Patterico's Pontifications


And Now, the Mindless Speculation on Vice-Presidents, Democrat Edition

Filed under: General — JVW @ 2:16 pm

[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.


Regarding the Chatterers’ Call for Delegates to “Dump Trump”

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 7:37 am

Hugh Hewitt has become one of many GOP chatterers to argue that delegates should be free to vote their conscience and dump Donald Trump:

Conservative talk show host Hugh Hewitt argued Wednesday morning that the Republican Party should make an unprecedented effort to change the Republican National Convention rules to allow them to dump Donald Trump as their nominee.

“It’s like ignoring stage-four cancer. You can’t do it, you gotta go attack it,” Hewitt said. “And right now the Republican Party is facing — the plane is headed towards the mountain after the last 72 hours.”

Hewitt said he disagreed with Republican senators like Lindsey Graham and Mark Kirk who said they could not vote for their party’s nominee. “I wanna support the nominee of the party, but I think the party ought to change the nominee. Because we’re going to get killed with this nominee.”

Speaking as an #ExGOP member and impartial observer: this is insane.

I don’t want to personalize my reaction or focus on Hewitt; his opinion is one held by many other people. But for better or for worse (OK, clearly for worse), Trump is the guy preferred by more Republican voters. To simply chuck out their judgment and replace it with another would be suicide for the GOP — and over what? Some stupid comments Trump made about a federal judge?

I think Trump’s comments were ridiculous on many levels. There is nothing to indicate the judge was motivated in any of his decisions (such as certifying the class or denying summary judgment) by a proposal for a wall that hadn’t even been made yet. While some have tried to cling to a weak argument that the judge is a member of a group connected to La Raza, this is like holding my blog responsible for idiot comments made in a blog on my blogroll — and anyway, this isn’t Trump’s argument. Trump’s argument is simply “we believe he’s Mexican” when a) he isn’t and b) if he were Muslim, Trump admitted that he thinks that could be a problem too. It’s arguing that one’s ethnicity makes one so biased that they can’t hear your case. That has never been the standard and never could be the standard. Trump is also probably sending out a signal to the alt right that he’s cool with demonizing Muslims and people of Mexican heritage, and many of them are lapping it up.

That said, Trump’s argument isn’t “racism” per se. Watching all the GOPers run away from it as if he came out and said “I hate n-words” or something like that is frankly hilarious.

And what’s more, there’s absolutely nothing new about any of this. Are we now shocked to learn that Donald Trump makes stupid statements? That he mounts idiotic arguments in favor of his scammy scammy Trump U.? That he likes to give a wink and a nod to the more openly racist of his followers when it comes to “Mexicans” or Muslims? Um, no. This is who he is. As Allahpundit said after Mitch McConnell warned Trump to get back on message: this is his message.

And it’s what GOP voters chose. And I doubt any of this bothers his voters one bit.

So, GOP establishment types, you’re just going to have to ride this one out. January, February, March, and April of this year — those were the times to speak up. Those were the times to support Ted Cruz. But you didn’t do it, because you don’t like him either. Because he’s the guy who would have actually done what Donald Trump just talks about: change the influence of corrupt cronyism in Washington.

You’re like someone who had a chance to get out of the line for the rollercoaster, but now you’re frantically waving to the operator to stop! stop! I want to get off!

The answer is no. And as we creep slowly up that steep, steep hill, and you think about the terror that’s about to come when you get to the top and stare over the drop, just remember:

You bought the ticket. Now it’s time to take the ride.

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