Handicapping the Biden VP Pick; China Deep Freeze; Another Stimulus Bill
Author: Greg Valliere
May 22, 2020
JOE BIDEN WILL TURN 78 a few weeks after the Nov. 3 election, so his vice presidential pick will be crucial; he needs someone who could plausibly become president. The vetting process has begun, and we see two front-runners and plenty of wild cards.
Sen. Kamala Harris, 55, the liberal former California attorney general, is
considered the early favorite, but we disagree. She has only served in the Senate for three years; she was fiercely ambitious and controversial in San Francisco. Harris could help Biden win African-American votes, but he’s already very popular with that demographic.
Sen. Amy Klobuchar, who turns 60 on Memorial Day, is a pragmatic and well-liked moderate. She has served in the Senate since 2007 and ran an impressive campaign for the 2020 nomination; she would help Biden in the upper Midwest. Klobuchar is the safe pick.
The wild cards:
Gretchen Whitmer, 48, the feisty and telegenic governor of Michigan who is not afraid to take on Donald Trump. After serving in the Michigan House and Senate for several years, she has been governor for about two years. Despite her lack of experience on the national stage, Whitmer is an intriguing wild card from a state that has 16 electoral votes.
Elizabeth Warren, who turns 71 next month, would guarantee that Bernie Sanders’ supporters turn out this fall, but centrist voters may be uneasy with her polarizing views toward business and her wildly expensive agenda. Warren is a tireless campaigner, but Biden may need someone under 70.
Val Demmings: You want a wild card? How about African-American Rep. Val Demmings of Florida, 63, a moderate Democrat with a career in law enforcement. She served in the Orlando police force for 27 years, and was police chief there for four years before winning a House seat. Highly regarded by all who know her.
Stacy Abrams, 46, who is eagerly seeking the VP nod, was the minority leader of the Georgia House of Representatives and lost a close gubernatorial race in 2018. She has virtually no experience on the national level.
Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto (Nev.) and Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham (N.M) are two solid Hispanic wild cards who could help Biden in Florida and the Southwest. Sen. Tammy Duckworth of Illinois is an Army veteran who lost both legs in Afghanistan. Susan Rice, the controversial former Obama national security adviser, is an African-American who would add foreign policy expertise.
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THE U.S.-CHINA DEEP FREEZE: China’s decision yesterday to crack down on dissent in Hong Kong will further alienate the West. Legislation is now moving in Congress to de-list Chinese companies from trading on U.S. stock exchanges if they aren’t transparent about their ties to the Communist Party; more serious legislation would reward U.S. companies that cut supply lines with China, bringing their manufacturing back to America.
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BEFORE LEAVING WASHINGTON for the Memorial Day break, Sen. Mitch McConnell confirmed that there’s a “high likelihood” of another stimulus bill this summer. There are enormous differences between the two parties on what should be in the bill; that could delay enactment until July or early August. But there’s no doubt there will be still another package, costing well over $1 trillion.
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