How many of these candidates do you recognize?


The above image was included in an email I received today, showing most (but not quite all) of the Democrats running for president.

I gave myself a test: How many could I name, without thinking about it, just from these mug shots?

I didn’t do too great. I got 12, I think. I might even be wrong on one or two. Of course, I’m at a disadvantage because I follow the campaign through the written word, and to a lesser extent by radio and podcasts. So I’ve read or heard a good deal about people I’ve seldom if ever seen pictured.

At the same time, if I don’t recognize you, you might have a bit of an uphill climb.

Here are the ones I could name, with question marks next to ones I wasn’t 100 percent sure of:

  1. Bernie Sanders (or maybe Larry David; it’s hard to tell)
  2. Kamala Harris
  3. Elizabeth Warren
  4. Cory Booker
  5. Amy Klobuchar?
  6. Kirsten Gillibrand
  7. Beto O’Rourke
  8. Tulsi Gabbard?
  9. Seth Moulton
  10. Pete Buttigieg
  11. Andrew Yang?
  12. Joe Biden

25 thoughts on “How many of these candidates do you recognize?

  1. Jeff Jordan

    I wish your numbers corresponded to the position in the grid, so I can compare my answers against yours. I’m not 100% sure which one is Hickenlooper, even looking at images of him on the web while looking at the grid.

    1. Brad Warthen Post author

      The white guys tend to run together for me; the women and minorities are easier to recognize.

      Although I admit I didn’t know the black man next to Biden, or the woman before him…

      Here are the pictures to which my names correspond, in order left to right:

      I named the first six on the first row (Bernie Sanders, Kamala Harris, Elizabeth Warren, Cory Booker, Amy Klobuchar, Kirsten Gillibrand); I just didn’t know the white guy on the far right.

      On the second row, I’m naming the first two and the sixth (Beto O’Rourke, Tulsi Gabbard, Seth Moulton).

      On the last row, I’m naming the first, fourth and seventh ones (Pete Buttigieg, Andrew Yang, Joe Biden)…

      1. Brad Warthen Post author

        I’m not sure, but I THINK the woman I didn’t recognize is Marianne Williamson. The one who wants to create a Cabinet-level “Department of Peace.”

        Which makes me go, “Duh. We already have a Peace Corps. And it actually DOES things around the world, things to make people’s live better. And it’s been doing it for almost six decades…”

  2. bud

    In addition to Brad’s:

    Tim Ryan
    ? Higgenlooper (sp)
    Jay Inslee
    Julian Castro
    John Delaney
    Erik Swalwell (sp)
    Cory Bennet

    Don’t know the 2 to the left of Joe Biden. Full disclosure, I didn’t know Mr. Yang’s first name.

    1. Brad Warthen Post author

      Bud, don’t feel bad about Yang. At first, I typed “Wang.” But that didn’t seem right (how could anything “wang” be right?) I had to look him up to get his name, so maybe I should have listed him. But I knew who he was, despite the confusion over the name.

      And I was really kicking myself, because I KNEW that his name reminded me of the far more famous Andrew Young. I had made that connection before. I just forgot it for a moment…

      1. Brad Warthen Post author

        I figured I should rat myself out on that, in case any of you think it was cheating, and my score should only be 11. Whatever y’all think…

  3. Bart

    Amazing! Think about it. All 21 can fit inside one clown car driven by Donald Trump!! The POTUS race aka a “3-Ring Circus” is in full swing. Time for Judy Collins rendition of “Send In The Clowns” to become popular again.

  4. Harry Harris

    I got 13, and can see real merit in the candidacies of 10 that I recognized. I’m still waiting for a candidate who will tell us honestly that we need to be better people. Of course, it would be a losing note, but we need to hear it and listen. Jimmy carter tried it when President, sort of, but shared sacrifice isn’t something we are into. Plenty of politicians and candidates will tell us where “they ” are wrong, and that the problems lie with this or that group, but few to none are willing to lay out our collective need to become better and make citizenship count.
    Booker comes the closest I’ve heard, and says it with almost a defeatist tone – hoping to stay in long enough to convey a message of grace (believe it or not). He’s relatively “liberal” on most issues, but proclaims the worth of persons hurt by those policies and who may oppose them. He’s harshest on the purveyors of unfettered gun culture and willing to be their target politically. I’m still a B&B guy, Booker and Biden, but I think the field will narrow to Biden, Sanders, Harris, Warren, O’rourke, and Buttigeig. I hope Booker can make it into the smaller field. Yang can likely live off the land, but I don’t know who else can either self-fund or generate enough headlines to continue through a winnowing as funds become essential for making the debate stage or gaining votes in early primary states.

