Why would Joe Biden surely choose a black woman as vice president?

Why would Joe Biden surely choose a black woman as vice president?

Consider where we are as a country right now.

* Floyd’s death has sparked (mostly) peaceful protests across the country, not only about police brutality but also about the deep and permanent racial inequalities present in American society. (See these six charts that show the reality of inequality hard.)
* Biden owes his status as presumptive presidential candidate almost entirely to black voters, especially those in South Carolina. Biden’s campaign was going wrong: He had finished fourth in Iowa, fifth in New Hampshire and second in Nevada, before the February 29 primary at Palmetto State. According to exit polls, black voters made up a majority (56%) of South Carolina’s primary electorate and overwhelmingly (61%) went to Biden. His victory in the state propelled him to a series of victories on Super Tuesday, just three days later, and, at the time, the nomination was his.

South Carolina representative Jim Clyburn, whose endorsement of Biden days before primary was, without question, the turning point of the race, was asked about Biden choosing a black woman as his running mate. Wednesday morning in conversation with Jonathan from the Washington Post. Capehart “The only thing that is mandatory in this process right now is to win,” said Clyburn. “That is winning. It will be an advantage to have an African American woman. It will be an advantage to have a Latino. It will be an advantage to have a woman.”

Enough true! But there is a strong argument to be the best chance for Biden to win the White House. is choosing a black woman as his running mate.

Remember one of the central reasons Hillary Clinton lost the 2016 election to Donald Trump was that black voters fell as a percentage of the general electorate since 2012 and they were won less overwhelmingly than then-President Barack Obama.

For all the focus on the industrial Midwest and the white, uneducated college voters who went with Trump, if Clinton had been able to achieve black participation at the level it was during Obama’s two victories, he surely would have won.

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Now, just putting a person of color on the ticket doesn’t mean you win black people’s votes or make sure they turn out in large numbers. But politics at the presidential level is often about symbolism. And who Biden chooses as his vice president will be his best chance to reveal how he views his party, the country, and the world, and what he prioritizes among the many, many problems facing the United States right now.

I returned to that Biden was elected by Obama in 2008. The concern among voters at the time was that a relatively inexperienced senator, Obama had been in the chamber for just two years when he started running for president, he might have too great an apprenticeship. bend as president. So Obama chose Biden, a man who had spent his entire adult life in politics and in Washington, to send a symbolic message that there would be a steady hand behind the wheel. George W. Bush made a similar choice to calm the nerves with Dick Cheney in 2000. Trump chose Indiana Governor Mike Pence as his running mate as a nod to the party’s establishment, though, in hindsight, it was clearly just a wink. It is not a real attempt to incorporate established views and approaches into your presidency.

Biden, if you listened carefully to his speech in Philadelphia on Tuesday, seemed to be hinting at the need for major action, and different options, when it came to addressing the still-latent issue of race in the country. Here is the key part of what he said (bold is mine):

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It will take more than talking. We’ve spoken before. We’ve had protests before. “

“We promise to make this, at last, an era of action to reverse systemic racism with far overdue and concrete changes.

“That action will not be completed in the first 100 days of my Presidency, not even in a complete period.

It is the work of a generation

Choosing a black woman who is a generation (or younger) than Biden would send a great signal about how committed she really is to changing the racial dynamic in this country. (It would be the first time that a black woman was nominated for the vice presidency for any of the major parties.)

And luckily for Biden, he has several African American women who would make excellent decisions.

Even before Biden’s “you’re not black” joke and the uprising that followed the assassination of George Floyd, California Senator Kamala Harris, 55, who was the first African American and American Indian elected to the California Senate, was in the top of my VP rankings. Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms (50 years old) and Florida Rep Val Demings (63 years old) were in the Top 6. Now? It’s hard to see three more people who are more likely to be the choice. (Stay tuned for me new rankings on Thursday!)

Biden has said he hopes to make a decision on his running mate by August 1. Indeed, his decision may well have been made, or at least significantly reduced, by the events of the past 10 days.

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Cory Weinberg

About the Author: Cory Weinberg

Cory Weinberg covers the intersection of tech and cities. That means digging into how startups and big tech companies are trying to reshape real estate, transportation, urban planning, and travel. Previously, he reported on Bay Area housing and commercial real estate for the San Francisco Business Times. He received a "best young journalist" award from the National Association of Real Estate Editors.

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