Who will be Biden’s VP choice?

Traditionally the Vice-Presidential candidate is named in July or August, and that time is upon us. We know that Pence will be Trump’s VP candidate, and I hope both go down in flames. But who will be Biden’s?

Joe has said he’ll name a woman as the candidate, and many Dems are also plumping for a woman of color. My only hope is that the person is good, especially because, in view of Biden’s age, she may well be the first woman President.  I have no preference, nor any dog in this fight, but I hope Uncle Joe chooses well.

In his column in this week’s New York Magazine, in which he takes on the usual three topics, Andrew Sullivan muses on the candidate, guessing that she won’t be a “progressive” who could be attacked by Trump and the GOP for being too woke.

Click on the screenshot below to read (the three topics are Trump’s defeat by the coronavirus, which, says Sullivan, will cause him to lose the election in November unless Biden screws up; the Roberts court and which decisions Sullivan approves of (the religious ones!); and the rebuilding of Notre Dame in Paris in the original style (thank god!). The stuff about the VP is folded into the first section, the rest of which you can read for yourself (click on the screenshot):


Another reason Biden might avoid a culture-war election is that every issue has now been subsumed into or dwarfed by the pandemic and unemployment crisis and a fight over trans rights, say, seems peripheral in contrast. And then there’s simply Joe Biden’s affect, record, and faith. It’s hard to see this lifelong Catholic really conniving with neo-Marxist atheists pledging to “dismantle whiteness.” He’s clearly not in favor of allowing crime to run rampant in the streets. He has made a critical distinction between Confederate statues and those of the Founders, and he has insisted that any removal of monuments be done peacefully and democratically. It’s just hard to paint him as a stalking horse for Ilhan Omar, as some on the right hope to. It doesn’t work.

Because of this, I suspect, the veep choice will be more important than usual. No men need apply, Biden has told us. No white women either, perhaps, if Amy Klobuchar’s withdrawal from consideration turns out to be dispositive. And the nonwhite woman who will therefore be nominated will have yet another burden: Because of Biden’s advanced age, and the likelihood of his serving only one term, she will be deemed the future leader-in-waiting. The GOP media-industrial-complex will define her pretty quickly as the person who is really in charge and try to run against her, rather than against Biden. I hope Biden is figuring out how to counter this obvious strategy and doesn’t walk into a trap. Kamala Harris? Susan Rice? To be honest, I don’t know. But if the Trump narrative is that Biden’s surface centrism disguises a resurgent far left, and that he’ll be a puppet of the woke, the veep choice may matter more than it otherwise might.

Were I to guess, I’d guess Kamala Harris, a reliable centrist who is also a person of color, with a Jamaican father and a (late) Tamil mother. Her stands are on the liberal side, she’s experienced, and she’s popular. But, you know, what do I know? I’m a biologist, not a pundit. Put your guesses below.

I’ll add a quote about the pandemic, since that’s the real topic of Sullivan’s piece:

But the virus will be the real swing voter in this election. The sheer scale of the health crisis, and its current trajectory, obviously sweeps every other issue before it, as it should. It sure hasn’t ended the culture war, which at the elite level is arguably more intense than ever, but it is in the driving seat of the economy, and that is almost always dispositive. If we enter November closing in on 200,000 deaths, with the toll rising, and in a virally caused economic slump, I just can’t see how any incumbent can get elected, and I’m usually pretty good at seeing the worst.

The only way Trump can win is to ignore the pandemic or lie about it. He is trying both right now, and neither tactic is working. And as it becomes clearer and clearer that the U.S. is now a disgraced and humiliated outlier in the developed world in its tackling of the virus, Trump’s ultimate responsibility for this dismal response and thereby our struggling economy will be harder and harder to deny. We may even be approaching the moment when the cult finally cracks. Which suggests to me a Biden and Democratic landslide is no longer out of the question.

The world is laughing at us, when they are not crying at what we have become. And if that isn’t the Trumpiest reason to vote against Trump, I don’t know what could be.

These three paragraphs, and especially the last two sentences, are eloquent—journalism at its best.


  1. merilee
    Posted July 12, 2020 at 11:34 am | Permalink

    I’m rooting for Susan Rice, super-smart and has foreign policy experience.

    • Posted July 12, 2020 at 12:00 pm | Permalink

      +1 Yes to Susan Rice.

    • Diana MacPherson
      Posted July 12, 2020 at 3:04 pm | Permalink

      Yeah me too which means she won’t get picked.

