The Biden Veepstakes

NYCKY

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Joe Biden having been through VP vetting knows full well what is involved in going through the process, the ever increasing levels of disclosures, medical records, tax returns, business dealings, investments, bank statements, highly invasive clandestine personal interviews with the potential candidates and their families where no stone is left unturned, recently formed a committee to select his own running mate. Biden formed a diverse committee that includes, Rep Lisa Blunt of Delaware, former Connecticut Senator Chris Dodd (a controversial choice), Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti and Cynthia Hogan a former counsel to Biden.

Some of the more prominent names being bandied about at this point include the potential candidates below. Of course some may not pass ever stringent vetting requirements and new candidates could come on the list.

This year with the pandemic, it makes it more interesting, normally the prospective candidates would travel with the nominee to various rallies, media appearances, fund raisers etc to check for things like chemistry with the nominee, appeal to crowds, ability to fundraise, act as surrogates etc. This time it’s different. We don’t know what shape the conventions will be, likely very slimmed down, if they go ahead and likely sharply reduced campaign rallies.

Biden has indicated that he will be a transitional candidate and between that and his age, there is some speculation that he will only run one term, and thus any VP nominee, win or lose in November could emerge as a strong contended for 2024.

Some of the more prominent candidates being talked about and vetted below, in no particular order…..

Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer – Pro - Young and from a crucial swing state where she has held local office, Con – Little executive experience having been elected Governor in 2018 .

Former Georgia Senate Minority leader Stacy Abrams - Pro – Young, could help shore up the African American vote and potentially put Georgia in play, Con – Lost (narrowly) her one statewide race and has no executive experience.

Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren – Pro – Could help with progressive voters, Con – In her 70s, did poorly in her own Presidential campaign and does poorly with blue collar voters. Her state won’t be competitive.

California Senator Kamala Harris – Pro – Young and African American with law and order AG background, good relationship with Biden from her time as AG when she was friendly with Beau Biden, the late Delaware AG, Con – fizzled out early in her own Presidential bid. Her state won’t be competitive.

Minnesota Senator Amy Kloubacher – Pro – Did better than expected in Presidential campaign with solid debate performances, would solidify her home state for Biden. Con – She has some baggage from her prosecutorial days that could pose a challenge. Poor support among African American voters as a result.

Florida Representative Val Demmings - Pro – A good orator, from an important swing state and as a police chief of Orlando, a solid law and order background – Con – At 63 a bit older, first elected to Congress as recently as 2016, not guaranteed she would move Florida into the Biden column and would need serious vetting as a former chief of police.

Former National Security Advisor and ambassador to the UN Susan Rice – Pro – Young, African American and having served at very high levels of the US Government will know her way around Washington DC, has worked with Biden closely through the eight years of the Obama administration, Con – never held elected office and her shaky media performances post Benghazi likely cost her the role of Secretary of State (shouldn’t be a dealbreaker though).

Illinois Senator Tammy Duckworth – Pro - Combat military experience on the battlefield, Asian American– Con from a deep blue uncompetitive state, US citizen but born in Bangkok as a result of Fathers military service, (does the birther nonsense need resuscitation)

Interestingly New Hampshire Senator Jeanne Shaheen, declined requests for vetting, back in 2000 when she was Governor, she was vetted by Gore and submitted to vetting but saying she would decline the role if asked. She might have been the token female on the list at the time but she is 73 now and probably realizes that being picked is not a realistic possibility. Gore lost by four electoral votes and had he won New Hampshire's four electoral votes, he would have been President. New Hampshire’s other Senator (and former Governor) Maggie Hassan is being vetted though. She is from a small but important state, but is 62, although has been elected statewide many times with executive and legislative experience.

Other potential candidates include Nevada Senator Catherine Cortez Masto, NY Senator Elizabeth Gillibrand, New Mexico Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham, Wisconsin Senator Tammy Baldwin and former acting Attorney General Sally Yates. as well as former Arizona Governor and Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano.

The list above is not meant to be exhaustive or overly prescriptive, as are the pros and cons but please feel free to add candidates or note any advantages/disadvantages the candidates may have. Biden may pick a dark horse, that is not on anyone’s radar but is likely keenly aware of the danger of picking a relatively obscure nominee, untested on the national stage, particularly given his age, so it’s likely to be someone we are familiar with.

