Democrats have no bench and no diversity in presidential candidates

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There were 19 Republican candidates in New Hampshire this past weekend. Add three more and they could have played a football game.

Among that group were two Hispanics of Cuban descent (Sens. Ted CruzTed CruzTeam Clinton: Sanders will help campaign take on 'rigged system' Clinton brings in the heavy hitters Wasserman Schultz drama overshadows Dem convention MORE of Texas and Marco RubioMarco RubioClinton brings in the heavy hitters Guess which Cuban-American 2016 candidate best set themselves up for 2020? Budowsky: Why Warren masters Trump MORE of Florida), one candidate of Indian heritage (Gov. Bobby Jindal of Louisiana) and one woman (former Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina). African-American former neurosurgeon Ben Carson didn't attend, but is likely to enter the race in May.

Contrast that with the Democratic field for president:

All white. Three males. One female. One candidate in his 70s, two in their 60s and one in his 50s.

Not much diversity there.

Where is the Democratic bench? Answer: It has been decimated in the Age of Obama.

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Since Barack Obama won the presidency, 16 Democratic Senate seats have been won by Republicans. Eleven Democratic governors' offices switched to the GOP in 2010 and three followed in 2014.

Who runs for president? Primarily, governors and senators.

The Democratic Party has no bench.

Liberals are pining for first-term Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) to listen to their pleas and enter the race. To date, she has resisted the pressure of endorsing Clinton. She isn't running.

Who else is there?

Vice President Biden? He's 72 years old and a punchline.

Former Vice President Gore? He is amassing a $200 million fortune, mostly from Al Jazeera, which is owned by the emir of Qatar.

There are no other credible Democratic names, which is remarkable given the political logjam of eight years of President Obama, the leader of the country and the leader of the Democratic Party.

The simple truth is that Obama's record has been politically toxic for congressional Democrats and he has not been interested in building up the Democratic Party.

After a number of potentially strong Republican candidates passed in 2012 (believing that Obama was not beatable for reelection), the flood gates have opened. Cable TV networks will need a wide angle lens to capture the Republican debate stage this fall.

Will Democrats even have debates?

Vibrant political parties have a wide range of views and backgrounds represented in their leadership. They have competitive primaries and vigorous policy debates.

Republicans have these characteristics. It makes this messy at times, but it makes them interesting. The net result of our unpredictable primary will be a battle-tested nominee.

Democrats have a coronation. It will be sleepy, uninteresting and without news value.

The problem with not having a bench?

What happens if your star player is no longer a star?

Mackowiak is syndicated columnist; an Austin, Texas-based Republican consultant; and a former Capitol Hill and George W. Bush administration aide.

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