Commentary: Veepstakes Provide Biden Pivotal Choice

The Democrat standard-bearer would be 78 on his Inauguration Day, older than Ronald Reagan when The Great Communicator left office. 

A.J. Kaufman

While I disagree this is “the most important election of our time” — President Trump and Joe Biden won’t be around after 2024, after all — it’s probably true no Vice Presidential selection has mattered more in generations.

That’s primarily because the Democrat standard-bearer would be 78 on his Inauguration Day, older than Ronald Reagan when The Great Communicator left office.

Biden won’t run for a second term, so the “do no harm” idea behind a running mate matters. The social justice sect, which already pushed socialism (and gender requirements) onto the campaign, is predictably pressuring the malleable Biden to pick a “woman of color”; in reality, it’s a delicate balance between not offending moderates and blue collar voters the party lost in 2016, while somehow appeasing the radical fringe. Let’s take a look at the current coterie of frontrunners, in alphabetical order:

Stacey Abrams

A large risk and small reward. As an extremist, she’d calm down the far left, but her resume is thin; the highest office Abrams has occupied is legislator in Georgia’s lower chamber, where she represented a smaller and less-diverse constituency than Pete Buttigieg as South Bend mayor. Abrams, who endorsed Biden last week, also brings ethical issuesduplicity, and has actively campaigned for the role, which seems churlish.

While our media adores herread Henry Olsen from the Ethics and Public Policy Center:

“Abrams could have become a serious Democratic player. Instead, the ideologue looks more and more like the next Sarah Palin, milking her comet-like appearance on the national stage for all its worth until she slowly fades from view.”

Tammy Baldwin 

The Wisconsin senator is solidly left and from a crucial state. Since identity politics runs much of the Democrat Party, Baldwin’s brings a bonus as the first “openly gay” vice president. Though she’s been better than most on Biden/Reade, she’s not well-known nationally and thus won’t infuse much energy to the ticket.

Val Demings

The second-term Florida congresswoman is a strong pick for many reasons. She is a former police chief in a time when Democrats appear soft on crimenot inherently radical; from a key state; wife of a current mayor and former sheriff; and one of the few Democrats who seemed semi-competent during the recent impeachment trial. Still a standard liberal who promotes the Pelosi line, the Washington Post recently analyzed Demings:

“As the child of a maid and a janitor and as a first-generation college student, she’d bolster Biden’s appeal as a working-class Democrat. Her background as a police chief might also resonate with some of the blue-collar former Democrats who have drifted toward the GOP in recent years.”

Tammy Duckworth 

Not a hard-core progressive, the Illinois Senator is an underrated option who still checks the requisite social justice boxes. She is a veteran, a minority, and served in the House four years and Senate since 2017, giving her more experience than Trump or Barack Obama when they ran for president. While Biden never served in the military, Duckworth did for two decades and lost her legs in the Iraq War.  Pundits consider her a smart choice.

Kamala Harris 

Like many, I (wrongly) believed the first-term senator would be the Democrat nominee due to having every possible advantage, but she ran one of most disastrous campaigns imaginable. Harris was intellectually torpid, inexplicably relied on mindless twitter for policies and thus misread America. The former state attorney general with a sketchy past went from frontrunner to out of the race two months before the Iowa Caucuses.

Similar to many Democrats, she’s been hypocritical and feckless on the “believe all women” canard. Harris also remains unpopular. While the Californian is admired by some elites, she is a vacuous radical and does nothing for the electoral map. (When the megalomaniac racialist Jonathan Capehart promotes you as “best,“ you’re not.)

Amy Klobuchar 

The Minnesotan is experienced, purportedly pragmatic and adds to a “return to normalcy” idea. She was ideologically compatible with Biden in debates but also maintains a left-leaning line, constantly bashing the president on twitter, often immaturely. Klobuchar also has a strong electoral record in the Upper Midwest, which helps if the election hinges on Michigan, Minnesota, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin. In normal times, the senator is a wise choice but the fringe would riot, basically because she’s white and not a socialist. 

Elizabeth Warren 

An obsequious media portrays her as young but the Massachusetts senator turns 71 next month. She’s also from the northeast bubble, and like Harris, failed miserably when she needed to appeal beyond the coasts. Warren, however, remains relatively popular among Democrats.

She also energizes the hard left but attracts no moderates, failing even to resonate with voters in her home state and adjacent blue ones during primaries. Considered a fabulist by many, Warren is easy to mock, and when you consider her ignominious behavior during the Brett Kavanaugh hearings, she seems an illogical pick.

Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto of Nevada, the first Hispanic female elected to the upper chamber, and New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grishamwho also served in congress, make for additional options. Gretchen Whitmer was atop the early short list, but as a purveyor of totalitarianism amid her micromanaging coronavirus debacle , the Michigan governor is doubtful.

Lastly, a trendy choice would be putting Michelle Obama on the ticket. But the former First Lady is unlikely to give up her oceanfront mansion to work for the first time in nearly 15 years.

I can’t predict who will be chosen this summer, but as Matthew Continetti opined last week, the septuagenarian presidential options appear to be in a “Teflon campaign” with no poll shifts in months.

“Intensifying tribalism makes this election a nonstick surface,” he wrote.

Indeed, Trump has the most consistent approval rating in modern history, and Biden’s lead is the steadiest against an incumbent since World War II.

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Vote who you think Joe Biden will select as his running mate