Oh, the joys of trying to pander to the far left. The race to be Joe Biden’s vice-president is heating up and Black Lives Matter has chimed in. They are unhappy with Florida Congresswoman Val Demmings being on the list.
That’s right. Black Lives Matter is not happy that Joe Biden may select a black congresswoman. You really can’t make this up. Conventional wisdom has been counseling the nominee to select a black woman. An open letter from more than 200 black women promises they are key to his victory in 2020 and to give a nod to this fact he should select one.
Demings is reportedly one of six women who have passed the initial scrutiny by the VP selection committee. According to the New York Post, she is seen as more attractive than Senator Kamala Harris in public presentations.
“She’s fresh and new, seems better on TV than Kamala [Harris]. I think right now she’s got an outside but decent shot at VP,” one Biden campaign insider told The Post. Demings has publicly stated her interest in the job.
However, Demings’ previous career was in law enforcement. From her website:
During her distinguished 27-year career with the Orlando Police Department (OPD), she served in virtually every department, including serving as Commander of the Special Operations. In this role, she was responsible for some of Orlando’s highest profile tasks, including special events and dignitary protection.
In 2007, Val Demings made history when she was appointed to serve as Orlando’s first female Chief of Police.
I would have to assume, this means she was also the first black female to hold the office. Now that there is a constituency on the left that is calling to defund police departments, Demings’ career is an obvious problem. At least to the Black Lives Matters activists. In fact, Hank Newsome, chairman of the Greater New York chapter, told the Post:
“Joe Biden would be an idiot to put her on his ticket. People are already on the fence about him,” Newsome told The Post. “When black people become police officers, they are no longer black. They are blue. And I have been told this by numerous officers.”
This may impact the idea that Biden has overwhelming support in the black community at this point. And how he handles this will be telling. He has already had to bounce Senator Amy Klobuchar after her record, or lack thereof, prosecuting police brutality as Hennepin County District Attorney.
If Biden is committed to picking a minority female, this would also bump Senator Elizabeth Warren. Not sure the 1/1024th Native American heritage would qualify. She and Senator Kamala Harris were both featured speakers at the Texas Democratic Party Convention recently, indicating they were top candidates in the selection.
Unfortunately, Harris’s record as San Francisco District Attorney and California Attorney General still haunts her. It was seen as a primary reason she never caught on with minority voters in her own bid for the nomination. Her record as a prosecutor was particularly off-putting to black men. It would be reasonable to assume Black Lives Matter activists would take issue with her as well.
The list of six also includes New Mexico Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham. She is a Hispanic woman, but it is not clear this would satisfy activists given recent events. Her record is also quite moderate which will do nothing to impress the progressive wing of the party.
That leaves two remaining women under consideration, Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms and former Obama National Security Advisor Susan Rice. Consideration of Bottoms seems somewhat tenuous. One viral speech does not really make up for her lack of other qualifications given Biden’s perceived weaknesses. And Rice, though popular in the Obama machine, has some serious shadiness around her in the Obamagate scandal. She is expected to be subpoenaed by Senator Lindsey Graham’s Senate Judiciary Committee.
The way Biden’s team proceeds in this election will say a tremendous amount about how much he needs to win votes in the progressive wing. Demings would actually have a great deal of appeal to moderate Democrats who are not all on board to defund the police. From an electoral perspective, Florida is actually up in the air. California and Massachusetts are not.
This is the problem with trying to build a coalition between college-educated voters and the far left. You will never make them all happy all of the time. Unfortunately for Joe, this may translate to less voter enthusiasm than polls already indicate he has. Which isn’t much.
Rather than tracking Mitt Romney, he could move into Mondale territory.