What If…?

Posted by Fe Bongolan


Tad Devine, chief spokesperson for the Bernie Sanders campaign, recently floated the “weather balloon” suggestion of a combined Clinton-Sanders ticket for the 2016 election. While some might see this as a “desperation politics” move, Fe Bongolan parses out the combined potential strength if the two Democratic candidates buried the hatchet.

Let’s take this column with a grain of salt. But — and this is a big but — what if Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton put Presidential candidate Bernie Sanders on the ticket as her Vice-President? This is a possibility I read about this morning on Talking Points Memo — the website published by Washington insider Josh Marshall, a credible expert on American politics.


The idea of a Hillary-Bernie ticket could be construed as speculation at this stage — called a weather balloon in politics — but it’s a high floating one, and its intent is quite visible to the naked eye: the idea was floated by Tad Devine, the Sanders’ campaign chief spokesperson.

You might say Devine’s suggestion is “desperation politics” and you might be right. After Super Tuesday, Clinton’s delegate lead looked insurmountable, 200 or more ahead of Sanders by conservative count. Even with Sanders’ wins yesterday, it still is. In order to surpass Clinton, Sanders would have to do better than 60% in the upcoming primaries. That is no small task.

Bernie seems to do well in states with mostly white populations, and his hold on the less populated states in the Northeast and Midwest is steady. He won New Hampshire, Minnesota, Oklahoma, Nebraska, Vermont and Maine. But Hillary has won Iowa (close tie), Nevada (close tie), Tennessee, South Carolina, Georgia, Texas, Alabama, Arkansas, Massachusetts, and Virginia; and her delegate lead, assuming her super-delegates stay steady, puts her firmly in front.

The March 8 primaries include Michigan and Mississippi, states with heavily African-American populations. This is a demographic where Hillary is the strongest, and Sanders is having a hard time convincing this demographic of his sincerity. African-Americans form a principal backbone of the Democratic Party.

Conversely, Hillary has a problem convincing educated and progressive whites and young people, particularly Millennials, of her sincerity. Her ties to the banking industry, her 1% donors, and — let’s face it — her Neptunian proclivity to obfuscate instead of clarify her responsibility for her mistakes all leave her open to attack by her opponents. In short: emails.

Yet none, including the vicious Republican Benghazi Committee in Congress have been able to penetrate Clinton’s resolve. In the words of one panel member after her grueling hearing in October of last year: “She is formidable.” Most pundits, including Markos Moulitsas of Daily Kos, project that by March 15, the Democratic candidate will be clearly identified. At this point that would be Mrs. Clinton.

Which begs us to peruse Mr. Devine’s “suggestion.”

1) The Supreme Court vacancy due to the death of Justice Antonin Scalia is THE fulcrum upon which the future direction of the country — extreme right of center or progressively leftward — hangs in the balance. In the event that President Obama cannot place his nominee on the bench because of GOP obstruction in the Senate, Democrats must win the White House AND a majority in the Senate. To confirm a SCOTUS justice who would tilt the court towards a more favorable climate for women’s reproductive freedom and towards separation of church and state, and ultimately overturn Citizen’s United, Democrats will need a Senate majority.

2) Like it or not, Hillary’s foreign policy experience matters. People in this Cancerian country like to feel safe, with a strongman/woman at the helm. There is still a large swath of our population suffering under the hangover of 9-11, and ISIS is the new (manufactured) enemy.

3) Bernie as a senator would be fine, but if his is an isolated voice in the Senate with no chance of a Democratic majority to give him back up, he would remain isolated. HOWEVER, as Vice-President in charge of presiding over a Senate with a Democratic majority or a tie because of “coattails” — the momentum to elect Democrats for congressional seats from a strong top ticket — his could be the deciding vote that would overcome a senate stalemate. There are currently 24 Senators up for re-election this year.


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4) Given the calculus of demographics favoring each candidate, the joint ticket would unite north and south, east and west of the country. The enthusiasm from young and old, people of color and whites could be tremendous.

5) As Eric pointed out to me, “Hillary needs guidance and a high-quality leash” to keep her in check. With Bernie’s populist message and the hopes of young people who would rather stay home than vote if he isn’t on the ticket, that could be a deciding factor in Hillary’s veep selection.

And, frankly, Bill should stay out of her ear as much as possible.