    1. Brad Warthen Post author

      There are things I like about Booker, although not enough to get him close to Biden in my book.

      I was saddened by a story I read about him in The Washington Post today.

      It was about his friendship, since Oxford days, with a Chabad rabbi. They became really, really close friends, and really enjoyed each others faiths and respective cultures. The reasons why they were such close friends speak to what I like about Booker.

      But it was a sad story, because they have had a bitter falling out in recent years. And near as I can tell, it’s both their faults. The rabbi, unfortunately, has really embraced the extreme political right, and shockingly he praises Trump, mainly for support of Israel. I say “shockingly” because in my limited experience of Chabad rabbis, they’re usually really, really smart guys. I was deeply impressed with the erudition of Hesh Epstein, the local Chabad rabbi, when I took a course about the Messiah that he taught several years ago. Of course, I tend to be impressed by the intellect of rabbis, period. I don’t think I’ve met a dumb one yet.

      For Booker’s part, he has (according to the rabbi) been too careful about tiptoeing around the borderline (and of course, sometimes more than borderline) antisemitism on the political left.

      As I say, it’s a sad story. You’d think these two guys would be too smart to let such cliche conflicts tear them apart….

      1. Harry Harris

        “For Booker’s part, he has (according to the rabbi) been too careful about tiptoeing around the borderline (and of course, sometimes more than borderline) antisemitism on the political left.”

        Too many people get away with calling criticism of Israel’s current government policies anti-semitism. Too many people call thoughts and behaviors they don’t like “racism.” Donald Trump’s stances on Israel are as calculated and phony as his embrace of right-wing “evangelical” Christianity. Political convenience allows each to use the other as a tool.

        I thought the breakup of the friendship seemed sad, also, but it is probably as it should be. The Post article gave me the impression that there were always some character flaws in the rabbi that pretty much doomed continuing a close personal relationship.

    2. Mr. Smith

      “I’m still waiting for a candidate who will tell us honestly that we need to be better people.”

      Yeah, ok, fine, do that.

      But then go on – at length – to outline the policies that should be pursued to make us a better country. Without that, it’s just another kumbaya moment.

      1. Harry Harris

        Yep. And I agree with you about the “at length” part. We use too many bumper sticker slogans and produce too little in-depth discussion. Last cycle, Bernie Sanders put out a lot of proposals, but then devolved into surface-level talking points without ever selling the reasons why his proposals were worth promoting. It became good guys/bad guys speech material. And Sanders’ was the most positive campaign of the bunch.

      1. Brad Warthen Post author

        OK, I gave in to temptation and looked him up.

        I like the resume. Surprised I didn’t know who he was.

        Tried to look him up on the issues. I wish they wouldn’t list abortion first; that tends to start Democrats off on a bad foot with me. But I don’t guess we’ll ever escape the tyranny of the alphabet — something I had to accept long ago in school, standing at the back with the rest of the Ws…

        After that, he’s kind of a mixed bag….

        But I’m not all that much about issues. More than ever, this election needs to be about character. And unfortunately, since he hasn’t really drawn my attention during his lengthy political career, I’m not sure what to think of his…

      2. Scout

        without looking him up….. Is he the one who is or was Governor of Washington State who is trying to make Climate Change his big issue? I’m thinking he is the one on the bottom row next to Pete, but that might be Hickenlooper. I think I got 12, but I’m not sure I’m correct about them all.

          1. Scout

            His climate agenda made me remember his name. Possibly unfortunately for him, if I like a candidate, they typically don’t do well. Works for TV shows too. If I watch it, it likely will be cancelled.

  5. Karen Pearson

    Why has no one mentioned Klobachar? Has she done or said something horrible? From what i have heard of her she seems to talk sense, but then I haven’t heard a lot. I like Buttigieg a lot, and he appears to have a good sense of basic polity. Biden has the best sense of what’s going on internationally, of course. I used to be pro-Warren, but lately she has said some things that just won’t fly. Klobachar and Buttigieg sound like the 2 that sound the most like they can work with folk of different opinions well enough to actually lead.

    1. bud

      Have you heard the controversy about her mistreatment of her staff? One story has it that she tried to keep employees from getting other jobs. Then there was the story that she was not given eating utensils quickly enough for a plane meal so she pulled out a comb and used that as a fork. Perhaps all this is overblown or even untrue but it’s serious enough to gives me pause. It’s a shame too because I liked her during the Kavanaugh hearings.

      1. Karen Pearson

        I’ve heard the one about the comb. The thing is, they’re just what you called them stories. There are enough of them going around about almost every candidate. I’m going to stick with what they say and post until I have more corroboration than has been provided for these.

Comments are closed.