Election 2020

Biden Team Already Discussing Cabinet Picks for Third Obama Term

Then Vice President Joe Biden speaks at a campaign event for Hillary Clinton on Sept. 1, 2016, in Cleveland. (AP Photo/David Dermer)

Hillary Clinton spent the entire 2016 campaign expecting victory and she appeared to feel entitled to the presidency.

“Why aren’t I 50 points ahead?” she infamously asked in September 2016. If there’s anything one should take away from her defeat it is to not be overconfident. Her overconfidence likely resulted in her not campaigning as much (or at all) in states she should have. Her campaign had other problems as well, but treating the election like an annoying formality could not have been a good thing for her, and it appears that Joe Biden is making the same mistake.

Axios reports that Team Biden is already “discussing potential leaders and Cabinet members for his White House, including the need to name a woman or African American — perhaps both — as vice president.”

According to the report, many familiar names from the Obama years are being discussed for key positions, including John Kerry, who “would love to take a new Cabinet position devoted to climate change” or possibly return as Secretary of State; and Susan Rice, who infamously lied to the entire country on behalf of Obama about the Benghazi attack, and ordered a standdown when it appeared that Russia was attempting to interfere with the 2016 election.

Some in Biden’s inner circle are already considering potential VP picks. Elizabeth Warren is seen a choice that can excite the progressives in the party, but there are also quite a few minorities on the list, such as Kamala Harris and Cory Booker (who have both just endorsed him) as well as Deval Patrick, and, for some reason, Stacey Abrams.

One Biden advisor, who was asked by Axios who Biden’s VP pick would be, said,  “Whoever Jim Clyburn wants it to be.”

Clyburn, the highest-ranking African American in Congress, is credited with resurrecting Biden’s campaign with his endorsement.

It’s not unheard of for campaigns to start looking ahead during the campaign. President Trump released a list of judges he’d consider nominating for the Supreme Court during the 2016 campaign, though that was largely seen as a means of proving to conservatives he would nominate conservative judges to the bench. When you look at the list of names listed in the Axios story, Joe Biden’s angle here appears to be to tell voters that his term would be a third Obama term, not a first Biden term. I’m sure President Trump will have a lot of fun with that.