      • Nicolaas Stempels
        Posted July 12, 2020 at 3:53 pm | Permalink

        Yeah Diana, I know that feeling. I thought Mr Inslee was the best presidential candidate by far, and look where that went.
        And I think Ms Rice would make the best VP by far. Especially if the V were to fall away.

      • rickflick
        Posted July 12, 2020 at 4:38 pm | Permalink

        Maybe Oprah then. She’s not experienced, but she can work up a crowd.

    • Moishe
      Posted July 12, 2020 at 6:29 pm | Permalink

      Agreed, most talented of all candidates, in addition to having the good sense to marry a Canadian.

      • merilee
        Posted July 12, 2020 at 6:38 pm | Permalink

        ✔️ the Canuck and both Stanford grads.😻

    • Mark R.
      Posted July 12, 2020 at 8:58 pm | Permalink

      Jumpin’ on the band wagon…wagging non-existing tail. I feel it though (not really).

  2. Mike Anderson
    Posted July 12, 2020 at 11:42 am | Permalink

    Susan Rice is most qualified. The question is if there are any hidden skeletons in her history.

    Val Demings would be great to manage police reform.

    Kamala Harris is probably a better “retail” politician.

  3. Linda Calhoun
    Posted July 12, 2020 at 11:46 am | Permalink

    I am so impressed by the depth of the bench here. So much experience and competence to choose from!!

    If Harris is chosen for VP, Rice would make a fine Secretary of State. If Rice is chosen, Harris would be great as Atty. General.

    I would be nervous about Warren, if only because she comes from a State with a Republican governor. If the Senate is close, she’s going to be needed there. If it’s not close, though, she’d make a fine Treasury Secretary.

    I am down on Stacy Abrams. She does not have enough experience, and shows no desire to work her way up. She should have run for the Senate, especially since GA has two seats up. I feel the same way about Beto O’Rourke, who should have run against Cornyn.

    Duckworth? I like her a lot, too. If not for VP, Defense Secretary?

    Again, lots of great choices. Wow.


    • Jon Gallant
      Posted July 12, 2020 at 12:19 pm | Permalink

      What do you mean that Stacy Abrams lacks experience? She has already appointed herself governor of Georgia.

      I agree that both Kamala Harris and Susan Rice are impressive candidates. However, the idea that the VP candidate must be a WOC—ruling out every other possible choice —seems to me a case of identity politics
      at its most cultish. Wouldn’t it be fine if intelligence, experience, and political ideas were the principal criteria in selecting a VP candidate, but I guess that is too much to hope for.

      On the Republican side, VP choices are cartoonish to be sure, but one might review some past attempts at identity politics. Richard Nixon chose a member of an ethnic
      minority, and John McCain cleverly chose a woman politician.

      • Posted July 12, 2020 at 12:22 pm | Permalink

        … John McCain cleverly chose a woman politician.

        And that probably cost him the election. Not because she was a woman, but because she was a looney woman.

        • dabertini
          Posted July 12, 2020 at 12:36 pm | Permalink

          You are being too kind.

      • Ken Kukec
        Posted July 12, 2020 at 1:07 pm | Permalink

        The VP selection is always about “identity politics” of some kind — Trump put Pence on the ticket to placate the hard-right evangelicals, just as JFK named LBJ in 1960 to placate the southern conservatives in his party, as LBJ named Hubert Humphrey in ’64 to placate the northern liberals (the same reason Carter put Fritz Mondale on the ’76 ticket), as Poppy Bushed named Dan Quayle in a misguided effort to appeal to younger voters, as Barack named Biden to reassure white voters, and you’ve already covered Moose-a-lini in 2008.

        • Jon Gallant
          Posted July 12, 2020 at 3:54 pm | Permalink

          To which we can add such worthies as Millard Fillmore and Andrew Johnson. I rest my case.

          In the few cases where a VP turned out to have a little character and/or intelligence —-say Teddy Roosevelt, Harry Truman, and Al Gore—it was almost an accident. One might hope for better choice criteria.

      • Nicolaas Stempels
        Posted July 12, 2020 at 4:04 pm | Permalink

        Mr Nixon naming Mr Agnew, are Greek Americans an etnic minority now, or rather were then? It got him the large Greek American vote? I do not understand your point, but then there are a lot of things in US politics I don’t know or understand.

  4. George
    Posted July 12, 2020 at 11:50 am | Permalink

    I would also go with Kamala Harris. Earlier this year, when Sanders was all the rage, I predicted a Biden/Klobuchar ticket. Klobuchar has taken herself out of consideration so I am going with my second choice, Harris.

    One thing to keep in mind, in every election since 1944, with one exception, the Democrats have picked a sitting senator as their veep candidate (when there is no incumbent). The one exception was in 1984 when Walter Mondale picked Geraldine Ferraro, a member of the House.

