Who will Biden pick as his running mate? A poll posted too late. . .

August 11, 2020 • 3:21 pm

OOPS! Too late. According to the BBC, Biden has chosen Kamala Harris as his running mate. I WAS RIGHT ALL ALONG! (See “news of the day” here.)  I think it was a wise choice. Anyway, if Harris is the candidate, as the BBC noted, discuss below.

This is just for fun, as the announcement may well be made before a few hours from now. But until then, weigh in. I’ve just added the likeliest candidates culled from press speculations and lists of people interviewed by Biden’t team. Vote, and I’ll do the tally when Joe puts forth a name.

Give reasons below if you’d like.


77 thoughts on “Who will Biden pick as his running mate? A poll posted too late. . .

        1. “Sunday Times said she is problematic for some Democrats because of her law & order record… too severe?”

          I wonder if the Sunday Times and “some Democrats” think (per PCC(E)’s spot-on evaluation in a previous post) “hard-ass” Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s law-and-order perspective (“This is straight-up felony criminal conduct.”) on the recent looting and property damage in Chicago is “problematical.”

          I trust that Harris, like Lightfoot, will know the difference between peaceful protest and looting/damaging property, and will not be spineless in dealing with those who think it peachy keen. Fence-sitting, law-and-order-disposed voters will be watching and listening closely.

  1. I thought it should have been Rice but apparently some thought she was too rough for some. She doesn’t walk around smiling all the time like you are expected to do.

    1. I think Biden saw that having Rice around would be good, maybe in a cabinet post, and getting her help and input would be good, but that there was no reason to make her VP. She might become Secretary of State.

        1. That might be good but isn’t Susan Rice too ambitious to take Chief of Staff? Has anyone in that position gone on to greater heights? It always seemed like it would be a mind-numbing thankless job.

  2. Rice, because I think Biden is looking for competence and compatibility in the role of VP.
    He’ll pick someone he can have a quiet chat with to discuss issues before making a decision. Some of the others would also work, but maybe Rice is the most intellectual.

  3. Kamala’s a good, solid, safe pick who may help in generating enthusiasm and turnout.

    But this election won’t turn on the Democratic veep pick (or even on the Democratic candidate himself); it’s a referendum on the incumbent’s unfitness for office.

    1. I think it turns on the post office. How much damage this guy does to the mail might be the whole thing.

  4. I’m fine with Harris. I would have been fine with any of them to be honest. I would support the candidacy of a ham sandwich with fries this year if it was the alternative to the Orange Menace.

    1. Funnily enough, BBC Radio 4 had a repeat of David Sedaris talking about Trump’s presidential campaign. Sedaris claimed to have joked that Trump would pick Hamburglar as his running mate and then been annoyed when the NYT made the same suggestion a few weeks later.

  5. She was the obvious choice, and the consensus pick of all the pundits. As long as she doesn’t try to run away from her record she’ll be fine. Clearly smart, well qualified and appropriately ambitious.

    So the question now is does Rice get Sec of State? Do some of these other people on the list get the sorts of jobs that will advance their careers.

  6. I like the choice, but as others have noted, he could have picked a stuffed animal and I’d still vote for him.

    1. I just heard on AP news that the Trump camp called her “phony” and someone who will appease “the extremists”. Oh brother.

      1. If that’s what he thinks I wonder why he donated a total of $6000 to her campaigns in 2011 and 2013. Ivanka gave her $3000 too in 2014 (per George Conway).

        1. I think they will alternate between the two. Trump knows that most of the people who respond to this kind of labeling also have very short attention spans and/or little analytic capacity. His GOP sycophants have also learned this from their master.

  7. Who should Biden have selected? Stacy Abrams. Harris won’t help Biden win a single additional state. She’s wasted as VP.

    1. Abrams is a much more exciting candidate. But easy to sew doubts on her qualifications to take over as president. She should have run for the senate in Georgia which would have really helped her cv.

      you don’t think that Harris will help Biden sew up California 😉

      1. “Abrams is a much more exciting candidate.”

        Yep, “excitement,” “likeability,” “charisma” and the like define the reality of politics and political science (the science of human primate herd management). Ululating “Whooo-Hoooo!” and raising ones hands heavenward as if at a tent revival is an indispensable part.

        A sense of civic duty is apparently not sufficient motivation for some (most?). Perhaps the next “cool” “sneaker drop” and digital toy “reveal” should coincide with voting. I.e., show proof that you voted and you’ll get a significant discount on the price.

    2. That old chestnut about selecting a Veep candiate to “balance the ticket” is just that: nuts. It doesn’t have any meaningful effect. Nor is it honored in practice, though a favorite of tired journalists, so it will never die. Well, it is a thought, but not what happens. There are many factors, and almost as many assessments of what should happen and what does in fact happen. Veeps aren’t picked to win the state the candidate is from. My personal simple thought is that Preacher Pence was chosen because he is an empty shell that could serve to deflect honest assessments of the world’s most immoral person (Donald); and would help shield His Orangeness from impeachment. It is a facinating subject, and anyone can be an Expert, so we can all play along. But it has nothing to do with winning the home state of the Veep these days.

