Meet The Candidates: Michael Bennet

Victory! A feeling Michael Bennet will not have in the presidential race.

Victory! A feeling Michael Bennet will not have in the presidential race.

Michael Bennet is a man who, unlike you, has been personally impacted by humans having health. That’s, at least, what he would like you to believe as he argues passionately that he’s uniquely positioned to understand the challenges of the healthcare system (and why we can’t challenge corporate control of it) because...he’s experienced being sick. In early 2019 he was diagnosed with prostate cancer and underwent a “completely successful” surgery. No update on the billing scenario he faced in the aftermath, though chances are it was less scary than what you as a non-Senator would face in a similar situation. But, you know, we defer to him since apparently he’s the expert.

Beyond having a body, Bennet is also no stranger to other aspects of the universal human experience. For one thing, he was born (in New Delhi during his father’s tenure as ambassador to India) and for another he was raised (primarily in and around Washington, D.C.). He worked in the private sector and in the Clinton Administration before heading to Colorado to work under John Hickenlooper, who was at the time running to be mayor of Denver and was until very recently a fellow candidate for president. Bennet eventually was appointed to be the Superintendent of Denver Public Schools, a job he got the traditional white man way - by having no background in education. His upwards fails continued when, in 2009, Colorado Gov. Bill Ritter appointed him to replace Ken Salazar in the U.S. Senate. His first run for public office was in 2010 to keep a Senate seat he already had.

Bennet is squarely in the center of the non-leftward and quite rightward wing of the Democratic party. He was a very unexciting part of the short-lived “Gang of 8,” the least threatening gang on earth in which John McCain, Lindsey Graham, and Chuck Schumer tried to figure out the whole immigration thing and failed. He’s one of the few Democratic contenders who doesn’t believe in decriminalizing unauthorized border crossings, which is funny because his Polish-Jewish grandparents probably had to make that exact genre border crossing in order to escape the Nazis during WWII. (Bennet is half Jewish and claims his kinship with his fellow Jewish brethren is why he’s supported the Iran deal, but like so many of us he is actually a practicing Christian and also possibly a hypocrite?) 

In summary, Bennet’s exudes pure, uninspiring political moderation. He does not support Medicare-for-All but was one of the sponsors, along with illustrious generic white person Sen. Tim Kaine, of the “Medicare X” plan which would have created a public option. He’s not a cosponsor of the Green New Deal but he has released his own climate change plan that opponents consider wildly...uninspiring political moderation. He’s pro background checks, along with 100% of people, but voted against the most recent iteration of the assault weapons ban and has a C+ rating from the NRA which, frankly, is too high considering what they’ll give you an F for these days. He famously got very mad at Ted Cruz during the 2019 shutdown. And finally, his balder brother is the editorial page director for The New York Times, so that’s probably convenient for him.