If You are Explaining, You are Losing: My take on the Biden VP Choice

Who do you think Biden will pick?

I cannot tell you how many times I have been asked this question over the past two months.

My response has been the same: if Biden picks a VP that Americans do not know, Democrats will spend the Fall introducing and explaining who the VP is.

Meanwhile, President Trump will brand that person as soon as she is announced. The President is masterful in creating a narrative characterizing his opponents.

If you are explaining, you are losing.

Former Vice President Joe Biden has publicly committed to choosing a female Vice President. Given the current climate in the country, many insist he must choose an African American female Vice President. I agree.

Candidates under consideration include:

U.S. Senator Kamala Harris from California; Served as California Attorney General; Served as District Attorney of the City and County of San Francisco.

Ambassador Susan Rice, Former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations under President Obama; National Security Adviser to President Obama.

U.S. Representative Val Demings, representing Florida’s 10th Congressional District; Served on the House Impeachment Manager; Impeccable credentials as a Police Chief in Orlando.

U.S. Representative Karen Bass, representing California’s 37th Congressional District; Chair of the Congressional Black Caucus.

Governor Gretchen Whitmer, State of Michigan; Former prosecutor, State Representative; State Senator where she served as the Senate Democratic Leader.

U.S. Senator Tammy Duckworth from Illinois; Iraq War Veteran; Purple Heart recipient; Former Assistant Secretary of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.

Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms, City of Atlanta; Served as a Judge; Atlanta City Council.

Stacey Abrams, former Georgia State Representative; Democratic Nominee for Governor of Georgia.

U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin, Senator from Wisconsin; Fourth most progressive Member of the Senate; Seven terms in the U.S. House; Wisconsin State Assembly

U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren, Senator from Massachusetts; Presidential Candidate in 2020.

Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham, State of New Mexico; first Democratic Latina to be elected governor in U.S. history; Served three terms in the U.S House of Representatives.

This list of VP candidates represents a strong bench for the Democratic Party. I’m psyched to see this many qualified women on the list of possible nominees for Vice President.

What worries me about this list is most Americans don’t know who these women are. In politics, we call it a “lack of name recognition.”

If you are reading this post, ask yourself “have I heard of these folks?”

If Former Vice President Biden picks a VP nominee that most Americans have never heard of, the campaign will spend its time between the convention in August and the election in November explaining the nominee and her background.

Meanwhile, President Trump has already branded a number of these individuals and will double down on his characterizations: “Pocahontas”, “too liberal”, “radical left”, “socialists”.

Will Democrats pick someone the American people know only because of the name the President gave them?

In this case, the old adage is true: Democrats fall in love. Republicans fall in line.

Former Vice President Biden needs to make a disciplined pick based on who can hit the ground running in this campaign versus one waiting to be introduced to the American people.

I have to admit, I have my doubts about how Democrats will approach this process.

Senator Kamala Harris is my choice for VP.

I am sure Senator Elizabeth Warren is also a strong contender.

Both ran for President this year, and while they are not the party nominee, both gained nationwide name recognition and exposure as a result of their Presidential campaigns.

Think I am wrong? Check out this Politico polling I saw in late July.

Politico analyzed each Vice Presidential contenders on the following categories:

  • Favorable Opinion
  • Unfavorable Opinion
  • Never Heard of Her
  • No Opinion

According to the polls, the percentage of “Never Heard of Her” for the top contenders were as follows:

  • Harris – 20%
  • Warren – 9%
  • Rice – 37%
  • Abrams – 37%
  • Baldwin – 60%
  • Bass – 68%
  • Bottoms – 58%
  • Demings – 64%
  • Duckworth – 52%
  • Grisham – 66%
  • Whitmer – 51%

These numbers demonstrate why Senator Harris, Senator Warren, and Ambassador Rice are under serious consideration, as reported by numerous media outlets.

Others on this list have never held federal office nor been elected statewide – both of which are negatives if you want a Vice President ready on day one.

I’ll say it again, if you are explaining, you are losing.

Former Vice President Biden is expected to announce his choice for Vice President any day now.

In fact, most of us who follow this stuff way too closely, expect the announcement this week.

Since we are still waiting, we can expect an announcement in the next few days before the start of the Democratic National Convention on August 17.

My money is still on Senator Kamala Harris.

Reach out to me if you think differently. I’d love to hear your opinions.

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