by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
The good news for Democrats is that the chance that Bernie Sanders will be their nominee in the fall has receded. The bad news is that Joe Biden is no prize as a candidate, which adds urgency to the discussion about who can juice up his ticket as the vice-presidential choice. Party leaders are now hotly debating the topic.
A popular line of thinking is that Biden’s ticket must offer a bold choice that also ensures the kind of strong minority turnout that eluded Hillary Clinton in 2016. Jim Clyburn, the House majority whip whose last-minute endorsement of Biden delivered a South Carolina primary landslide for him, has a clear idea.
“I doubt very seriously you’ll see a Democratic slate this year without a woman on it,” Clyburn predicted to reporters. “I would love for it to be a person of color.” …
… Normally the suggestion that Michelle Obama should be the vice-presidential choice would be viewed as out of the question. Michelle Obama is famously assertive, even pushy, behind the scenes. That’s not a typical profile for a vice president. And because few people believe that an 82-year-old Joe Biden would run for a second presidential term, there would be a danger of her overshadowing him as a waiting heir apparent. And despite her popularity across wide swaths of the electorate, she has shown almost zero interest in working with Republicans or treating those she considers fools kindly.
But Biden has professed comfort with and even support for the idea.