          1. I think they will be very fired up as she is in line to be President should Biden die or not seek a second term. She may not be their favorite black woman politician but she’ll do.

            1. I’m sure there are more than a few black people who don’t like Biden because he’s white, or because he and/or the Democrats haven’t done enough to end racism. We always should remember that there are voters who can’t seem to get out of bed on election day but could be convinced to do so if things were a little different. I can see Harris providing that little extra nudge. In short, her candidacy might not change their mind but increase their energy level.

              1. Meh. The election is all about tRump. Any subtle effects such as you describe would be the case no matter who the choice for VP was (from among the contenders we know about).

      1. “But it has nothing to do with winning the home state of the Veep these days.”

        Just curious, when did “these days” start? After the 1960 presidential election campaign when JFK picked LBJ from Texas?

    3. Yeah, that was my thought too – why pick anyone from California? I figured he’d aim his sights on a Florida or midwest person, to try and win back the Obama-Trump voters and areas.

      I have no problem with her as a political leader, and she passes the “West Wing” criteria for a veep (why pick them in particular? Because the president might die). But I don’t see much value in picking her in terms of electoral college calculus.

    4. I remember watching the BBC’s coverage of the election in 2008. There was a discussion about whether Sarah Palin was a good choice for McCain’s running mate. One Republican pundit said she was because it would ensure that Republicans would vote for McCain. My thought was: if you need to pick a certain person to make sure people in your own party vote for you, you’re going to lose.

      If Biden can’t win without picking a certain VP to shore up support in certain states, he’s gonna lose.

      In reality, his best option is to pick somebody who is young and has energy and can make Trump and Pence look as bad as they are.

  8. A view from over the pond: Biden will be a one-term President at most. He needs a really convincing No 2 who can step up when required. Harris seems to fit that bill.

    Rice would be a pretty good SofS.

    1. So, Harris will be “running” for president while fulfilling her new role as VP. She’ll definitely want to look capable while she’s in the wings.

    2. “Rice would be a pretty good SofS”

      I agree. (So long as she abjures and keeps at arm’s-length Madeleine Albright’s locution, “indispensable nation.”)

  9. While she is light years ahead of Mike Penis in terms of intellect, ability, personality, likability, and is capable of showing human emotions (I’m not sure ol’ automaton Mike could pass the Turing test) I’m not exactly enthused by her being the choice. Rice and Duckworth were tops in my book. Harris’ debate performance and attitude towards Biden turned me away from her immediately. But I’m happy to vote for Joe even if I dislike his Veep choice, and who knows, maybe she’ll be ok. Couldn’t possibly be worse that Plastic Mike, the “human” equivalent to the plastic shrinkwrap around a discounted Walmart bible.

    1. ” . . . the “human” equivalent to the plastic shrinkwrap around a discounted Walmart bible.”

      Would you find a bible from Bonwit-Teller or Bergdorf-Goodman more aesthetically appealing?

  10. I wanted Rice over Harris. Ok, can’t win them all. Actually, there’s only one political contest we really need to win.

    I wasn’t impressed by Kamala Harris’s judgement during her primary campaign. For example, her attempt to go after Biden kind of backfired on her. (Unless of course it was calculated to net her the VP spot, but I doubt she’s that good.) She’s a bit of a gunslinger and that’s generally not what you want in a VP. I hope she doesn’t do or say anything too radical between now and November. Unfortunately, there will be lots of chances for her to make mistakes as Trump and his helpers will be going after her, slamming her gender and race. They will be trying desperately to goad her into an overreaction of some sort. I hope she can avoid taking the bait while still defending herself. My fingers are crossed.

    1. “there will be lots of chances for her to make mistakes”

      Let’s face it, Biden is much more likely to make mistakes than Harris. She’s smart and tough, not likely to take anyone’s bait.

      1. Biden’s mistakes seem mostly to be of the speech error variety where his heart is in the right place but he just didn’t get the words out right. He’s generally able to give an apology and move on.

        With Harris, I think her mistakes are of a different nature: genuine thinkos. Besides her going after Biden in the primary, I don’t have any other good examples. It’s just something I’ve sensed from hearing her speak. I hope I’m wrong.

        I also worry that she will find it hard not to strike out in her own direction, perhaps by mistake by expressing her opinion on some subject without checking with Biden first. The VP position requires practically everything she does be in service to the president. I fear her ambition and lack of self-control will cause trouble.

        I know all this sounds negative but I am only venting my fears and airing my opinions. Let’s hope it all works out fine. Biden/Harris in 2020!!!

        1. Biden’s worst error, I think was talking down Anita Hill during the Thomas hearings. If I remember right.

    2. Actually, there’s only one political contest we really need to win

      No, there are three. Dems need to win the presidency, win the Senate and keep the House of Representatives. Although, thinking about it, two out of three ain’t bad.

      She’s a bit of a gunslinger and that’s generally not what you want in a VP.

      Not generally, no. But with Biden as president, this wouldn’t be general.

