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Democratic presidential candidate former Vice President Joe Biden gestures while referencing President Donald Trump at a campaign event at the William “Hicks” Anderson Community Center in Wilmington, Del., Tuesday, July 28, 2020.(AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

 

Presumptive Democrat presidential nominee Joe Biden has delayed his selection of a vice-presidential running mate by at least another week. Campaign aides are saying Biden needs more time for vetting the potential nominees.

This is a BS excuse and tells me two things: One, the leading contenders of Senator Kamala Harris, Congresswoman Karen Bass, and former Obama national security advisor Susan Rice are not very strong candidates and are losing favor.

Two, this also tells me the campaign needs additional time to send up more trial balloons, like the one House Whip Jim Clyburn sent up last week preparing Democrat activists, especially African American women, that one of their own will probably not be chosen.

At this stage in the vetting process, it seems Harris, Bass, and Rice are simply three cards in a three card monte sleight of hand confidence game being played on Democrat activists by the Biden campaign. Clyburn said just last week:

“I do believe that it is a little bit foolhardy for us to be focusing on the vice presidential choice, rather than other things as well. I long for an African American woman to sit on the United States Supreme Court. It’s a shame that we have had three women to sit on the United States Supreme Court, and no one has ever given the kind of consideration that is due to an African American woman. That, to me, is priority.”

But wait, Clyburn said this back in March after he single-handedly resurrected Biden’s campaign by endorsing him which helped him win the South Carolina primary:

“I’ll never tell you who I’m going to advise him, but I would advise him that we need to have a woman on the ticket, and I prefer an African American woman.”

And then Clyburn reversed himself a month later and said this in late April:

“I think having a woman on the ticket is a must. I’m among those who feel that it would be great for him to select a woman of color. But that is not a must. I think that he should be informed in this decision by the vetting and the polling. And I think he should be guided by his head and his heart.”

Harris, Bass, and Rice each have Achilles heels the Trump campaign can use against them to great advantage. Senator Harris is a generally unlikeable person who comes across as angry, “overly ambitious” and “unloyal” according to former Senator Chris Dodd who is a senior member of Biden’s VP vetting team.

Bass, the Congressional Black Caucus chair, is a backbencher and policy lightweight who’s done nothing to really distinguish herself while in Congress. Except for that time she praised Fidel Castro after his death thus infuriating her Cuban congressional colleagues.

Even before the revelation of her praising the Cuban dictator after his death, I don’t believe Bass was ever in serious consideration. After Senator Kamala Harris’ stock started slipping, and Congresswoman Val Demmings’ and Stacey Abrams’ pictures were put on milk cartoons because they seemed to disappear from consideration, Bass was elevated simply to show an African American woman was still in the top rung of contention.

Former national security advisor Susan Rice has never sought public office and has the stench of Hillary Clinton and Benghazi, and all the subsequent lies she told about the incident, still swirling around her. Voters rejected Clinton in ‘16 and the last thing the Biden campaign wants is a reminder of Hillary Clinton anywhere near their campaign.

I’ve been saying for months now I believe Elizabeth Warren will eventually get the nod. Regardless of what you think of her politics, I believe the American people can envision her as a future president more than they can an unlikeable first-term Senator, an undistinguished backbencher Congresswoman, or a so-called policy wonk who has never sought or held public office.

My wildcard for the VP nomination is Illinois Senator Tammy Duckworth. Duckworth checks a lot of boxes for the campaign. She’s a “progressive” minority woman who was severely wounded while serving in the military during wartime. She despises the President and would be a great attack dog for the campaign.

It will be interesting to see if Representative Clyburn and the DNC’s trial balloon — that’s it’s now more important to have an African American female Supreme Court justice than an African American female Vice President — will sell to African American women who are traditionally the Democrat Party’s most loyal constituency.

Christopher Arps
 

Christopher Arps is a managing partner with the public affairs and communications consulting firm Red Tail Strategies, LLC. He is a national advisory board member for the National Center for Public Policy Research's Project 21. He's the co founder of Move-On-Up.org. President of Americans for Citizen Voting (ACV), a 501c4 dedicated to the belief that only citizens should vote in our local, state and national elections. He's a guest host and contributor on his local conservative radio station (KFTK 97.1) in St. Louis, Mo.

Follow Chris on Twitter @chris_arps
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