ChrisWeigant.com

My Veepstakes Speculation

[ Posted Monday, August 10th, 2020 – 18:09 UTC ]

I have to admit up front that I'm not a real big fan of the "veepstakes" guessing game. It all usually turns out to be pointless in the end, although it does give the pundits something to feverishly write about in the run-up to the conventions, I suppose. I am [checks thermometer] not currently feverish, but I suppose I'll write one article today about the subject that is consuming so many right now. I realize I should really be writing about the breakdown in the pandemic relief bill negotiations (while apologizing for being so optimistic last Wednesday, when I confidently predicted that we'd certainly have a deal by today... whoops!); but hey, it's Monday and I feel lazy, so as our president says: "it is what it is."

That was not exactly a rousing start to a column, I will freely admit. We'll see if it gets any better as we go along. I am going to limit myself (mostly for reasons of space) to only taking an extended look at the top three that others have identified as being the frontrunners for the job of sharing the ticket with Joe Biden: Kamala Harris, Susan Rice, and Elizabeth Warren. Let's take them one by one, in alphabetical order.

[Oh, and one technical point on political terminology simply must be addressed before we begin. I considered the appropriateness of perhaps not using what has been a very common term when talking about any vice-presidential candidate -- "attack dog" -- but in the end decided to use it anyway. Because Biden has sworn he's only considering women, it is impossible for me to prove this time around that I have always used this term (when speaking of V.P. choices) without regard to gender. Heck, even Sarah Palin used it herself when she ran (remember her: "What's the difference between me and a pitbull? Lipstick!" line?). This is a very specific political term that has been universally accepted as part of the V.P. candidate's job for decades -- that of being the one who can go much further and be much more vicious than the actual presidential candidate, who can then stay above the fray. So in other words: no, I am not "calling women dogs" in any way, shape, or form -- which would indeed be sexist and misogynistic and worthy of condemnation. I am instead, using the exact same yardstick I would have used for any male candidate for the job, and the exact same accepted term. Which, I feel, is the very definition of not being sexist. Women want to be treated as equals in the political arena (and rightly so), and checking off the "attack dog" box on the veepstakes qualification list is part and parcel of that. That's the editorial decision I made, at any rate, for better or worse.]

 

Kamala Harris

Senator Kamala Harris of California has somehow become the universally-agreed-upon frontrunner in the veepstakes race. I have lost count of the number of articles I have read proclaiming her the best or most obvious choice for Biden to make, in fact. But I have to admit that even though I am one of her constituents, for the life of me I really cannot figure out why this is.

Pros:
Harris is certainly feisty, that's for sure. Her biggest moment in the Democratic presidential primary season came when she skewered Joe Biden on national television and all but called him a racist for opposing school busing to desegregate schools back in the 1970s. As it turned out, though, the truth was a little more complicated than her made-for-television moment ("That little girl was me"), as even she had to admit a few days later. But it did check one box for a vice-presidential candidate, since she's already proven she can be a very effective attack dog. Another box that may be important: Harris is a lot younger than Biden, who would be the oldest person ever elected president if he wins. Harris, being a sitting senator, also could be seen as an effective Capitol Hill negotiator for Biden's legislative agenda.

Another big point supposedly in her favor is that she is African-American, and therefore the easy assumption is that she could enthuse Black voters (especially Black women voters) and therefore boost the turnout of their vote. More on that in a moment. Another big plus for Harris is she comes with her own built-in fundraising base, since she's had to raise money for her statewide races from big Democratic donors in California -- one of the biggest states for raising Democratic money (so much so that we regularly complain about being treated as "the Democratic A.T.M." but then are all but ignored after the elections are over). Also in her favor is the fact that she and Beau Biden were apparently professionally very close when both were state-level attorneys general (her in California, Beau in Delaware), and she forged a warm relationship with the whole Biden family during this time and during his illness and death.

Cons:
This list is going to be a little longer. The first point against Harris is that very same primary moment with Biden. There are a lot of people on Team Biden who have not forgiven Harris for what they consider to be a very cheap shot at Biden's expense. This is holding a grudge, to be sure, but what is unknown is whether Joe himself holds this grudge or if it is just those close to him. The biggest strike against her, however, is that she really does not have the Black voter support that everyone blithely assumes she does. Check out how she did in the actual primary campaign -- which was pretty dismal. She started her campaign with a gigantic rally in Oakland (20,000-plus people attended), but then she largely fizzled after that point and eventually dropped out before anyone voted -- with her poll numbers down in the single digits. She never really developed a built-in base of support among Democratic voters nationwide at all. So what votes, exactly, will she be bringing to the table with her? As for being close to Beau, that might win her some points, but if Joe himself still carries that grudge it will only go so far.

Team Biden is also apparently worried that Harris is overly ambitious and would start her own presidential campaign the day after the Biden/Harris ticket won this November. There are also rumors circulating that Harris is actively trying to sabotage the other veepstakes contenders. David Axelrod wrote a tweet a few days ago that pointed out (without mentioning anyone by name) that there has been a whole lot more opposition research dumped into the press than he's ever seen before, about just about all of the veepstakes frontrunners. What wasn't explicitly said was that there was one big exception to all the negative press we've seen over the past few weeks: Kamala Harris. So the assumption (and it may be unfounded) is that Team Harris is trying to sabotage all the other contenders -- which is rather vicious behavior towards fellow Democrats, you've got to admit (if true). Harris has shown this ambition from the very start of her political career, which could also be a big minus, since she was had a rather public affair with California Democratic kingmaker Willie Brown (who apparently, while I was writing this, kind of stabbed Harris in the back).

