Vice President List Narrows For Biden
Vice President List Narrows For Biden
The office of vice president is usually not the topic of hot debate that it has been this election cycle for the Democrats.
However, the job that has been largely considered worthless (except when it isn’t) is looming large for the Biden campaign right now, in a tacit acknowledgement that their chosen candidate is simply not up to the mental strain that the presidency would require.
After Biden summarily eliminated half the United States population from contention, the question of who will be his vice president has loomed large – and could definitely make or break the campaign.
The news is out that the list of possible vice presidential has shrunk to six names. Some of these names have long been on the vice president list. Some names that you would expect to see are now gone, either as a consequence of the coronavirus lockdown or due to the recent protests and riots. And some names have appeared BECAUSE of the lockdown and the protests.
Democrats with knowledge of the process said Biden’s search committee has narrowed the choices to as few as six serious contenders after initial interviews. Among the group still in contention: Sens. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts and Kamala Harris of California, as well as Susan Rice, who served as President Barack Obama’s national security adviser.”
The campaign’s list includes several black women, including Harris and Rice. Advisers have also looked closely at Florida Rep. Val Demings and Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms, both of whom are black, and New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham, a Latina.”
Some of these candidates are known quantities to the media and to the Republicans. Some would be difficult to compete with. And some would be a gift to Republicans.
Let’s scan the list quickly for first impressions.
Warren is known to the electorate, was weighed, and found wanting. She brings zero youthful energy and no additional “color” to the ticket, being only seven years younger than Biden and much, much whiter.
Harris may be a stronger contender for vice president, but her personal history with Biden during the debates – plus her comments about believing Biden accusers – can’t be written off. Team Biden must know that Harris has provided enough material for a dozen GOP campaign ads.
Susan Rice? SUSAN RICE??? If you thought Kamala Harris had given the GOP tons of campaign ad video to play with, it’s a drop in the bucket compared to the volumes that Susan Rice would bring to the campaign. It would be a gift to Republicans if Rice was named the vice presidential candidate. The tenor of the campaign would immediately shift from domestic issues to national security, and the Trump campaign would absolutely be running wall-to-wall ads about Benghazi and Syria.
Val Demings is still an outlier candidate, but one whose profile has gotten a boost with the protests due to her resume as a former police chief. However, Demings did serve as one of the impeachment managers, where she didn’t distinguish herself at all. Team Trump would definitely focus on her role in impeachment.
Keisha Lance Bottoms would be an interesting pick, because she raised her national profile with much stronger leadership than many other local leaders during the George Floyd protests and following riots. She would be a solid choice and tough for Republicans to counter, but she hasn’t been elected statewide in Georgia yet, much less nationally. Choosing her as vice president would be a calculated risk for Team Biden, but one that could pay off.
Michelle Lujan Grisham might be on this list, but she’s made very little of a ripple nationally at this point. Her status as governor of New Mexico proves her electability statewide, but I have seen no poll numbers since her enforced lockdown of an entire city in early May. I’m sure that Team Biden has those numbers, though, and will be considering them carefully.
Notice who is missing now from this list? No more Amy Klobuchar – we can assume that this is a consequence of the George Floyd protests and riots. No more Gretchen Whitmer – her moment in the national spotlight looks to be over. And of course, Stacey Abrams got her own vice presidential asperations crushed on live television by Biden himself, so she will have to content herself with being the imaginary governor of Georgia.
The Democratic National Convention begins on August 17th. The clock is ticking for Team Biden. They need to choose a vice president who can step in if/when Biden cannot function as president. Everyone is watching and waiting to see who that choice will be. And once the campaign chooses a vice president, they will need to practice with Biden, over and over, so he knows her face and her name.
Featured image: original Victory Girls art by Darleen Click