Who Should Joe Biden Choose as his Veep?

Oregon Gov. Kate Brown with President Barack Obama after the Roseburg school shooting in 2015.Andy Nelson/The Register-Guard via ZUMA

For indispensable reporting on the coronavirus crisis, the election, and more, subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily newsletter.

Who should Joe Biden choose as his vice president? Jonah Goldberg—one of the few honest-to-God Never Trumpers out there—correctly points out that running mates are no longer needed to “round out” a presidential candidate. This means Biden doesn’t need to pick someone who can help with a particular state or a particular demographic. “The first thing to remember about vice presidential picks,” Goldberg says, “is that they are marketing decisions….In the modern era, veeps are picked to reinforce a message.”

So: what is Biden’s message? With apologies to both Michael Dukakis (who lost) and Warren G. Harding (who won), his basic message is competence and normalcy. No more feuds. No more 3 am tweets. No more revenge. No more lies. We need a steady hand at the tiller as we recover from the COVID-19 recession, and Biden is that hand.

Who are the obvious candidates to reinforce this message? Amy Klobuchar comes to mind immediately. I’d put in a good word for Elizabeth Warren, though it’s easy to see how she could muddle that message. Oregon’s Kate Brown could be a dark horse. Kamala Harris had a fairly dependable reputation in California, though she might have lost that during her losing presidential bid. Or how about Mazie Hirono, who was a steady Democrat for a long time but has recently become more radicalized—which perhaps truly captures the current zeitgeist? Maybe Katie Porter, who’s served only one year in Congress but has been very good and knows how to appeal to a purplish suburban audience.

Remembering that our goal in this exercise is cool and steady, who’s your pick?

SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

payment methods

SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

payment methods

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our free newsletter

Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily to have our top stories delivered directly to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate