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Running mates may be key to election

As Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton methodically march to their political party nominations, I have been hearing more and more people saying they may not vote at all. They may sit on the sidelines because they don’t care for either party front-runner.
That would be unfortunate for the United States, the bastion of freedoms, including the duty to vote, that most of the world can only wish to possess. Yet, to think we can simply turn our backs on the election process as we search for the new leader of the free world … that’s pretty sad.
So the next step in the process may hold the key. It is the selection of a running mate on the presidential tickets.
One name bandied about by Republicans is New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, who for awhile was in the race for the GOP nomination himself. But Christie appears to have turned himself into a lapdog for the Trump campaign, dutifully standing behind King Donald as Trump hurls insults and taunts at his opponents, inside and outside the Republican party.
The last vice president from New Jersey was sent to jail during the Watergate era. Vice President Spiro Agnew was as crooked as his boss, President Richard Nixon, who was forced to resign.
Last election, GOP nominee John McCain and his advisors made the horrible mistake of adding Sarah Palin to the ticket, and Barack Obama easily won re-election. Many still bemoan the four additional years of President Obama, but are even angrier that McCain was foolish enough to add a past Alaska governor as his running mate, who was all talk and no substance.
Sometimes, political logic is mind boggling.
If Hillary Clinton is wise, she will look to the Midwest for a running mate. Midwesterners seem to be more grounded, more reasonable and possess more common sense than the flashy, fast-talking East Coast/West Coast politicians.
One possibility would be Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar. She has been a solid senator, who has won twice by large margins. She exudes Midwest common sense and common decency.
So, if you don’t like the presidential candidates, perhaps you fence-sitters might consider the vice presidential candidates as a reason to vote in November.
Minnesota has a long tradition of vice presidents in Hubert Humphrey and Walter Mondale, perhaps the last we could really consider as statesmen rather than just politicians. A statesman puts the interests of the country before the interests of his party. That seems to be a foreign concept in today’s toxic political environment.
And to have an all-woman ticket would also be a first for this country.
Perhaps the United States is finally ready for a woman president. After all, she couldn’t do any worse than the male Baby Boomers of the last three administrations — Bill Clinton, George W. Bush and Obama. Their records have not exactly been statesman-like.
The bottom line, however, may be the fact that a fractured, dysfunctional Congress will continue to make life miserable for whomever is sitting in the Oval Office. Notice the color of President Obama’s hair lately?
Rich Glennie was the editor of The Chronicle for 23 years. He retired Aug. 1, 2014, but still plans to submit an occasional column.