With the dawn of a new era in Panem politics comes new questions. Just last month, we made history here, inaugurating the first bipartisan executives of our nation. President Rick Canth, a member of the Conservative Party, must now work across the aisle with Vice President Dale Wilson, a Liberty Party politician. Never in the history of our nation has this happened- where the presidential and vice presidential votes split to elect two opposing candidates.
As much as people would like to say that presidential and VP talk is too far off to discuss, this split in the executive branch does immediately start it off four years early. After all, Vice President Wilson is hardly daft- he is quite aware that if he has presidential ambitions, he best use them now rather than later.
It’s not to say that the Vice President wouldn’t be out of the picture after this year. Vice President Wilson has a long record to point to in his political career. Wilson served as governor of District 4, one of the most influential and largest districts in the nation, for two full terms, heading into another before his campaign for vice president. He also had a previous national campaign under his belt, running for VP whenever Vice President Oswald initially received her nomination for VP. He learned much from that campaign, and that showed in his second go-around. His lack of gracefulness from the first campaign did not appear in his second, where he made a clear showing, displaying himself as a renowned governor whose methods had worked and had promise for the nation.
However, he does for certain not have a straight shot to the nomination of the Liberty Party. We’ve assembled a list of contenders:
- Former VP Celine Oswald: Of course Oswald would grace our list. The former VP was basically robbed of her presidency by President Canth this election. It’s completely understandable she’d like a third stab at the nomination and a rematch with Canth.
- Governor Amy Oaksmith: It would be heresy to not include the District 7 governor on this list. She nearly beat out Oswald last time, proving herself to be a force to be reckoned with. She’s one of the most popular governors in the nation, and in a swing district. And, after all, she is now the chairwoman of the Liberty Governors Association. Do not count Oaksmith out, not this next time or in future elections in general.
- Governor Rosalie Descoteaux: Another must-have on the list. The governor of the nation’s largest district cannot be ignored, and she has ambition as well. She’s served as interim president before, and she chaired the Panem Governors Association. She’s a huge fundraiser.
- Secretary Jonathan Madison: Another interim president with ambition. It’s a wide-open field, and he only fell short for VP because he was outshined by his home district governor.
- Secretary Tyler Thompson: A former VP, he has the credentials and the ambition. He’s been lackluster in fundraising though, and can be outshined by bigger names.
- Governor Cynthia Thompson: Because why not? Another popular governor with name recognition due to her husband mentioned above.
- Governor Gale Hawthorne: This name keeps on reappearing every single election. Though he didn’t have a ton of traction in the past, he’s been secretary of defense, governor of District 2, a five-star general, and now he’s governor of the new District 15. If he can rebrand himself á la Dale Wilson, then he’s a definite contender.
- Senator Peeta Mellark: Okay, so this is a little farfetched. District 12’s junior senator just took office a month ago, but he does have the superstar quality and name recognition to propel Liberty back to the highest office. He also brings along a potential First Lady Katniss Everdeen. However, the only person to run with such little experience in the past is Elizabeth Steinbeck- and look how that turned out.
And regardless of who the nominee is for Liberty, they still face a challenge. Only once has an incumbent president been unseated: President Cecelia Paylor. Paylor honestly had no chance. She faced dismal approval ratings, a failing economy, a foreign policy disaster, and a domestic electorate who believed she was becoming authoritarian. She lost in a landslide for good reason.
But therein lies the difference between Canth and Paylor. While they were both opposition presidents, Paylor had major baggage. Canth seems set to breeze through a first term with the help of the Liberty Party, who at the moment is attempting to be civil and cooperate as to do the will of Panem’s electorate. Will they continue to do that as they reach the next election? It’s very unlikely. However, it is likely that Canth will be nominated once again, and that Panem won’t hate him like they did Paylor. Liberty has major work to do- if they want to win, they need a superstar nominee who is beloved by Panem. And no, unfortunately for them, Mrs. Everdeen will not be there to save them now. It may, in fact, just be best to sacrifice someone and move on until Panem grows restless for a new president.