• Local
  • Pittsfield, MA
  • more weather >
Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt. Image courtesy CNN

Alan Chartock: A woman for vice president?

More Info
By Tuesday, Mar 5, 2019 Viewpoints 13

The first New Hampshire polling is in and Bernie Sanders is the big winner. We had a clue about that when he reported hauling in $6 million in donations within 24 hours of announcing. Friends, in politics that is a great deal of money. Maybe he could have beaten Donald Trump the last time out; maybe he could not have. It turns out that the American people, particularly the “forgotten” segment of our country, were looking for an outsider. Poor Hillary Clinton was perceived as a centrist and part of the establishment and even though she got the most votes nationwide, she lost in the Electoral College. Bernie, on the other hand, was the true outsider, even within the Democratic Party, of which he wasn’t even a member. So while it really isn’t provable, I think that he might have won and we might have been spared this national Trump nightmare.

Now it is four years later and Bernie is 77. Some people might hold that against him, objecting to the fact that, after two terms, he would be in his mid-80s. That means that his vice presidential pick is going to be very important, what with the statistics leaning against Bernie. Recent Emerson College polling suggests that people want to see a woman in the Number Two spot. Bernie has some baggage to clean up from accusations that there was sexism in his last presidential run. So, who?

Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y.

This may provide an answer to the Kirsten Gillibrand enigma. What in heck is she doing running for president with virtually no chance of winning? Her polling numbers are lower than a hound’s belly. Of course, she is anything but stupid—politically vain, maybe, but stupid, no. Gillibrand knows how to shift political positions with the best of them and I suspect she is really running for vice president. Remember how she got to be senator by gubernatorial appointment with a real push from Chuck Schumer and her old friend, none other than “Senator Pothole,” Alfonse Marcello D’Amato? Hey, Gillibrand knows how to play the cards. I think that Gilly wants to be president and she has decided that the way to get there is via the VP route. Right?

I get a lot of mail from both women and men who don’t like her because of her “oust him” campaign against former Democratic Sen. Al Franken. Her polling in presidential politics is frighteningly low so Bernie, assuming that it is to be Bernie, is unlikely to pick another Northeastern liberal as his running mate. Not only that, since Gillibrand turned against Franken, Bernie will be asking himself, “Who needs this? She’ll end up doing it to me, too.”

There are others, like Kamala Harris and Amy Klobuchar, who could bring geographic diversity to the ticket and who have demonstrated their toughness in a way Gillibrand has not. For lots of reasons, Harris has the better shot.

It is fascinating that, according to the Emerson poll, Bernie does very well with younger voters. They like his progressive politics and they don’t give a hoot about the worn-out whining from the regular Democrats that Bernie is not an enrolled Democrat but an independent socialist. In fact, the poor Democrats had their shot with middle-of-the road candidate Hillary and came up short.

I don’t make any bones about the fact that I publicly announced that I was a Bernie supporter the last time out. I have interviewed him on public radio countless times and I can tell you this: You may not like him, but his politics are right where they should be. When you look at issues such as universal heath care and access to college education, he is the man. So when he looks for his vice presidential running mate, it will not be a vacillating politician who goes whichever way the wind blows.

More by »

13 Comments   Add Comment

  1. lou says:

    Most polls had Bernie +10 or better over Trump while Hillary was within the margin of error. Trump ran to the left of Hillary on wall street and banking reform, healthcare and foreign policy. Only problem is that Trump is a liar. People voted for Obama twice and voted for Trump. They did that for the same reason – they want change because the system is rigged against us ! You mention the accusations of sexism in the last campaign, Bernie has vigorously addressed that for this campaign. I only wish Bernie would refer to himself a “New Deal Democrat” as opposed to “Democratic Socialist”. Less ammunition for the uninformed and the corporate media imo. There is a long way to go and God only knows what kind of cheating the establishment Dems have up their sleeves this time around before anyone starts talking VP. Just remember, the consulting class and insider Dems would rather loose to a Republican than win with a Progressive. That way they keep their jobs. As far as your thoughts on VP, a women for sure, but we can do better than Gillibrand, Harris and Klobuchar. All three, as well as every other Democratic Senator, including Warren, voted for a $700 billion military budget ( wonder how we’re going to pay for that ? ) only and handful of Republicans and Bernie Sanders voted no. Alan, take a look at Tulsi Gabbard. She’s young, smart and a veteran and she is telling the truth about our horrendous foreign policy that includes never ending wars, regime change and questionable allies. For this, like all truth tellers, she is attacked by the establishment.

  2. Elliott Morss says:

    I do not care what the current polls say. Bernie has no chance to win in 2020 – too progressive. The Dems have to win back disillusioned Dems that voted for Trump in 2020. Why not ask the same question about Biden? I know very little about Gillibrand. But Klobuchar would be my choice.

  3. John says:

    Would be great to see both President and Vice President as women.
    Carly Fiorina and Ivanka would be an incredible combination.
    Proven leaders, understand family issues, cancer survivor and well spoken.

    1. Charles Flynn says:

      John, you could also add Nikki Haley to that list. Experienced Governor and diplomat. For Lou, Tulsi Gabbard also has potential. However I suspect she will be an early departure from the Democrat lottery. Also for Lou, it seems that you also have a case of TDS in that you called President Trump a liar yet without specifics. Something that is very common in the Northeast. No doubt in my mind that he has a few Pinocchio’s, but when you consider that his predecessor spent 8 years lying to the people of America to support the unaffordable care act , “You can keep your Doctor if you want” or “You can keep your Health Insurance if you want” it appears that doesn’t matter to you. I guess if you are a democrat, liberal, or progressive, or a member of CNN, MSNBC, NBC, ABC, or CBS or belong to the majority of journalists it is OK to lie or make up stories. No one will call you out on it. Sure would be nice to go back to real news reporting and fact checking.

      1. lou says:

        Wrong about TDS, Charlie. Thanks for making me look that up, btw. Is this a few Pinocchio’s : https://www.politifact.com/personalities/donald-trump/statements/byruling/false/ ? Trump is no less of a liar just because Obama was as well. You won’t find me defending Obama. I believe that we got Trump because of Obama and the Clintons. President ” hope and change” gives us a healthcare plan from the conservative Heritage Foundation and then fights against a public option. He bailed out wall street and the banks without even a slap on the wrist or re-instating FDR’s new deal banking regulations that worked for 60 years until Bill Clinton did away with them. Meanwhile thousands lost their homes to protect bank profits. No bailout for main street. The pictures of children in cages at the border turned out to be from when the “deporter-in-chief” Obama was in charge. Can you imagine the pearl clutching at CNN and MSNBC if Trump had a “kill list” for his drone strikes ? You can lump democrat and liberal in with your description of main stream media, but make no mistake about it, no way are they progressive. I can agree with you in longing for the days of real news instead of the propaganda that passes for news today. Again, thanks go to Bill Clinton and his telecommunications act of ’96 we now get 90% of our news from 6 corporations : https://www.businessinsider.com/these-6-corporations-control-90-of-the-media-in-america-2012-6. The news media is owned by the people their reporters should be investigating. If any reporter dares tells the truth they are gone i.e. Phil Donahue, Ed Schultz, Marc Lamont Hill and Chris Hedges to name a few ! The government didn’t all of a sudden get horrible on Jan. 20, 2017, it’s been working against us for a long time. No my friend, Trump is not the problem but rather a symptom of bigger problems. We live in an oligarchy not a democracy. The two major political parties are beholding to the same donor class. If anyone is looking for a “moderate” democrat, just substitute the word “corporate” and that will surely lead to a Trump second term.

  4. Charles Flynn says:

    Lou, thanks for the info. Not overly impressed with Politifact or do I care for or watch(ed) Phil Donahue, Ed Schultz, Marc Lamont Hill, or Chris Hedges. I will stick with a little bit of weather on Channel 6 news, the Wall Street Journal online and a small ration of Fox Morning News. That gives me all of the news I need or desire to have. I will also vote for Trump in 2020 like I did in 2016. Despite all of the hate and fictionalized stories thrown at him by the press, he appears to be doing a better job of looking out for the legal citizens/legal prospective citizens of the United States than any of his recent predecessors did.

