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Voices / Letters from readers

Why don’t presidential candidates decide on ticket sooner?

A perhaps dumb question:

Why don’t some candidates for president thrash out and let us know now who their vice president would be?

Doing so could have several advantages, including:

• In a race where winning is imperative, a running mate with the right background and from the right state could be key.

• Where a candidate’s youth or age were a concern, or their experience on an important front were limited, the right vice-president candidate could be reassuring.

So it seems odd to not announce one’s choice for vice president well before the party primaries or caucuses. And then campaign together.

Democrats currently running for president might not agree in advance to be vice president. (Or some might be too interested in the position and not in the job.) But the candidate for president could seek anyone as a running mate. A Patty Murray or Sherrod Brown or ... ?

The candidate for president would need to make clear that they take the V.P. role seriously, that the person will be their right hand — not just there to attend state funerals while waiting for the president to die.

I have a feeling that this idea may be silly. But I’d be grateful to know why.

Byron Stookey

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Originally published in The Commons issue #511 (Wednesday, May 22, 2019). This story appeared on page D3.

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