The biggest knock against Harris, though, is that she seems to be one of those weathervane politicians who holds a focus group and then tells the voters what she thinks they want to hear. She tried to paint herself as some sort of progressive leader in the primaries, because that's what she thought she had to do. But her record first as prosecutor and then as state attorney general was a good deal less progressive than the image she mightily tried to portray. Her flip-flopping (or trying to have it both ways, at the very least) on important issues like Medicare For All showed this during the debates and the whole primary season. So what are her core beliefs? What does she stand for? These are not easy questions to answer, when you review her whole record and her recent political stances. She would risk being seen as inauthentic, which is the exact opposite of the image Biden is trying to project right now.

 

Susan Rice

Susan Rice was U.N. ambassador and the national security advisor to President Barack Obama, but she has never actually run for nor been elected to any political office.

Pros:
Rice is, quite obviously, smart as a whip. She shows this brainpower off in every interview I've ever seen. Her biggest asset in the veepstakes, however, is the fact that she already has a great working relationship with Joe Biden. The two of them were both cabinet-level advisors to Obama, and they worked together on many issues both foreign and domestic. She has strong foreign policy chops, which is something Biden values highly. She is also African-American, and might therefore tend to boost enthusiasm among Black voters, especially women. She is also considerably younger than Biden.

Cons:
Susan Rice is, according to some of that oppo research, pretty foul-mouthed. She curses like a sailor, if these reports can be believed. If this stays in private, it might not be a problem (who complains about male politicians who use the same language among themselves, after all?) -- but if she ever slips during a public appearance it could be trouble for Biden, whose image is pretty squeaky-clean right now (other than a few "dog-faced pony soldiers" comments). As mentioned previously, Rice has never actually run a campaign for anything, so it is anyone's guess how good a political campaigner she would be. She can be scathingly vicious, so she could indeed fill the attack dog role well, but nobody's ever seen her on a debate stage or in a national presidential campaign, so it is still an open question of how effective she would be.

According to the opposition research spread around the media in the past few weeks, Susan Rice is a rather wealthy woman. Who knew? But the problem is that she (or her Canadian husband) has apparently invested in some Canadian energy companies -- including the one behind the Keystone XL pipeline. This is not going to score her points with ecologically-minded Democratic voters, obviously. Now, other politicians have survived accusations that their spouse's investments have compromised them -- Dianne Feinstein and Mitch McConnell, notably, both on the issue of China -- but this is no mere Senate race, nor is the national electorate much like either California or Kentucky. It'd be hard to see this helping Rice excite progressive voters, to be blunt.

Rice's biggest vulnerability, however, is the easy line of attack from the other side. Rice, if you'll remember, was the one who appeared on the Sunday morning shows rather than Hillary Clinton to explain to the public what had happened in Benghazi, Libya. And if you think Republicans have forgotten that, you are sorely mistaken. They will not only use the issue against Rice ad nauseam, they will also tie Rice to Clinton every chance they can get. And we all know how Hillary did against Trump, so this might be more effective than you might think. Right now, Joe Biden can't accurately be tied to the Clintons all that much, but that would change in a big way if the ticket becomes Biden/Rice.

 

Elizabeth Warren

Senator Elizabeth Warren, like Kamala Harris, was a presidential primary candidate who eventually lost to Joe Biden. She hasn't been mentioned as often as the Black contenders for the job over the past few weeks, for whatever that's worth. But she is still seen by many as a top-tier candidate for Joe Biden's running mate.

Pros:
She's got a plan for that. Warren, more than any other Democratic candidate in the race this cycle, showed that she would have had a very solid and detailed agenda on her first day on the job. She's is an uberwonk, well-versed in the details of just about any political issue under the sun. And she publicly told everyone what she would do if elected -- in far greater detail than the usual vague language you find on campaign websites. And, like Harris, Warren is a sitting senator, which would be an asset when negotiating legislation on Capitol Hill.

Elizabeth Warren, not unlike Bill Clinton, is somewhat of a natural politician. She can address any subject, no matter how complicated, and boil it down to its essence. She can explain things in everyday language better than anyone else who ran this year, in fact (better even than Bernie Sanders). And although we only really got glimpses of it during the debates, she is entirely ready to play the attack dog role. She would be blisteringly effective in a debate with Mike Pence, but then again so would any of the others being considered (Pence isn't exactly a heavyweight to be feared), so that really doesn't set her apart all that much.

But Warren's biggest asset is her spotless progressive credentials. Warren appeals to the exact same voter demographics as Bernie Sanders -- and with almost as much excitement. She has a huge base of support among younger voters and among progressives in general -- which are two of the groups where Joe Biden is the weakest. President Donald Trump loves to point out the "enthusiasm gap" between his voters and Biden voters, but Warren would close that gap in an instant if she were named Biden's running mate. You would see college voters and urban hipsters get very excited about seeing her in the number two job, and this would all be to Biden's advantage. In fact, much more than the other frontrunners, Elizabeth Warren actually would bring a whole bunch of voters to Biden's table -- voters who will probably vote for Biden anyway, but not nearly as enthusiastically as they would if Warren were to be his running mate. As a sign of this strength, it was just revealed that Warren has raised more money for Joe Biden than any of the other veep contenders.