    In 1972, the initial choice by George McGovern was Thomas Eagleton, a senator from Missouri, who stood down after it was disclosed that he had received electroshock therapy for depression. Sargent Shriver, not a senator, took his place on the ticket.

  5. kraeuterbutter
    Posted July 12, 2020 at 11:52 am | Permalink

    Laurence Kotlikoff recommends Condoleeza Rice as VP.

    “She’s a Republican, but she’s no ideologue. Consequently, she will instantly appeal to independents across the nation. Her selection would constitute a unity ticket and deprive President Trump not only of most votes in the middle, but millions of votes on the right.

    What everyone will immediately recognize in Secretary Rice is that she can, as needed, run the country. This isn’t simply due to her knowledge of foreign affairs, her deep experience with matters of national security and her close relationships with former and current world’s top leaders. It’s also because of her experience outside of government.”


    • Posted July 12, 2020 at 1:07 pm | Permalink

      Won’t happen. Isn’t Kotlikoff running for prez again this year? She’d be a perfect VP choice for him.

    • Ken Kukec
      Posted July 12, 2020 at 1:19 pm | Permalink

      Condoleeza Rice?! To quote Dana Garvey’s George Bush the First: Not. Gonna. Happen.

      Forget about crossing party lines. The stench of Dubya’s misbegotten and ill-executed wars wafts from the yoke around her neck like a dozen-years’ dead albatross.

      • Charles A Sawicki
        Posted July 13, 2020 at 1:48 pm | Permalink

        But W was her “husband”!

      • Mike Anderson
        Posted July 13, 2020 at 2:01 pm | Permalink

        I think Condoleezza Rice is one of the most overrated security/foreign policy wonks of all time, with both 9/11 and the erroneous Iraq war intel happening under her watch.

        Very surprised she escaped relatively unscathed from those 2 disasters.

    • eric
      Posted July 12, 2020 at 1:57 pm | Permalink

      That would be super interesting, and possibly pull in some never-Trump Republicans who might otherwise just stay home on election day.

      Though I’m going to go old school, and hope he picks someone who can help him take Georgia or Florida. Yes, ideally a POC or woman or both, in order to galvanize the left wing of the Dem party to show up. Some recognizion of them is really needed, otherwise the Dems could lose just based on voter apathy. However, it’s still about electoral college math people, not majority vote. Florida’s 29 votes counts more than any extra millions of votes Harris could bring in over in California.

      • Posted July 12, 2020 at 2:06 pm | Permalink

        I doubt it would make much difference to Never Trumpers. After all, they know that Condoleeza Rice, being a serious and intelligent person, would be gone in months if not weeks. Picking C. Rice for VP would be regarded as a Trump move solely for the purpose of trying to boost his re-election chances. And, for both these reasons, Rice wouldn’t want to have anything to do with Trump. If she has thoughts of running for president some day, it would be in some other party than Trump’s GOP.

        • GBJames
          Posted July 12, 2020 at 2:17 pm | Permalink

          I think he meant as VP for Biden.

          • Posted July 12, 2020 at 4:42 pm | Permalink

            It says volumes about how much the Republican party has changed that that is less outlandish.

          • kraeuterbutter
            Posted July 13, 2020 at 2:48 pm | Permalink

            Yes, you are correct. I thought the context was obvious from the original post, that we are talking about Joe Biden and his VP choice.

        • eric
          Posted July 13, 2020 at 11:48 am | Permalink

          As GB James says, both I and kraeuterbutter were talking about Rice as Biden’s VP.

    • Posted July 12, 2020 at 2:55 pm | Permalink

      I did say this was interesting but had some time to think of it, and concluded that although still an interesting idea, it is not a good idea. Let’s be honest and say the intention here is to stir up the African American vote, and I don’t think this will do it.

      • tomh
        Posted July 12, 2020 at 3:18 pm | Permalink

        If that’s the case, there should be more push for Warren, who polls equally with Black candidates among Black voters, and better than Harris among young Black voters. She would bring out both progressives who are lukewarm about Biden, and younger voters who are known to stay home.

        • Mike Anderson
          Posted July 12, 2020 at 3:36 pm | Permalink

          Making Warren VP candidate would allow a Republican governor to fill her Senate seat. IMO this unfortunately disqualifies her.

          • tomh
            Posted July 12, 2020 at 6:01 pm | Permalink

            I disagree. I think the Senate can go at least 50-50 without Warren, but none of it will matter if Trump is re-elected. Warren is the best choice for VP to keep that from happening.

