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Can you match the 2020 Democratic candidate with their quote?

Democratic presidential hopefuls Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren, former

Democratic presidential hopefuls Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren, former Vice President Joe Biden and Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders participate in the sixth Democratic primary debate of the 2020 presidential campaign season co-hosted by PBS NewsHour & Politico at Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles, Calif. on Dec. 19, 2019.  Credit: AFP via Getty Images/ROBYN BECK

With so many 2020 Democratic candidates vying for airtime during the presidential debates, many of them haven’t really introduced themselves to a wide audience. Never fear: each candidate has written at least one book detailing their life experiences and political ideas, and we decided to save you the legwork and read them ourselves.

As we get ready for the Iowa caucuses, see whether you can identify who said what about former President Barack Obama or capitalism; whose morals involve an iron stance on houseguests; whose defining life lesson involved PowerPoint, and who thinks what about America. We'll release one question per day for eight days.

The current candidates who wrote books are Michael Bennet, Joe Biden, Michael Bloomberg, Pete Buttigieg, John Delaney, Amy Klobuchar, Deval Patrick, Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren and Andrew Yang. 

If the candidate wrote multiple books, we read the most recent one. We included three quotes total from each candidate, because we know you don’t want to read pages and pages. Then you might as well have read the books … 

Happy picking.

Presenting the final edition of The Point’s 2020 Democratic contender books series: Which candidate thinks the following about President Barack Obama? 

We hope you’ve enjoyed this tour of the candidates’ books, and that you’ve successfully matched some of the quotes and been surprised by others.

  1. This candidate applauds Obama’s belief that “because of automation, because of globalization, we’re going to have to examine the social compact, the same way we did early in the 19th century and then again during and after the Great Depression.”
  2. This candidate praises Obama’s rhetoric and logic in discussing the Iran deal: “As his speeches often are this one was a logical and careful exposition.”
  3. This candidate organizes decision-making into a four-box matrix where the top-right box is “important,” “not urgent” issues. The candidate writes that Obama “has valiantly tried to stay focused on the long-term work in the top right quadrant.”
  4. “I supported President Obama ... He expanded health care and strengthened regulations over Wall Street ... But there were times when President Obama and I parted company,” like when Obama said in 2016 that “the system isn’t as rigged as you think.”
  5. The candidate writes that Obama won almost 44 percent of the Mississippi vote in 2012 with only 10 percent of the white vote and little attention from the national party. “There is little doubt in my mind that if Democrats develop a fifty-state strategy … we can both increase black voter turnout and win a much higher percentage of white votes.”

2020 Democratic contender books series Part 7: Who has which view about the state of the country?

  1. This candidate writes about the importance of idealism and inspirational, aspirational leaders: “I am convinced that cynicism, spawned by disappointment, cultivated by the media, and perpetuated by too many leaders today, holds us back.” 
  2. “In a time of instant TV heroes, political Twitterstorms, and single-issue Super PACs, it’s harder than ever to be a compromiser. Today those who reach for the middle are more likely to encounter protests than praise, and brambles instead of bouquets.”
  3. “Private philanthropy is an American tradition — one of our unique contributions to humanity, and one of the reasons for our country’s great success.”
  4. “As president, I would commit to prioritizing only bipartisan ideas during my first one hundred days in office. We need to learn how to accomplish things together again, and this action would send a message to the American people, and the Congress, that the time for fighting is over.” 
  5. This candidate thinks “some of the most important policy dynamics of our time have to do with the relationships, and the tension, between state and local government.”

2020 Democratic contender books series Part 6: An example of the candidate’s morals, but who is who? 

  1. This candidate’s home was often opened to friends and relatives in need, but the house was a formal place. When the candidate’s cousin brought a guy she had just met on the subway back to the candidate’s home, the cousin was told that the “proper way to introduce a new friend to the house” was “over Sunday supper, thank you very much.”
  2. This candidate’s grandparents sent a note in 1965 for the candidate’s first birthday, 15 years after they arrived in America after surviving the Holocaust. “The ancient Greeks gave the world the high ideals of democracy, in search of which your dear mother and we came to the hospitable shores of beautiful America in 1950. We have been happy here ever since.”
  3. “[T]he struggle with grief and pain is an individual event, no matter how many friends and supporters a person can count….But I really believed that just being there, offering my physical presence, letting them see me, still standing, might make a difference to them.”

2020 Democratic contender books series Part 5: Which candidate had which view of capitalism?

  1. “As a true capitalist, I’ve always believed in the markets’ (rather than the central planners’) ability to make efficient selections.”
  2. This candidate remembers telling audiences about his father having to make a terrible announcement. “[T]he longest walk a parent ever had to make was up a short flight of stairs to tell their son or daughter they were going to have to move because they couldn't find work or the bank was taking the house.”
  3. The candidate gets angry upon hearing the story of a 58-year-old longtime Disneyland worker who says she goes hungry most days on one meal a day and would be fired if she ate the “gourmet” leftovers that customers trash. “[S]omeone who has worked for an enormously successful and profitable corporation for thirty years should not be going hungry,” the candidate says.
  4. “I love capitalism--anyone who has a smartphone in their pocket has to appreciate the power of markets to drive value and innovation.That said, capitalism, with the assistance of technology, is about to turn on normal people.”