The top 10 women Joe Biden might pick as vice president, ranked
 
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hiding behind a poster

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That list is narrowed considerably by Biden's age and Covid-19, the two being somewhat intermeshed. Whether Trump dares to explicitly or implicitly say "look it's fine if I get Covid-19 and die, Mike Pence is ready to step in" or not, and because Republican voters would be quite comfortable with that scenario anyway, it means that Biden's VP simply has to have executive experience. Since he's also said it's gonna be a woman, that narrows the field further. I'd say Kamala Harris is the most likely, but don't rule out Warren or even........ Hillary.
 

Sync

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He’ll go with Harris. There isn’t a convincing reason not to. The baying mutant Bernie Bros aren’t going to be happy with anyone, so there’s not a lot of point trying to make them happy.

The correct answer though is Julian Castro which helps you in Florida and puts Texas in play. Won’t be him.
 

owedtojoy

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He’ll go with Harris. There isn’t a convincing reason not to. The baying mutant Bernie Bros aren’t going to be happy with anyone, so there’s not a lot of point trying to make them happy.

The correct answer though is Julian Castro which helps you in Florida and puts Texas in play. Won’t be him.
The notion of "ticket-balancing" has gone out of fashion as the primary reason to pick a VP.

A VP choice is a hygiene factor - a VP will not add much positively to the case for the Top of Ticket, but a bad choice can undermine it. The Choice From Hell was George McGovern's first choice in 1972 - the man turned out to have had mental health treatment that included electroconvulsive therapy. In its day, that was a no-no, and (to make it worse) McGovern flip-flopped on the nomination.

So the bias has to be towards a cautious choice rather than a bold one - Jofn McCain's choice of Sarah Palin in 2008 looked bold and courageous, but he also threw away a key card, which was his opponent's inexperience. Though, HRC's choice of Tim Kaine in 2016 may have been too cautious - but it is defensible in that he looked a safe choice in July 2016.

Obama's choice of Joe Biden was probably the best selection of recent times - (primarily) a safe pair of hands at the job, that (secondariy) offset some of Obama's perceived weaknesses - an inexperienced member of a minority. But, OTOH, with respect to Biden, not someone to set the campaign on fire, like Palin tried to do.

Kamala Harris or Elizabeth Warren look like the safest choices. But, actually, Biden is blessed to have a stong field of potential candidates. Whisper it, but most of them would be better Presidential candidates than Biden himself.

(As a Dark Horse, of whom I know little, I like Governor Lujan Grisham of New Mexico, if she meets the executive requirements.)
 

owedtojoy

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Kamala Harris ahead in the betting ...
Democratic VP pick
Kamala Harris
36.8%
+ 3.2%
in last day
Amy Klobuchar
13.1%
-4.2%
Elizabeth Warren
13.0%
-0.2%
Val Demings
7.2%
-0.3%
Gretchen Whitmer
6.4%
-0.1%
Stacey Abrams
5.3%
0.1%
Catherine Cortez Masto
4.5%
 

silverharp

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I'd say Harris, there was a report of one of her people getting some role in the campaign, chances are she is running the campaign for basement Joe at this stage. You would have to say 50% her 50% a surprise. Interesting question will be be to they try get Joe over the line and she takes over then or does he bow out before on some pretense and she becomes their nominee?
 

owedtojoy

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There is a view that, while Kamala Harris would be the strongest choice in ordinary times, because of the pandemic and the economic crisis, Elizabeth Warren might be the better choice in troubled times.

It would send a stong signal that the Democrats intend to re-structure the economy in way not seen since the New Deal in the 1930s. Especially, if Warren's economic role was made clear in the campaign. In many ways, she won the policy debate hands down, anyway.

It would certainly terrify Wall Street.

Maybe a bit too high-risk for me, but it will be interesting to see what happens.

For example, it is high-risk in that it would need the Democrats to take the Senate, something that is only 50-50. The could even lose Warren's seat in a Special Election, like they lost Ted Kennedy's seat in 2009. Winning, or Not Winning, the Senate will have an enormous impact on 2021 - 2025, no matter who is President.
 

blinding

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Could Joe not have Joint a Vice President Candidate Choice of Nancy Pelosi and Hillary Clinton just to get Down with the Kids ! ! !
 

Sync

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He's not going with 70 year old Warren. She gives you nothing, she can't campaign. If you want her to do all the work, just give her a cabinet post after you win. But she can't help you win.
 

blinding

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He's not going with 70 year old Warren. She gives you nothing, she can't campaign. If you want her to do all the work, just give her a cabinet post after you win. But she can't help you win.
The Democrat Party is like an Old Folks Home ! ! !
 

A Voice

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There is a view that, while Kamala Harris would be the strongest choice in ordinary times, because of the pandemic and the economic crisis, Elizabeth Warren might be the better choice in troubled times.

