New York Times opinion columnist Thomas L. Friedman is proposing some unusual tickets for the 2024 presidential election in his latest editorial. We’re talking unusual like Biden-Cheney, Harris-Romney, or Klobuchar-Cheney.
Friedman makes the case that after years of political turmoil, Israel’s recent elections have produced a model that America might want to follow: “Key Israeli politicians swallowed their pride, softened policy edges and came together for a four-year national unity government — led by rightist Prime Minister Naftali Bennett and left-of-center Alternate Prime Minister Yair Lapid. (They are to switch places after two years.) And for the first time, an Israeli Arab party, the Islamist organization Raam played a vital role in cementing an Israeli coalition.”
“It’s the most diverse national unity government in Israel’s history, one that stretches from Jewish settlers on the right all the way to an Israeli-Arab Islamist party and super-liberals on the left,” notes Friedman. “Most important, it’s holding together, getting stuff done and muting the hyperpolarization that was making Israel ungovernable.”
Could such a power-sharing arrangement work in the United States? It would be hard to imagine, as our fundamental system of republican government is structed very differently from Israel’s multi-party parliamentary democracy.
Historically, Republican Abraham Lincoln’s selection of Democrat Andrew Johnson as running mate for National Union Party ticket in 1864 didn’t turn out so well.
But it is worth noting that the prospect of a fusion presidential ticket has been floated in the recent past. In fact, it came close to happening in 2008 when GOP nominee John McCain seriously considered picking Independent-Democrat Joe Lieberman as his running mate.
The math just doesn’t make sense for a something like Biden-Romney ticket, or whatever the pairing. The progressive wing of the Democratic party would never go for such an arrangement, and any attempt to engineer a mixed-ticket would likely cost as many votes on the left (to write-ins and the Greens) as it gained from the center.