Cons:
The first knock against Warren is that she's almost as old as Joe Biden. But since she's got enormous support among younger voters, that may not matter as much as some seem to now think. Younger voters aren't clamoring for Biden to pick someone in their 30s, after all (if this was true there would have been a huge movement to get them to pick Pete Buttigieg).

Warren is from Massachusetts, so if she won the vice presidency, the Republican governor would be able to name her replacement, for a short period of time. Then the state would hold a special election (some time next year), when assumably a Democrat could easily win back the seat. But if the Senate majority is balanced on a knife's edge, this could mean putting up with Mitch McConnell leading the chamber until that election could take place -- a very big possible minus for Warren (although one that is no fault of her own).

Warren's support among progressives shouldn't be taken for granted either, though. She left a bad taste in many progressives' mouths when she dropped out of the primary race, because she refused to endorse Bernie Sanders. Many saw this as rank opportunism -- keeping her chances of becoming Biden's veep alive. And they were probably right, because her agenda and Bernie's was almost exactly identical, whereas both differed from Biden's in many significant ways. Warren also was urged to drop out of the race when Buttigieg and Amy Klobuchar did, which would have set up a binary Biden-versus-Bernie choice, but she stayed in the race instead. Some progressives think this tanked the chance that Sanders could have beaten Biden in a head-to-head match on Super Tuesday, but this is a rather debatable point. Also raising progressive doubts is how Warren just raised all that money for Team Biden, because she did so by appearing at high-dollar fundraisers, which she railed against when she was a presidential candidate.

Because her platform was virtually identical to Bernie's, though, Warren will face the charge from Team Trump that Biden is somehow some sort of puppet whose strings are being pulled by "the far left." They're already attempting this, although without any visible degree of success so far. The problem with this construct is that the voters already largely know Joe Biden and he's anything but some sort of secret left-wing radical. That shoe just doesn't fit, in other words. But it certainly wouldn't stop Team Trump from trying -- and this tactic might have marginally more success with a Biden/Warren ticket than any of the others.

Like Susan Rice and Benghazi, there is also one built-in playground taunt that Trump will hammer ad nauseam with Warren, and that (of course) is "Pocahontas." However, because Warren has already faced this onslaught in the early days of the primary and emerged from the fray largely unscathed, this might not have the power that Trump seems to still think it does. One thing is for certain, however: we'd all get mighty sick of hearing him use this slur.

 

Conclusions (such as they are)

There are certainly many other candidates (outside of these three) for the job of running mate that Joe Biden is still actively considering. His list is fairly extensive, in fact, and may even contain a few names that nobody in the punditocracy has even considered yet.

Please remember that this is entirely normal -- if you think about it, a longshot from left field is actually closer to the norm in choosing a running mate than the pundits accurately crowning someone before the actual announcement. Who saw Tim Kaine coming (for instance)? Or Sarah Palin, for that matter? In fact, the rule of thumb really ought to be that the frontrunner for the job is the person that nobody has been talking about in the run-up to the announcement. That certainly leaves all kinds of possibilities open for Biden.

The safe betting right now is on the African-American candidates, for "identity politics" reasons. This might be wildly incorrect, though, considering that Black voters are actually one of the strongest parts of Biden's coalition already. In other words, why would he need to shore up support from his strongest supporters?

For the past few weeks some of the cable political shows have boiled the question (asked of other pundits and politicians) down to: Who should Biden pick, in your opinion, and who do you think he's going to pick? Using this formula, I would say that Biden should pick Elizabeth Warren. I think he would gain more enthusiasm and support from demographics where he is currently weak by making this choice than by any other choice he's reportedly considering. She brings more voters to the table, plain and simple. Plus, she has already been tested by the fire of a national presidential campaign, and she never got too vicious in her attacks towards Biden during the debates (as she did indeed do, with Michael Bloomberg).

But as for who Biden will pick (as opposed to who I think he should pick), I would bet that it is going to be someone who may have been discussed -- and already dismissed -- by the punditocracy, or even someone who Biden has successfully managed to keep under everyone's radar entirely. That's pretty generic, I admit, so here's my wild prediction of who Biden actually will choose: Senator Tammy Duckworth. She's pretty progressive, she's got a better backstory than just about any other Democrat (having lost both her legs in combat), and she's tough as nails when she needs to be. So while I am entirely likely to be wrong (just like everyone else throwing darts at the veep wall), that's my prediction as of today: a Biden/Duckworth ticket.

-- Chris Weigant

 

Follow Chris on Twitter: @ChrisWeigant

 

82 Comments on “My Veepstakes Speculation”

  1. [1] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Chris,

    The first point against Harris is that very same primary moment with Biden. There are a lot of people on Team Biden who have not forgiven Harris for what they consider to be a very cheap shot at Biden's expense.

    If by cheap shot at Biden's expense you mean she attacked Biden for something she not only knew wasn't true but that her own thinking on the subject was the same as Biden's, then yeah, that was a cheap shot at Biden's expense.

    If she is the best candidate for veep, then Biden won't hold that cheap shot at his expense against her.

  2. [2] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Team Biden is also apparently worried that Harris is overly ambitious and would start her own presidential campaign the day after the Biden/Harris ticket won this November.

    Heh.

    Biden should tell the winner that she is only going to be VP for one term. Ahem.

