Kamala Harris endorses Joe Biden

This happened just 45 minutes ago (click to read the post, though there’s not much): 

Is this the end for Bernie? One thing we’ve learned about this campaign is that there’s a fluctuating momentum, so that the last candidate to win anything is seen as the front-runner who is likely to secure the nomination. Ergo, Uncle Joe is a clear front-runner, and every candidate who’s dropped out has endorsed him: a sign of coalescence that continues. But what happens if Bernie wins Michigan? Is it a horse race again?

I’ve given up predicting anything, and will just vote for the Democratic nominee, whoever he—and it’s certain to be a “he”—is. I want a woman as the vice-presidential candidate, though.

71 Comments

  1. Historian
    Posted March 8, 2020 at 8:12 am | Permalink

    What is interesting about this endorsement is that in an early debate Harris tried to gain attention by attacking Biden for his stance on busing from many decades ago. This exchange was one of the highlights of that debate. Now, of course, it will not be mentioned or at least downplayed. That incident is but another example of how phony are the attacks of one candidate on another during the primary season. Many of those Republicans candidates who bashed Trump during the 2016 Republican primary are now his most loyal toadies. Perhaps this is the way it should be. After all, political parties do need to unite to get elected their ultimate candidates.

    • Posted March 8, 2020 at 9:25 am | Permalink

      I would argue that the absurdly long drawn out nature of these selection processes make polarisation inevitable, bitter and overblown.

      The Republicans and their supporters manage it to fall in behind a candidate once chosen, and also seem not to take the pantomime attacks during the nomination cycle as seriously as Democrats do.

      In other words, the way the Democrats have structured their nomination process is not only anti-democratic (with people be voting at different times with different information and different candidates available), but geared specifically to divide their own supporters.

      And unfortunately the rest of the world has to pay for the consequences of this entirely predictable failure of opposition.

      • Posted March 8, 2020 at 9:27 am | Permalink

        (Apologies for my tetchiness — that tone wasn’t meant to be directed at anyone here.)

    • Ken Kukec
      Posted March 8, 2020 at 11:17 am | Permalink

      That incident is but another example of how phony are the attacks of one candidate on another during the primary season. Many of those Republicans candidates who bashed Trump during the 2016 Republican primary are now his most loyal toadies.

      Hey, at least Kamala was challenging Biden about his record on a policy position — not mocking the size of his hands or genitals, or threatening to “spill the beans” on his wife, or claiming that his father was part of a JFK assassination conspiracy, the way certain Republican candidates were attacking their opponents in 2016.

      And I doubt there’s much of a chance of Democrats (including Biden’s current and former campaign opponents) making Biden the subject of a cult of personality, the way Republicans have Trump.

  2. EB
    Posted March 8, 2020 at 8:12 am | Permalink

    The Kamala endorsement doesn’t surprise me. Neither would a Warren endorsement of Biden, given the “Joe-mentum”. MSNBC’s Steve Kornacki went through the numbers on a recent broadcast, and showed that it would be a very tough slog for Bernie to get ahead in the delegate count. The issue is that Bernie may well win many more states to come, but he will do so by a relatively small margins ending up in a more or less even split of the delegate share. On the other hand, there remain states (e.g. Georgia, Florida, Mississippi) where Biden will likely blow Bernie out of the water and so will quickly approach an insurmountable lead in delegates. 538 currently gives Bernie a 2% chance of securing the nomination via a delegate majority. If things are gonna turn around for Bernie, it would have to come from a disastrous performance from Biden at the March 15 debate. Biden’s issues with communicating will be put the test, as will his record on Social Security. There is speculation that the Biden campaign’s strategy is to keep Joe out of the limelight as much as possible, to minimize the production of meme-able gaffes.

    Btw, the “predictit.org” prediction market has a Hillary Clinton nomination as the third most likely outcome, and her stock is apparently rising. I don’t know who is buying into that fantasy.

    • Historian
      Posted March 8, 2020 at 8:33 am | Permalink

      Assuming Biden is the Democratic nominee, I am very concerned about his debates with Trump. It is pretty clear what Trump will do – lie, bully, talk about Burisma and Hunter Biden every ten seconds, and attack Joe as “sleepy” and sliding into dementia. Joe needs to be ready to counter these attacks. These debates may influence enough swing voters to decide the outcome in the battleground states.

      • Jenny Haniver
        Posted March 8, 2020 at 9:20 am | Permalink

        I’m very concerned about that, too, but I don’t see how Biden can “be ready to counter [Trump’s] attacks” because the very things Trump will attack, his cognitive deficits, will prevent Biden from being ready so I don’t know what he can do about that.

