I spent most of last week in Washington visiting old friends in and out of political power. Currently, they’re all abuzz with talk of the Donald Trump campaign.
So many questions arise. Can he win the GOP nomination? Will he run as a third party candidate if he doesn’t get the nomination? If he goes the independent route, will he pull out all the stops and dish as much dirt as he can find on both the Democrat and Republican nominees?
It all makes for interesting cocktail conversation, but it’s simply speculation. We’re early in the campaign season and it’s nearly August which is a notoriously slow time in DC even with a presidential campaign about to go into full gear. Given that, it’s a good time to just sit back and contemplate what’s conceivable this time around.
So in the spirit of engaging in pure speculation, let me just throw out a crazy idea that is indeed theoretically possible.
When the dust settles, what if it’s Donald Trump versus Bernie Sanders in the race for the White House 2016?
Imagine—the Billionaire versus the Bolshevik (okay the latter may be a bit exaggerated but it makes for great alliteration).
Before you write off this possibility, consider the fact that right now the biggest news coming from the right is Donald Trump and the biggest crowds on the left are for Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders. So if we’re looking at this campaign as a snapshot of what’s happening today this pairing is a lot more likely than say Bobby Jindal versus Joe Biden. That’s not to say that won’t happen either, but let’s face it, Trump and Sanders currently have a better shot of facing off in November 2016 than Jindal and Biden do.
One thing is certain, in a contest between Trump and Sanders there wouldn’t be any doubt about the differences between these two men.
Every election cycle, I hear some of my GOP friends lament that “there’s not a dimes worth of difference between our nominee and the Democrat.” Clearly, that wouldn’t be the case in a Trump versus Sanders contest. In fact, there would be LOTS of dimes involved . . . more than anyone could count.
Just seeing the two of them on a debate stage would be fascinating. You’d have Donald Trump dressed like he was advertising the latest fashions from Fifth Avenue (probably better actually) and Bernie Sanders looking like he borrowed a suitcoat from his Chief of Staff following the latter’s nap. And that’s exactly how they’d both want to appear. Trump would want to show the world what success looks like and Sanders would want Trump to show what success looks like and why we should end such success presumably for the greater good.
After that first debate, their spouses would naturally make the obligatory walk to the stage to offer the expected congratulatory kiss. For Mr. Trump, that would come from the beautiful Melania Trump. For Mr. Sanders, his wife, Jane Sanders, would do the honors. The contrast would be clear, but again, it’s just as both candidates would prefer.
Debates between the two would be entertaining and informative. In fact, both candidates would likely be downright giddy at the prospect of facing off. A socialist and a billionaire together on the same stage describing how they’d jumpstart the flailing economy? It would be must see TV. If nothing else, it might get all our fellow citizens who’ve checked out of the political process in utter disgust to tune in and reengage.
To be clear, I’m not endorsing this match-up. I’m only imagining the idea and in this already crazy election cycle with so many possible strange twists and turns and dozens of candidates to choose from, it’s one of the most intriguing possibilities out there.