  3. [3] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Susan Rice is, according to some of that oppo research, pretty foul-mouthed. She curses like a sailor, if these reports can be believed. If this stays in private, it might not be a problem (who complains about male politicians who use the same language among themselves, after all?) -- but if she ever slips during a public appearance it could be trouble for Biden, whose image is pretty squeaky-clean right now (other than a few "dog-faced pony soldiers" comments).

    You have to be freakin' kidding me!!!???

  4. [4] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    According to the opposition research spread around the media in the past few weeks, Susan Rice is a rather wealthy woman. Who knew? But the problem is that she (or her Canadian husband) has apparently invested in some Canadian energy companies -- including the one behind the Keystone XL pipeline.

    Well, she'll have to disinvest from THAT! Besides, doesn't she know that there is no future in oil?

    That would be a bridge too far for me.

  5. [5] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Right now, Joe Biden can't accurately be tied to the Clintons all that much, but that would change in a big way if the ticket becomes Biden/Rice.

    INDEED!

  6. [6] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    I hope he picks someone none of us really knows a lot about.

    One thing is for sure - Biden knows and knows of more qualified women for the position of VP than all of us put together.

    Let's get off to a fresh start with no baggage to worry about in the VP slot.

    I think it may be a former Governor. Jennifer Granholm, anyone?

  7. [7] 
    MtnCaddy wrote:

    I think the MSM is demonstrating "group think" where they've deemed there to be only three "serious" Veep candidates. And I'd probably list Duckworth and Gretchen Whitmer as "dark horse" candidates.

    I'm pulling for, in order, (1) Elizabeth, (2) Susan & (3) Whitmer (has nothing to do with my being a Michigan native.

  8. [8] 
    MtnCaddy wrote:

    I don't think it's too late for the House to pass legislation setting up an escrow account to accept Mexico's payments towards Trump's "great big beautiful wall," is it?

    Unnecessary roughness?**

    Naw, caint be too rough on Cheetogod after what he's done to America.

    **Damnation, they're gonna cancel my University of Michigan football team's season. :-(

    So I'll be sitting Shiva for college football once the official announcement "buries" the season. You'll likely see some Church of Football references out of me for a while. Church of Football...the only religion who's Sacramental Potion is beer! Served with bacon wrapped maple bar donuts. I miss it already.

  9. [9] 
    MtnCaddy wrote:

    Concerns over "Pocahontas" and "Benghazi" and the like are not important.

    While Democrats like me regarded Joe as one of the least Progressive of candidates, the Repugs will cast our team as wild-eyed Socialist/Marxist enemies of freedom no matter who he picks.

    The 38% will vote Trump no matter what and coronavirus, the 2nd Great Depression and Trump fatigue will make Independents favor Joe.

  10. [10] 
    andygaus wrote:

    Susan Rice is less qualified by experience and less familiar to voters, and because of Biden's age, many voters will feel safer voting for Biden if they know his vice president and feel secure that she is prepared to assume the presidency at any time. Warren also has that qualification, but, as you pointed out, she represents, at least temporarily, a lost Senate seat.
    Now you know why so many people support Kamala Harris. She is a solid and well-known quantity with the right kind of experience to be president, not just in 4 years, but next year if needed.
    One more thing: it looks as if Trump's campaign will paint Biden as the unwitting tool of the far left. So if Harris is less fiery and progressive than Warren, she also offers the opposition a less inviting target.

  11. [11] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    I'm not sure I agree with you 100% there with your VP analysis, andygaus, not by a longshot.

    Mostly because of your obsession with Biden's age and the time he has left on the planet.

  12. [12] 
    MyVoice wrote:

    I agree with MtnCaddy; any VP candidate will probably be painted as a Trojan horse, guaranteed to perpetrate untold devastation to American freedom and liberty.

    Here are a couple of great opinion articles on how the search for a male-approved Goldilocks candidate has completely wasted what could have been an uplifting opportunity, followed by a thrilling celebration.

    Rebecca Traister:

    Joe Biden’s campaign has not yet announced his choice for running mate, whom he has vowed will be a woman, but his team has already managed to grotesquely bungle it. The selection that was surely intended to signal the 77-year-old former vice-president’s feminist bona fides has devolved, before it has even concluded, into insulting spectacle, reliant on the perpetuation of ancient sexist and racist tropes about which kinds of women and which kinds of female power are attractive or acceptable.
    Biden’s Fantasy of Female Submission: The Democrats have completely botched this VP pick.

    Joan Walsh:
    ...As I write, we are also preparing to celebrate the Democratic Party’s second nomination of a woman for vice president, though I don’t know who she is yet. (Readers might by the time they read this.) But we know that Joe Biden, who might have skipped a third run for president to back one of the four women senators who ran in 2020, promised to pick a female running mate before he sealed the nomination—a consolation prize of sorts for the largest bloc of American voters.
    ...Whomever Biden chooses, it will be a victory for women, though bittersweet (especially if his choice is a centrist). If a woman is ever to occupy the Oval Office, it seems, even 100 years after we won the vote, even after we powered the anti-Trump resistance, she will have to spend some time directly apprenticing to a man, living at a safe distance from actual power at the Naval Observatory. And whoever gets the nod from Biden, we all know, has had to endure the same sexist stereotyping as did the women senators who had the audacity to run for president against him and as Hillary Clinton did in 2016.

    No Matter Who Biden Chooses as VP, It Will Be a Bittersweet Win for Women: By the end of Biden’s VP vetting, it seemed the 11th commandment of women’s politics is "Thou shalt never be just right."

