Several weeks ago, presumptive Democratic nominee, Joe Biden made the commitment on national television that he would pick a woman as his vice president. The declaration made headlines everywhere, rightfully so, and I thought the move was great politics and very shrewd timing. Given the heart breaking loss by Hillary Clinton in 2016, a loss we now know beyond the shadow of a doubt, was aided and abetted by Russia on behalf of the charlatan in the White House right now. I have also enjoyed the last few weeks of buzz and energetic speculation on who is being vetted, who is having that “conversation” with the Biden campaign, and who might add the biggest and best punch to the ticket.
I am absolutely 100% convinced that Biden’s running mate for November needs to be, not only a woman, but a woman of color. Personally, if you want to drill down to the devil in the details, she needs to be either an African American or Latina. Period. Bar none. There is so much a U.S. presidential candidate has no control over in the cycle and tsunami that is an election cycle in this country. Picking a running mate is one of the most, and probably only, substantive decisions a candidate will make that is completely their own. Joe Biden needs to own this pick and demonstrate to every Democrat in the country he has the political savvy and leadership acumen to run the country. I don’t know if he can seal up the election with his V.P. pick but he sure can put his best foot forward and that clearly means picking a person of color.
There are several reason I think this but here are my top two. Biden’s campaign was struggling just a few months ago and some were even pronouncing that it was dead in the water…game over. They may have been right. Then came South Carolina and the African American community to the rescue. What that primary and that block of voters did for Biden was nothing short of miraculous. His margin of victory and the momentum rode over the next several voting contests sealed his nomination. Rewarding that surge and honoring Democrats in the deep South with an African American woman on the ticket would go a long way in November. I think a Latina would do the same thing, albeit to slightly lesser degree, in terms of highlighting what Democrats value most: diversity. If I had the ear of Joe Biden, or got to sit down with him for five minutes, this is the case I’d make. I’m not talking about tokenism, I’m talking about strategy and winning. Putting an all white ticket before the voters would be a clear step backward and a nod to ho hum run of the mill politics. Put a women of color on the ticket and you can plug in and connect with the energy of a much larger tent.