There are a couple of bad ideas being floated by some Democrats and portions of the media these days. Ideas I hope never bear fruit. Both involve Sens. Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders.
They merge into one bad idea in this: if Hillary Clinton is the Party’s eventual nominee - and there’s a good chance that’ll happen - either Warren or Sanders should be named vice presidential running mate. In Sanders case, that’s assuming he doesn’t become President on his own.
In either instance, those promoting such an arrangement are either unschooled in politics or operating on emotions and not fact. Because the fact is, either of these two experienced pros would be absolutely wasted in an office a previous holder called “not worth a bucket of warm spit.” John Nance Garner, I believe.
Joe Biden - due to his personality, certain life events and decades of experience in the Congress - has made more of the Vice President’s job than anyone in my memory. The President has said he picked Biden largely because of the aforementioned traits and a “gut feeling.” He should continue listening to his gut.
Biden has been an excellent fit. He was nearing the end of his extensive career in the Senate, knew nearly all the leaders in major countries around the world on a first-name basis, understood the “art of the deal” in Washington politics and exhibited a sense of absolute loyalty in the entirety of his life - personally and professionally. Though sometimes acting like a loose cannon, he has much more often been the voice of reason, tactics and political guidance behind “the throne.”
Neither Warren nor Sanders fit that mold. They are, in fact, much, much more valuable right where they are - in the U.S. Senate.
Warren has been a pleasant surprise to me. Especially in her most recent role as “attack-dog-in-chief” for Democrats. She’s launched several effective broadsides against the Trumpster and has indicated she’s going to continue keeping up the “social” media attacks. Never thought that would be the case with a former Ivy League professor. Don’t think The Donald expected that, either.
Additionally, Warren is an old school populist. She has a knack for picking the right issues to communicate directly with voters - minimum wage, health care, human rights, etc. Like Biden, she has a talent for dealing one-on-one with almost any portion of the public - something both parties haven’t done in decades. She can deliver very effective speeches in Senate debate. And she can just as effectively touch hearts in a PTA or business forum. Few politicians with those - and other - skills are better placed to be effective for a large constituency.
Sanders, too, would be wasted in the Old Executive Building VP suite. Like Warren, he has built a career of being an activist - leading on popular causes or being an effective spokesman for ideas. His recent work with veterans groups is one of his most effective roles. Sanders has never really been a “party man” - preferring to stay independent and a free thinker. He really doesn’t possess the skills of a “second in command” in his personality or conduct of his public career.
Besides, neither would bring much of importance or experience that Clinton doesn’t already have. She needs to come up with someone for the VP job that both complements her skills and brings support from areas of the public where she lacks it. Someone with support in minority communities. Someone who has greater experience in domestic issues. Someone with his own constituency.
Yes, “his.” Realistically, two women at the top of a national ticket would not pass public muster at the polls. Rightfully dedicated as she is to equal treatment of women in the workplace, Clinton can make such change possible in her cabinet selections and filling other key posts. But, at the top of the ticket, she needs to go with a male.
I’ve long harbored a liking for Sen. Sherrod Brown of Ohio. Low key personality, a real worker in the trenches, not someone seeking publicity in the media, knowledgeable in the skills of effective political give-and-take, highly respected by his peers. He also comes at things with a “common touch” and represents a large state. He’s widely recognized for his effectiveness in the Senate in almost anything he undertakes. He’s also 63-years-old. An age where - if he’s going to make a run for higher office - he’s right on the cusp.
These factors - and his kind of “aw, shucks” personality - add up to a really excellent candidate. If he’ll take the job.
No matter how you come at it, neither Warren nor Sanders would be good VP choices. If Democrats retake either the Senate or House, they have an excellent opportunity to destroy some of the political gridlock we’re suffering. With a Democrat majority in the Senate, either of the two would be a vast improvement in leadership positions.
The selection of a vice presidential nominee is something Clinton - and her party- need to get together on. Really together. This is not a normal election year. This is not a normal election. Whoever fills out the Democrat ticket, odds are he’ll have a leading role in national direction to a greater degree than in the past. And possibly for many years.
Hey. I’ve got a thought. There’s this guy from Ohio, I believe. Brown something. Good guy.