Hillary Clinton’s health is now a very real concern. After the Democratic candidate appeared to collapse whilst leaving a 9/11 memorial event, there’s been further speculation surrounding the state of Clinton’s health going into the 2016 presidential election. According to the Financial Times, Hillary Clinton’s doctor swiftly confirmed that the candidate is suffering from pneumonia and is “recovering nicely.” However, that hasn’t stopped speculation around Clinton’s ability to govern.
What if there is something more to those health concerns and Hillary Clinton did have a seizure? There would undeniably be huge implications for the 2016 presidential race and most prominently, the Democratic party. With that in mind, if Clinton’s health forced her to step aside, who would become the Democratic candidate to take on Donald Trump?
According to the Telegraph, if Clinton steps aside, the Democratic party would be entering uncharted political territory. The party has no cemented precedent for selecting a replacement candidate if their nominee is unfit to run, however, it would have to find one. An unidentified Democratic operative believes the party’s executive would hold an emergency meeting to select a new nominee, however, that would only happen if Clinton herself decided not to run, saying, “We can make contingencies, argue, plead with Hillary Clinton, but DNC bylaws are clear her nominee status now totally up to her.”
If Clinton does decide to drop out, the party’s new nominee would be selected by party officials. Each would cast one vote at a special meeting, with the winner being whoever gets a majority. But who would be in the running to pick up the Democratic nomination if Clinton dropped out?
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The obvious successor to Hillary Clinton as the Democratic nominee would be Tim Kaine, who would fill her shoes should she fall ill as president. However, that doesn’t necessarily mean Tim Kaine would be given any special treatment. The vice presidential candidate would almost certainly put his name forward to become the party’s nominee and would likely have a lot of support within the party, as his candidacy would mean the least possible change so close to the election.
However, there is concern within the Democratic party that Kaine doesn’t have the star power to make it to the White House. The Virginian senator only really came into the spotlight as Hillary Clinton’s running mate, meaning many voters might not even be aware of who he is and what he stands for.
Clinton & Kaine meet up on the Cleveland tarmac, joining up on the trail for the first time since post-DNC bus tour pic.twitter.com/M2QwrPjQjx
— Ruby Cramer (@rubycramer) September 5, 2016
Democratically speaking, there’s many who believe that Bernie Sanders is entitled to the Democratic nomination should Clinton drop out. Sanders lost out on the Democratic nomination to Clinton earlier this year, despite having huge support from the party’s younger voters. However, Sanders isn’t particularly favored by the Democratic party establishment and as aforementioned, the party’s new candidate will be chosen by that establishment. With that in mind, the chance of a Bernie return is pretty slim.
Joe Biden Under Consideration as Replacement for Hillary Clinton! Top Democrats Meeting Today. pic.twitter.com/ppSJZ54x4v
— Michael Delauzon (@MichaelDelauzon) September 12, 2016
The final contender would be Vice President Joe Biden. Biden was hotly contested to be Clinton’s main competitor for the Democratic nomination last year, however, he instead chose not to run at the time, following the death of his son Beau. But could the time now be right for the widely popular Joe Biden?
When Hillary Clinton’s candidacy came into question a few months ago following her email scandal, it was widely speculated that Biden was the favorite to replace her as the party’s nominee. Popular amongst the party’s supporters and establishment, Biden would undeniably be able to unify the Democratic party. However, after eight years as vice president, Joe Biden might not necessarily be ready to sit in the commander’s seat and choose not to put his name forward.
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