Democrats can’t be sure Trump will self-defeat and give Biden the win by default. The former vice president must phase his way back into the race.
The 2020 presidential campaign has come to this: The presumptive Democratic nominee remains holed up in his Delaware basement, while the incumbent fumbles and bumbles at his coronavirus bully pulpit.
Maybe Donald Trump will self-defeat, giving Joe Biden the presidency by default. But Democrats can’t count on that, which is why the former vice president must phase his way back into the race. It’s time to reopen the Biden campaign.
The foundation was laid with rapid-fire endorsements from Biden’s former boss Barack Obama, his recent rivals Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren and — on Tuesday in a live-streamed town hall — from Hillary Clinton. True, Obama’s ultra-articulate webcast made some of us long for real presidential charisma. And, yes, split-screen images of Biden and Sanders looked at times like a casting call for Grumpy Old Men III. And, granted, Warren was late and not persuasive enough for some progressives. And, alas, the Clinton event featured so much nostalgia about lunches during the Obama years that only three viewers got to ask questions.
But the endorsements reminded us that while we might be in the greatest health emergency of our lives, we’re also facing the most important election in decades.
Biden’s Phase 1 should be to announce a running mate. There is nothing to be gained by waiting in the traditional way for the party’s convention — which, for all we know, might be truncated or switched to a video-only format. Biden has already pledged to select a woman, and he should name her now. Best of the best: Sen. Amy Klobuchar or Warren.
There are others on the short list, such as California Sen. Kamala Harris, Florida Rep. Val Demings and former Georgia legislative leader Stacey Abrams, but this isn’t their time. To be blunt: Electing the first woman vice president — who, in light of Biden’s age might then become the first woman president — is plenty. But giving fringe voters an excuse to reject a candidate because she is both female and African American is, sadly, too risky. Besides, Abrams and Demings don’t have the executive experience that Biden requires in a right-hand; Harris comes closer but has too much baggage from her time as California’s attorney general.