In an article this morning, full of anonymous sources “close to the campaign,” it appears there is little consensus about Biden’s pick. The shortlist comes up short according to the headline, and the reason is in the tagline:
Plenty of the contenders are fine or even good. But all of them come with a “but” attached. “There is no one ideal home run choice,” one adviser says.
That could be an understatement. Joe Biden has committed to picking a woman and, most likely, a woman of color. There is significant pressure from the far left for him to select a minority. In the current moment, it is doubtful that either Senator Tammy Duckworth or New Mexico Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham will be seen as a minority pick. They are both Hispanic, but that may not cut it. It is near-certain that Elizabeth Warren’s 1/1024th Native American is a no go on this dimension.
Biden relies heavily on the black vote and has already received a petition from 200 black female community leaders saying they are crucial to his election. And they want a black woman for his running mate. Some contenders, such as Representative Val Demings, have been objected to by the radical left. Demings’ cardinal sin was being the first black chief of police in Orlando and supporting her officers.
Fake Georgia Governor Stacey Abrams and Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms both bring a few “buts.” While they may be wildly popular with the far left for their radical policies, neither of them is ready to lead. Bottoms has caved to the mob in Atlanta, alienating her police department and letting crime spike. President Trump would have a field day with how she is letting Atlanta fall apart.
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Stacey Abrams was a state representative. She has never held statewide office and has no executive experience. Before entering politics, she wrote trashy romance novels. She has also taken Bloomberg money for her voter registration not-for-profit and paid herself a healthy salary when she ran it. At least it appears she has paid her back taxes.
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According to the article, Biden is looking for a gal just like him.
As Biden conducts a series of interviews with a final list of potential running mates ahead of his August decision, his biggest concern is that there is nobody on his list with whom he has any previous deep relationship.
According to conversations with a dozen Democrats — a mix of elected officials, formal campaign advisers and outside strategists, most of whom were granted anonymity to share their candid assessments — Biden pines for a partner who could be to him what he was to President Barack Obama: a friend and confidant who subordinated his political interests to those of his boss.
Someone he can share something with that is akin to the bromance he had with Barack Obama. And yes, a 77-year-old man tweeted this. Or some Gen Z staffer did. In any case, it is cringe-worthy:
However, since he is trying to run as Obama adjacent, it is not a surprise that Susan Rice is on the list. She has foreign policy experience, none of it good. She has Benghazi and Bowe Bergdahl to her credit, along with the horrific Iran Deal. It appears she is also a key player in the Spygate scandal, which President Trump would have a field day with.
Senator Kamala seems like the default candidate. As Joe Cunningham has written at Red State, there are signals “she is the one.” However, she also has “buts.” She did not resonate with black voters in the primary and actually turned off black men because of her record as attorney general of California. She is a convenient progressive as a senator. Her positions do not seem authentic. Instead, they look like political pandering. Her inauthenticity was also a problem in the primary, along with her tendency to laugh inappropriately under stress.
Some of the strategists underestimate Biden’s shift to the left. His Unity Agenda with Sanders is a huge nod the radical left they seem to ignore. President Trump is already making hay with Biden’s radical housing policy. The climate and economic proposals are also anything but moderate.
“Biden has this race in a pretty good spot and Trump is finding him an inconvenient target,” he said. “He’s culturally inconvenient for Trump: old, white, moderate Irish Catholic guy from Pennsylvania. There’s a reason Trump brought on an impeachment trying to stop Biden. Many of the things that were weaknesses during the primary are now strengths, and you don’t necessarily want to upset the balance of the race here.”
The same strategists also underestimate the fracture in their party. Moderate voters are not going to go along with some of the radical policies that have been proposed. The Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing details alone could tilt the suburbs. The far left is not going to be satisfied with anything other than radical change.
Unlike previous presidential election years, there is little pressure on Biden to use his selection to bring together a deeply fractured party. In 1960, John F. Kennedy needed Lyndon Johnson and his strength with Southern voters even though the two men despised each other. Ronald Reagan chose George H.W. Bush, a bitter critic, because the Republican Party was split between moderates and conservatives. In 2008, John McCain chose Sarah Palin, an obscure Alaska governor he barely knew, because he was headed for defeat and desperately looking to jump-start his campaign.
“This is not about a political marriage of convenience like those other cases,” said the Democratic strategist. “Biden has to feel something with them.”
Using “Biden” and “feel” in the same sentence is never a good idea. In the end, none of the negatives may matter. Biden is conducting one on one interviews to make his final selection.
The elusive hunt for Biden’s Biden has recently pushed Susan Rice into the top tier of candidates. As Obama’s national security adviser for his second term, Rice worked closely with Biden on an almost daily basis, making her the only potential running mate whom Biden knows so intimately.
But very few of the other candidates come close to meeting that test, which means that the one-on-one candidate interviews could be unusually important. A dark horse candidate who aces her oral exam with the nominee could end up as the finalist — and considering Biden’s commanding status in the race, as well as his age — the most likely person in America to be the 47th president.
They will most assuredly be the nominee in 2024. More than likely, they will be president by next September. The idea that any of these women don’t know that or will subordinate their own political interests is insane. If I were Joe Biden, I would never go down the stairs first. And I might hire a food taster.
President Trump is clear that he will run against the vice-presidential nominee. Anyone who is still in the race at this point has enough “buts” or negatives for the Trump campaign to work with. Let Biden stay in the basement.