29 Oct Now P is for Dean Phillips
Minnesota; U.S. House of Representatives 2019 to present; age 54.
Okay, all of you Democrats who tell pollsters that Joe Biden is too old to be your 2024 presidential candidate. As of last Friday, you have an option who is a quarter of a century younger. He is Dean Phillips.
“Dean who?” you ask.
Dean Phillips is a third-term member of Congress from the suburbs of Minneapolis, Minnesota. And, at the age of 54, he is by far the youngest declared Democratic candidate in the race.
Let us take a look at what Dean Phillips has to offer voters other than his relative youth and his state of residence.*
*As an aside, does it seem to you like Minnesota candidates often are admirably willing to throw a hat in a presidential ring? Working backwards from Phillips, the Gopher State has offered Amy Klobuchar (2020), Michelle Bachman (2012), Tim Pawlenty (2012), Walter Mondale (1984), Eugene McCarthy (1968, 1972, 1976, 1988, and 1992), Hubert Humphrey (1952, 1960, 1968, and 1972), and Harold Stassen (who ran ten presidential campaigns from 1944 to 1992).
On policy matters, Representative Phillips, like most Democrats, has pretty much toed the party line on House bills during his three terms in office. He voted for the so-called Inflation Reduction Act, which largely supports green energy production, as climate and the environment appear to be among his significant concerns.
Phillips also is prochoice on abortion and holds himself out as a supporter of equity and civil rights generally.
Foreign affairs sit atop the list of priorities for Dean Phillips, too. He favors American funding for both Israel and Ukraine in their current battles.
Overall, Phillips’ record in Congress has been to support Democratic House leadership and, since 2021, all White House initiatives. He describes himself as a fan of President Biden and his policy positions.
What differentiates Phillips from many in Congress is his bipartisan approach. He is a member of the Problem Solvers Caucus, which is a bipartisan group. A businessman himself, he also joined the New Democratic Coalition, which touts its pro-business stance and aims to be liberal-to-moderate on fiscal matters. One rating entity has ranked Representative Phillips in the top 10 percent for bipartisanship in the U.S. House.
No doubt we will learn much more about this candidate’s policy positions as the campaign develops. For now, the frequently updated Ballotpedia page regarding his candidacy is the best source of information available.
It took a great deal of courage for Dean Phillips to challenge his party’s sitting president. Principle Based Politics sees this as reflecting the leadership principles of integrity and service. Integrity also is shown by his publicly pointing out the truth that Joe Biden is old, not popular, and could lose to Donald Trump. When no other Democrats accepted Phillips’ call for alternative, younger candidates to step forward, he did so himself. This is an act of service to his party specifically and to the country as a whole.
Phillips’ bipartisan approach and his positions on the issues appear to honor our leadership principles of respect, dignity, peace, and understanding. Phillips, whose own father was killed in the Vietnam War, manifests his belief in the respect and peace principles by his support for Israel, Ukraine, and U.S. defense spending. His thoughtful style shows dignity and understanding.
Regarding governmental principles, we see transparency in Phillips’ openness about the reasons for his campaign, as he is one of the few Democrats willing to admit publicly the weaknesses in their party’s current leader. His issue positions highlighted above also reflect the principles of protecting the vulnerable and equality.
Written by Quentin R. Wittrock, founder of Principle Based Politics.
Look for his posts each week, as this blog will explore and promote the idea of principle in politics, both as to individual elected leaders and our federal government as an institution.
Principle Based Politics does not endorse or support any particular candidate or party.