It is election season in Washington DC, which means it’s time to play one of Washington’s favorite parlor games, predicting who will be the running mate for the challenger to Donald Trump. Fmr Vice President Joseph Biden, Jr. is in the process of choosing and there have been many predictions. There is one thing for certain, though, Biden has promised his running mate will be a woman. The Vice Presidential candidate will not be the first woman in this position, of course. Although there have been others outside of the Democratic and Republican Parties, Geraldine Ferraro (D) was the running mate for Fmr. Vice President Walter Mondale in 1984 and Sarah Palin (R) was the running mate for Senator John McCain in 2008.
There have been many different names in the rumor mill, names such as Kamala Harris, Elizabeth Warren, Gretchen Whitmer, Val Demings, and Amy Klobuchar. Elizabeth Warren and Kamala Harris seem to be the current favorites. Gretchen Whitmer was once considered to be towards the top of the list, but she had become increasingly polarizing, especially with some of the dysfunction surrounding Michigan and the COVID-19 protests.
Below are the pros and cons for what I consider to be the top six contenders for the VP slot for Biden’s campaign.
- Progressive – will help win over the progressive wing of the party who are not enthusiastic about a Biden’s presidency.
- Will give the opportunity for progressive policies to be put into place.
- Provides a balanced ticket of progressive/moderate.
- Helps create more enthusiasm for the electorate. According to polls, Biden trails Trump in terms of base enthusiasm.
- Has often had a contentious relationship with Bernie Sanders’ supporters, as their relationship has soured over the course of the primaries.
- Doesn’t offer much in terms of strategic advantages, i.e. Biden doesn’t need her influence in Massachusetts for the election.
- A very liberal candidate tightens margins on down ballot races.
- Best strategic choice – Biden needs Michigan for 2020, which is a crucial swing state for the election.
- A rising star in the Democratic Party, with high approval ratings and effective leadership.
- Could appeal to midwestern voters, which is a must win for Biden come November.
- Fits certain criteria the Biden team is currently looking for such as crisis management.
- Is a controversial figure amid her stay at home orders and, at times, clashes with protestors in her state.
- Could be seen as divisive or polarizing, something the Democratic party is trying to avoid.
- Lack of experience, especially on the national level, could be seen as an additional detriment to Biden’s campaign.
- Former Obama National Security Advisor provides an opportunity for Biden to continue the Obama legacy if elected.
- Will help reintroduce many of the Obama-era foreign policy initiatives that were rolled back by the current administration.
- A woman of color, which could help Biden secure the African American vote come November.
- Maintained a strong relationship with the Vice President during their years in the previous administration.
- Not seen as a serious contender due to her lack of experience.
- Questions raised about her readiness to be President, due to the fact she has never held elected office.
- Lack of enthusiasm over this candidate, as she doesn’t really inspire people to go to the polls.
- Woman of color, which resonates with many voters.
- Speaks to progressive voters within the party.
- Former Minority Leader in the Georgia House of Representatives, has good experience.
- A rising star with the Democratic Party could energize voters to vote for Biden.
- Could energize the progressive wing of the party, increasing voter participation.
- Reportedly owes over $50,000 in back taxes, which suggests something may not be on the up and up.
- Already turned down the chance to run for both Georgia senate races, as well as a possible presidential campaign.
- Reports suggest she is openly lobbying for the job, which has caused a riff with a lot of the party, especially after just losing an election.
- Largely seen as the favorite to be picked as the running mate for Biden.
- Popular senator likely to bring energy to a stale ticket.
- As a former Presidential candidate, she has already proven she can perform well on a national stage.
- As a former Attorney General, she is able to ask questions and have precision in her attack, which is why she was able to perform well in debates.
- Has a personal relationship with the Biden family and was close with Biden’s late son, Beau.
- Has a questionable judicial record as California’s Attorney General; the prison population increased under her leadership, mostly African Americans serving time for small drug offenses.
- Could be detrimental for Biden as he is already trouncing Trump in the African American vote currently in the polls.
- Her message at times during the primary has lacked consistency and this could hold her back with the upper Midwest, voters which Biden needs to win.
- First female Chief of Police for the city of Orlando, which gives her experience.
- One of the impeachment managers who has received a national platform in which she received high marks for her concise arguments.
- Rising popularity in Florida, which is a crucial swing state for Biden’s campaign.
- Her district has been trending more democratic in recent years, which means she doesn’t have the same swing state appeal as other candidates.
- Other than the impeachment trial, she hasn’t had experience on the national stage.
- Her record as Police Chief was marred with lawsuits citing false arrests and use of excessive force.
These are my top six picks from the lists that I reviewed. If you want to learn more about other possible candidates, click on the links below.
Los Angeles times: