Susan Rice will be announced next week as the vice presidential pick of Joe Biden. I think. Make that: I guarantee.
Former National Security Adviser. Former United Nations Ambassador. Susan Rice. World stage with international leaders. Experience isn’t overrated. Nor is know-how. And while no one is ever “ready” for all the challenges of becoming president on “day one”, Susan Rice would hardly be a bad choice should Biden win this November and serve only one term. She’d be the best choice.
Ambassador Rice has crafted policy and strategy. Her foreign policy experience is a huge plus. She has the authority, gravitas, stature and leadership to be commander-in-chief. Rice brings instant credibility and substance. I look at her and think: president.
Rice is known as a tough, shrewd negotiator and decisive stalwart. A young yet seasoned leader. Well-respected by many Republicans — including some of those who vilified her with the inflated, bogus contretemps and accusations of Benghazi falsehoods (which, as ascribed to her by rabid “Freedom Caucus” House Republicans, were characteristically and egregiously false.)
Ambassador Rice served in the Barack Obama administration that Biden was VP in. That Ms. Rice has a good rapport with Mr. Biden and worked alongside him in Obama’s cabinet is another plus.
Rice and Biden have been good friends for some time. Another plus.
Ms. Rice has far less “baggage” than the other major contenders and more foreign policy experience than all combined.
In other words, Susan Rice is the best and most compelling choice for president, never mind vice president. She has the vision, perspective, courage, strength, wisdom and know-how.
Ms. Rice is actually overqualified at vice president, so much so that it could, given her illustrious resume, appear to be a demotion. Yet she would be a heartbeat away from becoming the first female president the U.S. has had.
Of the other major contenders for vice presidential spot:
The long long shots are: Karen Bass, Keisha Lance Bottoms, Val Demings
All three benefit from being in the public spotlight over the last seven months, especially Atlanta Mayor Bottoms, but none possess the gravitas for the world stage. All three would make excellent governors, which is probably where at least two of them will be in the next five to ten years.
The long shot is: Elizabeth Warren
Senator Warren, popular and admired, had strong momentum after her exit from the Democratic primary, shortly before Bernie Sanders would yield paving the way for Joe Biden. After Obama endorsed him, Warren, regarded by many as a Progressive, made a glowing campaign video for Mr. Biden that seemed to me at least to *scream* VP. Warren seemed odds-on (along with Senator Amy Klobuchar) to be Biden’s VP pick — prior to the murder of George Floyd. Warren’s baggage is fairly high, and she will be an attack machine piñata for Donald Trump. The relentless racist nicknames will continue to cascade on her. Despite her fulsome apology Senator Warren didn’t help herself by misleading people about having Native American heritage. Not exactly what you want on your record, especially now.
The possibilities are: Stacey Abrams, Tammy Duckworth
Both women epitomize courage: Stacey Abrams for fighting against a vote-stealing Brian Kemp, who literally stole the Georgia governor’s mansion from her in 2018. Abrams would have been the first Black female governor in U.S. history. Instead, she was robbed. Her robust 2019 State of the Union response was legend, propelling her into media conversations about aspirations for national office. Abrams has continuously been in the public spotlight — almost perennially — with “Fair Fight” one of her voter-suppression prevention organizations. She has boldly and riskily campaigned openly to be Mr. Biden’s running mate. They have a certain chemistry. What makes Abrams a good choice is her energy, leadership, plain-spoken honesty and precision.
Tammy Duckworth is the only person who has served her country on the battlefield, losing both legs in the process in Iraq. Her courage is unrelenting. A Purple Heart recipient, Senator Duckworth is an American hero who has sacrificed. She has strength of character, grit, honesty and an activist mindset that has powered her to power. Her empathy and compassion are also qualities that make her a good choice. Duckworth is a fighter — which would be a good contrast with an older Joe Biden. Duckworth also inspires with her leadership. She would be the first Asian-American and female military vice presidential pick in U.S. history.
Odds-on: Kamala Harris or Susan Rice
Since Susan Rice has already been discussed, the other viable alternative is Senator Kamala Harris. While she has baggage around (not prosecuting “foreclosure king” Steven Mnuchin among other things) as Attorney General of California and San Francisco District Attorney, Senator Harris is immensely popular. Dynamic leadership, strong presence and compelling appeal to strength, empathy and conscience, Harris is charismatic and incisive. She has taken on important fights in the Senate and her own campaign for president began robustly in late January 2019, gaining high enthusiasm before a dearth of money in the campaign coffers meant she was forced to suspend her campaign last December. While Senator Harris was in the race she sparred with Mr. Biden at one debate in June 2019 that got headlines because of Biden’s anti-busing stance and Senator Harris’s experience as a young girl affected by anti-busing in Oakland.
Though Senator Harris is still a strong favorite to be Biden’s pick — far more so than Senator Warren, Harris—who isn’t fully embraced by some segments of the African-American community—still faces skeptics. Some people I know have said they do not know enough about Harris in particular situations. While Harris has been celebrated on the national stage for her notoriously exacting questions of people like Jeff Sessions, James Comey, Bret Kavanaugh and Bill Barr during Senate hearings, she is still something of an unknown quantity on the world stage. Expect Harris to have a role in any Biden Administration either as U.S. Attorney General, Education Secretary, Health And Human Services Secretary or as a Justice on the U.S. Supreme Court — which she would absolutely be a cinch for.
When all is said and done however: next week will be Rice as nice for Susan.