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Biden Allies Try to Derail Kamala Harris Pick

Some of Joe Biden's biggest donors are trying to derail Kamala Harris's chances of becoming his running mate.

I hope they succeed. Given that Biden has been a crime warrior his entire 35 career in the Senate, the last thing I want is a former career prosecutor in the second highest spot.

I could care less about how she treated Biden in a debate. Plus, from all the transcripts of congressional hearings I've read on the subject of busing from back then, she accurately described his opposition to court-ordered busing).

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My objections to Kamala Harris are based on her decades as a prosecutor and then California Attorney General. See also, Kamala Harris Has Been Tough On Black People, Not Crime and The Two Faces of Kamala Harris and the New York Times OpEd, Kamala Harris was not a Progressive Prosecutor.

Come to think of it, Kamala Harris would make a much better Attorney General than Vice President. There she can be true to her core values but also act on her more johnny-come-lately positions of eliminating racial disparity in the criminal justice system.

Biden should offer her that position. And never, ever offer her a place on the Supreme Court.

I'd like Biden to pick Julian Castro, but as usual, Biden's foot in mouth disease made him promise a female running mate before he or his team even took the time to vet candidates. Since when is choosing the Vice President of the United States by gender or race as opposed to actual qualifications, relevant experience and character acceptable?

Elizabeth Warren is my second choice for VP pick, but that's likely not going to happen because his foot already semi-promised not just a female, but an African-American female. (I know there are many highly-qualified African-American women who would make terrific Vice-Presidents, I just haven't studied Biden's potential choices enough to advocate for any of his possible picks over another. I just know Harris is not the right one.)

Sure, there are worse choices than Kamala Harris, but since when have Democrats had to use that as a measuring stick? Why not reach for the best and trust voters to do the same?

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  • Display: Sort:
    Former VicePresident Biden (5.00 / 0) (#7)
    by KeysDan on Thu Jul 30, 2020 at 01:00:37 PM EST
    indicated during the March CNN debate that he would select a woman as his running mate. The announcement became the dominating news of that debate providing a needed spark to his candidacy.

    As events developed since that debate, starting with his bounce-back from the results of the South Carolina primary, it became increasingly likely that the vice presidential candidate would be a woman of color. Indeed, Senator Amy Klobuchar, a frequently mentioned possibility, withdrew from consideration stating that she believed the times called for a qualified woman of color.

    It is not uncommon for either political party to select a running mate that balances or complements the top of the ticket in some way, be that geography, religion, or other germane factor.

    Senator Harris, in my view,is very well-qualified and offers complementarity. She worked her way up through local elected office and  has been elected to state-wide office as Attorney General, and then, to the US Senate. from California our biggest state.  And, she has some national campaign experience as a presidential primary contender.

    It is true that as an elected prosecutor, she prosecuted. But, she did indicate that she would never seek the death penalty--which she upheld, under pressure to do so, in the case of the killing of a police officer.

    She is overall, a progressive. The senator is in favor of federal de-scheduling of cannabis, a path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants, the Dream Act, tax reform, a ban on assault weapons, and single payer health care (although her Medicare for All primary proposal was disappointing in timing and method, but probably closer to Biden).

    Senator Harris is a graduate of Howard University, a HBCU, and the University of California Hastings College of Law.

    These are no ordinary times. The democracy is at stake. The vice president needs to be supportive of the president's goals and be ready, if necessary, to assume leadership for the country. I believe a Biden/Harris ticket will be a strong one for the Democratic Party and the country.

     

    KH has a very mixed reputation (none / 0) (#8)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Thu Jul 30, 2020 at 01:12:41 PM EST
    here in CA our biggest state.

    I think Biden can do much better, although I'm not sure he will need to.

    Parent

    Yes, there (none / 0) (#11)
    by KeysDan on Thu Jul 30, 2020 at 02:36:06 PM EST
    are, certainly, others beside Senator Harris who would make a good running mate for Biden.  This thread is about Senator Harris's suitability, so I addressed that issue as I see it.  