            • Mike Anderson
              Posted July 12, 2020 at 8:46 pm | Permalink

              I think the most electable VP would be someone more centrist than Warren – Susan Rice, Kamala Harris, or Val Demings. Warren, while energizing the left, scares a lot of centrists and independents. Her wealth tax scared a lot of liberals.

              • tomh
                Posted July 13, 2020 at 10:44 am | Permalink

                Her wealth tax? Seriously? You mean the long-forgotten plan that would have affected those with assets over $50 million (less than 0.1% of Americans.) I really doubt that many “liberals” would have given that much thought.

        • Posted July 12, 2020 at 6:45 pm | Permalink

          There are several who have this or that factor for them, while also having strikes against them. Anyway, Biden said he will pick a Woman of Color (WOC), and that leaves out E. Warren (who is WOKE).

          • tomh
            Posted July 12, 2020 at 9:23 pm | Permalink

            Where has Biden said he will pick a woman of color? He has said he will pick a woman, period. And Warren is WOKE? Horrors. You say that like it’s a bad thing.

            • Posted July 12, 2020 at 9:39 pm | Permalink

              “Warren is Woke”

              Yes, it’s a bad thing though I doubt if she’s very woke. She’s just trying to jump onto the band wagon by doing what the young kids are doing these days. She also claims to be a capitalist but that also sounds calculated to distance herself from Bernie and be less scary to centrists.

              • Diana MacPherson
                Posted July 12, 2020 at 10:40 pm | Permalink

                Really she just turned out to be inauthentic.

              • tomh
                Posted July 12, 2020 at 11:59 pm | Permalink

                So, not very woke. It would be interesting to see what gradations of woke you would allow, although the woke-fear that runs rampant is a bit sad. Warren wrote the book on reining in Wall St, pushes for public education, gun control, single-payer health care, and a number of other positions that are too WOKE for most people, I guess.

    • Nicolaas Stempels
      Posted July 12, 2020 at 4:07 pm | Permalink

      Condoleeza or Susan, I’d go for either. I always had a soft spot for Condi, despite me disagreeing on many a point.

  6. Randall Schenck
    Posted July 12, 2020 at 11:57 am | Permalink

    Duckworth should be Sec. of Defense. Harris is AG. As I said earlier, Rice is VP. She has the brains and experience to step right in. The important thing in all of this is, the Senate must turn blue.

    • Randall Schenck
      Posted July 12, 2020 at 12:07 pm | Permalink

      I also might wonder if some of this country will even be able to hold an election in November. Today we have a new record in Florida with 15,299 new cases in one day. There may be damn few people left down there to even vote.

  7. tomh
    Posted July 12, 2020 at 12:29 pm | Permalink

    In truth, I think a lot of the push for a woman of color on the ticket stems from the “anybody-but-Warren” camp. And so many Trump-skeptical conservatives, e.g., George Will, Jennifer Rubin, Brooks, Sullivan, are anxious to weigh in on who benefits Biden, who he should pick, etc. I hope his people ignore this group.

  8. GBJames
    Posted July 12, 2020 at 12:33 pm | Permalink

    Biden’s selection will have nothing to do with whether this is a culture war election or not. That factor is entirely under the control of the Republican Party and tRump and they will go that way because it is all they have. I don’t think that his selection will have any significant effect on the outcome of the election other than potentially reducing some Dem turnout if the choice is seen to be too conservative. Remember… Biden already owns the “moderate” position. A more progressive selection will help bring in the Sanders/Warren wing of the party.

  9. Ken Kukec
    Posted July 12, 2020 at 12:35 pm | Permalink

    We know that Pence will be Trump’s VP candidate …

    Do we really? I strongly suspect this will be the case. But if Trump were to conclude it would help him even incrementally to name a new running-mate — say a Nikki Haley (assuming she would demean herself to accept) — he would do it in a New York second, despite Pence’s having crawled so far up Trump alimentary canal even his wife, “Mother,” can rarely reach him by cell phone. The only thing that would stop Trump from doing so is fear of a revolt by evangelicals, whose support Pence was put on the 2016 ticket to secure.

    Plus, dumping Pence would give Trump a scapegoat to blame his administration’s arrant botching of its COVID-19 crisis response on, since Pence is head of the White House’s bogus “task force.”

    “Loyalty,” for Trump, is like Fifth Avenue in front of Trump Tower — strictly a one-way street.

    • CR
      Posted July 12, 2020 at 1:01 pm | Permalink

      Nikki Haley has already demeaned herself by defending tRump in multiple circumstances.

