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Thursday, August 27, 2015


Bernie Sanders is not on track to win the Democratic Primary race for the Presidential nomination.  He will win a good many delegates, he will compel Clinton to talk substantively about topics she would rather slide around, he will warm the hearts of all good lefties, but he will simply not pile up enough delegates to win the nomination. 

It is not entirely clear that Bernie Sanders really desperately wants to win the Democratic nomination.  Now mind, I do not hold this against him.   Quite to the contrary.  Wanting desperately to be president is not a particularly admirable character trait.  It is a character trait that has been shared by some of the most despicable people in American public life.  But be that as it may, I am not sure Bernie has this particular fire in his belly.  Still and all, let us suppose that he really does want to be president.  As things now stand, he is not going to be.

What can be done?  I have been brooding about this, and I have a possible solution.  It partakes liberally of fairy dust, but those of us on the left have for some time now been resigned to  believing in the political version of pots of gold at the end of rainbows, so bear with me.

Bernie Sanders needs somehow to persuade Elizabeth Warren to be his running mate on an insurgent ticket.  If, mirabile dictu, he were able to accomplish this feat, he would have a good chance of snatching the nomination -- if I may borrow a phrase from Charlton Heston -- from Hillary Clinton's cold dead hand.  Think of it as the New England two-step, the revenge of the Northeast corridor.

Bernie already has the progressives and the young, but he does not have the African-Americans or the women.  With Warren by his side, he could peel off large chunks of the unmarried women's vote and quite possibly a share of the Black and Hispanic vote as well.  At the very least, he would have a shot.

Would Warren do it?  Good question.  She would rather not, pretty clearly.  But if Clinton looks weak and there is real danger of a Republican victory, she might be persuaded.  They would be a powerhouse team on the stump.  Warren would dismantle whatever doffus the Republicans nominated for the number two spot.  And if Bernie started to look like a possible winner, I suspect a number of Clinton supporters would switch, so long as they  could believe that a Sanders presidency would be followed by a Warren run.
Just thinking


Lounger said...

That is a ticket I would support and vote for.
Or how about Biden - Warren?
Unrelated - The following article is so good I simply had to share it; I think you will like it.

James Camien McGuiggan said...

Over this side of the Atlantic there's campaigning going on for the position of Leader of the Opposition (that is, of the second-largest party, now (as normally) the centre left Labour Party), and one candidate is an exceptionally decent and principled far-left chap by the name of Jeremy Corbyn, who was nominated to run at all with literally two minutes to spare, and who volunteered himself to stand without any hope, expectation or desire of victory in the leadership election, let alone the general election in 2020, but simply in order that there could be someone on the far left of the party standing, so that people would have a voice. This has not stopped him becoming the miles-ahead frontrunner. (Nor has every establishment politician in the party predicting chaos and destruction if he wins and urging and pleading party members to vote for anyone else.) The enthusiasm for him is just astonishing, it's like a tsunami, it's reinvigorating a generation to politics.

Perhaps we are in end times and all the rules are being torn up, but it seems that the lust for power may no longer be needed to find oneself in power. If Corbyn can do it, maybe Sanders! It would hardly be stranger than any of the other stuff we've been seeing recently: the unbelievably pig-headed gun lobby in the US, a man of Obama's background sneaking through TTIP, the election of SYRIZA in Greece and the subsequent brutal treatment of that country by an EU founded on principles of solidarity, the massive error in all UK polls in the 2015 UK general election, the Arab Spring... well I'm just listing every political event of the last few years, I should just stop. You get the idea.

Unknown said...

James, as someone who lives in the UK and has registered with Labour to vote for Corbyn, this is - politically speaking - the most exciting time of my life. Never before - not even when I looked at Syriza in Greece or similar developments in other countries - have I been so completely in tune with a politician. I am used to having to dig up reasons to vote the more centre-left party, and the only one I find usually amounts to "I can't let those other monsters win".
Corbyn, however, is a genuinely decent, intelligent, principled man, whose ideas I can whole-heartedly agree with. I am just amazed at the support he is receiving, and at this point I believe that neither the pathetic attempts of the media to discredit him, nor the political stupidity of most British people (I'm being harsh, but you should hear some of the many self-serving, selfish arguments I heard from some very nice people who inexplicably voted Conservative) can stop him.
Corbyn also shares Sanders' characteristic of not desperately wanting to be Prime Minister. What he wants is to change Britain for the better. I actually think this will help him get elected because people want not just a different politics but also different politicians (I don't know if this would work with Sanders). And to quote Dumbledore from Harry Potter (which might be a first on this blog!) "It is a curious thing, but perhaps those who are best suited to power are those who have never sought it. Those who have leadership thrust upon them, and take up the mantle because they must, and find to their own surprise that they wear it well."

Robert Paul Wolff said...

In my cloistered, parochial way, I had only dimly heard of Corbyn. I am delighted to learn this. Perhaps he who shall not be named [ aka Karl Marx] is making a comeback!

James Camien McGuiggan said...

T Verga: That sentiment has been running through my head recently. I didn't know Dumbledore had expressed it! Presumably it doesn't originate with him, right? It surely goes back centuries.

Unknown said...

Of course not! But as always, Dumbledore says it brilliantly