        I’m also worried about his cognitive deficits should he become president. Perhaps a regular regimen of transcranial magnetic stimulation would help. That’s the only thing I can think of, other than therapeutic zaps from an MRI machine, both electromagnetic devices.

        But if he’s the nominee I’ll vote for him anyway and just hope that he surrounds himself with wise and competent people.

        He’s reported to have said that he’d consider Kamala Harris as his running mate. I’d prefer someone else because I fear that in his diminished state she’d exert a Svengali-like influence over him, which she could do even if he weren’t slipping into senility.

        • sted24
          Posted March 8, 2020 at 10:43 am | Permalink

          I’d rather favour both Biden and Trump having Svengalis, since his major accomplishment was turning someone into an opera singer.

          Set to music the presidential debates would become much more entertaining.

          • Jenny Haniver
            Posted March 8, 2020 at 10:51 am | Permalink

            Set to music with castrati.

            Oh, dear! Titania would surely reprove me, a cis-woman for insinuating that Kamala Harris is a ball-breaker. This on International Women’s Day. I must atone.

          • Heather Hastie
            Posted March 8, 2020 at 7:53 pm | Permalink

            There’s already a Svengali in the White House – that white nationalist a$$ho£€ Stephen Miller.

            • Jenny Haniver
              Posted March 9, 2020 at 12:27 am | Permalink

              I’ve long thought of him as an éminence grise (Kushner, too) but Svengali or éminence grise,or both, he’s an evil SOB.

              • Heather Hastie
                Posted March 14, 2020 at 8:01 pm | Permalink

                Éminence grise is probably a better description for him. Either way, the country would be a lot better off without him in the White House.

      • Ken Kukec
        Posted March 8, 2020 at 11:06 am | Permalink

        Sure wish I could pop open ol’ Uncle Joe’s skull and swap in the lightening fast synapses of a Pete Buttigieg or Elizabeth Warren for the remainder of the presidential campaign.

        • Filippo
          Posted March 8, 2020 at 11:55 am | Permalink

          ” . . . swap in the lightening fast synapses of a(n) . . . Elizabeth Warren for the remainder of the presidential campaign.”

          So long as her breathless, cloying, quasi-histrionic modus operandi were not also transferred. (But, perhaps the reality is that that modus is what a majority of the electorate requires and responds to.)

          • Ken Kukec
            Posted March 8, 2020 at 7:11 pm | Permalink

            Say what you will about Elizabeth Warren’s MO, she’d’ve run rings around a dufus like Donald Trump on a debate stage.

            All he’s got are insults; she’s got a thoroughgoing, fine-grain knowledge of governmental policy. And a much, much nimbler mind.

            • sugould
              Posted March 9, 2020 at 9:44 am | Permalink

              +1

      • Harrison
        Posted March 8, 2020 at 12:06 pm | Permalink

        There is one more Democratic debate on the 15th where I expect Joe will thoroughly have his clock cleaned. This will also be Sanders’s last chance to retake the delegate lead although I am cautiously pessimistic. Dems seem determined to run a candidate who is everything voters disliked about Hillary minus her wits.

        The Trump-Biden debates will be a bloodbath. Trump is also sliding into dementia but he’s not quite as far along and that will make all the difference.

        • Ken Kukec
          Posted March 8, 2020 at 6:54 pm | Permalink

          Trump sucks as a debater, if you recall his actual 2016 performances, both in the primaries and the general election (and he hasn’t been in any debates to sharpen his limited skill set since).

          I think there’s a lot of “hindsight bias” going on about Trump’s strengths as a candidate, given his unanticipated victory in the electoral college.

          It’s kind of a once-bit/twice-shy situation that a lot of us are going through here.

      • Mark R.
        Posted March 8, 2020 at 1:33 pm | Permalink

        I’m not too concerned about Biden’s debate performance(s). Nothing he’s said or done has hurt him thus far; he’s sort of like Trump in that regard, faux pas don’t seem to affect him.

        I also believe that most people (swing voters in battleground states included) understand what’s at stake with another 4-years of Trump corruption, chaos and demagoguery. Trump only has his cult, the majority of Americans are fed-up with his lies and bullshit, and Biden “losing” a debate won’t matter. Trump lost all of his debates, and he still squeaked out an Electoral College win.

  3. Jimbo
    Posted March 8, 2020 at 8:32 am | Permalink

    PCC, which woman as VP?

