Friday, May 1, 2020

Ka Ma La. Ka Ma La. KaMaLa. Kamala for VP.

Aw, shucks. I can’t believe I gave you a spoiler about how the Democratic ticket might/should include Harris as VP.

Jennifer Rubin makes the case that There’s one front-runner for Biden’s VP — regardless of what Jim Clyburn thinks.

Former vice president Joe Biden, it is fair to say, owes his nomination to Rep. James E. Clyburn (D-S.C.), whose endorsement boosted Biden to victory in South Carolina and dramatically shifted momentum in the Democratic primary toward Biden. … Clyburn and Biden both have recognized that without the votes of predominately African American voters in South Carolina, Biden would not have made it.

Nevertheless, Clyburn, who has urged Biden to pick an African American as his running mate, has made clear that is not an absolute requirement for him. Clyburn explained his position in an interview with NBC News:

“I think having a woman on the ticket is a must,” the No. 3 House Democrat said in an interview with NBC News. “I’m among those who feel that it would be great for him to select a woman of color. But that is not a must.”

“I think that he should be informed in this decision by the vetting and the polling. And I think he should be guided by his head and his heart,” Clyburn added.

One can hypothesize that Clyburn is trying either to push a vice-presidential pick who is not African American, or knows that Biden has his heart set on someone who is not African American and is giving him cover. I wouldn’t overthink this. Clyburn is a pragmatic, savvy politician and knows the only thing that matters is winning. I suspect his advice is genuine: If you think an African American contender is the best fit, fine. But if not, don’t worry.

… [Biden] must pick someone ready to govern (not only to replace him if needed, but also to emphasize it’s time to bring in the grown-ups who know how to get things done). He must pick someone also who is youthful enough to be a credible nominee in 2024 should Biden not run for a second term.

He’s already committed to picking a woman.

So where does this leave Biden? It is helpful, no doubt, to have the latitude in making his pick. Nevertheless, I would suggest Clyburn’s remarks do not make it any less likely he will pick an African American — Sen. Kamala D. Harris (D-Calif.), specifically.

It would be impossible for the left to object to her, and she’d be an added plus not only for winning African American voters but winning in swing states (e.g., Michigan, Pennsylvania) where the African American vote can be decisive. In addition, she is young enough (55) be the nominee in 2024 (if Biden doesn’t run) and in 2028. If one figures in her relationship with the Bidens and her ability to skewer Trump, she remains the front-runner — despite Clyburn’s remarks.

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