Kaufman: Biden’s Running Mate Race Reaches Crescendo

Former UN Ambassador and National Security Advisor Susan Rice, Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms, Senator Kamala Harris, and U.S. Representative Val Demings are front runners to be the running mate for Joe Biden.

AJ Kaufman

“I want someone who is ready to be President on Day 1.”

— Joe Biden, June 2020

Two months ago I analyzed who Joe Biden might select as his running mate; an announcement should come any day. It remains true that no vice presidential selection has mattered more in generations, since the candidate would be 78 on Inauguration Day.

Biden’s current lead isn’t due to his popularity; rather he’s a broadly acceptable alternative to a strongly-disliked incumbent

The “do no harm” cliché behind a running mate still prevails, which is why Biden’s team likely nixed polarizing radicals Stacey AbramsKaren BassElizabeth Warren, and Gretchen Whitmer.

Amy Klobuchar, the safest pick, bowed to racial politics last month, urging a “woman of color” be chosen. As social justice hooligans — often middle class white millennials yelling at black cops— show, Bernie Sanders lost the primary but his fanatical Jacobin policies prevailed.

Biden is increasingly controlled by the hard left and placates them; he should, however, seek comity and not offend suburbanites and blue collar voters his party lost in 2016. Let’s examine the final four contenders.

  • For some reason, Democrat candidates have selected a senator as their running mate in all but one election for three generations. As she was during her presidential campaign debacle, Kamala Harris is the media choice, yet remains a thoroughly unimpressive option. A woman of privilege, she is an inauthentic panderer who, as a product of one-party San Francisco politics, doesn’t expand the map.

Inexplicably focusing her failed campaign on Twitter, Harris was an epic disaster in the presidential primaries. She was off-putting, intellectually lazy and so deficient she went from frontrunner to dropout in only four months. Harris, who favors demonization over police reform, wasn’t a tough prosecutor either; she was hyper-ideological. 

Instead of using the state attorney general’s office to protect constitutional rights, she prosecuted those with non-conforming views. When whistleblowers released video of Planned Parenthood officials discussing body part sales four years ago, Harris’ goons burst into the investigative journalist‘s home and seized his laptop and phone. That man recently deemed her “the greatest threat to civil rights we’ve seen in our country in generations.”

Democrat voters should remember they rejected this tyrant for a reason. I’d expect the vacuous partisan to bring similar problems, including past scandal and sophistry, to a national ticket.  

  • Unlike Harris and her PhD parents, Val Demings actually overcame obstacles. One of seven children raised poor in the Jim Crow South, she began working at 14, becoming the first college graduate in her family. Demings served in law enforcement nearly three decades, the last four as chief.

The second-term congresswoman from a key state — no presidential nominee of either party has prevailed since 1992 without winning Florida — isn’t a hard-core progressive by voting record.

Nihilistic agitators apparently can’t tolerate someone who worked up to Orlando’s first black female police chief though; they say Demings led a department where “officers used excessive force.” In reality, when the country is on fire, Americans still overwhelmingly support police and intransigent Democrats are soft on crime, Biden could do worse. As a bonus for Black Lives Matter Marxists, Demings recently toed the woke line on law enforcement.

Born in Washington, D.C. and educated at the finest schools, Rice lacks upside other than her national security background. This may be good, of course, since the nominee has egregious foreign policy instincts. Jim Clyburn, who saved Biden’s campaign with his endorsement before the South Carolina primary, suggested Rice be considered. 

  • When the Atlanta riots began several weeks ago, even conservatives praised the passion exuded by Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms during her stern lecture to looters. 

“This is not a protest,” she said. “When Dr. King was assassinated, we didn’t do this to our city. You are not honoring his legacy and the civil rights movement. When you burn down this city, you are burning down our community.” 

That’s much better than how MinneapolisNew YorkLos Angeles, and Seattle mayors mishandled matters in their fiefdoms

Bottoms lacks federal experience — she’s been a judge and city councilwoman — but her performance as Atlanta’s leader thrust her into the spotlight. Her supporters can make a similar argument on managing a bureaucracy to former presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg. Bottoms also has credibility. The day after Harris’ pre-planned nonsensical busing rant at Biden last summer, the Atlanta mayor endorsed him. Georgia is also emerging as a battleground state.

Bottoms’ detractors can note recent waves of Atlanta violence and some dicey connections. This year, the second-term mayor also made some debatable partisan moves, including after the Rayshard Brooks shootingcriticizing Gov. Brian Kemp’s initial reopening and the governor’s current lawsuit against her city.

Biden could also consider Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham, a Hispanic with broad experience, but who’s very left-wing; or Sen. Tammy Duckworth, a disabled veteran who two weekends ago muttered disingenuous claptrap.

The ultimate choice says a lot about the direction a Biden Administration goes. Will it appease the implacable media, the mobsmendacious teachers unions and morally-stunted rage monkeys throwing tantrums? Or will it rely on common sense and moderation?