Elizabeth Warren is the leading candidate to run with Joe Biden as vice-president. The word out now is that he should select a black woman as his running mate. But which one?
In an online poll of 2.600 African Americans, “29% of the respondents prefer Harris for Biden’s running mate; 28% prefer Abrams; 24% prefer former national security advisor Susan Rice, and 20% prefer U.S. Rep. Val Demings of Florida.” Another suggestion is Mayor of Atlanta Keisha Lance Bottoms. Susan Rice? Tammy Duckworth (except she’s running to be a Senator)? Rep. Karen Bass?
My own favorite is Tulsi Gabbard. But few experts select her, and she’s not “black.” She’s “colored,” as in half Samoan. The most obvious one is Kamala Harris, but she’s hardly a top choice with many Democrats. So let me point out a choice that hasn’t been named: Joy Reid. She’s just taken over Chris Matthews’ spot on MSNBC for early nighttime news and opinion. She’s popular, smart, and – trustworthy. She’s the rare black woman to host the evening news2. Wouldn’t she be ideal?
The only negative thing I can find about Joy Reid is that she “has been criticized for comments deemed homophobic and later apologized for “hurtful” remarks about LGBTQ people.” That sounds like a flaw that can easily be defeated. She can choose an LGBTQ person as her chief representative, and the party can find (I’m sure) ten LGBTQ celebrities to endorse her. Frankly, I think if she starts making friendly LGBTQ remarks, they’re going to swing over to her. What’s the alternative? Mike Pence?
“Getting her start in local news in Miami, and with a Harvard education, Reid is one of the brightest bulbs in the bunch, providing analysis on the biggest stories of the day, alongside some of the heavy-hitters in news, day in and day out.
“Reid is an author; her first book is called Fracture: Barack Obama, The Clintons, and the Racial Divide. She’s also a self-proclaimed policy wonk; she’s got the important, useful ability to break down complex issues in a way that makes them digestible and accessible, priding herself on her show’s unique ability to talk to politicos who love the daily grind of K-street and also to people who’d rather not get into the weeds.” Sounds like a real pair for Joe Biden.
She describes herself as a liberal Democrat. “I was raised a lifelong Democrat, always really interested in news and politics. Growing up my mother was very politically active as a Democrat, my father was actually a Republican but he wasn’t an American citizen so he couldn’t vote. My mother was an immigrant but she became a citizen. After college, I worked in media and journalism, worked at an NBC and a Fox affiliate in Miami. I actually got out of news in 2003 because I was personally opposed to the Iraq war and wanted to do something other than the way the media was covering and rooting for it, in a lot of ways. So I went to work for America Coming Together, which was a 527 organization that tried to help unseat George W. Bush — we failed to do that — but it was great campaign experience that I was able to put to work as a talk radio host, where I covered a lot of politics on the radio after that campaign, and in 2008 working on the end of the Barack Obama campaign. I sort of veered between news, being a columnist and commentator and politics.”
So far as I can see, she’s got no enemies in the Democratic Party, she’s a familiar face to voters because of all her time on MSNBC, and her policy preferences align with the people to the left of Biden. At age 47, she’s likely to appeal to younger Black voters who don’t seem to be enthused by Biden.
I would prefer Elizabeth Warren, because of her intelligence and experience. But if Joy Reid were vice-president and the Democrats took back the Senate, Warren would be ideal for majority leader.