Since America’s founding, a woman has been on a national ticket only three times: Geraldine Ferraro, Sarah Palin and Hillary Clinton. But at a debate hosted by CNN on March 15, Joe Biden committed to naming a woman as his vice-presidential running mate. Here is a list of who he should consider for the spot.
Senator Elizabeth Warren
As one of Biden’s former rivals, Warren proved to be one of the most tenacious and effective campaigners of the 2020 cycle. Her shunning of large-dollar fundraisers and policy platforms endeared her to the progressive wing of the party, in which members may need to be convinced to get out and vote for Biden. Biden has already adopted some of Warren’s policy positions on bankruptcy and education, and in turn, Senator Warren has publicly praised Biden’s leadership ability.
Senator Kamala Harris
Though her 2020 campaign ended early, some have reportedly been pushing Biden to choose the junior senator from California. Harris’ debate skills and charisma on the campaign trail would be a boost for Biden but would not win him any favors on the left. Congressman Jim Clyburn, who endorsed Biden just before the South Carolina primary, told Axios that he hopes Biden would choose an African American woman, and Harris was the first person he named when asked to specify.
Senator Catherine Cortez Masto
The senior senator from Nevada has proven to be one of the most skillful politicians in the Trump era. Having served as Nevada attorney general from 2007 to 2015, Senator Cortez Masto won an astounding 88% of the Latino vote in 2016 according to the analysis of political scientists. With senate seats such as in Colorado, Texas and Arizona up for grabs in the fall, Biden should do all he can to win over those voters, especially considering he has been losing Latino voters to Bernie Sanders in the primaries. Her governmental service, leadership of the DSCC and status as America’s first Latina U.S. senator would make her a fantastic vice president. However, as Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez noted, choosing Sen. Cortez Masto may not satisfy the progressive wing of the party. Biden has reportedly told former Nevada senator Harry Reid that he greatly admires Reid’s senate successor and went further to say that she is in his “top three.”
Senator Tammy Baldwin
Since Hillary Clinton lost Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Iowa and Wisconsin to Trump in 2016, some Democrats believe the path back to the White House is as simple as winning back a few of these key states. Anyone who subscribes to this theory should be pushing Biden to choose Wisconsin Senator Tammy Baldwin as his running mate. Clinton lost Wisconsin by less than 23,000 votes in 2016. In 2018, Democrat Tony Evers defeated Republican governor and incumbent Scott Walker by less than 30,000 votes. The same night Evers was elected, Tammy Baldwin won reelection to the senate by more than 10 points. And she didn’t win by running to the center. She is the first openly gay senator, supports Medicare for All, opposed Trump’s 2018 budget and fought against the Iraq War while in the House of Representatives. Her progressive history coupled with her Midwestern roots would win Biden favor on the left and help him win in the general election.