Another Acrostic: Joe Biden’s VP Choice?

A Person Who Deserves Serious Consideration:

Unknown-2
Image from commons.wikimedia.org

Very strong as impeachment manager
African American woman
Lives in a swing state (Florida)

Devoted to the law**
Eloquent cop/public link: former police chief
Modest beginnings—parents: maid, janitor
Innovator—programs for at-risk kids
Notable 40% drop in violent crime
Graduate in criminology; Masters Public Admin
Serves on Homeland Security, Judiciary Committees

…soft-spoken, straightforward, and rides a Harley!

_______________

Note: I have followed Congresswoman Val Demings with interest since watching her impressive performance during the impeachment hearings. She was thoughtful, measured, and a steely tough but polite questioner.

Though I wish she had more international experience, in view of what our current turmoil has revealed about our urgent societal needs, I’ve been wondering if this former police chief might be the perfect candidate for VP.

When I read her recent Washington Post Op-Ed, “My fellow brothers and sisters in blue, what the hell are you doing?,” from which I quoted in an earlier post, I was further convinced that she’s quite special.

Here’s her conclusion:

“Everyone wants to live in safer communities and to support law enforcement and the tough job they do every day. But this can’t go on. The senseless deaths of America’s sons and daughters — particularly African American men — is a stain on our country. Let’s work to remove it.

“We have got to get this one right. Our communities, good police officers and generations yet to come deserve it.”

Here are a few of the comments she made about President Trump’s behavior before and during the impeachment hearings.

Last December, she tweeted the following:

**“I am a descendant of slaves, who knew that they would not make it, but dreamed and prayed that one day I would make it. So despite America’s complicated history, my faith is in the Constitution. I’ve enforced the laws, and now I write the laws. Nobody is above the law.”

She said this during the hearings to explain the importance of the process:

“This moment is about ensuring that every voter, whether a maid or janitor, whether a nurse, a teacher, or a truck driver, whether a doctor or a mechanic, that their vote matters and that American elections are decided by the American people.”

And then I saw this on Twitter from Dave Wasserman of The Cook Political Report:

“A few days ago, I asked a high-ranking R [Republican] whom Biden would be wise to pick as VP.”

Answer: “A black woman who grew up poor, rose from beat cop to police chief, comes from a swing state and rides a Harley? That’s a profile I’d be scared to run against right now if I were Trump.”

What do you think?

Annie

49 thoughts on “Another Acrostic: Joe Biden’s VP Choice?

  1. I like her very much. I do not know enough about her. I do want to feel safe in knowing that if anything happens to Joe Biden she would be ready to become president.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Your point is, of course, top of mind. I have written before that I believe/hope that Biden—who knows first-hand what’s needed to be VP and has made it clear that he sees himself as a transitional figure—will make his selection accordingly. I encourage you to read Demings’ brief online biography: she’s been a star at everything she’s done. For me, one of her most appealing personal characteristics is that she radiates calmness, even while asking questions that are very tough. I think our times would do well with someone who speaks softly and carries a big brain!

      Liked by 4 people

  2. Since I used to live in Orlando, I’m very familiar with both Demmings and I’ve watched Val’s career with a lot of glee and happiness. I do think she’s an amazing person and I agree with her on many topics. My only hesitation is her experiences and ability to do the job of a VP without many of the relationships that are needed to do it well. There’s certainly no perfect candidate but a woman of color should be the VP, I believe. Kampala Harris would be my pick. 😉

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  3. You raise an important point about relationships, Abigail. I have a lot of respect for Kamala Harris and have written that her prosecutorial skills would be most welcome during the campaign.And her experience running CA’s AG office is valuable. I’m tending toward Demings now because I think we need to lower the national temperature while forging ahead with ambitious plans for change—and she seems to me due to temperament and experience uniquely qualified for those dual challenges.

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    1. Poor Joseph: you just can’t accept this particular reality! We’d LOVE Michelle. But she has made it very clear that there’s no way in the world that she wants to be anywhere near the White House. If you have Netflix, watch “Becoming.” If not, you can read my post “On Watching Michelle Obama Becoming…” I’m sure she said the same thing in her book, but I haven’t read it yet.

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  4. I do like what I’ve seen of Val Demings during the impeachment hearings, and would be happy if she’s the choice. I also like Kamala Harris (and Michelle Obama, except, as you reply to Joe, she’s really not interested). I think, in any case, a black women is almost an imperative.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks. George. I share your sentiment. I think we’re fortunate that the women under consideration are so very talented and have demonstrated solid leadership in various arenas.

