WASHINGTON, December 29, 2015 – Barring criminal indictment, grave illness, or ironic upset, if admitted socialist Bernie Sanders steals the mantle of America’s socialist party, Hillary Clinton will be the Democratic nominee for president.
Her first choices as she plans her acceptance speech in Philadelphia in July 2016 will be two: a pantsuit and a running mate.
Picking a pantsuit will be tough. Whereas Chairman Mao sported only drab gray and Communist green, Hillary owns more of her signature monochromatic mao-tfits than there are crayons in a box of Crayolas.
But focus groups, Huma Abedin, and Alinksy’s Rule for Radicals will help her make the call.
Choosing a running mate will be harder.
To further her grip on women voters, she might pick Senator Elizabeth Warren (a/k/a Fauxcahontas). To mend fences with avowed socialists, Bernie Sanders is an option. To solidify her hold on Latino or Black voters, she might turn to HUD Secretary Julian Castro or former Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick.
To carry an important swing state she might tap U.S. Senator Tim Kaine of Virginia. Others might make a list as long as the space allotted to pantsuits in her Chappaqua closet.
But if she’s smart—and despite her dismissal from the Watergate investigation, the Rose law firm billing scandal, Whitewater, the Benghazi boondoggle, and violations of national security in mishandling classified email, she is clever like a fox—Hillary will pick Bill Clinton as her running mate.
At first blush, this might seem far-fetched. Is the nation ready for a “first gentleman?” Would the generation’s leading feminist tolerate a male “co-president”—a status she unconstitutionally arrogated to herself while First Lady—or is her presidential run a bid to emerge from under the giant shadow her husband casts?
Would Hillary rule the White House roost or would staff and appointees defer, even unconsciously, to the more experienced, accomplished, and male of the Clintons? Would she give Bill a meaningful portfolio (she’d likely assign management of White House interns to someone less experienced in that task than he) or simply let him preside over the Senate and attend funerals?
Would Bill Clinton drown his talent and earning capacity in the proverbial “bucket of warm piss” former Vice President John Nance Garner judged more valuable than the office itself? And should Bill squire Madame President Hillary Clinton about D.C., what a mouthful it will be to announce “the former president and Vice President Bill Clinton.”
Achieving the White House might relieve Hillary of Bill’s long train of baggage, including the ignominy of being the second impeached U.S. President, an estrangement from the truth exceeded in U.S. political history only by her own, and five decades of evidence branding him a serial rapist (a liability for a feminist who argues rape victims should be believed and rapists punished).
And don’t forget the narcissism and risk-taking that drove Bill Clinton to self-sabotage his own second term. Picking him might blow Hillary’s chances just as the torpedo cigars Bill shared with Monica sunk his second term.
Still, it’s more likely Bill Clinton will spell the difference between a bitter Hillary raging against the vast right-wing conspiracy in a concession speech and being showered with confetti as Madame President-elect in November 2016.
For many U.S. voters, Bill Clinton symbolizes the halcyon 1990s when the Cold War was over, ISIS was an ancient Egyptian goddess invoked by a 1970s-era TV heroine to confer super powers needed to battle evil, and the roaring dot.com economy created a rare combination of peace and prosperity America had missed since the 1920s.
All that seems to have been forfeited for good after September 11th, 2001.
Some voters consider Hillary shrill, untrustworthy and when matched against Republican challengers, a loser. But some of these voters might jump at the chance to go back to the future and give Bill a third term by punching the chad marked “Clinton-Clinton.”
To boot, campaign signage would be easy. Think Clinton Squared, or even Clinton2.
So let’s suppose Hillary swallows her pride and concedes that if Bill will be bedding down in the White House, at least some of the time and perhaps beside her occasionally, he might as well be on the ticket.
The question becomes: is it legal?