The Carlos Files: Breakout Bedfellows for the Dems

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Why you should care

Because while we may be down a few, no candidate runs alone for long. 

The Carlos Files is an ongoing OZY series with life lessons, commentary and advice from OZY cofounder Carlos Watson.

While the GOP debates remain a jam-packed clown car full of candidates spitting mad at CNBC, the Democrats have quickly whittled their field drastically. With Lincoln Chafee and Jim Webb dropping out after lackluster performances in the first debate, all eyes (well, OK, some eyes, anyway) will be on former Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley Friday. In particular? They’ll want to see if his campaign can pick up traction amid the slipstream of the twin juggernauts, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders.

Clinton and Sanders dominate two different corners of the Democratic Party. Clinton finds her natural strength amid center-left establishment groups, including women and minorities, while Sanders has barnstormed his way into contention as an insurgent with a hard-left socialist progressive message and an internet-driven army of small-donation dollars from younger, whiter Northeasterners. So far, the two have played nice and trained their fire on the GOP, but as the field grows smaller and Iowa approaches (just 90 days to go), expect to see the sharper messages as they begin to differentiate themselves on the trail. Because at the end of the day, there can be only one.

But even that one must eventually run with someone else at their side (and we don’t mean Bill). Some might say it’s too early to cast our ballots for presidential running mates, but OZY cofounder Carlos Watson and deputy editor Pooja Bhatia have some surprising picks for the VP slot. If they’re right, the presidential race will never be the same.

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