    Susan Rice is well-credentialed and experienced in national security.  She has some vulnerabilities, albeit unfair and undeserved.  And, of course, no electoral history.  But, then that should not be disqualifying.  Trump was never elected to anything or part of government---although I may have just weakened my argument.

    Parent

    I do believe (5.00 / 1) (#12)
    by MO Blue on Thu Jul 30, 2020 at 03:30:54 PM EST
    you did weaken your argument. 😉

    Parent
    How about today's trial balloon (none / 0) (#22)
    by Peter G on Fri Jul 31, 2020 at 08:02:03 PM EST
    Karen Bass? Rep to US Congress from western L.A., former chair of Congressional Black Caucus, former speaker of Calif General Assembly. Educated as a social worker and physician's assistant. Lost her daughter and son-in-law in a car accident (emotional link w/Biden?). Sounds like the real deal to me. Qualified to step up to the presidency, though?

    Parent
    Not if you want (5.00 / 1) (#45)
    by smott on Sun Aug 02, 2020 at 12:33:15 PM EST
    To win FL.
    Her Castro issues are a non-starter. We need FL and we need it to be called in Election Night to take the legs out from under Trump's rat-f*cking..

    Parent
    Cuba. Scientology. (none / 0) (#24)
    by oculus on Fri Jul 31, 2020 at 08:08:39 PM EST
    Anything more than one ill-advised comment (none / 0) (#25)
    by Peter G on Fri Jul 31, 2020 at 08:32:57 PM EST
    on each subject, many years ago? Who hasn't done that?

    Parent
    Not just one old comment about Cuba/Castro. (none / 0) (#26)
    by caseyOR on Fri Jul 31, 2020 at 08:56:16 PM EST
    In the 1970s Bass traveled to Cuba and worked there as part of the Venceramos Brigade. That makes no difference to me, but it could be an issue for voters more senior than I and for parts of Florida's Cuban community.

    My objection to Bass is her statement that if chosen she will not run for President in the future. I want a vice-president who is ready, willing, and able to run for President in 2024 should Biden choose not to run for a second term or 2028 should he run and win a second term.

    Parent

    I want a vice president who is ready and able (none / 0) (#28)
    by Peter G on Fri Jul 31, 2020 at 09:03:00 PM EST
    to assume the presidency in 2023, if you know what I mean. And then run and win twice more.

    Parent
    So, my question appears to apply (none / 0) (#27)
    by Peter G on Fri Jul 31, 2020 at 08:58:32 PM EST
    to the Scientology smear, but not to the Cuba question. She has a long history, going back to Venceremos Brigade trips in the 70s, of showing affectionate support for the Cuban regime and the Cuban people. Certainly not a political supporter of Castro's communism, but still seems kind of naive, even though she was critical of the repression. I suppose it could be a problem for Biden in Florida.

    Parent
    Yeah I do think (5.00 / 2) (#50)
    by smott on Mon Aug 03, 2020 at 01:27:10 PM EST
    We have to be extra careful w Florida, and adhere closely to a Do No Harm theme.

    Bass will have issues w FL over Cuba, as Bernie discovered a few months ago -And  there's many other very qualified choices and no reason to take that chance.

    Especially as - FL counts votes FAST (they begin counting weeks before the election), and Biden winning FL Early, is the best way to derail Trump's efforts at screwing w the election. It's a swiIng state w 29 votes and could end things on Election Night.
    Here's hoping.


    Parent

    Exactly. (none / 0) (#29)
    by oculus on Fri Jul 31, 2020 at 09:15:48 PM EST
    My problem with her (none / 0) (#30)
    by CaptHowdy on Fri Jul 31, 2020 at 09:31:25 PM EST
    Is she has the charisma of Biden.  That may sound shallow but I want a VP with the juice AND the desire to be president.

