by Lincoln Institute | October 29, 2020

In this extraordinary year of 2020, we are finally on the cusp of election day. I don’t think I have ever heard so many voters express frustration and consternation about a Presidential race as I have this year. Many traditional Republicans and conservatives have misgivings about supporting President Trump. On the other side, many liberals or Progressives have expressed similar frustration with the general blandness of former Vice President Biden. So I’m going to present an entirely different way of looking at this race: set aside your misgivings about the top of the ticket, and turn your attention instead to the Vice Presidential candidates, because I believe that whichever ticket wins, the Vice President will have a good chance of becoming President within the next four years.

Former Vice President Biden is not only the oldest candidate ever to run for President on a major ticket, he would also be older on his first day in office than Ronald Reagan was on his last day in office. He often seems confused, forgets where he is, occasionally says he’s running for the Senate, and gets lost in the middle of sentences. It’s reasonable to assume that these problems will only worsen under the enormous strain of the Presidency. He could be a candidate for removal from office by the 25th Amendment to the Constitution if he experiences obvious mental decline or a stroke. It’s also reasonable to assume that a 78-year-old man might die before the end of a four-year term, especially when taking into account the aforementioned strains of the Presidency. Therefore, a vote for Joe Biden for President could very well become a vote for Kamala Harris for President. Harris is hardly the bland moderate Democrat that Joe Biden is. Just last year, she was named the most liberal of all Senators by GovTrack, a non-partisan organization that tracks bills in Congress.

If Donald Trump wins a second term as President, and if Democrats win majorities in both the House and Senate, as most polls now project they will, I think that there is a good chance that Democrats will impeach him a second time, thus making him the only President in history to be impeached twice. Don’t you think that a Democrat Senate is very likely to convict him? Remember, the House voted purely on party lines to impeach him and the Senate voted on party lines not to convict him, with the sole exception of one Republican who voted to convict on one but not both of the two charges. A Democrat Senate majority would likely convict him on almost any charge. It hardly matters what the new charge or charges might be. The last impeachment demonstrated that the House could invent a pretext and call it a high crime or misdemeanor.  Impending cases accusing Trump of tax fraud, insurance fraud and bank fraud certainly provide one plausible avenue that would be attractive to Democrats. Their loathing of Donald Trump is so intense that, if they do indeed win both Houses of Congress after a Trump re-election, they will find this possibility irresistible, even if it mean he would be succeeded by Vice President Mike Pence. It’s political blood lust. Therefore, a vote for Donald Trump for President could very well become a vote for Mike Pence for President.

So, instead of looking at the 2020 Presidential race as being between Donald Trump and Joe Biden, you can look at it as being between Mike Pence and Kamala Harris. Does that make it easier for you? It does for me.