Joe Biden’s vice presidential choice has been one of Washington’s best-kept secrets but an apparently unintentional press release and Biden’s own teasingly revealed notes raise hopes that Kamala Harris will be the winner. Speculation about VP ‘s choice is a parlour game played in Washington every four years but this time the stakes are exceptionally high.
Biden would be 78 years old when he took office — the oldest US president ever — and he indicated he would not be running for a second term, making his successor the first candidate to take on the nomination of the party. Biden, who leads strongly against Republican President Donald Trump in the polls, has also upped the curiosity factor by announcing well in advance that he will only pick a woman. It will be the third time a woman has been picked in U.S. history, even though both earlier examples – Geraldine Ferraro in 1984 and Sarah Palin in 2008 – turned out to be losing tickets.
Biden has been keeping a lid on leaks about his plans, in line with his ultra low-key campaign. Press attention has ebbed and flowed from heavyweights like former UN ambassador Susan Rice, Senator Elizabeth Warren and Barack Obama, to early late entrants like Val Demings, a Florida congresswoman, and war-wounded Senator Tammy Duckworth. Harris has also been in the mix with an outstanding curriculum vitae that includes her own achievements in the Senate, her challenge for the Democratic nomination before ceding to Biden and the fact that she’s black in the age of Black Lives Matter.
Joe Biden’s Decision Awaits
Biden said on Tuesday he’ll announce his decision in August’s first week.
But what if he already does have it? Notepaper bearing the words “Kamala Harris” was in his hand Tuesday. Underneath, there were a series of positive points:
If Biden also held notes on his other future VPs, he didn’t keep them in a manner that allowed an AFP photographer and others to get a picture — accidentally or not.
Adding to the mini-drama, the influential news site Politico ran a report that proclaimed Harris the winner — mistakenly, it said —.
The text take down quickly but not wide-eye until reaching a handful of Washington insiders.
This said that during their primary battles Biden saw Harris as “a worthy adversary”.
She would add name recognition to the ticket. It is from her years as a California prosecutor and “ability as a debater.”
So, it is conceivable, of course, that Politico has simply accidentally published a text. It plans only in case of winning Harris — a standard occurrence in news organizations. And it is likely that comments from Biden meant nothing except that he admires Harris. In theory, the same points in the notes uses to praise her. It is during a speech to announce that he has chosen someone else. In the final stretch, other candidates, particularly Rice speak up. Warren has always stayed in the mix, as a major leader on the Democratic Party’s left.
Harris brings the baggage of someone who has done just as much in public life. It is particularly as California’s attorney general, where her position as a crime fighter raises hackles. Still, with her mixed Jamaican and Indian roots, she demonstrated resilience on the job. Also, the fact that she’s just 55 years old, Harris crosses a number of boxes for Biden. Her former spokesperson, Ian Sams, has said Trump was frightened by Harris.
Yet, on Tuesday, none other than Trump himself thanked Harris.