  13. [13] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Chris,

    (while apologizing for being so optimistic last Wednesday, when I confidently predicted that we'd certainly have a deal by today...

    It sure is a sad state of affairs when it's not a good idea to be optimistic about there being a deal to help the American people keep a roof over their heads and enough food to eat in the middle of a devastating health crisis and economic fallout.

    It's beyond sad, actually and, I feel for Americans who are having a real tough time right now. Hoping and praying that the virus will soon be brought under control, saving lives and livelihoods.

  14. [14] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    MyVoice,

    I agree with MtnCaddy; any VP candidate will probably be painted as a Trojan horse, guaranteed to perpetrate untold devastation to American freedom and liberty.

    I hope you don't also agree with those asinine opinion pieces you linked to.

  15. [15] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    should: duckworth

    will: abrams

  16. [16] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Abrams? Why?

  17. [17] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Who is the female equivalent of John Kerry?

  18. [18] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    MyVoice,

    I just read my post in response to yours. It was a bit harsh. Ahem.

    I'm just sick of these women who will disrespect Biden at the drop of a hat in order to put one of their own into power.

  19. [19] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Oh, well, if it has to be a woman, then so be it. That way, Kerry can be Biden's Secretary of State in an interesting turn of events, as they say.

  20. [20] 
    MyVoice wrote:

    Elizabeth Miller [14] & [18]:

    Neither of these pieces were about Biden; they were about the process and, to a lesser extent, the selection committee and the media.

    It's not always about Sleepy Joe.

  21. [21] 
    MtnCaddy wrote:

    [19]

    Kerry would be a fine choice. But, especially if Joe really kicks Cheetogod's buttI wouldn't mind Hillary reprising her role as Secretary of State.

    Just to rub it in the Repug's faces.

  22. [22] 
    MtnCaddy wrote:

    [18]

    Elizabeth, Dearheart, I suggest you develope a thicker skin regarding our man Joe.

    The Repugs will try to utterly trash Joe and we don't want you having a stroke over how nasty it's going to get. Remember, the only people who'll buy into that, er, carp get their so-called news from Faux News or OAN. Reality has little to do with the swill they'll be fed.

  23. [23] 
    ListenWhenYouHear wrote:

    It’ll be Stacy Abrams for VP.

    Harris will be AG. Rice will be Sec. of State. Warren will head up the Treasury.

    Winning Pick 6 numbers are...

  24. [24] 
    MyVoice wrote:

    Elizabeth Miller [18]:

    I'm just sick of these women who will disrespect Biden at the drop of a hat in order to put one of their own into power.

    I must hear more about these women. Would these women be the authors, neither of whom put forth a preferred candidate nor quoted any of the candidates (or spokespersons) they wrote about or is there a Women's Cabal I haven't heard of that is vying with George Soros for control of the universe?

    Please educate me here; we need to unmask this evil force. These women cannot be allowed to prevail.

  25. [25] 
    Mezzomamma wrote:

    I hope Biden hasn't discounted Harris because of her debate attack because I hope Biden is bigger than that. We've had enough of rule by whim and hurt feelings.

    A female VP could have a good shot at the presidency after what we hope is a successful Biden presidency, so I trust this is being considered.

    Let's be positive: there are a number of Dem women who would be good picks for different reasons, which is great. Like everyone, they have drawbacks in terms of campaigning and doing the job. But--how many 20th C VPs can you name, especially from the first half of the century? How many of those would you point to as being exceptional men and how many were nonentities or worse? A woman VP will be held to a higher standard than a man would, but that's not a particularly high bar when you think about it.

  26. [26] 
    MtnCaddy wrote:

    This longish quote is from a POLITICO article called I Observed Joe Biden at Close Range for 20 Years. Here’s How He Wins—and Loses


    There is one other important announcement that could be made before the convention—that being who would be Biden’s first choice for secretary of State. The former vice president knows better than anyone how fragile the world’s alliances are as well as the military threats from Russia, North Korea and Iran. The economic and foreign policy challenges with China get more complicated every day.

    There is just one person for this job and it is Mitt Romney. Just picture Biden as the Democratic president and Romney, the 2012 Republican nominee for president, reassuring world leaders that America is once again united and ready to take the lead in solving the world’s problems.

    Romney is very smart (he flagged Russia as the primary threat in 2012), honest and a patriot. Given the damage that Trump has done to America’s leadership position in the world in less than four years, a team of Biden and Romney could restore America’s position of international leadership by the end of his term. And it would send a signal to voters that a Biden administration would work across the aisle to get things done that are in the interest of the American people.

  27. [27] 
    MyVoice wrote:

    Mezzomamma [25]

    Spiro T. Agnew has to be on everyone's list of Ewwww.

  28. [28] 
    Mezzomamma wrote:

    MyVoice--a snake could step over the bar Agnew set.

  29. [29] 
    TheStig wrote:

    CW-

    Knock off 5 yrs from Warren's 1st knock. Females get a 5 yr avg lifespan bonus which extends to mental acuity. A visit to any retirement community will confirm this.

    My biggest objection to her veepification is how good she is for the Senate. V.P. Is a show about nothing.

  30. [30] 
    Don Harris wrote:

    My Voice (12)-
    Did Joe Walsh get a sex change? :D

  31. [31] 
    Don Harris wrote:

    Why not Stormy Daniels?

