While Biden made it clear months ago that he would choose a woman, there now appears to be a significant increase in support for him to select a black woman – making history (there has never been a black woman on both sides’ national ticket ) while sending a very clear message to the black community that not only understands their importance for his appointment, but also believes that they need an important voice in his White House.
(Biden’s “you’re not black” gaffe, though not nearly as important as the nationwide protests against police brutality, also plays a role in this calculation.)
With that in mind, I made major changes to this week’s vice presidential rankings. The most likely choices are now all African American women. And Minnesota Senator Amy Klobuchar, whom I had ranked as the second most likely woman to be the choice, this week undergoes a serious slump amidst questions about her record as Minnesota’s chief prosecutor before being elected to the Senate in 2016.
These rankings change weekly, so if your favorite isn’t ranked where it should be – or isn’t even on the list – it’s always next week. By the way, here it is last week’s rankings. Michelle Obama’s warning needed: the former first lady is not on this list because she never indicated an interest in being a politician. If it does, it would immediately jump to the top of these rankings.
10. Gina Raimondo
: If you believe a) Biden will have a moderate self-identifier in her latest VP group and b) Klobuchar and Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer, who suffers from another self-inflicted injury this week
, are moving in the wrong direction on this list, so the Rhode Island governor could fill that niche. (I had long believed that Biden would have a moderate in his last three; I’m not sure I think so anymore.) The politics-focused Raimondo has won praise since like conservative columnist George Will
and showed willingness to make difficult choices in the office. (Previous ranking: not classified)
9. Amy Klobuchar: The release of the Minnesota senator’s record during her time in the early 2000s as chief prosecutor in Hennepin County (Minneapolis) had continued to boil slowly during the vice president’s speculation. But George Floyd’s death turned that record, which many black leaders suggested was too pro-police, into a matter of great concern.
And it’s very difficult to see how Biden takes such a risk in collecting Klobuchar given the mood within the Democratic Party right now. (Previous ranking: 2)
8. Tammy Duckworth: While the Illinois senator doesn’t get as much buzz as some of the names above her on this list, his profile resists none of them: a helicopter pilot in Iraq has lost both legs and the use of a arm when she was shot down. She continued to be elected to the United States House and Senate from Illinois. He is also making his voice heard in the days when Floyd was killed in Minneapolis: “George Floyd’s death was unnecessary and excruciating,” he wrote Monday in a CNN. “It was a tragedy – but horribly, it wasn’t an anomaly.” (Previous ranking: not classified)
7. Stacey Abrams
: In a op-ed
published in The New York Times Thursday (no, no one one
), Abrams claims that the best way to react to Floyd’s death is for black people to register to vote and then do so in November.
“Voting is a first step in a long and complex, tedious but vital process,” wrote the former minority leader of the Georgia State House. Wise words – and those that suggest that it is ready to conduct a critical issue for all minority communities. (Previous ranking: 9)
6. Susan Rice
: If Biden wants to choose the woman with the most practical experience in foreign policy and national security matters, there is no doubt that Rice tops the list – having served as a national security consultant and state ambassador United at the United Nations during the Obama administration. But it also carries baggage, in particular his statements after the Benghazi attack in Libya
and his January 20, 2017, email about Michael Flynn. (Previous ranking: 7)
5. Michelle Lujan Grisham: Lost in the middle of the news flow last week is the fact that Nevada Senator Catherine Cortez Masto has removed herself from the Vice President’s consideration. This move leaves Lujan Grisham, the governor of New Mexico, as the tallest Latina in the VP mix.
(Other names like Texas Reps. Veronica Escobar and Sylvia Garcia still seem like something to me for a long time.) Lujan Grisham also has intensifies its criticism of Trump
and his response to Floyd’s death. (Previous ranking: 8)
4. Elizabeth Warren: As I said above, I think so very Biden probably chooses a black woman as her travel companion. Otherwise, the Massachusetts senator probably has the best chance, as she is loved by liberals and her selection can be viewed as an attempt to unite the Democratic Party. (Previous ranking: 3)
3. Val Demings
: Even before Floyd’s death and his constant reverberations, this member of Florida House was receiving rave reviews about his potential as a ticket companion for Biden. But now consider what Demings would do to the ticket: a former black police chief of a large southern city (Orlando) who knows the issues within the law enforcement community about intimately police brutality. (Previous ranking 5)
2. Lower parts of Keisha’s spear: Lance Bottoms’ speech last Friday night – amid violent protests in Atlanta – was one moment. She was empathetic. Difficult. It is deeply human. I had the mayor of Atlanta on my list almost from the beginning of the vice president’s trial, but I’m never sure it would have entered the highest level. Boy, I was wrong. (Previous ranking: 6)
1. Kamala HarrisFor all that has changed on the list this week, the positioning of the California senator is not. If anything, Harris seems to be even more likely to be the choice now since she, at 55, is a younger generation than Biden but also has extensive experience – as a California attorney general and senator – that we know Biden’s values. (Previous ranking: 1)