What Does It Take for Biden’s VP to Be a Black Woman?

  • Roger Williams
    Roger Williams

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 heart.

Representative James E. Clyburn, Democrat . . . South Carolina

Former Vice President Joe Biden, the presumptive Democratic nominee, pledged to pick a woman to serve as his vicepresidential candidate. Perhaps reviewing new U.S. Census Bureau data regarding the voter turnout practices of African Americans, Representative James E. Clyburn and others have speculated that choosing a woman of color might improve Biden’s chances of displacing President Donald Trump in November.

Some might counsel that those advocating for a black female VP candidate are “putting the cart before the donkey” since Biden has not yet been officially selected to run as the Democratic presidential nominee. And, sadly for Biden supporters, the polling and vetting of potential women candidates is transpiring at a time when a woman is accusing him of sexual misconduct. In Investigate Tara Reade’s Allegations, The New York Times Editorial Board reported that, in the spring of 1993, Reade maintains that Biden cornered her in a deserted hallway of the Capitol complex, pinned her against a wall, reached under his former Senate staff assistant’s skirt and penetrated her with his fingers. Ironically, Reade’s charge is resurfacing while Aimee Allison—-the founder and president of She the People, a national network of women of color—-argues that “picking a woman of color would help build a broader coalition of Democrats” in her article To Beat Trump, A Woman Of Color Vice President Is More Than A Consolation Prize. It’s A Necessity.

So, the “political games” are underway with Republicans and Trump-supporters slinging mud to re-elect their candidate. Their rhetoric advances the notion that Democrats are hypocrites guided by rules that promote a double standard when it comes to investigating sexual assault accusations made by women. Conversely, Democrats rebut the Republican rhetoric, assert that Biden is a decent guy, innocent of Reade’s accusations and add intrigue to the “political games” by suggesting that Sen. Kamala Harris and Stacey Abrams are praiseworthy contenders for VP.

More than likely, Allison is aware of the new U.S. Census Bureau data which reports that the black voter turnout rate declined for the first time in 20 years in a presidential election, falling to 59.6% in 2016 after reaching a record high 66.6% in 2012. Allison contends that voters of color will be motivated to vote for the Democratic ticket if a black women is picked to run with Biden. Jennifer Ruben in There’s One Front-Runner For Biden’s VP—Regardless Of What Jim Clyburn Thinks asserted that Kamala Harris is leading the black female VP race. In Kamala Harris Would MakeThe Best Presidential Candidate, Voters Say In Poll, Jason Lemon indicated that a survey conducted by Emerson Polling in mid-February showed that 20 percent of the respondents thought Harris would make the best vice president with Stacey Abrams placing fourth with 8 percent. If Biden is guided by his head and heart, his running mate will be a black woman.

Dr. Roger C. Williams, Jr. is a retired principal who has an interest in history and politics. You may comment on his column by sending an email to kcglobe@swbell.net. On the subject line put ATTN: Dr. Roger C. Williams, Jr.; or e-mail him directly at:w.roger@sbcglobal.net