Biden, the presumptive Democratic nominee for president, committed months ago to choosing a female running mate, but the recent unrest around police brutality against people of color has led to a push toward having a running mate that checks that particular intersectional box.
Former presidential candidate Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D) removed herself from consideration after police reform protests began across the country, saying she wanted Biden to choose a woman of color. Klobuchar was already under fire, however, for her police reform record after it came to light that she had some part in not prosecuting the officer who kneeled on George Floyd’s neck for a previous incident.
Biden said last week that he might push back his timeline for choosing a running mate. He had previously pledged to make the decision by August 1 but now says it will be early August before the Democrat convention.
Biden struggling to find perfect candidate
Why is Biden’s campaign having such a difficult time choosing a running mate? I think it’s because he has more requirements for that role than has been the case in the past.
Whether he admits it or not, the 77-year-old Biden is a weak candidate. In fact, 55% of voters surveyed in a recent Zogby poll think that he has early dementia. He needs a running mate that will energize Democrats in a way that he has not been able to do from his basement.
Additionally, Biden has already said he needs a running mate who is ready to be president on day one. If any woman of color in the Democrat party actually fit that bill, she would probably be the nominee right now instead of him.
Biden’s insistence on meeting all of these requirements is making his job very difficult. The only woman of color that could come anywhere close — former first lady Michelle Obama — has reportedly said she is uninterested in the job.
Trump poll numbers giving Democrats hope
A few months ago when Biden surged into the lead for the Democratic nomination, the U.S. was enjoying the strongest economy in 50 years and the Democrats were widely perceived as facing an uphill battle to defeat President Donald Trump. Some even argued that Biden was pushed into the position of the presumptive nominee as a kind of sacrifice to protect more viable candidates that might be able to run in the future. If Democrats were going to lose, the reasoning went, Biden was the most expendable.
But a month of falling poll numbers for Trump resulting from a lingering pandemic, along with weeks of racial unrest, have raised Democrat hopes. Now, they think they might actually be able to win this thing even with Biden as their candidate.
I think Trump will get it together and rise in the polls as the economy recovers, he thumps Biden in the debates, and Biden’s mental decline becomes more pronounced, but I can understand Democrats’ hope that finding just the right running mate might help push Biden over the top. Unfortunately, the perfect candidate that checks off all the boxes doesn’t exist right now — or at least isn’t willing to throw her name in with Biden.
Can you blame her?
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