News

We Asked a Local Shrink which 2020 Candidates He’d Most Like to Analyze

We finally found somebody interested in Jay Inslee.
Elizabeth Warren in Iowa. Photograph by Lorie Shaull via Wikimedia Commons.

Psychoanalyst Justin Frank is known for his books analyzing presidential psyches: Bush on the CouchObama 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.

Not Just Another Political News Roundup: Get Our “Washingtonian Today” Newsletter

A daily dose of DC life, politics, and culture—not just another political news roundup.

Or, see all of our newsletters. By signing up, you agree to our terms.
Staff Writer

Brittany Shepherd covers the societal and cultural scene in political Washington. Before joining Washingtonian as a staff writer in 2018, Brittany was a White House Correspondent for Independent Journal Review. While she has lived in DC for a number of years now, she still yearns for the fresh Long Island bagels of home. Find her on Twitter, often prattling on about Frasier.