Top 5 Tuesday (Sports)

Featured Podcasts

Political Rundown

In the News

Ranking The Top Democratic VP Options

Ranking The Top Democratic VP Options

1) CORY BOOKER

Photo: ABC News

Pros:
• All-around rockstar!
How many vice presidents have ever ran into a burning building to save a stranger's life? Or shoveled an elderly person's driveway after a heavy snowstorm?  Or responded to the demands of constituents with ACTION? 
• Booker has successfully reached across the aisle to pass bi-partisan legislation in the U.S. Senate, making him the prime candidate to serve as President of the Senate
• Executive experience as mayor of New Jersey's largest city (Newark)
• Submitted legislation aimed at tackling systemic poverty
• Of the ten listed here, Booker has put forth the most bold and comprehensive plan to add jobs by rebuilding our crumbling  infrastructure
• YOUNG, charismatic, sky-high name recognition and favorability ratings
• Booker's inclusion would inspire young Democratic voters who are skeptical of the party's future

Cons:
• Only served one term in the Senate
• Bachelor - though not a legitimate flaw, for some foolish reason U.S. constituents are drawn to married candidates with children who seem happy
• Senator from a state with a Republican governor. His seat will be filled by a Republican, which will strengthen the Republican stranglehold on Congress
• Does not bring electoral college value to the ticket. Hillary will likely win New Jersey, with or without a running mate from that state. Furthermore, a New Jersey/New York ticket would geographically appear very Northeast heavy – obviously not a major concern (considering he's ranked number one) but worthy of consideration


2) JULIAN CASTRO

Photo: BOB OWEN, Staff / San Antonio Express-News

Pros:
• Executive experience as mayor of Texas' second largest city (San Antonio)
• Would be the FIRST Latin American candidate nominated for President or Vice President by a major party
• YOUNG
• Phenomenal orator - Okay, he's not Pres. Obama, but nobody is. Castro has a unique ability to earn the attention of a crowd in seconds (recall his keynote speech at the 2012 Charlotte convention)
• Experience advocating for low wage earners while serving as Secretary of Housing and Urban Development

Cons:
• Castro is a monolingual Latin American politician – This may seem callous, but the imagery of a Latin American candidate relying on a translator to communicate with Spanish speaking voters would be awful
• As Secretary of Housing and Urban Development, Castro oversaw the sale of the majority of Distressed Housing Asset Pools go to Wall Street (the same Wall Street that helped to cause the crisis requiring the sales in the first place) - caused many Dems to question his progressive roots


3) ELIZABETH WARREN

Photo: Photo by Aaron Josefczyk/Reuters

Pros:
• Progressive darling - Warren's addition would instantly unify the far left wing of the party with the moderate base
• Economics wizard (bankruptcy law professor), with a real plan to close the income inequality gap
• Experience fighting for folks earning lower wages, during her tenure in the U.S. Senate 

Cons: 
• Like Booker, the governor of the state she serves is a Republican who will fill her seat with a Republican
• Many misogynist voters refuse to consider supporting a ticket with all women
• If successful in November and reelection was sought in 2020, the combined age of the ticket would be 143 - the party may be better served grooming a younger POTUS in waiting
• Warren lacks the executive experience preferred from a candidate who may have to assume office


4) GAVIN NEWSOM

Photo: JOSH EDELSON/AFP/Getty Images

Pros:
• TONS of executive experience: Newsom was a two-term mayor of San Francisco, and currently serving his second term as Lieutenant Governor of the nation's largest state (California)
• Record of positively affecting a major city's homeless population
• Advocate of millennial-friendly policies like equal marriage rights for LGBT, and the legalization of marijuana
• Despised by the NRA! With gun safety an inevitable general election battle, Newsom's fresh take and innovative ideas to reduce gun violence make him the ideal vice presidential candidate
• YOUNG, very high favorability rating in the west
• Unafraid to assume positions contrary to his party when he's putting the people's interests first

Cons:
• Lacks national name recognition
• Moderate fiscal policy background would make drawing progressives to the ballot box difficult


5) WENDY DAVIS

Photo: Huffington Post

Pros:
• Courageous, statesman who is allergic to acquiescence
• Record of fighting for women's rights
• Davis' inclusion would put the state of Texas in play for the first time in generations, and create an electoral college juggernaut
• Like Warren, her gender adds necessary diversity to the ticket, but unlike Warren, Davis has the youth to remain in D.C. for the next 16 years

Cons:
• Lacks executive experience
• Lacks national name recognition
• Davis has only held elected office in local government
• Like Warren, the misogynist voting demographic is real and the thought of two women on the ticket is unimaginable for those voters


6) XAVIER BECERRA

Pros:
• Immigration Reform will be among the top issues this election. Becerra is a tested former immigration lawyer who penned legislation aimed at resolving the U.S. immigration debate
• Respected by his peers; chairman of the House Democratic Caucus
• Becerra is younger than HALF of Hillary's other options
• Represents a district that will not be lost to the Republican Party if he is added to the presidential ticket
• Helps solidify the growing lead among Latin American voters, as the former chair of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus

Cons:
• Lacks executive experience
• Failed to gain real traction while in office with his immigration bills 


