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Who’s Ridin’ with Biden? The Veepstakes Are High

This week, democracy-ish dives deep into the veepstakes. It’s almost certain that Biden will pick a Black woman as his vice-presidential nominee. (Fingers crossed.)

  • Biden has committed to choosing a female VP. Who’s the best pick? And who’s the most likely to get the nod?

  • Clearly, a Black woman would be a historic, and timely, choice. But there are pros and cons to everyone on the shortlist.

  • Toure and Danielle discuss several prominent possibilities, including Kamala Harris, Karen Bass, Val Demings and Stacey Abrams.

As Biden’s announcement looms, our hosts want to talk about the major contenders.

“Is contender-ess a word?” asks Toure.

Danielle wants to know why everything has to be “genderized.”

“Joe Biden genderized it,” Toure replies. Uncle Joe committed to choosing a female candidate back in March at the final primary debate.

But as we wait to learn his choice, we’re hearing a lot of noise from pundits, the Twittersphere and even the Democratic VP search committee itself. One contender is too ambitious. Another isn’t… ambitious enough, apparently.

Toure and Danielle cut through the BS and break it all down.

Episode Highlights –– Who Will Be the Black VP?

In one corner: the heavyweight –– Kamala Harris

Kamala Harris among the most prominent contenders on Biden’s shortlist.

“She is clearly very smart and one of the most popular, well-known senators in the country,” says Toure.

But both he and Danielle see pros and cons when considering the possibility of her nomination.

Biden’s close relationship to Obama is crucial for Biden –– “and Kamala is definitely within the FOB (friends of Barack) circle, says Toure. “She was friends with Barack since before he was president.”

Plus, he adds, “one of the key jobs of a vice-presidential nominee is to be an attack person –– saying truthful but nasty things about the other side.”

Toure isn’t thinking of how she would perform in the VP debate.

“It’s completely irrelevant, like preseason baseball.”

Biden largely avoids direct attacks against Trump because “he wants to create a permission structure” for right-leaning folks to vote for himself, he adds. But a great veep nominee can sling mud at their opponents, which attracts plenty of media attention but “allows the presidential candidate to stay clean,” says Toure.

He sees Harris as the best choice to put the president on blast so Uncle Joe doesn’t have to.

Is Harris Biden’s centrist match?

Danielle agrees that Harris will be an expert roaster of Trump –– without “pulling schoolyard bully bullshit tactics” like the Commander-in-Thief does daily.

And in the primary campaign, Harris claimed she’d prosecute Trump after the election. We saw how the former prosecutor eviscerated Brett Kavanaugh and William Barr in Senate hearings.

No doubt she’d “get under Donald's skin,” says Toure.

Plus, Harris is solidly moderate –– a great match for what appears to be Biden’s centrist calculus, in which “Republicans at the edge of their party feel comfortable coming over,” he adds.

Too ambitious is the new shrill

Amidst the buzz of Harris’ shortlist status, Danielle has heard “whisperings about the fact that she doesn't seem apologetic for coming for his neck in the first debate.”

There’s also the criticism, courtesy of Chris Dodd, that she has “too much ambition.”

“How could you be in America's most exclusive club –– the U.S. senate –– and not have ambition?” Toure asks.