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  5. Annie, I was impressed with her during the impeachment hearings, and think she would be an excellent choice. I liked Kamala Harris initially but did not care for some of her derogatory comments about Biden later….I don’t think we need that kind of behavior now. But it’s not up to me……I can’t vote!

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  6. Annie, you make a strong case for Val, and I’m sure she would be an excellent VP….but first she has to be elected, and success running for political office is often a matter of name recognition. I realize that that’s not nearly as big a factor for a VP candidate, because in almost every case, the game is going to be won or lost based on who’s running for Pres. If there are exceptions re the VP choice, a bad choice is much more of a factor than a good choice: John McCain choosing Sarah Palin as his running mate, for example, was a big drag on the GOP ticket and may have even cost McCain the election.

    That’s why I lean toward the much better known Kamala Harris, although she’s from a state which is a lock for Biden no matter who his female running mate is — even if it’s you! 😉 My only question is would Val as VP candidate make enough of a difference to carry her state of Florida….and to that, I don’t have the answer.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Valid points, mistermuse. I think Val Demings has such a strong persona that it wouldn’t take long. I’m glad the decision isn’t ours. I know Biden’s team is putting together a strong vetting committee—should be interesting!
      Thanks for visiting and commenting; I always like to hear from you!

      Like

  7. The House is not the ideal training/experience for Executive performance. Val’s future is very bright but for obvious reasons not now. Perhaps a spot in Biden’s Cabinet.

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    1. I respect your opinion. Under ordinary circumstances, I would agree with you.
      But these are not ordinary circumstances—and we are not dealing with “ideal” political candidates right now. As I said to the first commenter, I believe/hope that Biden will make a wise choice because he knows better than any of us what’s needed.

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    2. There is no training available for the most powerful human being on Earth. It is a matter of temperment, intellect and empathy. The ability to choose smart, honest advisers and carefully weigh their advice.In the job of POTUS nothing matters more than character, in my opinion. And by that I mean the ability to put your own ego and preconceived notions aside and make decisions based on the best evidence. With the best interests of ALL the people in mind.
      Abe Lincoln was a congressman from Illinois with no executive experience. JFK and LBJ were senators with no executive experience. GW Bush was a governor from Texas with plenty of executive experience. Mike Pence and Sarah Palin were both governors. I rest my case.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Agree, she’s definitely worth a close look. Also, as some of your readers have remarked, Kamala Harris is worth a conversation, Michelle is out of the question (our loss), but how about Stacey Abrams? Georgia House of Rep and minority leader, Yale law, clear spoken and speaks her mind, an author of romance/suspense novels in her free time (go figure!), ran for governor and allegedly had the race stolen through voter suppression, gave the response to the state of the union . . . Also worth a look?

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I think Stacey Abrams is a dynamic person who is doing incredibly important work on voter education and protection and has a very bright future. But she hasn’t been in the national arena, so I think it would be premature to see her as the potential President at this time.

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    2. I would cross off Harris simply because California is already in the Democratic bag. Demmings , being from Florida, a swing state is a better choice. Michelle is still my # 1 pick. No reason she cannot be a modern day Cincinnatus. Abrams doesn’t do it for me. She lost her last election (Ok, it was stolen) but a loss is a loss. I don’t see her bringing in votes outside of Georgia. Klobuchar is from Minnesota and would help in the midwest. As would Whitmer from Michigan. Warren has too many negatives, plus we need her in the Senate. If Biden had not already committed to a woman I think his best pick overall would be Cory Booker, but he’s out. Hope springs eternal….Biden-Obama….unbeatable!

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      1. Unbeatable—for sure. Undoable—also for sure.

        Alas, Joseph, please take notice:
        Michelle’s made clear she won’t be POTUS.
        As much as we may beg and plead
        It’s a job she does not want or need!

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Frank. I would suggest that no matter who Biden picks there will be negatives. No one is perfect (well, except for me). And if there are no obvious negatives the GOP mud machine will simply make up stuff anyway. Inevitable. the perfect ins the enemy of the possible.