BUT, in order to win, as Moulitsas says, “all Democrats have to vote.” So we’re not off the hook. Mr. Devine’s “suggestion” does have merit — less so for keeping Sanders’ candidacy alive but more so for keeping the Democratic Party intact. Bravo.

Obama and Clinton laid down the hatchet and worked together to unite the party after a grueling and vicious primary season in 2008. Who’s to say that can’t happen again? But let’s not get ahead of ourselves. Let’s see what tomorrow’s primaries bring in the states of Michigan and Mississippi on the day of a massive eclipse. A lot can happen in the next 24 hours. Cross your fingers and breathe.

Posted in Columnist, Fe-911 on | 6 comments
Fe Bongolan

About Fe Bongolan

Planet Waves writer Fe Bongolan lives in Oakland, California. Her column, "Fe-911," has been featured on Planet Waves since 2008. As an actor and dramaturge, Fe is a core member of Cultural Odyssey's "The Medea Project -- Theater for Incarcerated Women," producing work that empowers the voices of all women in trouble, from ex-offenders, women with HIV-AIDS, to young girls and women at risk. A Planet Waves fan from almost the beginning of Eric's astrology career, Fe is a public sector employee who describes herself as a "mystical public servant." When it comes to art, culture and politics, she loves reading between the lines.

6 thoughts on “What If…?

  1. Barbara Koehler

    Now we’re talkin’ Fe! Stop me if you’ve heard this one before. . . . . . .

    The big solar eclipse tomorrow has Nessus the Centaur at 3+ Pisces in the thick of it. Right now transiting Mercury is at 3+ Pisces, and I’m thinking, thinking, . . All these Pisces planets in the Eclipse tomorrow are in the U.S. Sibly chart’s 3rd house of communication, media, data, servers, etc. Pisces can fog things up and Nessus symbolizes the abuse of power. Hmmm. . .

    What if we combined Bernie Sanders’ natal Nessus at 3+ Taurus (the Chiron discovery degree and the degree Chiron was in when Uranus was discovered) in his 6th house of fixing things with the Eclipse Nessus at 3+ Pisces to make a sextile. Then what if we combine Bernie’s natal Juno at 3+ Libra and his Mercury at 2+ Libra and the U.S. Sibly chart’s M.C. at 1+ Libra to the sextile between Eclipse Nessus and Bernie’s Nessus to make a Yod of Convenience.

    Well, that’s what Bernie’s got with this solar Eclipse. His natal quincunx between Nessus and Juno/Mercury is turned into a Yod by the eclipse Nessus. This transiting Eclipse Nessus is in the 3rd house of the U.S chart as well as the charts of the (largely accepted) charts for Hillary and Bernie. It’s a 3rd house problem for the U.S , Hillary and Bernie, but Bernie’s got the solution.

    His fix-it 6th house natal Nessus in the Chiron Discovery degree can heal what the blabbering media’s focus on Hillary’s screw up with the emails is doing. With just a little adjusting (what Yods do) by his trickster Mercury and less-than-equal Juno near the U.S MC, he can distract the media’s focus on those day’am emails with the surprise team up of the two Dem candidates. Who sez that only the Pubs are masters of shock and awe?

    You know that transiting Neptune is at Bernie’s IC of course. :)

    1. Fe BongolanFe Bongolan Post author


      I keep harking back to Nancy’s reading on Starlight News in the fall of last year:

      The difficulties are suggested by the transit of Saturn square to Bernie’s Sun during most of February and again from late March through late April 2016. The final crossing comes over the time of the actual election from November 2 through November 12. These periods could point to times when Hillary is showing strength in the primaries or perhaps other difficulties during the primary season. The Saturn transit square the Sun at the time of the election is also confusing, given the relatively positive aspects that show up otherwise during that time and in January. There is additionally a tertiary progressed Saturn conjunction to natal Jupiter from March 2016 through June 2017. This aspect may also put a damper on things and point to Bernie using his popularity and presence to help other Democratic candidates including Hillary Clinton, rather than furthering his own candidacy.

