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Analysis and perspective about what's happening in the political realm.

A Vice Presidential Free-for-All?

Donald Trump still has a chance to capture the Republican presidential nomination on the first ballot at the party’s national convention this summer, thanks in part to his commanding victory in New York on Tuesday.

Unlike past GOP nominees, however, he might not have carte blanche to pick his running mate.

Delegates at the convention in Cleveland will vote separately on the nominations for president and vice president, and there is a key difference in the rules governing each vote: Although most of the delegates will be bound by their states to vote for a certain presidential candidate on the first ballot, none of them are required to vote for any candidate for vice president. 

That distinction opens up a Pandora’s Box for Republicans, as they decide how to fill out their national ticket in November. It’s possible, and even likely, that Trump will announce an agreeable, consensus pick for vice president, and in a vote for party unity, the delegates will ratify that choice.

But here’s another possibility: Trump heads into Cleveland having just barely secured the 1,237 “pledged” delegates needed to win the nomination on the first ballot. In a last minute bid...

Would Clinton Pick a Female Running Mate?

What’s more historic than the first major female presidential nominee? The first two-woman presidential ticket, of course.

If it happens. But according to Hillary Clinton campaign chair John Podesta, it’s a distinct possibility. “We’ll start with a broad list and then begin to narrow it. But there is no question that there will be women on that list,” he told The Boston Globe. To be fair, this isn’t the first time Clinton or her aides have mentioned the idea. In January, she told Rachel Maddow she would “absolutely not” rule out a female running mate. Some of the names that are circulating: Senators Elizabeth Warren (of course), Claire McCaskill, Jean Shaheen, and Amy Klobuchar; and Governors Maggie Hassan of New Hampshire (an unlikely choice, as she’s running for U.S. Senate) and Gina Raimondo of Rhode Island.

It’s tough to say just how serious a possibility the two-woman ticket is. After all, Clinton is simply not ruling things out, and there’s a long time to go until she has to make the final choice. But what would she stand to gain by picking a woman as her running mate?

One reason could be...

Clinton is Stuck In Late-Primary Limbo

Hil­lary Clin­ton can now feel Barack Obama’s pain.

The former sec­ret­ary of State de­clared Tues­day night after a de­cis­ive primary win in New York that “vic­tory is in sight,” with a nearly in­sur­mount­able del­eg­ate lead over Bernie Sanders and just more than a hand­ful of primary dates left on the cal­en­dar.  

But the Sanders cam­paign signaled he in­tends to stick it out un­til the fi­nal primar­ies in June, or through the Ju­ly con­ven­tion, mean­ing Clin­ton will have to wait to fully pivot to the gen­er­al elec­tion. 

It’s a re­versal of for­tunes from 2008, when it was Clin­ton who re­fused to drop out even as Obama was well on his way to win­ning the Demo­crat­ic nom­in­a­tion. Clin­ton sol­diered on through early June, while Obama be­came the pre­sumptive Demo­crat­ic nom­in­ee weeks earli­er.

“It was the greatest six weeks of our lives,” former Obama speech­writer Jon Favr­eau mused in a...

The Republican Party Can Stop Trump But Only By Thwarting Its Voters

With Don­ald Trump’s blo­wout win in New York and five more Trump-friendly states just a week away, Re­pub­lic­ans in­tent on block­ing their fron­trun­ner from the pres­id­en­tial nom­in­a­tion will have no choice but to be­come down­right un­demo­crat­ic – with a lower-case “D.”

Na­tion­al Journ­al re­view of the re­main­ing states sug­gests that even if Trump does poorly in In­di­ana and loses win­ner-take-all con­tests in Neb­raska, South Dakota and Montana, he will likely still end the primary sea­son with close to 1,150 del­eg­ates. That total will be at least 300 del­eg­ates more than Texas Sen. Ted Cruz will have, and will rep­res­ent sev­er­al mil­lion more primary voters.

Trump made a point of men­tion­ing both of those leads in his vic­tory speech on Tues­day night, while con­tinu­ing to rail against a sys­tem that per­mits del­eg­ates to be awar­ded in loc­al and state con­ven­tions, rather than statewide...

Clinton Can Use Her VP Choice to Bridge Divide With Sanders

Pres­id­en­tial nom­in­ees pick run­ning mates for all kinds of reas­ons. Hil­lary Clin­ton, some of her fel­low Demo­crats say, should fo­cus on one goal in par­tic­u­lar: build­ing a bridge.

In­ter­views with a num­ber of lib­er­al Demo­crats on Cap­it­ol Hill re­veal a view that Clin­ton, if she be­comes the nom­in­ee, can use the choice of a No. 2 to ap­peal to sup­port­ers of pro­gress­ive firebrand Bernie Sanders.

Asked about the VP pick, Sen­ate Demo­crat­ic Whip Richard Durbin, who backs Clin­ton, em­phas­ized the Sanders factor.

“She is go­ing to have to be mind­ful that Bernie Sanders has a large fol­low­ing, and if he is not the nom­in­ee and she is, that she makes it clear that the mes­sage he was car­ry­ing that res­on­ated so well across Amer­ica, par­tic­u­larly among Demo­crats, is go­ing to be re­spec­ted in her pres­id­ency,” Durbin told re­port...