The Old, Rich Washington Lawyers' Party
The recent mention of Al Gore as a possible alternative to Hillary Clinton suggests that the top five Democrat contenders, if Gore actually gets in the contest, will be, in order: Hillary, Warren, Biden, Gore, and Webb. Governor O’Malley trails even Webb in the polling data, and Bernie Sanders, of course, is a Socialist and not a Democrat. Compare this group to the five most prominent Republicans at this point, who are, by polling data, Bush, Walker, Carson, Paul, and Rubio.
A closer look at these ten potential candidates produces a stark difference in the two political parties. Democrats are lawyers, Ivy League professors, and federal politicians. They live within the Beltway of Boston to Washington. They are old. Everything about these five reeks of insider influence, unproductive jobs on an engorged public teat, and physically living in the Never-Never Land sandwiched among the rich, spoiled Ivy League academia; the global capital of the news media; and Washington D.C., whose only product is government.
Does this sound extreme? Consider that each of these five Democrats dwells in that narrow strip of coastline. Moreover, Hillary’s only elective office was from New York. Biden’s Senate seat was in Delaware. Warren is Massachusetts’s junior senator. Al Gore, a long time ago, was a Tennessee senator, but Gore was born in Washington and lives in Washington. Jim Webb lives in Virginia, but very close to D.C. All five Democrats were members of the Senate, and none were state governors.
In contrast, only two of the five Republicans have been a politician in Washington: Paul and Rubio. Walker and Bush have been governors in states outside the Beltway. Dr. Carson has never been in politics at all. This fits in with where these five Republicans actually live. Bush lives in Florida. Walker lives in Wisconsin. Paul and Rubio, as members of the Senate, spend much of their life in D.C., but their home states of Kentucky and Florida are outside the Beltway. The only one of these five Republicans who actually lives in the Beltway is Dr. Ben Carson, who has never held political office.
Four of the five Democrats, all but Gore, have law degrees. Gore attended, but did not finish, law school. Politics, law, and academia are virtually the only “work” any of these five has done, except Jim Webb, who was a combat veteran in Vietnam and a successful fiction author.
Only one of the five Republicans has a law degree: Marco Rubio. Two of the five are physicians, Ben Carson and Rand Paul. Jeb Bush’s private career was in real estate, finance, and energy. Scott Walker, who did not graduate from college, worked in various private-sector jobs, although he entered local politics at a young age.
All of these five Democrats are old: Hillary (67), Biden (72), Warren (65), Webb (69), and Gore (66). Indeed, the youngest of these five is older than the oldest of the five Republicans: Bush (62), Carson (63), Walker (47), Paul (52), and Rubio (43). The average age of those five Democrats is 67.8 years, while the average age of those five Republicans is 53.4 years. The Republicans are 14.4 years younger, on average.
Finally, these old Washington lawyers are richer than the young Republicans from real America. Here is the estimated wealth of the five Democrats, in order: Gore ($200M), Hillary ($100M), Warren ($12M), Webb ($5M), and Biden ($500,000). The wealthiest Republican, Dr. Carson, is worth $10M, but the net worth drops sharply after that: Walker ($2M), Bush ($1.3M), Paul ($1.1M), and Rubio ($1M).
Americans want change. That cannot come from electing old, rich Washington lawyers who have spent their adult lives inside the Beltway. Yet that is all that Democrats seem capable of offering American voters in 2016. The contrast with Republicans could not been clearer. It is a theme that ought to be made loud and clear from now to next November.