Brexiting: Clinton and Warren Look Like Strong Casting While Brit Pols Are Just Casting About
There's a lot of calculation at work when a presidential candidate picks a running mate. As the first female presidential nominee of a major party looks for a hoped-for vice president, there are a number of factors militating against Hillary Clinton picking Senator Elizabeth Warren. But there is one big factor suggesting that the former secretary of state should go ahead and pick Warren anyway.
In their Monday appearance together in Cincinnati, Ohio, Clinton and Warren looked and sounded quite good together. Their presence in the media is quite powerful.
There was a dynamism and accessibility in Clinton's performance which has frequently been absent in this campaign. Warren's well-advertised dynamism seemed to energize and inspire Clinton, who was certainly not overshadowed by the first-term Massachusetts senator.
The truth is that both women have serious command presence, an old military term for those who are able to project a sense of measured decisiveness in often chaotic settings.
Hillary is going to need all the dynamism and command presence she can muster in one of the most chaotic campaign seasons in many a moon.
And, as her overly bureaucratic response to last Thursday's stunning British vote to quit the European Union showed, she needs much more of a populist edge.
Warren doesn't just provide that herself, she helps bring it out in Hillary. If Clinton loses this election -- and, yes, if a few things that can go wrong do go wrong, she can still lose to the execrable faux populist and neo-fascist Donald Trump -- it will be because she comes off as too much the unresponsive establishmentarian.
There are plenty of reasons not to pick Warren, who longtime readers know has not been a particular favorite of mine.
While she's very smart and articulate, the freshman senator has been a career law professor. Is she really intellectually prepared to be, if need be, President of the United States?
Her presence on the ticket would likely cost some Wall Street campaign money which may come in handy.
She doesn't bring a state of her own to the table, as Massachusetts is a lock for Clinton.
Yet Massachusetts voters oddly elected a Republican governor, meaning the Dems would be down a Senate seat at least until the special election to replace Warren.
Of course, if Clinton loses the presidency, which she certainly can, Warren wouldn't have to leave the Senate in the first place.
And then there is the question of an all-female ticket when no woman has before headed the ticket. (Though I think we can cede the hardcore sexist vote to the Republicans under Trump.)
But from a casting standpoint, something that can only be clear when examining politicians, like actors, when they are together, Warren looks like the strongest pick, especially compared to the rather non-dynamic alternatives. With Warren, Hillary is suddenly transformed into the leader of a dynamic duo. The populism deficit gets addressed, big time, yet with someone with intellectual heft who was, after all, a Harvard professor. And getting under Trump's thin skin becomes even easier.
It would be as if Hillary was running with Megyn Kelly. Well, Megyn Kelly before she got the word from Trump's recent Scotland dinner partner Rupert Murdoch that Fox News really is in the Trump business.
And of course it becomes very difficult for Bernie Sanders supporters to imagine that they should not back Hillary over Duce Donald.
Meanwhile, the British politicians who helped deliver up a very big wake-up call for American politics -- and a lot of economic chaos in the bargain -- are showing that when it comes to good casting they are just casting about.
Conservative Prime Minister David Cameron intends to be gone in just over two months. What's his path forward till then? He just can't say.
Bombastic Brexit promoter Boris Johnson, the frequently amusing ex-London mayor who wants to be the next Tory PM, claimed in his column that Britain will still get special trade access to the single Euro market, something vehemently denied by the relevant EU leaders. Johnson had little rejoinder to his post-election slap-down. And he suspiciously seems in no hurry for Britain to push the necessary bureaucratic button to trigger the actual Brexit.
If anything, the Labour Party is in even greater disarray. Three-quarters of Opposition Leader Jeremy Corbyn's shadow cabinet has departed in disgust with his unsteady performance in the referendum. They want a parliamentary vote of no confidence in the man who would be prime minister.
It's all a continuation of Labour's existential crisis in the wake of former Prime Minister Tony Blair's fateful embrace of the invasion of Iraq. Speaking of which, the years-long Chilcott Inquiry into Blair's Iraq performance is slated to at last issue its report on July 6th. Which should lead to more major reverberations across the Atlantic.
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