03/27/2016 06:30 pm ET
In order to (try to) avoid a torrent of angry responses regarding Bernie still having a shot to win the nomination, let me state that I am not assuming anything, and that I think Bernie should absolutely continue his race for the nomination and not drop out. And, I write this as someone very sympathetic to Bernie’s agenda.
Finally, while I believe both Hillary and Bernie could win a general election, I happen to think that Hillary is a safer bet. There has not yet been the torrent of negative campaigning against Bernie that Hillary has endured for a quarter of a century, and yet she is not only still standing but is not so far behind Bernie’s margins against Trump.
Winning the general is far more important than whether it is Bernie or Hillary.
Let me now move to why, if Hillary is the nominee, she should select Bernie as the VP candidate.
1. It shows the respect due a large portion of the Democratic electorate who worked hard and voted for Bernie.
2. More importantly, it shows the respect due, and will be insisted upon by Bernie if he accepts, to the agenda he offered.
3. It will swell the crowds at campaign rallies beyond anything the Republican base can match, providing both the votes and energy to win a resounding victory.
4. It will provide Bernie’s millions of online contributors, enabling the Hillary-Bernie ticket to take federal funding and eschew large contributions.
5. It will be another — along with the first female nominee and president — precedent-breaking move for an electorate that wants precedents broken. But, in a positive way.
Why Bernie should, under certain policy conditions, accept.
1. From the VP perch, Bernie will be in the ideal position to continue to mobilize voters to achieve the policy ends he has championed. (Two days after President Obama’s first election, I urged him to do just that. He didn’t. It hurt.)
2. Many of the differences between Bernie and Hillary are resolvable. For example, in health care, adding the public option to Obamacare provides the means for both perspectives to be incorporated. In banking, breaking up the big banks makes passing Glass-Steagall less compelling. Minimum wage level compromises are being forged all around the country. more