  32. [32] 
    Don Harris wrote:

    After all, Stormy Daniels has the breast credentials. :D

  33. [33] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    I hope Biden hasn't discounted Harris because of her debate attack because I hope Biden is bigger than that. We've had enough of rule by whim and hurt feelings.

    He is but, she isn't. :)

  34. [34] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    TS,

    V.P. Is a show about nothing.

    That hasn't been true for a very long time, if ever, with the obvious exception of the current office holder, of course.

  35. [35] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    MtnCaddy,

    So, do you have an opinion on the absolutely crazy notion of Romney as Secretary of State?

    Why not John Kerry or Bill Burns?

  36. [36] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Mezzomamma,

    Any woman who Biden chooses as his running mate will have an excellent shot at the presidency. That was the whole idea!

  37. [37] 
    C. R. Stucki wrote:

    "Another big point . . is that she (Kamala Harris) is African-American."

    Who gets to define "African-American)? Her skin tone is pretty much the identical color of my face and arms in the summer, and she has zero negroid facial features.

    She's about as African-American as Poca - I mean Warren is Cherokee!

  38. [38] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    MtnCaddy,

    I always win the award for having the thickest skin - around here or anywhere else.

    Try to remember that.

  39. [39] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    MV,

    Neither of these pieces were about Biden ...

    Oh, really?

    Read your own quotes and title of the piece(s). 'Biden's Fantasy About Female Submission'

    Naw, that's not about Biden. That's about something other than Biden.

  40. [40] 
    Don Harris wrote:

    And Stormy Daniels would bring a whole new meaning to dark horse. :D

    Think of the potential for a FTP.

    "With Trump you only get one big boob. With a Biden/Daniels ticket for the price of one you get three big boobs!"

  41. [41] 
    MyVoice wrote:

    Elizabeth Miller [39]

    Heaven forfend you should actually read one or both. Why do that when you can just "know" without? Life is too short to read things that may have nothing to do with your pre-conceived perceptions of them.

    Do you have reason to believe I'd be posting Biden hit pieces or is it just that Biden is perfect in every respect and anything even remotely associated with his name must be glowing?

  42. [42] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    It's much more the latter, actually.

  43. [43] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Just try to be more accurate in your pronouncements, MV and you won't draw my ire. :)

  44. [44] 
    MtnCaddy wrote:

    [35] Elizabeth Miller wrote:


    MtnCaddy,

    So, do you have an opinion on the absolutely crazy notion of Romney as Secretary of State?

    Why not John Kerry or Bill Burns?

    I think it's an intriguing idea!

    Mitt has proven both his competence (Salt Lake City Olympics, Governor of Massachusetts & credible Presidential candidate -- more so than Bush the Younger and Cheetogod) and patriotism (as the only Repug who voted for Article 1 of the Impeachment trial.)

    A rational Foreign Policy has usually been an area of bipartisanship. That is, before Trump. Nothing against Kerry or Burns but I'm confident Romney would be just as effective. Repug Romney announced as prospective Secretary of State would give Repug voters uncomfortable with Democrats emotional "cover" to support Joe and, as the above quote says, it'd be a powerful signal to the world that America is ready to be the Leader of the Free world.

    So, yeah. I'm strongly in favor of making Mitt the pick.

  45. [45] 
    MtnCaddy wrote:

    The more that I think on it the more I see this idea's brilliance.

  46. [46] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    I'll try to see it but, I can't right now.

  47. [47] 
    MtnCaddy wrote:

    [38]

    Elizabeth Miller wrote:


    MtnCaddy,

    I always win the award for having the thickest skin - around here or anywhere else.

    Try to remember that.

    First off, I didn't know there was an Award for that here in Weigantia. Am I eligible for it? I'd say that "thickest skin" around here is overwhelmingly either Don or Michale.

    Second, no my Dear, you are not remotely thick skinned when it comes to all things Biden. For example (one of many,)

    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    MyVoice,

    I just read my post in response to yours. It was a bit harsh. Ahem.

    I'm just sick of these women who will disrespect Biden at the drop of a hat in order to put one of their own into power.

    No one here reacted as did you. We "get" it that you're a yuge Biden fan. I wouldn't advise you to grow a thicker skin if I didn't sincerely want you to get through these upcoming 3 months plus 8 years of a Biden Administration as comfortably as possible. From my heart, Gurlfriend!

  48. [48] 
    John From Censornati wrote:

    I'm afraid he'll hire Willard for something and I have nothing good to say about that. Rmoney has been getting entirely too much good press for doing/saying very little.

    Everyone should review his campaign against BHO. Too much sucking up to the orange birther and the people who've become death cult zombies, not to mention the 47% BS.

  49. [49] 
    MtnCaddy wrote:

    [40]

    Don Harris wrote:


    And Stormy Daniels would bring a whole new meaning to dark horse. :D

    Think of the potential for a FTP.

    "With Trump you only get one big boob. With a Biden/Daniels ticket for the price of one you get three big boobs!"

    Now that's the kind of contribution to Weigantia that I do so enjoy! You've got a gift for comedy, Comrade Don. I pray that you'll deploy it more often.

  50. [50] 
    John From Censornati wrote:

    [37] Stucki,

    That's a pretty vile comment.

  51. [51] 
    MtnCaddy wrote:

    [48]

    John From Censornati wrote:


    I'm afraid he'll hire Willard for something and I have nothing good to say about that. Rmoney has been getting entirely too much good press for doing/saying very little.

