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A new way to choose a U.S. vice presidential candidate

Uploaded: Apr 17, 2023
Mention the 2024 presidential election and many Democrats already are saying “Gee, I like Biden, but there’s this age problem. He’s getting older, I can see it. And I wish he was a little bit more forceful.”

Republicans are saying “I probably will vote for Trump, but the candidates he supported in 2022 did poorly, and I’m not sure I can trust him anymore with all those lies and things. At times, I wish there was someone else.”

This questioning of who may run is not is not an endorsement for either man, but both have age, appeal and health issues (Trump’s weight, for one), and so if either win, they many not be able to spend four years in office.The vice-presidential choice is very important.

Let me present you with an idea I read about: Rather than having the presidential candidate choose his (or her) running mate, let the GOP or Democratic delegates to the party’s national conventions each choose a vice president running ate at their separate conventions.

Some friends I have talked to said “no” immediately, saying a president has the right to pick aa running mate he is comfortable with. True, but that may not be the best thing for the party or our country.


Well, the way it is now, Biden, being a nice guy, will probably choose Kamala Harris again as his running mate. She’s a decent, conscientious person, but somehow doesn’t, for me, display the presidential charisma, strength and drive to take over if Biden gets sick.

During his administration, she’s made lots of speeches and cut many ribbons. But initially, she was asked to work on the immigration problem and related Mexican issues, and I didn’t see much happen. But Biden probably wants to be supportive of her, or doesn’t personally want to hurt her feelings, so he may again offer her the vice-presidential seat rather than tell her no.” But a convention-selected VP candidate would ease his problem. And it would be a great opportunity for some younger Democrat to have a chance at the office, which could breathe more life and spirit into the younger members of the party.

The same is true for Trump. He also could get sick in office, or get imprisoned, so the GOP VP office holder will be critical. Trump may want to choose a man who would always support and adore him, and tell him he is right, but convention attendees may look for a different type of candidate. It is very unlikely that Trump would pick Pence, because Pence didn’t do what he Trump told him regarding the electors in the 2020 presidential race. Would he pick Rudy Giuliani? Or William Barr? No. So let the conventioneers choose.

And while we are on this topic, I think the Electoral College needs some improvement. No, I don’t want to get rid of it because if we had an at-large national majority vote, then voters in six big states could select a president simply because more people are living in those states than, say, Montana, and the rest of the states combined. The bigger states tend to lean Democratic. And if six states could choose the winner, that means those living in smaller states would certainly feel their votes don’t count.

But if the Electoral College members would be required to vote proportionately in each state– e.g., if 60 percent of the votes in a state vote for the GOP candidate and 40 percent to the Democratic candidate, the allocation of votes would provide a fairer representative state voter count in the College. No more winner-take-all-rule for states. Maybe, just maybe, these ideas can catch hold in Congress and the nation -- it could make a big difference.
Local Journalism.
What is it worth to you?


Posted by Resident 1-Adobe Meadows, a resident of Adobe-Meadow,
on Apr 17, 2023 at 11:03 pm

Resident 1-Adobe Meadows is a registered user.

THe Vice President must be an accomplished individual with the total managerial skill set to take over for the President. It appears that people over all of Congress now are being chosen to fulfill a quota for multi-racial and gender versus proven managerial skills in the office they are representing. That is taking us into a world war due to lack of ability to manage government at the top level balancing trade with other countries.

Every day another pronouncement of "success' versus the reality of a broken transportation system, broken banking system, broken immigration system, broken infrastructure. All is going the wrong way and our governor is out picking fights with other states. That is why people are leaving.

Posted by Kendra Locke, a resident of Community Center,
on Apr 18, 2023 at 7:46 am

Kendra Locke is a registered user.

A simple solution...The winner of the presidential election becomes president & the loser becomes vice-president.

In retrospect, the majority of our nation's VPs have been forgettable individuals primarily chosen to secure regional or sub-group voting blocs.

Throughout American history very few VPs have ever been viewed as noteworthy or worthwhile presidential material. They are merely filler material...like breadcrumbs added to a meatloaf.

Look back at past VP candidates (both on the winning and losing sides). How many can you actually remember or name?

