Demise of a Centrist Nominee Dream
That pop you may or may not have heard the other day was the bursting pipedream of a centrist presidential candidate outside the establishment parties. The organizers of a group calling itself Americans Elect decided to close shop after failing to find anyone who would qualify to be its standard-bearer in November.
No one who met the group's eligibility requirements to become its presidential nominee was able to corral the threshold 10,000 endorsements needed from "delegates" in an online nationwide convention. The prospective candidate who came closest, former
Americans Elect got the collective cold shoulder despite the fact that its organizers, including
This lack of interest from presidential wannabes was surprising in one sense. Evidence of a public yearning for alternatives to the two established parties was clearly seen earlier in the emergence of the tea party movement.
But the indication that Americans Elect would by necessity be a centrist, moderate undertaking apparently was its undoing in this era of political extremism of the left and, particularly, the right. The very bylaws of Americans Elect required a commitment to bipartisanship that has practically become a dirty word in today's politics, at least as practiced in
One stipulation of the group in particular ran counter to political reality and any concept of good governing. That was its requirement that the presidential nominee select a member of the opposite establishment party as his or her running mate.
If one truly outstanding Republican and one similarly worthy Democrat could have been found willing to run as a team, the chances seemed far-fetched that they could agree on a platform that would appeal to enough voters from their old parties to win election. For all the disaffection the established parties have caused, they remain considerable players in grass-roots organization in most states.
Also, what if this nonpartisan ticket won? Would a
No problem existed in the first two elections when the first two vote-getters --
Although down through the years, presidents and their vice presidents have not always marched in lockstep, on succession the standbys have generally sought to adhere to the precepts of their predecessors. Indeed, in 1988, one of then Vice President
Had Americans Elect carried on to the general election, there is also the same danger of a pernicious outcome posed by a third-party candidacy. In 2000, the presidential bid of
The emergence of a potent centrist party in
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Demise of a Centrist Nominee Dream | Politics
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