Dear Senator Sanders,
I decided to write this open letter because in spite of your incredible performance and the time left until we vote in the primaries, there is much to be done. Then, quite honestly, there is the chatter in the media: “He can’t win this vote.” “He can’t win the South!” “He’s too…” “He’s not enough…” “These people don’t know him…” “He doesn’t appeal to…”
But the polling that matters, what people want, says you are exactly who people want. They just don’t know it yet. As I wrote in a previous blog post, this election is straight out of a weird Freaky Friday movie script. What people were made to expect from this election isn’t coming from the candidate everyone knew would win. Instead, it’s all coming from you. You’ve said that what is needed is a Southern Strategy. You’re right. It is a necessity. As vigorously as you are campaigning, you can’t possibly be everywhere at once, certainly not multiple times, or as often as needed. But appearances are necessary. Teach-ins are of utmost importance. With all of the money that is floating about even this early, with the floodgates about to open, the only way you can do more with less, is by adding good people to join what promises to be the biggest political fight since FDR.
So… I have this idea. It may seem presumptuous on the surface, but it is really more a practical idea than it is a gimmick. Since nothing is normal about our politics these days, please do give it some consideration.
Announce your choice for running mate and the most important cabinet members right now. Have them criss-cross the country with you, and for their own speaking events.
Ask Robert Reich to be your candidate for Secretary of the Treasury. Let him campaign for you and use his incredible skills as an orator and teacher to conduct teach-ins all throughout the country, especially the South.
The Department of Justice is going to be one of the most important functions of an administration you preside over. Pick someone with an impeccable civil rights resume to oversee the most important reforms of our time.
Finally, for Vice President, who better than the one member of Congress who is the most energetic, eloquent, knowledgeable and passionate advocate for progressive economics and social justice? Who else fought and spoke out for Americans in need when Republicans wanted to make deep cuts to SNAP? Who else fought for long-term unemployment benefits to be continued? Who else spoke out and fought mighty hard for more stimulus funding? Who else has spoken out against the TPP and for jobs here in America? Prison reform? Who else has been an advocate for civil rights and social justice? Who would best explain your plan for racial justice to those it matters to the most? Who would be the best, most dedicated cabinet level official to help manage the transformation we will undergo as we root out institutional racism as we bring economic equality back? Who better than that most principled gentleman from Minnesota who has been most outspoken and hard-working these last six years? Yes, I mean your friend, Keith Ellison, with whom you’ve worked with so well, side by side for many years.
Think about it, Senator Sanders. Please!