In these pages, we have had some discussion of whether we could have a Bernie Sanders-Elizabeth Warren (or vice versa) ticket this coming year. It’s novel, since vice-presidential candidates have usually been chosen to “balance” the ticket, geographically or ideologically, as when JFK picked LBJ, or when Reagan picked GHW Bush.
Bernie and Warren are both New Englanders, and with very similar messages. That’s why this would be unique.
Joe Biden has consistently led the field, in almost every poll, and usually by a commanding number. However, that number is still a small minority of one-fifth to one-third. If Bernie and Warren joined forces, would they bring all their followers, catapulting ahead of Biden?
As we noted in a post, Bernie and Warren share a similar outlook and have refrained from attacking each other in the debates. What if they ran as a team, not as traditional president-vice president, but as co-presidents. As we also noted, in 1980 Gerald Ford and Ronald Reagan discussed such an arrangement, but in the end, Reagan refused to cooperate, and Ford ended up losing to Jimmy Carter that year. However, Reagan didn’t like GHW Bush that well, so he tried to talk President Ford into becoming his vice president which would have been a strange move for Ford. And, of course, Reagan was not likely to share power with anyone.
However, the concept of “co-presidents” is not new. Business Insider explains why it’s sometimes done in business.
Oracle’s Larry Ellison unexpectedly announced that he was stepping down from his CEO post and naming not one, but two CEOs to replace him. Co-president and CFO Safra Catz and co-president Mark Hurd will share the role of CEO.
Oracle isn’t the first major company to tap more than one CEO at the same time. Chipotle, Whole Foods, and Deutsche Bank are also run by two CEOs. Samsung even has three of them. But why?
The co-CEO system is nothing new, though it is certainly uncommon. Previous implementations suggest that having more than one chief executive can help a company accomplish more by delegating different roles to each head. . .[Joseph L. Bower, a management professor at Harvard Business School] thinks that the U.S. may be gradually moving toward a leadership culture more akin to Germany’s, in which co-CEOs would not be such a rarity. “[A]s we strengthen the non-executive chairman’s role, as well as the lead director, we may — in effect — be moving in that direction,” he said.
The Wall Street Journal notes that former Green Party candidate Ralph Nader says that such a ticket could help keep the Green Party from becoming the spoiler it was when Nader ran in 2000.
And The Hill says a joint ticket could win big.
While I could support Sanders, Warren or any of the progressive Democratic change candidates who could run on the ticket in 2020, it is important to disabuse the false notion, which is contrary to the facts demonstrated by national polling throughout 2016 and beyond, that progressive candidates are less electable.
Americans want a clear message of progressive change and would enthusiastically support a Sanders-Warren ticket, or any other ticket running on a similar program in 2020.
Meanwhile, the highly respected Morning Consult polling firm says the ticket would be a “2-for-1 deal,” noting that his “rumpled” style and her “highly educated and highly energized” approach are good complements.
Bernie Sanders, written off countless times as too old, too liberal, too out there, now has a soulmate to help catapult him — and her — to the winner-take-all finale.
Elizabeth Warren is the best bet when it comes to his chances, and hers, of being asked to the big dance.
Fox now says it’s “sanders and warren vs. everyone else,” noting that the two have not attacked each other in the debates.
As Warren’s poll numbers ticked up, Sanders staffers took digs at her on Twitter for not participating in a Fox News town hall, while suggesting her rise was a manufactured media narrative. … In the weeks after, some of the tweets were deleted and aides said Sanders made it clear he did not condone attacking Warren.
But Bernie denies that there is a “non-aggression pact,” according to RealClearPolitics.
The Washington Times says Warren is the stronger candidate.
“I think Elizabeth Warren is much more appealing in the way that she is able to bring people on board with some of these progressive policies,” said Chris Taylor, chairman of the Johnson County Iowa Democrats, which has invited Ms. Warren to appear at events this fall. I think [Mr. Sanders] always embraced his position as an outsider.”
Politico notes that Bernie and Warren have voters with little in common.
In poll after poll, Sanders appeals to lower-income and less-educated people; Warren beats Sanders among those with postgraduate degrees. Sanders performs better with men, Warren with women. Younger people who vote less frequently are more often in Sanders’ camp; seniors who follow politics closely generally prefer Warren.
Sanders also has won over more African Americans than Warren: He earns a greater share of support from black voters than any candidate in the race except for Joe Biden, according to the latest Morning Consult surveys.
That suggests that the Bernie-Warren team would not only focus on the same issues, but could draw people from different directions, maximizing their support.
There are even petitions floating around, begging the two to form a team.
Things look different from “across the pond,” with the Guardian noting that Bernie and Warren are not identical.
Warren and Sanders have been conflated for years – commentators often talk of a “Sanders-Warren wing” of the Democratic party. But the two are not the same, and though Warren is an ally of many progressive causes, the best chance that we have to not just construct some better policy, but reconfigure a generation of American politics lies with Sanders running and capturing both the Democratic primary and the presidency.
Arguing between two seemingly good choices can seem from afar like the bickering of two rival fan clubs. But there are significant differences between Warren’s and Sanders’ approaches to politics and what their respective victories would mean in a country desperately in need of change. . .
Elizabeth Warren is a progressive who can be an important part of a broad coalition for change, but we need a democratic socialist leading that coalition if we’re to deliver it.
But who should be “on top”? While Al Gore wielded a lot of power under Bill Clinton, and Dick Cheney was arguably more powerful that “W” in the following presidency, we still have a president-vice president system, according to the Constitution.
As Harry Truman said, “the buck stops here.”
Even with an agreement of co-presidency, only one can hold the actual title.
In these pages, I’ve noted that Bernie was first, just as Eugene McCarthy was the first anti-war candidate in 1968. When Bobby Kennedy entered the race, he was seen as being an opportunist.
This time around, Bernie blazed the trail against the establishment in 2016, while Warren merely trods it.
Second, there’s personality. While Warren, as noted above, is more of a “team player,” Bernie is a loner. It would be difficult to comprehend his taking the role of “second banana,” while it is in her personality to do so.
Also, of course, we’ve never had a woman president, and since Dems are “the women’s party,” it is not likely that Warren would bring in more women, while she might not be as accepted by those in the “men’s party” (GOP).
And finally, from a numbers perspective, a Bernie-Warren or Warren-Bernie ticket makes sense, as the field is currently “Biden vs. everybody else,” and there are a lot more “everybody else” that could sideline Biden if they could be brought together.