[guest post by JVW]
Don’t pretend like you didn’t see this one coming.
With putative Democrat Presidential nominee Joe Biden zeroing in on his Vice-Presidential pick — and believe me, the leaked names under consideration are indeed a bunch of zeros — it’s time to make the argument for a bold, refreshing, unconventional pick that would establish Slow Joe as something other than a dinosaur who has spent a half-century mucking around Washington, DC and who is in complete thrall to the power players and elite opinion makers which sadly dominate his party. Various names have been bandied about over the past few months: Stacey Abrams, Amy Klobuchar, Kamala Harris, Elizabeth Warren, Keisha Lance Bottoms, Tammy Duckworth, and now Karen Bass. They each have something to offer the elderly white male Establishment figure around whom party pooh-bahs rallied during that harrowing point last winter when a nutty old socialist nearly stormed the gates and threw out everyone who wore a tailored suit.
But none of them offer the advantages that Mr. Biden stands to reap if he takes the bold step of naming the fourth-term Congresswoman from the islands of Hawai’i to his ticket. She matches and/or surpasses any of the strengths of the other potential candidates, and at worst her liabilities are no more troublesome than those of the rest of the field. Don’t believe me? Let’s consider:
Pros: Almost managed to get herself elected governor of Georgia.
Cons: Garden variety leftist of the Sanders stripe. It’s hard to see her winning over voters in the Rust Belt.
Pros: Apparently she and Biden get along well together, though Biden might have mistaken her for his nurse.
Cons: As late as 2016 still thought Fidel Castro had done a bang-up job in Cuba. Her only major accomplishment as Speaker of the California Assembly, a budget deal with Governor Schwarzenegger, was overwhelmingly rejected by the state’s voters, hardly an endorsement of her ability to sell her fellow Democrats on compromise.
Keisha Lance Bottoms
Pros: Executive experience in government, I suppose.
Cons: Atlanta has hardly been a model for how to deal with civic unrest, and her dithering ended up in the senseless death of a young girl.
Pros: Inspiring life story about her service to our country and how she overcame devastating war wounds. Her politics generally align with those of one of her seat’s previous occupants, Barack Obama.
Cons: I consider Sen. Duckworth, whose mother was Thai-Chinese, to be a person of color, but will African-Americans? The recent prominence of BPIOC (Black & Indigenous People of Color) in woke leftist usage seems particularly designed to omit Asians from the intersectionality grievance matrix.
Pros: I pass.
Cons: Mr. Biden would look weak by choosing a woman who relentlessly demagogued him at the first Democrat debate. Her accomplishments in offices she has held have been scant, but the controversies she has stirred up have been formidable and will at last get full airing should she be chosen.
Pros: I don’t know; maybe having worked with her in the past there will be a flicker of recognition in Mr. Biden’s mind when she walks into a meeting room.
Cons: It makes more sense to pick an elected official who is notable for brazenly lying to us than an appointed official who is notable for brazenly lying to us. And I don’t think the Biden team wants to give strong hints that they will merely be reassembling the Obama squad.
Pros: Ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha.
Cons: Where do I begin? Let’s just leave it at the fact that a party which fetishizes youth and diversity would have 150 years’ worth of white folks on their ticket.
Here’s a helpful tool I created so that you can all see how My Little Aloha Sweetie stacks up against all of these mediocrities:
By naming Tulsi Gabbard to the Vice-Presidential slot, Joe Biden could improve his candidacy in several ways. First, he keeps his promise to appoint a woman, and he gets a woman of color to boot (though, like Sen. Duckworth, Rep. Gabbard would have her BPIOC credentials challenged). Second, he gets an ally of Bernard Sanders to join him, and one who is far more personable and charming than the cranky old Marxist bastard. Third, he flanks the Trump/Pence ticket by appointing a generation other than the Baby Boomers who have ruled the roost for the past twenty-eight years. (Fun note: Joe Biden would be the first representative of the Silent Generation to be elected President; Dick Cheney is the only one to serve as VP.) Fourth, in our heavily divisive times he would be choosing someone who doesn’t seem to have much interest in scoring cheap partisan points, and who generally treats her ideological opponents as serious people with whom she should discuss ideas rather than as irascible racists who need to be silenced. Her weaknesses — impractical economics, a tolerance of murderous dictators, lack of high-level leadership — aren’t any different than the weaknesses of any of the other candidates, or for that matter her potential boss. And we have seen the Warrior Princess on the debate stage and we know that she has a toughness and a resiliency that are quite admirable.
Joe Biden could do a whole hell of a lot worse. And he probably will.