Could Biden Pick Baldwin for Vice President?
Tammy Baldwin still on Biden's short list, has survived considerable scrutiny.
Wisconsin’s U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin is very much in the running for the number two position on the Democratic ticket for the presidency, according to press accounts.
Among the group of eight or nine politicians who has survived several rounds of scrutiny by presumed Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden and his team of advisors “are two contenders who have recently grown in prominence, (congressional) representative Val Demings of Florida and Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms of Atlanta…And some lower-profile candidates, like Senator Tammy Baldwin of Wisconsin, are advancing steadily in the search process,” the New York Times has reported.
Along with more well-known candidates “who have advanced furthest in the process,” like her fellow senators Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts and Kamala Harris of California, Baldwin, too, has “been interviewed at length by Mr. Biden’s team,” the story noted. Meanwhile a much discussed candidate, Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota, “has lost her perch as a front runner.”
Klobuchar’ star has faded “amid criticism that she did not take on police misconduct as a district attorney in Hennepin County, home to Minneapolis.” And Biden’s advisors have “expressed unease about Ms. Harris because of her rocky turn as a presidential candidate and her blistering attack on Mr. Biden in the first debate last year.”
Baldwin represents a key battleground state, Wisconsin, that Biden must carry if he is to win the presidency, and as the first openly gay U.S. Senator in history, would have appeal both for gay voters and those (like younger voters) who see gay rights as a key issue. But there is also pressure on Biden to select a black woman as his running mate, which has helped the cause of candidates like Demings, Bottoms and Susan Rice, former National Security Advisor to President Barack Obama.
Baldwin has been in the discussion as a possible pick for the position for months. Back in April the Washington Post listed Baldwin fifth on the list of the top 11 candidates, and Post columnist David Byler wrote a piece urging Biden to choose Baldwin, declaring she is “simply head and shoulders above the other contenders.” And in May Baldwin told CBS News she is in “regular contact” with Biden.
Byler suggested Baldwin “may be a sympathetic figure on a debate stage next to [Vice-President Mike] Pence, who is very conservative on LGBT issues.” Perhaps, but some observers saw Baldwin as underwhelming in her first debate against Republican challenger Leah Vukmir in the 2018 campaign. Baldwin did win the race easily, however, and has run many successful campaigns in Wisconsin, including defeating one of the most successful Republicans in state history, Tommy Thompson, in her first run for U.S. Senator.
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