Posted by AzBlueMeanie:
The brainchild of hedge fund operators, the shadowy 501(c)(4) Americans Elect (not a political party) promised to select a bipartisan ticket for president and vice president through online voting in a virtual convention. Yeah, that fraud ain't gonna happen.
Ed Kilgore writes today at the Politcal Animal blog Americans Unelect:
As you probably know, the start-time for the online “primary” being conducted by the shadowy if much ballyhooed “centrist” group Americans Elect has come and gone, and the organization is publicly admitting that under its own rules it won’t have a candidate for president, due to a lack of interest among potential candidates and “delegates” alike.
It’s pretty shocking that even with the bait of general-election ballot access in 27 states and counting, AE couldn’t attract a candidate capable of getting 1,000 online votes from 10 states. Kinda makes you wonder about its foundational belief that the only barrier to a victorious presidential ticket embracing a vague if deficit-hawky “bipartisanship” was the entrenched opposition of the major parties.
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Presumably AE could delay its timetable and hope someone (Buddy Roemer?) eventually crosses the bar to become a nominatable candidate. It could lower its already pathetically low threshold for candidate viability. Or it could just make a mockery of the entire bottom-up process that is supposedly the group’s signature and pick a candidate (or candidates) to put forward, assuming anybody even remotely credible out there would accept the damaged goods of a nomination.
Assuming AE is unlikely to just call the whole thing off, I’d suggest they cut to the chase and nominate their most prominent backer, New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman, as the nominee. Under AE’s elaborate rules, he’d presumably have to disclose a party affiliation and then choose a running-mate from a different party. But he could certainly self-identify as a member of the Friedman Party, and then choose a running-mate from the Party of Richard Cohen or the Party of Robert Samuelson or the Party of David Brooks. It would be a Very Serious Ticket.
Bonus for a Thomas Friedman - David Brooks ticket -- they would have to step down from their jobs and not be able to publish their hacktacular crappy columns.
UPDATE: Steve Benen has more in The death of a dubious idea. And Paul Krugman wishes Americans Elect good riddance, and reminds us yet again: "There’s already a centrist party; it’s known as the Democratic Party."