Opinion | Veepstakes: Ranking Biden’s potential VP picks

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By Devi Ruia, Senior Staff Columnist

Remember the good old days when our biggest concerns were school, work or things like the Democratic primary? Now our lives are saturated with the various problems that a global pandemic brings about — made even worse by the fact that our president is an incompetent moron. I’ve tried to stay sane during this time by keeping my eyes on a brighter future, where Democrats control Congress and the White House. While Joe Biden wasn’t my first choice to serve as President Donald Trump’s replacement, I know that he’ll be leagues better than Trump for many reasons — especially because he’ll surround himself with smart, competent people to serve in his administration. One of the roles that I’m most curious to see Biden fill is that of vice president.

Biden has already said his vice president will be a woman, but that only narrows down the list slightly, as there are many well-qualified liberals who he could pick for the job. This choice is perhaps more important than usual, as Biden has stated he would serve as a “transition” candidate, meaning that his veep would likely be the Democratic nominee in four years. That means it’s more important than ever that Biden picks a great candidate who not only can help him win in November, but is fully up to the task of leading the party in four years. Here is my ranking of some of the potential VP picks.

 

  1. Amy Klobuchar

Before I get a binder thrown at me for putting Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., last, let me first say that I don’t dislike Klobuchar or doubt her capability in any way. I just don’t think that she would bring too much to the table as Biden’s VP. While she is a smart, capable senator, I just can’t see how she’d be able to bring in new voters or move the party forward. Sure, she’s a moderate, which means that she has a strong Midwestern appeal, but that’s already Biden’s shtick. An all-white, all-moderate ticket just doesn’t seem like a good choice to me, which is why I really hope Biden doesn’t go with Klobuchar.

 

  1. Gretchen Whitmer

Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer is someone I would have been thrilled to see as the veep pick a few months ago. She’s a great governor from a state that we desperately need to win in November, and I think she’d make a great vice president. Unfortunately, thanks to COVID-19, we just can’t justify a governor taking time away from dealing with the issues in their state caused by the pandemic in order to be on the campaign trail — even a virtual one. Whitmer needs to concentrate on Michigan right now — which I’m sure both she and Biden know — but she clearly has a bright political future ahead of her, so I doubt not being VP this time will be a blow to that in any way.

 

  1. Kamala Harris

I would pay so much money to see Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif., absolutely demolish Mike Pence in a VP debate. Harris has an impressive background and has been a standout in her short time as a senator. She would be a great veep, but I’m not sure if she would do much to sway the outcome of the November election in Biden’s favor. When Harris ran for president last year, many concerns were raised about her past as a prosecutor. Whether you think that these concerns were relevant or not, they undoubtedly harmed Harris’ reputation among progressives, especially young people. I don’t think she’d really bring in many new voters as the VP pick, but I’d still take her over someone more moderate.

 

Tied for 1st: Stacey Abrams and Elizabeth Warren

I would genuinely be equally ecstatic if either Stacey Abrams or Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., were Biden’s VP pick. Both women are personal heroes of mine, and I think they bring the most to the table as potential veep picks. They both are fairly well-known, respected politicians who have broad appeal, not only within the Democratic party but with Independents as well.

Not to mention, who wouldn’t want Warren’s slate of plans in a time like this? Plus, she would hopefully assuage some people on the left who were disappointed that it wasn’t her or Bernie Sanders who got the nomination and are still hesitant about Biden and his more moderate policies.

Abrams is also a popular progressive, and while she may have less experience on the national stage, she is extremely good at organizing voters and turning out nonvoters, groups who we would desperately need to vote blue in November.

Both women have been open about the fact that they want and would accept the veep slot if Biden offered it to them, and I’d be extremely excited to see either of them on the ticket.

Whoever Biden picks, I know that they’ll be a million times better than any of the morons currently occupying the White House. However, I really hope that he picks a progressive who can bring in new voters and is willing to move the party in a better direction.

Devi primarily writes about politics for The Pitt News. Write to her at dvr7@pitt.edu and follow her on Twitter for more hot takes @DeviRuia.

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