Joe Biden appears on track to win the Democratic presidential nomination, even if by virus default. The discussion has moved to whom he might select as a running mate. According to Britain’s Independent Biden has asked for former President Barack Obama’s advice.
“I’ve actually talked to Barack about this – the most important thing is that it has to be someone who, the day after they’re picked, is prepared to be president of the United States of America if something happened,” said Mr Biden.
Biden also addressed the issue we covered here. That is, what if Trump cancels the November election?
“I know there’s a lot of rumors and speculation as to, is the other guy going to try to postpone the election in November and all that. There’s no need to do that,” Mr Biden said. “You know, we voted in the middle of the Civil War, we voted in the middle of World War One and Two.
“The idea of postponing the electoral process seems to me out of the question.”
We don’t know how much influence Obama has over the choice of a 2020 vice-presidential pick. But. . .what if we were to see a replay of 2000? In that year, George Bush turned to Dick Cheney for advice on the choice—and it ended up being Cheney, himself!
What if history were to repeat itself, and somehow, Obama became Biden’s pick for vice president? Quora has an intelligent discussion about the possibility. The 22nd Amendment says that no one can “run” for president more than twice, but. . .
It is arguable, and indeed many have argued, that the Twenty-Second Amendment, in combination with the Twelfth Amendment, bars a two-term President from being elected to the office of Vice President. But the Twenty-Second does not outright say that a two-term President cannot be President again, only that he cannot be elected President again, and while this may sound like a tiny quibble, the law is fond of tiny quibbles.
The 22nd Amendment does say that a person who assumes the presidency, due to the death of a president, may only serve a total of ten years—but we’re not talking about the death of a president, here. The point is, although Obama may not run for president again, it appears that it would be legal for him to run for vice president, and even assume the presidency, if the president were to become incapacitated.
The Washington Times notes that there has been discussion of a Biden-Obama ticket for years.
The Washington Post was exploring the prospect of a Biden/Obama ticket as far back as 2015. There are, in fact, campaign shirts and stickers for sale from a variety of vendors reading “JOEBAMA 2020.”
It’s an interesting possibility. There’s not a Democrat alive who has more respect and admiration among the party faithful, and Obama could probably resurrect the coalition that made it look as if there were a “Blue Wall” that no Republican could ever breach.
But the Boston Globe says Biden has already come close to pulling the Obama coalition back together.
Barack Obama. . .[expanded] the Democratic base with large numbers of young people, white voters from the North, and minorities. It was a new road map for success for the party and in 2020, all the top candidates in the Democratic race tried to follow it. Obama’s vice president, Joe Biden, has come closest to reassembling that uncommon coalition, even though his campaign hasn’t had the money to pull together the organization most assumed was necessary to do it.
Besides, Biden has already promised to pick a female running mate, so that would preclude Obama. . .or would it? The National Review offers an alternative: Michelle Obama.
It would certainly be popular with the Democratic base, and Biden would need the base to turn out in large numbers this November if he becomes the nominee. A poll last month by Stanford’s Hoover Institution in conjunction with the Bill Lane Center for the American West and YouGov asked 1,507 registered voters in California whom they wanted as a vice-presidential nominee.
Voters clearly expressed a desire for a woman. Michelle Obama was the choice of 31 percent of respondents. California’s Senator Kamala Harris was second, at 19 percent; Minnesota’s Senator Amy Klobuchar was third, at 18 percent; former Georgia state legislator Stacy Abrams was fourth, at 13 percent; and California venture capitalist Tom Steyer had 10 percent support. . .
Biden has professed comfort with and even support for the idea. In response to a question from an Iowa voter in February, he said he would pick the former first lady “in a heartbeat,”
But would Michelle want the job?
They point out Michelle Obama’s longstanding disdain for the grubbiness of politics and its fundraising, the desire to protect her two daughters, and her unwillingness even to pretend to be friendly with people with whom she has disagreements. . .
But there are countervailing arguments. As a vice-presidential nominee, she’d have to campaign for only 15 weeks — versus the two years that a presidential run takes. And she could probably avoid fundraising, if she insisted on it. Her two daughters are now both in college, and the mainstream media would largely continue to respect limits on coverage of them.
Regardless of which Obama Biden was to pick, “Joebama” would probably be the most powerful ticket the Democrats could conjure up in 2020.