I've been thinking about candidates who Bernie Sanders might choose as his running mate. I'd really like to see him select a woman, so I'll start with good possibilities and then discuss less likely ones.
Let's start by exploring the reasons to select a running mate. The main one is that the running mate helps get votes, nationwide and in the state and region she or he comes from. Another reason is the running mate makes people more confident in the "team," by adding experience or skills. I believe that choosing a woman is really important, that it will help some voters decide and probably won't dissuade many, unless" but I'll get into unless factors later.
Tammy Baldwin, 58, is the junior Senator from Wisconsin and she's the first gay to be elected to the house and the Senate. She could help close the deal for Wisconsin. She won her second term election run for the senate by 11 percentage points. She's a solid progressive and Wisconsin is probably a more likely state that could be swayed than Florida.
Tulsi Gabbard, 39, represents Hawaii in the House of Representatives. I love Tulsi but I don't think her being from Hawaii helps the ticket much. Still she is a veteran and has been treated very favorably on Fox news. She could actually help draw independents and Democrats who repudiated Hillary Clinton. Her being a Hindu could be offputting to some voters. Actually, I'd be very happy to see her as Bernie's running mate. It would also make a lot of Centrist Democratic heads explode even more.
Nina Turner, 53, was a Cleveland City Councillor from 2006 to 2008 and an Ohio State Senator from 2008 until 2014. She's a national Co-chair of Bernie Sanders' 2020 campaign. Nina is a dynamo who might help close the deal on swing state Ohio. Her politics are very closely aligned with Bernie and she's a great speaker who would destroy Mike Pence in debates. But her level of experience might be challenged. She and Tulsi are my favorites, ideologically, but I'm not sure they bring the gravitas that is needed.
Gretchen Whitmer, 49 is the new Governor of Michigan. She could help close the deal on an important swing state and maybe other midwest states. The thing is she just became governor so she doesn't bring a whole lot of experience. In February 2020, she was selected to give the Democratic response to President Donald Trump's 2020 State of the Union Address. That's often a signal that the powers that be are grooming someone for a more powerful position. A negative is she opposes Single Payer healthcare.
Janet Mills, 73, Governor and former Attorney General of Maine could help close the deal on defeating Susan Collins. And, without a strong third part candidate running, as Libertarian Gary Johnson did in 2016, could help close the deal on Maine, which has 4 Electoral College votes at stake. I think her age could be an issue, but she'd be a solid choice.
People I don't see as being selected:
Stacy Abrams ran for Governor of Georgia and lost in a tight race and she has received a lot of attention, but she accepted a $5 million donation from Mike Bloomberg for her organization and she comes across as a bit to centrist and neoliberal for me. Still, she might help bring Georgia into the winning column.
Elizabeth Warren has pissed off a lot of Bernie supporters and is probably the most disliked of the female Democratic candidates, with the whole Pocahontas narrative, that she did not handle that well. Still, choosing her would make her supporters happy. Selecting her, as the Senator from Massachusetts would not change things, since her state is very blue
Kamala Harris didn't have the political mojo to make it to Iowa. She represents California, another solid blue state. I don't see her adding to the ticket.
I'm not going to discuss men because I can't imagine Bernie selecting a male running mate.
With the list we have here, none of the potential candidates are perfect. My first choice is Nina Turner. I'd like to see Black on the ticket and I think that she will make up for the deficit in experience with her charisma and brilliant ability to speak and raise people's passions.
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