Joe Biden should choose an African American woman for winning ticket

Joe Biden should choose an African American woman for winning ticket
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Selecting a black woman to be his running mate should be a no brainer for Joe BidenJoe BidenTrump campaign launches Asian Pacific Americans coalition Biden: 'More than one African American woman' being considered for VP Liberal group asks Klobuchar to remove herself from VP consideration because of prosecutorial record MORE. He has already committed to naming a woman to be his vice president, and he has a rich field to choose from, as the bench of party members runs deep. As the presumptive Democratic nominee, he should carefully consider all of his choices. It will certainly be the most important decision that he will make before the election.

The first rule is to do no harm. Given the talented roster of black women in office, Biden can be confident that no potential choices would bring harm to him or to the nation. The second rule is also critical. He must choose a winner, or at least someone who bolsters the ticket. The key to victory for Democrats is indeed turnout. The higher the turnout, the more likely they win. Black voters comprise the most loyal base of the party. Black voters have also been poorly served by President Trump. This is why he asks, “What do they have to lose?” The answer is everything.

Now is not the time for Biden to get cute. Every cycle, politicians show up at black churches and tell the African American community what they will do to make their lives better. They usually give the same formulaic speech centered around civil rights, criminal justice, and the systemic unfairness that takes place in this country. This all sounds nice, but as soon as these politicians get elected, the interests of the African American community become a lower priority. That will simply not fly this time.


If Biden is going to beat Trump, he needs support from black voters. He can increase their turnout by naming a black woman as his pick for vice president. There are numerous qualified candidates to accomplish that goal, but none of them would drive African American voter turnout the way Kamala Harris, Stacey Abrams, or Val Demmings would.

For every Amy Klobuchar and Elizabeth Warren, there are also many more black women in office who have put in the work and still have not gotten the job. Being on the short list is not enough. It is time for someone like Harris to get the job. This is not a criticism of Klobuchar or Warren, who are absolutely qualified to be vice president. It is just an uncomfortable truth. Black women, who are the most loyal members of the Democratic base, will drive turnout and get the job done to elect Biden.

Without support from black voters, specifically black women, Biden would not be the presumptive Democratic nominee. Before his key endorsement from James Clyburn, his campaign was gasping for oxygen, leaving many to wonder whether the former vice president would even make it to South Carolina. Biden not only made it to South Carolina, but he handily won the state and catapulted his campaign into the history books.

The numbers do not lie. More than 60 percent of the votes cast by African Americans in South Carolina went to Biden. He also won over 60 percent of black Democratic voters in Virginia, Michigan, and Alabama, and about 60 percent of black Democratic voters in Texas and North Carolina. This is the reason why it is so important for Biden to choose a black woman to be his running mate so he secures this turnout in the election.

It is not as if there are not enough qualified black women candidates. The party certainly has several of them and each one brings unique strengths to the table. Biden should think carefully about the message that he sends to the African American community if he does not choose a black woman for vice president. Trump would surely call him out for it.

Biden needs to make the smart choice, the prudent choice, and the right choice to select a black woman to be his running mate. The failure to do so engenders unnecessary risks and may prove to be a costly mistake the party cannot afford to make with Trump on the ballot. In a campaign cycle with many difficult decisions, this is certainly an easy one.

Michael Starr Hopkins is the founder of Northern Starr Strategies and the host of “The Starr Report” podcast. Follow his updates @TheOnlyHonest.