It is a lovely Wednesday and guess who is back? The Blogger Candidate Forum is back with the 2020 edition of Veepstakes: the Democrats. Before we get started, a friendly reminder. Election Day is November 3, 2020. Are registered to vote? If you are, good on you. Make sure you show up to the polls on the day, drop off or mail in your ballot in time. If you are not, Stop reading and go to usa.gov and click on the link to your state's Secretary of State's office to register. When you are done come back to read this post. Thank you and onward
Way back in March of this year, before COVID quarantine forced VPOTUS began campaigning in his basement, he made a promise to select a woman running mate. Some of the political talking heads worried that the Gentleman from Delaware was too narrowly focusing his search for a running mate. A woman running mate? The last candidate to chose a woman was the late Arizona Senator John McCain (R-AZ). The late Senator chose former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin. On paper, she sounded great: a conservative Christian woman with a nice photogenic family. Unfortunately for the late Senator, Ms. Palin was not very well versed on the domestic and foreign issues of the moment. Prior to that, former Vice President Walter Mondale (D-MN) chose former New York Representative Geraldine Ferraro (D-NY) for his running mate. Not up on ancient political history? Allow The Candidate Forum to fill you in. The Gentleman from Minnesota was former President Jimmy Carter's vice president. In 1984 he unsuccessfully (he lost by huge landslide) against the late President Ronald Reagan. VPOTUS Mondale decided to go with the unorthodox (for its time) choice of a woman running mate. Here we are again, another Democrat is in the position to choose a running mate. Who will it be? Will he suffer the same fate as Senator McCain and VPOTUS Mondale or will the third time be a charm? Shall we gaze into the electoral crystal ball and see what the future holds?
|Potential running mates|
VPOTUS Biden is a lucky luck candidate because he has an embarrassment of riches when it comes to honoring his pledge to select a female running mate. Each of the ladies on his list bring a wealth of experience, strengths as well as weaknesses to the ticket. Let us get a couple of things out of the way: First, choosing a running mate is a little like a blind date. You put two people together and hope it all works out. Second, there is no such thing as "the perfect running mate." For that matter, there is no such thing as "the perfect presidential candidate." Get rid of those ideas and focus on which ticket will be the best choice to further your main concerns.
|Senator Tammy Duckworth (D-MN) and Rep. Karen Bass (D-CA)|
Everyone has a favorite candidate for the job. The Candidate Forum has a favorite as well but what is the rest of the voters think?
According to a recent USA Today/Suffolk Poll, "Seven of 10 Democrats...say it is important to them that the presumptive nominee Joe Biden picks a woman of color as his running mate on the Democratic presidential ticket this fall" (amp.usatoday.com; July 1, 2020). In light of current events, the choice there is more urgency to select someone such as California Senator Kamala Harris (D) or Florida Representative Val Demmings (D). Others have suggested former National Security Adviser Susan Rice. Yet others have proffered Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren (D) but despite her sterling resume, she is also in her seventies and there is question whether or she would be able to fulfill the primary role of the vice president, be able to assume the office. Also wee problematic is a ticket of two white people and whoever the one is, would be considered the presumptive nominee in 2020. How so?
|Presumptive Democratic nominee VPOTUS Joe Biden|
Wear a mask
Consider this, one in five US presidents have not complete a full term. This is not to in any way suggest the Gentleman from Delaware is in ill health, merely a statement of fact. VPOTUS is 77-years-old and if elected, he would be 78 on Inauguration Day, breaking the record set by the current president who was 70 the day he took the oath of office. Further, VPOTUS has not committed to running for a second should he be elected on November 3, 2020. Therefore, whoever he chooses will be automatically considered the presumptive nominee should VPOTUS decline to run for a second term. Will it really matter who VPOTUS' running mate is?
Honestly, not really. In an Op-ed for bloomberg.com, Jonathan Bernstein writes, "Political scientist have long looked for any sign that running mates affect the outcomes of presidential elections, and while there's not exactly a consensus, the evidence suggests that there's normally no effect at all" (bloomberg.com; June 30, 2020; date accessed July 1, 2020). Even the candidate at the top of the ticket has little effect once party affiliation and events (eg. pandemic and protests) were accounted for. This applies to the incumbent party. Essentially, people who like the current president will vote to give him another term and those who do not will show him the door. One thing is certain, "no one who thinks Trump is doing a great job but would for for Biden anyway because of his running mate..." (Ibid).
|Florida Representative Val Demmings (D)|
With that said, how does the Gentleman from Delaware avoid a running mate disaster. The first rule is pick someone who has been nationally vetted and dealt with opposition scrutiny. Senators Harris, Warren, Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), and Kirsten Gillbrand (D-NY) tick off that box. The Lady from Minnesota has dropped out of consideration and there has been no mention about the Lady from New York.
Other than that, it make sense to choose someone that will not put a congressional seat in jeopardy. The Seventeenth Amendment to the United States Constitution states,
...When vacancies happen in the representation of any state in the Senate, the executive authority of such state shall issue writs of election to fill such vacancies; Provided, that the legislature of any state may empower the executive thereof to make temporary appointments until the people fill the vacancies by election as the legislature may direct...(law.cornell.edu; date accessed July 1, 2020)
This would not be an issue for favored potential running mate Senator Harris. California's governor is a Democrat and could appoint another Democrat to fill her seat until 2022, when her seat comes up for re-election. It would, however, be a problem for Senator Warren. If she is chosen for the number two position, her seat could be filled by the Republican governor, unless the Democrat-majority state legislature in Massachusetts changes the law (bloomberg.com; June 30, 2020).
A good running mate will be able to listen and work with party actors, particularly for any sign that any of the obvious choices are unacceptable to key constituencies. While it is impossible to make everyone happy but a good running mate should avoid alienating any one significant group (Ibid). Finally, a good running mate should appear to be capable of being an adequate president (Ibid).
The main thing for VPOTUS Joe Biden is to avoid disaster or doing harm to the Democratic party.
VPOTUS will announce his choice at the beginning of August, prior to Democratic National Convention. The Candidate Forum has its fingers and toes crossed for its candidate.