Who Should Joe Biden Choose as his Veep?

Oregon Gov. Kate Brown with President Barack Obama after the Roseburg school shooting in 2015.Andy Nelson/The Register-Guard via ZUMA

Let our journalists help you make sense of the noise: Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily newsletter and get a recap of news that matters.

Who should Joe Biden choose as his vice president? Jonah Goldberg—one of the few honest-to-God Never Trumpers out there—correctly points out that running mates are no longer needed to “round out” a presidential candidate. This means Biden doesn’t need to pick someone who can help with a particular state or a particular demographic. “The first thing to remember about vice presidential picks,” Goldberg says, “is that they are marketing decisions….In the modern era, veeps are picked to reinforce a message.”

So: what is Biden’s message? With apologies to both Michael Dukakis (who lost) and Warren G. Harding (who won), his basic message is competence and normalcy. No more feuds. No more 3 am tweets. No more revenge. No more lies. We need a steady hand at the tiller as we recover from the COVID-19 recession, and Biden is that hand.

Who are the obvious candidates to reinforce this message? Amy Klobuchar comes to mind immediately. I’d put in a good word for Elizabeth Warren, though it’s easy to see how she could muddle that message. Oregon’s Kate Brown could be a dark horse. Kamala Harris had a fairly dependable reputation in California, though she might have lost that during her losing presidential bid. Or how about Mazie Hirono, who was a steady Democrat for a long time but has recently become more radicalized—which perhaps truly captures the current zeitgeist? Maybe Katie Porter, who’s served only one year in Congress but has been very good and knows how to appeal to a purplish suburban audience.

Remembering that our goal in this exercise is cool and steady, who’s your pick?

IT'S NOT THAT WE'RE SCREWED WITHOUT TRUMP:

"It's that we're screwed with or without him if we can't show the public that what we do matters for the long term," writes Mother Jones CEO Monika Bauerlein as she kicks off our drive to raise $350,000 in donations from readers by July 17.

This is a big one for us. It's our first time asking for an outpouring of support since screams of FAKE NEWS and so much of what Trump stood for made everything we do so visceral. Like most newsrooms, we face incredibly hard budget realities, and it's unnerving needing to raise big money when traffic is down.

So, as we ask you to consider supporting our team's journalism, we thought we'd slow down and check in about where Mother Jones is and where we're going after the chaotic last several years. This comparatively slow moment is also an urgent one for Mother Jones: You can read more in "Slow News Is Good News," and if you're able to, please support our team's hard-hitting journalism and help us reach our big $350,000 goal with a donation today.

payment methods

IT'S NOT THAT WE'RE SCREWED WITHOUT TRUMP:

"It's that we're screwed with or without him if we can't show the public that what we do matters for the long term," writes Mother Jones CEO Monika Bauerlein as she kicks off our drive to raise $350,000 in donations from readers by July 17.

This is a big one for us. So, as we ask you to consider supporting our team's journalism, we thought we'd slow down and check in about where Mother Jones is and where we're going after the chaotic last several years. This comparatively slow moment is also an urgent one for Mother Jones: You can read more in "Slow News Is Good News," and if you're able to, please support our team's hard-hitting journalism and help us reach our big $350,000 goal with a donation today.

payment methods

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our free newsletter

Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily to have our top stories delivered directly to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate