Democrats say the scenario will never happen while Republicans see it more than a possibility in election 2016. That would be presidential candidate and likely party nominee Hillary Rodham Clinton leaving the race because of criminal charges discovered over her email server. Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) Director James Comey would most certainly request an indictment from Department of Justice’s (DOJ) Attorney General Loretta Lynch.
That political nightmare haunts the Democratic National Committee (DNC). Any official criminal findings by the FBI made public or through bureau leaks (a distinct possibility) will literally lead to mass chaos in the Democratic race. It is a well-known fact that the party elite want nothing to do with socialist Bernie Sanders who most certainly would cause a massive shift in general election votes.
Democrats would scramble to produce an alternative candidate with instant national recognition. But what new candidate could meet that threshold? That would be none other than two-time Vice President Joe Biden or Secretary of State John Kerry. Biden, the former decades-long senator from Delaware and Kerry, the former long-time senator from Massachusetts have been feeding at the government trough longer than most lawmakers in Washington.
The likelihood of this happening would occur at the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia this August. Most likely the DNC would decide on the replacement. Again, this will emanate most likely from a request by the FBI for former secretary of state Clinton’s indictment.
While the Republican Party is bound by ‘Rule 40’ which stipulates the presidential nominee has won at least eight state primaries, Democratic candidates have input on who represents them on the convention floor. Delegate expert and University of Georgia professor Josh Putnam, told The Hill website, “There are no Clinton-bound delegates who would prefer voting for Sanders, for example. Those folks are essentially hand-picked to be loyal. They are unlikely to stray.” There are the ‘super-delegates’ to consider that number 712 Democratic Party leaders. They have the freedom to support any candidate at the convention.
Those elite Democrats, that include members of congress, would be likely to abandon a publicly scorned Hillary Clinton if her candidacy imploded from public outrage. That would drastically change the political climate of the ‘super-delegates’ who most likely would flee in massive numbers. Enter Joe Biden who was quoted months ago as being disappointed he did not run after his son, Beau, died tragically in October, 2015, or Kerry who lost the 2004 election to George W. Bush.
If not Biden or Kerry, delegates pledged to Hillary could place their support behind a far different sort of candidate, socialist Bernie Sanders, which would deliver the 2,383 delegates to win the nomination. But most Democrats know Sanders is virtually un-electable in the general election, even if it is the controversial Donald Trump he faces. In their nightmares, delegates see Trump facing Sanders in national debates this fall.
Should the Democratic race end in a contested convention, it’s anybody’s guess what the 4,765 delegates will do. One thing is certain, if Ms. Clinton faces indictment on criminal grounds, the smoke-filled back rooms at the Philadelphia convention will be buzzing.