The Democratic political operatives with bylines never run out of advice for their beloved party. Joel Dodge of The Week recently weighed in on Hillary Clinton’s VP choice, casting his vote for “none of the above.” From his article:
“The names on Clinton’s short list creating the most excitement also have significant downsides. Cabinet members like Housing and Urban Secretary Julian Castro and Labor Secretary Tom Perez would bring youth and diversity to the ticket, but they are thin on campaigning and governing experience.”
So Mr. Dodge is no fan of political hacks with Hispanic names. On that we can agree. There is no pander value to picking Senator Elizabeth “Fauxcohontas” Warren of Massachusetts, and we know the Dems are all about pandering. That choice would be Cory Booker of New Jersey. How about Sherrod Brown of Ohio, a swing state?
Warren, Booker and Brown all must be tossed out “because of the Democrats’ state level performance in recent years, meaning “a Republican governor would get to name their immediate replacement,” Mr. Dodge reasons like a true-blue operative who knows the Senate may be up for grabs.
How about Senator Tim Kaine of Virginia? There’s a Democratic governor there, right? Meh. “While hardly a household name, Kaine has a solid vice president’s resume as a senator and former governor. But [he] will do little to rouse the electorate, either for good or ill. He’d be the Merrick Garland of vice presidential picks: a past runner-up who would be a totally serviceable, inoffensive centrist pick.”
So we get to Mr. Dodge’s druthers: keeping “Uncle Joe” Biden as VP. “The current vice president is universally known, vetted, and unquestionably fit to serve. He’s absolutely beloved by Democrats, helping to shore up the Sanders-Warren wing of the party. And he has already proven to be an able complement to a candidate who, like Clinton, sometimes struggles to connect viscerally and emotionally with voters. He also appears to absolutely love being vice president, and is good at the job.”
John Nance Garner, Franklin Roosevelt’s VP for three terms, once called the office “not worth a bucket of warm piss.” That’s ideal for Biden, who at 73 is a movin’ kinda slow, especially mentally; he’s a gaffe machine. On my personal list of Uncle Joes, he’s somewhere between the late Edgar Buchanan and Stalin.
Then there is the matter of the Clinton-Biden rivalry that goes back years. Again, Mr. Dodge: “If Obama could peg Clinton to serve as his secretary of state after the fierce 2008 primary battle, Clinton can let bygones be bygones with Biden. Biden endorsed Clinton last month … By all accounts, he’s ready and eager to campaign to beat Trump. There’s no reason why Clinton and Biden can’t paper over their differences to team up.”
Presidents are term-limited; VPs are not. Picking Biden would be bizarre, but we’ve already seen crazier things this election cycle.