- Thursday, March 14, 2024

Well, it’s official: Joe Biden and Donald Trump have both secured his party’s nomination to run for president in November.

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: One or both of them will be out before Election Day. But let’s say it really happens: 45 and 46 facing off in a rematch, the first time that’s happened since 1956.

This year — more than ever — the election might really be about who becomes vice president, as both candidates are like 100 years old.

Political pundit Bill Maher floated an interesting idea last week that perhaps President Biden should dump his vice president and replace her with a Republican in an effort to bridge the growing partisan divide in America.

In a panel discussion on his HBO show, Mr. Maher proposed the idea that the president consider a radical shift in running mates by dumping Kamala Harris and picking former U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley.

“I know it’s crazy to think that she could run with Biden, but that’s my dream, a unity ticket. And then he would, I think, definitely win,” Mr. Maher said.

The comedian, who regularly disses Democrats but not with the venom he spits at Republicans, acknowledged that the scenario is a pipe dream. And of course he took a few shots at Ms. Haley, who was the last GOP candidate to drop out of the 2024 race for the Republican presidential nomination.

“Of course, she’s said some crazy things. Most politicians have — not as crazy as ’We’ve never been a racist country.’ I mean, that’s pretty crazy,” Mr. Maher said. She didn’t say that, but nobody ever fact-checks HBO shows, so whatever.

Still, the talk show host said bailing on the unpopular Ms. Harris would be good politics. A recent NBC News poll placed her favorability rating at just 28%. “What I could see is replacing the vice president because she’s just not very popular anywhere. And it didn’t seem to work out. And, I don’t know, that’s been done before on a ticket,” he said.

Mr. Biden trails in most nationwide polls, and there is widespread disgust with former President Donald Trump. Mr. Maher said that if Mr. Biden drops out, Democrats will prevail in November.

“If Biden drops out, they’ll win. Without a doubt,” he said.

Karl Rove, the architect of the 2000 win by former President George W. Bush, said the notion of a Democrat picking a Republican running mate is ludicrous.

“Well, Bill Maher’s got an innovative mind,” Mr. Rove said on Monday’s installment of “The Story” on Fox News. “But the Democrats are never going to get rid of Kamala Harris. And they’re never going to put Nikki Haley, a conservative, on the ticket.”

“So, Bill, nice thinking, but this ain’t gonna happen,” Mr. Rove said.

A unity ticket is not unheard of. In 1864, President Abraham Lincoln dropped his vice president and chose a running mate from the other political party, Democrat Andrew Johnson. The two ran on a shared platform that included winning the Civil War, passing a constitutional amendment to abolish slavery, and building the transcontinental railroad.

They won.

Our country is clearly at a crossroads. Every bill in Congress nets out in a purely partisan vote. Neither side will ever acknowledge that the other side might have a good idea. But in reality, Americans are in the middle — they don’t care which side helps them. They just want help.

Americans are tired of the endless bickering. Congress can barely keep the government running — just last week, the Senate averted a shutdown and pushed the new deadline to March 22. Meanwhile, inflation is soaring, health care is a disaster, and the country is going to hell in a handbasket.

Still, Mr. Rove is right — it’ll never happen. It should, but it won’t. West Virginia Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin and Utah Republican Sen. Mitt Romney were rumored to be running together on the “No Labels” ticket, but that fizzled.

Politicians don’t care enough about you to put partisan politics aside to get things done. But one day — and it won’t be long — two candidates will show up that aren’t owned by special interests and will put all the garbage aside to solve America’s problems.

They’ll win in a landslide.

• Joseph Curl covered the White House and politics for a decade for The Washington Times. He can be reached at josephcurl@gmail.com and on X @josephcurl.

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