In the mid to late 1960s, Top 40 radio nationally was lead by a Shreveport, Louisiana morning show DJ named Larry Ryan. His show dominated local and even national Top 40 ratings. His station, KEEL, was at the top of national Top 40 stations beside significant market stations like WLS in Chicago, WRKO in Boston, KIIS in Los Angeles, and WABC in New York. Ryan was an icon. And, as icons go, Larry Ryan decided to leave KEEL and bought his own radio station. That left a massive hole in the programming lineup at KEEL. Who would General Manager Billy Wilson bring to Shreveport to replace this giant?
There are two schools of thought for such a replacement. One is to find the best radio personality in the nation with which to replace Ryan. The second is to acknowledge how great Ryan was and recognize that no one could replace him at the same level. Wilson chose the latter and hired a no-name disc jockey that was mediocre at best. He lasted for about six months.
Wilson, when Ryan left, knew who he wanted to be the ultimate replacement at KEEL. When he fired the no-name guy, he brought in “his” guy: Jeff Edman. Edman was a storied morning show host at a small station in a small town. But he was okay. He went on air and, everyone in that market thought, “Finally, KEEL has someone as good as Larry.”
Wilson knew that it did not matter who followed Ryan; they would fail because of the constant comparisons with Ryan. The guy between Ryan and Edman was KEEL’s “sacrificial lamb.”
“How does that story fit anything in my life today?” you ask. This is an essential topic for today, and you’re going to have to buckle in with me. Instead of looking at everything at sea level, let’s go up to the 10,000-foot level.
The 2020 Election from 10,000 Feet
Who will be the next “new” President? Will that happen in 2020 or 2024?
In my life, I remember no previous election environment with even remote similarities to this one. The differences between both major parties are miles apart from each other. Like never before, I see very little — if any — consensus between Republicans and Democrats on any level.
In the American political system, there have always been party philosophical differences. But parties almost always find ways to work together for the good of the nation. Americans do not see that willingness from either party in 2020.
Donald Trump will surely represent the GOP in November. But who will represent the Democrat Party is far from determination. From the start of this campaign season, former VP Joe Biden was the odds-on favorite if he ran. When he formally announced his run, most were confident he would dominate other Democrat candidates. And, for a while, he did. That favor among fellow Democrats began to slip away slowly and continues to this day.
Enter Bernie Sanders.
Sanders, a consummate Socialist (who many say is a Communist), has become the only real threat to a Biden run against Trump in November. Sanders is so far left and has so much history as a real Socialist; his garnering enough support even to win Democrats’ nomination is tough, but then there’s the general election.
As of this date, Sanders has momentum. If he can hold that and build the consensus for a White House bid as a Democrat, a generation of young Americans who have been immersed in Socialist propaganda at our education institutions would be elated. But, unfortunately for Sanders, Democrats have closed their circle around the former VP and are throwing every shred of bad “Bernie News” they can uncover against Sanders to keep Biden at the forefront. It will be tough for him to get the majority of Democrat Party delegates to support him in Milwaukee at the Democrat Convention.
What will happen if Bernie cannot get a Democrat convention delegate majority, nor can Joe or any other candidate?
If that should happen on the first nominating ballot, all Democrat delegates are automatically released from their candidate obligation. They can then support any candidate they choose. Someone — may be another candidate currently in the race or even one who is not presently running — can put their name forward, hoping to pull enough of those “de-committed” delegates to their side sufficient in number to win the nomination.
Who could that person be that could pull enough of those de-committed delegates to win a majority of delegate votes to win the 2020 presidential nomination?
Enter: a sacrificial lamb.
Take the “Hit”
Here’s the Democrats’ problem: Who can beat Donald Trump in 2020? Go back up to the 10,000-foot level for a moment and consider who is out there that has a real shot at beating the President. If one puts aside a personal preference for a specific candidate and objectively believes who could defeat Mr. Trump, the choices are slim — and there may not be a candidate who can score that victory. Don’t think for one minute that Democrat Party leaders have for quite some time considered that possibility. Pelosi and Schumer and other Party leaders have a plan — a plan that might contain a sacrificial lamb. Let’s think this through:
- Biden nor Sanders can score a majority of Democrat delegates on the first ballot at the convention in Milwaukee;
- Committed delegates are then free to support whomever they choose;
- Who in the current field has voter support even close to the sufficiency necessary to win the nomination, let alone defeat Donald Trump?
- Who could be a possible candidate outside the shortlist of Democrats who would and who could bring Dems their November 3rd victory?
- What are Democrats to do?
Three names come to mind who might be able to pull off a victory: Michael Bloomberg, Hillary Clinton, and Michelle Obama.
Michael Bloomberg. “Mini-Mike,” as President Trump has labeled the candidate, certainly has the bank sufficient to support the cost of a national campaign. But the former mayor made a poor showing in the Las Vegas debate — so bad that he may not be able to recover. Democrats as a whole do not know the former New York City Mayor. Is there time to educate voters about his positions on the issues that have been burning the electorate during this entire campaign period? If there is sufficient time for that, does he have adequate winning ideas to beat President Trump?
