Less obvious running mate Joe Biden should choose (opinion)

SOTU Grisham VP_00000426

And while it’s not the obvious choice, there is one contender we should all draw on: New Mexico Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham.

When Biden made a commitment to choose a female partner in mid-March, the coronavirus pandemic had not yet reached its peak in the United States. However, in light of both the current public health crisis and the economic free fall, the stakes of your selection for second place are even higher. And people of all political genres crave strong leadership.
Governors, like Lujan Grisham, are flexing their guide muscles in response to the coronavirus crisis and the American people are responding positively. U.S. governors currently have much higher approval ratings than President Donald Trump and slightly higher than federal health agencies for their response to the pandemic, according to a survey from Monmouth University as well several state investigations.
Lujan Grisham’s response to the pandemic has been exemplary. He took swift action in the early days of the crisis which, according to state officials, was the key to New Mexico’s success in flattening the curve. New Mexico was among the top dozen states in announce school closings is household orders – on March 16 and March 23 respectively. Also setting up the first drive-through test for coronaviruses in the country March 16 is open over 50 test sites across the state, giving priority to populations at risk.
Even before the pandemic began to wreak havoc one February tracking survey The Kaiser Family Foundation believes that health care and the economy are the two most pressing issues among the country’s likely voters, scoring 26% and 23% respectively. And, for swing voters, health care was rated even higher: 28%, according to the survey. For all the focus that Democrats have placed on healthcare to win the 2018 mid-term elections and define the primary debates in this cycle, here is an unprecedented idea: how about a presidential vice president with actual health experience?
Of the six democratic women governors in the country, only Lujan Grisham previously led a state health department. During his tenure, New Mexico doubled the number of health centers from 34 to 68 years old, home care for the elderly expanded, a new state laboratory built, all improving the prevention programs for infectious diseases.
But perhaps more important than his leadership or health record is his election record – and Lujan Grisham has a record of major wins. In 2018, he took over the governor’s palace after two Republican terms of control, winning over 14 points. It also outperformed the combined pre-election polls further 6 points. As a representative of the United States, his victories have been even more convincing: he won his last term with a margin of 30 points.

Lujan Grisham also has a quality that is the key to winning this year: she is willing to fight for everything she believes in and with all the strength she can muster. He literally had an accident during a White House meeting on immigration in 2018 to speak with Trump. As then president of the Hispanic Caucus Congress, he went to the meeting with the then parliamentary Democrat When Steny Hoyer at the meeting, hurried unexpectedly and told reporters that Congress and the administration were making a compromise on the deferred action for the arrival of the childhood “more difficult than it should have been.”

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In general, I am not a supporter of identity politics, finding ethnic candidates unnecessarily divisive, I fully support the diversification of our national leadership to reflect our people. Lujan Grisham is not only a leader across the state of Latinx, but is also part of another part of our under-represented and fast-growing population: the West.

The Democratic Party never had a vice president or president from the west. States like Nevada, Arizona and Utah are among the fastest growing in the country, although population growth slows down nationally. The western states may not be electoral giants, but this region is where people keep moving. It has always been a place where progress is free, but it is also been mixed with streaks of libertarianism, with wide open spaces that refer to an attitude of living and letting live. Lujan Grisham would bring back that Western grit and perspective to Washington, as he did when serving in Congress.
A nod to the Latinx population should push candidates south-west. New Mexico is still far the most latin state in percentage. Having a former president of the Hispanic Caucus Congress, who helped Democrats nationally formulate a policy for the Latinx community in general, would be a bold step for the party and the right move for our country, whose global image as compassionate and welcoming has been deeply stained in recent years.

New Mexico has a governor who can drive in times of trouble. His record shows that he can do the same for America. Joe Biden should choose as a running companion: Michelle Lujan Grisham.

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