There is growing discussion about who should be Bernie Sander's choice for vice president. I have two choices, one obvious the other someone no-one's mentioning, who could be stellar. I discuss possible candidates others have proposed and some I think should be on the table.
I'd like to see and I believe it is essential Bernie Sanders select a female vice presidential running mate. An early choice could swing the election. It might be early but it would be ideal if he announced his running mate at the debate in Brooklyn, tomorrow night.
In general a good VP choice brings a number of strengths to a campaign:
deep experience that adds to the trust and confidence in the teamability to help win a questionable state.readiness to jump in as the president if something happens to the person who was elected presidentability to bring a serious amount of undecided and softly committed voters to the side of the campaign
A number of people are being mentioned as possibilities. I tweeted:
I phrased the question that way because so many people mention Elizabeth Warren as their first choice. I have my doubts that she would agree, because, in spite of her closely similar positions to Bernie Sanders on so many issues, she has not endorsed him. She should, ideally have done it before Super Tuesday. So I wanted to know people's thoughts on other possibilities. The answers were not surprising, but, for me, based on the criteria I've listed above, not very satisfying. People mentioned, first, Tulsi Gabbard, then Nina Turner, former primary candidate Martin O'Malley, Cenk Uygur and Elizabeth Warren (Who says Bernie Sanders supporter listen to rules?)
I would love to see Elizabeth Warren both endorse Bernie, after Oregon senator Jeff Merkley broke the ice among Democratic senators, and follow he endorsement by accepting Bernie's invitation to be his VP. But I don't think it will happen. Still she would be my first choice.
I received an email from PDA-- Progressive Democrats of America-- asking me to vote in a poll for my choice for Bernie's VP. They load the deck, listing three candidates and offering me a blank space to add someone else. I went with the fill in the blank option. Here's chunk of their email:
The email goes on to say:
Our favorites in alphabetical order are:
1. Rep. Keith Ellison, Minnesota was the second member of Congress to endorse Bernie. He's a co-chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, the first Muslim American elected to Congress, and a champion for all of our legislation. When we offered him a "Healthcare Not Warfare" sticker, he asked if we meant Single Payer healthcare before taking it. When told it was indeed Single Payer, he said, "Good! Because anything else is just bull s--t!" We love that combination of plain talk and smart thinking in Bernie and in Keith. Sanders-Ellison, 2016. No nonsense, just results!
2. Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, Hawaii resigned her DNC leadership position in February 2016 so she could endorse Bernie. An active duty major in the Army National Guard who served two tours of duty in the Middle East, Tulsi displays courageous decision-making we need for our political revolution. She sponsored legislation barring U.S. action to commit regime change in Syria, to avoid another Middle East quagmire. Tulsi knows all too well the real costs of war; that "boots on the ground" don't suffer casualties--American families do. She turned 35 yesterday, making her constitutionally eligible to be Vice President. Sanders-Gabbard, 2016. It's the winning ticket.
3. Rep. Raul Grijalva, Arizona was the first Congress person to endorse Bernie. He's a kind, open man who co-chairs the Congressional Progressive Caucus with intelligence and courage. He's helped PDA whenever we've asked, and graciously appreciates our support for his important legislation. He agreed to sponsor the resolution PDA and our allies drafted, the most ambitious Climate Emergency legislation ever. He supports all of our agenda items. We appreciate Raul's friendliness, complete lack of pretense, and other Bernie-like qualities. Sanders-Grijalva, 2016. S-, se puede! (Yes, we can!)
These three Congress members were the first to endorse Bernie, and all have demonstrated their commitment to progressive values. We discussed this, and determined that they deserve to be featured choices, but we invite you to write in any choice you'd prefer here.
We hope you'll join us in participating in this straw poll, and please share it with your friends!
So, I filled in the blank field with the name Janet Napolitano, former governor of the state of Arizona and former head of Homeland Security, once ranked, as the ninth most powerful person in the world. She's not a progressive but she meets all the criteria I described above.
Napolitano is probably more conservative, but who isn't? As someone who's been deep inside the Obama administration she would make Obama insiders feel safer, and probably many democrats feel safer. I think her name should at least be on the table for consideration.
A number of other qualified female Democratic governors would probably be ruled out because they've endorsed HIllary. But maybe not. Here are four women who are qualified (links are to their Wikipedia pages.)
Jennifer Granholm gov michigan was born in Canada. I think that rules her out.
Beverly Perdue First woman (and only to date) to serve as Governor of North Carolina.
Christine Gregoire Governor of Washington State. Prior to her election to the Governorship, she was Washington's first female attorney general.
Kathleen Sebelius Resigned to become Secretary of Health and Human Services in the Obama Administration.
Frankly I don't think any of the people PDA proposes bring what it takes to the VP slot. Don't get me wrong, I LOVE all three of them. I've met Ellison and Grijalva and followed their politics for years and they are superb. But Ellison is a Muslim and I don't think America is ready for a Jew/Muslim ticket. Grijalva would be a great candidate, but I want to see a woman in the slot. Gabbard is amazing, but she's a Hindu and again, I don't think America is ready for a Jew/Hindu ticket.
I don't feel good about ruling out two good candidates because of their religion. Maybe I'm wrong. But I don't think so. I think that it is pushing it having the first Jew as the presidential candidate.
has been an amazing endorser and surrogate, but, with her experience as a Cleveland city council member and a member of the Ohio state senate, I don't think she brings enough experience to the job, and when she ran for Ohio Secretary of State, she lost to her Republican opponent 60 to 35, so she couldn't really help bringing in Ohio.
That's why I started researching female Democratic governors.
There are a lot of other female mayors, but they were elected to lead very small cities, or cities in very blue states.
I'm not satisfied that this is a complete list. There could be some celebrities (think Ronald Reagan) too.
Who would you like to see Bernie choose-- from the ones discussed her or someone else?
Rob Kall is an award winning journalist, inventor, software architect,
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more detailed bio:
Rob Kall has spent his adult life as an awakener and empowerer-- first in the field of biofeedback, inventing products, developing software and a music recording label, MuPsych, within the company he founded in 1978-- Futurehealth, and founding, organizing and running 3 conferences: Winter Brain, on Neurofeedback and consciousness, Optimal Functioning and Positive Psychology (a pioneer in the field of Positive Psychology, first presenting workshops on it in 1985) and Storycon Summit Meeting on the Art Science and Application of Story-- each the first of their kind. Then, when he found the process of raising people's consciousness and empowering them to take more control of their lives one person at a time was too slow, he founded Opednews.com-- which has been the top search result on Google for the terms liberal news and progressive opinion for several years. Rob began his Bottom-up Radio show, broadcast on WNJC 1360 AM to Metro Philly, also available on iTunes, covering the transition of our culture, business and world from predominantly Top-down (hierarchical, centralized, authoritarian, patriarchal, big) to bottom-up (egalitarian, local, interdependent, grassroots, archetypal feminine and small.) Recent long-term projects include a book, Bottom-up-- The Connection Revolution, debillionairizing the planet and the Psychopathy Defense and Optimization (more...)