The pickings are slim in a campaign where the Dem VP nominee is the presumptive president due to Biden’s clear mental infirmities.
So maybe as early as next week Joe Biden will announce who he is picking to be his vice presidential nominee. Or more precisely, the vice president nominee will be picked, Biden will be informed, will come to believe he made the choice, and will appear in front of a camera with a note written in large crayon with the person’s name.
There really are no good choices among the people known to be under consideration.
If you want the full list of possibilities — some of whom are so unlikely it’s unclear why they are on anyone’s list — see this NY Times write up of 13 women who have been under consideration by Mr. Biden.
The choice of VP for Biden is more important than usual because Biden is half-baked. No one expects him to be much more than a figurehead, and it’s unlikely he’d make it through a full first term without a babysitter. So the VP choice really is the presidential choice this time around. That means the Dem VP nominee will be under even more intense scrutiny than is normal.
Top contenders in the order listed by the Times
Kamala Harris — The conventional wisdom choice. Brings the most ‘gravitas’ of the various contenders, which shows you how little gravitas the group has. She was the Attorney General and now a U.S. Senator for the largest state, and ran in the primaries so she has some national campaign experience. The problem is, she is very unlikable and harsh. Her only big moment during the primaries was when she savaged Biden on stage over forced busing decades ago. She was unable to garner enthusiasm among black voters, or really any voters. She was a vicious prosecutor, not exactly a plus for a Democrat base that hates the police and law enforcement. And, her rocket to political power was due to her dating the most powerful politician in the state at the time, Willie Brown, who is not shy in talking about it. She’s the conventional choice, and I think most likely, but she’s underwhelming.
Elizabeth Warren — Please. Pretty please. Pretty please with a cherry on top, pick her Joe. There are a lot of leaks and rumors — which probably are false flags, that Biden may choose Warren despite the pressure to pick a ‘woman of color.’ I don’t understand that, since Warren held herself out as a woman of color while climbing the law professor ladder. In no sane world would Biden bring Warren’s baggage into his campaign, but this isn’t a sane world. While I think it unlikely, I won’t be shocked.
Tammy Duckworth — Willing to have a conversation about removing George Washington statues. Perfect. Has the wounded veteran personal narrative, which could count for a lot. But not an impressive political figure otherwise, comes across as a whack job who is not ready for prime time. Is from Illinois, so the oppo researchers are bound to have a field day. We don’t know much about Tammy, but if she’s the nominee, there is bound to be some Illinois intrigue — bet Blago knows stuff, or knows people who know stuff, and guess who set him free?
Susan “Benghazi Video” Rice — While Harris is the conventional choice, don’t discount Rice. She’s from Team Obama, and that counts for a lot with Biden, who has good long-term memory, but poor short-term memory. He knows where he’s been, but not where he is. And where he’s been is around Susan Rice. Of course, this would be back to the future, as Benghazi and Rice’s lying about it would be relitigated. I put Rice as the No. 1 sleeper for Sleepy Joe’s nominee.
Karen Bass — Before a couple of weeks ago, had anyone heard of her? What we have heard is that she pledged allegiance to communist causes earlier in life, and praised Scientology. She’s the “rising star” in the field, but unless team Biden is super confident in its vetting, she’s really risky. Picking Bass would be an act of desperation, which seems unlikely for a candidate ahead in the polls.
Val Demmings — Another person who doesn’t have a national profile, though was one of the impeachment managers against Trump. An ex-cop, which should fit awkwardly in a party driven by cop hatred. Another person who has not been vetted in public life, a risk.
The “oh, please” choices
Keisha Lance Bottoms — Fiddled while Atlanta burned. Forgetabout it. She couldn’t control her own city.
Gretchen Whitmer — The Wicked Witch of the Midwest. You want to motivate Trump voters? Pick her.
Tammy Baldwin — I alway confuse her with the other Tammy. Bland and blah, but she’s from Wisconsin, a swing state. Absolutely nothing else going for her. Per the Times, “many Democrats might object to an all-white ticket.”
Michelle Lujan Grisham — know nothing about her. Per Times, “Lujan Grisham appears to be the only Latina candidate under consideration.” If that’s all she’s got, Biden might as well pick a non-white VP who brings more to the table, like Harris or Rice.
“Governor” Stacey Abrams — Is she still a thing? On what basis is she even on an expanded list?
Maggie Hassan (NH Senator) and Gina Raimondo (RI Governor) — Not a chance. Even the Times says they are not being seriously considered. So why are they on the list?
Of course, there’s always the possibility of a Black Swan event.