  11. I cast my vote for Susan Rice even though Kamala Harris is already the announced pick. My sister chose Harris and, looking at it again, I agree that she has the energy that Joe needs to push him over the finish line. (I think Rice is more dignified and intellectual in the ready-to-be-President category.) I worried that Harris and Demmings would both have too much law & order baggage, but I guess that can be overcome

        1. “Well then, that weighs in Harris’s favor, as she’s been a prosecutor most of her life.”

          I contemplate whom Biden will pick as attorney general.

    1. I did the same she would have been very good defending herself from the shit the Republicans would throw at her.

  12. The whole “law & order” background as CA AG that handicapped her a year ago isn’t so bad right now. However, she is very anti-gun, even for a California Democrat, which Republicans down-ticket can reliably campaign on; doesn’t help any chances of gaining control of the Senate, and puts some of the seats gained in 2018 like those in the OC in a more defensive posture. My choice for veep was Buttigieg, who could connect with millennials and appeal to suburban socially liberal moderates that the Democrats are trying to win over long-term, but there was no point in him throwing his hat in the ring given no shot of a man, especially a white guy who worked in management consulting, being Biden’s second-hand.

    My real question is, will there be someone in Biden’s cabinet that represents a peace offering to the Bernie people? Or will they try to bury him and his supporters for good?

  13. There’s much to admire about Susan Rice but we would have heard “Benghazi!” ad nauseam.

    She wasnt responsible for it, of course, but she made some very questionable statements about it shortly after it happened.

  14. As a European, I’m having trouble wrapping my head around the fact that the country I’ve always looked up to is now being forced to choose between two septuagenarians (74 and 79), both well past their prime. Is the shining city on the hill turning into a gerontocracy? At this point, my best-case scenario is that Biden wins, then dies, and leaves Harris to clean up the mess Trump left behind. Now tell me that you’re not all thinking this.

    1. You’re not wrong, but there is a world of difference between the 2 old guys. Even if Joe Biden is past his prime the people around him that will be filling so many important positions in government will be a huge improvement over the people that surround Trump. That is something worth voting for.

    2. “As a European, I’m having trouble wrapping my head around the fact that the country I’ve always looked up to is now being forced to choose between two septuagenarians (74 and 79), both well past their prime.”

      As a European, do you suggest that the U.S. amend its constitution to set an upper age limit for qualifying to occupy high governmental office?

  15. I am fine with Harris, not enthusiastic, but perfectly fine. I think she could do a good job of it. I thought she made some poor tactical decisions during the debates, at least I hope that is what they were. But she does seem smart, tough and reasonably ethical to me from what I know of her. I think she could do well for the US.

    There is a pretty good chance that she will be our next POTUS if she and Biden win this election. Can you imagine how upset certain conservative types will be if that happens? I mean, look at the fits they threw when a black man became president. Imagine what their reactions will be when a black woman becomes president. Perhaps heads will actually explode?

    1. That’s what I’m afraid of. Besides being black and a woman, which will be held against her by conservatives, she is not the inspirational figure Obama was when he won. Of course we have no idea who she would be running against. Anyway, perhaps Joe will have enough left in the tank for a second term.

      1. I may have given the wrong impression. I’m not afraid of that, rather I’d be happy to see it. Not literally exploding, as fun as that might be, but metaphorically speaking.

  16. I get these emails- don’t judge. I share to show how I think it shows the influence of the J. D. Salinger book Catcher in the Rye :

    ———begin excerpt———
    BREAKING: Joe Biden picks PHONY Kamala Harris as running mate.

    Just when we thought the idea of Joe Biden being President of the United States couldn’t get any worse, he announces that Kamala Harris, a failed presidential candidate and a corrupt former California Attorney General, will be his running mate.

    First, Kamala Harris attacked Joe Biden’s racist policies (did she forget?).
    Next, she ends her pathetic run at President.
    Then, 3 months after ending her own campaign, she reluctantly endorses Biden.
    After that, Biden gets accused of sexual assault, so he vows to choose a woman as his VP.
    And now, Sleepy Joe announces Phony Kamala as his running mate.

    [ a plea for campaign donations]

    ——end excerpt———

    The appeal to readers of Catcher in the Rye is obvious. I don’t think this is a mistake. Someone made this connection before. Also I recall George H. W. Bush said CitR is one book that was important to him.

    1. It has been so many decades since I read CitR that I don’t get the reference. In any case, is the book particularly popular among conservative types?

      1. I am pretty sure I recall the protagonist uses the term “phony” to describe a number of people he encounters.

        The book is available free. I’ll take a look when I can.

        I read it in high school. I understood it as a classic of prose showing intense, raw, impotent cynicism on display in a work of fiction, illustrating a sad yearning at the core of that cynicism. I understood it to be I mportant because it appealed to a certain generation (I seem to recall the book had a weak reception at first ). A period piece that was ranked with Wolfe, Kerouac, and Kesey.

        Perhaps it illustrates something about e.g. Bush, but it was astonishing to me at first that the book would be a chestnut for conservative types.

        … then again, maybe I’m confusing “phony” with Seinfeld.

        1. Yeah. I, too, read it in high school. But that was soooooo long ago! My more recent memory about the book was when some religious wackos were trying to ban what they thought was titled “Catch Her in the Rye”. 😉

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