[guest post by JVW]
With the Presidential candidates pretty much settled at this point (right? — right?) it is now time to organize an infinite number of electrons in the old and new media to make stunningly wrong predictions on the possibilities for Vice-Presidential picks for each candidate. In this edition, we’ll discuss the options available to the Once and Future Inevitable Next President of the United States, First Lady/Senator/Secretary Hillary! Rodham Clinton, noted IT and National Security expert. First, let’s consider what Her Clintonic Majesty may be looking for in a running mate. To start off with, the Washington Post has put together a long list of 27 possibilities for the position. Some of them I find to be fanciful (Al Franken? Al Franken? Al F’n Franken?), so I narrowed that down to a top ten that we can analyze. I’ve thought about it for nearly four minutes now, and I think it boils down to the following criteria in the following order of importance:
1. Unwavering Loyalty: Hillary!’s entire career is one long exercise in demanding fealty and subservience from those who work on her behalf, and I don’t see that changing once she reaches the pinnacle of public life. This works against some noted former rivals (Sanders) as well as other Democrats who enjoy a high level of popularity (Warren). HRC would want a VP who absolutely depends on the Clinton Machine and won’t make any public challenges to her agenda. Furthermore, I think she is narcissistic and paranoid enough that she will not brook any private dissent either. This augurs well for someone like Martin O’Malley, who pointedly declined to criticize her questionable ethics during his brief primary run, or a Senate ally like Amy Klobuchar.
2. Comfortable as a Second Fiddle: While her husband was willing to pick an ambitious, preening, camera-loving egomaniac as his VP, don’t expect the same from HRC. As the first female President, she will want to spotlight to be solely upon her. This is another strike against Warren, and is definitely a weak spot to other charismatic media-savvy politicians like Cory Booker and Deval Patrick.
3. Credible in Role: I think this might be a criteria forced upon HRC by circumstances. She may feel confident that the FBI investigation into her illegal use of personal email will go nowhere, but it sure seems that many Democrats are rightfully skittish that an indictment could derail her candidacy. It is imperative, therefore, that the VP nominee be someone who independent voters would trust as a credible leader who could step into the Presidency at a moment’s notice. I am not an independent voter, so I have no idea how they would rank the various candidates. I think an ex-governor like O’Malley would have some credibility, and perhaps Warren, Kaine, Bayh, and Klobuchar would be deemed acceptable. Deval Patrick left Massachusetts in pretty bad shape when he left the governor’s office, and then he embroiled himself in a scandal concerning Boston’s aborted bid for the 2024 Olympics, which should cause him problems on the campaign trail. The major two Latino candidates, Perez and Castro, are both far less prepared for executive office than Sarah Palin was in 2008.
4. Appeases Sanderistas: The devoted followers of Senator Bernard Sanders, an elderly white socialist from un-diverse Vermont, may think that this ought to be HRC’s top priority. She needs his supporters to turn out for her in November and she thus can’t afford any bad blood with him, so though this will not be her major criteria it will be heavily considered. Hillary! is arrogant enough to think she can win over the Bernie Bros and Babes on her own and she thus might feel that she can safely forego offering the VP slot to Sanders or to Elizabeth Warren, another elderly white woman. But look for whomever she selects to at the very least pay lip service to the angry leftist populism that dominated this primary.
5. Suitable to the Diversity Crowd: Normally this would be a much higher priority for the Democrat nominee, but since HRC has the novelty of being the first woman to be a major party candidate for President, she probably feels that the diversity requirement has been fulfilled. Her popularity with black voters also helps insulate her from the demands of the hardcore crybullies, though she will no doubt have to make at least one major concession to the Black Lives Matter crowd somewhere along the way.
So given all that, here is a quick chart showing how each candidate stacks up in each category. I have added question marks in the areas that I think as yet remain unknown.
Let me know if you think I am wrong on a particular point (is Sanders really seen beyond his narrow base as someone who would be a credible Vice-President?) or if there are potential VP picks I overlooked and how you think they stack up with this criteria.