Budowsky: A Biden-Warren ticket in 2020?

Budowsky: A Biden-Warren ticket in 2020?

For purposes of analysis imagine if former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenSarah Huckabee Sanders becomes Fox News contributor Poll shows Biden, Warren tied with Trump in Arizona Giuliani says he discussed Biden with Ukrainian official MORE is nominated for president, and chooses Sen. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth Ann WarrenKrystal Ball: Elites have chosen Warren as The One; Lauren Claffey: Is AOC wrong about the Electoral College? Poll shows Biden, Warren tied with Trump in Arizona McConnell rejects Democrats' 'radical movement' to abolish filibuster MORE (D-Mass.) as his vice presidential candidate.

In my column two weeks ago titled “Warren has a plan for Democrats,” I suggested she was the most underrated candidate in the presidential sweepstakes, and that if she is nominated, she could choose retired Adm. William McRaven as her running mate and run a progressive national unity campaign. Warren’s strategy of offering detailed and almost Rooseveltian proposals has begun to bear fruit.


Today, let’s reverse the analysis. Consider the prospects if Biden is nominated and selects Warren as his running mate.

Biden retains his lead in the Democratic race, though there are signs it may be slightly narrowing. He towers above President TrumpDonald John TrumpSarah Huckabee Sanders becomes Fox News contributor The US-Iranian scuffle over a ship is a sideshow to events in the Gulf South Korea: US, North Korea to resume nuclear talks 'soon' MORE in presidential polling and for now has greater odds of defeating Trump than any other Democratic candidate. Some credible polls suggest the prospect of Biden winning a sweeping landslide.

Trump, who will never be accused of telling too many truths, claims he hopes to run against Biden. In truth, Trump is worried silly (using that phrase literally) of running against Biden. The antipathy toward Trump from more than half the nation is so intense that a Trump-Biden race could pit Teflon Joe against Velcro Donald.

While Biden is the front-runner, he could easily be surprised in the Iowa caucus. The Des Moines Register-CNN poll suggests that Sen. Bernie SandersBernie Sanders2020 candidates have the chance to embrace smarter education policies Bernie Sanders Adviser talks criminal justice reform proposal, 'Medicare for All' plan Poll shows Biden, Warren tied with Trump in Arizona MORE (I-Vt.), Mayor Pete ButtigiegPeter (Pete) Paul ButtigiegPoll shows Biden, Warren tied with Trump in Arizona ABC unveils moderators for third Democratic debate National poll finds tight race between Biden, Sanders and Warren MORE of South Bend, Ind., and Warren are all within striking distance of winning the Iowa caucus and Sen. Kamala HarrisKamala Devi HarrisPoll shows Biden, Warren tied with Trump in Arizona Rising Warren faces uphill climb with black voters Inslee drops out of 2020 presidential race MORE (D-Calif.) has an outside chance.  

The Democrat who wins the Iowa caucus will receive the mother of all rocket boosters of support during the radically compressed schedule that follows in the month from Iowa to New Hampshire, South Carolina and Super Tuesday.

Biden’s campaign has performed brilliantly against Trump from the day he announced until today. He would be well advised to continue on course generally but offer a sharper, clearer and bolder vision of American leadership in the world and progressive Democratic leadership at home.

Biden is right to understand that Americans want stability, security, experience, common decency and a patriotic sense of shared community and national unity from their next president. Warren is right that Americans want a leader who champions an economy that is fair, a health system that is affordable, and a system that is not rigged against workers, consumers, students, seniors, patients, the middle class and the poor in favor of the most wealthy Americans and the most greedy special interests.

Biden is wrong to imply that if only Trump is gone, Republicans in Congress will immediately negotiate with a Democratic president in good faith. In fact, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellMcConnell rejects Democrats' 'radical movement' to abolish filibuster Hickenlooper announces Senate bid Trump orders elimination of student loan debt for thousands of disabled veterans MORE (R-Ky.) brags that he will continue to be the “grim reaper” and destroy any legislation from a Democratic president, while promising to further pack the Supreme Court if a vacancy arises during an election year.

Biden should not even hint at the bipartisan sincerity of McConnell and Republican leaders in Congress without Trump. They are prisoners of Trump today, champions of elite special interests always, obstructionist against Democratic presidents without end and willing to destroy the Senate to pack the Supreme Court.


McConnell, who brags about being the “grim reaper” against all enlightened Democratic plans, is the symbol of the corrupt fixed system and perhaps the most unpopular national politician. Biden and Democratic candidates for the presidency, House and Senate should run against the hugely unpopular “grim reaper” McConnell and the Trump Republicans in Washington.

If Biden is nominated, a Biden-Warren ticket could paint a portrait of a president and Democratic Party united to serve all of the people. They would stand up against a system that is rigged and campaign to lift the lives of workers, farmers, consumers, seniors, students and all who favor a politics of hope, action and unity over hatred, greed and division.

Budowsky was an aide to former Sen. Lloyd Bentsen (D-Texas) and former Rep. Bill Alexander (D-Ark.), who was chief deputy majority whip of the House of Representatives. He holds an LLM in international financial law from the London School of Economics.