Remember way back when Bill Clinton was nominated for president in 1992? His first big decision was to choose a running mate. When he selected Sen. Al Gore, the political gurus pounced: big error, two good-old Southern boys, too much alike, limited appeal. We all know how wrong they were. Clinton/Gore won twice.
It is now 2015, and Hillary Clinton, according to all the polls, is the overwhelming favorite to be the Democratic nominee for president in 2016. So the tantalizing question is: Who will be standing next to her when the cheers explode and a zillion balloons cascade at the convention? Could it possibly be Sen. Elizabeth Warren? Yes, we know they are both women! In fact, two brilliant women with deep experience and superb qualifications. Not exactly alike on the political spectrum, but close enough to carry the Democratic party to victory.
Clinton/Warren: The Dream Team?
OK, here are some arguments against that choice. Men will rise up in droves, horrified with the very idea of women running the country. The backlash will be a tsunami of votes for Republicans at the ballot box. Comedians will have a field day describing two women in frilly aprons discussing terrorism and taxes. The term "grandmother" will become a derogatory epithet and a joke since both Ms. Clinton and Ms. Warren fit into that category. Talk radio will be dominated by Rush Limbaugh combining sarcasm and false statistics to prove that two women would be a disaster at the head of the executive branch of our government. He would seek some obscure words in the Constitution to prove that the founders never meant women in Article II. Supreme Court Justice Scalia will speak off the bench, as he often does, and agree with Rush that the founders never considered women as president or vice president.
In support of the Clinton/Warren choice, we know that women are a greater number of registered voters in the United States. That includes all parties — Democrats, Republicans and independents. In the 2012 presidential election, women were the larger number of voters. Of course, that does not mean they will vote for two women. The issues of pro-life and pro-choice along with all the rest will still matter. However, independent women may be the key to a Clinton/Warren win. They may agree that the time has come for the United States to join Britain, India, Brazil, Germany and other major countries in choosing a woman for president. Hillary Clinton would remain the reason they vote Democratic, while Elizabeth Warren would add her strengths to the ticket. Together, they would prove that the research and evidence is right: Women are better negotiators and compromisers when working with divisive factions. We need a leadership team to bring the fractured Congress and executive office back together.
When Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama were dueling in the 2008 primary, she won more blue-collar male voters in the crucial states of Ohio and Pennsylvania. She understood their needs and spoke to them about real issues in their lives. She would do this again, joined by Elizabeth Warren, who is "on fire" when she talks about economic inequality in the United States. Ms. Warren has become the leading advocate in Congress for controlling Wall Street big banks and protecting the middle and working classes from another recession. She translates her knowledge of economics and finance into down-to-earth language and examples.
I Hillary Clinton has not announced her decision about running for president. Yet the odds are heavy that she will be unable to resist the chance of becoming the first woman president of the United States, and reports say she could announce as early as Sunday. I know Elizabeth Warren has insisted categorically that she is not interested in running for president. Yet, certain couples have ended up on the ticket when it appeared they were an unlikely match. Remember Jack Kennedy and Lyndon Johnson in 1960? I think we can agree that politics can be a surprising business at times. Let's not rule out Hillary Clinton making an audacious decision when choosing her running mate in 2016.
It might just be the dream team.
Joyce S. Anderson is a former professor of sociology and chairperson of the Social Science Division at Atlantic Community College in New Jersey; her op-eds have appeared in The New York Times and The Philadelphia Inquirer. Her email is firstname.lastname@example.org.