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  9. I hadn’t seen the article, and I thank you for once again enriching our discussion.
    I think it shows more than anything how complicated these police matters are due to the power of police unions. I found it interesting that the attorneys for the two men victimized by police who are mentioned in the article both spoke highly of her and said they’d support her. More problematic to me is the Protect and Serve Bill to make violence against police a federal crime. That just sounds like a bad bill, so it’s puzzling why, after being introduced by Hatch in the Senate, it passed the House and not the Senate.
    I had assumed Demings would have baggage without knowing those specifics. So does everyone else: Kamala has problems from her CA AG days, etc, etc. Whoever is selected will have to answer to a much more aroused, angry public than would have been the case a while back. I think the unflappable nature that the Sentinel article describes, which is one of Demings’ qualities that impressed me, is critically important. But as I observed to another commenter, I’m glad I’m not the one who must decide!

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Very enlightening post! A couple of weeks ago, Jeff asked me to research Ms. Demings and let him know my thoughts … I had not had a chance to do so yet, but this post gives me a good feel for Ms. Demings, and I like what I see/hear. I think the only downside I can see right now is a lack of name recognition which, in normal times might not matter as much as it does now. However, if the nation starts seeing and hearing more about her in the coming weeks, if her record and ideology are made public from coast to coast until she becomes a household name and people no longer say, “Who?”, then she might well be a valuable addition to Biden’s ticket. Like you, I would wish she had more foreign policy experience, but Biden has enough, and no doubt he will appoint a Secretary of State who is well qualified, so that is something that she can learn as she goes. Thanks for the enlightenment and I will look a little harder at Ms. Demings! Heretofore, I have been in support of Biden choosing either Kamala Harris or Elizabeth Warren, but perhaps there is a third viable option.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. As my ace researcher friend pointed out in linking to an Orlando Sentinel article about her, she does have baggage—but so do they all. You may want to read that article about her and our back and forth comments. Her experience as a former police chief may be either a big advantage or a big disadvantage—hard to know.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I just finished the article in the Orlando Sentinel, and for sure Ms. Demings has some baggage that the GOP will delight in magnifying. But then, so does Kamala Harris. Nobody is perfect, but I surely do wish Biden could find a perfect running mate with no skeletons hiding in the closet! Somebody mentioned Stacey Abrams, and while I love Stacey, she simply has not got the experience. In terms of experience, I guess Warren and Harris are the two with the most, having served in the Senate for a number of years. As you say, it’s hard to know at this point whether Demings’ police experience would be a help or a hindrance. And … a lot can change in the next 5 months, too.

        Liked by 1 person

  11. An interesting choice – although a race in which I do not have a horse. Also interesting is with as many candidates who were supposed to have a real shot at the nomination this year, none of them seems to bring enough to the table to be considered a shoo-in.

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    1. I think the convulsions in this country have had an impact.
      It still may be Kamala, whom you regard as a hack. I do not.
      I don’t expect you to respond to this observation, JP. But I can’t imagine that you, as a principled person with deep faith, could bring yourself to vote for trump at this point. Not after your wondering what would MLK say..

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I’ll surprise you. 🙂 There a a lot about Trump that I find deeply troubling. A lot. Then again, I am also deeply troubled by the woke totalitarians who seem to be gaining significant influence over the Democratic party. An armed gang has taken over several blocks of Seattle but nobody there seems much interested in doing anything about it.
        I agree with Democrats of past decades who never saw Biden as Presidential material (at least in the multiple times he ran in the past). As a general rule I have found those who have spent a career in a legislature to be a poor candidate who is all about politics with precious little executive experience. I had the same problem with McCain. In today’s party Biden will be following, not leading. Truthfully, I don’t much care for either choice.

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      2. JP. Here is USA Today’s description of the “ armed gang” you referred to in Seattle:

        https://amp.usatoday.com/amp/3173968001
        Unlike the armed gang that terrified Michigan legislators. And they are being sanctioned by no Democratic leaders, unlike the pathetic Republican Senators who “didn’t see” Trump’s order to the military to attack peaceful demonstrators outside the White House. I think “woke totalitarians” is just as erroneous as the false antifa claims that trump hopes will terrify people.
        I have no hope of changing your mind, but I believe one can’t even speak of Biden and trump in the same sentence. Flawed though he may be (and what politician—or human—isn’t?) he believes in the Constitution and the institutions of our republic. He also had some direct executive experience when Obama put him in charge of the economic recovery, health care, and other major initiatives. Above all, he is a compassionate man who wants to unite us and help us heal, which our poor country sorely needs.
        And then there’s trump (whom I am trying to avoid writing and even thinking about for my self-preservation). For the first time in our history, military leaders have warned of a president’s dangerous actions; surely that sets off alarum bells! There’s a reason The Lincoln Project—all conservative Republicans—are so strongly devoted to defeating him. Last night, I heard Lawrence Wilkerson—Colin Powell’s former aide—being asked what he thought of Biden’s expressing publicly what so many are whispering: that if trump is fairly defeated, will he leave the White House? Wilkerson said he’s been part of a group that’s been studying that issue for over a year.
        So you may not care for either man, but I think the choice is clear: one believes in democracy; the other wants to destroy our democratic institutions.

