This will be, if it isn’t already, the dirtiest campaign we’ve ever seen.


First published in August 2020.


Trump/Pence vs. Biden/Harris.

What do you think? I imagine most folks who are not planning to vote for President Trump are quite happy with the former vice president’s choice of a running mate.

California Sen. Kamala Harris is smart. Tested. Tough. Can be fun, soft and genuine in an interview, showing her true personality.

Biden proved, if he had to, that he can overlook a tough shot taken at him in a debate by his selection and still do the right thing and “bring folks together.” It’s a great comparison with Trump who famously holds grudges, seemingly forever or until his grudge target gets on his knees and pledges fealty.

And, most importantly, Sen. Kamala Harris is experienced enough to take over the Oval Office in an emergency.

So, Biden accomplished the primary goal in choosing a running mate: Do no harm. In fact, she does some good for him.

Harris has all the qualities a presidential candidate seeks in a vice president. And, so far, she’s getting fantastic press and reactions to Biden’s choice. Her selection likely will dominate the news through the Sunday shows.

Unless Trump has something up his sleeve to distract from her. Toying with the idea of talking to Putin about his (untested) coronavirus vaccine and possibly bringing it here?

That would dominate the media for sure.

Meantime, let’s get on with the show.

Because, folks, Sen. Harris did no harm and did Biden some good but the fact is this election is Biden v. Trump. We can all anticipate with glee the vice presidential debate but, the fact is, unless Pence or Harris mess up royally, that debate matters not much.

Sen. Harris was, among the options Biden laid out for himself, the best and safest choice. In the old days, a vice presidential selection was as much about helping to win a state in the Electoral College. But there is at least one generation of voters who have never seen a veep candidate chosen, successfully anyway, to deliver a particular state.

There’s little doubt Biden can carry Harris’ home state of California with or without her. And remember, I said safest among the candidates he interviewed. The first African American/Indian woman on a national ticket is no easy choice. Biden clearly though was going to select a woman and likely a woman of color.

This choice, though, was as much about turnout. Sen. Harris will likely draw more voters to the Democratic ticket especially among women (especially the all-important suburban women) and among African-American and Indian-American voters. This is good for Biden because there has been question about what his pull will be especially with young, progressive voters and young African-American voters.

Biden-Harris 2020 campaign logo.

And Biden, by virtue of his being the oldest person ever elected president if he wins, and because of important issues happening right now (race relations, police brutality, and more) is reshaping the party, especially if he wins. Others on his potential veep list for the most part will be exceptional choices for his staff and government if he wins. Imagine Susan Rice or Sen. Warren as chief of staff. Or Rice as secretary of state and Warren in the financial area somewhere (Treasury?). Imagine Mayor Pete being named to the Cabinet (Health and Human Services? Housing?).

You can see how a Biden Cabinet would look much more like America than the current Cabinet, or any before it, in fact.

President Trump and his political advisors, while not surprised by the Harris choice, do have some thinking to do beyond their first, amateurish ad after the Harris choice. Nicknames like Slow Joe and Phony Kamala won’t win any more votes than he already has with his “base.”

I imagine the Biden campaign will use Trump’s nicknaming his enemies for ridicule as one more way they will contrast Biden with the childish Trump tactic. So, Sleepy Joe and Phony Kamala away, Mr. President, this time it will backfire.

Will Trump dump Pence to find a running mate that tries to match Harris (Nikki Haley?). Trump certainly is craven enough but Mike Pence has been so loyal to him – a lap dog as was labeled a former Republican vice president – I don’t see how he gets away with it except, of course, with his “base” although I can imagine the evangelical bloc not being happy about changing out the devout Pence. And some of those voters already have been peeling off Trump. Can he afford to lose any more?

This will be, if it isn’t already, the dirtiest campaign we’ve ever seen.

Already Trump has tweeted that the “‘suburban housewife’ will be voting for me. They want safety & are thrilled that I ended the long running program where low income housing would invade their neighborhood. Biden would reinstall it, in a bigger form, with Corey Booker in charge!”

You might wonder why Trump chose Sen. Cory (correct spelling) Booker to symbolize this program and reinforce his not really subliminal message that “low income housing” is a not-so code for “brown people.” Booker not only is African-American, he has lived in low-income housing.

Trump is making no secret of his plan to make race an issue in this campaign as he did his first.

Biden’s campaign is clearly setting up the comparison with Trump both on his crass tactics and his fumbling, failing leadership.

And Biden/Harris may be the perfect ticket to take that on.🔷


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🗳️ Donald Trump

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[This piece was originally published in The Screaming Moderate and re-published in PMP Magazine on 13 August 2020, with the author’s consent. | The author writes in a personal capacity.]

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