The other alternative would be to have Congressional members select the president as they do in other countries.

If Joe Biden is serious about running in 2024 he should dump Kamala Harris while it is obvious that Mike Pence will not be receiving any serious consideration from Donald Trump.

Lastly, choosing a woman VP candidate just to get votes is also a bad idea. Remember Geraldine Ferraro and Sarah Palin? Like Harris, they added nothing constructive to the ticket.

Posted by Charles Johnson, a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis,
on Apr 18, 2023 at 11:04 am

Charles Johnson is a registered user.

Taking a walk through history and the American presidencies, most of the vice-presidents who succeeded presidents due to death or assassination were utterly inept.

John Tyler, Millard Fillmore, Andrew Johnson, and Chester Alan Arthur immediately come to mind.

Only Theodore Roosevelt, Calvin Coolidge, Harry Truman, and Lyndon Baines Johnson, left any significant historical imprints.

Imagine the likes of Spiro Agnew, Dick Cheney, Mike Pence, or Kamala Harris ever becoming president. No thanks.

Posted by Felicia Montoya, a resident of Mountain View,
on Apr 18, 2023 at 12:57 pm

Felicia Montoya is a registered user.

Another option would be to elect the president and vice president separately...no different than voting for the governor and lieutenant governor in CA.

The only states that matter in a presidential election are the current swing states. In 2016 and 2020 Arizona, Georgia, Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin determined the outcome.

The predominantly red and blue states don't really matter because their presidential votes (both popular and electoral) are forgone conclusions.

In the long run, it really doesn't matter because there has never been a truly great president in the history of the United States despite the incessant plastering of their faces on coinage and currency.

Mt. Rushmore also leaves something to be desired as former President Trump once inquired about having his likeness added but there was no available space remainingto accommodate his wishes.

Even the past losers of recent presidential elections (i.e. Hillary Clinton,
Mitt Romney, John McCain, Robert Dole, Michael Dukakis, Walter Mondale et al) would not have fared any better than those actually elected.

The only one who did OK was Al Gore and that was only because of his climate change advocacies which have nothing to do with being a president.

Posted by Joseph E. Davis, a resident of Woodside: Emerald Hills,
on Apr 18, 2023 at 1:40 pm

Joseph E. Davis is a registered user.

The VP is a minor issue compared to the problems at the top of the ticket in either of your scenarios. At some point one would hope that Americans would elect candidates with a minimum of character and at least physical competence to carry out the job, but it seems not. Feinstein and Fetterman are other depressing examples.

Posted by Jen Williams, a resident of Menlo Park,
on Apr 18, 2023 at 3:02 pm

Jen Williams is a registered user.

"At some point one would hope that Americans would elect candidates with a minimum of character..."

That happened in 2016.

Posted by Bystander, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood,
on Apr 18, 2023 at 7:13 pm

Bystander is a registered user.

I happen to think that announcing that a black woman, any black woman, is not the way to choose someone. It seems that Newsom is about to use the same strategy.

How about choosing someone because they are the best person for the job, not because of fitting into any particular demographic.

Will the next choices be made on whether they are overweight, or short, or have walked on the moon?

Posted by Jim Kolb, a resident of another community,
on Apr 19, 2023 at 8:50 am

Jim Kolb is a registered user.

@Bystander...among liberals, the pre-selection of a VP running mate (person of color, LGBTQ etc.) is to ensure a voting bloc...no different than conservatives opting for evangelicals, anti-abortion, and gun rights advocates except that the conservative choices are generally white and straight.

Posted by Hal Plotkin, a resident of Midtown,
on Apr 19, 2023 at 10:26 am

Hal Plotkin is a registered user.

I wonder if you know that what you propose is, technically, already the actual process? Veep candidates are in fact selected after a separate vote at each convention, albeit with the outcome of that vote typically determined by the expressed wishes of the party's designated presidential nominee. There have been several attempts by others to mount a campaign for the vice-presidential nomination, most notably, in 1972 by the former governor of Massachusetts, Endicott Peabody (see: Web Link Peabody mounted a national campaign for the vice-presidential nomination and even made at least one campaign appearance here in Palo Alto, which I attended, along with about a dozen others. He was a charming man. But at the convention, he came in well behind the vice-presidential nominee selected by 1972 presidential nominee George McGovern, Senator Tom Eagleton, who withdrew a few days after being nominated after it was revealed he had been treated for severe depression (he was replaced by former peace corps director Sargent Shriver). The idea is not practical, in a real sense, though, because delegates to each convention are selected largely because of their expressed loyalty to their chosen presidential candidate, and those delegates are very unlikely to ignore the wishes of their preferred candidate, whom they have pledged to support.

Posted by Chuck Hawkins (USMC ret.), a resident of another community,
on Apr 19, 2023 at 12:36 pm

Chuck Hawkins (USMC ret.) is a registered user.

The United States would best be served by a military-based administration rather than soul-sacrificing politicians who are more focused on colecting votes.

Posted by Joselyn Peck, a resident of Greendell/Walnut Grove,
on Apr 21, 2023 at 9:10 am

Joselyn Peck is a registered user.

Since the role of vice president could potentially and eventually lead to someone becoming president, we will not be be voting for Biden in 2024 unless he chooses a running mate other than Kamala Harris.

No one in their right mind wants to see her become POTUS at a later date.

Posted by Hinrich, a resident of Old Palo Alto,
on Apr 22, 2023 at 10:27 am

Hinrich is a registered user.

Well stated Resident 1-Adobe Meadows! Over 50 years since Earth Day and sloppy earth science and the birth of hyper-activism and we should ask if we haven't already ruined everything. We really do need to stop picking leaders based on the latest cause because we are now so far from good management of our public issues that we may never recover (!) from decades of good intentions gone bad. So, no please don't change anything else. The country is ruined, the Bay Area is a mess, San Francisco is no-go. As we now know, the faulty science and projections which fueled decades of poor decisions and all kinds of activism has morphed into today's faulty science and from groups like the Rocky Mountain Institute and the current hysteria that we're all going to die unless Palo Alto bans your gas stoves. Activism based on strange theories forced on everyone. We have terrible leaders because we have such little regard for actual skill, experience, and character and have given control to the least capable. Why would we want to make the selection process even worse?

Posted by Curmudgeon, a resident of Downtown North,
on Apr 25, 2023 at 11:34 am

Curmudgeon is a registered user.

"Biden, being a nice guy, will probably choose Kamala Harris again as his running mate. She's a decent, conscientious person, but somehow doesn't, for me, display the presidential charisma, strength and drive to take over if Biden gets sick."

Gee, wasn't everybody saying that exact same thing about Harry Truman, who is recognized as one of the most effective presidents ever?

Posted by Hank Dennison, a resident of Barron Park,
on Apr 25, 2023 at 12:15 pm

Hank Dennison is a registered user.

> ...Harry Truman, who is recognized as one of the most effective presidents ever?"

^ By dropping two atom bombs on Japan and recalling General MacArthur who was striving to curtail a fledgling Red China that was actively supporting North Korea via weaponry, air power, and troop supplements?

An entertaining 2024 presidential campaign would include a Donald Trump/Tucker Carlson Republican ticket VS a Joe Biden/Rev. Al Sharpton Democratic offering.

There is no room for the likes of Kamala Harris and Mike Pence unless one prefers to be bored.

Posted by Bystander, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood,
on Apr 25, 2023 at 1:45 pm

Bystander is a registered user.

Running mate is definitely worth watching here since it is extremely possible that the VP will become the commander in chief during Biden's watch, if he wins. Big if.

Posted by Colin Lange, a resident of Menlo Park,
on Apr 25, 2023 at 4:17 pm

Colin Lange is a registered user.

Vice President Kamala Harris is President Biden's choice for running mate in 2024 though many Democrats have second thoughts.

As long as Biden can maintain his mental acuity (?) and physical health until the end of 2028 we will be OK because CA Governor Gavin Newsom will easily eliminate any possibility of Kamala Harris becoming the Democratic party's 2028 presidential nominee.

Stay healthy Joe and complete your legacy.

Posted by Duff McIntire, a resident of Portola Valley,
on Apr 26, 2023 at 7:54 am

Duff McIntire is a registered user.