    Everyone should review his campaign against BHO. Too much sucking up to the orange birther and the people who've become death cult zombies, not to mention the 47% BS.

    Cut him some slack, Jack! Repug voters have been fed all that carp for a couple-three decades and he'd have not gained any traction whatsoever in the Primaries if he didn't align with it.

    Mitt would (probably, and off the record) tell you, "You have to go to war with the Republican Party that you have -- not the one you wish you had."

    And I don't think you're giving Romney credit for his anti-Trumpism in general and his Impeachment vote in particular.

  52. [52] 
    MtnCaddy wrote:

    [37]

    Yeah, Stuck, as the apparently only rational Republican around here I think you could "represent" way classier than that.

    Think, "Caustic, with Class."

  53. [53] 
    John From Censornati wrote:

    [51]

    I don't think you're giving Romney credit for his anti-Trumpism in general and his Impeachment vote in particular.

    You're right. I'm not. That's a low bar and he's done the very minimum. He's got nothing to lose and he's essentially still on board. He only voted for one article of impeachment.

    If Ginsberg were to vacate tomorrow, how do you think he'd vote when McConnell decides against the McConnell doctrine and pushes through a new RW supreme by the end of the year?

  54. [54] 
    John From Censornati wrote:

    The orange swamp thing weighed in on our subject du jour this morning.

    some people would say that men are insulted by that

    That = woman VP, just in case you have any doubt. Always the weasel, he attributes the hurt feelings to some people. He probably got a call from his friend Jim who doesn't go to Paris anymore.

  55. [55] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    "some people say" is the fox news formula to make insane statements about people and avoid getting sued for libel.

  56. [56] 
    C. R. Stucki wrote:

    JFC [50]

    What exactly do you find "vile"? That I don't think she deserves that credit (for being Af-Am), that she matches my suntan, that I used the word 'negroid' instead of 'person of color-oid', or what??

  57. [57] 
    John From Censornati wrote:

    [37] Stucki,

    Who gets to define "African-American"?

    I tend to think that you already know this, but here you go anyway: Who is black?

  58. [58] 
    John From Censornati wrote:

    [56] Stucki,

    Do you use a lot of defunct 18th century words like negroid? Pretty much any dictionary will tell you it's offensive. In addition, Wikipedia will tell you that it includes Indians, so she qualifies based on both sides of her family regardless of what you think about her facial features.

    That's as far as I'm going down this rabbit hole with you.

  59. [59] 
    Kick wrote:

    CW: But I have to admit that even though I am one of her constituents, for the life of me I really cannot figure out why this is.

    You've got a nice list of "pros" there but missing one of the most obvious ones, in my opinion. If your opponent was attempting to paint your Party as a lawless bunch of "thugs," who better to prove that's a load of BS? A person with law in their background, and that's Kamala Harris or Val Demmings.

    Hopefully this is the last time I have to tell y'all that a woman of color is the best choice for Biden's ticket. I have only been telling y'all this since forever:

    http://www.chrisweigant.com/2019/06/20/bidens-bad-week/#comment-137834

    Russ has too, for that matter.

    At this point, I think it's somebody off my list, and I think it's Kamala. So I said it before, and I'll say it again: Get with the program! ;)

  60. [60] 
    Kick wrote:

    CW: Harris has shown this ambition from the very start of her political career, which could also be a big minus, since she was had a rather public affair with California Democratic kingmaker Willie Brown (who apparently, while I was writing this, kind of stabbed Harris in the back).

    Here comes my Elizabeth Miller impression: Are you freaking kidding me!?

    I can't believe this spit. Seriously!? I hope you're proud of yourself for that. Un-freaking-believable!

  61. [61] 
    C. R. Stucki wrote:

    JFC [58]

    Sorry, I'm pretty much an 18th Century guy, and you're right, my dictionaries are of the same vintage, but hey, I tried to update it("person-of-color-oid"), but thatseemed awfully clumsy, so tell me, is there modern equivalent, or do we just not talk about physical features?

  62. [62] 
    Kick wrote:

    Elizabeth Miller
    19

    Oh, well, if it has to be a woman, then so be it.

    Get with the program! Quit making me say that. :)

  63. [63] 
    Kick wrote:

    MyVoice
    20

    Neither of these pieces were about Biden; they were about the process and, to a lesser extent, the selection committee and the media.

    Exactly what I was thinking. :)

  64. [64] 
    Kick wrote:

    Mezzomamma
    25

    This! :)

  65. [65] 
    Kick wrote:

    MtnCaddy
    26

    Those observations are dead on accurate. John Kasich is another one to watch. :)

  66. [66] 
    Kick wrote:

    It's Kamala.

    I rest my case.

  67. [67] 
    James T Canuck wrote:

    Biden-Harris

    LL&P

  68. [68] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    @crs,

    Sub-saharan

    JL

  69. [69] 
    Kick wrote:

    Nice Biden-Harris ad from The Lincoln Project:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CUwxqxlUXXY

  70. [70] 
    Chris Weigant wrote:

    Welp...

    So while I am entirely likely to be wrong...

    Hey, at least I got that part right!

    :-)

    You'll excuse me now, I have a heaping plate of crow to go eat...