    • Posted March 8, 2020 at 8:57 am | Permalink

      Well, Warren or Klobuchar would do nicely, especially because both front-running Presidential candidates are old and so the VP spot could be a fast springboard to the Presidency.

      The downside is that they’re both Senators, and a gain for the VP position (who doesn’t really do much) is a loss to the Senate.

      • Mark R.
        Posted March 8, 2020 at 1:11 pm | Permalink

        In regards to the Senate, Klobuchar would be a better choice since Michigan’s Whitmer is a democratic governor and Massachusetts’ is a republican.
        I think Klobuchar would be a better choice regardless as she aligns better with Biden and can facilitate the very important mid-west support. If it’s Biden, I vacillate between Klobuchar and Abrams for his VP pick.

        • Taz
          Posted March 8, 2020 at 8:20 pm | Permalink

          Klobuchar is from Minnesota, not Michigan, but MN’s governor is also a Democrat (DFL).

          On the other hand, Debbie Stabenow from MI wouldn’t be a bad choice, especially if it helps carry that swing state.

          • Mark R.
            Posted March 9, 2020 at 12:57 pm | Permalink

            Yes, thanks for the correction!

      • Nicolaas Stempels
        Posted March 8, 2020 at 1:13 pm | Permalink

        Yes, that is a very pertinent point. The last thing we want is losing a Democratic Senator.
        As recent history has shown, the Senate is even more important than the presidency.
        To put it strongly, I think a second term for Mr Trump, but with a solid Democratic Senate majority might be preferable to a Mr Biden or Mr Bernie presidency with a (especially if even more reduced) Democratic minority in the Senate.

    • Posted March 8, 2020 at 12:21 pm | Permalink

      Whoever is the VP nominee, I hope the choice is based on ability because he or she may well become the 47th President should Biden or Sanders win.

      • Nicolaas Stempels
        Posted March 8, 2020 at 1:16 pm | Permalink

        Ability? After the most incapable president ever, even my 9 year old son should be considered capable.

        • sugould
          Posted March 9, 2020 at 9:45 am | Permalink

          Over qualified, probably.

  4. Barry Lyons
    Posted March 8, 2020 at 8:57 am | Permalink

    Yes, I want a woman as VP as well. A Biden/Harris ticket looks good to me.

  5. Rhett Rothberg
    Posted March 8, 2020 at 9:41 am | Permalink

    You do realize this is all kayfabe right?

    This is all a narrative designed to keep these people in power.

    One minute Harris calls Biden a racist. The next she’svying to be his 2nd in command. What a joke.

    Wake up and quit giving credence to national politics. Local is all that matters. Quit being a contestant in the reality show.

    • Jenny Haniver
      Posted March 8, 2020 at 10:20 am | Permalink

      Like it or not, local politics can’t function separately from national politics.

      And who’s to judge what’s kayfabe? You? Some consider “reality” itself kayfabe, and like it or not you’re in it, too, even after you make your final exit from the ring.

      • Jenny Haniver
        Posted March 8, 2020 at 10:21 am | Permalink

        Ya know who I learned that from: from watching Gorgeous George and Little Beaver.

      • Rhett Rothberg
        Posted March 8, 2020 at 8:57 pm | Permalink

        Cool story. So why is Harris endorsing a “racist”?

        Do you think they were in the writers room when that plot twist came up or did they just approve the script later?

    • Mark R.
      Posted March 8, 2020 at 1:26 pm | Permalink

      “Local is all that matters.”

      So you happen to live in a city that doesn’t abide by Federal Law, US District Courts and the Supreme Court? Is slavery still legal there?

      • Ken Kukec
        Posted March 8, 2020 at 7:06 pm | Permalink

        Sure hope Mr. Rothberg gives us a heads up next time some mayor gets hands on the codes to the nuclear football, or the power to make lifetime appointments to the federal bench.

        • Rhett Rothberg
          Posted March 8, 2020 at 8:55 pm | Permalink

          The point being that our politics make it so that people in California worry, and can control, what people in Kansas do. The demos is too large and we wonder why there is polarization.

          • Ken Kukec
            Posted March 8, 2020 at 9:48 pm | Permalink

            … people in California worry, and can control, what people in Kansas do.

            How so?

            Given the anti-democratic nature of the United States senate and of the electoral college, the people of Kansas have much more pound-for-pound, inch-for-inch power over the lives of the people of California than the other way round.

          • Jenny Haniver
            Posted March 8, 2020 at 9:55 pm | Permalink

            “Toto, I’ve a feeling we’re not in Kansas any more. We must be over the rainbow! Now I know we’re not in Kansas!”

