June 26, 2020 - Part II - Pleeeeeaaaaassssse, Don’t F#%k This Up, Grandpa Joe
COPYRIGHT: The Title for this rant was co-written with Anne Sanger Opening disclosure: This writer is not a “Joe B.” Guy. I don’t care about his fightin’ Scranton, PA heritage or that he used to grab a ride on the Amtrak Acela train every weekend (Pre-COVID) to remained grounded with whom he served in DE. He’s a touchy-feely old man who has been touching and feeling long before he became old. But, being “touchy-feely” cannot be a disqualifier (not really a word, but I’m rolling with it anyway), at least with me, since I will admit to be sort of the same way (though I would prefer the moniker “Huggy-Huggy”). My chief arguments against him during the primary season were: (1). Jesus, how old is he? Does he even remember? (2) As an addendum to his age, when did he first get to Congress? 1972? His congressional career is only three years younger than old-ass me? For a country that is always looking for change, he is not ideal; (3) Running on Obama’s record...well, the good stuff at least. Any actions that Democrats might complain about, he’ll be quick to say he advised against it, of course (Really, Joe? Really?); (4) His boy Hunter B’s drama will not be pleasant when this president’s GOP blast it out. Forget the Ukraine stuff...Did you know Hunter got engaged to his sister-in-law (his brother Beau’s wife) very soon after Beau died (among other...controversies)? Icky...
Melanie and I were Pete Buttigieg fans. I thought he might be the smartest man in America. Melanie found him “cute” and thought he and his husband Chastian were the “cutest”.
But, all of the above was before “The Corona Crisis”. After the current president’s utter incompetence and zero empathy, Grandpa Biden seems like a warm pillow to take to bed. Lord knows he passes the empathy test. I cannot name one person I could never picture him hugging (including the current president, Moscow Mitch, shirtless Vladimir, and the Korean rocket man in big group hug).
I was truly afraid of him running because he has tried four times previous to this one and melted down every time (with his usual gaffe-production and impulsive defensiveness when challenged). But, all of his previous meltdowns have occurred during the primaries where he awkwardly did not know how to handle “friendly fire”. Now, that he is the expected nominee, he is expecting the GOP/Trump onslaught and will be ready and snappy. If dementia falls upon him during the final Election days, please kindly destroy this email. Just hope that Grandpa reserves his energy, stays quiet and decent as the country suffers more months of COVID reality, and ready to pounce on a desperate, corrupt president scrambling not to be called a “loser”.
And, FINALLY, who should be the next Democratic nominee after “Pop” Joe to stretch the Democratic reign to twelve years (meaning, of course, who SHOULD he pick to be his running mate)? Given a president that is floundering, the top priority in the pick must be this: Do No Harm...Give the president and his sorry GOP minions as little to shoot at as possible. The following are my Pros and Cons for each possible:
Kamala: PROs - We all know her by her first name only; With her, i can barely wait for her VP debate showdown with Pence (or, Nikki Haley or Tim Scott); black women will show up and vote for her; I can envision her being The President; her husband is Jewish. CONS - Was a terrible campaigner when she was on her own; Men (both black and white) will not like her because she can remind them of their mother scolding them; “Bernie Sanders” voters will not like a Biden/Kamala ticket’s history on Criminal Justice Reform; CA base may not appeal to Midwest America; she has no children of her own (her husband has two kids); her husband is Jewish
Elizabeth Warren: PROs - Probably knows more about the domestic and international economies than anyone; very energetic despite being 71 years old; Her “I Have a Plan For That” theme brings energy to the campaign; She is second only to Bernie Sanders with “Bernie Sanders” voters (could unite the party); Women will surely vote for her. CONs - She’s 71-years old...a Biden/Warren ticket is not looking to the future; Showed no real ability to garner votes during her presidential campaign; With a GOP governor in MA, she would be replaced by a republican; Wall Street and Big Banks would spend whatever they could to keep her from being a heartbeat away from the presidency; As racist as the president’s “Pocahontas” bullying nickname is, she still has not figured out how to deftly counter it.