7) BERNIE SANDERS

Photo: Darren McCollester/Getty Images

Pros:
• Executive experience as Mayor of Vermont's largest city (Burlington)
• Unmatched popularity among young voters
• Master politician who avoids making gaffes by pivoting back to the hallmarks of his political existence: imposing taxes on Wall Street
• Viewed as the people's champion

Cons:
• Sanders and Clinton are bitter rivals – despite his endorsement, the two have legitimate disagreement on how to govern and their lack of trust is mutual. Serving together would be a virtual impossibility
• Sanders detractors view him as too much of a Washington insider with his 30 plus years in Congress
• Impractical expectations for a legislative agenda bound to fail with Republican controlled houses of Congress. 
• Dreadful performance among voters of color, especially African-Americans, throughout the primary. This setback is too much of a liability for an election thirsting for a contrast to Trump's racial divisiveness
• Lack of diversity in his policy positions could be troubling in a tough general election. Every question cannot be answered by raising taxes on the wealthiest U.S. citizens - yes, it is time for the wealthiest to start contributing their fair share in taxes, but that cannot be the ONLY issue he focuses on in every discussion


8) JOHN HICKENLOOPER

Pros:
• Executive experience as both governor of Colorado and previously as mayor of Colorado's largest city (Denver)
• Track record of lowering the unemployment rate
• As mayor of Denver, Hickenlooper successfully implemented
• Popular figure in an important swing state 

Cons:
• With immigration reform being central to the 2016 election, Hickenlooper's open criticism of Obama's approach to immigration reform, draws too great a contrast in ideology to Clinton and the party. Hickenlooper stating that, "Latinos weren’t interested in becoming American citizens," was as regrettable as it was inappropriate
• For a governor whose won several elections in Colorado, he has questionable political savvy. This was on display as Hickenlooper struggled to disavow the credibility of Hillary email questions at the FRED Leadership Forum. His skepticism and willingness to entertain the idea Clinton committed a criminal act is the sort of indecision unworthy of VP consideration 

 


9) TIM KAINE

Photo: NBC News

Pros:
• Executive experience as both a lieutenant governor of Virginia and two-term mayor of Richmond
• Speaks Spanish, and has a positive repoire with Clinton
• Seasoned political veteran that will never make headlines for saying/doing anything damaging
• Liked in his home state (Virginia), an all important November swing state that Obama won twice
• Kaine's experience as Chair of the Democratic National Committee may help unify the base

Cons:
• "Who is Tim Kaine?" I have honestly heard this question in a library, barbershop, gym, and grocery store in the past three weeks. This dude is not a political liability because of any singular policy positions or ill advised remarks - Kaine is a liability because he's failed to accomplish anything meaningful the past 20 years
• Vice presidential nominees should excite the base, and the public. No one listens to Kaine and thinks "wow that guy is inspiring" - they just don't. 


10) SHERROD BROWN

Photo: Andrew Harnik—AP

Pros:
• Brown and Clinton share a great working relationship and are completely aligned on most policy positions
• High favorables among Ohio constituents (one of the most important swing states)
• Brown opposed the war and voted against the $87 million war budgetary supplement 

Cons:
• Are you excited about Sherrod Brown?...Sherrod Brown isn't excited about Sherrod Brown
• Brown does not invigorate Democratic voters to flood the polls, and he represents the epitome of a nondescript "safe" choice that would further tank Hillary's rapidly declining unfavorables
• Lastly, Brown lacks the name recognition necessary to woo independent voters


Age is important and no, it is not ageist to suggest the Democratic party should appeal to younger voters by including relatable candidates born in the past 50 years. Future party considerations are critical to a party's sustainability. Having two Baby Boomers on the ticket increases the likelihood the party will have no candidate with national executive experience the following election. That's risky! One way to avoid having a stage full of old, disliked, polarizing, white candidates, is by nominating young, popular, candidates of color, like Kamala Harris (CA), Joaquin Castro (TX), Amerish Bera (CA), Joseph Garcia (CO), Sec. of Labor Tom Perez, etc. 

The Democratic Party is more racially and culturally diverse than its Republican rival. But that was not apparent when observing Democratic presidential debates. That is unacceptable for a party striving to distance itself from the racial division sparked by Republican rhetoric. 

The Democratic Party is starved for young leadership. It is in the party’s best interest to tap into the wealth of young talent and energy available across the nation in local chapters of College Democrats of America. Members of this organization should be named staffers, speechwriters, and most importantly, publicly endorsed for elected office. Scores of young Democrats are never given the proper resources to earn the name recognition required to mount a legitimate run for office. Beyond that, young Dems are tired of seeing their party represented by old white men. There should be a distinguishable physical quality separating the two major parties. Dems can no longer stand atop their high horse decrying the GOP the party for ‘rich old white men’ if they continue to nominate rich old white men.

This election is a prime opportunity for presumptive nominee Hillary Clinton and the Democratic Party to shape the party in a futuristic image – one that inspires young voters the way Bernie Sanders insurgent candidacy did for so long. To nominate anyone outside of the top 5 listed here would alienate millions of people searching for a reason to support third party candidates.

Superior Debate Prep Carries Clinton to Victory in the First Presidential Debate

Superior Debate Prep Carries Clinton to Victory in the First Presidential Debate

Open Letter to the Bernie Or Bust Contingent

Open Letter to the Bernie Or Bust Contingent