Even as Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders was deployed to Ohio by the Clinton camp to shore up the Democratic base, former Sanders backers stoked rumors about the prospect that Hillary Clinton could be replaced as the Democratic nominee.
The Clinton campaign fueled speculation last weekend by offering shifting explanations for Clinton’s fainting spell at a 9/11 ceremony. Veteran journalist Cokie Roberts gave replacement rumors oxygen by telling National Public Radio’s “Morning Edition” that Clinton’s health “has them [Democrats] very nervously beginning to whisper about find — having her step aside and finding another candidate.”
Roberts quickly backtracked, but Democratic strategist Harlan Hill, a Sanders supporter who started a pro-Donald Trump super PAC rather than support Clinton — said he has been in contact with senior Democratic National Committee officials who are contemplating it.
“The rumors are real,” he said. “The conversations have happened.”
Publicly, the DNC and the Clinton campaign have dismissed concerns about her health. The Clinton camp this week released more medical information and a letter from her doctor pronouncing her medically fit to be president.
However, campaign spokeswoman Jennifer Palmieri acknowledged that the campaign could have handled the weekend health issue better. After illness forced Clinton to leave the ceremony on Sunday, her campaign said she had become overheated. Later, the campaign revealed that she had been diagnosed with pneumonia the previous Friday.
Replacing Clinton would be a logistical challenge, but an expert on ballot access told LifeZette that courts likely would force states to reprint ballots, if necessary.
Hill said he believes Clinton’s margin for error has narrowed.
“If she has another episode that is captured on video … they’re going to force her to step aside,” he said.
Some Democratic activists, however, ridiculed the notion that Clinton’s health problems are severe enough to drive her from the race.
“I think there’s no truth to that, whatsoever. I think it’s very farfetched,” said Chris Regan, who was a DNC member from West Virginia until he was ousted in June. “I’ve heard stories and seen tweets. I’ve heard people talking about it. But nothing actually happening.”
|Candidates if Clinton Bows Out?||Democrats||All Voters|
Although no longer on the committee, Regan said he still receives emails and remains in touch with party officials. A big Sanders supporter during the primaries, he said it is long past time for Democrats to close ranks behind Clinton.
But even though Regan himself doesn’t support the push to ditch Clinton, he acknowledged Democrats are openly discussing the option.
“No matter how much I would have liked to see Sen. Sanders win the nomination, I have no desire to see him get it in the way that people are talking about,” he said.
Other Sanders supporters, however, said they very much would like to see the Vermont senator become the nominee if Clinton could not continue. Pete Gertonson, who was a super delegate backing Sanders and served as a DNC committeeman from Idaho until his term ended after the Democratic National Convention, said he knows of no plans to replace Clinton. If it happened, he said, it would have to be because she decided she could not continue.
“I think it would come from the Hillary campaign,” he said. “She would have to step up and do the right thing if it came to that.”
Gertonson said he finds Clinton’s approach to the issue strange.
“If you’re a presidential candidate, you know people are going to be watching if you cut your toenails wrong,” he said. “For her to dismiss it as nothing, as no bid deal — it is a big deal.”
And if a switcheroo should come to pass, Gertonson said, Sanders would be the natural choice to take the reins.
“I think it should be Sen. Sanders if it happened,” he said. “I don’t see it [happening]. Personally, I think it should.”
Rank-and-file Democrats seem to agree. A Rasmussen poll released Friday indicates that 48 percent of likely Democratic voters picked Sanders as their top choice should Clinton be forced to step aside. Vice President Joe Biden was a distant second with 22 percent and vice presidential nominee Tim Kaine came in third with 14 percent.
It is unclear who the most likely replacement would be. Biden remains popular among party stalwarts, and Hill said Kaine would offer “probably the smoothest” transition.
But he said it probably would not be Sanders.
“That is so unlikely,” he said. “I’m pretty sure it wouldn’t be Sanders.”
You bet it won’t be Sanders. The Dims and their handlers need a suitable water carrier for their schemes. Biden and Kaine fit into that mold perfectly as both owe those that put them where they are.
I find it laughable that the Lefty Elite is having buyer’s remorse given that they surely knew about Hillary’s health issues. Their hubris convinced them that Trump was a weak opponent and was easily beat by Hillary.
The Left bet on the wrong horse and now their heads are exploding. Equally, the Establishment R’s are apoplectic with the realization that Trump will most likely win in November as Hillary continues to melt down. The gravy train that the UniParty feeds from is about to get shrunken down or eliminated come January 20, 2017.