The Corner

Elections

The Identity of Biden’s Veep

Joe Biden speaks during a visit to the Bethel AME Church in Wilmington, Del., June 1, 2020. (Jim Bourg/Reuters)

It’s not the sort of thing that is likely to affect the outcome of the race, but I think Biden has botched the veep-selection process. The crucial mistake was announcing early that he was going to pick a woman. It was a mistake to say it even if was planning to do it.

It narrowed his options — and may have narrowed them more than he had intended. Once it was a fait accompli that his running mate would be a woman, attention naturally turned to whether she would be white or nonwhite. At this point, selecting a white woman would be a letdown rather than a (third) chance at a historic first.

It reduced the value of the selection in another way. If he selected, say, Senator Kamala Harris after giving consideration to a large field without demographic restrictions, he could have said that she was the best of all of them. If he selects her now, she’ll be the best he could do among a small list of nonwhite women.

Ramesh Ponnuru is a senior editor for National Review, a columnist for Bloomberg Opinion, a visiting fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, and a senior fellow at the National Review Institute.

Most Popular

Film & TV

Laughing at Beyoncé’s Absolute Monarchy

Back in the Nineties, when hip-hop zealots questioned the intelligence of Beyoncé songs like Destiny’s Child’s careerist anthem “Survivor” and the sex-as-junk-food hit “Bootylicious,” there was little regard for the female agency that she now channels into an intersectional act, trading on gender and ... Read More
Film & TV

Laughing at Beyoncé’s Absolute Monarchy

Back in the Nineties, when hip-hop zealots questioned the intelligence of Beyoncé songs like Destiny’s Child’s careerist anthem “Survivor” and the sex-as-junk-food hit “Bootylicious,” there was little regard for the female agency that she now channels into an intersectional act, trading on gender and ... Read More
Politics & Policy

The World’s Worst Idea

Almost a decade ago, I wrote a little book called The Politically Incorrect Guide to Socialism. When Regnery asked me to write the book, I was happy to do it but wondered whether a book on socialism, a brief conspectus of its grotesque failures, would be necessary or useful. I wondered why anybody would be ... Read More
Politics & Policy

The World’s Worst Idea

Almost a decade ago, I wrote a little book called The Politically Incorrect Guide to Socialism. When Regnery asked me to write the book, I was happy to do it but wondered whether a book on socialism, a brief conspectus of its grotesque failures, would be necessary or useful. I wondered why anybody would be ... Read More