      • Ken Kukec
        Posted July 12, 2020 at 1:28 pm | Permalink

        She has indeed. But accepting the bottom half of the ticket on what Trump undoubtedly will turn into a complete shit-show of a campaign would ruin her future in electoral politics. Haley has too much ambition, and much too strong an instinct for self-preservation, for that.

    • Mike Anderson
      Posted July 12, 2020 at 1:03 pm | Permalink

      Trump will have a hard time attracting a semi-competent running mate like Nikki Haley if he can’t get his numbers way up.

      • Filippo
        Posted July 12, 2020 at 5:21 pm | Permalink

        ” . . . a semi-competent running mate like Nikki Haley . . . .”

        Yes, she know how to stroke the collective ego of her constituency. I remember that, while she was South Carolina governor, she touted “South Carolina values,” as compared to California values, whatever that means in either case.

        I find myself highly admiring Tammy Duckworth for standing her ground with the mouthy chicken hawk likes of tRump and Tucker Carlson. As she put it, I’d like to see them “walk a mile in her legs.”

        • Posted July 12, 2020 at 5:31 pm | Permalink

          I always read “South Carolina values” as a mild racial dog whistle, especially if she winked while saying it. Of course it has the advantage of plausible deniability against such a charge.

          • Ken Kukec
            Posted July 12, 2020 at 5:58 pm | Permalink

            That was back when she was in favor of keeping the Stars’n’Bars flying atop the South Carolina capitol, before she was against it.

            Nikki don’t need a weatherman to know which way the wind blows.

    • GBJames
      Posted July 12, 2020 at 1:34 pm | Permalink

      David Duke has endorsed tRump again and wants him to replace Pence with Tucker Carlson. I can see tRump doing that.

      • Ken Kukec
        Posted July 12, 2020 at 2:44 pm | Permalink

        “I don’t know anything about David Duke.”

        — 2016 Republican presidential contender Donald Trump

        • Posted July 12, 2020 at 2:59 pm | Permalink

          Always assume the opposite is true with Trump and you won’t go far wrong.

          • Jon Gallant
            Posted July 12, 2020 at 4:06 pm | Permalink

            The spectacle of Trump throwing Pence to the wolves as a covid scapegoat would be delightful. And then, The Donald picking Betsy DeVos as his running mate (as the phrase goes) would complete the show.

            • Posted July 12, 2020 at 4:12 pm | Permalink

              If Trump wants to drive his polls even lower, he’d pick DeVos. She’s horrible. Someone like Tucker or Hannity would be much better for him.

          • Nicolaas Stempels
            Posted July 12, 2020 at 10:20 pm | Permalink

            One of the readers here stated (forgotten who it was) it nicely:
            If Trump says he knows everything about something, you know he knows nothing.
            If he says he knows nothing about something, he knows something and it is bad.

            • merilee
              Posted July 12, 2020 at 11:50 pm | Permalink

              Methinks it was Ken K. and I’ve quoted him several times to friends.

      • Steve Gerrard
        Posted July 12, 2020 at 3:54 pm | Permalink

        Carlson as VP with Trump would make the whole thing interesting again. Carlson would get setup to be the candidate in 2024, and would put a little juice into the Trump campaign. I doubt it will happen, though.

        • Posted July 12, 2020 at 3:58 pm | Permalink

          That’s scary. Why do you think it won’t happen? As I mentioned in another comment, Trump has to be looking to upset the apple cart since he’s doing so poorly in the polls. I don’t know much about Tucker Carlson but I don’t see how it would hurt his career. He could make a deal with Fox to get his old job back if Trump loses. It wouldn’t hurt Fox to have one of their own to be in the White House.

          • Steve Gerrard
            Posted July 12, 2020 at 4:37 pm | Permalink

            For one thing, Carlson might upstage Trump, and Trump doesn’t want that. For another, the GOP platform this year is “our platform in 2016 was perfect, we aren’t changing anything,” which isn’t much to go on. If Carlson is interested in the office, he would be better off avoiding the baggage of Trump and just waiting until 2024.

            • Posted July 12, 2020 at 4:56 pm | Permalink

              I don’t know about Carlson specifically, but these media types on Fox seem likely to be publicity hounds with shallow or non-existent morals. He’d fit right in with Trump. I think he’s smart enough to know it has no real future, even if Trump were to win, but I’m imagining he’d do it for the publicity. In fact, it is very much like Trump’s own reason to run for president in 2016: it would be good for his brand even if he loses. The fact that Trump is likely to lose in November might in fact be a plus for Carlson, assuming he really doesn’t want to be in public office. Outshining Trump wouldn’t be a problem as Carlson probably has no agenda. He would continue to shill for Trump much as he does already.