It would send a stong signal that the Democrats intend to re-structure the economy in way not seen since the New Deal in the 1930s. Especially, if Warren's economic role was made clear in the campaign. In many ways, she won the policy debate hands down, anyway.

It would certainly terrify Wall Street.
She was an utterly dreadful candidate who lied all the time. Her candy jar spending plan on health and college tuition was dreadful and she climbed down when it was exposed as such. When she lost big-style, it was cos sexism.
Did you learn nothing from the primary process?
 

wombat

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Because of Biden's age, the VP choice is more important than usual. I suggest a midwest or southern governor if such a Democrat exists. He has committed to picking a woman which narrows the field. I think a black senator would play into Trump's hands, a Washington insider and the race card to energise the rednecks.
 

Mercurial

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I wouldn't rule out Klobuchar. Her endorsement of Biden was one of the most significant as his momentum really started to build again. He owes her one.
 

Prester Jim

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It depends on the strategy of course but if they're aiming for the middle of the road voters they need to get someone who won't irritate them with identity politics, while enthusing the progressives enough that they will come out and vote. The latter shouldn't be a problem in a logical world but they aren't great for voting, thus Bernie not doing anywhere near as well as polls suggested he would.
GIllibrand is an absolute no, she is despised by most of the big donors for the Frankin thing. Klobuchar would seem to be a good draw for the middle and Harris would be decent there too but depending on what opponents drag up from their prosecutorial past they could lose black votes and if Harris lost black votes that would be a disaster.
I like Warren myself but she is too old to replace an already doddery Biden. They need someone younger, female and not too vehemently into identity politics. Could be an unknown (to us over here anyway). They also need someone who can spank Pence and he is formidable enough, or at least he was against Tim Kaine.
Catherine Cortez Masto seems like a good pick, Latino vote is an increasingly important one, especially in Florida
 

Paddyc

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He's not going with 70 year old Warren. She gives you nothing, she can't campaign. If you want her to do all the work, just give her a cabinet post after you win. But she can't help you win.
Her state, Massachusetts has a Republican governor so, if Joe won, she would be replaced by a Republican senator until 2022. With the Senate as tight as it is, there's no point in risking that.
 

NYCKY

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Her state, Massachusetts has a Republican governor so, if Joe won, she would be replaced by a Republican senator until 2022. With the Senate as tight as it is, there's no point in risking that.

No that used to be case but Massachusetts changed their rules Back in 2004, worried about then Governor Romney picking a Republican replacement for a President Kerry, the Democratic state chambers changed the law to ensure a special election within a few months. Of course Kerry lost but in 2009 when Senator Kennedy died, they had to have an election and got Republican Scott Brown. If Warren was picked and won, Governor Baker could only appoint a Senator for a few months before the election would have to be held.
 

owedtojoy

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He's not going with 70 year old Warren. She gives you nothing, she can't campaign. If you want her to do all the work, just give her a cabinet post after you win. But she can't help you win.
I am not gone on Warren for VP either. It might be a waste of her talent.

She would help make a broader Left - Centre coalition, though. It would shut up the less stupid Bernie Or Bust holdouts, but I do not think they are worth farting at, anyway.

But you could still do a lot of stuff without her as VP..
 

livingstone

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I am not gone on Warren for VP either. It might be a waste of her talent.

She would help make a broader Left - Centre coalition, though. It would shut up the less stupid Bernie Or Bust holdouts, but I do not think they are worth farting at, anyway.

But you could still do a lot of stuff without her as VP..
A better bet might be to strongly hint at Warren as a Treasury Secretary pick. It gives enough wriggle room that you can back away from it if she's needed in the Senate, but gives the left of the party a strong incentive to come out and vote: Warren in Treasury would arguably give them more of what they want than having her in the Naval Observatory.
 

The OD

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Fantastic OP, something we don't see that often, well thought out points throughout.
 

Paddyc

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No that used to be case but Massachusetts changed their rules Back in 2004, worried about then Governor Romney picking a Republican replacement for a President Kerry, the Democratic state chambers changed the law to ensure a special election within a few months. Of course Kerry lost but in 2009 when Senator Kennedy died, they had to have an election and got Republican Scott Brown. If Warren was picked and won, Governor Baker could only appoint a Senator for a few months before the election would have to be held.
Thanks for the clarification.

I don’t think it’ll be Amy Kloubacher either.

While serving as Minnesota’s chief prosecutor between 1999 and 2007, Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) declined to bring charges against more than two dozen police officers who had killed citizens while on duty – including against the officer that killed George Floyd in Minneapolis this week, MintPress News reports.
 


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