As Joe Biden narrows down the field of possible running mates, there’s no real rush to name someone. Only the political pundit class really cares, because they need something to new to opine about. But the rest of us aren’t even paying attention, because whoever it is won’t swing a single vote. The VP choice never does.
That said, I’m going to engage in my own punditry for a couple of minutes, and guess that Karen Bass, a much-hyped congresswoman from California who had been considered a finalist, is now off the list. First, there were her visits to Cuba and naive praise for Fidel Castro. Then, there were her similarly naive remarks a decade ago about Scientology. Those are two things you don’t want your VP candidate to have to explain over and over, which she would be forced to were she to become the nominee.
Moreover, Bass has been quoted as saying she has “no aspirations” to become president. That’s problematic when the guy at the top of the ticket is 77 years old. I’d like to have a VP who would be ready at any time to assume the responsibilities of the presidency. But even more importantly, Biden must choose someone who could be a viable top-of-the-ticket candidate in 2024, since he’s likely to serve only a single term. For that, the Dems will need a ferocious candidate to retain the White House, someone who won’t shy away from taking on whichever Trump acolyte the GOP puts forth.
That probably means someone like Kamala Harris or Tammy Duckworth.
Why not Elizabeth Warren? Again, the age factor. But also because if she were to become VP, the governor of Massachusetts — currently a Republican, Charlie Baker — would get to choose her replacement in the Senate. While the balance of power in that chamber could tilt back towards the Democrats in a blue wave this November, it would be by a thin margin. Too thin to allow a safe seat to be flipped.
One last political thought for today. The Manhattan district attorney, Cyrus Vance Jr., has begun pressing even harder with his investigation into Trump’s businesses, citing possible “extensive and protracted criminal conduct at the Trump Organization,” including potential fraud allegations. These legal concerns are not going to disappear once Trump is defeated at the polls.
But you know what will go away? A lot of his customers. Like much of the travel sector, the finances of Trump’s hotels and resorts have been severely negatively impacted by the lack of visitors during the pandemic. The ones that are hanging on have done so because they’ve been propped up by foreigner governments, lobbyists, and political organizations — all of whom see a connection between booking rooms and events at Trump venues and getting access to White House policies. But once his address is no longer 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, they’ll have no reason to curry favor with him or his sons or his companies.
Therefore, I predict that within just a couple of years after he’s out of office, we’ll see Trump invoking a word he’s been very familiar with during his failed business career: bankruptcy.
It’s one thing to be an emperor with no clothes, but another thing entirely to be a horrible, powerless person with no clothes. And who among us wants to see Trump naked?