        • jezgrove
          Posted July 12, 2020 at 4:05 pm | Permalink

          Tucker may bide his time and run in 2024: https://www.theguardian.com/media/2020/jul/12/tucker-carlson-trump-fox-news-republicans

        • Posted July 12, 2020 at 4:08 pm | Permalink

          And Blake Neff, Carlson’s top writer at Faux News just fired for making racist postings on an online forum, could become Trump’s speechwriter.

          • jezgrove
            Posted July 12, 2020 at 4:11 pm | Permalink

            He could wait until 2024, too…

        • Ken Kukec
          Posted July 12, 2020 at 6:03 pm | Permalink

          The White Power Rangers ticket.

      • merilee
        Posted July 12, 2020 at 4:14 pm | Permalink

        Then he’ll have the whole Klan out campaigning😖

  10. David L Jorling
    Posted July 12, 2020 at 12:42 pm | Permalink

    My first choice would be Michelle Obama, since she would provide Biden the best chance of winning. Then Biden could resign the day after his inauguration, and turn the government over to her.

    My close second choice would be Elisa Slotkin of Michigan.


    That said, I’m not sure there is even going to be an election, or whether it will matter:


    • Mike Anderson
      Posted July 12, 2020 at 1:00 pm | Permalink

      That doomsday scenario is feasible, but only in a close race. If you popular vote margin is greater than 5 points or so, Bill Barr won’t be able to pull it off. It would require the corrupt cooperation of the DOJ leadership (including FBI), most of GOP congress, and the legislators of all the involved (contested) swing states.

      But that doomsday scenario is certainly something to keep in mind and keep an eye on.

      • rickflick
        Posted July 12, 2020 at 1:39 pm | Permalink

        I think there’d be an insurrection if that happened.

    • Ken Kukec
      Posted July 12, 2020 at 1:43 pm | Permalink

      Then Biden could resign the day after his inauguration, and turn the government over to her.

      Sounds like the stuff of fan fiction.

      Elisa Slotkin would make an excellent pick for a cabinet-level post in the intelligence community — director of the CIA, Director of National Intelligence, or maybe National Security Advisor. But as a VP candidate she’d bring nothing to the table in terms of electoral politics.

    • merilee
      Posted July 12, 2020 at 4:08 pm | Permalink

      I love Michele but doubt that she’d want the job.

    • eric grobler
      Posted July 12, 2020 at 5:50 pm | Permalink

      “Michelle Obama”

      I think having spouses or family members of ex-presidents running is a terrible idea.

      • Diana MacPherson
        Posted July 12, 2020 at 5:51 pm | Permalink

        She doesn’t want to anyway.

  11. Posted July 12, 2020 at 12:51 pm | Permalink

    As you say, the VP picks are to be made soon, at, or just before, the party conventions.

    I am not so sure Pence is a shoe-in. Trump would not reveal a replacement before the convention but he’s obviously looking for ways to shake things up and I’m pretty sure he doesn’t view abandoning Pence as any kind of huge loss. Finally, he dumps everyone eventually. It’s Pence’s time to be loaded into the cannon.

    For Biden’s VP, I pick Susan Rice by a mile. Kamala Harris is not very likable as she proved in the primaries. Also, her law-and-order background might not sit as well with the BLM constituency. Susan Rice is probably neutral on that score. Susan Rice also makes up for Biden’s weakness when it comes to foreign policy. His age makes it hard for him to keep up with the detailed thinking that involves. I’m not saying Biden is bad on foreign policy but I would not want to hear him try to do a Q&A on it, whereas Susan Rice would breeze through it.

    • Ken Kukec
      Posted July 12, 2020 at 2:03 pm | Permalink

      … Biden’s weakness when it comes to foreign policy.

      What??? As a US senator, Biden was chairman of the senate foreign relations committee (a job he resigned the chairmanship of the judiciary committee to take). And Obama used him most widely as VP regarding foreign affairs.

      If Obama hadn’t picked him for VP, Biden would’ve been in the running against Hillary Clinton (or, if not against Clinton in the first term, then certainly against Kerry in the second) to be Secretary of State (the job old Uncle Joe would’ve probably preferred).

      Foreign affairs is much more a strong suit for Biden than is domestic policy.

      • Posted July 12, 2020 at 2:12 pm | Permalink

        That’s a fair point but I was thinking more of how it would test Biden’s memory and his ability to make gaffes. Biden surely wants to avoid giving Trump’s allies ammunition for their “over the hill” argument. Such gaffes would also undercut the argument that Trump is incompetent and not all there. Relying on Biden’s record in foreign policy is a good thing but Rice might be helpful going forward.

