After his spectacular Super Tuesday takeover, Joe Biden is once again the Democratic Party frontrunner. Unless Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) manages to come out on top – possible, but not likely – the former vice president will soon be hunting for a running mate, if he isn’t already. Thanks to the former vice president’s reluctance to choose – or to disclose his choice, if already made – speculation abounds as to whose name will appear next to Biden’s, and the list of those being proposed is truly terrifying.
The First Four
Back in November of 2019, Biden floated the possibility of selecting any one of four women to run alongside him. They were, in his words, “The former assistant attorney general who got fired … the woman who should have been the governor of Georgia … the two senators from the state of New Hampshire.” As Liberty Nation’s Sarah Cowgill reported at the time, “Those lucky gals are Sally Yates, Stacey Abrams, and US Senators Jeanne Shaheen and Maggie Hassan.”
Of the four, only Stacey Abrams has had any real press about the possibility since. Both politicians have a lot to offer the other, and Abrams said on The View last month that she “would be honored” to be chosen as a vice president, though she didn’t specify by whom. As a Democratic candidate, Biden has a problem: He’s an old white man. Running with a younger black woman – and a bona fide progressive to boot – balances him out a bit.
But as a real progressive, would she accept Biden’s offer should he extend one? She has said that she wants to be president someday. Assuming that Biden-Abrams could defeat Trump-Pence, Vice President Abrams would launch her presidential campaign from a much stronger footing than Almost-but-Not-Quite Governor Abrams. And that’s assuming Biden doesn’t have to be replaced while still in office.
On the Subject of Women …
It does seem likely that Mr. Biden will choose a female running mate – despite his disturbing track record with the opposite sex. Several names have been suggested. Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA) is also a younger black woman. However, there was a lot of conflict between the two early on, and it seems unlikely he would choose her over Abrams. Additionally, Joe’s wife, Jill, hinted more recently that the odds aren’t in Harris’ favor. Another name that has come up lately in Camp Biden is that of Rep. Val Demings (D-FL). Again, a black woman who is younger than Joe. She has experience both in legislation and law enforcement and was the first female police chief in Orlando. She told CNN that she was humbled that her name has come up, and she didn’t rule it out.
Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) would likely bring a ton of votes to the Biden campaign, and the partnership would make a decent unity ticket, bridging the gap between the establishment and the more progressive wing of the party. Thus far, however, Warren has not endorsed either Biden or Sanders. Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), on the other hand, did endorse Biden after dropping out, and it is believed by some that she did so in hopes of running as his VP.
Of course, the list wouldn’t be complete without including Hillary Clinton. She wanted so badly to be president – and she came fairly close in 2016. Hillary might be an appealing pick for many Democrats, who feel they were cheated when Trump lost the popular vote but became president thanks to the Electoral College.
Would Hillary’s ego allow her to play second fiddle to Joe Biden? Many don’t think so, but those folks might just underestimate how badly she wants to be president and how much she hates Trump. Another point that is worth considering: Hillary running means Bill campaigning. Think what you will of Bill Clinton, but he is still a hero to many Democrats. There’s also the chance that Hillary’s presence could finally bring Barack Obama to the campaign trail for Biden. When Democrats talk about presidents they wish could run for a third term, it’s usually Clinton or Obama they’re talking about.
Speaking of Obama, there’s one potential running mate who checks off more boxes than any other: Michelle. She’s a younger black woman, checking the diversity box for Biden. She has White House experience. She’s well-loved by the left – many wanted her to run for president this year. She has just about the best name recognition a Democrat could hope for right now; her husband was the president right before Trump! Instead of Obama-Biden, it would be Biden-Obama: easy, familiar, and comfortable for Democrats across the nation. And let’s not forget Michelle running means Barack endorsing and campaigning for them.
The Enemy of My Enemy
Going in another direction entirely, Bernie Sanders himself would be a frightening pick. Biden seems poised to beat Sanders, but if he could convince the socialist to bow out and endorse him, instead of feeling the Bern like they did in 2016, the progressive wing could possibly be folded back into the establishment, at least temporarily, with a Biden – Sanders ticket.
Sanders and the progressives who support him want to defeat Biden to overthrow the establishment and take on Trump themselves. The Clintons and the Bidens can’t do it, but Bernie can, they believe. On the other hand, there are millions of Democrats who are terrified of having an open socialist leading the party – hence Biden’s resurgence on Super Tuesday. But as unity tickets go, could there possibly be one stronger? It could be argued that establishment Dems would never allow the socialist to be president – but who do they hate and fear more, Sanders or Trump? Would the Biden followers stay home on election day rather than try to make the Donald feel the Bern? Doubtful. If Biden and Sanders went head-to-head with Trump and Pence, the more likely outcome would be massive numbers voting on both sides – the left trying to oust Trump and the right doing everything possible to keep the self-avowed socialist out of the White House.
No Good Paths
There are other choices, to be sure. Buttigieg also endorsed Biden and, apparently, sent quite a few votes his way. Andrew Yang claimed that the front runner discussed working with him before he dropped out. Beto O’Rourke has made a political comeback, thanks to the former vice president. Joe gave Beto prime real estate on his stage to deliver his Biden endorsement and, in return, promised the young oddball would be working on the gun issue in a Biden administration.
Few options would energize the Democrats to vote like Clinton or Obama, and no one seems likely to unify the party quite like Sanders as Biden’s running mate. But regardless of whose name ends up parked beside Biden’s should he win the primary, there are no good paths from here to an administration that protects the liberty of the people. The thought of any of these folk – Biden included – running the free world is terrifying.
Read more from James Fite.