    • GBJames
      Posted March 8, 2020 at 3:00 pm | Permalink

      Talk about living in a fantasy.

  6. GBJames
    Posted March 8, 2020 at 10:38 am | Permalink

    I expect a woman VP candidate, too. But not one of the Senators. My money is on Stacy Abrams.

  7. Ken Kukec
    Posted March 8, 2020 at 11:22 am | Permalink

    If a Democrat, especially Joe Biden, wins the presidency next November, I look for it to fall to Kamala Harris to come in as the next Attorney General to clean up the badly damaged and demoralized Department of Justice she’ll inherit from Trump’s AG William Barr.

    • Jenny Haniver
      Posted March 8, 2020 at 11:32 am | Permalink

      I think she’d probably become AG and could be a good one but for her squirrelly record when she was AG of California. Hope she’d come to her senses but her record as AG is why I’m dubious and why I made my remarks about Harris as a running mate; cf., https://www.nytimes.com/2019/01/17/opinion/kamala-harris-criminal-justice.html. I want to like her but these things bother me greatly.

  8. Posted March 8, 2020 at 11:22 am | Permalink

    I would like to see Bennet or Mayor Pete as the VP pick. At least someone young and moderate.

  9. Posted March 8, 2020 at 11:47 am | Permalink

    “. . .and it’s certain to be a ‘he.'”

    Or Bernie and Biden could both croak and the candidate would be Tulsi Gabbard–my first choice from the get-go.

    • Jenny Haniver
      Posted March 8, 2020 at 1:07 pm | Permalink

      Why you find her so desirable a candidate?

      • Mark R.
        Posted March 8, 2020 at 1:15 pm | Permalink

        Because mirandaga is a conservative.

        • Posted March 8, 2020 at 1:41 pm | Permalink

          “Because mirandaga is a conservative.”

          Well, that too.

          • Mark R.
            Posted March 8, 2020 at 2:01 pm | Permalink

            😉

      • Posted March 8, 2020 at 1:26 pm | Permalink

        “Why you find her so desirable a candidate?”

        Among other things, because she articulately criticizes the excesses of her own party, which would be a big draw to a large mass of Republican/Independent voters beyond the anyone-but-Trump gang—that is, those of you who’ve said you’re going to vote Democrat no matter who the candidate is. We’ve got you already no matter what; we need those other voters to beat Trump.

        • GBJames
          Posted March 8, 2020 at 3:03 pm | Permalink

          If Gabbard had any integrity she would have run against tRump as a Republican. Her Democratic credentials exist only because no Republican can win in Hawaii. Change that factor and she would be a card-carrying R.

          • Posted March 8, 2020 at 3:49 pm | Permalink

            “Change that factor and she would be a card-carrying R.”

            OK, no argument about that. The real point, however, is to beat Trump–no? Would you vote for Gabbard over Trump or not? If yes, I rest my case; if not, then I concede.

            • GBJames
              Posted March 8, 2020 at 3:53 pm | Permalink

              I’d vote for a tree stump over tRump. Also, Satan. But I’ll not grant Gabbard much on the integrity scale.

            • Jenny Haniver
              Posted March 8, 2020 at 4:49 pm | Permalink

              That statement doesn’t rest your case re why you’d like Tulsi Gabbard to be the nominee (or even running mate) because your first statement is predicated on nobody else being in contention, which is a true hypothetical, as Ken Kukec noted.

              However, she does articulately criticize the excesses in her (true) party, i.e., the Republican party, when she called Trump “Saudi Arabia’s bitch” for defending MBS in Jamal Khashoggi’s murder. But that’s no recommendation for me; besides, she’s so scattered, goofy, and scattershot that I can’t take her seriously as a candidate for president, Democrat or Republican.

              • Jenny Haniver
                Posted March 8, 2020 at 9:58 pm | Permalink

                Meant to say “scatterbrained” and scattershot.

    • Ken Kukec
      Posted March 8, 2020 at 2:06 pm | Permalink

      Don’t you find Gabbard a little too chummy with brutal dictators like Vladimir Putin and Bashar al-Assad, Gary?

      And even if Biden and the Bern were to make a pact to commit seppuku side-by-side on the Arizona debate stage next week, I don’t think Tulsi Gabbard would long remain the lone Democratic contender. Pretty sure several of the candidates who’ve merely “suspended” their campaigns would jump back in the race fater’n you can say “Ross Perot.” 🙂

      • Posted March 8, 2020 at 2:12 pm | Permalink

        Dang, Ken. You’re getting to be no fun at all.

