2020 Democrats Agree: They’re Very, Very Sorry

By Astead W. Herndon and Sydney Ember | New York Times |

Democratic presidential candidates have calculated that showing contrition will help them with primary voters. Senator Elizabeth Warren apologized for taking a DNA test to prove her decades-old claim of Native American ancestry.CreditCreditElizabeth Frantz for The New York Times

The Democratic Party’s presidential hopefuls differ on their approach to policy issues such as income inequality and climate change, but on one thing there is almost uniform agreement: They’re all very, very sorry.

The most recent high-profile mea culpa came Thursday when Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts apologized for  her controversial decision to take a DNA test to prove her decades-old claim of Native American ancestry.

Former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. recently lamented his role in crafting the tough-on-crime drug legislation of the 1980s and 1990s. Senator Kamala Harris of California said she regretted some of the positions her office took while she was a state prosecutor. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand of New York said her past hard-line stances on immigration “certainly weren’t empathetic and they were not kind.” Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont apologized after reports of gender discrimination and sexual harassment in his 2016 presidential campaign.

The spate of sorrys is indicative of a crowded field of Democratic candidates who understand that the party’s increasingly diverse base can be uncompromising on issues such as discrimination, criminal justice reform and immigration and often expects candidates to stand more boldly on questions of identity including race, gender and sexuality.

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