Opinion Outpost July 29

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Third party candidates

Millions of Americans have been queasy contemplating the choice of Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump.

Well, American voter … you have not one respectable alternative to these candidates but two. They are Gary Johnson, nominated in June by the Libertarian Party, and Jill Stein, who is expected to be chosen at the Green Party national convention next month.

Can either win? Not this time. But that’s no reason Americans disgusted with the major party choices have to settle on either.

A strong showing by Stein, Johnson or both … could push a reassessment of old policies that have acquired immunity from reform.

— Editorial Board

Chicago Tribune

 

According to “trial-heat” findings posted at PollingReport.com, the Libertarian standard-bearer Gary Johnson is currently polling at 10 to 15 percent. And about 4 to 8 percent now support the Green Party candidate Jill Stein. These percentages are not large compared to those for Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump, but … if they hold, they could have significant effects on the outcome of this election. But will they hold?

Come November, when the stakes of a winner-takes-all presidential contest are more salient, it is asking much more of a voter to stay with a minor party.

— James A. McCann

The New York Times

 

(Gary) Johnson and (Bill) Weld aren’t running as anti-government-free-will Libertarians with a capital L. They are agile, practical-minded thinkers with a few quirks: Conservative on money issues, socially liberal, skeptical of government power and military entanglements. Not so scary, right? “Most people are Libertarian,” Johnson told us. “It’s just that they don’t know it.”

The most radical notion Johnson … favors (is) legalizing marijuana, noting that it’s happening already.

Obviously this is a long-shot candidacy.

— Editorial Board

Chicago Tribune

 

This November, we need change. Yet we are tied in a choice between Trump, who would be a neo-fascist catastrophe, and Clinton, a neo-liberal disaster. That’s why I am supporting Jill Stein. I am with her – the only progressive woman in the race – because we’ve got to get beyond this lock-jaw situation (of the Black Lives Matter movement). I have a deep love for my brother Bernie Sanders, but I disagree with him on Hillary Clinton. I don’t think she would be an “outstanding president.” Her militarism makes the world a less safe place.

— Cornel West

The Guardian

 

Tim Kaine

Virginia Sen. Tim Kaine is not Mr. Excitement, as he’d be the first to say, but he is the smartest vice presidential pick Hillary Clinton could have made.

Like Indiana Gov. Mike Pence, his Republican counterpart, Kaine brings a steady temperament and unpretentious personality to the campaign.

But as close as they are to the perfect VPs, neither Kaine nor Pence can solve the real problem plaguing both their parties: a flawed, unpopular nominee at the top of the ticket.

— Editorial Board

USA Today

 

Let it be known that Hillary Clinton is nothing if not a political creature who puts politics first, principles second.

As a 58-year old white male, (Tim) Kaine speaks neither to the diversity wing of the Democratic party nor the millennials – essentially the heart of the Obama coalition – betraying many progressives’ hopes for a doubly “historic” ticket.

He does, however, speak to one of Clinton’s main deficiencies: blue collar, middle-aged white male Democrats who think the party has left them. And this political calculation is why she chose Kaine.

— S.E. Cupp

CNN

 

Vice-presidential candidates can be divided into two categories: political choices selected for what they can deliver on Election Day and governing picks who can do some heavy lifting in the White House.

By choosing Tim Kaine, Hillary Clinton will get both.

The real question is whether Kaine, viewed by friends and foes as a moral, ethical person, can find his own voice within a Clinton circle that has sometimes made poor decisions and taken self-defeating shortcuts. Could Kaine do more than be a good team player by guiding Clinton to better choices?

— Larry J. Sabato

The Washington Post

 

Sen. Tim Kaine (D-Va.) … is a horribly uninspired choice (for Vice President): He’s stolid.

I’ve seen … Kaine speak to small audiences. Tim Kaine is … Tim Kaine.

I was bored.

A Kaine-Pence debate is a snoozefest that no undecided or newly engaged voters want to show up to.

— Melissa Batchelor Warnke

Los Angeles Times

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