Day 4: Lessons learned

Our Democratic presidential contender books quiz continues this week with a lesson that candidates learned from an obstacle in their lives. 

Now that  New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker  dropped his presidential bid he’s been eliminated from the quiz as well but not before we share a passage from  his 2016 book: Booker once witnessed a man being shot in Newark, and the victim died in his arms: “I laid him on the grass and put my hands on his chest trying to stop the blood that seemed to be coming from everywhere.” Booker writes that the impact of urban gun violence affected him. 

Here’s lessons learned by three other mystery candidates who are still in the race: 

  1. This candidate was trying to get an infrastructure bill passed in Congress but needed to convince Republicans. “I put together a PowerPoint presentation, preparing my pitch much the same way I would have done when I worked in the private sector. Then I asked for meetings with every Republican in the House--all 233 of them.” Delaney
  2. This candidate drew this lesson from a former opponent who lost sight of what an economic policy would do: “To me, the whole episode was about what happens when a public official becomes obsessed with ideology and forgets that the chessboard on which he is playing out his strategy is, to a great many people, their own life story.” Buttigieg
  3. As a young parent, this candidate had a hard time commuting to law school: “a long drive through back-to-back towns, dotted with stoplights and school zones and tangled traffic. Then, just a couple of months before the fall term began, a new section of the interstate highway opened,” which allows the candidate to zip from home to school in 25 minutes. It showed the candidate the importance of public infrastructure. “If it is possible to love a highway, I loved that highway.” Warren

Day 3: Here’s a major thesis from different candidates’ books. Who’s who? 

  1. “The founders read Thucydides. They knew that once factions sever the bonds of trust embodied in laws, norms, and traditions; once every disagreement becomes irreconcilable and we pursue the good of our party with complete disregard for the good of our country; and when we treat politics as a tribal war...we lose the ability to do anything worthy of our roles.”
  2. The candidate is proud of this observation from a pollster: “[The candidate is] not moving a party to the left. He’s moving a generation to the left.”
  3. This candidate gets worked up by the idea that financial institutions should self-regulate: “Voluntary regulations? Jeez, can you imagine Tony Soprano in a world of voluntary regulations?”

Day 2: Identify the candidate with the following background that shaped who they are. 

  1. “As a bachelor who traveled with a big expense account, I had a girlfriend in every city, skied in every resort, ate in every four star restaurant, and never missed a Broadway play.” The candidate burned the candle at both ends, while trying to work extremely hard.
  2. This candidate knows the difficulties of growing up without money. Born in the candidate’s grandmother’s bed without the assistance of a doctor, the candidate was then “wrapped in a blanket and placed...in the warm oven with the door open until the doctor arrived.”
  3. This candidate grew up in a household full of political and intellectual discussion. “I would hear but not understand arguments over the uselessness of post-structuralism or the relevance of Hobsbawm’s historiography, wondering what any of it meant and how anyone could be as passionate about it as the people seated at the dinner table who just a couple hours earlier were indulgingly asking me about my loose tooth or my baseball card collection.”

Day 1: Which five 2020 candidates had the following outside-the-box ideas? 

  1. “As president, I would engage once a quarter, for two to three hours, in a televised open debate with members of Congress.”
  2. This candidate proposes a new currency — Digital Social Credits — that would “reward people for doing things that serve the community,” such as babysitting a child, staffing a garage sale, or volunteering at a local shelter.
  3. “We need to put some digital rules of the road into law when it comes to people’s privacy … Our laws need to be as sophisticated as the people who are breaking them. We must revamp our nation’s cybersecurity and guarantee net neutrality for all.”
  4. This candidate “didn’t just want an infrastructure bill with money for highways, railroads, and airports. We were going to fund the highways of tomorrow, with thousands of charging stations for electric cars and dedicated lanes for self-driving cars,” plus jets going coast to coast “in an hour or two.”

Day 1 Answers

  1. John Delaney
  2. Andrew Yang
  3. Amy Klobuchar
  4. Joe Biden

Day 2 Answers

  1. Michael Bloomberg
  2. Deval Patrick
  3. Pete Buttigieg

Day 3 Answers

  1. Michael Bennet
  2. Bernie Sanders
  3. Elizabeth Warren

Day 4 Answers

  1. John Delaney
  2. Pete Buttigieg
  3. Elizabeth Warren

Day 5 Answers

  1. Michael Bloomberg
  2. Joe Biden
  3. Bernie Sanders
  4. Andrew Yang

Day 6 Answers

  1. Deval Patrick 
  2. Michael Bennet 
  3. Joe Biden

Day 7 Answers

  1. Deval Patrick
  2. Amy Klobuchar
  3. Michael Bloomberg
  4. John Delaney
  5. Pete Buttigieg

Day 8 Answers

  1. Andrew Yang
  2. Michael Bennet 
  3. Amy Klobuchar
  4. Elizabeth Warren
  5. Bernie Sanders

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