Saturday, May 14, 2016

Picking a Vice President 101

Vice President Joe Biden recently stated that if he had run for President of the United States, he would have selected Elizabeth Warren as his running mate. Warren is a United States Senator from Massachusetts - a populist who is not afraid to take on the big banks and Wall Street and, had she run for President, I would have gladly voted for her. I'm a big Elizabeth Warren fan.

In a recent article for Slate, however, Michelle Goldberg said that Hillary Clinton should pick Warren to be her Vice Presidential running mate. As much as I love Warren, this move would be a tactical mistake. When Obama ran for President, he selected Joe Biden to be his Vice President for a number of reasons - the main one being(though Obama will never admit it) is that Biden is a white male. Obama could have never chosen a black running mate or a female or a Hispanic, either. Because Obama is black, he has to offset that with someone who is not. In Hillary's case, she has to pick a male as a running mate because there are people out there who will not vote for her solely because she is a woman. The Vice Presidential nominee is strategically chosen to garner votes that they otherwise might have trouble courting. When John F. Kennedy ran for President, he chose Lyndon B. Johnson because he was from Texas. Kennedy knew he was going to struggle with the Southern vote, so another northerner on the ticket wasn't going to fly. Whether it actually helps or not is debatable, but this is why Julian Castro's name has been thrown around lately as Clinton's possible nominee - he is a Hispanic male which might work, but it could also backfire because of his ethnicity. Either way, I expect Hillary to pick a white male who is well respected, possibly a military guy or someone who, like Warren, has fought Wall Street. But, at this point, all bets are off.

Goldberg goes on to state that Warren "would help to neutralize some of Clinton’s very real flaws; it would be harder to accuse Clinton of doing the bidding of big banks while running with Warren, the scourge of Wall Street. Warren’s presence would give disappointed supporters of Bernie Sanders a reason to rally to the Democratic banner. And by Clinton’s side, she would make it blazingly clear what an epochal moment this is for American women. She’s a choice who could electrify both Clinton’s fiercest progressive critics and her most devoted acolytes."

As much as I admire Elizabeth Warren, a Clinton-Warren ticket is not going to happen unless Clinton truly wants to lose this election and, let's face it, she already has a tough enough fight on her hands as it is. Trump, on the other hand, would benefit greatly by picking a woman as his Vice Presidential running mate for reasons that I really shouldn't have to explain and that won't necessarily guarantee that more women will vote for him based on his choice for a running mate. Nevertheless, this will be a presidential election for the ages. Enjoy.

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