Bernie Sanders as the next Vice President of the United States?
It isn’t that farfetched with the admitted socialist trailing in the Democratic primary and Hillary Clinton less than 100 delegates away from clinching the nomination.
The “smart money” might even claim that he would make an ideal VP pick for Clinton as she heads into an increasingly tightening race against (presumably) Donald Trump in November.
But there are now rumblings that while Bernie Sanders might be someone’s VP pick, it won’t be Hillary’s.
Instead, the Vermont Senator is being touted as a possible running mate for none other than Donald Trump himself, and it may not be as farfetched as conventional wisdom would dictate.
The first signs of Bernie Sanders as Trump’s VP arose in March when the popular website Quora took it on as a possibility.
Even though many at the time felt Sanders would refuse the offer on grounds of his policy differences with Trump, others were not convinced.
“I think if there was a Trump/Sanders ticket they would pretty much win the election and it would make history in our political process and possibly end the two party system,” said contributor Albert Huang, adding that “the parties would try whatever they could to prevent it with their delegate b******t but there would be widespread revolt from millions of voters if they were not allowed to run in the general election.”
Huang goes on to conclude that the Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders ticket “would beat Hillary Clinton for sure assuming she’s not indicted, and Cruz or Kasich would not stand a chance either,” believing that it is “something they should consider if either of them gets treated unfairly and robbed at convention.”
That answer was given on April 2, and a lot has changed since then.
Bernie Sanders has gone from being the play-nice candidate who was tired of hearing about Clinton’s “d*** emails,” to the candidate who is quietly winning primaries and pushing the race to a possible contested convention in July.
While Sanders has renounced Trump on numerous occasions, two things have since happened that could make a Bernie Sanders VP pick more palatable for the voting public.
1. Bernie Sanders supporters are increasingly getting fed up with a Democratic primary they view as “rigged,” according to CNN.
The cable news channel ran a report on Wednesday after the last primary in which Sanders won Oregon and fought to a virtual tie in Kentucky that showed increasingly disgruntled and violent Sanders’ supporters protesting the system.
At issue, the report stated, is the fact that Clinton already had more than 500 pledged “super-delegates” before the first primary was even held.
Recently, the tensions boiled over in Nevada as Sanders’ supporters threw chairs and left threatening voicemails for one of the state’s party leaders when some of his backers were left out of the process, allowing Clinton a narrow victory in the state contest.
Sanders himself renounced the violence and threats but also said “the Democratic leadership used its power to prevent a fair and transparent process from taking place” in Nevada.
DNC Chair Debbie Wasserman-Schultz criticized Sanders’ response, claiming it was “never okay for violence and intimidation to be the response to that frustration.”
“That’s what happens with the Trump campaign,” she added.
To that, Bernie Sanders reminded Wasserman-Schultz that “months ago, during the Nevada campaign, shots were fired into my campaign office in Nevada and apartment housing complex my campaign staff lived in was broken into and ransacked.”
A representative for his campaign also singled out Wasserman-Schultz as being unfair to Sanders.
“It’s not the DNC,” said spokesperson Jeff Weaver. “By and large, people in the DNC have been good to us. Debbie Wasserman Schultz really is the exception.”
2. Trump has pivoted away from early rhetoric to make a broader appeal for Bernie Sanders’ supporters.
The violence and rhetoric Trump was criticized for early in his campaign has since quelled, and the real estate mogul himself has spoken publicly about wanting some of Sanders’ supporters to join him in November.
He has also credited Bernie Sanders with sharing his values on “unfair trade deals” that have hindered the country with a $42 billion-plus trade deficit, costing the U.S. 5.1 million manufacturing jobs alone since 2000, according to the Alliance for American Manufacturing.
It’s a major issue for both the Sanders and Trump campaigns and a place where both men could feasibly find common ground that supporters from both ranks would accept.
Furthermore, the two are seen as maverick candidates by both establishments in their respective parties, and even though Trump is running as a Republican and Sanders as a Democrat, unity in November would finalize the message of frustration voters have been showing establishment politicians since the primary process began.
But what do you think, readers?
Is Bernie Sanders a viable Trump VP pick, and if so, would you vote for that ticket? Sound off in the comments section below.
[Image via Flickr Creative Commons/DonkeyHotey]