        Liked by 1 person

    2. I think Biden benefited in the primaries for a couple reasons. Everyone else, except Gabbard, were pretty much to the left of him policy-wise. So, the votes were split among so many candidates who had similar views. I also think that he is a well-known factor. Comfortable. And he is not a rock thrower or an insulter . Not in his nature.
      Like Trump or not, his 3 years have been controversial, most of it his own doing. His tweeting and other shenanigans have turned a lot of people off who may actually like his right wing policies.
      He seems unstable and does not seem to be getting any better. Worse, in fact. By contrast Biden seems normal, mature and non-ideological. A compromiser and a decent fellow. While not a “strong leader” as some would like, to be that is a plus. The last thing a true democracy needs is someone who views the presidency as a place to flex your muscles.
      Biden was not my first choice, but I think if he is elected he will do everything he can to bring people together. That is something we need right now no matter what his policy choices.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Trump has indeed been his own worst enemy. If he loses the only one to blame will be in his mirror.
        We will, of course, never know if he would have been any better had the opposition not gone into maximum resistance mode even before inauguration. I have wondered if Trump as President was like an old 60 amp breaker panel in a house – he might have managed decently under normal conditions, but the level of immediate resistance was like turning on multiple space heaters and air conditioners all at once – total overload and (possibly) catastrophic failure.

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      2. If he loses the only one to blame will be in his mirror.

        BUT! He will never, ever, not even on his death bed accept that HE made the bed he’s lying in.

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      3. JP: The only problem with your thesis is his history: he is no different now than he was years ago: an openly racist, cruel fraud, who always punched down—hurting people who had less power than he. New Yorkers tried to warn the rest of the country; they knew him best. But he won by appealing to the most base instincts, began his presidential lies with the size of his inaugural crowd, and has gone from bad to horrific. Remember, he started with his Obama birther conspiracy, and he continues as ever.

        Liked by 2 people

  12. To JP. To be realistic just about every president enters office with about 45% or more of the people who voted against him. That is the way democracy works. It is the job of the president to bring people together. To demonstrate he is the president of all the people. George Bush2 and Barack Obama both faced massive resistance from day one by the opposition party. Both men , starting with the inauguration, reached out and tried to bridge the divide. They did not thump their chests and demand the total control .
    Mr. Trump did the opposite. From day one he sought to divide. His view of the presidency is one of ultimate power. Not a job that demands listening to and compromising with the other side. From day one he chose the path of “My way or else”. So, I cannot accept your narrative that he was somehow unduly put down by opposition forces. Just the opposite. He offered a bleak view of America and demanded obedience to his will.
    Who can forget the first cabinet meeting when Trump went around the table . Each one of his appointees had to show subservience and praise him. It reminded me of some of the films form Jane Goodall’s chimpanzees, when lower ranking chimps cringe before the too chimp and offer their hands in submission.
    In addition, in terms of our allies abroad Mr Trump did everything he could to ignore, dominate or irritate them, right from the start The only exceptions were Putin and Kim. Think about that. He pulled us out of international agreements, which took YEARS to develop. He betrayed the Kurds who were the backbone of the fight against ISIL.
    Trump has been a divider from day one. Had he tried to bring Americans together I would perhaps concur with your view. But I see nothing in his administration that sought to compromise. He and his revolving staff focused only on wining every issue without reaching out to the other side. Now his administration has devolved into a sad series of pointless photo ops, with no substance. This is the opposite of leadership in a democracy. It is what dictators do.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Glad you mentioned the previous Presidents’ reception. Nothing the Democrats did to trump equaled Mitch’s saying on day one that they would make Obama a one-term President—obstructing everything, and then stealing his Supreme Court nomination.

      Liked by 2 people

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