    For my part that comment about not running for President is enough by itself to disqualify her.

    She would be my last choice of the named finalists.

    So it will probably be her.

    Parent

    Seems like Sen Harris to me (none / 0) (#31)
    by CaptHowdy on Fri Jul 31, 2020 at 09:38:19 PM EST
    But maybe Joe really does not want to be out shined.  It would not be unsurprising.

    "Allies of Kamala Harris sought and received a meeting with Joe Biden's campaign staff this week after a leader of his vice presidential vetting team was quoted doubting whether she'd be a loyal No. 2," Politico reports.

    "Prominent supporters of the California senator asked for the virtual sit-down on the heels of a Politico report Monday that Harris is not a lock for VP. It quoted former Sen. Chris Dodd, one of four members of the vetting unit, remarking to a prominent Democratic donor that Harris had `no remorse' for attacking Biden during a debate last year."




    Parent
    Um (none / 0) (#32)
    by CaptHowdy on Fri Jul 31, 2020 at 09:39:22 PM EST
    It would not be surprising.  

    Parent
    Arguments that have emerged against (none / 0) (#34)
    by KeysDan on Sat Aug 01, 2020 at 11:32:56 AM EST
    Senator Harris seem to be inconsequential to a determination of a running mate for Biden: opportunist, ambitious--not out of the ordinary for a politician.  And, self-promoting--as if not necessary for a woman of color looking to move ahead to serve in this high office.  Remorseless for a debating point, even if considered harsh? Really?

    When Stacey Abrams was criticized for making it known that she would like to be considered for the vice presidential position, she explained that, essentially, for a woman to be coy was not a viable option, and particularly so, for a woman of color.

    Any contender with a record of public service will have detractors. Decisions will have been made that are not to the satisfaction of everyone. But, so far as we know, Senator Harris's critiques have been in actions and judgments related to her  responsibilities as an elected prosecutor.

    Her background has served the country well in her role as US Senator, e.g., Senate confirmation hearings. And, may well be a good background for the vice presidency. Surely she will do better in debates (if they happen) with Pence than Senator Time Kaine did in 2016.

    Joe Biden should not want a running mate who becomes a distraction. At least, the vp candidate should be a neutral factor--but why do just that when Senator Harris brings no vetting negatives and, likely, an overall positive impact.

    As a political strategy, I do not see an optimal outcome from a search that is known to include several woman of color, but none are found to be the one.

    Parent

    Growing calls (none / 0) (#39)
    by CaptHowdy on Sat Aug 01, 2020 at 12:43:01 PM EST
    To pick someone who has been vetted by a national campaign.

    Seems reasonable to me.

    Parent

    It's gonna be Harris I think (none / 0) (#40)
    by CaptHowdy on Sat Aug 01, 2020 at 12:48:02 PM EST
    Wall Street Journal: "Three Black women have risen to be top contenders, according to people close to the campaign, after an unusually public vetting process in which Mr. Biden has been urged by some Democrats to choose a woman of color as his running mate. Candidates and their allies have been making their final pitches to Mr. Biden's team in recent days in phone calls and virtual meetings due to the coronavirus pandemic."

    "Rep. Karen Bass and former national security adviser Susan Rice have been gaining traction in recent weeks, joining Sen. Kamala Harris as top candidates of color who are under consideration."

    "Sen. Elizabeth Warren, one of Mr. Biden's Democratic primary opponents, also remains among the leading contenders."



    Parent
    Pretty surprising (to me, a CA resident)& (none / 0) (#41)
    by oculus on Sat Aug 01, 2020 at 01:23:51 PM EST
    the Sacramento Bee endorsed Bass and negatively critiqued Harris in the very same op ed.

    Parent
    Since a woman of color (none / 0) (#44)
    by MO Blue on Sat Aug 01, 2020 at 04:54:16 PM EST
    seems to be almost certain, Sen. Harris would be my choice for the VP pick. Slimy Dodd's opinions just makes me want her to be the pick even more.

