In 2007, Reverend Al Sharpton hosted the Nation Action Network Convention which boasted as a keynote speaker the upcoming political hopeful Barack Obama. A mere junior senator from Illinois at the time, Obama was about to thrown down in a tough Democratic primary with the most notable Presidential candidate in recent history, Hillary Clinton. A relative newcomer to national politics, it wasn’t assured that Obama could overcome Clinton as an opponent much less whomever the GOP elected as their standard-bearer. Obama’s poise and ease at the convention, such as when he ribbed Sharpton for letting his phone ring during his time on stage by asking if it was Hillary on the other line, was a stepping stone towards legitimizing Obama as a candidate to back as President.
It is now 2018 and the convention returns. Unlike 2007, there is not exactly a forerunner (much less two) that will assuredly challenge the GOP for the Oval Office. Rather, there are a crowd of contenders, all on roughly equal footing, that might be readying to throw their hats into the ring. The National Action Network Convention might again become a pivot point for any Presidential hopeful looking to score a win for the Democratic Party.
The most prominent name is former Democratic primary candidate Bernie Sanders who remains among the most popular politicians in America but whose age was already being called to question in 2016, much less how that will be received in 2020. Other names include Kamala Harris, Cory Booker, Elizabeth Warren, Eric Holder, and Kristen Gillibrand. Each either have an issue of being “too old” or “too inexperienced” but will have the opportunity to define themselves as Barack Obama was able to back in 2007.
The aftermath of both the Obama Administration and the results of the 2016 Election has left the Democrats with a power gap for 2020. Against the backdrop of the Trump White House, it will be up to the hungry in the Democratic Party to decide how to fill it.