The thinking goes like this: left-leaning group wants to promote Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren for vice president (VP). Other groups are like, “No, thank you.” Politico thinks that’s because of the “bitter” primary fight between Warren and Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders.
But no, that’s not the only reason. It’s not even the right reason.
Yesterday I explained what’s going on. There are two great ways to approach the VP pick: 1) unite the party, or 2) reward the voters who got you the nomination. As long as the candidate helps you win in November, either of those two options are valid.
Elizabeth Warren would help Biden win in November, and she would do so by uniting the party and helping solidify swingy, white, educated female voters in the suburbs—the very demographic that helped deliver huge Democratic victories in 2018, 2019, and last week in Wisconsin.
Former Georgia Democratic House leader Stacey Abrams would reward the Black voters who delivered Biden the nomination, and she has a strongly progressive record that would eventually help unify the party. Given the critical importance of the Black vote in Wisconsin, Michigan, Pennsylvania, North Carolina, Atlanta, and Florida, having her focus her campaigning among those states’ Black communities would pay huge dividends come election time.
So look, there are two awesome options to pick from, and they’re not even the only options! There are other great ones as well!
So why would any group sign a letter demanding that Warren be the pick?
Furthermore, by signing that letter, you are basically saying that a Black (or Latina, or Asian, or gay) woman shouldn’t be considered. That’s a difficult place to put one’s organization. I’d say a stupid place.
Look, there are few partisans out there who love Warren more than me. And I wouldn’t sign that letter.
It’s one thing to say, “Warren would be fantastic because of X, Y, and Z.” It’s another to say, “Warren needs to be your pick.”
Reticence among progressive groups to sign that letter isn’t a sign of a divided left. The authors of that Politico piece wrote that “the left does not have a consensus vice presidential favorite as the movement lumbers around without a clear leader in the aftermath of Sanders’ loss.” Why does there need to be a “consensus” pick when there are several great options? Why does promoting our broad, great bench mean that we’re “lumbering around?” That’s nonsense.
The idea that all those groups would sign on to that letter if only Warren had been nicer to Bernie or endorsed him, or who knows what, is patently absurd. We’d be in the same place we are today: marveling at all our great progressive leaders, and hoping that Biden does the right thing and picks one of any of them.