Democratic presidential candidate former Vice President Joe Biden makes a point during a Democratic presidential primary debate, Friday, Feb. 7, 2020, hosted by ABC News, Apple News, and WMUR-TV at Saint Anselm College in Manchester, N.H. (AP Photo/Elise Amendola)
If you’ve been following the public breakdown of several Never Trumpers the last few days, you understand the peril they find themselves in. Having gone all in to defeat Trump, to the point of previously pledging support to any Democrat, they now face the unenviable position of rationalizing a vote for Bernie Sanders.
For some, they’ve already reached the acceptance stage (see Tom Nichols and Max Boot). But for others, they are still desperately searching for an off-ramp that will allow them to avoid throwing their support behind a communist.
Enter Jennifer Rubin, the “conservative” blogger over at The Washington Post.
Biden needs to keep hitting at Sanders, but he should also consider announcing an exciting running mate, possibly a woman of color. Stacey Abrams orK Harris would add pizzazz and offer the hope of a female AA president in 2024. https://t.co/i2EMwoYlWj
— Jennifer Rubin (@JRubinBlogger) February 23, 2020
There’s a word for what Rubin is doing here. It’s called racism. She’s painting black people as low-information, easily bribed rubes who will line up behind a failing candidate like Joe Biden if he just puts a black woman beside him. And she doesn’t even hide the ball here, saying that such a move would add “pizzazz,” as if black people are just political props.
So black women are just political props to make a candidate look good? Wow. Wow. Wow.
— Obianuju Ekeocha (@obianuju) February 23, 2020
She legit said a person of color would add pizzazz.
Like a necklace or something pic.twitter.com/NOYzjAiOhr
— paige sully (@PaigeSully88) February 23, 2020
But let’s talk pragmatics about what Rubin is suggesting here.
One, there’s a 0% chance that either Abrams or Harris would jump on board with Biden. Why? because he’s not going to win. Both of them are shooting for a VP position with the eventual nominee. Abrams would likely gladly join a Sanders ticket, as they aren’t far apart on policy. Harris, perhaps less so, but she’s still very radical and is doggedly ambitious. The idea that anyone with any real name recognition is going to burn their career down trying to save a hopeless Biden is a pipe dream. It’s the kind of ridiculous analysis you’d expect from someone who has no actual grasp of political realities, i.e. this fits Rubin perfectly.
Two, this has been tried before. Ted Cruz put Carly Fiorina on a pre-nomination ticket to try to thread this needle back in 2016. If anything, it hurt his campaign. People don’t like to feel like they are being manipulated. Further, history says that no one cares who the VP is. Lots of left-wingers are counting on a running mate to bolster Bernie’s limited appeal, especially among suburban women, but that’s likely fool’s gold. In the end, people vote for who’s at the top of the ticket.
In reality, what Rubin is doing here is just sad wish casting, likely with the casual dose of racism being unintentional. There’s no eleventh-hour savior coming to rescue her political dream of Bernie Sanders not being the nominee. No worries though, she’ll be stumping for him in no time.