The primary is over and Democrat
wannabes are now jockeying to play backup to Joe Biden on the November
ticket. As you can imagine, Vegas is
The odds-on favorite in this contest
is Kamala Harris, the junior Senator from California. She is an attractive candidate in a lot of
ways. As an African-America woman, she
would fill two demographics for a party that obsesses over such things, she
already has a national profile, and she is knowledgeable on the issues (please
note: being knowledgeable on the issues does not equate being right on the
issues). Additionally, Joe Biden has
already hinted at plans for her.
She’s not the only one Vegas is
taking bets on though. Governor Gretchen
Whitmer of Michigan, failed candidate for Georgia Governor Stacey Abrams,
Senator Elizabeth Warren, and Senator Amy Klobuchar are all names being bandied
So, if you’re the betting type, who
should you place your money on? Well,
there are three things you should keep an eye on.
First, whoever Biden picks needs to
be able to fill in his weaknesses as a candidate. Let’s be honest; this is a tall order. He has a lot of weaknesses. One of these is that he isn’t the best fundraiser. While the end of the primaries mitigates some
of that since he doesn’t have to compete with other Democrats for those
dollars, he still faces a huge deficit when compared to President Trump.
Another deficit is that he’s a terrible public speaker. He is a self-identified gaff machine with
evidence of that dating all the way back to his time in the Senate. More recently, he has trouble finishing a
sentence (more on the reason for that later).
He stutters his way through, joins disconnected thoughts together, and a
lot of times just verbally wanders off in some random direction.
Another weakness his VP will have to fill is an overwhelming
lack of charisma. He just isn’t that
likable. Now, to be fair, he’s not
someone that you automatically dislike either (like Hillary Clinton), he’s just
forgettable, not extraordinary one way or the other. A very telling sign here is Twitter. If you log on and look at Biden’s account,
you will see he has 4.9 million followers.
Contrast this with President Trump’s account which has well over 70
million. You can see a big difference in
who people actually want to pay attention to.
Second, if you’re the betting type, you should look for
someone who can allay the nations fears of a Biden Presidency. In other words, this person needs to be able
to take over as President if and when the need arises. The dude’s old. If elected, Biden will be the oldest
President in this nation’s history. He is
currently 77 and will be 78 at the time of his inauguration. The current record is held by Trump, who is
Now, that’s only a few years difference, but it doesn’t tell
the whole story. Trump has the
appearance and energy of a much younger man.
He maintains an incredible work pace that those around him struggle to keep
up with. Biden, on the other hand, wears
all 77 of his years for all the world to see.
He moves slow, he talks slow, he talks about record players and other
things far out of date as if they were things of today. These two will eventually stand side by side
together when the Presidential debates roll around. When that happens, the difference in their
years will appear to be twenty, not just four.
Another factor here is Biden’s mental capabilities. As mentioned earlier, Biden has trouble
speaking. He can’t put words together
and stumbles every inch of the way. Some
have noticed his overreliance on teleprompters.
The guy can’t seem to get through a five-minute interview with a
friendly media without losing his train of thought. Trump on the other hand, makes a habit of
engaging the hostile media in long sessions and is on point and adaptive to
changing situations. Now, I’m not a
mental health expert, but I and others have noticed that Biden seems to be
suffering from the early stages of dementia or some sort of mental
deterioration and his campaign has yet to address these fears in any way. It may be that they can’t. It may be that their method of addressing it
will be a VP pick who can step in if these fears turn out to be true.
Finally, for those who want to get on the Vegas train,
Biden’s VP pick needs to be able to attract voters. The primary reason for this is Biden
can’t. As mentioned above, Biden is
extremely lacking in any charisma of his own.
Now, there are two ways in which attracting new voters can
help the ticket in November. First, this
VP pick can simply win over undecided voters or maybe even attract voters away
from Trump. While Democrats appear to have
a lock on minority votes, this VP slot could target religious groups that typically
go Republican, suburban voters, or some of the blue collar workers that Trump
won last time.
More likely, this VP pick should have some sort of regional
appeal. In 2016 Trump removed several
bricks from the proverbial “Blue Wall” that had won the Whitehouse for Obama in
the previous two elections. Without that
wall, Hillary Clinton lost to Trump despite a popular vote victory. The electoral college matters and Biden isn’t
going to win it by running up his vote count in California and New York where
his victory is assured no matter who his VP is.
He needs to win back the voters in Pennsylvania, Michigan, Wisconsin,
Ohio, and Florida. The voters Clinton
ignored last time.
So, if you’re making bets on who Biden will pick for his VP,
you should look for a candidate who can fill in Biden’s weaknesses, allay the
country’s fears about Biden’s age and health, and attract enough voters to win
in the key states.
Of course, all of this is predicated on the assumption that
Biden will do the smart thing. And
that’s a bet I would never take.
The court appears, in the recent relistings, that it is willing to review the principle of qualified immunity, particularly in its application of what may be clear violations of Constitutional rights …