General Question

crazyguy's avatar

Was Harris picked by Biden or was she thrust upon him?

Asked by crazyguy (1085points) 1 week ago

First some background about the Democratic Primary.

Heading into Super Tuesday on March 3, 2020, Biden was not in the top Democratic candidate; that honor belonged to Bernie. However, since Super Tuesday involved a lot of states with significant Black votes, Biden was expected to do well. However, he was expected to lose some states to other contenders. On March 2, Mayor Pete and Amy Klobuchar dropped out. See

https://www.npr.org/2020/03/02/800856100/sen-amy-klobuchar-ends-presidential-campaign

Elizabeth Warren and Bloomberg dropped out right after Super Tuesday, and the Biden train was on its way. Even a big Democratic fan like Michael Moore was dumbfounded: See

https://www.newsweek.com/michael-moore-calls-out-klobuchar-buttigieg-dropping-out-before-super-tuesday-they-couldnt-1490357

The role of the DNC was not clarified, but it was obvious to all. The powers that be had decided that Biden would carry the mantle that the DNC had entrusted to Hillary in 2016.

By March 15, Biden was the presumptive candidate and committed to selecting a woman as his running mate. See

https://www.cnn.com/2020/03/15/politics/joe-biden-woman-vice-president/index.html

Klobuchar was the favorite and even referred to herself being on the ticket on at least one occasion – see

https://www.newsweek.com/amy-klobuchar-mistakenly-says-shes-joining-joe-bidens-2020-ticket-supporters-cheer-vp-prospects-1491083

In late May, after the start of the BLM riots, pressure was applied on Biden to select a woman of color as his VP candidate – see

https://www.npr.org/2020/06/12/875000650/pressure-grows-on-joe-biden-to-pick-a-black-woman-as-his-running-mate

However, as late as July 20, Biden did not commit to selecting a woman of color – see

https://www.nbcnews.com/politics/2020-election/biden-says-four-black-women-are-his-vp-list-won-n1234422

On Aug 10, 100 prominent black men issued a letter urging the selection of a black woman. The letter (linked below) contained these words:

“failing to select a Black woman in 2020 means you will lose the election.”

Exactly one week later, on Aug 17, Biden announced his selection of Kamala Harris.

So my question is: was Harris forced upon Biden?

Observing members: 0 Composing members: 0

29 Answers

LostInParadise's avatar

What pressure could the DNC exert? Threaten to support Trump? After Biden gained steam, he was the one calling the shots.

gorillapaws's avatar

Harris didn’t even make it to Iowa. Her campaign fizzled from lack of interest, her shifting policies, her dubious record and lack of support from the African American community. Wall Street loved her though. She was the darling of CNN and corporate America: an identity politics shape-shifter who is perfectly willing to sell out her constituents to pass policies that help her campaign donors.

The donors know that Biden likely won’t make it 4 years and Harris is their play for the future of the Democratic party to counter the swelling progressive movement. Any substantive attacks from the left will be met with charges of racism/sexism as the corporate machine of the political establishment and mainstream media (who both work for the same people) circle to defend her and deflect/silence attacks. They are planning for a defense against AOC, now.

Biden didn’t pick Harris. Biden doesn’t make decisions. He does what he’s told.

crazyguy's avatar

@gorillapaws I agree 100%. However, being from California, I have observed Harris from up close. She is an extreme leftist who was required to mellow in order to stay in power. There have not been, and there will not be any attacks from the left. If Biden were to say what he really believes about court packing, then the left (including Kamala) will pounce upon him.

jca2's avatar

There’s always more behind the scenes in politics than anybody on the outside will ever know. Candidates have to be vetted to make sure there are no skeletons in their closets that will come out at an inopportune time. There’s probably no perfect candidate, especially now that every word that a person says is easily researched forever after, thanks to the internet, but my guess is that any candidate chosen is the least troublesome and best of the bunch of the prospective candidates.

I’m betting 95% of the choice of Harris was done by the Party and then of course, it’s with Biden’s approval (teeny tiny amount of the whole decision process).

crazyguy's avatar

@LostInParadise You, my friend are naive. I guess you believe that Hillary really won the nomination in 2016?

hmmmmmm's avatar

@crazyguy: “She is an extreme leftist who was required to mellow in order to stay in power.”

