Friday, May 15, 2020

Could Kamala Harris Be Sleepy Joe's Least Bad Choice?

Friends, my latest article reflects my desire to start putting this coronavirus business behind us.  Frankly, I'm tired of hearing about the stupid virus, and the last thing I want to do is write yet another article about it.  Maybe you feel the same way?

My latest piece is about Joe Biden's all-important choice as to who will be his running mate, and therefore who will potentially be our Vice-President and even our President, should Sleepy Joe kick the bucket, as seems increasingly likely.  My pick for Joe is Kamala Harris.  In fact, I believe I'm giving Biden some very solid advice here -- I always have the Dems' best interests at heart, after all -- but the good news is that he probably won't listen to me.

Anyway, check out the article, soon to appear at Townhall:

Pick Kamala, Sleepy Joe

There is a persistent myth in American politics that a superb running mate can push a presidential candidate over the top, either in terms of the popular vote or in the electoral college. There is precious little evidence from history to indicate that this is so. Vice-Presidents simply aren't that consequential in our system of government, and the strengths and weaknesses of the presidential candidate himself (or herself) therefore determine the outcome, along with external factors like the state of the economy, war versus peace, natural disasters, pandemics, etc.

What a running mate can do, however, is to become a drag on the ticket. Sarah Palin is the most famous example of a potential vice-president whose missteps — and whose unfair vilification by the media — proved to be a distraction from the messaging of, in her case, John McCain. And that is the scenario that Joe Biden must avoid at all costs: a running mate who adds to the long list of headaches, liabilities, and burdens which his campaign already shoulders. 

Presumably, Biden and his key advisors feel that, because of the historically high disapproval ratings of President Trump, what they need to do to win in 2020 is avoid making horrendous mistakes. That may be slightly optimistic, but no one can say for sure that this low-risk strategy will not work. Step One, therefore, is to choose a running mate who doesn't stink.

To that end, I would like to suggest that Sleepy Joe shake himself awake long enough to consider the attractions of California Senator Kamala Harris at a potential vice-presidential nominee.

First, Kamala Harris has the experience, intelligence, and gravitas to be a credible President of the United States, if Sleepy Joe should someday soon opt for eternal rest. This is key, because a selection like Stacey Abrams, although exciting to some progressives, would leave Biden open to the charge that he is thrusting a neophyte onto the national stage and possibly even into the Oval Office. Voters would perceive the obvious risk. Harris, by contrast, as a former California Attorney General and as a sitting Senator, is ready to roll.

Second, Harris can plausibly claim to be both moderate and progressive. Her record is long enough that it includes areas of vulnerability, yes, but it is also multifaceted enough that Democrats and liberals will be able to see in it what they want to see, which will vary from voter to voter. Harris is also smart and wily enough to pivot from the center to the left, and back again, as circumstances demand.

Third, Harris has proven that she can admirably fulfill one of the most important roles that a running mate has: that of attack dog. Harris excels in this regard. She made her only real splash as a presidential candidate by viciously attacking the record of Joe Biden himself on the issue of busing. Harris, however, had the good sense not to press those attacks, because she (rightly) foresaw that Biden could emerge as the nominee, and she did not want to jeopardize her political future. As Biden's running mate, Harris would not be similarly demure. She would be unleashed to savage Donald Trump, Mike Pence, and the whole GOP over and over, while Biden smiled politely (some would say vacantly) and played the role of unifier and Mr. Nice Guy.

Fourth, Harris is black(ish), which means a lot in today's Democratic Party. To mollify feminists, Biden already had to concede that his running mate will be a woman (for some strange reason, he didn't specify a non-man, which would have been more “woke”, but I digress). The truth is that, if he chose a white woman like Elizabeth Warren, he would still be seen as an agent of white privilege by many leftist firebrands. A considerable portion of the Democratic Party is, to be blunt, done with white people in general. By picking Kamala Harris, Biden would demonstrate that, although in the short term the party's standard bearer is a tired old white guy, in the medium term the Democrats are ready to turn the page in terms of race and gender.

It should go without saying that elevating Harris, a woman of color, to the role of president-in-waiting will also provide the Democrats with the opportunity to brand any and all attacks that Republicans make against her as VILE RACISM! We know from past experience that, the more nervous Democrats become about the viability (including the mental capacity) of their candidates, the more likely they are to fall back on charges of racism and sexism in order to motivate their base. Given the glaring vulnerabilities of Joe Biden, we can expect that the 2020 campaign will be the most grievance-laden and “intersectional” of all time. Harris is ready to play her part.

So, Sleepy Joe, as you can see, the merits of Senator Kamala Harris as a potential running mate are legion. If you want to win in 2020, first do no harm, and choose a vice-president who will refrain from tanking your campaign — that, after all, is your job. If possible, choose a running mate who can add some dynamism and a little soaring (or searing) rhetoric to your yammerings, but don't expect to win because of the woman standing next to you. That just never happens.

If, then, you want to win, Sleepy Joe, choose Kamala. She'll give you a fighting chance.

Since, however, I don't want you to win, please don't choose Kamala. Instead, I recommend dusting off the reanimated corpse of Jesse Jackson or Al Sharpton (whichever one agrees to undergo “gender reassignment” surgery first gets the prize).

What could go wrong?

Dr. Nicholas L. Waddy is an Associate Professor of History at SUNY Alfred and blogs at: He appears weekly on the Newsmaker Show on WLEA 1480.

And here it is at Townhall: 


  1. Please keep writing about the virus. It is far less scary than thinking about Kamala Harris as President. Actually having her as President by some twist of fate would make me consider suicide. So please, lets have more on the Corona virus, which is far less deadly than the Harris virus.

