The upcoming announcement of Joe Biden’s vice president may be the most consequential in history. This fact is magnified by a Rasmussen poll that shows 59% of likely voters think Biden is unlikely to finish a four-year term. Astoundingly, this includes 49% of Democrats.
Think about what that means. Almost half of Democrats could be prepared to vote for Biden fully assuming his vice presidential pick will assume the office before 2024 if the Democrat ticket wins. Hopefully, this means some are skeptical of a party that would put an obviously cognitively impaired candidate at the top of the ticket. A recent video from the Trump campaign highlights Biden’s noticeable decline. It is dramatic:
— Dan Scavino (@DanScavino) August 11, 2020
Under these conditions, it is no surprise that Democrats attach more importance to the vice-presidential pick than Republicans or Independents. Fifty-nine percent of Democrats attach importance to it compared to 32% of Republicans and 43% of unaffiliated voters.
These numbers could shift significantly as Biden is forced to leave the basement and debate. As more Americans start to pay attention, more exposure is likely to highlight Biden’s new behaviors. These include becoming confrontational when he is under pressure and losing his train of thought and saying he is done speaking.
It seems the Biden team is hoping the veep pick will take some of the pressure to appear in public off of the nominee. They obviously can’t debate in his stead, but they can hit the campaign trail with more vigor. NBC News is reporting that an experienced team has already been chosen to support the woman he selects.
With Joe Biden’s long-awaited decision on a running mate set to be revealed this week, his campaign has assembled a veteran roster of strategists to help navigate the crucible of a fall campaign.
The team includes a pair of trusted Biden veterans who played key roles during his time in the White House and are familiar with the value and potential pitfalls of being a supporting player on the presidential ticket.
The eventual candidate will need some support. President Trump has already made an issue of Biden’s mental capacity and may make the vice-presidential candidate the focus of attacks. With all of the speculation on the final list to date, opposition research has likely been ongoing.
And speculation is hitting a crescendo. This news could be a complete head fake, but in announcing the line-up of speakers for the Democratic convention, commentators have been taking note of someone who has been left off. While it has been well known that former National Security Advisor Susan Rice has been under consideration, she is not on the list of speakers.
The Free Beacon reported that Rice and her husband increased their donations to the Biden campaign in June, giving a total of $24,000. She also sold some of her shares in Netflix, where she would need to resign as a director if she is named as the vice-presidential candidate. While she denied this had anything to do with being a potential pick, the fact that she is not on the convention schedule has increased speculation.
Nearly all of the other potential picks, including New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham, Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms, and Sens. Elizabeth Warren and Amy Klobuchar, are on the schedule. Notably missing are Rep. Karen Bass, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, and Stacey Abrams.
Some other commentators are speculating that Kamala Harris’s placement on the schedule may give a better clue. She is scheduled to speak directly before the Biden family and the nominee to close the convention. Perhaps the time slot the day before, after Barack Obama, is a red herring. Closing out the convention would be a more typical placement for the vice presidential nominee.
Of course, the campaign could surprise everyone and announce one of the other women not placed on the schedule. Both Harris and Rice bring baggage to the ticket, especially if they are put under the microscope of “ready on day one” to assume the top job. Neither has executive experience, and Rice has never been elected to any office.
Hopefully, we will all be put out of our misery soon. Missing the August 1 deadline to announce a running mate was a sign the campaign is not entirely comfortable with anyone on the list at this time. That is a good sign for team Trump.