Of the potential running mates that are mentioned most frequently, Stacy Abrams is a real talent that has emerged on the National scene in a big way and very quickly. She would clearly bring a passion for change that would help excite the younger generation and has demonstrated her capacity to lead change with communication and organizational skills so necessary to succeed. I think she needs more national seasoning but certainly could help your administration in a number of different ways.
Kamala Harris gets lots of attention and understandably so. From starting in a local elected office, she quickly moved to being State Attorney General, and now represents California in the United States Senate. As a woman of color with national standing, it is no surprise she is on your list of potential running mates. But from what I have learned from two savvy political friends in California, there is some concern that she has been much better at winning than getting the job done. She also has the potential of problems that come with being a former prosecutor. But, overall, her strong and effective voice in the Senate and her ability to take the Trump administration and its officials to task in committee hearings and elsewhere has certainly earned her serious consideration for the Vice Presidency or for other roles down the road.
Not surprisingly, Senator Elizabeth Warren gets a lot of attention. She is very bright, passionate, and has a balanced set of experiences that make her a logical option. She has not only her Senate experience but as well being a part of the Obama Administration leading the then newly established agency to protect the consumers interests. She clearly will be an important ally, especially from a policy perspective. The question is in what position. I would definitely make the best use of her talents for sure if you can get the Republican Governor of Massachusetts to appoint a quality Democrat to her seat.
There are other prospects getting attention and rightfully so. Governors like Gretchen Whitmer from Michigan and Michelle Lujan Grisham of New Mexico are showing real leadership under fire, but I think their potential opportunity will come down the road. Susan Rice was in the Obama Administration but has never run for office and her focus has been at a high-level advising rather than executive leadership positions. This leaves us with Congresswoman Val Demings from Florida and Senator Tammy Duckworth from Illinois, unless, Joe, you have a big surprise for us.
Earlier, I thought Congresswoman Val Demings from Florida would be the best. Her job on the Impeachment team to represent the House was outstanding and gave her substantive national exposure. She is certainly smart and a great communicator. What also caught my attention was her experience as a Police Chief in Orlando Florida, a state that will be key with the Electoral College. Her piece in the Washington Post giving the Minneapolis police hell had more punch coming from her and reinforced her support for change. She was certainly not born with a silver spoon in her mouth and will be able to identify with millions of Americans regardless of color.
But I did some more checking and learned a couple things from my contacts in Florida. I was reminded that with so many Congressional districts in Florida, her statewide political clout is likely limited and 25 years on the police force could have some risks that have not surfaced yet. However, she is clearly another talent to keep an eye on.
Of the names circulated the most at this point, that leaves Senator Tammy Duckworth from Illinois as, I believe, the best choice. Early on, I didn’t even think of her as much of an option, but then she started getting more attention so I went online and got acquainted. Born in Thailand, her father was a retired Marine who was working for the United Nations Refugee Program. Her public service leadership experience at both the state and national administrative level followed by two successful terms in Congress and now in the United States Senate, certainly gives her solid and broad credentials. FYI, for more depth Google “16 Things You Might Not Know About Tammy Duckworth.” You will, I think, be amazed.
As a woman of color, who has sacrificed much for her love of this country, Senator Duckworth would be a significant asset for winning in November. But she also has what might be most important. In talking to several of my political friends, the question that came up most was who is most ready to step in from day one to be your successor? That day will come, and the huge problems we have will only be addressed by strong leadership over a significant period of time, thus making your choice for Vice President even more important. Senator Tammy Duckworth would be the valuable partner you will need, Joe, as well as the strongest leadership credentials to help return this country to the policies and actions that restore our nation’s reputation at home and overseas.
Mr. Vice President, you certainly have your pick of some outstanding potential VP’s, along with a host of exciting talent to build your administration around. But first, it’s incumbent on all of us to do everything in our power to make sure there is no second term for the Trump administration. As you’ve rightly pointed out on the campaign trail, our country can recover from one term of this, but after two, the damage would be irreparable. The stakes are simply too high to get this one wrong.