    -CW

  71. [71] 
    MtnCaddy wrote:

    [61] C. R. Stucki wrote:


    JFC [58]

    Sorry, I'm pretty much an 18th Century guy, and you're right, my dictionaries are of the same vintage, but hey, I tried to update it("person-of-color-oid"), but thatseemed awfully clumsy, so tell me, is there modern equivalent, or do we just not talk about physical features?

    Relax, man. I can't speak for anyone but myself but as Loud & Proud Libtard as I am I effing hate hate hate PC -- Political Correctness. Being so uptight about words makes for needlessly cautious discourse.

  72. [72] 
    C. R. Stucki wrote:

    MtnCaddy [71]

    Yeah PC will ultimately make it impossible to have a reasonable discussion of many things.

    Reminds me of the academic uproar over the word 'niggardly" (stingy) of 20 yrs ago. That word was a perfectly legitimate part of the English language for centuries before 'negro' ever morphed into 'nigrah', which in turn morphed into 'nigger', and got banished to linguistic purgatory.

  73. [73] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Chris,

    You'll excuse me now, I have a heaping plate of crow to go eat...

    Mind if I join you? It'll be fun. I just have to pick myself off the floor first.

    :-)

  74. [74] 
    MtnCaddy wrote:

    Aw, c'mon Elizabeth. You can't be that surprised that he picked Kamala. She just checks too many boxes.

  75. [75] 
    dsws wrote:

    [9]MtnCaddy wrote:

    the Repugs will cast our team as wild-eyed Socialist/Marxist enemies of freedom no matter who he picks

    True. (With the change from "will" and "picks" to "would have" and "had picked", that is.) However, there's a big difference in how well political smears stick to different people. Some politicians are teflon, and others are magnets. It's much more in their image than their substantive policy positions, though.

  76. [76] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    MtnCaddy,

    You can't be that surprised that he picked Kamala. She just checks too many boxes.

    Can't say that I disagree.

  77. [77] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Actually, I'll go even further to say that this pick feels right.

  78. [78] 
    Chris Weigant wrote:

    OK, new column up on the Biden-Harris ticket choice:

    http://www.chrisweigant.com/2020/08/11/biden-harris-2020/

    -CW

  79. [79] 
    Chris Weigant wrote:

    MtnCaddy [8] -

    Church of Football...the only religion who's Sacramental Potion is beer!

    Go Blue.

    I have a close friend (from Ann Arbor) who explained his family's religion thusly: "We belong to the Church of Beer and Michigan Football."

    :-)

    -CW

  80. [80] 
    dsws wrote:

    [71] hey, I tried to update it("person-of-color-oid")

    How about changing the bad part, if you're going to update? "Negroid" was part of a bogus taxonomy, that treated mostly-cultural regional differences as though they were biological realities. We're vertebrate by phylum, mammalian by class, theriiform by subclass, eutherian by whatever that level is called (infraclass?), primate by order, hominid by family, hominin by subfamily, homo sapiens by species -- and according to racist pseudoscience of a bygone era, we're either negroid or caucasoid or whatever other BS terms they made up.

    Every level has its suffix. Just as we're "hominid", the various cats (from lions to lynxes) are "felid", and dogs (including jackals, foxes, and so on) are canid. Actually, all extant canid species are also classified as "canine". The category "canid" includes some extinct ones that aren't "canine".

    If you use these suffixes without reservation, you're implicitly endorsing them as valid. The higher ones are, at least tentatively. There were mammals already in the Jurassic, but the very distant ancestors of humans and the equally distant ancestors of rabbits were the same little shrew-like animals. Stuff happened at various times, like mass extinctions and ice ages, and it the ancestors of various mammals got to be different from each other. If we use the same taxonomic level for cats vs dogs as for rats vs squirrels, we're accepting the premise that their common ancestors can be presumed to have lived about equally long ago.

    Using the -oid suffix for groups of people elevates those groups to a supposed scientific reality. They're not. They're racist pseudoscience, made up partly in an honest attempt to make sense of the world, but perpetuated mostly out of sheer racism.

  81. [81] 
    Chris Weigant wrote:

    MyVoice [12] -

    How did you manage to sneak a multi-link comment past the autofilter? They're supposed to get flagged...

    [27] -

    As a product of the Maryland public schools system, Spiro Agnew is the first vice president that springs to my mind when trying to name any from the 20th century. Heh.

    [multiple comments] -

    As for the idea of Romney as SoS, I think that could work for the reasons mentioned. But I kind of like him in the Senate -- a "gettable" GOP vote on sane legislation.

    Maybe Jon Huntsman? Just sayin'...

    Don Harris -

    Stormy? I remember back in either 1980 or 1984 the original Bozo the Clown announced a run for the presidency. His slogan (I am not making this up): "Elect a REAL Bozo to the White House!"

    Heh.

    C. R. Stucki [72] -

    It wasn't just academic, it was political. I think a DC councilman was forced to step down for using "niggardly" in a public setting. The word comes from a totally different root he correctly argued, but his argument didn't fly politically. I would have to look it up, but I'm almost certain it happened in the DC local government. And you're right, it was somewhere around 20 years ago.

    -CW

  82. [82] 
    MyVoice wrote:

    Chris Weigant [81]

    This is not my first time with multi-link comments, Chris; I got one through during an exchange with Michale a month or more ago that had, I think, three links. At the time, I wasn't recalling that it wouldn't pass muster. I did it and it worked.

    As has been pointed out as of late in various comments, using the full [a] anchor element format appears to bypass the autofilter.

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