Let’s say, for argument’s sake, that Joe Biden becomes the presidential nominee of the Democrat party. (We’ll get to another option later, so hold on.) Whom do you think he’d choose as his vice-presidential running mate? Maybe Amy Klobuchar, the Minnesota Senator who maintained perhaps the most decorum on the Democrat’s debate stages? She also has the advantage of being quite popular in a state that Donald Trump won in 2016 but the Ds pretty much have to get back this time around.
Pete Buttigieg, Kamala Harris, Cory Gardner? All might bring some constituencies that would help Joe. And, of course, Mike Bloomberg could possibly add a dollar or two to the campaign pot to help defray expenses.
Obviously, Biden isn’t limited to those select few. Nancy Pelosi, for example, might want to switch seats on the dais at the next State of the Union Address. (And she could probably be persuaded not to rip up a speech delivered by President Biden.)
Usually, the choice of a running mate is used to complement the strengths of the nominee. Jack Kennedy chose Lyndon Johnson not because they were buddy-buddy and ran with the same crowd. No, Texas was crucial to a Kennedy victory in 1960, and Johnson assured the Kennedy boys he could deliver it. John McCain chose Alaska’s Sarah Palin because . . . well, hmmm, still not quite sure about that one.
Given the results of the initial primaries, Joe Biden’s appeal seems mainly to skew toward older voters as a whole. He has ardent support from African-Americans as well. And, as Joe will constantly tell you himself, Union members love him. So, who would he choose?
Hold that thought and switch gears.
What if Bernie Sanders emerges victorious from the bruising primary battles? Since most of the other Democrat presidential candidates have endorsed Biden, his pickin’s among fellow warriors might be rather slim. As of this writing Liz Warren hasn’t made known the candidate she’ll be supporting, so I suppose a Sanders-Warren ticket is possible. But it’s a safe bet that a Sanders candidacy would carry Massachusetts without Liz’s help (especially after she came in third in her own state’s primary).
Bernie could tap Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. But he’d have to amend the Constitution first since she’s not old enough to be president (just in case something tragically unforeseen was to befall a President Sanders in office). Maybe The Bern would go outside the political realm and choose from celebrity backers such as Cynthia Nixon, Danny DeVito, Spike Lee, Susan Sarandon, or even Dick Van Dyke. (Dick Van Dyke? Yeah, I was surprised too.) Again, though, those on that list of names probably live either in California or New York, in which Bernie figures to do well to begin with.
Sanders’ core supporters are undoubtedly the younger voters. For some reason, free tuition, free medical care, and taxes on the wealthy seem to resonate extremely well with those under the age of 35. There’s no doubt Sanders has legions of college-age and young millennials rooting for him.
With all the above paragraphs in mind, then, what might happen if Joe and Bernie joined forces? It could be Biden/Sanders or Sanders/Biden as the names put forth by the Democratic faithful at their convention in Milwaukee this summer. Biden brings the old folks along for the ride, Sanders has the young on board his train. Bernie is a hero to the Party’s more left-leaning element, while Joe appeals to more traditional members of the Democrat coalition. That could be a powerful combination.
Together, they have over 150 years of life experience. And for just about half that time, they’ve been in the middle of the political fray, calling Washington, D.C. home.
Now, granted, the battle royale continues apace to determine just whose name would appear first on the campaign signs and literature. Constitutionally, of course, there’s no such thing as a Co-Presidency. (Even if it were possible, given the differences in policies, neither Biden nor Sanders might trust the other with the power of Executive Orders for very long.) Also, my guess is their respective staffs may not play well together. But maybe Joe and Bernie can figure out a way to kinda, sorta, maybe share the Oval Office.
That arrangement would certainly be different. And there certainly is precedent for being different. Donald Trump didn’t exactly follow the usual script in gaining his lease on the White House. Americans showed they were up for something atypical four years ago. Who knows what We the People might go for now?
©MMXX. William J. Lewis, III – Freelance Writer