    1. Brian Tobin says:

      Trump called the free press “the enemy of the people.” Those who agree with that and who are supportive of the White House propaganda organization at Fox are the real enemies of the people, in my opinion.

      1. Charles Flynn says:

        Brian, did you ever stop to think that maybe President Trump was doing the press a favor? I do not always agree with our President, but have increasingly seen a bias and hostility in the press that is almost unprecedented. I care about our press because once upon a time I took an oath to protect and defend the Constitution of the United States. Freedom of the press is critical to the freedoms that we enjoy in our own society. My concern is, are we now seeing the “Free Press” on a path to self destruction because there are those out there now that are so consumed by hate and bias they are showing it through lies and innuendo and stories that are debunked a week later when the real truth comes out. The scary part of this is that ultimately the pendulum will swing in another direction. Freedom of the press comes with it the responsibility to report the news and the news only. Editorials are written by mostly experienced editorial writers and express an opinion backed up by real news. It can and will often have a political bent and is meant to get the writer’s message across. If you do not like the editorial writer, don’t read his or her editorial. However, news should only be the news as it happens and our opinion of it should be left up to us. President Trump’s labeling of the press had a message. Now it is up to the press to figure it out. It is time for the majority of broadcast and written news to get back to real news/real journalism. Police yourselves. Anytime I post anything it is my opinion. BTW: I take great pride in being labeled a deplorable. I resent being labeled an enemy of the people. I and my children have spent too many years proudly serving and defending this nation.

      2. lou says:

        How many times do we need to be lied into a war at the behest of the military industrial complex, and usually for oil, before you’re willing to call them “the enemy of the people” ? Trump should be thanking them because they built him up because they thought he’d be the easiest for Hillary to beat. I rarely agree with Ted Cruz, but he was 100% correct when he cited how much in free coverage Trump got worth $$$$$. It backfired on the media, just showing how out of touch they are with real people, that’s why they’re so bent out of shape today. The clowns on ” Morning Joe” used to be giddy waiting for candidate Trump to call in. CNN would show an empty podium waiting for Trump to speak. More recently, look at how they’re covering Venezuela and vilifying Ilhan Omar. Venezuela is about oil, but they won’t say it. The “press” is out of their minds about alleged Russian interference in our elections but they have no problem recognizing a person as President that wasn’t elected, or confiscating their oil money to pay off Goldman Sachs. Ilhan Omar is telling the truth about politicians bought off by AIPAC money. You tell me what is the difference between AIPAC money and money from the NRA, wall st., pharma, insurance, oil etc… That’s a little too uncomfortable for establishment politicians and establishment “journalists”. Sorry we got off topic of Alan’s article.

    2. George G says:

      I wonder if your favorable view of Trump is the result of getting all your news (other than the weather) from Rupert Murdoch’s Wall St. Journal and Fox Morning News. Murdoch’s minions are Trump flacks, not unbiased news sources.

      1. Charles Flynn says:

        What I watch for news is my choice. Who owns the various news sources is not important to me. Remember, this is the United States of America. What is import is that Fox and the Wall Street Journal report news and then allow me to make my own decision. That you begin to offer labels and resort to name calling regarding the journalists working for those organization destroys all of your credibility. Had a great discussion with other contributors.

  5. Leonard Quart says:

    What happened to Alan’s essay? This back and forth barely mentions it.

    1. Charles Flynn says:

      Thank you for your input. When I read your post I went back and reviewed the initial inputs and it appears you may be incorrect. The original discussions did address some of Chartok’s essay. Ultimately they did deviate somewhat. However, that appears to be a common trait in unmoderated discussions. Even when you have moderated discussions/debates there is a tendency also to deviate from the topic. Some are moderated back to the topic by good moderators, some never get back there. In our democratic republic and under our Constitution that might be argued as allowed under the 1st Amendment.

What's your opinion?

We welcome your comments and appreciate your respect for others. We kindly ask you to keep your comments as civil and focused as possible. If this is your first time leaving a comment on our website we will send you an email confirmation to validate your identity.