Hillary Clinton’s recent health scare has more than just her campaign staff worried.
Former DNC Chairman Don Fowler recently speculated that,
“Now is the time for all good political leaders to come to the aid of their party. I think the plan [for replacing Clinton] should be developed by 6 o’clock in the afternoon.”
He later walked this statement back presumably after bumping into the former President on the local tarmac.
Even Clinton allies in the media are beginning to have their doubts about Hillay’s viability.
Cokie Roberts said that Democrats are “nervously beginning to whisper” about Clinton’s health, while David Shuster openly speculates about an emergency DNC meeting to consider her replacement. A recent poll found that 30% of voters do not think Clinton will live long enough to make it to the next election.
In light of all this, it is worth asking whether it is even possible to replace a candidate at the top of the ticket less than 60 days before the general election. The short answer is “yes”. However, under current DNC rules, the candidate to be replaced would have to resign her place on the ticket voluntarily.
Does anybody think Hillary will resign her chance at the most powerful person on the planet?
Hypothetically, if she resigned, the chair of the DNC would then have to call a special meeting to consider her replacement. While the process sounds simple enough, the political wrangling would be a spectacle to behold.
Everything would be thrown into utter chaos. In most states, the statutory deadlines for changing the candidate names on ballots has already passed.
Many jurisdictions have already started printing and mailing out absentee ballots.
Even if the Democrats were able to peaceably choose a replacement for Clinton in a timely manner, they would have to contend with the fact that, in many states, it would not really matter. Some states allow their electors to vote for the candidate of whichever party wins the popular vote. Other states require their electors to vote for the candidate specifically listed on the ballot. In a close election, those subtle legal requirements could mean the difference between winning a majority of the Electoral College and splitting the vote in a three-way tie.
While there is some precedent for replacing the candidate for Vice-President on a party’s ticket, there are significant disadvantages to replacing the person at the top of the ticket this late in the campaign.
Given how quickly the election is approaching, Clinton would likely need to be on death’s door in order for replacing her to make any political or strategic sense.
With the leaked videos as evidence, Clinton could very well be that bad. Americans casting a vote for Hillary, may well be electing Tim Kaine.
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