Last week I explained what I thought about CNN’s top 10 possibilities for Biden’s VP pick. Most weren’t too compelling, with the exceptions of Senators Warren and Klobuchar. Over the next couple of Election Trackers, I’ll discuss some names CNN left out.
Let’s start with three mega-personalities the media would love Biden to pick, but who he probably won’t:
- Hillary Clinton: It seems as though no matter how hard America tries, it can’t rid itself of the specter of Hillary Clinton someday inhabiting the Oval Office. It’s unlikely Biden would saddle himself with all the baggage choosing Clinton would bring with it, but the media would eat it up.
- Oprah Winfrey: This is the most unlikely and outrageous of these three mega-personalities. Biden probably won’t pick Oprah, but the media would love to see the talk show personality on a presidential ticket. They’ve been playing up the possibility for years now. She’s probably the only person who could bring enough name recognition to the race to rival Donald Trump’s.
- Michelle Obama: Numerous trial balloons have been floated about Michelle Obama being picked as the VP candidate, but she has, in seeming earnestness, denied any inclination to join the political fray. Obama appeared to be a reluctant occupant of the White House, so it seems unlikely she would want to join a Biden ticket and head back to Washington D.C.
There are other dark horse possibilities the Biden camp may be exploring. In the face of the coronavirus-caused economic slowdown, Biden may choose a businesswoman to join him. Here are three options he may consider:
- Sheryl Sandberg: Facebook’s Chief Operating Officer would make a powerful addition to the Biden ticket. Sandberg was a rumored possibility for Hillary Clinton’s VP choice but ultimately was not chosen in favor of Sen. Tim Kaine. According to William Whalen at Real Clear Politics, Sandberg has attained the status of “feminist icon” after writing her famous book Lean In and delivering its corresponding TED Talk. Sandberg could be a big help to Biden, who is currently under fire for the alleged sexual assault of his former Senate aide, Tara Reade.
- Mary T. Barra: Another executive who was on Hillary Clinton’s list of potential VP picks is GM CEO Mary Barra. Barra already has a fraught relationship with President Trump and can claim first-hand experience in dealing with him. Also, since mid-2016, Barra’s home state of Michigan has become a crucial state to the outcome of presidential elections.
- Ursula Burns: Former Hewlett Packard CEO Ursula Burns was also on Clinton’s list of possible VP picks, and could be a potential Biden pick. Burns was the first female African American CEO of a Fortune 500 company, and her presence would add business acumen to the Democratic ticket. Her rise from growing up in New York City housing projects to getting her master’s degree at an Ivy League university and then becoming CEO of a Fortune 500 company is the type of American Dream story that is easy to sell to voters.
Picking any of these six women would be a significant departure from the usual political script. Most often the VP choice has been a low-key former or sitting senator or governor, preferably of a state needed to win the race. But that conventional logic could be thrown out the door in Biden’s big face-off against the most unconventional candidate a presidential election has ever seen, Donald J. Trump.
Next week, I’ll run through more dark horse possibilities, focusing on governors and senators that CNN overlooked.
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