Democratic presidential primary favorite Joe Biden has officially pledged to have a woman on his ticket if he claims the nomination. Three of the top four odds-on favorites are female senators who ran against him for the White House bid. But how exactly would recycling one of these fizzled Pink Wavers benefit him beyond a temporary feel-good boost? What advantage is there in bringing back a former rival who failed to connect with Democrat voters, not to mention the nation at large, the first time around?
Tested and Found Wanting
By almost all accounts, even from those sympathetic to the party, the drawn-out Dem primary process was a bit of a political train wreck. Cheesy reality TV pandering on the 2019 campaign trail gave way to unfocused bickering in one interminable debate after another. When votes were finally cast, a panicked establishment rallied Dems around a gaffe-prone career politician as the only alternative to the socialist revolution being offered by Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT). Biden was elevated at the last minute not because he was so formidable but because all other options presented during the primary had shown themselves to be lacking. Why, then, would Dems want to saddle their nominee with one of these discarded mediocrities simply because she happens to be a woman?
How exactly would a Senator Kamala Harris (D-CA), who couldn’t define herself in a significant way before dropping out, prove more effective in a supporting role than she did as a leading light? How would that add anything to the Biden story? What about the concern that the energetic Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) could easily overshadow a slowing Biden? Of all possible choices, the strutting Warren seems least capable of playing second fiddle. Does a plodding and risk-averse Senator Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) really add a spark to an uninspiring “safety” candidate?
Back to the PC Briar Patch
Klobuchar might add a dollop to the even-keel approach Biden hopes to bring into a confrontation with a mercurial President Donald Trump, but that is of little advantage to the VP’s campaign. Harris and Warren would bring back memories of a shallow and bizarre Dem primary race. Biden was the last man standing in the non-socialist lane largely because he did not overindulge in the toxic brand of identity politics in which the two female coastal senators wallowed. Harris infamously called out Biden on his busing position in the 1970s during the first Dem debate in June, tossing about the vile “I do not believe you are a racist…but” argument that may get socially radical progressives fired up but distinctly turns off regular working- and middle-class Americans. It gave her momentum for a couple of weeks before she quickly revealed that she had little else to say. Is there any reason to believe that a judgmental, finger-wagging Harris decreeing that she believes Trump is a racist will be any more useful in the big picture this summer?
Even more cringe-inducing would be the sight of Warren posturing like a feminist comic-book hero and caterwauling about Trump’s “legacy” of misogyny, much as she did to tedious effect against former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg on the Dem debate stage. Warren amazingly still gets credit for “taking” Bloomberg down, but it was his deer-in-the-headlights response to the first face-to-face criticism he received as a presidential candidate that was his undoing. Warren’s obsessive hectoring of Bloomberg during his second debate appearance harmed her every bit as much, if not more. Does Biden really want a roaring Warren spearheading his attacks on Trump in a general election?
“The mesmerizing mediocrity of Trump’s opponents,” read the headline in a November article on the state of the Dem primary in the Spectator USA. The piece was written during that brief period in time when Warren was anointed top dog in the race. Biden has already conjured the tedious nature of those days with his pandering vow to select a woman as his VP nominee. It’s a weak substitute for substance that makes sense only if Biden wants to use a notable flop from the stultifying 2019-20 Dem primary field to wave the flag of a hollow gesture.
Read more from Joe Schaeffer.