Thinking Citizen Blog — And Then There Was One — So What’s Next?

So it’s Biden. Will he tilt to the left or the center? How important will geography be in his choice of VP? How about age? How about administrative experience? Will it be Senator Warren (MA) or Senator Harris (CA)? Senator Klobuchar (Minnesota) or Governor Whitmer (Michigan)? Senator Masto (Nevada) or State Senator Duckworth (Illinois)? or Senator Baldwin (Wisconsin) or State Rep Demings (FL)? former State Rep Abrams (GA) or Governor Grisham (New Mexico)? Those are ten women, in case you were wondering. Whom would you pick? why? Today’s post is a first in a series looking at the options in more detail.

Back in the summer of 2018, my prediction was a Biden-Harris ticket. I’m sticking with it. But, honestly, back then, I had never heard of Gretchen Whitmer. Experts — please chime in. Correct, elaborate, elucidate.

SENATOR KAMALA HARRIS (CA), 56, — will not energize the progressive base, but does it matter?

1. Double diversity boost. Identifies as both black and Indian. Her mother was a Tamil endocrinologist (PhD, UC Berkeley). Her father is an emeritus economics professor at Stanford who emigrated from Jamaica in 1961 and received a PhD in 1966 (UC, Berkeley).

2. Skilled debater. Served as Attorney General of California from 2011 to 2017 and District Attorney of San Francisco from 2004 to 2011.

3. Appealing to the center and independents.

NB: On March 8, 2020, Harris endorsed Biden for President: “When I started my run for president, I said America needs a president who reflects the decency and dignity of the American people; a president who speaks the truth; and a president who fights for those whose voices are too often overlooked or ignored. I still believe that to this day. That is why I am proud to announce I am endorsing my friend, Vice President Joe Biden, for President of the United States.”

GOVERNOR GRETCHEN WHITMER (MI), 48, youth, administrative experience, inside track

1. Being the governor of a large state is the best preparation for being President.

2. Served as a state senator from 2006 to 2015, as a state rep from 2001 to 2006. A lawyer, she is the daughter of two lawyers.

3. Selected to give the Democratic rebuttal to Trump’s 2020 State of the Union address.

NB: As of early March, she is a national co-chairwoman of the Biden 2020 campaign. (The other co-chairs are Delaware Rep. Lisa Blunt Rochester, Louisiana Rep. Cedric Richmond and Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti.)

AMY KLOBUCHAR (MN), 60, endorsed by the New York Times (along with Elizabeth Warren)

1. “She won all three of her Senate campaigns in Minnesota by more than 20 percentage points. Trump, by comparison, lost the state by only 1.5 points in 2016. Klobuchar did it by winning suburbs that normally lean right and holding her own in many rural areas.” (David Leonhardt, NYT)

2. “Klobuchar is progressive without being angry about it. The combination can allow a politician to win the middle without being of that middle.” (Leonhardt)

3. “The most productive senator among the Democratic field in terms of bills passed with bipartisan support” (NYT, Center for Effective Law Making)

NB: “In 2016, Hillary Clinton carried nine of Minnesota’s 87 counties. Ms. Klobuchar carried 51 in 2018.” (NYT)

The top 10 women Joe Biden might choose as his VP

Kamala Harris

Gretchen Whitmer

Opinion | The Case for Amy Klobuchar

Opinion | Amy Klobuchar and Elizabeth Warren Are Democrats’ Top Choices for President

YOUR TURN

Please share the coolest thing you learned in the last week related to political process or campaign strategy or 2020 candidate selection or anything else for that matter.

This is your chance to make some one else’s day or change their thinking. Or to consolidate in your own memory something worth remembering that might otherwise be lost. Or to clarify or deepen your own understanding of something dear to your heart. Continuity is key to depth of thought.

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