Desperate: Biden grasps for Gretchen Whitmer as potential running mate
Faced with a slew of baggage-laden female black candidates for his running mate, each of whom could drag his ticket down, Joe Biden is reaching out and around the vaunted race box to consider Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, the governor of Michigan, as his running mate.
According to the Detroit News:
Lansing — Gov. Gretchen Whitmer traveled to Delaware last weekend to meet with Joe Biden, the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee’s first known in-person session with a potential running mate as he nears a decision, according to the Associated Press.
Whitmer, who is a national co-chairwoman for Biden's campaign, visited the former vice president last Sunday, according to two high-ranking Michigan Democrats who spoke on the condition of anonymity to the AP because they were not authorized to discuss the matter publicly. The first-term governor of the battleground state has long been on his shortlist of possible running mates.
Two well-known Democrats in late July told The Detroit News that Biden's campaign had vetted Whitmer as a potential running mate. At the time, Southfield attorney Barry Goodman, a member of both Whitmer and Biden’s finance teams, said his understanding was that the first-term governor went through a "full vetting."
Presumably, she's now in the contender's ring because she can supposedly bring swing-state Michigan to the Democrats' party. That's more than the top three black candidates — former national security adviser Susan Rice, Sen. Kamala Harris, and Rep. Karen Bass — can deliver, but like them, she's got some impressive baggage of her own.
It's a sign of desperation. Biden had already boxed himself in by saying he would pick a female candidate, and it's well known that he so badly wanted a black female candidate in the era of BLM. The problem is that the three he picked were walking disasters.
Former NSC adviser Susan Rice was a comfortable old shoe for Biden, having worked with her for eight years. But she's also a lightning rod for conservative opprobrium, having lied to Americans about the 2012 Benghazi attacks on an American diplomatic installation, claiming it was just an overexcited crowd instead of a bona fide terrorist attack, and having unmasked dozens of innocent Americans caught up in an intelligence dragnet, quite an amazing abuse of government trust and power. She's also famous for her toilet mouth and rudeness to opponents and has no experience outside the Beltway. She's be comfortable for Old Joe but would bring nothing but criticism to the party.
Then there was Sen. Kamala Harris, the dirty-cop prosecutor who slept her way to the top with California's power-godfather, Willie Brown; accused Biden of being a racist during the debates; and got nowhere when she campaigned in Iowa. Her fake smiling was obvious to the Midwesterners who rejected her before she even got a chance to run in a primary, meaning she'd bring nothing to the party, maybe not even California, and worse still for Joe, she's got the lean and hungry look, with likely realistic suspicions going around that she would seek Joe's job.
There also was Rep. Karen Bass, whom he reportedly liked because, well, she's likeable with an agreeable personality and reportedly no ambition to take Joe's job as president, but she had a pretty terrifying history as a de facto agent of the Cuban Castro regime. She would bring nothing to the party with her California base but would almost certainly ensure that Biden can kiss Florida goodbye.
That's the best these Democrats have on offer, and now Biden's so desperate that he's reaching outside the race line to presumably find someone who can add something to the ticket. He can't find anything with this bunch. And let's face it: the basement-bound Biden, with fading mental faculties, is going to need some kind of help from a sidekick, which is where Whitmer can fill the bill.
Her problem: she's also got baggage. I don't have a good sense of how she is playing in Michigan — according to this survey, her popularity has risen, and she's put out the wokester programs in line with the Black Lives Matter era, creating a re-education program for all state employees to address "systemic racism," a problem for many voters right there. But based on what we have seen of her outside the state, she's even more of a gift to Republicans for her horrible record on COVID.
First, she's one of the blue-state governors whose states had the highest death tolls and the worst response to COVID. The deaths in Michigan now stand at 6,524, with 95,470 total cases, a higher mortality rate than most states. Whitmer is one of five governors who seeded the nursing homes with COVID patients and then refused to rescind the order even when it became known that this was a death sentence. Her state is the one that had the crazed man with a mental health conditions beating an elderly man in a nursing home, signalling that the elderly are not being taken care of on her watch. That may be fine to her supporters in Michigan, but it's no asset outside that state, which can clearly see the abuses happening.
Her COVID record beyond that is one of continuous lockdowns and closed schools, with some particularly harsh business shutdowns - she's the one who banned the sale of garden seeds, and travel to one's isolated country house on the lakes.
And then there was her husband, who, seeking to take advantage of a brief opening, tried to jump the queue in the line for a boat ride on the lake.
Does this sound like someone who's going to bring in the votes for Joe? She's the face of lockdowns and incompetence, a nursing home killer same as Gov. Andrew Cuomo, and the picture of blue-state incompetence that has extended the COVID crisis in that state even as much of the world has been able to shake it off and get back to normal. Putting her on the Biden ticket will make Biden the face of permanent, extended lockdown as the presidential pitch to voters.
Sound like a plan?
Here's one more problem for Joe:
Rep. Maxine Waters of California, who's a powerhouse in the Congressional Black Caucus, says no dice on Gretchen Whitmer.
"We know that we're going to have a Black woman as vice president," Waters told Essence in an interview. "Let me guarantee you this, based on everything that I know and understand, and the help that he has already gotten from the Black community ... he can't go home without a Black woman being VP."
Whitmer seems to be popular with Black voters but for Waters that's not good enough. She wants a black female candidate or else. That's potent because already Black voters are unenthusiastic about Joe. Seems that Joe can have Michigan with Whitmer, but he's going to lose the black vote, same as all the other losses he would take with the problematic black female candidates - e.g., Florida.
Any questions as to why Biden can't seem to decide? This is a sign of a campaign in trouble, and Biden's got a load of bad candidates, all of them as baggage-laden as himself. If he can't pick a running mate unless it's someone who brings him nothing, he's a goner. And his desperation is showing.
Image credit: Screen shot from WDIV television via shareable YouTube.