I haven’t followed the VP selection speculation much because my preference, Senator Warren, won’t get the nod, and I am 100% voting for Biden regardless — even if he chooses Susan Collins — because Trump. So, it’s mostly been been background noise to me. But here’s a piece in CNN that claims the three most serious contenders now are Karen Bass, Kamala Harris and Susan Rice.
No telling how accurate that is, but I hope to Christ that Biden isn’t listening to some of the backers quoted in the article, because they offer some truly idiotic rationales for and against the contenders:
Former Pennsylvania Gov. and Biden supporter Ed Rendell, who said he currently does not have a favorite in the search for a running mate, said in an interview that Bass is seen as a “very safe choice” in a way that Harris simply is not.
“Kamala can rub some people the wrong way. Karen Bass is not likely to do that,” Rendell said. “The number one rule for picking the VP? Do no harm.”
It’s axiomatic that no one should listen to Ed Rendell about anything, ever, but these comments are egregiously stupid. I like Bass a lot — she’s probably the most progressive of the trio. But nearly 50 years ago, as a young activist, Bass spent some time in Cuba with a lefty cultural bridge-building program and has visited many times since, and she said something vaguely favorable about Castro when he croaked a few years ago. That could cause problems in Florida.
It’s stupid that something like that could cause problems in Florida because Bass’s activities and comments were a nothingburger, but Florida is known for its razor-thin electoral margins rather than its rationality, so Rendell is wrong to call Bass a “very safe choice,” especially when juxtaposing Bass with Harris in that framing because “Kamala can rub some people the wrong way.”
The people Harris rubs the wrong way are older, powerful white men, such as Ed Rendell, Chris Dodd and Florida ambulance chaser John Morgan:
In multiple media reports, Biden allies have attacked Harris’ motives. Florida donor John Morgan lamented that Harris “would be running for president the day of the inauguration. For me, loyalty and friendship should mean something,” Chris Dodd, a member of Biden’s VP vetting team, reportedly complained to a donor that Harris showed “no remorse” when asked about her famous clash with Biden on the debate stage.
Just shut the fuck up, the entire lot of you. Biden said he wants to be a bridge to the next generation of Democrats, so picking an ambitious VP is a must, dinosaurs.
Anyhoo, on the subject of Rice:
Meanwhile, Rice’s emergence as a serious contender has surprised some in the Biden world, given her limited campaign experience. But her close allies point to her governing credentials from her time in the executive branch and her deep foreign policy background at a time of global turmoil. They also say Biden’s years-long working relationship with Rice is not to be underestimated, particularly given how he has emphasized wanting a partner who is “simpatico with me.”
“If there ever was a time to pick someone without campaign experience, this would be the year,” a Cabinet member from the Obama administration, who knows Rice well, told CNN. “Susan would be the best governing partner.”
The anonymous cabinet official makes a good point about campaign experience, and if Biden-Rice won, she’d have plenty of time to acquire the type of experience she’d need to run for president in her own right, if that’s what she wants to do. Does she? That’s an important consideration.
Rice has a Trump-supporting son, but we won’t hold that against her. My one reservation about Rice is that she was considered something of a hawk in the Obama admin. But Biden fancies himself a foreign policy guy, so he’ll set the tone anyway. Rice is smart and competent, and if Biden picks her, Fox News will stage a Benghazi-fest from now until election day, and I think that could actually be to our benefit because persuadable voters don’t give a shit about that.
One last dollop of dumb from the CNN article, and we’ll call it a day:
Biden enters the final stretch of deliberations as the country confronts a dire public health crisis and a economic recession. President Donald Trump’s approval rating has taken a serious hit over his handling of the coronavirus pandemic — a reality that close allies say should offer Biden the room to choose a running mate without weighing as much as he might in any other election cycle the political and electoral advantages that a specific running mate could offer.
Are you fucking kidding me?!? We’re in the worst public health crisis in a century, the economy is in the shitter, U.S. prestige is at its lowest ebb since WWII, we’re ass-deep in guns, approximately a third of our fellow citizens are in the Cult of Stupid, and Biden is 77 years old.
I get that Biden is likely to win regardless, but the question of by what margin and who becomes vice president could not possibly be more important than it is right now, so yeah, let’s weigh those political and electoral advantages carefully — not just in terms of the upcoming election but for the future of democracy in America, okay?
In summary, whatever. We’ll find out when we find out. Open thread!