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Politico Piece Lists Harris, Duckworth as Possible VP Picks

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Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden has declared that if he wins the nomination, his running mate will be a woman.

A March 17 article by Bill Scher, Politico Magazine contributing editor and co-host of the Bloggingheads.tv show “The DMZ,” lists 12 possible choices, including two Asian Pacific American U.S. senators, Kamala Harris of California, a former presidential candidate, and Tammy Duckworth of Illinois.

Sens. Kamala Harris and Tammy Duckworth

“Biden’s vice presidential nominee would be most useful politically by shoring up his support among culturally liberal young voters eager to elect a woman of color in 2024,” wrote Scher, who listed Harris as the No. 1 choice. “That’s why, of all the qualified women of color on the short list, the obvious choice was, and remains, Kamala Harris …

“She doesn’t bring the far left, who deride the former prosecutor as a ‘cop,’ but those folks won’t be satisfied with anyone Biden chooses. And if they don’t live in swing states, Biden can let them go.

“Harris, who is part of both the black community and the Indian American community — which Trump has been courting heavily — would excite plenty of young voters who can’t seem to get excited about electing another old white man.

“She’s a first-term senator who has not produced much successful legislation, but she is a road-tested orator who, over the course of the primary, was vetted by the media without surfacing any uncomfortable surprises. And she proved during the Democratic debates that she is effective at making direct attacks at her political opponents …

“A Biden-Harris ticket could aggressively pursue the Upper Midwest, the Southeast and the Southwest, from Maine to Montana, from Arizona to South Carolina. A thorough vetting process may discover problems that aren’t publicly known. And Biden will, at the end of the day, need to pick someone he feels will be a governing partner, not just a political asset. But the smart money is on Kamala, and no drama.”

Scher, who ranked Duckworth No. 4, wrote, “The Thai American senator from Illinois has a gripping biography. While serving as a lieutenant colonel in the Iraq War, she was in a helicopter that was hit by a grenade. She was grievously wounded and had both of her legs amputated. Two years ago, at 50, she became the first senator to give birth while in office. She could easily become an inspirational figure as a vice presidential nominee.

“However, her backstory isn’t perfect. During her bid for Senate in 2016, Duckworth settled an embarrassing lawsuit accusing her of workplace retaliation when she led Illinois’ Department of Veterans Affairs, a position she was appointed to by then-Gov. Rod Blagojevich. Her legal team maintained it was a ‘nuisance’ lawsuit that was settled for only $26,000. But Biden’s vetters should give the case a thorough scrubbing.

“The moderate Duckworth could also attract barbs from the left. In the summer of 2018, she put some distance between herself and progressive sensation Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. Asked on CNN whether Ocasio-Cortez represents the future of the Democratic Party, Duckworth snarked, ‘I think it’s the future of the party in the Bronx.’ She further argued, ‘I think that you can’t win the White House without the Midwest, and I don’t think you can go too far to the left and still win the Midwest.’

“Duckworth brings with her the hope that she can appeal both to older moderates in Midwest swing states, as well as to younger voters who are eager for a woman of color in the White House. But if the ideological left can’t forgive her dismissal of Ocasio-Cortez, she’s not the right choice to help unify the party.”

Also on the list:

No. 2 — Sen. Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota, former presidential candidate

No. 3 — Sen. Tammy Baldwin of Wisconsin

No. 5 — Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto of Nevada

No. 6 — Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham of New Mexico

No. 7 — Rep. Val Demings of Florida, former House impeachment manager

No. 8 — Gov. Gretchen Whitmer of Michigan

No. 9 — Gov. Laura Kelly of Kansas

No. 10 — Susan Rice, former ambassador to the U.N. and national security adviser for President Obama

No. 11 — Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, former presidential candidate

No. 12 — Stacey Abrams, former Georgia House minority leader and gubernatorial candidate

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