  12. Ken Kukec
    Posted July 12, 2020 at 12:51 pm | Permalink

    I think Kamala is probably the front-runner. But if she isn’t nominated to the Veep slot, look for her to be our next attorney general, called in to clean up the dispirited swamp William Barr will have left behind.

    After all, before she was a US senator, Harris was the attorney general of California, meaning she’s already overseen the world’s third largest justice department.

    • Posted July 12, 2020 at 12:59 pm | Permalink

      Kamala Harris as AG would be a good choice. Assuming she has come to grips with her terrible primary performance, she should see it as the best career step she could possibly make at this point.

      • Ken Kukec
        Posted July 12, 2020 at 2:09 pm | Permalink

        I don’t think Harris’s performance in the primaries comes into play. I can’t think of a single US attorney general that’s been appointed (or not) on the strength of his or her performance in a presidential campaign.

        • Posted July 12, 2020 at 2:19 pm | Permalink

          I think you may have missed my point. Her past campaign performance would have nothing to do with her acceptability for the AG position. Just the opposite. Her bad performance in the primaries means she is not presidential material and, therefore, she shouldn’t be angling for VP. Instead, AG is her best career move by far.

    • Posted July 12, 2020 at 2:08 pm | Permalink

      Given Harris is from a safe state and proved herself an inept campaigner in the primaries, I cannot see why people keep saying she’s the front runner. Back in the day, you chose someone to help you win. Often it was someone who could play dirty so the prez candidate could take the high road. I can’t see Harris being able to do that either.

      • Posted July 12, 2020 at 2:14 pm | Permalink

        That last one is great point. On the other hand, we have the Lincoln Project and others like them to go negative on Trump.

        • Posted July 12, 2020 at 2:23 pm | Permalink

          Though I guess you don’t really need anyone to go negative on tRump. He practically does it himself.

          • merilee
            Posted July 12, 2020 at 4:21 pm | Permalink

            Practically?? Totally!

      • Ken Kukec
        Posted July 12, 2020 at 3:48 pm | Permalink

        Often it was someone who could play dirty so the prez candidate could take the high road.

        As Ike did Nixon and Nixon, Agnew and Ford, Dole.

        • Posted July 12, 2020 at 3:54 pm | Permalink

          And tRump with Pence, except they got their roles reversed.

  13. Blue
    Posted July 12, 2020 at 12:51 pm | Permalink

    Not happening within .THIS. Universe:

    Vice President Dr Susan Rice
    will help President Biden nominate and confirm
    Brandeis Professor and Attorney Dr Anita Hill
    to the very next US Supreme Court’s
    j u s t i c e – opening.


    • rickflick
      Posted July 12, 2020 at 1:40 pm | Permalink

      Not a bad idea.

    • Ken Kukec
      Posted July 12, 2020 at 2:31 pm | Permalink

      I agree there would be a certain cosmic-justice aspect to naming Anita Hill to SCOTUS.

      But she turns 64 this month, a bit old by modern standards for a president looking to establish a long-term judicial legacy. And she has no experience at all on the bench — which has become all but de rigueur for SCOTUS appointees over the past several decades.

      I don’t think there’s been anyone nominated to SCOTUS without formal judicial experience since Nixon’s appointments of William Rehnquist and Lewis Powell. And I think to find one who came straight from academia, you might have to go all the way back to FDR’s appointment of Felix Frankfurter.

      • Posted July 12, 2020 at 3:44 pm | Permalink

        Anita on the same bench with Clarence. They could share a can of Coke.

        • Blue
          Posted July 12, 2020 at 4:12 pm | Permalink

          This, Mr darwinwins, is repartee exactly how ?


      • Blue
        Posted July 12, 2020 at 4:34 pm | Permalink

        Yeah, Mr Kukec, that I knew:
        the never been, yet, a judge – part.

        So, though, since there have been several
        other such SCOTUS justices, then there can
        in re egalitarianism as well as in re skill,
        .as many. such ones, now, who are women … … as, in the past, there have been the male ones. Not ?



        • Mike
          Posted July 12, 2020 at 10:46 pm | Permalink

          Blue I have really missed you here in the comments. Welcome back.

        • darrelle
          Posted July 13, 2020 at 7:25 am | Permalink

          Very nice to see you around here again Blue!

          I get it though.

