Hillary Clinton advisers and confidantes have begun pushing hard for vice presidential candidates, but one name is conspicuously absent from the purported shirt list: Senator Bernie Sanders. At one of two MSNBC town hall events Monday night, All In host Chris Hayes asked Sanders if he would consider ticketing up with Hillary when the nomination fight is over, and although Bernie promised a predictable non-answer, he delivered a response that was engorged with possibility:
HAYES: This has obviously been a contentious fight, on the Democratic side, although not, I think, the most contentious. There have been — I went down in the archives to look at 2008, it got pretty ugly —
SANDERS: Yeah it did.
HAYES: — and you know 1980 on the Republican side got pretty ugly and Kennedy and Carter — there’s a long list. One of the things that happens, sometimes in those contested intramural disputes is someone had the other person serve on their ticket or in their administration. Would you consider that in this case, either having Hillary Clinton on your ticket or being on hers?
SANDERS: Well let me just answer that question in exactly the way you knew I would answer it. And that is to say right now we are running as hard as we can to win this thing, and at the end of the process we’ll take a look at what’s going on, but right now my job is to get as many delegates as possible and try to win the nomination for President. But you knew that that would be my answer.
HAYES: Well we try.
That might sound like the typical non-answer, but compared to the one he gave just a day earlier, it was at least a glance in the direction of a Dream Ticket. When he was asked about running with Clinton on Sunday, Sanders shut the whole thing down:
In her competing town hall with Hillary Clinton, Rachel Maddow didn’t ask a similar question, but one of the audience members did, and Hillary took the opportunity to ignore the question, and pivot to an oblique slam at Sanders for not raising money for down-ticket Democrats:
QUESTION: Will you say what role you would trust Senator Sanders in, in the Clinton administration?
CLINTON: Well, I can’t answer that because obviously I don’t have the nomination yet. I’m not yet elected president but here’s what I will say. I’m already raising money for Democrats up and down the ballot. I am dedicated to electing Democrats — it’s something that I’ve spent many years doing. I am a Democrat and I want to see more Democrats elected from the small boroughs in Montgomery County to Philadelphia to across the country.
As intriguing a prospect as a “Dream Ticket” is to many, it isn’t any better an idea now than it was in 2008, and I doubt very much that Bernie Sanders would relish the role were he to fill it. Still, it might help with Sanders’ supporters to pay a smidgen of lip service to Bernie’s value as a political ally. Surely, he’d make a good Secretary of Something.
This is an opinion piece. The views expressed in this article are those of just the author.