Two things: first, you can't make a case for what Joe Biden is thinking based on small notes. After all, they're, well...just notes, bullet points, quick reminders to him of larger things to talk about. And second, the analysis missed the far-larger point. And that is -- Kamala Harris was the only potential VP candidate Joe Biden had notes about!
By the way, I'm not suggesting that that's evidence of who Biden is going to select. Just that Kamala Harris being the only potential VP candidates Joe Biden had notes to talk about is the only thing that's substantive about the notes.
I do happen to think that Sen. Harris is the likely choice, but I could make a case for any of the names who have been mentioned. Incidentally, the newest person who has been added to the mythical Short List is Rep. Karen Bass. I mention this because she's my congresswoman. I've been to several of her town halls, and participated in her "phone town halls," and she's very bright and talented. My sense is that she'd be a good VP or even great in the cabinet, though if she became president, while I think she'd be good, she's more "measured" than I most care for in a president.
But I'd be fine with her as the VP nominee. Indeed, I'd be fine with any of the people who have been suspected as being on the Short List. I think they all have impressive strengths...and each some downsides. But then, I think the same of Joe Biden. And most every politician. And human.
There point here, though, is not which person on the Short List would be the best, especially considering that all the candidates are very talented. The point is...it doesn't matter who Joe Biden picks. And it doesn't "not matter" because of who Joe Biden is or because of who these candidates are. It's because historically when people vote in a presidential election -- they vote for the person leading the ticket. Only. The VP candidate generally makes almost no difference at all, if not no difference. In fact, the only time I've read where the VP candidate made a difference was Sarah Palin. And that wasn't because of what she added to the ticket, but because her utter incompetence and cluelessness scared people and drove them away from voting for John McCain.
It is presumed that a vice presidential candidate might possibly help the ticket win the state where that person is from. And that may be the case. May. But at best, that may be the only benefit. May. Because mainly, when people vote for president, they vote for the president.
And I think that's even more pronounced this year, no matter how talented the candidates are. No matter if the nominee is a women. And no matter if the nominee is most likely the first black woman on a national ticket. I even think that if Biden even selected a white male (he won't), no matter show surprised and outraged many people would be, they would still vote for Joe Biden, even if angrily. The driving point in this election is -- do you want Trump re-elected or not?
During the Democratic primaries, we all heard countless people say, "I don't care who the party's nominee is. If it is a fire hydrant, I would crawl on glass to vote for it." Even during the pandemic, without knowing the VP nominee, people have reiterated that they would risk their life to stand in line for hours to vote for Joe Biden to ensure that Trump doesn't get re-elected. I can't even begin to imagine that whoever is selected as the VP nominee would cause people to say, "Ohhh, okay, that's different, now I'm not voting for Biden."
If people were willing to vote for the Democratic nominee if it was a fire hydrant, they will be absolutely happy for the Biden ticket if the Vice Presidential candidate is a human, let alone a talented woman.
I do think the VP selection for Biden makes a slight difference for Republicans willing to leave the party and vote for Biden. But even there, if the choice was so problematic for them, I don't think most would still vote for Trump, they'd probably just not vote for president. But that person would have to be seriously an issue for them. And none of the people on the Short List are even remotely that problematic. Susan Rice might bother some Republicans for her ties to President Obama -- but Barack Obama probably looks a whole lot better to them now than when they hated him. And Trump is still the alternative to Biden. And Stacey Abrams' lack of experience might be an issue for some Republicans considering voting for a Democrat -- but she's smart and eloquent. And the alternative to Biden is still Trump.
So, while the press likes to make a horse race of the selection and rate people and give odds, not only do they actually have no idea, but it also doesn't matter. It doesn't matter who they guess because all the names are good. It doesn't matter who they guess because they don't know. It doesn't matter who they guess because whoever gets picked will have little to no impact on whether people vote for Joe Biden. And mostly, it doesn't matter who they guess because if you just wait a few days, Joe Biden will tell us next week who he has, in fact, chosen.
I'm very curious who Joe Biden will pick. I think all on the Short List are good. I think some are better. But what I think most of all is --
Who Joe Biden picks as his vice presidential running mate doesn't matter. Because in the end it comes down to only one question for the American voting public: do you want Trump to be president of the United States for four years or Joe Biden?