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Clinton-Kasich: The Unity Ticket Our Country Needs

The Huffington Post logo The Huffington Post 22/02/2016 Jimmy LaSalvia
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There are now clear front runners for the presidential nominations of the two major political parties, Donald Trump for the Republicans and Hillary Clinton for the Democrats. Baring some unforeseen occurrence in the next month, that's likely to be the matchup as we head into the general election in November. Sure, it's possible that one of them could still lose, but it's just not likely at this point.
Given the likelihood of a Trump versus Clinton match up, it's not too early to talk about who they might pick as their running mates. The choice of running mate is the most significant decision that a presidential candidate makes prior to the election. It, more than anything during the campaign, gives us a sense of their priorities and what type of presidency they want to have.
It's anyone's guess who they will end up choosing, but one thing is clear, this election is setting up to be a clear choice between those who are culturally modern and those who reject our multicultural reality in 2016. Our choice will be between a ticket that holds vision of America that includes everyone and one that doesn't. Trump is a divider who is playing on the fears of mostly white working class voters by demonizing people who aren't like them. He says that America has declined, and once we deal with the Mexicans, Muslims, and others who are different, then we can make America great again. Clinton knows that America is already great and all of us, no matter who we are, working together, can make it better.
While Trump's campaign to divide us along our cultural differences is unproductive and will ultimately lead to his defeat, he does recognize that we are united in one thing. We are united in our disgust for the political status quo and partisan bickering that has held our country back. We are united in our desire for our broken government to work again for everyone. If Clinton wants to capitalize on that unity, she has to demonstrate that she's in touch with the mood of the country and that she gets it. Rather than choosing a predictable "up-and-coming" Democratic establishment type as a running-mate, she can show that she understands that the country wants a different type of politics by thinking outside the traditional partisan box.
Hillary Clinton should ask John Kasich, the Republican governor of Ohio, to join her in creating a "unity ticket." It's time for a national ticket that reflects our national desire for a new type of politics for our modern America.
I'm not the only one talking about the possibility of a Clinton-Kasich ticket. MSNBC host Chris Matthews floated the possibly back in May of last year, and I know that lots of other people have been thinking about it.
Kasich, of course, is a candidate for the Republican nomination for president himself, but it's clear that his fledgling campaign will soon be coming to an end. He's a wildly popular governor who is culturally modern and inclusive in his views, but he just doesn't fit into today's culturally out of touch Republican Party. For instance, when GOP frontrunner Donald Trump first proposed his atrocious ban on Muslims entering the United States, Kasich said, "That's not who we are as Americans." He's right, but the recent exit polls from South Carolina's GOP primary showed that 75% of those voters agreed with Trump, so it's clear that is exactly who today's Republican Party is.
It would be a good fit. Kasich is a right of center pragmatist who would compliment Clinton's left of center pragmatism. A Kasich pick would show that a Clinton administration would be focused on governing, not just on being elected and re-elected. He's a proven leader who has been an effective legislator and governor. Of note, he worked with former President Clinton back in the 1990s to balance the federal budget. That was the last time that happened!
There's a political upside, too. Kasich has the natural ability to really connect with people emotionally. He understands that all politics is personal and he shows it on the campaign trail. That was recently on display in a town hall meeting in South Carolina when the video of his embrace of a young man went viral and showed America that he's a caring person. It's no secret that showing that ability to connect personally hasn't always come easily for Clinton. He'd bring a big dose of compassion to that ticket.
I'm sure that Kasich would do it if asked. That's because he puts his country before his party, and there aren't many in politics today who you can say that about. Clinton has the opportunity to demonstrate that, too, by bringing him on the ticket.
Finally, a Clinton-Kasich ticket would win in a landslide. It would also utterly destroy the Republican Party and lead to the fundamental political recalibration our country wants. Anecdotally, everyone I mention it to says they would vote for that ticket. I know I would!
I know that Clinton hasn't even won enough delegates to secure the nomination yet, but this isn't a no-brainer. An outside-the-box decision like this will take time for her to come to, so let's throw it out there now for her to start to consider. Let's hope she does.

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