Hillary Clinton's crushing and surprising loss continues to disappoint Dems around the country, but it hasn't stopped some from wondering who will take Clinton's place on the Democratic ticket in 2020. Assuming Donald Trump runs for reelection, who would be best suited to run against him? Somebody like Bernie Sanders that appeals to disaffected whites, or Michelle Obama, who would likely be able to recreate the winning coalition that won her husband the White House twice but didn't show up for Clinton? Who will run for president in 2020?
There are plenty of options, but neither Sanders nor Michelle is likely. Sanders due to his age and the First Lady due to her adamance that she will not be running for office. That said, either would have a core group of supporters happy to vote for him or her, and Sanders says he won't rule it out.
What would really be interesting would be to see the two both enter the primary, although it would likely widen the rift caused by the Clinton-Sanders primary that some are pointing to as the reason for Clinton's loss this go-round. The most likely contenders, put forward by both places like The Hill and Billboard.com, run the gamut from Sanders-style progressive populism to more centrist Dems like Obama or Clinton.
First, take a look at Elizabeth Warren: She has been put forward as the natural successor to Sanders given her opposition to Wall Street and the decision of the Obama administration not to criminally prosecute anyone from the big banks who arguably caused the great recession. Meanwhile, Corey Booker could be a sensible choice to try and carry forward the Obama coalition thanks to his use of social media — he even had a reality TV show should he be up against Trump and need to fight fire with fire.
Also with entertainment experience is Al Franken, the senator from Minnesota, author, and former Saturday Night Live performer. His wit, combined with serious politics may be the perfect way for Dems to get under Trump's skin on the campaign trail while proving Trump unfit for office. Also in the realm of white men are Tim Kaine and Sherrod Brown, both senators from their respective states of Virginia and Ohio. Brown has been further to the left on economic issues, much like Warren and Sanders, while Kaine grew to prominence as Clinton's vice presidential choice. Martin O'Malley has also been mentioned given his run (albeit short) in this year's primary.
Also on the list are more women. Clinton may have been attacked with sexism, but that does not mean the Dems should stop considering them at the top of the ticket. In addition to Warren are sitting Senators Amy Klobuchar and Kirsten Gillibrand of Minnesota and New York, respectively. Both have been seen as natural successors to Clinton (and Gillibrand literally succeeded Clinton as senator). A newer name on the national stage is Kamala Harris, who just won her race to become California's junior senator and the first Indian-American senator ever.
Then there's always a chance that Clinton would run again, and while many think she would be an amazing choice, that's quite the long shot at this point. Regardless of who it is, we should have a good two years before the campaign takes over our lives again.