There’s been a lot of speculation about who Joe Biden will choose for his Vice President. His choice is critical because of his age. If he wins the election, he will be 78 in January 2021. That would make him the oldest president ever sworn in. He is currently healthy, but there is still the possibility that he will die or become incapacitated during his first term. Whoever he chooses as vice president needs to be capable of being president from Day One. The presidency is not a position where you can learn on the job as the current administration has so painfully demonstrated.
While everyone was thrilled when Biden committed to choosing a woman, he is now being pressured to specifically choose a Black woman. The reasoning is that he clinched the nomination thanks to the support of Black voters. Another pressing reason is the protests calling for the elimination of systemic racism. It is even more critical now in many people’s eyes that Biden choose a Black VP to keep the Black community engaged and Black voters motivated to go to the polls in November.
There have been many smart, capable Black woman candidates suggested, however many of them lack the foreign policy experience that is critical to both the VP and president roles. The vice president often must stand in for the president in foreign affairs, especially with our allies. It is my opinion that a President Biden will work to reintegrate the US back into the international community after the Trump efforts to sever all ties with other countries. If President Biden should not be able to complete his term, his VP must be able to continue this essential task.
My favorite Black woman candidate is Ambassador Susan Rice precisely because of her strength in the arena of foreign policy. She has served in both the Clinton administration and the Obama administration in foreign policy roles. In the Clinton administration, she served on the National Security Council. In the Obama administration, she was our ambassador to the UN and then Obama’s National Security Advisor. Like Biden, she is already familiar with the players on the international stage and if necessary, could easily assume the role of the president and complete the work of reintegrating the US into the international community.
Ambassador Rice has two key deficiencies. She has never held elected office and she lacks domestic policy experience. Never being elected to office is not an insurmountable obstacle as the current president has proven. Her lack of domestic policy experience is a serious drawback, especially in a time of pandemic and civil unrest. It is my opinion that as serious as those two issues are, our reintegration into the international community is more important. Nations can no longer exist in isolation. We live in an interconnected world. We must turn our backs on the current policy of isolationism if we are to survive as a nation. We will need international cooperation in finding both a treatment and a vaccine for COVID-19. We will need international cooperation in rebuilding our economy post-pandemic.
Systemic racism must be addressed. Ambassador Rice may not have domestic policy experience, but as a Black woman, she does have experience with systemic racism. I’m certain that a President Biden would depend on her for insights into experiencing racism and suggestions for necessary changes both to the police as well as society as a whole.
My favorite candidate for VP is Senator Amy Klobuchar. From the first time she set foot on the debate stage, she was my choice for presidential candidate and now my choice as VP. Traditionally, the role of the candidate for vice president is as an attack dog, going after the opposing candidates while the presidential candidate rises above the fray, talking policy not trash. Watching Senator Klobuchar on the debate stage clearly demonstrated her ability to verbally cut her opponents down to size. I longed to see her debate Trump, a woman-hater who is especially terrified of smart women. She would utterly destroy him. Alas, it is not to be so I will settle for watching her turn her verbal talents to getting Biden and herself elected in November. As she likes to brag, she has never lost an election. She wins in both Red and Blue counties.
Senator Klobuchar has been a senator since 2006. She was the first woman senator elected in Minnesota and is now the senior senator from that state. In the Senate she has served on committees including the Agriculture committee, the Commerce committee and the Judiciary committee where she serves on the sub-committee overseeing Homeland Security. On the surface, it appears that she lacks significant foreign policy experience, but in the Senate she sponsored numerous bills on national defense measures indicating that she has more than a passing familiarity with international affairs.
Senator Klobuchar has fallen out of favor as a candidate for VP thanks to her tenure in the prosecutor’s office in Minneapolis prior to her career in the Senate. Emphasis has been placed on her lack of prosecution of police misconduct including the misconduct of the officer who eventually murdered George Floyd. I like to do my own research and discovered that while she may be faulted for not prosecuting police officers, she also worked with the Innocence Project helping to put measures in place that protect against false convictions. In the Senate, she has passed legislation helping crime victims and providing funding to process the backlog of rape kits.
Senator Klobuchar is my top pick because of her track record of winning the votes of both Red and Blue voters and her wide ranging experience that would allow her to easily step into the role of president if necessary. She knows how to get legislation passed which is what we will need to address systemic racism. Her work on Senate committees give her unique experience to address the pandemic and the need for a treatment and vaccine, as well as rebuilding the economy post-pandemic.
And I would love to see her go toe to toe with Putin.