The damning IG report on Hillary Clinton’s email scandal has produced plenty of speculation since it came out, none of which seems to have affected the race one bit thus far. One of the more common themes seems to be that if the report (and possible results of the FBI investigation) damage her too much, the superdelegates could still take away the nomination in Philadelphia and hand it to Bernie Sanders. (There is zero doubt in my mind that this is the scenario which keeps Bernie in the race despite the nearly impossible math, and drives the DNC crazy.) But Steve Forbes has come out this week with an alternative scenario. The base seems so unhappy with Clinton and broadly divided into two warring camps that there may still be time for a White Knight to come riding to the rescue at the convention. And that man is Joe Biden. (Forbes)
There is a clause in Democratic rules that allows delegates for reasons of overwhelming conscience to not vote for the candidate to whom they are pledged.
Would this mean that Bernie Sanders could still get the nomination? Hardly.
Few democrats believe this self-avowed socialist could actually beat Donald Trump in the general election. As displayed in Sander’s New York Daily News editorial board interview conducted on the eve of the New York primary, the man is remarkably ignorant, despite all his years in the House and Senate. Donald Trump would make mincemeat of him.
Which leads to a once-unimaginable scenario: Democrats turning to Vice President Joe Biden to save them from certain defeat. While faithfully serving President Obama, Biden is seen as a statesman who could lower today’s feverish political temperature. He is regarded as an individual who could cut deals on Capitol Hill and get things done. To bolster his candidacy, he could hint that he would serve only one term.
First of all, I was completely unaware of any clause in the Democratic convention rules which allows the pledged delegates to abandon their appointed candidate for reasons of “overwhelming conscience.” I’ve been through the overview of their rules a few times and seen no reference to this, but Forbes has been around the block more than a few times so I’ll take his word for it. As an aside, can you imagine if the Republicans had a rule like that? We’d probably still have a dozen candidates in the running.
But even assuming it’s true, would the delegates really be so quick to toss Bernie an anchor instead of a life preserver in July? If this scenario played out as indicated in terms of Clinton becoming essentially unelectable, that would be precisely the trigger that the Bernie Bros would need to raise the victory flag. The only path under normal rules for a non-Clinton choice would be for the superdelegates to switch to Sanders in a herd and crown him as the nominee. To have the party elders turn around and kick him to the curb yet again in favor of somebody who didn’t even run would very likely spur riots that would make the most raucous Trump rally protests look like High Tea with the Queen.
If they did it, however, the GOP might be in a lot of trouble. In conservative circles, Biden is looked upon as something of a goofy guy with an inappropriate sense of humor, but mostly harmless. In Democratic circles however, the man carries a ton of respect and his likability numbers are through the roof. When Democratic and left leaning independent voters have a moment to consider their current choices on both sides of the aisle (the two most unpopular candidates in living memory for most of you) you could easily see them flocking to Crazy Uncle Joe like a chuck wagon nearing an army of starving soldiers.
I still don’t see it happening, with all due respect to Steve Forbes, but it’s certainly something to ponder.