Michael Bennet must find a way to stand out in the crowd

Michael Bennet must find a way to stand out in the crowd
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Just when you thought it’s safe to go back into the water, another Democratic presidential candidate takes the plunge. The latest candidate to dip his toes into the water is Sen. Michael BennetMichael Farrand BennetHillicon Valley: Facebook considers political ad ban | Senators raise concerns over civil rights audit | Amazon reverses on telling workers to delete TikTok Senators raise concerns over Facebook's civil rights audit House Democrats chart course to 'solving the climate crisis' by 2050 MORE (D-Colo.). The week before it was former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenTrump commutes Roger Stone's sentence Hillicon Valley: Facebook considers political ad ban | Senators raise concerns over civil rights audit | Amazon reverses on telling workers to delete TikTok House Democrat warns about 'inaccurate' polls: Trump voters 'fundamentally undercounted' MORE. Montana Gov. Steve Bullock may be the next candidate to drop into the race. New York City Mayor Bill de BlasioBill de BlasioThe Hill's Coronavirus Report: Fauci says focus should be on pausing reopenings rather than reverting to shutdowns; WHO director pleads for international unity in pandemic response Trump calls New York City 'hellhole' after court upholds subpoena from city prosecutors NYPD retirements surge over 400 percent amid tensions with mayor MORE is considering a run.

Bennet’s family has a rich political pedigree. The senator from the Rocky Mountain State was born in New Delhi in 1964. His father, Douglas Bennet was an aide to the American ambassador to India. His father also served as an aide to Presidents Jimmy Carter and Bill ClintonWilliam (Bill) Jefferson ClintonFacebook ad boycott is unlikely to solve the problem — a social media standards board would Kanye West says he had coronavirus The Hill's 12:30 Report- Presented by Facebook - Trump threatens schools' funding over reopening MORE and Vice President Hubert Humphrey. His grandfather was an economic adviser to Franklin Delano Roosevelt. His brother James Bennet is the editorial page editor for the New York Times.

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Bennet’s political career is closely bound to the fortunes of one of the other Democratic presidential candidates, former Colorado Gov. John HickenlooperJohn Hickenlooper Senate outlook slides for GOP The Hill's Campaign Report: Colorado, Utah primary results bring upsets, intrigue The Hill's Morning Report - Republicans shift, urge people to wear masks MORE. During Hickenlooper’s tenure as mayor of Denver, Bennet was the mayor’s chief of staff from 2003 until 2005 and then served as the Denver superintendent of public schools.

He was appointed to the U.S Senate in 2009 to serve out the term of Sen. Ken Salazar who became secretary of Interior in the Obama Administration. He won the Senate seat on his own in 2010 and was re-elected in 2016.

Presidential priorities

Bennet was the managing director of the investment firm, Anschutz in Denver before he entered the political arena, so he is not a firebreather by any stretch of the imagination. He has a relatively moderate voting record in the Senate. He sees himself as a “pragmatic idealist” He has tried to reach across party lines. In 2013, he was a member of the Gang of 8, a bipartisan group of senators who crafted a compromise on the contentious immigration issue. But compromise is not in fashion in Washington and the effort failed. 

He does not support “Medicare for All.” Rather he would allow Americans to opt into Medicare if they choose to do so. The senator’s own health could be an impediment to his campaign. Bennet announced last month that he had been diagnosed with prostate cancer. He had surgery which his office said was successful. He said that his medical problem inspired him to make health care reform an essential issue in his presidential campaign.

Bennet will build upon his business and managerial experience in his quest for the presidency. Bennet believes the U.S. faces enormous challenges like the lack of economic mobility and opportunity for most Americans. 

His presidential priorities would be an opt-in government-run health insurance system, tax cuts for families with children and increased spending on education.

A face in the crowd 

The size of the Democratic field is 22 and counting. This could be awkward since there are only 20 spots available for the Democratic presidential debate on June 26. 

The Democratic presidential pool is like Noah’s Ark; there are two or more of everything. 

The presence of so many Democratic candidates creates redundancies and makes it difficult for the senator from Colorado or any other candidate with the exceptions of Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersTrump glosses over virus surge during Florida trip The Hill's Coronavirus Report: Fauci says focus should be on pausing reopenings rather than reverting to shutdowns; WHO director pleads for international unity in pandemic response Ex-Sanders aide says Biden unity task forces need to go farther MORE (I-Vt.) and former Vice President Joe Biden to stand out.

U.S. senators running for the Democratic presidential nomination could be a category on Jeopardy. There are seven senators in the race, Bennet, Sanders, Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth WarrenDemocrats blast Trump for commuting Roger Stone: 'The most corrupt president in history' Pharma pricing is a problem, but antitrust isn't the (only) solution The Hill's Campaign Report: Democratic Unity Taskforce unveils party platform recommendations MORE of Massachusetts, Kamala HarrisKamala Devi HarrisHillicon Valley: Facebook considers political ad ban | Senators raise concerns over civil rights audit | Amazon reverses on telling workers to delete TikTok Senators raise concerns over Facebook's civil rights audit Biden's marijuana plan is out of step with public opinion MORE of California, Cory BookerCory Anthony BookerDemocrats blast Trump for commuting Roger Stone: 'The most corrupt president in history' Koch-backed group urges Senate to oppose 'bailouts' of states in new ads Data shows seven Senate Democrats have majority non-white staffs MORE of New Jersey, Amy KlobucharAmy KlobucharThe Hill's Coronavirus Report: Fauci says focus should be on pausing reopenings rather than reverting to shutdowns; WHO director pleads for international unity in pandemic response State election officials warn budget cuts could lead to November chaos Biden strikes populist tone in blistering rebuke of Trump, Wall Street MORE from Minnesota and New Yorker Kirsten GillibrandKirsten GillibrandDemocratic lawmakers call for expanding, enshrining LGBTQ rights The Hill's 12:30 Report: Fauci 'aspirationally hopeful' of a vaccine by winter The Hill's Morning Report - Officials crack down as COVID-19 cases soar MORE.  In addition, two former senators are in the fight, Biden and Mike Gravel of Alaska.

