I have this crazy notion.
I see a luxury bus, decked out with signs and photos of the Democrats’ statewide candidates. I see it spending a long weekend barnstorming around Vermont, stopping in various towns and cities.
Inside the bus, I see Sue Minter, Pat Leahy, Peter Welch, and Bernie Sanders, plus David Zuckerman, TJ Donovan, Jim Condos, Beth Pearce, and Doug Hoffer*. Legislative candidates join them for rallies held within their districts.
*Random order. Please take no offense, Doug.
The events draw substantial media coverage and energize the party faithful. They showcase liberal politicians united behind a single ticket — and, most crucially, a gubernatorial candidate in an uphill battle against a popular Republican.
What would it do for Sue Minter to have Vermont’s very popular heavyweights actively showing their support? It might just be the thing to put her over the top.
There’s been some buzz lately about Bernie Sanders’ absence from Vermont politics. First it was Politico asking the musical question “Where’s Bernie?” And then our very own Dave Gram chimed in with a story about Bernie’s non-endorsement of Minter “raising eyebrows.”
Questions worth asking. Sanders may see Minter as too moderate for his liking, or too closely aligned with Peter Shumlin. But can it really be harder for him to endorse Minter than to endorse and campaign actively for Hillary Clinton? And does he really want a Republican capturing his home state at the onset of his vaunted “political revolution”? Potentially embarrassing, if you ask me.
So yeah, I wonder where Bernie is. But I also wonder where Pat Leahy is, and Peter Welch. They’ve endorsed Minter, but they haven’t exactly made much time to express their support publicly.
Surely they could spare a weekend to get out among the hoi polloi in events that would boost the entire Democratic ticket, themselves included. (And deal a stinging blow to Vermont Republicans who have precious little going for them besides Phil Scott.)
I dunno. I don’t run the party or anybody’s campaign. There may be logistical difficulties. Maybe one of ’em has bad breath or stinky feet. Or all the buses in Vermont are booked solid for leaf-peeping tours. Maybe it’s just my ignorance that makes this seem like such a rewarding opportunity.
But here’s what I say. The Democrats’ Unity Bus Tour. Why not?
(Please note: if this is already in the works, I’ll gladly cede all credit to whomever made it happen.)