Everyone has an opinion on the best running mate for Joe Biden, the presumptive Democratic candidate for President of the United States.
My choice is Keisha Lance Bottoms. Here’s why…
James Corden interviewed Biden on April 22 and asked him for the qualities he sought in a Vice President.
Biden, reflecting on what former President Barack Obama said about why he chose Biden to be VP, indicated that he wanted similar qualities in his pick.
1. Someone who the public can look at and say, “She is capable of being President of the United States” if he had to walk away.
2. Someone who has background, competence, or strengths in areas where he lacks; and who is confident in areas where he can delegate presidential authority.
3. Someone on his wavelength, who may disagree on tactics but agrees on strategies.
4. Someone he can completely trust.
Every newspaper columnist, media pundit, and everyday citizen has an opinion on the best Vice President.
The most popular names that I see recommended are U.S. Senators Kamala Harris, Amy Klobuchar, Tammy Baldwin, Tammy Duckworth, Catherine Cortez Masto, and Elizabeth Warren; U.S. Representatives Val Demings, Marcia Fudge, Karen Bass, Maxine Waters, and Ayanna Pressley; Former National Security Advisor Susan Rice; Governors Gretchen Whitmer and Michelle Grisham; former Georgia legislator Stacy Abrams; and Bottoms.
I have several thoughts:
First, would Biden as a former Senator want a current Senator as his running mate? Wouldn’t a Senator share background he already has?
Second, I’m an independent voter but I believe the Democrats need to maintain their majority in the House and gain a majority in the Senate. If both actions occur, then incumbents are needed to maintain that lead. If neither chamber gets a majority, then that’s more of an impetus for Democrats to stay put. The Congress needs to play its part to check and balance against the President, regardless of party.
Third, I’d rather see former presidential candidates Harris as Attorney General, Klobuchar as Secretary of Agriculture, and Warren as Senate President. Warren, especially, can be valuable here.
Fourth, I don’t think that a member of Congress, regardless of the chamber, is the best person to be Vice President. I believe that person is someone who is/was on the ground during the pandemic.
Fifth, neither Whitmer nor Grisham were elected as mayors or town managers. They are former legislators. And they should maintain their state’s party leadership.
Sixth, Abrams is similar to the Governors. She served in the Georgia House of Representatives for 10 years. But, she’s never been in the executive branch. And for reasons I explain above, I can’t include her.
Seventh, Rice could get the job done but given her background I think she’d be better as Secretary of State.
I think the nation is best served with a Vice President who is currently serving in a local government role. The pandemic changes the rules.
Local leaders demonstrate daily hands-on experience and context in working with public health officials, first responders, unions, local business owners, and other stakeholders. These individuals are crucial in the front lines and have the ability to unite groups of people across the country.
“There is a young lady right there in Georgia who I think would make a tremendous VP candidate, and that’s the mayor of Atlanta, Keisha Lance Bottoms.”U.S. Rep. James Clyburn
Clyburn is the U.S. House Majority Whip, and he stated that quote during a recent interview with the Financial Times. Of note, he was directly responsible for Biden winning South Carolina.
Bottoms and Biden share experiences from their early days, each having a law degree and serving on city councils.
Bottoms has the background, competence, and strengths that Biden lacks. I’m sure they’d agree on domestic and foreign strategies. Would the American people look at her and believe she can step in as President? I’m a former city councilor and I have faith she can do the job. But it comes down to whether Biden can trust her. Only he knows.
Elected in 2017, Bottoms is passionate about a government partnership with business leaders dating to the 1950s. From a $1 billion affordable housing goal to raising police and fire salaries to hosting Super Bowl LIII, she’s optimistic that the country can follow Atlanta’s lead.
“That’s the great thing about Atlanta and the state as a whole. We do things very differently. We have a very productive working relationship with our business partners that’s not at the expense of our communities. Even the bipartisan working relationship we have – if it could be replicated in Washington, I think our country would be in lot better shape.”Source: Georgia Trend, December 2019
Bottoms endorsed Biden after the first Democratic debate in June 2019. She’s interviewed on national TV networks nearly every day. She’s a face with the pandemic experience that people can relate to in our new normal.
Naysayers point out that the country has never elected a sitting mayor to be Vice President. That’s true, but Andrew Johnson and Calvin Coolidge held mayoral roles before entering federal office.
And, let’s not forget that Mayor Pete Buttigieg won the Ohio caucus and tied in the New Hampshire primary in his run for President.
Why, again, shouldn’t Bottoms run for Vice President?
These are my thoughts. Time will tell what happens.
Biden’s VP selection committee will be announced by May 1. The members will conduct interviews and background checks by July — and then he will make the final decision. Who will it be?