The Senate Judiciary Committee itself — which has played a prominent role in the Brett KavanaughBrett Michael KavanaughOVERNIGHT ENERGY: WH pushed for 'correction' to Weather Service tweet contradicting Trump in 'Sharpiegate' incident, watchdog says | Supreme Court rules that large swath of Oklahoma belongs to Native American tribe Five takeaways from Supreme Court's rulings on Trump tax returns In rueful praise of Elena Kagan: The 'Little Sisters' ruling MORE confirmation hearing and the investigation of the Mueller Report — has three members in the race, Harris, Klobuchar and Booker. There are two candidates Bennet and Hickenlooper from the Rocky Mountain State. 

There is representation from all levels of government.

Two western governors, Jay InsleeJay Robert Inslee121 University of Washington students test positive for coronavirus Barr praises Seattle police chief as officers clear protest zone OVERNIGHT ENERGY: House Democrats chart course to 'solving the climate crisis' by 2050 | Commerce Department led 'flawed process' on Sharpiegate, watchdog finds | EPA to end policy suspending pollution monitoring by end of summer MORE of Washington and Hickenlooper are running. A third, Bullock is waiting in the wings. Four members of the U.S. House of Representatives are in the race, Tulsi GabbardTulsi GabbardFinancial firms facing serious hacking threat in COVID-19 era Gabbard drops defamation lawsuit against Clinton It's as if a Trump operative infiltrated the Democratic primary process MORE representing Hawaii, Seth MoultonSeth MoultonHouse panel votes to constrain Afghan drawdown, ask for assessment on 'incentives' to attack US troops Overnight Defense: House panel votes to ban Confederate flag on all Pentagon property | DOD report says Russia working to speed US withdrawal from Afghanistan | 'Gang of Eight' to get briefing on bounties Thursday Democrats expect Russian bounties to be addressed in defense bill MORE of Massachusetts, Eric SwalwellEric Michael SwalwellTrump administration moves to formally withdraw US from WHO Swalwell: Trump 'makes us look like geniuses every day for impeaching him' Voters must strongly reject the president's abuses by voting him out this November MORE of California and Tim RyanTimothy (Tim) RyanDemocrats see victory in Trump culture war House Democrat calls for 'real adult discussion' on lawmaker pay The Hill's Coronavirus Report: San Francisco Gay Men's Chorus Artistic Director Tim Seelig says choirs are dangerous; Pence says, 'We have saved lives' MORE from Ohio are running. The field includes two mayors, Pete ButtigiegPete ButtigiegBiden campaign hires top cybersecurity officials to defend against threats Biden strikes populist tone in blistering rebuke of Trump, Wall Street Buttigieg's new book, 'Trust,' slated for October release MORE of South Bend, Indi. and Wayne MessamWayne Martin MessamKey moments in the 2020 Democratic presidential race so far Wayne Messam suspends Democratic presidential campaign 2020 primary debate guide: Everything you need to know ahead of the November forum MORE of Miramar, Fla. New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio is another possibility.

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Nonwhite groups are well represented in the Democratic race for president. There are three black candidates, Booker, Harris and Messmer. The field includes two candidates who have Asian backgrounds, entrepreneur Andrew YangAndrew YangBiden campaign to take over 'Supernatural' star's Instagram for interview Hillicon Valley: Justice Department announces superseding indictment against WikiLeaks' Assange | Facebook ad boycott gains momentum | FBI sees spike in coronavirus-related cyber threats | Boston city government bans facial recognition technology The Hill's Campaign Report: Progressives feel momentum after primary night MORE and Harris, which may be the function of Asians being the fastest growing minority group in the country.  Julian CastroJulian CastroTrump tweets his support for Goya Foods amid boycott Joe Biden must release the results of his cognitive tests — voters need to know Former HUD Secretary: Congress 'should invest 0B in direct rental assistance' MORE, the former Secretary of Housing and Urban Development, is Latino.

Bennet is just one candidate in what seems to be a cast of thousands in the Democratic field. He will need to find his place in the sun, or he will just another anonymous face in the crowd.

Brad Bannon is a Democratic pollster and CEO of Bannon Communications Research. He is also the host of a radio podcast “Dateline D.C. With Brad Bannon” that airs on the Progressive Voices Network. Follow him on Twitter @BradBannon.

This is the 15th piece in a series of profiles by Bannon on 2020 Democratic hopefuls. Read his analysis on Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), Rep. Seth Moulton (D-Mass.), Sen. Cory Booker (D-New Jersey), Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-Calif.), Rep. Tim Ryan (D-Ohio)Mayor Pete ButtigiegSen. Kirsten Gillibrand’s (D-N.Y.), former Rep. Beto O’Rourkeformer Govs. Jay Inslee and John Hickenlooper, former Vice President Joe BidenSen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), former HUD Secretary Julian CastroSen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) and Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.)