Hillary Clinton is not vetting Bernie Sanders to be her vice presidential candidate according to recent news reports. That’s a good thing, even for Sanders. Nevertheless, for Clinton, the VP pick will be important this election considering her low favorability ratings among voters.
According to the Wall Street Journal, the Clinton camp is just starting to figure out a VP choice. No one has been asked to turn in tax returns or other private information, sources say. But even in the early stages, they are not considering Bernie Sanders.
When asked about Sanders as VP, Clinton said, “I haven’t even begun to sort all that out. There are a lot of really qualified, dynamic candidates, I’m sure, to be considered for vice president.”
Some fans of the Vermont senator are holding out hope that after a hard-fought primary battle, Clinton would extend an olive branch by giving up the VP slot. But that would be a mistake.
First of all, the vice president doesn’t necessarily do that much. The two formal duties are to break ties in the Senate, and then certify the electoral college results. Otherwise, vice presidents can either be a strong voice in the administration, or not, depending on what the president decides is best.
If Sanders was Clinton’s vice president, he would almost certainly be asked to tow the line on whatever policies the White House supports. For Sanders’ supporters, that would most likely be hard to watch.
CNN reports that Sanders didn’t think he’d be in the running either way, and has no interest in “becoming her partner.” Instead, his next battle is for the DNC platform, which is another reason to ignore VP talk.
Bernie Sanders hopes to get his primary campaign positions codified in the DNC platform. Some of those battles will be easier than others. Clinton currently wants the federal government to raise the minimum wage to $12 an hour; Sanders wants $15. Bridging the gap shouldn’t be too difficult considering that Hillary also supports increasing the minimum wage further by supporting state and local measures.
Other issues will be difficult, like breaking up the big banks. A vice presidential seat would be a way of trying to lure Bernie Sanders’ base without making real changes, but that would likely just turn off Bernie’s progressives.
The Wall Street Journal reports that Elizabeth Warren is being considered for the VP position, but she would face the same problem. As previously reported by the Inquisitr, Warren’s popularity took a major hit when she endorsed Hillary Clinton for president, despite sharing more positions with Senator Sanders.
Warren made her political career by taking on the big banks, and Clinton has taken millions of dollars in campaign contributions from the financial industry. Could Warren still remain credible to progressives as the VP?
According to TheHill, Warren has plenty of reservations herself.
Still, it’s not clear what the future holds for Bernie Sanders or his progressive movement. He will hold one last rally, this time online, later today. Some commentators expect him to endorse Clinton, even though he is still in the race and has promised to continue until the convention. But even Sanders admits it’s imperative to keep Trump from the White House. That might be a difficult task given the current Democratic frontrunner’s unpopularity and looming FBI investigation.
Hopefully, Hillary Clinton realizes that the only way to appeal to progressives is to be more of a progressive, and that moving left is a good idea. Even an endorsement from Sanders or Warren won’t be enough.
[Photo by Jeff Swensen/Getty Images]