Wow. An “extreme leftist” who doesn’t actually hold a single left position. Amazing.

crazyguy's avatar

@jca2 DNC vetting process: Joe, Hunter’s position on Burisma was compromising? Why did they pay him almost a million per year?

Joe: I never asked him.

gorillapaws's avatar

@crazyguy ”...She is an extreme leftist…”

Extreme leftists don’t take money from Steve Mnuchin and then not prosecute their bank. Extreme leftists don’t take corporate donations at all. Extreme letitsts don’t laugh about locking up poor/sick moms for the truancy of their kids. They don’t fight to keep innocent people on death row. They don’t oppose decriminalization of marijuana. They don’t cosponsor M4A and then walk back their position over time.

@crazyguy “There have not been, and there will not be any attacks from the left.”

With respect, I don’t think you have a clue what the actual left-of-center thinks about these issues, let alone the extreme left-of-center people.

Call_Me_Jay's avatar

Gosh @crazyguy, you sure have opened my eyes about Black men pushing around Biden and shoving their thick black demands down our throats.

How frightening. My eyes have been opened. I’m voting for Trump, to protect our white heritage!

crazyguy's avatar

@gorillapaws You are absolutely right in saying that I do not have any idea what the left or extremest,e left thinks about any issue any more. However, I do know Kamala Harris and how she can change her stripes. I think the reason she is getting a lot of big-tech money right now is that she represents the only chance Big Tech has of replacing Donald Trump.

@Call_Me_Jay Spare the sarcasm. I backed up every one of my contentions with a link to something the Democrats can actually stomach. If you cannot refute my points, please crawl back into your bunker.

ragingloli's avatar

Probably both?
It is all just strategic pandering.
Politicians like Biden do not care about anything. They have no ideals.
His advisers probably suggested her because it would increase his “electability”.
Like KFC

stanleybmanly's avatar

What’s the point? Everyone expects the vice presidential candidate to be selected primarily on his or her ability to garner votes. If you want to discuss a veep forced on a Presidential candidate, let’s talk about Sarah Palin and John McCain.

gorillapaws's avatar

@stanleybmanly “Everyone expects the vice presidential candidate to be selected primarily on his or her ability to garner votes.”

Try again! If this were the case than Bernie would have been the obvious choice, not the one that had to drop out early because nobody liked her. This is why she was chosen.

hmmmmmm's avatar

^ This. Harris didn’t garner a single vote for the Dems.

stanleybmanly's avatar

She was chosen because she is both black and a woman. True enough, she is ALSO chosen because she will not rock the institutional boat of corruption. She IS NOT Bernie. She IS smart, smart enough to understand that Bernie’s going nowhere in our rigged game.

gorillapaws's avatar

@stanleybmanly My point was simply that she wasn’t chosen to help Biden’s numbers. As @hmmmmmm pointed out, she didn’t gain Biden a single new voter. Whereas Bernie would have brought progressives onto the ticket and expanded the pool for Biden. Remember that the largest group of voters in this country are those who don’t vote, and Bernie would have helped Biden get those voters.

But for the DNC, beating progressives is a much higher priority than defeating Trump. This is about setting up Kamala to be their corruption queen in 2024 (or earlier if Biden strokes out).

stanleybmanly's avatar

I agree that the Democratic party is well fortified to resist authentic pressure from the left. The great threat to the entire trough of corruption has ALWAYS been from the left. On the other hand, the right has proven itself virtually defenseless in the face of blatant stupidity, but that’s another matter.

jca2's avatar

One problem with Bernie as VP is people would say it’s two old white men. I think Biden had promised it would be a woman of color, so he kind of backed himself into a corner with that one.

Another issue with Bernie is, maybe Bernie didn’t want to be VP.

hmmmmmm's avatar

@jca2: “One problem with Bernie as VP is people would say it’s two old white men.”

What demographic would have said, “I was going to vote for Biden, but I can’t vote for 2 old white men. Trump it is!”?

Bernie only came up in the context of garnering votes, and pointing out how the DNC would much prefer to lose the election than to have someone left-of-center on the ticket.

@jca2: “Another issue with Bernie is, maybe Bernie didn’t want to be VP.”

Possible. But the Kamala pick was an explicit rejection of any shift left by the DNC. There was no attempt to expand Biden’s appeal to those who didn’t already plan on voting for him. This was not a move meant to win. It was a bet that they could win despite picking her.

LostInParadise's avatar

Biden is not very progressive and neither is Harris. Why couldn’t it be the case that he decided to choose someone with similar political views?

