For those who enjoy politics as a blood sport, events during the past week south of the border have been worth watching.
Just seven days ago, there were six candidates trying to win the Democratic nomination for president of the United States. Today, for all intents and purposes, there are only two. They are both white men of, shall we say, a certain age.
Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders could not be more different from each other and, in many ways, they have split the Democratic Party apart.
One of them, Sanders, doesn’t even belong to the Democratic Party. He sits in the senate as an independent, makes no secret about being a socialist, actively promotes a revolution, albeit a peaceful one, and he has nice things to say about Fidel Castro and his communist regime.
Joe Biden, on the other hand, is a centrist. A liberal to be sure, but still a capitalist and in many ways part of the American status quo. He is seen by many as a champion of the little guy and an advocate for black Americans, but he is not, like Sanders, out to play Robin Hood or to radically change the way the United States does business, at home or abroad.
Both of these men have physical issues. Every time I watch Sanders speak, especially in front of a crowd, I fear he may drop dead right in front of the microphone. He has recently suffered a heart attack. When he gets excited, which he often does, his face turns beet red, and when that happens I have seen his handlers in the background visibly tense up.
Joe Biden has his own problems. He can be extremely articulate, but at times he comes across as being somewhat vague and saying things he doesn’t mean and then having to correct himself. He also has a reputation for being the master of the gaff. Both of these traits give his opponents an opportunity to question whether he is losing it.
The reality is that unless the only other candidate still in the race, Tulsi Gabbard, a congresswoman from Hawaii and a former veteran, pulls off a Hail Mary, one of these two men will be up against Donald Trump in November. Currently Gabbard has just two delegate votes.
Now, Donald Trump himself is no spring chicken but of those three he is the baby of the bunch, only in his mid-seventies. If I had a vote (and I am happy that I do not), I would vote for Joe Biden. Of the other two men, in my view, one is a dangerous radical and the other a self-centered liar who makes things up along the way, regardless of the facts.
What a terrible thing it would be to have to choose between Sanders and Trump. I can’t believe I am writing this, but if that were the case I would be rooting for Trump.
But hopefully that won’t happen. It looks like Joe Biden is headed for the top of the Democratic ticket although there is a long road ahead and Bernie Sanders, who has huge support, will likely stick it out to the bitter end.
Either way, now the question becomes: which old man will become the next president of the United States once the November election rolls around? My bet is that it may all depend on a woman. While of course it is pure speculation, here is a scenario that could unfold.
Donald Trump may well dump Mike Pence as his vice-president. This rumour is already in circulation and most people know that loyalty is a one-way street with Trump. In a tight race, demographics count, and Pence fails that test in a number of ways. He is white, male, and comes from the wrong part of the country. If it is in his best interests to pick a different running mate, Donald Trump will not hesitate.
If Michael Pence is shown the door, my guess is that Nikki Haley will be on the ticket in November with Donald Trump. She is a well-known and popular Republican of Indian extraction. As a former governor of South Carolina, she will bring votes from the South the president might otherwise not get. She was appointed U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations by Trump and has remained loyal to him. She would add a great deal to the Republican ticket.
Joe Biden has made no secret about wanting Michelle Obama as his running mate should he become the Democratic nominee. The chances of him getting her are slim to none, but polls show her as still the most popular woman in the United States and what a contest that would make. More likely, Biden will look to Kamala Harris, a senator from California, a former prosecutor, and a fiery African American politician from a part of the country important to Democrats. She dropped out of the primaries early and yesterday endorsed Joe Biden. She is well-known, well-liked, and represents the right demographics.
Although he is currently behind, if Bernie Sanders manages to win the Democratic nomination, the likelihood is that he, too, will pick a woman as his running mate.
My prediction is that the next vice-president of the United States will be a woman and, factually, the next president will not be that far away from eighty.
The president, whoever he may be, could die in office. If not, by law, Trump would not be able to run again, and it is unlikely that Sanders or Biden would.
It may well take a woman to influence the final outcome of the American presidential election in November and it may well be a woman, in the not too distant future, that becomes president of the United States.
On this day, International Women’s Day, it is a good thought to have.
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