place to put in an appearance if you really want to show your face. And Hawaii. Maybe Arizona or southern California too. But all that travel might get expensive unless you’ve got that campaign committee of yours well-oiled and already raking in the big bucks on your behalf. There is a caveat here: In some states you might have to get signed petitions from lots of registered members of the Democratic Party living there. In California, though, apparently you can get put on the ballot by the Secretary of State in Sacramento. (His name is Alex Padilla, by the way. Maybe you’re related or something.)

Then, you’ll probably need to participate in a debate or two. It used to be the party itself would sponsor these forums. Now the TV networks pretty much run the shows. And they have to invite you. It helps to be on the stage with fellow contenders if you’ve made a splash in the news. So if you could come up with some kind of great plan or even an idea the newsies will run with, that would help. At present, a guaranteed income for everyone, free healthcare, reparations, and the abolishment of the Electoral College have all been taken. So you’ll have to be creative on another front. How about promising “a chicken in every pot”? That worked back in the 1930s. I guess today, however, with the move toward healthier eating, the idea should be amended to, “a bunch of kale in every bowl.” But that’s up to you to decide.

After those three pre-requisites have been met, then really all you need to do is show up in Washington at the Capitol on January 21, 2021. You’ll probably want to put a few thoughts together as you’ll be asked to say a couple of words.

Easy, right? Maybe that’s why so many people have already signed up. Who’s next? You?


©MMXIX. William J. Lewis, III  – Freelance Writer