Harris’ VP Chances Redux Redux

An ambitious veepable. What a concept!

To add to previous discussions over the last couple of days about a potential veep pick by Joe Biden of Kamala Harris comes this piece from CNBC: Some Biden allies wage a shadow campaign to stop Kamala Harris from becoming vice president which includes this rather silly paragraph:

Some remain bitter about her attacks on Biden during primary debates last year, saying they bring into question her loyalty to the former vice president. Others argue that she’s too ambitious and that she will be solely focused on becoming president herself. Many of these Biden associates have been pushing alternatives to Harris, such as Rep. Val Demings, D-Fla., Rep. Karen Bass, D-Calif., former U.S. ambassador Susan Rice, and Sen. Tammy Duckworth, D-Ill. 

Two observations.

First, the notion that something she did while in competition with Biden for the nomination would be a loyalty test makes no logical sense. I am pretty sure Tom Brady tried to beat the Tampa Bay Buccaneers the last time he played against them. No one is now going to question his loyalty to the team now that he is, you know, part of the team.

Second, is it not axiomatic that anyone who wants to be Vice President also wants to be president? And would it be doubly so for any likely running mate for Joe Biden given his age? For that matter, people do remember that Harris just recently ran for the nomination, right?

I know this is all just factional competition as different groups try to play out their preferences in the press, but some of the reporting is plain silly.

One suspects that she must be the favorite given these attempts to get in shots via the press.

FILED UNDER: 2020 Election, US Politics, , , , , , ,
Steven L. Taylor
About Steven L. Taylor
Steven L. Taylor is a Professor of Political Science and a College of Arts and Sciences Dean. His main areas of expertise include parties, elections, and the institutional design of democracies. His most recent book is the co-authored A Different Democracy: American Government in a 31-Country Perspective. He earned his Ph.D. from the University of Texas and his BA from the University of California, Irvine. He has been blogging since 2003 (originally at the now defunct Poliblog). Follow Steven on Twitter


  1. An Interested Party says:

    More fuel for this particular fire…

  2. Kylopod says:

    I just did a Google search the other day to the 2008 election and found the following from Aug. 21 (about a week before Palin was announced):

    TIME’s Mark Halperin cites two unnamed Republican sources saying that McCain has settled on Romney as his VP nominee

    Or for that matter….

  3. Jim Brown 32 says:

    Since my wife’s not around to shoulder surf–let me say that Black and Indian make for a lovely blend. Im on the fence on whether I like it better than Black and Asian—but I do like it. Looking forward to the picture on the redux redux redux post.

  4. Sleeping Dog says:

    Yesterday, somebody, @kylopod? posted a R attack add from 08, featuring Biden ripping Obama, saying he was unqualified. Frankly that was much worse than Harris’s attack on Joe.

    Whoever he picks, it really won’t matter.

  5. Kylopod says:

    @Sleeping Dog: Yes, I was the one who posted it. (And just for anyone who didn’t see it yet, here it is. And I’ve triple-checked this time to make sure it isn’t a South Park or Simpsons clip or something.) Yes, Harris’s attack on Biden seems so anodyne compared to previous running mates, it’s puzzling people are making a big deal about it.

    It’s interesting to me, though, that choosing a former rival as running mate isn’t all that common historically. It happened with Obama-Biden, Kerry-Edwards, Reagan-Bush, and Kennedy-Johnson–but that’s basically it in the modern era.

  6. CSK says:

    Politico had an article yesterday stating that Harris IS the pick. I don’t know whether this was one of those pre-written articles (like the obit of a famous person) that was posted accidentally, or whether they have some secret knowledge and leaked it.

  7. Mister Bluster says:

    Vetting is everything.

    On July 25, 1972, just over two weeks after the 1972 Democratic Convention, Eagleton admitted the truth of news reports that he had received electroshock therapy for clinical depression during the 1960s. McGovern initially said he would back Eagleton “1000 percent”. Subsequently, McGovern consulted confidentially with preeminent psychiatrists, including Eagleton’s own doctors, who advised him that a recurrence of Eagleton’s depression was possible and could endanger the country should Eagleton become president. On August 1, nineteen days after being nominated, Eagleton withdrew at McGovern’s request and, after a new search by McGovern, was replaced by Sargent Shriver, former U.S. Ambassador to France, and former (founding) Director of the Peace Corps and the Office of Economic Opportunity.

  8. Gustopher says:

    @Jim Brown 32: Mixed race in general turns out well. Black and Asian is really quite striking, especially on the lads, but mixed race usually turns out quite well.

    And, the obvious corollary is the English royal family. They could use some outside blood. A lot of outside blood. Four more generations of mixing with commoners and they might pass for normal.

  9. Gustopher says:

    An ambitious veepable. What a concept!

    A woman who shows ambition is frightening to a lot of men — we’ve never had a woman win at a national level because of this (at least in part), and we aren’t sure what the successful woman candidate might look like. It’s threading a needle through a lot of expectations and misogyny.

    We have a whole bunch of women senators and governors, so it’s doable, but it’s going to be tricky. Especially with people trying to guess how other people will react.

  10. JohnMcC says:

    @Gustopher: Well, it certainly would be part of the calculation that a Biden VP choice might very well be running as an incumbent President. Mr Biden has Atrial Fibrillation added to his previous cerebral aneurysm repair would have to be considered at elevated risk of a stroke.