Biden’s VP choice: Who will it be?
With Joe Biden having all but locked down the Democratic presidential nomination, eyes are turning to “the biggest consolation prize in American politics: the vice presidency,” said Lisa Lerer and Reid Epstein in The New York Times. Biden’s pledge this week to pick a woman narrowed the field, but plenty of names are being floated. Among them are some obvious choices—Biden’s former primary rivals Sens. Elizabeth Warren, Amy Klobuchar, and Kamala Harris—and less obvious ones, including former Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer of Michigan, former Georgia House minority leader and gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams, and Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto of Nevada. The stakes are especially high, said Ryan Teague Beckwith and Jennifer Epstein in Bloomberg.com. Given that Biden will be 78 if elected, his pick could be the Democrats’ front-runner in 2024 if Biden were to serve a single term.
Elizabeth Warren is clearly the best choice, said Jonathan Zimmerman in the New York Daily News. To prevent a replay of the Democrats’ 2016 “debacle,” Biden needs someone with “the progressive credentials to bring Sanders voters to the polls.” She’s the one who can inspire them. Abrams is beloved by progressives, but Warren has far more experience. Aiming left is a mistake, said Henry Olsen in The Washington Post. Trying to appease Sanders’ young socialists risks scaring off the voters Biden needs most: the blue-collar Democrats and moderate suburban women who defected to Donald Trump in 2016. He needs a traditional center-left Democrat who could help him win the Midwest and reinforce “Biden’s message of national healing.” That’s Amy Klobuchar.
Among Biden’s former competitors, Kamala Harris is “easily the strongest choice,” said Damon Linker in TheWeek.com. The former state attorney general has “a sterling résumé” and “exudes energy and compassion,” and as the daughter of a Jamaican-American father and Indian-American mother, “she’d reflect the reality of an increasingly multicultural America better than just about anyone.” Biden can do even better, though: Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham of New Mexico, who has experience as a legislator and chief executive, a compelling biography, and the “potential to woo Hispanic voters.” Several governors and big-city mayors are also possible choices, said Fred Hiatt in The Washington Post. When it comes to possible No. 2s, “the political universe is wide.”