DNC member and former Oklahoma state senator Connie Johnson reportedly told U.S. News & World Report in an email that in the event that Hillary Clinton is forced out of the November election, the DNC could give the nomination to Senator Bernie Sanders, the runner-up for the Democratic nomination. The DNC member went as far as to say that choosing Senator Sanders to replace Clinton on the ballot would be the most appropriate choice if Hillary Clinton were to drop out or be forced out before the election.
“I believe that’s why Sen. Sanders stayed in the contest,” Johnson reportedly wrote in an email.
At the convention in July, many remember the outrage from Sanders’ supporters when Bernie Sanders officially nominated Hillary Clinton. Still, his delivery of that nomination was curious.
“Madame chair, I move that the convention suspend the procedural rules,” Sanders said while nominating Hillary Clinton with far less enthusiasm than Clinton supporters probably hoped for.
“I move that all votes, all votes cast by delegates be reflected in the official record,” Sanders stressed before adding, “and I move that Hillary Clinton be selected as the nominee of the Democratic party for the president of the United States.”
Of course, Clinton made the same move in 2008 when she nominated Barack Obama as the nominee. Watch how the two say essentially the same thing, although the delivery of the two nominations by acclimation were polar opposites of each other. Plus, Sanders’ delegates were adamant that they wanted the full roll call, whereas, in 2008, Clinton suspended the roll call much earlier.
Johnson said that she is not sure the DNC would actually follow through on what she calls the most appropriate action should Hillary Clinton be unable to continue as the Democrats’ nominee.
According to U.S. News & World Report published Tuesday, if Clinton is removed from the ticket for whatever reason, DNC members would gather to vote on a replacement. According to DNC spokesman Mark Paustenbach, there are 445 committee members. The DNC’s official rules simply state that a majority of the DNC members would have to be present at a special meeting if they had to suddenly choose a new nominee.
John Fortier, director of the Democracy Project at the Bipartisan Policy Center, says that Congress could also decide to postpone the election date, but according to Fortier, that path is unlikely because absentee ballots and early voting would make that option a horrible mess. Fortier says that the party could encourage electors to simply support the existing vice presidential nominee in Clinton’s place.
With the turbulence of the 2016 election, Yale Law School professor Akhil Reed Amar mentioned another possible snag in the November election. If there is a major terrorist attack, the election really could be postponed, Amar says. He even recommended up to a four-week postponement in the event of a terrorist attack or the removal of a candidate. The idea that either situation would happen seems far-fetched, but Amar brought up the September 11 terrorist attacks.
“We should never forget 9/11 was a local election day in New York,” Amar said.
On Tuesday, September 11, 2001, Democrats and Republicans were set to hold some high stakes primary elections, including the primary for mayor, according to SIlive.
“Citywide, billionaire media mogul Mike Bloomberg, a total unknown, was making his first bid for public office, running in a GOP primary for mayor. 9/11 would have a profound impact on his fortunes.”
Bloomberg, a long-time member of the Democratic Party, had decided to run on the Republican ticket. The primary was postponed due to the terrorist attack in the city. Bloomberg eventually won the position of mayor by a slim margin: 50 to 48 percent.
These scenarios seem unlikely, but an article in Arkansas Law Review called these possibilities a ticking time bomb and discussed all of the ideas for what should be done in the event that a nominee is suddenly unable to remain on the ticket. The solution offered in that article for such a situation was the same as Amar’s solution: Postpone the election for four weeks if the candidate is removed within four weeks of the General Election.
Of course, former Senator Johnson’s speculation on why Bernie stayed in the race could be considered in opposition to WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange’s claim that Bernie Sanders was threatened to drop out of the race and support Hillary Clinton. If Assange’s claim is true, would Sanders even still want the Democrats’ nomination?
[Image via Cspan/ YouTube]