    Why we would want to take advise from a failed politician with dubious ethics is a mystery to me.  

    Parent

    Saying she "heaped praise on Scientology .. (none / 0) (#33)
    by CaptHowdy on Sat Aug 01, 2020 at 08:09:18 AM EST
    ..at a ribbon cutting ceremony for a new church"  which is true as far as I can tell does not seem like a "smear" to me.

    It sounds like a solid reason to ignore her.

    This is interesting

    Joe Biden is unlikely to announce his chosen vice presidential running mate next week, CBS News reports.



    Parent
    I called it a "smear" because (none / 0) (#36)
    by Peter G on Sat Aug 01, 2020 at 12:23:50 PM EST
    for all I can tell, it was one appearance, ten years ago, by a local politician offering typically fatuous and incautious praise for major institution in her district. I was objecting to any suggestion that she was a closet Scientology supporter.

    Parent
    Yes (none / 0) (#37)
    by CaptHowdy on Sat Aug 01, 2020 at 12:30:51 PM EST
    Well, I object that she was there.  I don't think she is a Scientologist.  Just that she has bad judgement.  Scientology is a dangerous crazy cult.  That very location has a scandalous history.

    Can I understand why she did it.  As a politician.  Sure.  Now we get to say if we thought it was a good I do not.  

    I do not.

    Parent

    XX (none / 0) (#38)
    by CaptHowdy on Sat Aug 01, 2020 at 12:33:15 PM EST
    Now we get to say if we thought it was a good IDEA..  


    Parent
    Bass claims the negative scoop on (none / 0) (#42)
    by oculus on Sat Aug 01, 2020 at 01:25:37 PM EST
    Scientology came later.

    Parent
    It was 2010 (5.00 / 2) (#43)
    by CaptHowdy on Sat Aug 01, 2020 at 01:33:24 PM EST
    I think a lot of people were quite aware it was a crazy cult in 2010.

    Parent
    Cuba (none / 0) (#46)
    by MO Blue on Sun Aug 02, 2020 at 02:16:55 PM EST
    Definite problem for Biden in Florida. Already a Republican talking point.

    "If God forbid, Joe Biden is elected president and Congresswoman Bass becomes vice president, she'll be the highest ranking Castro sympathizer in the history of the United States government," Rubio said.

    Bloomberg

    Parent

    At what point (5.00 / 3) (#47)
    by Chuck0 on Sun Aug 02, 2020 at 05:05:34 PM EST
    do geriatric Cuban exiles stop running the politics of Florida?

    Fidel Castro took power the year I was born. I am 61. What relevance does Castro to most Cubans alive in Florida today?


    Parent

    Not sure when (5.00 / 2) (#49)
    by MO Blue on Sun Aug 02, 2020 at 05:50:50 PM EST
    Yet, it appears that it still has some relevance to older Cubans in Florida.

    Don't see any advantage to choosing someone who might be viewed negatively in a state that the Dems would really like to win when there are so many other qualified candidates.

    Parent

    And to be clear. (none / 0) (#48)
    by Chuck0 on Sun Aug 02, 2020 at 05:13:22 PM EST
    Not necessarily a fan of Bass. She is not high on my list for VP.

    Parent
    Latest (5.00 / 1) (#55)
    by MO Blue on Thu Aug 06, 2020 at 11:51:19 AM EST
    Biden Confirms Harris Is `Very Much In Contention'

    The more I think about it, I hope Biden does not choose Rice. I have heard the word "Benghazi" more than I ever want to hear it already and would not like to hear it on a daily basis from now to November.

    Why not reach for the best and trust voters to do (none / 0) (#1)
    by RickyJim on Thu Jul 30, 2020 at 07:35:12 AM EST
    the same?  You can't be serious Jeralyn.  When has that ever been done in choosing a major party presidential ticket?

