September 13, 2016 - Fort Russ News -
- Gevorg Mirzayan, RIA Analytics - translated by J. Arnoldski
A Russian analyst's assessment of a potential Clinton replacement
Hillary Clinton’s sickness could deprive the Democrats of the chance to win the White House. Thus, the party is already considering alternative candidates.
Hillary Clinton’s sudden illness affliction, which manifested itself in her poor health at the memorial ceremony for September 11th victims, has been spun by her headquarters as a case of ordinary pneumonia. Hillary Clinton herself is on the mend and ready to return to the election fight as soon as possible.
However, some political analysts and sociologists maintain a different point of view. Hillary’s illness has become the best evidence for the increasingly popular theory that this 68-year-old Democratic candidate has some serious health problems. This means not simple pneumonia, but a disease which would not allow Clinton to fulfill her duties as President of the United States.
If the former secretary of state suffered from dehydration and a heat stroke at a temperature of only 23 degrees Celsius (such was the temperature on the morning of September 11th in New York), then how will she be able to hold hours-long negotiations with Putin or Xi Jinping?
Now the fate of the Democratic nomination will depend on two things.
Firstly, it will depend on the rapid recovery and activity of Hillary, who is now scrambling to prove the falsity of rumors about her health.
Secondly, things will depend on opinion surveys. Trump himself has formally banned his staff members from spinning the story of his opponent’s health, but his supporters will do so very actively anyway. They understand that the big scandal surrounding Hillary could help their guru win the elections, and rumors of the Democratic candidate being diseased is not an opportunity that should be missed.
If Hillary cannot prove her competence to voters, then her ratings will begin to plummet, and it is possible that she could voluntarily, or be forced to, exit the race before elections.
Only after Clinton officially withdraws from the race can the Democrats choose a new candidate. Fortunately, this does not require new primaries. The electorate has already chosen its electors, and these electors just have to gather for an emergency meeting of the National Committee and vote for another person.
Washington is sizzling with rumors that the party is preparing for such a meeting, but this does not mean that Hillary’s fate has been decided. The leaders of the party simply need to think through the very complex procedure in the case of an emergency and prepare the organization for what, according to the committee’s functionaries, could take 2-3 weeks. The difficulty itself is not posed by quickly gathering a few hundred Democratic bosses in one place, but by determining Clinton’s replacement. This procedure was already carried out in 1972, but it then it concerned the vice presidential candidate of the then race’s loser.
Here we are dealing with changing a presidential candidate and the campaign favorite. It needs to be clear who will be appointed to Clinton’s place.
The press is discussing three candidates: Virginia Senator Tim Kane (Hillary’s partner in the elections), Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders (her opponent in the primaries) and the current vice president, Joe Biden.
From the Democrats’ point of view, Bernie Sander should replace Clinton given that he was her main opponent in the primaries. This choice, undoubtedly, would be supported by the party’s voters who had voted for him, and overall by the electorate of the Democratic Party.
“The idea of popular representation is important for the US. The era when the party elite determined presidential candidates is already gone, and neither McCain nor Biden participated in the primaries,” RIA Novosti associate professor of the Russian government’s Financial University and scholar in American studies, Sergey Kostyaev, explained.
There are already suspicions that Hillary deliberately used administrative resources to secure victory in the primaries. Voters might not forgive Sanders’ bureaucratic exclusion. What’s more, Sanders has a very serious chance at winning in the general elections because his disapproval rating is much lower than Hillary’s (especially among independent voters). All polls conducted during the primaries showed that Sanders would have a leg up over Trump if he had won the Democratic nomination.
However, despite all of these points, Sanders still has one big minus: the establishment does not like him. Although this man sat in the House of Representatives for 25 years, only a small number of Congressmen ever spoke out in his defense. Also, Sanders is characterized by far left views and is a socialist - a dirty word by American standards.
This Vermont Senator did not muddy the water when the scandal broke out over machinations in the party primaries. He did not challenge the results and did not speak out against Hillary. In doing so, he earned the respect of his fellow party members.
However, this does not change general attitudes towards him. Not to mention the fact that a Sanders presidency would be confronted with a rebellious Republican Congress. If Obama were to shake hands with this socialist, they would interfere in the president’s work in any way possible, not allowing any talk about introducing a European healthcare and education system.
Therefore, in addition to Sanders, the Democrats are considering other candidates. From the Russian point of view, the correct substitute would be Tim Kane as the #2 man on the Democratic list.
If Hillary is claimed by misfortune after her election, then none other than Kane would become the new president.
But if the former secretary of state is taken out ahead of the elections, the Virginia senator’s chances of become the Democratic candidate are still minimal. He is an extremely weak figure who was chosen as Hillary’s vice presidential running mate due to Virginia residents’ vote (a swing state) and the opportunity to compensate for Hillary’s negative reputation.
Kane has the image of a “good ol’” christian and altruist who "helps others" both in the US (as a lawyer, he defended disabled people and African-Americans) and abroad (he visited Honduras on a “charity mission”). He has experience, is capable of reaching compromise with different people, and does not interfere in the president or her “first gentleman’s" running the country. But he just doesn’t have enough ties to become president.
Therefore, the most that he can expect in the case of a Hillary withdrawal is keeping the post of vice presidential candidate.
Theoretically, anyone among the Democratic Party’s heavyweights could become an alternative to Sanders. In this regard, many put forth the name of the current US vice president, Joseph Biden. This charismatic patriarch of the Senate could definitely fulfill presidential duties and negotiate with the Republicans.
In addition, he is well versed in foreign policy issues (in fact, he is responsible for the Obama Administration’s Ukraine affair) and possesses sufficient experience and skills to continue the “deterrence” of Russia, Iran, and China.
The problem is that he no longer needs this. “After Biden’s son’s death by cancer, he decided to end his political career as vice president. After the end of his term, he plans to busy himself with public initiatives for fighting cancer,” Sergey Kostyaev says.
There is no second figure of such caliber in the Democratic Party. Therefore, it cannot be excluded that, in the event of Clinton’s vanishing (which American political analysts still consider unlikely), the socialist Sanders will become US President.
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