for vice president!
Hillary Clinton should pick Bernie Sanders as her vice-presidential running mate.
With presumptive Democratic Party nominee Hillary Clinton’s place in the history books now assured, her focus must turn to preventing the disaster that would be a Republican victory in the general election.
There is one quick way she could do this – and all but guarantee her return to the White House – by making another historic gesture.
Clinton should immediately select her primary opponent Sen. Bernie Sanders as her vice-presidential running mate. He should accept the offer graciously as the best way to ensure his agenda gets top priority and secure his hard-earned legacy.
With a Clinton-Sanders team running the country, there is no better way forward for America.
Sen. Bernie Sanders would cement his legacy by accepting the Democratic Party’s nomination for vice-president.
Fortunately, the differences between Clinton and Sanders during the primary campaign have not been insurmountable. In fact, their positions on crucial issues have actually drawn closer over the past year.
In addition, the criticisms each has directed at the other have not been bitterly divisive as they have been on the Republican side. In fact, they have been courteous and respectable to a fault.
Clinton’s immediate task is to unite the Democratic Party behind her but this will not be easy, as made plain in today’s Reuters story in The New York Times Wooing Sanders Supporters Will Be Tough Task for Clinton
“Winning over Bernie Sanders supporters who flocked to his insurgent presidential campaign will be the first and possibly toughest order of business for Hillary Clinton after she became the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee this week,” Reuters reported.
But Clinton is wasting no time in launching her charm offensive. “She called Sanders on Tuesday night, and during a celebratory rally in Brooklyn she praised his candidacy, saying their “vigorous debate” during the nominating contest had been good for the Democratic Party,” Reuters reported.
Few would disagree with that assessment. The debate has been refreshing, vigorous and, indeed, presidential.
But, Reuters reported, Democrats in both camps said they expect to see more specific olive branches offered to Sanders in the weeks ahead, including compromises on the issues platform to be adopted at the party’s July nominating convention and reforms in the Democratic primary process.
While this is good, it is hardly decisive. Sanders has energized his supporters as no other candidate this season, and they are nursing their wounds and wondering where to direct their energy next.
Meanwhile, Clinton’s second priority must be selecting a running mate, and no doubt her campaign is busily vetting the numerous potential candidates. One of them, clearly, is Bernie Sanders.
In an interview with CNN in May, Hillary Clinton would not rule out picking Bernie Sanders as her running mate.
More than three weeks ago CNN asked (and answered) this very question in the story Clinton doesn’t rule out Sanders as VP pick
“Hillary Clinton didn’t rule out Wednesday picking her Democratic presidential primary challenger, Bernie Sanders, from serving as her vice president,” CNN reported.
“I won’t get into that,” Clinton told CNN’s Chris Cuomo in an exclusive interview, when asked if giving Sanders a spot on the ticket would help bring the party together.
Diplomatically, Clinton, who already then was leading the Democratic contest, didn’t completely shutdown the possibility of Sanders as her running mate, saying, “That’s something down the road.”
Now that she has sewn up the nomination, it is no longer “down the road.” Decision time is upon her.
While it is relatively rare that a party’s presidential nominee picks a primary opponent as a running mate, it is not without precedent.
Writing on Wednesday for CNBC in the story Will Hillary Clinton chose Bernie Sanders as her running mate? Joshua Spivak, a senior fellow at the Hugh L. Carey Institute for Government Reform at Wagner College, noted:
“Since John F. Kennedy created the controversial Boston-Austin Dream Ticket with then-Senate Majority Leader Lyndon Johnson in 1960, there ha[ve] been only two other runner-ups selected to run as VPs: John Edwards in 2004, and George H.W. Bush in 1980.”
Spivak points to the most obvious advantage should Clinton pick Sanders:
“Historically, the vice presidential pick was used to unite the party’s differing factions. In this case, choosing Sanders would bulk up her apparently soft support from party activists. Sanders has also proven to be a strong motivator for young voters and an extremely effective fundraiser from new donors.”
However, he adds, “there is a basic and obvious reason to not choose a runner-up, as the campaign would have to explain away the criticisms and negative statements made by candidates against each other.”
Luckily, in the current case, these have been muted and addressed with courtesy and respect throughout the campaign.
Hillary Clinton has three major items on her to-do list in the six weeks before the Democratic National Convention: unite her party behind her candidacy; pick a running mate; and launch her strongest attack yet on her Republican opponent.
She can forthwith accomplish the first two by quickly picking Bernie Sanders as her vice-presidential running mate. She should waste no time; the choice is obvious.
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