Psychoanalyst Justin Frank is known for his books analyzing presidential psyches: Bush on the Couch, Obama on the Couch, and Trump on the Couch. Whom would he like to have sit on his hypothetical sofa next? Here are his top three picks for 2020 contenders who’d make good entries in the series.
1. Jay Inslee
The Washington-state governor was previously a congressman, suggesting to Frank a certain psychological complexity. “He understands both being a member of Congress and being an executive, as a governor. I’m interested in the combination of being part of a group and being in charge of a group. Those are very different psychological states, and that relates to childhood and peer relationships.”
2. Elizabeth Warren
Frank would love to dig into the brain of a policy wonk. He’s also curious about how she has handled debate about her Native American heritage. “I’m interested in what was going through her mind, why she did what she did. Why she would try to prove something.”
3. Kamala Harris
Frank just finds her intriguing. “There’s something about her that is very impressive and determined, and I’d like to know more about her.” He’d also like to ponder issues surrounding gender and power—the psychological reasons that “many people, including women, are uncomfortable with having a woman leader.”
This article appears in the May 2019 issue of Washingtonian.