An act of God aside, Joe Biden will be nominated as our candidate for President on Wednesday, July 15, 2020, at the Fiserv Forum in Milwaukee, WI. There are many things we can quibble and debate, but the fact of Joe Biden’s nomination is no longer in doubt. As difficult as it may be for some, we must put aside all of our questions, concerns and doubts, and stand-up as one to cheer our nominee. The stakes are too high to allow for anything but unwavering unity.
The greatest question before us now is who will be selected as his running mate? It is tradition and for that matter common sense to choose someone who will help solidify support within the Party, and then add to the ticket’s appeal to the greater electorate. Given Joe’s age and the Party divide, this may very well be the most important Vice Presidential pick in history. It certainly ranks with Ronald Reagan’s selection of George H.W. Bush in 1980, John Kennedy’s selection of Lyndon Johnson in 1960 or William McKinley’s selection of Theodore Roosevelt in 1900.
The first look for running mates in modern times has often run toward fellow primary contenders – Pete Buttigieg, Amy Klobuchar and Elizabeth Warren being the most prominent. As Pete led the moderate lane for the nomination up until Super-Deal Tuesday, he deserves at least a moment of thought. He’d be the first openly gay candidate for Vice President. He’s young, articulate and a veteran. Unfortunately, the powers that be in the Party have already decided it’s too soon for him. Amy Klobuchar certainly made a strong statement in the primary, and she checks the woman box. Unfortunately, she closely matches Joe’s ideological bent, and therefore, would do nothing to help shore-up the Progressive wing of the Party. Elizabeth Warren would certainly help with that, but she’s made enemies, and her already well-established challenges with veracity, make her a potential liability with the independent voters we need. Most importantly, her selection would leave an absence of color on the ticket.
Being a woman of color, Kamala Harris checks two important boxes. However, she does not help with the Progressive wing, nor is she a very good candidate, as she demonstrated in the early going. Also, it’s been said, given her ancestry, she lacks a degree of authenticity.
Governor Gretchen Witmer of Michigan, Governor Catherine Cortez Masto of Nevada and former Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates are all deserving of strong consideration. They are proven administrators, and they are all in the moderate lane of the Party – again no help with the Progressive Lane. However, Governor Cortez Masto checks the Hispanic box, which puts her in my second place behind who I believe Biden will select.
My bet is the nomination for Vice President will go to Stacey Abrams, the former minority leader of the Georgia General Assembly, who very narrowly lost a bid to be Governor in 2018. She is a graduate of Spellman College, the oldest private historically African American liberal arts college for women. She also holds a Masters in Public Administration from the University of Texas at Austin and a Juris Doctor from Yale University. As Minority Leader of the Georgia House of Representatives, she notably worked well with Republicans to get important legislation ratified into law. Beyond her political career, she has been a dynamo in both business and law, and she writes books too – real books.
But, the kicker for Stacey is that she is generally considered a Progressive and was endorsed by Bernie Sanders and “Our Revolution” in her primary run for Governor. So, she checks the boxes for brilliant, exciting, exceptionally well-educated, talented, extremely well-connected, woman of color and Progressive. She has the credentials to shore up the Sanders – Biden divide, and given Joe’s age, there’s a very real-world possibility that she could become President along the way. That potential would be enough to excite the hell out of the African American community, as well as a lot of folks like me and drive us all to the polls in Obama era numbers. Everyone say, "Go Stacey, Go Stacey, Go Stacey!"
Photo provided courtesy of wsj.com.