Why Joe Biden will almost certainly choose a black woman as a VP

Think about where we are currently as a country.

* Floyd’s death provoked (mostly) peaceful protests across the country, not only because of police brutality, but also because of the deep and existing racial inequalities present in American society. (Look at these six tables that strongly show the reality of inequality.)
* Biden owes almost all of his status as a presumed presidential candidate to black voters – especially those in South Carolina. Biden’s campaign fell badly – he finished fourth in Iowa, 5th in New Hampshire and second in Nevada – before his home state of Palmetto on February 29th. According to exit polls, black voters made up the majority (56%) of the South Carolina primary electorate and prevailed undecided (61%) for Biden. His win in the state led him to a string of victories on Super Tuesday – just three days later – and, at the time, the nomination was his.

South Carolina envoy Jim Clyburn, whose approval of Biden the day before the championship no doubt marked a turning point in the race, chose a black woman as his lead partner in an interview with the Jonathan Washington Post in Biden on Wednesday morning. Capehart. “The only thing necessary at this point in this process is victory,” Clyburn said. “It’s a win. It’s going to be a plus to have an African-American wife. It’s going to be a plus to have a Latin American. It’s going to be a plus to have a wife.”

True enough! But a strong case should be set that Biden’s best chance is to win the White House is by choosing a black woman as his running.

Remember that one of the central reasons Hillary Clinton lost the 2016 election for Donald Trump was that black voters fell as a percentage of the total 2012 electorate and she defeated them less unbelievably than then-President Barack Obama.

If it focused on the industrial Midwest and white, uneducated voters who went with Trump, if Clinton had managed to achieve a black turnout at the level it was during Obama’s two wins, she would almost certainly have won.

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Now, simply putting a person of color on the map does not mean that you will win the votes of blacks or ensure that they appear in large numbers. But politics at the presidential level often refers to symbolism. And whoever chooses Biden as his vice president will be the best opportunity to reveal how he views his party, the country and the world – and what he prioritizes for the many, many problems the United States is currently facing.

Go back to Biden, who was elected by Obama in 2008. Voters’ concern at the time was that a relatively inexperienced senator – Obama was in the chamber for only two years when he began running for president – may have too much curve learning as president. So Obama chose Biden, a man who spent his entire adult life in politics and Washington, to send him a symbolic message that there would be a firm hand behind the wheel. George W. Bush made a similar calming nervousness with Dick Cheney in 2000. Trump chose Indiana government Mike Pence as his leading colleague as the climate for the party organization – though, retrospectively, it was clear that it was just a nod and not an actual attempt. to incorporate the views and approaches of the establishment into his presidency.

If he listened intently to his speech Tuesday in Philadelphia, he seems to hint at the need for big action – and different choices – when it comes to tackling the still-smoldering race issue in the country. Here’s a key part of what he said (the bold is mine):

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It will take more than a conversation. We talked before, We used to have protests. “

“Let’s make a vow that we will finally make this a period of action to undo systemic racism with long overdue and concrete changes.

“This action will not end in the first 100 days of my presidency – or even for the entire term.

It is the work of a generation“.

Choosing a black woman who is a generation (or more) younger than Biden would send a strong signal about how committed he actually is to changing the racial dynamics in this country. (It would be the first time a black woman has been a candidate for vice president of any major party.)

And luckily for Biden, there are a number of African-American women who would make excellent decisions.

Even before Biden’s “you’re not black” gaffe and uprising after the assassination of George Floyd, California Senator Kamal Harris, 55, who was both the first African-American and Indian elected to the California Senate, was at the top of my VP rankings . Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms (50 years old) and Rev. Val Demings of Florida (age 63) were in the Top 6. Now? It is difficult to see three more people who are more likely to be elected. (Follow mine new rankings on Thursday!)

Biden said he hopes to make a decision on his racing colleague by Aug. 1. Indeed, his decision may have been made – or at least significantly narrowed – by events in the last 10 days.

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