Former DNC Leader Calls For Clinton Backup Candidate

| by Ray Brown
Hillary ClintonHillary Clinton

Don Fowler, who served as chairman of the Democratic National Committee between 1995 and 1997, said the party should figure out a replacement candidate in case Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton becomes too sick to continue campaigning.

“Now is the time for all good political leaders to come to the aid of their party,” Fowler told Politico. “I think the plan should be developed by 6 o’clock this afternoon.”

Fowler has been a supporter of Hillary Clinton since 2008 and was the head of the DNC during President Bill Clinton's administration. But he explained that having a replacement ready is something the party should have regardless of who is the nominee.

“It’s something you would be a fool not to prepare for,” he said.

Fowler also said he hopes Clinton fully recuperates before hitting the trail again.

“She better get well before she gets back out there because if she gets back out there too soon, it might happen again,” he said.

Although Clinton campaign operatives insist that she is recovering from her bout with pneumonia after becoming so ill she nearly fell at a 9/11 event in New York City Sep. 11, talk of what might happen if she has to drop out of the race has led to questions about how a replacement would be made.

Since the convention has already been held and the nominees are already chosen, the DNC rules allow the party leaders to get together and simply decide who will get the nomination without having an election, according to Time.

This has never happened with a presidential nominee, but it has happened with a vice presidential nominee.

In 1972, Democratic nominee George McGovern replaced his chosen running-mate, Thomas Eagleton, just a few months before the presidential election after he found out Eagleton had problems with depression.

The Democratic Party then replaced Eagleton with former ambassador Sargent Shriver, a member of the Kennedy family.

But the move didn't help McGovern very much. He ended up getting crushed in a landslide victory for Republican nominee Richard Nixon. And a New York Times electoral college map of the 1972 election shows McGovern won only one state: Massachusetts. 

Sources: Politico, Time, The New York Times / Photo credit: A. Shaker/VOA

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