A new name has entered the field of candidates being vetted as a potential running mate for Joe Biden. Rep. Karen Bass of California has been asked to participate in the vetting process.
By now I thought the list of women under consideration was dwindling but that’s not the case, as the addition of Bass shows. She checks all the boxes as far as what Team Biden is looking for in a candidate goes. She is the Chair of the Congressional Black Caucus, she is serving her fifth term in Congress, and before that, she served as the speaker of the California Assembly. She had a career in health care as a physician assistant before entering politics. Biden promised to choose a woman as his running mate and now the pressure is on for him to not just choose a woman but a woman of color.
A black woman as a running mate could boost enthusiasm among African-Americans for Biden, especially African-American women who make up a large segment of the Democrat voting population. No doubt Team Biden is hoping that choosing a black woman will be the answer to his low enthusiasm problem with Democrat voters. Of the ones reported to be under consideration – Senator Kamala Harris, Rep. Val Demings, Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms, and former National Security Adviser Susan Rice – would Bass be the best choice?
Karen Bass has a decent enough resume but she is 66 years old and from California. Biden will win California so he wouldn’t be counting on her to bring out the votes there. Not that 66 is too old but wouldn’t you think that old Joe, who at 77 years of age will be the oldest person to be sworn in as president if he wins in November, would pick someone a little younger to be his shadow president? President Trump, for example, who was the oldest person to be sworn in as president at age 70, chose Mike Pence who was in his late 50s at the time. Let’s face it, whomever Biden chooses will be very important, much more important than a vice-presidential choice normally is, because of the concerns most of us have about his mental capabilities and physical stamina to last through a full four-year term. I don’t say that lightly or to be snarky, I truly don’t have confidence that Biden can make it through a full term as president.
Ms. Bass has been in the news lately as a more reasonable voice in the Democrat Party, especially during the uprise of Black Lives Matter and their campaign to defund and/or eliminate police in communities across the country. She spoke up and said that Defund the Police is a really bad slogan. But, don’t get too excited about momentary sanity. She also said last December that Trump could be impeached again if the Democrats won the Senate back in 2020. Her clarity is limited.
She has taken the lead with constructing the House police reform bill. Never let a crisis go to waste.
“I’m inclined to push the envelope as far as we can because we have a moment now,” Bass said of the policing reform proposal in an interview with CBS News’ Major Garrett on “The Takeout” podcast.
Bass could be seen as someone working toward reform, while Kamala Harris has a questionable history as California’s Attorney General and San Francisco District Attorney’s Office before that. Val Demings is a former law enforcement officer and the first woman to be Chief of Police in Orlando, Florida. And, Keisha Lance Bottoms is gaining on-the-job experience in handling protests and rioting in Atlanta. Bass could also be seen as a helpful partner in health care reform from her background. She joined Biden on a live stream event discussing the coronavirus pandemic and health care workers.
As the seriousness of the pandemic set in during late March, Bass joined Biden for a livestream event about the problems faced by medical workers on the front lines of the pandemic.
“I worked in the trauma center at the beginning of the AIDS epidemic, I remember working without protection and I remember the fear I had every day,” Bass said on the livestream about her work in Los Angeles. “I know the commitment you have to save lives even if it means putting your own life at risk. The nation thanks you for your service.”
It still all boils down to identity politics. While Elizabeth Warren sees her chances shrinking because she’s a white woman who can’t even use her phony Native American heritage as a draw, the demand has been made that the choice must be a black woman. Rep. Clyburn in South Carolina wrangled Biden’s primary victory in South Carolina that rescued his floundering campaign and ever since has been whispering in Sleepy Joe’s ear that a black woman is a key to his victory in November. It should be insulting to the women under consideration that they are on a list simply because they check the right boxes but it won’t be. They feel entitled to a nod from Team Biden. The people vetting candidates for Biden even admit that race is the top consideration.
One of the women helping Biden make his decision is Delaware Representative Lisa Blunt Rochester. She has been honest about how race will factor into her deliberation.
“If we want to transform this country, this is the time to recognize…the leadership of black women,” Blunt Rochester said on a recent livestream. “We won’t be taken for granted.”
Biden has boxed himself into a corner by pandering to the social justice mob. I have no sympathy for him. We’ll see how well he chooses when he announces his choice. Biden still says he plans to do so around August 1.