Last week, I wrote a column based on my (small) belief that Gov. Jerry Brown is looking at the 2016 presidential race, in case Hillary Clinton doesn’t go for it.
Most people think she will/is, but I am not so sure. I think she is obviously doing everything to get in place, including freezing up a lot of 2014 money for the Democratic Senate and congressional races. Her health has been an issue recently, and she will be 69 in 2016. Of course, Jerry Brown will be 76, but his health isn’t in question, and he runs 3 miles a day. From 1976 to 2014, he’s used to long-distance running.
I posited the theory that Brown is almost uniquely qualified to step into the race with great credibility and a big head start, should Clinton take a pass. I got a lot of email about it, and the column was the most widely read piece in The Bee on Sunday. So, let’s say I’m right, for once.
One of the begged questions in the column was who might possibly serve as Brown’s running mate. I think the next VP nominee, if Hillary doesn’t go for the White House, should be a younger woman.
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That rules out Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren, who will be about 65 in 2016. Of course, she is still young enough to take a swing at it, but I don’t think she will. But with the invocation of Massachusetts, you’re getting warmer.
I would think that this theoretical woman should have some foreign policy experience. She should have a lot of positive Democratic name ID. She should have an impeccable résumé and a presentable family. She should be well-known to the Obama crowd and the Clinton crowd. She should be composed, diplomatic and widely respected. She should have a strong background in the Constitution and the law.
Vice President Caroline Kennedy.
Kennedy will be 58 on Election Day in 2016. That’s youthful but seasoned.
Positive Democratic name ID? Duh. Oh, my father was President John F. Kennedy. My uncle was Sen. Robert F. Kennedy. My mother was Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis. My uncle was Sen. Ted Kennedy. Ask not, baby.
Impeccable résumé? Author, attorney, mother, ambassador to a major Asian nation where she’s not just rolling over for the nationalist Japanese government. She draws huge crowds in Japan, which happens to be located at the democratic focal point where America has shifted away from Europe.
She was the VP-vetter for President Barack Obama in 2008. She has strong ties to both the president and the Clintons. She is dignified, articulate, attractive, charismatic, has mannered children (and her heartthrob son is the next JFK Jr., incidentally), a respectable accomplished husband not involved in politics. She wrote a well-regarded book on constitutional law.
In short, she’s the perfect counterbalance to President Brown. She provides electricity, is a thousand times smarter than Sarah Palin for an outside-the-box pick, and is a woman 20 years younger, teeing her up nicely for 2020.
Oh, and she has her own theme song, written by Neil Diamond and dedicated to her in 1969.
So write it down.
And if Hillary runs, I still like her for VP, too.
The torch is passed to a new generation of Americans, a man once pointed out.
He probably didn’t think it was his daughter.