    2016 (5.00 / 1) (#3)
    by Yman on Thu Jul 30, 2020 at 07:58:39 AM EST
    The Democrats had a great candidate.  A minority of the voters,  OTOH ...

    Parent
    I would guess (none / 0) (#2)
    by CaptHowdy on Thu Jul 30, 2020 at 07:46:52 AM EST
    That assuming the reporting is correct about those trying to "stop" her it would be a very good indicator she is top of the list.

    If not why make a fuss.

    I've been thinking Tammy Duckworth would be a great pick.  I can't think of a downside to Tammy.  Unlike almost everyone else.

    The irnoy (5.00 / 1) (#6)
    by CST on Thu Jul 30, 2020 at 11:43:24 AM EST
    Is that they used the worst possible arguments against her and in eliciting a backlash might have made her more likely to get picked.

    My money is on Rice, but I like Duckworth too.  For that matter I am fine with literally any of the picks, as they are all better than Biden himself.

    Parent

    Biden (none / 0) (#10)
    by Ga6thDem on Thu Jul 30, 2020 at 01:35:26 PM EST
    appears to be afraid of any woman who will outshine him or has an electoral history of winning. Rice is sort of a dead end it seems to me.

    Parent
    Biden (none / 0) (#14)
    by FlJoe on Thu Jul 30, 2020 at 04:15:39 PM EST
    would be hard pressed to find any woman who did not outshine him. The only thing he is afraid of is blowing it, that's the reason it will probably be Harris as she checks off more of the boxes than any of the rest.

    Parent
    I think he's (none / 0) (#15)
    by Ga6thDem on Thu Jul 30, 2020 at 04:43:26 PM EST
    afraid of Harris like Duckworth and some others.

    Parent
    I (5.00 / 1) (#16)
    by FlJoe on Thu Jul 30, 2020 at 05:08:18 PM EST
    just don't see it. What exactly is he afraid of?

    Parent
    Dr. Jill Biden proved she is strong (5.00 / 2) (#17)
    by oculus on Thu Jul 30, 2020 at 05:54:52 PM EST
    enough to fend off a protestor at a rally. I think Joe is ok with strong, resilient females.

    Parent
    He is (none / 0) (#19)
    by Ga6thDem on Thu Jul 30, 2020 at 06:42:26 PM EST
    fine with strong women as long as they stay in their lane which is what Jill does. It seems there is concern about competing with a woman.

    Parent
    I sincerely hope he does not tap Bass. (none / 0) (#23)
    by oculus on Fri Jul 31, 2020 at 08:07:08 PM EST
    He's going to lose with her as VP.

    Parent
    Outshining (none / 0) (#18)
    by Ga6thDem on Thu Jul 30, 2020 at 06:41:47 PM EST
    him and taking the attention away from him.

    Parent
    Please (5.00 / 1) (#20)
    by FlJoe on Thu Jul 30, 2020 at 06:58:48 PM EST
    you are sounding like a Hollywood tabloid.

    Biden never played that game, he is about zero on the cult of personality scale. He will die a happy man if he wins, no matter if everyone else in his administration gets better press.

    Parent

    You know (none / 0) (#21)
    by Ga6thDem on Thu Jul 30, 2020 at 08:42:59 PM EST
    I would have mostly agreed with you except for this recent nonsense.

    Parent
    I agree (none / 0) (#4)
    by Ga6thDem on Thu Jul 30, 2020 at 08:33:54 AM EST
    with you on this.

    Parent
    Which part (none / 0) (#5)
    by CaptHowdy on Thu Jul 30, 2020 at 08:47:49 AM EST
    The part (none / 0) (#9)
    by Ga6thDem on Thu Jul 30, 2020 at 01:29:58 PM EST
    about Duckworth.

    Parent
    The (none / 0) (#13)
    by FlJoe on Thu Jul 30, 2020 at 04:01:24 PM EST
    part about Duckworth is her teflon armor. Wounded warrior, brand new mom, attacking her will be tricky for the Republicans.


