Democratic presidential contender Joe Biden has reaffirmed his desire to have former first lady Michelle Obama be his running mate.
“I sure would like Michelle [Obama] to be the vice president,” Biden has said weeks ago at a campaign stop in Muscatine, Iowa.
The comment came after the former vice president was asked if he would consider nominating former President Barack Obama to the Supreme Court.
“Yeah, I would, but I don’t think he’d do it. He’d be a great Supreme Court justice,” Biden responded.
The questioner followed up with the question, “Which Obama?”
Biden responded: “They’re both incredibly qualified people and they’re such decent, honorable people.”
The pairing would be a first in American politics; there has never been a presidential ticket that included a former first lady in the VP slot.
This isn’t the first time Biden had mentioned the idea of the former first lady being his running mate or the former president being on the Supreme Court.
In September, Biden joked during an appearance on “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert” that he had “only [asked Michelle] to be my vice president,” when asked if he had asked her for advice.
The former vice president said in December at another Iowa campaign stop that he’d nominate President Obama to the nation’s highest bench “if he’d take it.”
Traditionally, the choice of a running mate is seen as an attempt at achieving complementarity. The party’s candidate has to be seen to be “reaching out” to those he needs.
This is where Michelle Obama could be of help to Biden. Biden himself has suggested he could have Mrs Obama on a ticket but that might have been him pandering.
Now that he looks almost certain to be the nominee, Biden should have good reasons to get serious about Mrs Obama as running mate.
It’s time to reward black women
It is welcome news that in the last two years or so, increasing efforts have been made to highlight the worth of black women to liberal causes and how indispensable they are to the Democratic Party.
This positive result of identity politics is sympathetic to the pain of and depths from which black women have come. Michelle Obama is a symbol of this story.
Mrs. Obama as Biden’s running mate will make sense as a signal that the new times are here and America’s black women would not be underappreciated anymore.
Michelle Obama can rally a young generation
Young people do not like Joe Biden – they prefer Bernie Sanders. But that has not worried the former vice-president very much because America’s future has not turned out in droves for Sanders during the primaries.
The presidential election is a different ball game. When November comes, Biden cannot afford the bad luck he has with a generation who are not inspired by him or do not share his politics or simply do not think he is “cool”.
It is hard to imagine that problem for Michelle Obama. She is a passionate speaker, a “hip mum” and more ideologically connected to a progressive culture that will soon overwhelm America.
She is not “problematic”
Michelle Obama does not come with the baggage that most other politicians come with. You even cannot with confidence call her a politician.
As hateful as they got during the Obama years, conservative media struggled with pushing “harmful material” about Mrs. Obama. And it was not for a lack of trying.
Even if you disagree with her, you find Mrs. Obama smart and graceful. Her person, not her politics, is what would be almost bankable for Democratic strategists.