Since it would seem that Joe Biden will be the nominee and that he has already stipulated that it will be a woman, let’s look at some possibilities.
I am going to do an admittedly arbitrary list ranking from 10 possibilities. Ranked by value to the ticket….This is just for conversation – I know you have other names or a different ranking, but that is why we speculate. Here goes…..
10. Jenny Durkin (Seattle Mayor) – I know you are going “Who?” right now, but Jenny Durkin was a true early leader for the Covid19 fight. While Trump was minimizing the virus, Jenny was consulting medical experts and the logistics of preparing Seattle for a long fight. She and Gov. Jay Inslee were the reason Washington did not become a New York. She, of course, will lack name recognition, but she has a helluva story to tell.
9. Kate Brown (Gov. of Oregon) – Gov. Brown has been the leader on mail in voting and how much of a success it can be. Her state has also been doing well during the pandemic, keeping Oregonians informed with the best information and best practices. Although I doubt that Biden will have to fight too hard for Oregon’s electoral votes, Gov. Brown has the leadership skills to make a solid number 2.
8. Michelle Lujan Grisham (Gov. of New Mexico) – Gov Grisham is another little known star of the pandemic fight. Realizing that testing was going to be crucial and getting little help from the Trump administration, she sought help from the labs in her own state and developed a significant testing program which has kept New Mexico from a full outbreak. She has been a leader in every sense of the word. And she has been a major spokesperson for the protection of tribal nations.
7. Claire McCaskill (Former Missouri Senator) – McCaskill lost here Senate job 2 years ago but has done well in a conservative state. She has great strategic political skills and now as a spokesperson on MSNBC maintains her national profile. She could give Biden a little boost in Missouri, but she is a free thinker and would be a great adviser for the campaign.
6. Amy Klobuchar (MN Senator) – Since I am from Minnesota, you might speculate as to why Sen.Klobuchar is only at #6. It is certainly not because I think she would be a bad pick; she is a great campaigner and policy wonk…. and she is funny (everybody puts that on her list of positives). But the women above her on this list would probably create more excitement for the Democratic campaign. Klobuchar would be a highly competent pick and I think a Biden/Klobuchar ticket would do very well. But as for pizzaz? I think we might be able to do better.
5. Gretchen Whitmer (Michigan Governor) – Whitmer’s national profile has increased of late, mostly because of her public fights with Donald Trump. But she could be very helpful in any fight for Michigan’s electoral votes as well as bringing a young, fresh face to the national scene. She has had a large challenge with the pandemic in Michigan, but she has held her own against a crazy Michigan Republican party, which left Flint in dire straits.
4. Stacey Abrams (Georgia Leader in Voting Rights) – Stacey is an impressive speaker and very charismatic on the stump. Joe could really use someone like that to excite the base. She is popular with African Americans and would most likely put Georgia in play – and maybe even help with the two Senate race contests. She has been a rising star and her quest for voting rights has given her a national voice. She lacks experience in national politics but I don’t think anyone doubts her ability to adapt.
3. Elizabeth Warren (Massachusetts Senator) – I get excited thinking of Elizabeth Warren as an advisor to the President. She is full of solid ideas and progressive policy. The only issue I might have with her as VP is that she would leave the Senate. She is primed for a large leadership role there as well. As a committee chair, she could lead us back to the proper regulatory environment.
2. Kamala Harris (Senator California) – I am torn between the idea of Harris as VP or as Attorney General. She would be great in either position. She is a charismatic campaigner, but her strength might be making the case for illegitimacy of the Trump Presidency. The VP is usually the one who makes the attacks for the ticket – I can’t think of a better prosecutorial method than coming from Harris.
1. Michelle Obama (former First Lady) – Michelle proved her political skills during the 2012 campaign and her value to the Democratic Party in 2016 and 2018. She can approach a campaign from outside the political realm and bring that common sense dignity which Trump so sorely lacks. But one thing that makes this so appealing is that Barack comes with the package. The idea of Jill and Joe Biden sitting down with Michelle and Barack Obama to go over policy and ideas is exactly what the country would need right now. Michelle would not just be a conduit to the former President but she can be a powerful national figure in her own right – and has proven it. Top of the line ticket.
OK – those are my thoughts. It is time for a woman to at least hold the 2nd highest office in the land. I think every day how much better we would be if Hillary had been elected President. These insane press briefings would be left to the experts and Hillary, the ultimate problem solver, would have testing and PPE shortages under control.
We missed out on the benefits of a woman President. Let’s begin that quest again with another major step forward.