  2. That is to say, people recover from the Corona virus, but The United States of America in a Harris Presidency would never recover. This includes any Democrat who might win the Presidency, but Harris is one of the most dangerous. In any event, even if Trump wins this November, watch out for Harris in 2024. Better yet, watch out for AOC in the future, who is even more deadly than Harris. Of course the most deadly is Michelle Obama. If the Democrats do get back in power, maybe we will be lucky and have another pandemic. Either that or a massive garbage collector's strike nation wide.

  3. Worse yet, how about Al Sharpton as VP under Harris? An absolute horror show, with Jesse Jackson as Secretary of Defense. How about Hillary making a come back as Secretary of State under Harris?

  4. Dr. Waddy: Well argued; I agree with your reasoning and think it probable you will be proven right. My gut tells me that any displayed moderation on her part is pretense and that she would be thoroughgoing radical in office. She would give the ticket very much incentive to bleat any number of condemned "isms" in reflexive response to ANY criticism but maybe that would backfire. It didn't help Hillary but she was singularly unlikeable. Harris would be President Apparent and would probably succeed in short order; I think that's the plan for his "Prime Minister" anyway. She would be VERY bad news.

  5. Dr. Waddy: I wonder if the Trump campaign is crafting a strategy aimed not as much at the dotard Dem nominee as at his "choice" (which I think will be dictated to him) of a running mate - Regent. I see where AOC has been given high office in the ranks of the far leftist faction in its organized determination to be of consequence in 2020. My, my, what ARE we to make of this, pray? Uhhhh? What else but. . .

    1. Jack

      So, get ready for The United Socialist States of America, and be sure and wear some sort of appropriate hat and a "Che" T-Shirt. And I strongly advise you to learn how to do the clenched fist salute.

  6. Dr. Waddy

    I'm White, and have been this way all of my life. It is disgusting! If Comrade Harris becomes our President, what can I do to make my skin darker, and convince people that I am an Afro-American? Can you help me?

  7. Ray: I don't for a minute doubt the certainty of a characteristically frantic, dismissive and totalitarian crusade by the left to change the name of our country to something, well, "inclusive', "sensitive", "equal" and yes, original like say People's Indisputably Correct Entity of the Putative "USA". As is typical of the left, it would go a year or two even without being denounced and redictated.

  8. My choices as head of Health and Human Services in a Kamala Harris Regime would be Willie Nelson, Tom Hanks, or Bill Gates. All three of these great Americans are enjoying the fruits of capitalism while preaching socialism for the deplorable masses. Recommend Stacey Abrams as chief of Homeland Security. Listen up, we need a new government agency to handle religious affairs and I am now thinking that both Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson could fill that role, since both are Reverends.

  9. Ray, I agree with your basic premise: if ANY Democrat wins in 2020, this country is in deep, deep trouble. Biden is the front man, after all. Nothing more. Their real goal is to seize control of the courts, after which all further exercises in democracy will be moot.

    Jack, my goal was mainly to analyze Harris as a running mate. What she would be like as President is a whole other ball of wax. In short: a disaster. I wouldn't assume that whomever was elevated to VP would be the heir apparent, however. Biden might well make it four years, or even eight (God help us!), in which csse there'd be a reset of sorts. I honestly have no idea who Biden will pick, of course. Harris is, as I put it, arguably the least bad choice, but all his options are imperfect, and his party is fractious in the extreme.

    Ray, your poor choice of skin color does indeed mark you for potential destruction in the People's Republic of America. The only solution I can think of is to make sure that there's a "D" after your name. Ray (D-Kansas) would be immune from criticism, based on his ideological purity, unless he crossed the wrong Democrat, of course, in which case he'd be right back where he started. Hey, if nothing else, you, me, and Jack have a future as Soylent Green!

    1. Okay. Please, let's move on to your next article so I don't have to look at Kamala's mug anymore. Thanks.

      Shouldn't that be The People's Democratic Republic of America?

  10. Always interesting that the Soviet Union fell in 1991 and became just Russia again, and so on. And yet Socialism/Communism is very much alive and well in these United States.

  11. Dr. Waddy and Ray: Ah dunno; its hard to picture Biden getting through the campaign without his mind completely imploding let alone an extended stay in office, except perhaps as El Cid mentally. We can count on the gaffe machine running his staff a merry chase.

    Soviet communism was an astonishing development but we know it happened. The irony of a terribly influential and fortunate portion of the most prosperous nation ever devoting itself to the very destruction of that nation is therefore not unprecedented in its unlikelihood. I would dread to read a history book from 100 years from now.

  12. Marxism has legs! Ridding the world of the Soviet Union was, in retrospect, comparatively easy. Ridding the consciousness of the human race of Marxist foolishness is a much tougher nut to crack.

    I agree, Jack -- a history book 100 years from now could be quite a horror show, unless we get back on track soon.

  13. Dr. Waddy: Well, at least for those legions of the consummately oppressed by Marxist sociopathy and other worldliness, they were released after 1989 and we must rejoice at that. That Marxist foolishness was not thoroughly thereby discredited is a most unwelcome development. Its progenitors are condemned by their blithe dismissal of the monstrousness of Marxism in practice. Their minds are closed in smoky, disdainful reverie! They cannot be dissuaded; they must be overpowered, marginalized and purposefully denied any access to the organs of power. They would, were the tables turned, enact mass murder; we are civilized but must not be suicidal.

  14. What could go wrong? hmm...

    I am telling you, Sleepy Joe will NOT be the candidate. That DNC spokeswoman has already admitted to it (Xochitl Hinojosa).

  15. You're on record, Linda! We'll hold you to that. :)