      • Rhett Rothberg
        Posted March 8, 2020 at 4:31 pm | Permalink

        Does anyone actually listen to Tulsi about the Assad meeting or are we just watching too much MSNBC?

  10. Jon Gallant
    Posted March 8, 2020 at 12:15 pm | Permalink

    “I want a woman as the vice-presidential candidate, though.” I’m sure there is a
    constituency that wants to see a trans-woman as the VP candidate. And we can perhaps expect the Sandersnistas to agitate for a Muslim woman wearing a hijab.

    Ken Kukec, noting the importance of Ohio in presidential elections, has mentioned Sherrod Brown, the intelligent and personable
    Senator from Ohio.

    In other offices of a Biden administration. let’s have Kamala Harris as AG, Elisabeth Warren as Treasury Secretary (but only if the Dems win the governorship of Mass.), Andrew Yang at Commerce, Mayor Pete at HUD, and Uncle Bernie as ambassador to either Sweden
    or Grønland.

    • Ken Kukec
      Posted March 8, 2020 at 7:18 pm | Permalink

      Now there’s a cabinet I could get behind.

      The Dems’d have to take the senate, to cram them down Mitch McConnell’s throat.

  11. Mark R.
    Posted March 8, 2020 at 1:21 pm | Permalink

    The important thing to watch in Michigan is what the districts of Detroit do. I suspect the African American vote will again overwhelmingly favor Biden and this will give him the win.

    In the Michigan primary, FiveThirtyEight currently has Biden at 37.8, Sanders at 30.1.

  12. Tom Czarny
    Posted March 8, 2020 at 3:20 pm | Permalink

    Watch out for Gretchen Whitmer, the current moderate governor of Michigan. Smart, savvy, articulate and a winner, who gave the Dem response to 45’s State of the Union address. My choice for VP, be it Biden or Bernie.

    • Ken Kukec
      Posted March 8, 2020 at 7:31 pm | Permalink

      I like Gretchen Whitmer a lot (whether or not she’s a viable VP pick). She’s also got one of the strongest, purest upper-Midwest accents these ears have ever heard. That gal’s Lansing/Grand Rapids through and through.

    • Posted March 8, 2020 at 7:35 pm | Permalink

      Yes! Gretchen is terrific.

  13. Tom Czarny
    Posted March 8, 2020 at 3:20 pm | Permalink

    Watch out for Gretchen Whitmer, the current moderate governor of Michigan. Smart, savvy, articulate and a winner, who gave the Dem response to 45’s State of the Union address. My choice for VP, be it Biden or Bernie.

  14. Posted March 8, 2020 at 5:46 pm | Permalink

    As an outsider – having lived in the US – this whole discussion really bothers me – and appears that everyone commenting here is a “centrist” (Democrat right or Repub lite).
    For DAWG’S sake – the system doesn’t want anyone as challenging as Bernie – which is why we are seeing these shifts in allegiances. Yet to the north you have a country that still embodies much of what Bernie espouses – and you just don’t get it!
    OK – 50 (+) years of the cold war, and “commies under the bed” propaganda has really seriously warped the US mindset. If all this shennanigans only affected the US – we on the outside would just sigh and get on with things – but it doesn’t – it has world consequences.

  15. sugould
    Posted March 8, 2020 at 9:45 pm | Permalink

    NO debates for Biden unless a moderator is a UFC referee to flat out *stop* Trump’s clown act, like stalking HRC at their debate. Or making out with the American flag on stage.

    • Ken Kukec
      Posted March 8, 2020 at 9:56 pm | Permalink

      I’d call that episode with the flag at CPAC more of a dry hump than a make-out. Trump ‘n’ Old Glory were rounding second base heading for third. 🙂

    • Filippo
      Posted March 9, 2020 at 10:12 am | Permalink

      “NO debates for Biden unless a moderator is a UFC referee to flat out *stop* Trump’s clown act, like stalking HRC at their debate.”

      Biden’s staff should have at the ready a portable wall to put around Biden should Trump similarly attempt to invade his personal space.

  16. rickflick
    Posted March 8, 2020 at 10:18 pm | Permalink

    Yes, I think Uncle Bernie is about 20 years ahead of his time.

    • Ken Kukec
      Posted March 9, 2020 at 9:25 am | Permalink

      Never know, the Bern seems just ornery enough to run again in 2040 at age 98. 🙂

      • rickflick
        Posted March 9, 2020 at 12:48 pm | Permalink

        Yes. They’d have to rig up a room in the White House as an ICU.


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