FOR PRINT

In the collage, Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden is surrounded by four women he is strongly considering to be his running mate. Clockwise from top left are: U.S. Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif.; U.S. Rep. Karen Bass, D-Calif.; former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Susan Rice; and U.S. Sen. Tammy Duckworth, D-Ill.

With much of America still “locked down” amid the COVID-19 pandemic, what might already be the most unusual presidential campaign in history should heat up again soon because Democrat Joe Biden is expected to finally name his running mate.

On Friday, Chicago-based Real Clear Politics — which compiles data from numerous polls — showed Biden with about an 8-point lead in the race against President Donald Trump.

Why is Biden currently projected to defeat Trump by a relatively wide margin?

The uprising of the Black Lives Matter/Defund The Police movement, which has “the left” motivated to oust Republicans at every level of government;

A death count of 150,000 and climbing from COVID-19;

Demographics. Literally every day, America becomes more like California (where less than 37% of the population identifies as “white alone,” and Trump lost by 30 points in 2016) and less like South Dakota (where 82% of the population identifies as “white alone,” and Trump won by 30 points in 2016).

Nevertheless, as I have stated on multiple occasions, Biden has a slew of his own problems. Just a few that immediately come to mind are:

A tendency for gaffes, with perhaps the biggest one being when he confused his wife and his sister while on prime time network TV in March;

The fact that if America has so many problems, a man who was an elected official in Washington, D.C. from 1973 to 2017 (44 consecutive years) probably deserves some of the blame for our current predicament; and

If you can name any noteworthy accomplishments for Biden during his 36-year career representing Delaware in the U.S. Senate, you’re ahead of me.

Quite frankly, Biden was a mediocre senator from a mediocre state — until the most charismatic and transformational candidate (President Barack Obama) of modern times selected Biden as his running mate in 2008.

So, who will Biden select?

Biden long ago committed to selected a woman as his running mate. My best bet from the beginning has been U.S. Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif. It remains so at this time.

“Donald Trump is terrified. He knows he’s going to lose to @JoeBiden. It will require every single one of us to make that happen. We will see you at the ballot box on November 3rd, @realDonaldTrump,” Harris tweeted on Thursday.

Harris has everything that Biden doesn’t. She is a female, a minority, is relatively young, and is from a huge state. Harris also has plenty of national name recognition after her ill-fated presidential bid.

Having worked in the First-In-The-Nation presidential primary state (New Hampshire) until March, I covered two Harris campaign events in person. Her problem as a presidential candidate seemed to be that she could never commit to anything except strident opposition to Trump.

For example, Harris originally said she supported single-payer health care, commonly known as Medicare-For-All. She eventually backed off on this, in the process losing support among liberal Democrats who abandoned her for the likes of U.S. Sens. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., or Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass.

There was no room for Harris among the relative moderates seeking the Democratic nomination in late 2019, either. This support was, at the time, split among Biden, former South Bend, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg and U.S. Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn.

However, as Biden’s running mate, no one would care what Harris thinks about health care. Her role would very likely be that of attack dog: To simply trash Trump without mercy during every campaign appearance.

For all those reasons, I believe Biden will select Harris to run for vice president. And unlike the previous two female vice presidential nominees — Geraldine Ferraro, selected to run with Democrat Walter Mondale in 1984 and Sarah Palin, selected to run with Republican John McCain in 2008 — Harris will not be relegated to the underdog team.

If for some reason Biden decides against Harris, the three top possibilities I see, in no particular order, are:

U.S. Rep. Karen Bass, D-Calif.

Former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Susan Rice

U.S. Sen. Tammy Duckworth, D-Ill.

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