The Vice President of the United States serves a multitude of purposes, just look at Mike Pence, who is currently in charge of handling the coronavirus pandemic. But before the Veep (Vice President) can even set foot into their office in the Eisenhower Building, they have to compete perhaps their most important task- to help elect the president. With Biden firmly seated to take on Trump this November in the polls, only one question remains. Who will join him?
Traditionally, the Vice President pick somewhat represents the opposite of the presidential candidate. The idea is that if the first in command doesn’t appeal to a certain demographic of voters- hopefully their running mate will. Obama, as we know, was running on a platform of socially progressive politics (for the time), made even more radical by the fact that he was attempting to become the first black president of the United States.
His running partner was Joe Biden, a straight, white, moderate democrat. Similarly, Hillary Clinton was attempting to create history by becoming the first female president, and her pick for VP was Tim Kaine, another straight, white male- but with a great rapport with minority racial voters.
So, considering that Joe Biden represents the normative (but marginalising) image of what the president of the United States has typically looked like- it would be a safe guess to imagine that his choice for Veep will represent something different.
Here’s our list of who we think Biden might pick, from least likely (but still possible) to most likely.
Boot-edge-edge, or mayor Pete as he is affectionately known, is a bit of a long shot to be crowned the title of Veep. And that’s mostly because of his gender. Western society is reaching a point where people are passionate about seeing women in leadership. Considering that Biden already nabbed the top job- it is looking increasingly like the role of Vice President will fall to a woman. But that’s not to say that Buttigieg doesn’t represent diversity. When Buttigieg ran for office earlier this year, he became the first openly gay democrat to do so. He was also the youngest of the competitive candidates by far, at the age of 38. He is a former war veteran and hails from an immigrant family. All of these things fill the gap that Biden is missing. Moreover, Pete was dominant in midwestern states where Biden struggled.
In any other election, Buttigieg would probably be the perfect Vice President pick. But unfortunately for Pete fans, in this election, he’s looking like a longshot.
If Pete Buttigieg is almost the perfect pick for VP, then Tammy Duckworth must be perfect. Duckworth ticks most of the same boxes Buttigieg does- but then she goes above and beyond. Like Mayor Pete, Duckworth is an army veteran, she is from an immigrant family and she is comparatively young. She is also from the Midwest. However, unlike Pete, Duckworth actually lost both of her legs when a helicopter she was piloting crashed in Iraq. She is both the first disabled woman, and the first woman born in Thailand to be elected as a senator. She is also the first senator to give birth while in office.
Duckworth is an exceptional human being and has policies to match. She is representative of a bevy of demographics; however, she is not as well-known as the other potential candidates. This may hurt her chances.
Stacy Abrams really came on to the scene in 2018 during the General Election. At a time when women were voted into American government at a record-breaking volume, Abrams failure to secure the position of Governor of Georgia was one of the biggest stories of the election. Abrams is the first black woman to be elected as a major party’s nominee for Governor, and although this achievement is historic in itself, the dominant narrative that shaped her run was actually the controversies surrounding it. There is strong evidence to suggest that the election was not fairly conducted by the Republican party, and that Abrams most likely would have won had her opponent, Brian Kemp, not interfered.
Aside from the controversy, Abrams is a very good option for Biden’s VP. She supports the expansion of medicare, is pro-choice and believes that further gun controls should be developed. Her home state, Georgia is typically a republican state, so having a VP from the Deep South might help shift the tide.
Whilst Elizabeth Warren is evidently not a woman of colour (there’s a reason Trump calls her Pocahontas), she is a lot more progressive than most of the other VP picks listed here. Once tipped as a front runner for the democratic presidential nominee, Warren failed to drum up momentum for her campaign when it mattered the most, often polling well below expectations. But, Warren proved herself during her campaign. She more than held her own during debates, she had arguably the most thorough policies, and she clearly has a real understanding of the inequality in America. And, speaking of someone who has seen both Biden and Warren speak- She brings a vibrancy and energy to the table that Biden sorely lacks. Warrens biggest deficit is her age, if she were to become the VP, then both the President and the second in command will be well above retiring age (70+).
Harris is tipped as the favourite at this point. Not only was she the only black woman to enter this cycle’s presidential race, she also has a bevy of experience; being a current senator and the former California attorney general. Since Harris bowed out of the presidential race at the end of last year, she has become a vocal Biden supporter. Biden all but confirmed the rumours that Harris was a serious contender for the role when he let slip:
“I’m so lucky to have you as part of this, this partnership going forward… I’m coming for you, kid.”
Similar to Warren, Harris proved her merit during her bid to become the democratic presidential candidate. In the first 24 hours of her candidacy, she tied the record for the most donations raised in a day following an announcement. She also performed very well during debates and was said to be able to appeal to both progressive and moderate democrats. If I were a betting person, I would put my money on her.
Needless to say, whoever Biden picks will have a tough time campaigning during a pandemic. The landscape for this election will be totally different to anything we’ve ever seen before, I can’t wait to watch it unfold from the safety of my home.
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