When one considers the formative accomplishments of this President — especially in economic benefits for Americans from every economic category — a candidate who is so weak at “selling” ideas to Americans in just a few months is an unlikely winner. And Bloomberg, while filthy rich, is not a proficient salesperson. He’s terrible. Mr. Bloomberg is undoubtedly destined to continue his life of wealth and eliteness, but not at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.
Hillary Clinton. OMG! Hasn’t the nation had enough? We won’t go into her political history. Everyone knows it from top to bottom. Her political history that is “known” in public is one thing. But her political history that is “unknown” is another.
There are far too many stories floating around about Hillary’s efforts to sow seeds sufficient to beat Mr. Trump in 2016. It’s unlikely she can successfully address and resolve those before November. Her post-election loss tour in which she incessantly blamed Donald Trump and the FBI, and the CIA, and President Obama, and Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny, were her attempts to regain some credibility. She too desperately sought support for her claims that the presidency was stolen from her.
She never received the support that she sought.
Add to that the fact that there may be some legal difficulties ahead for Ms. Clinton and her husband. There appears to have been wrongdoing at the Clinton Foundation, acceptance of foreign financial assistance for her 2016 campaign, and even possible criminal charges for mishandling of confidential and classified information and documents during the Mueller Probe.
That cloud of doubt over her is significant. It cannot be dismissed as some short-term hiccup. People could go to jail for that wrongdoing.
Michelle Obama. The former First Lady is the darling of the Left. She has shunned any aggressive political actions since leaving the White House with her husband, but she still dips her toes into the political fray from time to time. Many Americans — not just African Americans — like her a lot.
She has, on numerous occasions in public, rejected any idea of her running for the presidency. She blames the pressure, the grind, the lack of privacy, and the toll it takes on a family as reason enough for her to stay out of politics.
Many, however, think she is the perfect person going forward to carry the banner of the “traditional” Democrat Party. Never mind that she is as far left thinking as is her husband. Never mind that her stances on abortion, taxes, marriage, same-sex marriage, healthcare, and the economy mirror those of her husband.
But does America want Barack Obama Part 2?
Let’s play the game “What If?”
- Democrat Party leadership feels like none of the current candidates nor anyone who might be able to steal a nomination in a brokered convention could defeat Donald Trump in November?
- Democrat party leadership determined it is in the best interest of their party to swallow hard, continue to do their best through November at assisting whichever candidate finds their way to the top of a ticket, and take it in the chin November 3 and lose?
- Do they launch a plan in which 2020’s election win is sacrificed for the benefit of a diamond of a candidate for 2024?
That would mean whoever ended up carrying the Democrat banner in November would be just an interim candidate laying some groundwork for 2024. That person would be the Dems “sacrificial lamb.”
Just like that DJ who replaced Larry Ryan at KEEL was from the beginning to be nothing more than a place holder while the dust settled in Top 40 radio, that interim person could be the same thing for Democrats: a sacrificial lamb.
In politics, a sacrificial lamb candidate is a candidate chosen to contest an election even though he or she has little chance of victory. The political party thus appoints the person as a sort of “sacrifice” to the stronger opponent.
Fielding a sacrificial lamb candidate can serve as an opportunity for the party to be more creative in choosing a candidate than would generally be considered acceptable in a closely contested race. Alan Keyes and Geraldine A. Ferraro are examples in American politics. In 1956, Adlai Stevenson was considered a sacrificial lamb candidate for president against Dwight Eisenhower. In 2004, Howard Mills was considered a sacrificial lamb candidate for the U.S. Senate from New York against Chuck Schumer. 2020 Democrats may pick someone to run against Mr. Trump to fill the spot on the 2020 presidential ballot, knowing they have not shot to win.
If that should be the case, you can bet Democrats are already on the prowl for 2024. And I’ll bet not only are they on the prowl, but I am also confident they have their candidate. Who could that be?
That’s a great question. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is and will be too young to run. Hillary will be just a bad 2016 memory. Michael Bloomberg will have moved to some European country he bought like Luxembourg, Lichenstein, or some other. Joe Biden will be looking for his hairpiece!
Who’s left? Michelle Obama.
For what the Democrats want to accomplish long term, they need a candidate who the nation knows about but doesn’t “know” personally — one that already has star power and street credibility. Michelle Obama checks all the boxes: African American, female, experienced, well-known and respected, politically savvy, from the Midwest, and has the last name “Obama.”
Why wouldn’t they make her the 2020 sacrificial lamb? They cannot afford to waste her and lose her value to their party and their cause. She fits the slot far better than any other on the political scene today.
I’m confident Mayor Pete, Joe Biden, Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, and Amy Klobuchar would disagree with these thoughts. Face it: no one in national politics wants to be just an afterthought. But none of these have a shot at the presidency this year: a “decent” chance.
I don’t think anyone has a clear path to that in the Democrat Party. But I’m satisfied for 2024, you’ll begin to see some Michelle Obama yard signs and posters about the time Donald Trump takes his second oath of office. Democrats could probably forget about their pending whooping in November at the hands of “The Donald!”