Sanders And The Possibility Of A Running Mate
With Donald Trump named the presumptive Republican presidential nominee earlier this week, attention is beginning to turn toward the general election, whether the Democratic candidates are ready or not. Despite her loss in Indiana, it seems more and more likely that Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton will nab her party's nomination. But the primary isn't over yet, and while his path to the nomination has undoubtedly shrunk, Sen. Bernie Sanders says he has no intention of quitting just yet. So, what's next for the Vermont senator? Would naming a running mate help Sanders' campaign at this point in the race?
Sanders has said time and time again that he plans to take his presidential campaign all the way to California's June 7 primary at the very least. But at this point in the election, there's little evidence a vice presidential pick would save the Sanders campaign. To secure the Democratic nomination with pledged delegates, Sanders would need to win at least 88 percent of the 1,159 that remain. A tall order for anyone, even someone with a freshly declared veep.
Traditionally, vice presidents aren't named until a competitor has clearly become their party's candidate of choice. But, we all know 2016 is shaping up to be anything but traditional. However, would it be smart for Sanders to take a hint from former Republican presidential candidate Ted Cruz and announce his running mate early?
Cruz became the first candidate since the 1976 election to hit voters early with a VP when he announced Carly Fiorina as his running mate in late April. But the move did little to help his flagging campaign, and the Texas senator called it quits not long after. That's not to say announcing a running mate would directly result in the end of Sanders' presidential campaign. There are plenty of other factors, including party insiders, attempting to drive the Sanders' campaign to its end.
But it's hard to see how any VP pick — even Sen. Elizabeth Warren — could ride in on a white horse to save the Sanders' campaign from Clinton being the presumptive nominee. It's a move that appears to hold little political reward at this point.
Moreover, if Sanders is looking to keep his political revolution running after his campaign ends and extend his influence to the White House he should ride his campaign solo as far as it will take him. You know what they say: Shoot for the moon and land somewhere in next the White House administration.