Few vice presidential picks have been as consequential as Joe Biden’s surely will prove. If the de facto Democratic nominee does indeed win the presidency, he will be 78 years old on Inauguration Day, older than Ronald Reagan, the nation’s oldest president ever, was on his last day in office.
Despite more than a year of naysaying from a Democratic establishment in want of a newer, shinier, and more intersectional hero, Biden beat the odds. He handily won the nomination with blockbuster turnout in states he dominated, the unrelenting support of the black electorate, and most importantly, with a campaign that overwhelmingly refused to bend the knee to the Bernie Bros.
And now, with the coronavirus bringing his campaign to an anticlimactic, though victorious, end, Biden has around four months to settle upon a running mate, one whom he promised would be a woman.
Running mates rarely help presidential hopefuls in meaningful ways, and they often hurt. The days of Lyndon B. Johnson clinching Texas for John F. Kennedy are long gone, and those of crapshoot candidates such as Sarah Palin often costing the top of the ticket. In fact, Biden himself was tapped by Barack Obama as a safe option, ironically enough, considered too old to ever be a viable presidential nominee and a safe and experienced statesman widely liked.
But Biden is in far closer a position to John McCain of 2008 than to Obama, and the temptation to pick a noteworthy running mate is obviously strong. If the effective blinders from the too woke world of the “very online” have provided any indication, it’s likely that Biden isn’t going to jump at that instinct. The Left loves Stacey Abrams, but it’s hard to imagine Biden betting his candidacy on a former state representative who not only failed to win her only statewide election, but also allied with his former foe, Mike Bloomberg.
But there is a candidate that Biden is surely considering and one whom he absolutely ought not to. Tapping Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer would likely cost his candidacy, and her handling of the coronavirus crisis has proven it.
Just a year into the job, Whitmer’s tenure as governor has already been a categorical disaster. While campaigning, she promised to “fix the damn roads,” only to propose doing so, once in office, by tripling the gas tax. Her budget negotiations fell into chaos, and ultimately, she broke her road promise and passed a deal full of concessions.
Now, Michigan has become a coronavirus hot spot, putting both Whitmer’s sheer incompetence and petty authoritarianism on full display.
Coronavirus didn’t arrive in Michigan until March 10, more than a month after the first confirmed case arrived to our shores. There have now been more than 22,000 confirmed cases in the state, with over 1,200 deaths at the time of this article’s publication.
Compare that to California, which saw its first coronavirus case on Jan. 26. It has had roughly 1,000 fewer confirmed cases and half as many deaths. This despite the fact that California has four times the population of Michigan and is home to San Francisco, the city with the second-highest population density in the United States.
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