Who Do Democrats Want for Vice President? - "Sunday Political Brunch" - September 15, 2019


CHARLESTON, W. Va. – So much of the talk this week focused on the third Presidential Debate in Houston, sponsored by ABC. I’ll address some of that, but let’s talk about something few are talking about. And that is who will be the vice-presidential nominee? “Let’s “brunch” on that this week.

“Biden-Klobuchar” – I have long said that if former Vice President Joe Biden is the nominee, he will pick Sen. Amy Klobuchar as his running mate. The advantages are that the ticket has gender balance, and it has an experienced number-two who served as a county prosecutor, corporate lawyer and a U.S Senator for three terms. People want someone who can step in if the boss is ill or dies. Klobuchar can probably help the Democrats take back neighboring Wisconsin, while Biden could capture his native Pennsylvania. If they get Michigan or Ohio (assuming all other states stay as in 2016), Democrats win back the White House.

“Warren-Hickenlooper” – A lot of analysts think Warren is too liberal to be elected president in this era. They may be right. But pairing up with the moderate-pragmatic in Hickenlooper might give the ticket ideological and geographic balance. Hickenlooper served two terms as Mayor of Denver and two terms as Governor of Colorado. He’s not flashy, but rather is a steady, moderating influence a lot of people would be comfortable with.

“Sanders-Gabbard” – Like Warren, many feel Sanders is too liberal to get elected. Well, why not team up with the moderate Rep Tulsi Gabbard (D) Hawaii, who is a military veteran. Gabbard proved her tenacity in the second debate by forcefully taking on Senator Harris. A lot of centrist, moderate and right leaning Americans are less than confident of the Democrat’s support of the military. Gabbard, and Mayor Pete Buttigieg (D) South Bend, Indiana, have scored a lot of points in these debates as the only military veterans on stage.

“Harris-O’Rourke” – Sen. Kamala Harris (D) California has faded in the polls after a great first debate, but a poor second debate. Democrats are going to win California no matter what, so she’d need to look at the Electoral College map, to see where Democrats could pick up a non-traditional state. O’Rourke nearly beat Sen. Ted Cruz (R) Texas. Also, five incumbent Republicans in the House of Representatives in Texas are retiring. Democrats hope to be competitive in all five districts. The demographics of Texas are changing. Harris picking O’Rourke or former HUD Secretary Julian Castro would be a bold roll of the dice.

“Buttigieg-Booker” – Mayor Pete is still a long-shot for the top of the ticket, but since he is performing so well in New Hampshire, you’ve got to look at his prospects of he wins or places high there. Again, his military chops matter. There’s also not a lot of concern – at least publicly – that he is openly gay and married. Fighting for his country seems to have “trumped” that. Still, he’s in his 30s, and would need someone with more seasoned experience to balance the ticket. Booker was the Mayor of Newark, New Jersey, before advancing to the U.S. Senate.

“O’Rourke-Inslee” – Gov. Jay Inslee (D) Washington did not fare well in this presidential race and dropped out. But I think he’d be a viable running mate. He was clearly the most passionate and outspoken on the issue of climate change, and I predict no matter who wins, he will likely be tapped to be Secretary of Energy or the Interior. But, don’t rule him out as a potential VP pick. He served a stretch in Congress before his two terms as governor.

“The Others” – These are the top-six in virtually all presidential primary polls. At this point, I don’t think any of the other candidates can rise from the ashes, so I’m not going to handicap their chances. A good many of them probably have shots at cabinet positions, or higher political office down the road.

“The Third Debate” – Thursday night’s third Democratic Primary Debate from Houston was fascinating, but also plowed over a lot of old ground. The most memorable moment of the night was when former HUD Secretary and San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro (D) Texas attacked former VP Joe Biden over health care, and whether Biden flip-flopped his policy on stage. “You just said two minutes ago, that you’d have to buy in. You said they’d have to buy in. Are you forgetting what you said two minutes ago?” Castro asked. “Are you forgetting what you said two-minutes ago,” Castro pressed as many on the crowd gasped. Given all the concerns about Biden’s age and mental acuity, Castro might either be viewed as appropriately combative, or highly insensitive. But you don’t become president by being timid. Stay tuned!

Whom would you like to see be the Democratic nominee for vice president next year? Just click the comment button and let me know.

Mark Curtis Ed.D., is Chief Political Reporter for the five Nexstar Media TV stations serving West Virginia and its five neighboring states, plus most of the Washington, D.C. television market. He is a National Contributing Political Write for the White House Patch at www.Patch.com.

© 2019, Mark Curtis Media, LLC.

Photo courtesy: Getty Images

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