      On the whole, I would say that Bernie looks a lot stronger than Hillary, except for some interesting aspects in Hillary’s chart from August 2016 through early March 2017. It should also be noted that I have no birth time for Bernie, and Hillary’s birth time is given as either 8 AM or 8 PM, both uncorroborated. For our purposes here, I am using 8:02 PM, giving her Cancer rising, and putting the ruling Moon in the very public realm of the 10th house and in aspect to both the Ascendant and the Mars/Pluto conjunction. But really, this chart cannot be seen as reliable and must be considered accordingly.

      Hillary’s biggest problems come from the planet Neptune. Using either birth time, Neptune aspects are with her throughout the campaign. With the later chart, these issues extend into the early months of 2017 and are even more pronounced from late December 2015 through early April 2016, due to the progressed and converse progressed Moon conjunctions with natal and progressed Neptune. Otherwise, in both charts we are looking at progressed Sun square natal and progressed Neptune and progressed Mercury square natal and progressed Neptune from the second half of 2015 throughout 2016. Essentially, Neptune’s strong presence describes a murky and unsubstantiated aura of dishonesty, opaqueness, and scandal. It tends to erode and diminish that which once seemed solid and substantial. It makes it very difficult to get a grip on what is really happening.

      The other problem for Hillary is the converse Venus conjunction to natal Saturn, which peaks in January 2016 in the 8 AM chart and late June 2016 in the 8 PM chart. This is one of many factors that make the 8 AM chart a better fit for a successful presidential run. The Venus/Saturn combination sharply inhibits popularity and likability, probably the biggest necessities in a campaign. If this aspect does pass by late January, and the progressed Moon/Neptune aspects are not an issue (8 AM chart), the overall outlook for Hillary would be far better.

      The most notable aspects in Hillary’s favor may be found in the tertiary progressions (one day equals one month calculation). There is a multi-year tertiary progressed Pluto square to natal Venus that extends into 2020 and that is triggered by transiting Pluto sextile natal Venus in January and early February 2016, as well as late May through early July and for all of November 2016. This aspect indicates a strong attractiveness and intensity in the candidate, but also adds to the highly polarized attitudes that swirl around her.

      Even more significant is the tertiary Jupiter moving to conjunct natal Mars (August through November 2016) and conjunct natal Pluto (November 2016 through March 2017), joined by the tertiary Sun for all of January and early February 2017. It should be noted that Mars and Pluto are particularly important in this chart as the co-rulers of Hillary’s multiple Scorpio planets and possibly her Ascendant. This unique and potent combination of tertiary Sun and tertiary Jupiter conjunct natal Mars and natal Pluto, culminating in the Inauguration and early days of the next presidency, may well be seen as pointing to the pinnacle of Hillary’s success and achievement. Because of it, I will not rule her out as the winner in 2016 despite the confusing waves of Neptune attempting to drown out her candidacy.

      The Sanders supporters keep downplaying the importance of Hillary’s firewall in the South. The Democratic ticket HAS to appeal to Southern voters, because a motivated African-American voting bloc will necessitate the Republicans having to monetarily defend the South, especially in down ticket races. The Republicans faced that in 2008 in the Obama election, which saw an unprecedented number of African-Americans turning up to vote. Dems NEED those senate seats to turn blue so they can make the legislative strides that Obama could not.

  2. Eric Francis

    Remember that the VP does not have a lot of power. He or she is a glorified senator who is also a cabinet member. They are generally kept on a short lead, and cannot set administration policy. But they are in on the discussions, they get a vote…it would largely be cosmetic and ensure that Hillary wins.

    1. Fe BongolanFe Bongolan Post author

      That to me means Bernie would be the one on a short leash. So why would Devine even put that idea out there? Other than maybe he’s not too bright?

  3. Eric Francis

    Better to be VP than nothing. Also, Sanders has been in the Senate a long time and any president needs that. He would have some influence, and he would be in every meeting. He would be the student rep on the Board of Trustees. You always want that.

  4. Barbara Koehler

    Is “Devine” the manager of Sanders’ campaign? The one who was on Andrea Mitchell’s program today that said something to the effect that Bernie’s campaign was all about getting millions of new voters interested in the process of changing government and the Democrat party? If so, then it makes sense to me. Who in their right mind wants to be President of the U.S.?

    What if Bernie Sanders was VP and there to counsel Madam President whenever she needed someone with a brilliant mind, while the rest of his time was devoted primarily to organizing (or giving speeches to) American citizens who would be asking him about how to get Wall Street out of politics and the business of running government. What if?

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