Sun. Jan 23rd, 2022

As the political primary season drags on, it is becoming increasingly clear that the Democratic nomination will not be decided until the Democratic Convention in Denver. This has led many to speculate what will happen between Sen. Hillary Clinton (D-N.Y.) and Sen. Barrack Obama (D-Ill.) should their heated campaigns drag out until then. Many have even suggested the winner of the nomination will ask the other to be their running mate to help heal any wounds. Both Senators’ have exchanged harsh words this year and both have tried to cool things down afterwards. After all these attacks, either candidate will need help to heal their image and the party will need help to win the presidency. Having the losing candidate accept the vice presidency offer will help keep all their former supporters aligned with the party. Moreover, they can go a long way to help the nominee by showing their confidence in them and speaking about their strengths as a future president.

The interesting item about the Democrats this year is the number of voters who like both candidates. While most voters have a preference or a favorite, many voters are reporting they are having a hard time deciding which candidate they like most. Even more are saying they may prefer one candidate to the other, but they would welcome either Democrat over any candidate from the Republican Party. The Republicans have had a hard time finding a candidate and a message to get behind this election year. Meanwhile the Democrats may not have picked a candidate but they have picked a message. That message is ‘anything but a Republican.’ Therefore, no matter which Democrat is chosen, it is clear Democratic voters will rally behind them. This leaves few serious benefits from the candidates getting together.

Unfortunately, there is also a lot to lose if the two Senators team up when the nomination is won. Clinton may be the most divisive figure in the Democratic Party as far as Republicans are concerned. She has the same effect on Republicans that George W. Bush has on Democrats. While many conservatives consider Obama very liberal, he has not served long enough or been prominent enough to attract much attention or venom from conservatives. If Obama wins the nomination and selects Clinton as his running mate, he will inherit her divisiveness and negative image among moderates and Republican voters. For a candidate that runs a campaign about bringing people together this could be devastating.

For Clinton, if she brings Obama on as her running mate, she misses an opportunity to try to bridge the large divide between her and more conservative voters. If she asks a more moderate or conservative individual to be her running mate, she would go a long way towards drawing many of the conservative voters who currently cannot stand her. If she could ask a Republican or at least a very right leaning Democrat to be her running mate, it would be a good olive branch to conservatives to foster a more productive presidency.

In the end, no matter which candidate wins the Democratic nomination it would be a tragic misstep to ask the other to be their Vice President. Both candidates would be better served picking a more diverse running mate. Someone who can better help them cross bridges and actually bring this divided country together for political change.

Ted Trevorrow is a third-year student majoring in English. He can be reached at ET666499@wcupa.edu

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