  14. JohnH
    Posted July 12, 2020 at 12:58 pm | Permalink

    I’m going for the long shot and picking Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms. She has been getting a lot of air time on CNN and comes across as smart, confident, eloquent, and direct

    • Linda Calhoun
      Posted July 12, 2020 at 1:14 pm | Permalink

      She has COVID. She’s going to be too sick to campaign for at least two months.


      • JohnH
        Posted July 12, 2020 at 1:35 pm | Permalink

        Well, she is the one with the most pandemic experience.

        • merilee
          Posted July 12, 2020 at 4:15 pm | Permalink

          I thought that she’d tested positive but had no symptoms. Her hubby was deadly tired.

  15. DrBrydon
    Posted July 12, 2020 at 1:24 pm | Permalink

    I disagree with Sullivan. I do not think Covid is the most important issue facing our country. I think that is where Democrats think they can most effectively fight Trump. I think it is BLM and the survival of pluralist democracy. I would like a Vice Presidential candidate who will stand up to the first, and stand up for the second, especially since I have little confidence in Biden’s health. (For that matter, I’d like to see Trump jettison Pence.)

  16. denise
    Posted July 12, 2020 at 2:21 pm | Permalink

    My choice is whoever adds the most value in the form of swing state electoral college votes. All other considerations are secondary.

    I have no idea who this is. That’s what political strategists are for.

    • eric
      Posted July 13, 2020 at 1:26 pm | Permalink

      Florida seems the obvious choice. It’s purple, gets a lot of electoral college votes, and is currently going through a second wave of COVID while Trump hamhandedly pushes for everything to reopen.

      Their economy is significantly dependent on tourism, though, so Biden would need to pick someone who can balance the message “Trump let you down/we’ll do a better job containing and mitigating the disease” without implying “we’re going to demand you shut down your economy.”

      Pick someone popular in the panhandle, maybe that helps you pick up some votes in Georgia and Alabama too.

  17. Posted July 12, 2020 at 4:40 pm | Permalink

    Susan Rice or Val Demings.

  18. Mark R.
    Posted July 12, 2020 at 9:08 pm | Permalink

    Sheeit…does he even need a VP at this point? Yes, needs to be a woman. Other than that, the reset button has been pushed. We’ll see…

  19. cyan
    Posted July 12, 2020 at 10:52 pm | Permalink

    Warren was my choice for president, with a younger VP; since Biden is the pick, I think a younger VP would make the ticket more electable.

    Rice is excellent, but she has never held an elected position.

    I have been emailing Duckworth regularly for three years, as I live in Illinois, and I very much like the responses that I have received from her office.

    Having thought for months that she would be an excellent choice for VP, it was surprising to read that New York Times opinion article concurring. The additional information about her that the article provided reinforced my opinion.

    • Posted July 18, 2020 at 3:01 am | Permalink

      I hope Duckworth and if she wants to run for VP great but I hope she doesn’t leave the senate for any other position. I live in IL as well.

  20. kelskye
    Posted July 13, 2020 at 12:36 am | Permalink

    Not being in the US (and thus having little skin in the game), I was hoping for a Buttigieg / Harris ticket at the beginning of the primaries. If half that gets in, I’ll be happy, so I’m hoping it ends up being Kamala Harris. Though at the end of the day, I just hope it’s someone that helps in swing states.

    • merilee
      Posted July 13, 2020 at 6:06 pm | Permalink

      I guess there’s no hope for Pete for vp but he could possibly go in the Cabinet.

      • tomh
        Posted July 13, 2020 at 6:08 pm | Permalink

        Buttigieg? Which cabinet position would he have qualifications for?

        • merilee
          Posted July 13, 2020 at 6:14 pm | Permalink

          Defense or some intelligence position.

          • tomh
            Posted July 13, 2020 at 6:17 pm | Permalink

            I hope not, I don’t like having someone who has to learn on the job.

            • GBJames
              Posted July 13, 2020 at 6:27 pm | Permalink

              Huh? He was an intelligence officer!

              • merilee
                Posted July 13, 2020 at 6:37 pm | Permalink

                Plus he’s incredibly intelligent and I8m sure willing to learn on the job – unlike The Moron. Thanks

              • Posted July 18, 2020 at 3:03 am | Permalink

                Doesn’t he speak six or seven languages? That would be nice at the next NATO meeting.

              • tomh
                Posted July 18, 2020 at 9:22 am | Permalink

                That’s what interpreters are for. I’d prefer someone with more experience than a few years as a small-town mayor.

      • Posted July 13, 2020 at 6:31 pm | Permalink

        I hope Biden selects a cabinet of experienced professionals, not his primary rivals.

  21. Posted July 18, 2020 at 3:09 am | Permalink

    Maybe PCC should commission another one of his polls?

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