Biden’s VP Pick

In this year of revolutionary activism, the DNC’s predictable decision to prop up Joe Biden as the party’s presidential nominee placed Biden’s handlers (a term more apt and all-encompassing in Biden’s case than is typical among presidential candidates) in the emasculating position of having to effectively promise a vice-presidential pick who would satisfy the morally infantile tonalities of this American progressive moment, specifically one who was both female and black. The problem, of course, is that as “ideal” as that might sound on paper (to a collectivist social justice warrior strategist), having so artificially limited one’s search, one is then in the unenviably anti-climactic position of having to choose a VP nominee from among an extremely narrow and unappealing crop of candidates. In short, there is not a currently active black American female Democrat on the electoral political scene who would not be an embarrassment as Biden’s running mate, on numerous levels.

Each of the prominent contenders has a past replete with absurd statements, unlikeable nastiness of character, and the kind of easily recognizable leftist extremism that the DNC typically prefers to avoid or downplay on its presidential ticket. (Yes, I remember Barack Obama, but one must also remember that in that case, the DNC had chosen Hillary Clinton, and was merely forced to cave in to the “historic” attractiveness of a well-schooled black candidate the very creases of whose pants could win over moderate Republican pundits, and who, as former primary rival Joe Biden pointed out at the time, was “the first mainstream African-American who is articulate and bright and clean and a nice-looking guy.”)

The Biden camp could, of course, surprise everyone and step right outside of the current Democratic machinery to find a black woman with some sort of mass appeal, along the lines of Michelle Obama or (the Hail Mary pass) Oprah Winfrey. But that would be dangerous too, and all the more so in this particular case. For the inescapable truth of the Biden VP search is somewhat unique to this ticket: Everyone knows that if Biden somehow wins the 2020 election, the person chosen as his VP is very likely to become the acting President of the United States before 2024. 

Every vice-presidential pick faces this question, of course: “Could you step into the presidential role in a crisis?” After all, every vice-president could become president tomorrow; that is just the nature of the job. But in normal circumstances, that contingency is just a formality of the position. No one really expects it to be necessary — except in this case.

Biden, should he become president, will be 78 years old at his inauguration. That is a full eight years older than the previous oldest man to assume the office, Donald Trump, who was 70. His age is running close to that point at which one can almost assume that he will have significant health problems along the way during a first term, i.e., between the ages of 78 and 82. More importantly, even if we imagine that Biden’s health is excellent for his age, and that he could survive a first term without being debilitated at any point by physical ailments, it is amply apparent that Biden, who has always been a sloppy thinker and gaffe-prone, is now truly struggling with some measure of mental deterioration. I will not go so far as to claim with any certainty (as many others have) that he is actually senile or suffering from dementia. Nevertheless, his frequently careless, meandering, and forgetful manner, his greater-than-usual capacity to get completely lost in the middle of a thought, and the fact that his statements and public presentation are being so tightly managed during this presidential campaign, strongly suggest that he is at the very least in a fragile condition, and, like many older people who are not strictly senile, is no longer able to exhibit the sort of intellectual focus on practical details and decision-making that would be required in a responsible management or leadership position — let alone the position of a head of state and commander-in-chief of the world’s largest military force.

And so here is the Democratic Party’s absurd quandary: They have wedged themselves into having no choice, politically, but to appease their grassroots base (aka the Communist Party USA) by choosing a black woman as Biden’s vice-presidential running mate, which imperative equates to having no choice but to choose a vice-presidential candidate who is utterly ill-suited by experience, temperament, and political posture to step into the role of president on a moment’s notice, for a ticket on which that vice-presidential contingency seems more likely than with any other presidential candidacy in history.

The Democrats just can’t catch a break, it seems. In 2016, running against the low-hanging fruit of the most incompetent and laughable boob in the history of the United States, they chose Hillary Clinton, the most despicable and widely hated woman in the history of the United States. And now, with Trump even more laughable and more unpopular than ever, they are setting themselves up to challenge him with a man who might not remember his opponent’s name during a debate, with a running mate no one in the country will either know or trust, on the ticket in which confidence and trust in the VP will matter as it has never mattered before.

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