Smyth: Can bipartisan, moderate females be Biden-Trump alternatives?


Joe Smyth of Scottsdale, Arizona, is the author of “Fixing America’s Broken Politics: Common Sense Solutions to the Issues That Divide Us.” A former editor of the Delaware State News, he’s now retired, and the opinions expressed here are his own.

Was it Jay Leno who said, “If God wanted us to vote, he would have given us candidates”?

Yet, the two major political parties seem determined to give us what most Americans don’t want: a Biden-Trump rematch in 2024. Regardless of which of those two wins, we’d have to suffer through four more years of a president who promised to unite the nation but instead tore it farther apart.

With the nation so divided politically, should voters be searching for moderate alternatives? Candidates who are willing to put country over party? Who are mature enough to work with the opposing party to find win-win compromises?

The upstart No Labels movement has been promising to offer a bipartisan “unity ticket” as an alternative to Joe Biden versus Donald Trump but hasn’t been willing to say who the nominees might be. So, is it time for commonsense Americans to give No Labels some advice?

Let’s have some fun brainstorming various possibilities. Here’s my own working list — to which I invite your reactions:

  • Moderate Republicans (choose one): former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley, former Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan, New Hampshire Gov. Chris Sununu, North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum or former Wyoming Rep. Liz Cheney?
  • Moderate Democrats (choose one): commerce secretary and former Rhode Island Gov. Gina Raimondo, former Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon, Sen. and former West Virginia Gov. Joe Manchin, New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy or (former Democrat and now independent) Arizona Sen. Kyrsten Sinema?

Readers, who would you add to the list and who should be deleted?

Would most of us be willing to accept two moderates — one from each party — even if they might be less conservative than many Republicans would prefer and less liberal than many Democrats would prefer?

If Biden and Trump are the other choices, could the nation be ready for two moderate females? After all, haven’t men had their chance and made a mess of American politics?

Could a bipartisan ticket, such as Republican Nikki Haley and Democrat Gina Raimondo, capture the nation’s imagination and become a winning No Labels ticket in 2024?

Reader reactions, pro or con, are welcomed at

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