Trump should consider choosing the governor of Florida (Ron DeSantis) to be his vice-presidential running mate.

This will solidify the Republican voter bloc and better prepare DeSantis for a 2028 presidential election run.

Despite his current legal issues, Trump delivered on his 2016 promise to seat more conservative judges to the SCOTUS and for that he should be supported by all Republican voters who believe in traditional American values and scope.

Posted by Kristin Halliday, a resident of Los Altos,
on Apr 26, 2023 at 9:38 am

Kristin Halliday is a registered user.

Like Donald Trump, Kamala Harris is disliked by many voters and it would prudent for President Biden to have chosen an alternative running mate for 2024.

She brings absolutely nothing to the ticket (or table) and would make a less than stellar president if the situation ever arose.

Using token ethnicities and/or genders to presumably enhance a presidential ticket is not a sound political strategy.

Just ask Michael Dukakis, John McCain, and Joe Biden.

Posted by Taylor Yount, a resident of another community,
on Apr 26, 2023 at 10:29 am

Taylor Yount is a registered user.

During the 2016 Democratic primary debates, Kamala Harris was no match for even Joe Biden.

If Ted Cruz were to accept the VP role under Trump, he would obliterate Harris in any form of debate because debating is his specialty and Cruz is acknowledged by both legal experts and congressional colleagues alije as one of the best in this oratory field.

Harris' faux crocodile tears and emotional outbreaks during her speeches will not instill voter confidence.

She is best relegated to a guest commentator role (like that of former Missouri senator Clare McCaskill) on CNN or MNBC where her squeaky-voiced political insights will be shielded by sympathetic news anchors.

Posted by Danielle Ross, a resident of Community Center,
on Apr 26, 2023 at 10:38 am

Danielle Ross is a registered user.

If the Ukraine can have a former comedian (Zelensky) as president, why can't the United States?

George Lopez, Chris Rock, Wanda Sykes, and Dave Chappelle immediately come to mind and would add further diversity to our nation's leadership.

They would also outdraw the likes of Kamala Harris who has absolutely no sense of humor, irony, or vision.

Posted by Ross Jansen, a resident of Palo Alto Hills,
on Apr 26, 2023 at 11:46 am

Ross Jansen is a registered user.

Very few American voters (including Democrats) would like to see Kamala Harris ascend any further than she already has.

If Biden loses in 2024, much of the blame will be attributed not only to his policies but also to his choice of Harris rather than replacing her with someone more adept to be vice president and a potential POTUS.

Posted by Ben Croft, a resident of Barron Park,
on Apr 26, 2023 at 12:16 pm

Ben Croft is a registered user.

Having Kamala Harris on the Biden ticket is a boon to Republican voters and Donald Trump's 2024 electoral aspirations.

Sadly, many Democrats cannot see the forest through the trees as Harris is not presidential material in any universe.

Posted by Barry Weiss, a resident of Stanford,
on Apr 26, 2023 at 12:57 pm

Barry Weiss is a registered user.

Kamala Harris deserves an opportunity to stand among our most noteworthy American presidents like Washington, Lincoln, Roosevelt, Kennedy, and Reagan.

Whether she is up to the task is another story.

Posted by Nigel Winters, a resident of Menlo Park,
on Apr 26, 2023 at 3:25 pm

Nigel Winters is a registered user.

From The Telegraph (UK)

Headline > President Kamala Harris Should Terrify Us All

"Joe Biden's running mate is inept, out of her depth, and a heartbeat from leading the free world."

Gracious...Harris is also considered a very poor public speaker given her propensity for head-scratching 'word salads'.

Can't you Yanks do any better?

Posted by Lauren Souza, a resident of Mountain View,
on Apr 26, 2023 at 3:37 pm

Lauren Souza is a registered user.

> "...Republican voters who believe in traditional American values and scope.

Count me in....a return to a more 'traditional America' (sans wokeness & LGBTQ public school curriculums) would be a nice first step along with increased restrictions on immigration.

Posted by J Randall, a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood,
on May 1, 2023 at 8:43 am

J Randall is a registered user.

The Democratic Party's obsession with race is now counterproductive and socially destructive.

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