Every now and then, I start writing a Corner post and never get around to finishing it. Back at the end of May, I started writing a response to John McCormack’s assessment that Amy Klobuchar’s prospects of becoming Joe Biden’s running mate were quickly shrinking. I thought John’s assessment was sound, but that the political environment was frequently changing, and that if Biden thought Klobuchar was the best choice to take over as president and serve as vice president, he might still pick her anyway.
Good thing I never got around to posting that one! “Senator Amy Klobuchar said Thursday that she is withdrawing her name from consideration as Joe Biden’s running mate, saying a woman of color should be chosen as vice-presidential nominee instead.”
This morning, some political observers are concluding that Klobuchar could see the writing on the wall — as in, the writing on the wall was graffiti from Black Lives Matter activists declaring, “Don’t pick Amy Klobuchar.”
But let’s think through the absolute worst-case scenario for Klobuchar. Right now, the polls look golden for Joe Biden. Imagine that Biden picked Klobuchar, helping him among some demographics in the Midwest but largely disappointing African-Americans, and infuriating progressive activists who don’t like Klobuchar’s record as a prosecutor. Then imagine that on Election Day 2020, turnout among African-Americans is lower than expected in places like Florida and Pennsylvania and Ohio and North Carolina . . . and Trump emerged with more than 270 electoral votes again. The entire Democratic Party would be livid with the Biden-Klobuchar ticket, and the Minnesota senator would be known as that other woman who had a golden opportunity to beat Donald Trump and blew it.
If a Biden administration comes to pass, it will have plenty of other prestigious cabinet posts for Klobuchar if she wants one. Joe Biden may even feel he owes her a plum posting. If he wins, he will have been helped along by Klobuchar putting her personal ambitions aside and playing good soldier twice — once in the primary, and now in the running-mate selection.
And whatever goes wrong for the Democratic ticket in November, it won’t be her fault.