Gretchen Whitmer: PROs - Executive experience as a governor; She has non-elitist Midwesterner appeal; A Generation-X kid...can lead to the future; Made famous by the president’s taunts and armed protesters’ attempts to “reopen” MI economy early...she stood firm and the current COVID resurgence is proving her on the right side of history; After standing firm against a mob of angry men, women will find kinship in voting for her; She is Midwest attractive...educated men will feel “proudly progressive” voting for her; After giving the State of the Union response earlier this year, it is clear that the “Establishment” is comfortable with her. CONs - Has only been a governor for a year and a half (her handling of the Corona crisis could offset any lack of experience criticism); VP campaign would be quite a jump to the national “big leagues”; If picked, African-American enthusiasm could take a hit; “Bernie Sanders” voters could also be lukewarm with her nomination
Tammy Duckworth: PROS - Served in the military...lost both legs in Iraq (#WarHero vs president bone spurs); Has served in both the House and Senate; Midwesterner (IL); Asian-American; Mother of two. CONs - Unknown debater; Not a Flaming Progressive (lukewarming Bernie Sanders voters); could dampen African-American enthusiasm
Stacey Abrams: PROs - Progressive folk hero; Knows how to turn out votes, especially after her voting rights advocacy following the GA governor’s race being stolen from her. CONs - No executive experience; National exposure has been manufactured; Open campaigning for the VP nomination seen as unseemly by “Establishment” types; I cannot “see” her in the presidency (I’ll take the heat on this one)
Tammy Baldwin: PROs - From Wisconsin (important swing state); 14 years in the House, 7 years in the Senate; “Bernie Sanders” voter acceptable; Lesbian. CONs - Not an electrifying presence; Senate seat could be lost in a special election; Unknown national figure and debater; Lesbian
Val Demings: PROs - 27-year police career could make her a “candidate for this particular moment”; Has Democratic “Establishment” cred after her role in the impeachment trial of the president; “Florida, Florida, Florida”, Child of a maid and a janitor background continues Biden’s reach for a “working class” theme; Mother of three children. CONS - 27-year police career could make her a “candidate NOT for this particular moment”; Only executive experience is as Chief of Police in Orlando; Black Lives Matter is not an epicenter of support for her; Her age, 63, does not bring visions of the future to the foreground
Keisha Lance Bottoms: PROs - Recent national spotlight as racial justice protests ravaged Atlanta (handled the situations with compassion yet strong and decisive); Mother of four; Has an “X” Factor (though hard to explain...see link below); Would no doubt be a target for police advocates and white supremacists. CONs - Only recently with executive experience as Mayor (however, handling two crises at once: Corona and racial justice protests); Recent national spotlight as racial justice protests ravaged Atlanta; Would no doubt be a target for police advocates and white supremacists.
Susan Rice: PROs - Very familiar with Biden; Obama trusted her without fail; Vast foreign policy experience; Has been ripping Trump foreign policy decisions since Inauguration Day (“Attack Dog” VP role would just become official); I’ve always thought she was hot with an awesome brain to boot (let’s see if i slip that past you). CONs - Little domestic policy experience; would be an immediate and constant Trump/GOP target for their Benghazi conspiracies
1. Kamala - But, almost too obvious choice;
2. Keisha Bottoms - This choice would be unbelievably risky, so she (and her family) must pass the vetting process (“extreme vetting”, if you will). This pick could shake up the world. This pick would win GA, NC and FL , in my opinion (though voter suppression would have to be overcome in all three);
3. Gretchen Whitmer - There would be bad press for a week for not picking a black woman. Then, we would go back to Trump vs Biden being the focus. As long as Grandpa does not show too many symptoms of senility, we win and she will be the first female president eventually
4. Tammy Duckworth - Possibly the safest choice he could make
And, finally, finally: Whether you believe in a higher power or not, it must now become a nightly ritual for all Democrats of all faiths and no faiths to come to your knees for a brief prayer for Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s health and survival through January 20th, 2021. So, let the church say, “Amen”...