    Parent
    I'm fine w Tammy (none / 0) (#51)
    by smott on Mon Aug 03, 2020 at 01:31:58 PM EST
    Or Demings, or even Keisha though maybe a mayor being elevated to VP is a stretch.
    I'd love a non-HArris VP only because it frees up Harris for AG where IMO she would be far more impactful.

    Biden seems comfortable w Rice, but we'd then have to relitigate  Benghazi  And ISIS and every other Obama FP issue plus Hillary. And she's got zero experience coalition building on Capitol Hill.

    I think Rice is problematic. Demings Duckworth for me.

    Parent

    While Senator Harris (5.00 / 1) (#52)
    by KeysDan on Mon Aug 03, 2020 at 03:25:53 PM EST
    would make a good Attorney General, a former US Attorney, such as Preet Bharara or Joyce Vance might be a good choice to cleanse and repair the Department of Justice.  Or,Daniel. Goldman, who was counsel for the House Judiciary Committee during the Trump impeachment.  There is a deep field to select from.

    Senator Harris, I believe, offers a broad range of qualities and experiences that fully satisfy Biden's criteria for the vice presidency and would make for a robust ticket.

    Parent

    Rice (none / 0) (#53)
    by FlJoe on Mon Aug 03, 2020 at 03:28:33 PM EST
    has never shown that she has the fire in the belly for electoral politics and I don't care what the critics of "ambitious" women say, you actually want to have the job.

    Duckworth might "disappoint" the people who wanted a black woman, you can bet your bottom dollar that some self assigned spokesman for the AA community will go to the press whining about it and they will gladly whip the story.

    Demming's relative lack  of national experience is a count against her and her background as a cop might cut both way's.

    Bottoms, has a complete lack of national experience.

    I don't know much about Bass but she is already playing defense on some of her past statements, which is never a good sign, especially at this point in the game.

    Like I said I think Harris checks most of the boxes: Fire in the Belly, Check. National experience, check. Already played defense successfully, check. The right color to avoid "resentment", check. Her prosecutorial past may cause her some problems and  her primary campaign failures are marks against her, minor IMO.

    My picks, in descending order:
    Harris (one of my favorites from the beginning, why hasn't Biden pulled the trigger?).

    Duckworth (her personal story is electoral gold and her persona screams competence and strength).

    Demmings (has a future, but not now)

    Bottoms (maybe even more of a future, but not yet)

    Rice (highly qualified, nuts and bolts wise, if I thought she can bring the rhetoric she might be higher).

    Bass (like I said who knows, maybe if her name had been floated earlier she could have more properly vetted).

    I am leaving Warren out, my gut feeling is she is not on the short list. I wish she were on the top ticket but I think she can do more to help this country by stating in the Senate.

    I agree (none / 0) (#54)
    by Ga6thDem on Tue Aug 04, 2020 at 02:12:31 PM EST
    with what you are saying. I think Rice is just a notch above Bass at this points. Armando seems to think Biden is going to pick Rice. If he does I hope my instincts on her political ability are wrong.

    Parent
    What about me? (none / 0) (#56)
    by KeysDan on Sun Aug 09, 2020 at 10:57:12 AM EST
    says an annoyed Tim Kaine.  In her Sunday, NYTimes column discussing Walter Mondale's running mate, Congresswoman Geraldine Ferraro, Maureen Dowd reminisces ... "It's hard to fathom, but it has been 36 years since a man and a woman ran together on a Democratic Party ticket."

    Hillary Clinton brought more recent happenings in the world to Ms. Dowd's attention, conjecturing that the Columnist  may have, once again, as she.reported previously, become confused after ingesting pot brownies.

    Aside from Ms. Dowd's memory lacuna and her sleepy NYTimes editor,  there may be a little lesson to be learned in picking, foremost, a do no harm running mate.