Call_Me_Jay's avatar

What demographic would have said, “I was going to vote for Biden, but I can’t vote for 2 old white men. Trump it is!”?

No, it’s “I can’t vote for 2 old white men so I’m not going to vote.”

Turnout is vital for the Democrats. Lots of young voters, Black voters, and women are going to be more likely to vote for Biden/Harris than two old white men.

jca2's avatar

@Call_Me_Jay explained my point.

hmmmmmm's avatar

@Call_Me_Jay: “Turnout is vital for the Democrats. Lots of young voters, Black voters, and women are going to be more likely to vote for Biden/Harris than two old white men.”

Harris failed to get black voters in the primary and didn’t win a single primary. Bernie, however, did really well in both 2016 and this year among “young” people (under 45) and women. There is literally not a single person that is now going to go out to vote because they added Harris. Anyone who is enthusiastic about voting for a ticket with Kamala Harris on it was already enthusiastic about voting for a ticket with Biden on it. But having “2 old white men” would have meant that some people on the left and young people might have voted Democrat.

It doesn’t really matter now. What’s done is done.

Response moderated
Pandora's avatar

I agree with @LostInParadise. I think they are more similar than in contrast. Biden didn’t get Harris because she would increase his votes a lot. People who were solid in his pocket were going to go for him anyway. What he had to do was pick someone who wasn’t too controversial and whom if given the chance could carry through if he doesn’t run in 2024. Unlike some people, I don’t think he ran because of his ego. I think he ran because the nation needed someone who is solid and balanced and he is aware he is old and if something should happen to him he needed someone who was also solid and balanced. My mom use to always say. Don’t make any long plans after 60 because you already have one foot in the grave and the other on the ground. I always pictured as one foot gets lower and you start to lose your balance on the ground for every year after.

crazyguy's avatar

@Pandora Biden probably ran because he was assured by the DNC that they would help him. And, boy, have they ever!

However, this particular thread is about his VP choice. In this particular case, his choice of VP is especially important because she will probably be President before his terms is over. In fact, she herself has referred to the Biden administration as the Harris administration – seehttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0phZXfUiehA

Sorry about a link to a website you guys probably are not authorized to watch – could not find the story on media that you guys watch.

@jca2 Depending on @Call_Me_Jay‘s post is like punting.

@Call_Me_Jay I agree that extra turnout will help the Democrats. I am not certain that Harris will bring out the Democrats, she may bring out more Republicans.

@stanleybmanly I like your consistency even in the face of unpleasant facts. The left is not corrupt, unless you listen to the wrong stories…

@gorillapaws Do not underestimate Kamala’s ability to change her stripes in a heartbeat.

@ragingloli The normal VP choice does involve both. In this particular case I am convinced that the choice was shoved down Biden’s throat in spite of his resistance.

Pandora's avatar

@crazyguy ” Sorry about a link to a website you guys probably are not authorized to watch – could not find the story on media that you guys watch.” Well first your link doesn’t work, because it’s not complete. 2. I am not forbidden to watch anything because I am a grown adult but I don’t watch or read gossip rags or Qnon stuff or right-wing white nationalist crap, nor even as a child did I read the National enquirer. It’s a personal preference of mine not to waste brain cells or my time on garbage. I keep my feet firmly planted on earth. But you do you. Believe every piece of garbage you read because you want an authoritarian in power. By the way. I’m sure you people aren’t allowed to think for yourself. I will leave you guessing by what I mean by you people. See how that feels.

You see I gave you my time on these treads because there was the occasional fair question asked but I can see that you came on here simply to be antagonistic. Just so you know. If you came on here hoping to change minds to vote for Hitler wannabe, I already voted and in person and I clearly voted for Biden and not the troll in the White House.

crazyguy's avatar

@Pandora The link did not work because I forgot to put a space between see and the link; for some reason Fluther ignores the space I start out with and I usually go back and insert it.

Try https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0phZXfUiehA

I have received some feedback that most readers on Fluther will not go to certain websites. If you do read anything and everything (like I do), please excuse my comment.

I see that today, CNN does have a story about the laptop – see
https://www.cnn.com/2020/10/16/politics/russian-disinformation-investigation/index.html

I have voted already by mail and received confirmation that my ballot has been received and will be counted.

hmmmmmm's avatar

^ It might help to use the Fluther link syntax, which can be found here.

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