So why did Biden announce he's picking a woman VP?

There’s already a VP speculation thread, so please don’t hijack this one with more speculation.

In the last debate, Biden announced his VP pick would be a woman. Of course, by doing so, he pretty much sucked up all the oxygen in the room and nothing Bernie said was going to be remembered and all the news coverage was about the female VP promise.

But why? My first thought is that Biden already had a short list of VP candidates and they all were women. I don’t think that’s unreasonable, Biden has been in politics forever, has seen VP debacles like Eagleton/Ferraro/Quayle/Palin and good ones like Bush/Gore and himself. Plus Biden has been in politics forever, so it would be easy for him to have that mental short list. I’m almost certain Hillary had Tim Kaine as her #1 choice from around the time she won Super Tuesday.

But, what if Biden really didn’t have a good idea of who he’d pick but just had just decided it would be a woman regardless? In the current Democratic Party, it’s unlikely we will see an all white male ticket anytime soon, the last time was 2004. Was it a good move for him to eliminate so many people up front?

FYI, I’m not slamming Sanders above, it’s just been unheard of for a major candidate to not dance around the VP question during primary debates, the only exception the Cruz/Fiorna ‘ticket’ when Cruz was all but eliminated.

Obviously, there’s been a few examples over the years. Things got really testy between Bill Clinton and Jerry Brown and Clinton ruled Brown out in 1992. But most of the time candidates skirt the issue by giving the standard answer of ready to be president on day one, best qualified, etc.

Its not like anyone ever really picks a VP because “they are the best person for the job.” They are picked for votes (geographical or identity politics) or messaging purposes. This accomplishes that. It helps him appear more left by not just having two old white guys in the running.



Because he is planning on picking a woman as VP.

I assume he announced it because he’s an old white guy in a nearly unbroken lineage of white guy presidents (aside from the one notable exception where he was VP) and we haven’t had a female VP or President yet. So it gave people looking for that sort of change another reason to vote for him. Especially on the tail of his defeating Sanders.

I’m not clear on the question. I’ve read it a few times, and I don’t see how it is substantially different than asking “Why did Bernie say he wants Medicare for All and eliminate a lot of other good ideas?”

I think at the time it was a tactic to suck the oxygen out of the room and hasten Bernie’s slide in the polls. As it was, I’m not sure he needed to do this but there are many qualified women who he could pick from.

Announcing a policy position on healthcare is to be expected. No major candidate has ever announced during the primaries that they’re committed to picking a woman or a minority as a running mate.

In the 1988 debates, the moderators tried to get candidates to say that they would or would not pick Jesse Jackson as a running mate. In 1984, Mondale hinted he’d pick a woman but never (to my knowledge) explicitly said so.

That’s my guess as well. I’m sure Biden was pissed about Bernie insisting on having the debate. He knew he had to handle Bernie with kid gloves while Bernie was desperate for a knockout blow. And, Biden knows he’s gaffe prone and didn’t want the dementia nonsense to get any oxygen. So, he decided to go big and make sure he was the headline. And, as I mentioned above, Biden has been around forever so he didn’t need binders full of women to start planning his VP.

I expect they’d already decided it would be a woman (maybe not which woman), and wanted to prevent the chance of a potential poor debate performance being the headline. I think it was probably an excellent tactical move by the Biden team, and as much as I don’t like Biden, that move makes me at least feel better about the political acumen of his team.

I’m not sure if anyone knew before the announcement that Biden had decided his VP would be a woman, possibly including Biden. It seemed to him, at the moment, to be a good idea, so he came out with it, and now he is committed. People say things on the spur of the moment sometimes, Biden certainly not excepted.

Was it a good idea to announce that he will pick “a” woman? Dunno - depends who it is. His choice of VP is somewhat more significant than it usually is, because Biden is old and showing some apparent decline. Although the implication “I am going to pick a woman so that when I die the US can have its first female President” is a little offputting.

I wouldn’t have thought that Obama’s VP would need the diversity points that another candidate would, but apparently he disagrees. That’s up to him.

It does tie his hands a bit - he can’t change his mind without looking doddery, but whatever. The anti-Trump side won’t care, and will spin it as a great tactical decision, but to the rest of the country breaking a campaign promise before you even get going might be a little questionable.


Well, the goal during the primaries is to win the nomination, so any decision or announcement or statement or action is in service of that goal. Yeah, it was pandering, with the intention to win. So what else is new?

Oh, I don’t think there’s a chance he goes back on the promise. Going into the primary, I’m sure he thought that Harris and Warren would be strong candidates. Biden has got to know he will be seen as a lame duck on day one, no matter what he says about a second term, no one is predicting his death, but the presidency definitely ages you

Because Corey Booker did first and he could not be out-done.

I don’t think there’s any other election where a sizable amount of the electorate (whether primary or general) really really didn’t want another white man to be the nominee.

Just copied and pasted from the last damn time we talked about this:

At the time (of the debate), it was my judgment that his proclamation was an impulsive spur of the moment statement because he was under the pressure of a question from the moderator about his record on women’s rights. Others here have disagreed with this assessment, claiming that they think he planned to choose a female running mate well in advance of that debate, and that he simply chose that moment to announce this. I remain deeply skeptical of this viewpoint, and I think I can read Biden well enough now to know that he was put on the spot by the question, the wheels in his brain were spinning, and he said “fuck it” and popped the clutch.

Again, just my opinion.

I think Biden made a dumb call for two reasons, for the record. One: I’m against the idea of categorically excluding an entire gender from the position. It’s sexist. It smacks of pandering. It’s one thing to decide, privately, “I think a woman would help balance the ticket”, and then choose one. But to openly announce it just has bad optics. Just my opinion, others may see it differently.

Two, and more importantly: he failed to take into account the fact that the tide of current events in the months leading up to the election could potentially shape a stellar VP choice who would then be locked out because it might be a man. Let’s say that in the next few months, one of the state governors does an absolutely amazing job of rising to the occasion, truly distinguishing that state’s mitigation efforts above all the others. Let’s say just hypothetically that Jay Inslee, for instance, in the course of governorship during this pandemic, comes up with some kind of amazingly creative and effective plan that leads to a situation when, after the initial dust has settled in a few months, the whole country is looking at Washington State and saying, “wow, they did something right - their response to the virus was head and shoulders above the rest of the country.”

Imagine this is a poker game. It’s Hold 'em. Biden has his cards. The coronavirus is the flop. The mitigation efforts are the turn. The resolution is the river. But wait, none of that matters because Biden folded as soon as he got his cards.

That people accept pandering does not make pandering something other than pandering. This speaks to the sort of “electability politics” guessing game that has torn the Democratic electorate asunder and neutralized its ability to meaningfully propose policies.

Torn the Democratic electorate? Ever seen 68 or 72?
Yes, there’s some pushback from Bernie or Busters. Yes, there’s squabbling between the Warren/Klobuchar/Harris supporters almost as if the primaries didn’t end. But, I’d hardly call it a torn electorate. Biden isn’t going to go rogue and pick a Palin. In the end, the party will unite except for some Bernie people who are the least likely Democratic voters.

I mean yeah aside from the entirety of the youth and left vote you’re good.