Joe Biden has chosen his running mate. Before going any further I’m going to tell you first what you’re not going to hear in the next five minutes:
- You’re not going to hear name calling and automatic political branding such as – liberal democrat -- bad. You can listen to Tucker Carlson of Fox News for that. Look, I enjoy Tucker Carlson too but he gets paid to do what he does and I get paid to do what I do.
- You’re not going to hear that Kamala Harris has recast the Democratic power structure for years to come, like CNN says. You also hear the same hyperbole after every Super Bowl, when an announcer declares that the team hoisting the Lombardi trophy is the NFL’s newest dynasty. And then the next year, the team doesn’t even make the playoffs. If Biden gets trounced in November, I predict Harris will not be the party’s presidential candidate in 2024.
What you will hear from me is what I know about Harris from personal observation of her in action in Washington DC.
- I will tell you how I think she can help Biden win in November.
- I will also tell you how I think she can help Biden lose in November.
- And finally, I will share my thoughts about how Biden and Harris are ideological twins when it comes to their policy on Israel.
First, I want to begin with me patting myself on my back. Four months ago, I wrote in the Rose Report published on May 13 that Biden would pick a senator as his running mate. My reasoning was Biden himself was a senator when Barack Obama chose him as his running mate in 2008. Biden served 36 years in the senate and knows and trusts the institution and those who work in it. Okay, even a broken clock is right twice a day, so I now return my hand to the front of me.
Let’s talk about Harris’s short track record in the senate.
She is a first term senator from California and sits on the senate judiciary and intelligence committees, just as Biden did as a young senator.
In June 2017, I was on assignment in Washington DC and covered the intelligence committee hearing discussing Russian attempts to hack voting machines in more than 21 states in the 2016 presidential election. Kamala Harris is a skilled interrogator. She used to be California’s attorney general and San Francisco’s district attorney. She knows how to get to the bottom of a matter. I also watched her grill Brett Kavanaugh during his confirmation hearing for the supreme court. President Trump called her nasty for her line of questioning. I didn’t see it that way. She was very even-tempered and tenacious and made Kavanaugh wiggle squiggle in his seat. That was her job. And she did it well.
Biden chose Harris for a variety of reasons. The saying goes she checked a lot of boxes for him. He promised to pick a woman. Harris is a woman. Biden was pressured to pick a woman of color. Harris is a woman of two colors – Black and Asian.
So Biden kept his first and perhaps most important campaign promise, but how does Kamala Harris help Biden in November?
On the plus side, Harris is 22 years younger than Biden. We don’t know if Biden is well enough to serve even one term -- if elected, so having someone younger – and dynamic on his ticket – diminishes the age concern. She’s also a major league fundraiser. She raised over 20-million dollars for her senate and presidential races, much of it from fellow lawyers, wealthy retirees, the entertainment industry and Wall Street. So she gives the Biden campaign a big financial shot in the arm.
On the minus side, this woman of two colors might be the wrong shade for some Democrats. Progressive Democrats – the types that idolize AOC and Ilhan Omar – preferred someone more radical, such as Val Demings or Karen Bass. Harris could further dampen enthusiasm among voters Biden needs to turn out in droves.
On the Middle East, Biden and Harris are birds of a feather. Their support for Israel depends on what the day of the week it is and who they’re talking to. Biden will sound like Bibi’s best buddy in front of AIPAC and Bibi’s biggest nemesis at J Street. Harris supported America moving its embassy to Jerusalem until Trump actually did it and then she opposed it. Harris told AIPAC at its 2017 policy convention of her fond memories growing up in San Francisco and collecting donations in pushkes for the Jewish National Fund to plant trees in Israel. During the presidential debates, she showed equal enthusiasm for renewing the nuclear deal with Iran – you know the one where President Obama sent a plane with 150-billion dollars in cash for the mullahs. You can plant a lot of trees in Tehran with 150-billion dollars.
A Biden-Harris ticket would surely provide Israel will all the Iron Dome money it needs to sit back and absorb rocket attacks from Hamas while Israel restrains itself in the name of peace.
But ah, now I’m starting to sound more like Tucker Carlson.
So before I get myself into trouble, let me conclude by saying that a Biden-Harris ticket is a strong one for the Democrats. Trump and Pence would have had an easier time with some of Biden’s other choices. It doesn’t mean it’s a winning ticket. The race is going to very close.
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