…that Hillary Clinton could do would be to name Bernie Sanders as her running mate. Whether she likes it or not, whether he likes it or not, it is the best way to heal the rift in the Democratic Party. Forget, for while at least, that the DNC and the Democratic Party nomination process needs a serious reboot. Put aside, for a while at least, the abysmal way that Bernie was treated by the DNC. (Put aside, for that matter, the abysmal way that Hillary was treated in 2008.) These are things we can argue about once Trump is safely in the dustbin of history.
There are a number of reasons to match these two up.
First, by all accounts, they were once friends. If the rancor of the primary season can be put behind them, they can be again and – regardless of who’s on the top of the ballot – they would make an amazing pair. Two strong politicians covering each other’s back. The hard part would be hammering out a compromise between their two positions. By all accounts, this has been done. If they both focus on what was agreed upon, it can all be accomplished.
Second, it will bring a lot of Bernie supporters back into the fold. Yes, I know, eighty-something percent already are, but we need them all, or Trump can edge Hillary out. A lot of the holdouts, for whatever reason, don’t believe Hillary will seriously support those platform planks that come from the negotiations with Bernie. (To be honest, I’m not sure she would myself. If she really believed in them, they’d have been in her platform from the beginning.) But put Bernie in the VP slot and suddenly she has a conscience to deal with. Suddenly those alienated Sanders supporters don’t have to go to the Green Party – which will never put someone that high up in government – in order to feel like they’re being listened to.
Third, Bernie – as VP – can float ideas that Hillary may not be comfortable proposing herself. If the reaction is positive, she can adopt them. If not, she can chalk it up to Bernie’s “natural exuberance” and let it drop. Yes, it’s a cold-blooded political ploy and it would make Bernie look a bit foolish now and again, but if it puts even one more of his policies in place, it would be worthwhile.
As much as I want to see a woman in the Oval Office, I felt Bernie was closer to my own philosophical views. I’ve paid a lot of taxes over the years, I’d like to see some of that money go to things other than invading other countries or bailing out banks after they’ve strip-mined the economy. I thought Sanders would do more to bring that about. I’m disappointed – and angry at the DNC for their patronizing, elitist attitudes – but they’re going to get their way (again) because a Trump presidency is just too awful to think about.
And, to be fair, Hillary did get 55% of the votes to Bernie’s 43%, something I don’t think can be entirely explained away by the DNC’s political manipulation of the primary. It may be that, for a lot of voters, Bernie was just a little too far to the left. So Hillary deserves the nomination. But, deserved or not, it won’t matter one little bit if she doesn’t get elected. Picking Bernie as her running mate would go a long way toward insuring that.
We can deal with the DNC next year.