I know people dump on the Electoral College all the time, but it does make it possible to change the rules of an election on the fly, as it were (see Florida, 2000, or the 1876 election). So I offer a modest proposal to scuttle the upcoming Clinton-Obama convention debacle:
Let the both run in November.
Here's how it works:
- The Democratic party puts up a slate of electors in each state. All 538 of them are pledged to support the Democratic candidate, whether it be Barack or Hillary.
- If the Democratic slate gets 270 or more electors, then the Democratic party immediately funds a “run-off” election, between Obama and Clinton — they can afford to do it, they're going to run the White House and probably Congress for four years. This election is open to everyone, Democrat, Republican, Independent, or Naderite. (I'd restrict this to true Democrats, but how can you tell? These days it isn't just Democrats that react to a picture of Bush like Dracula does to a crucifix.)
- The winner of this runoff gets the 270+ electors, and becomes President. The runner up gets to be VP, unless (s)he is so disgusted by the process (s)he decides to emigrate to Canada.
- Thus until Nov. 4, H&B run against McCain. If they win, then they get, let's say, two weeks to attack each other. We'll have the runoff on Nov. 18, and the electors can gather in December to fill in the blank.
Neat, huh? No laws need to be changed, no convention fight, just a massive redo.
Assuming, of course, that John McCain doesn't win it all.