Joe Biden never was terribly bright, and, at 77, he is losing too much of the grey matter that he once had. Nonetheless, you don’t grab as many women as he has over the years and still manage to become vice president and your party’s presidential nominee without having something going for you. There is a Clintonesque (as in Bill; not Hillary) quality about Biden, and his shrewdness and resilience should not be overlooked. Insiders tell us that he is about to shock the country with his vice presidential choice.
Biden has promised to name a female running mate. To win, Biden needs to do five things: (1) avoid any spectacular gaffes (2) win 90 plus percent of the African-American vote (3) win about 60 percent of the female vote, and (4) Pick a vice president candidate who will convince the electorate that she is capable of becoming president (5) Run a campaign that does not alienate either the Sanderites or the moderates in his party. His biggest challenge, aside from avoiding gaffes, is picking a VP candidate who will not turn off an important constituency.
Another important issue, for Biden personally, is to pick a VP who won’t be scheming to have him be the first president removed from office via the 25th amendment. All this is not as easy as it might seem. For example, Biden could select Elizabeth Warren, but that would not play well with moderates; he could select Amy Klobachar, but that would annoy the Sanderites; or he could pick Hilary Clinton, who would turn everyone off.
Furthermore, all of the above and most of the other names being bandied about would, if elected VP, be spending most of their time thinking of ways to make Biden look like a doddering old fool who is incapable of being president.
Biden will almost certainly offer the vice presidency to Michelle Obama, and his advisors will make sure that the world knows that Michelle is his first choice. She would be satisfactory to almost everyone, but she will almost certainly decline his offer. None of this is a surprise.
That is when Biden will shock observers by naming Jill Biden as his vice presidential nominee. If a charming former first lady is qualified to be vice president, so is a charming former second lady who has been around the Washington scene for more than 40 years. Who can argue with his logic? The Sanderites and the moderates certainly have other candidates they would prefer, but few of them will criticize Jill Biden, who will be happy to run things out of the limelight. Old Joe is still pretty cagey.