Juan Williams: Time for boldness from Biden

Dear Joe Biden —

You are doing great. You are up in the polls. Money is starting to come in. You’re even breaking through with some GOP figures — Carly Fiorina and Colin PowellColin Luther PowellOvernight Defense: Biden makes his Afghanistan decision Colin Powell on Afghanistan: 'We've done all we can do' Is nonpartisan effectiveness still possible? MORE are voting for you.


Now is the time for Fourth of July political fireworks to fight any complacency among your voters.

So, here’s my advice:

Before you name your pick for vice president, you should name three cabinet secretaries and your first Supreme Court nominee.

First, name Sen. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth WarrenThe Hill's Morning Report - Dems to go-it-alone on infrastructure as bipartisan plan falters Democratic patience runs out on bipartisan talks NYC progressives anxiously watch Maya Wiley's ascent MORE (D-Mass.) as your Treasury Secretary.

Second, name Sen. Amy KlobucharAmy KlobucharHillicon Valley: Big Tech critic Lina Khan named chair of the FTC | Lawmakers urge Biden to be tough on cyber during summit with Putin | TSA working on additional security regulations following Colonial Pipeline hack Big Tech critic Lina Khan named chair of the FTC Senate confirms Lina Khan to the FTC MORE (D-Minn.) as your Attorney General.

Third, name Susan Rice as your Secretary of State.

And finally, tell the world that Sen. Kamala HarrisKamala HarrisIt's past time we elect a Black woman governor Manchin rebuffs progressive push for infrastructure guarantee It's time for domestic workers to have rights MORE (D-Calif.) is your first pick for the Supreme Court.

This strategy has high risk and high reward.

The risk comes with creating new targets for Trump to belittle with schoolyard nicknames.

But you’re after the big reward.

The announcements will tell everyone you are fired up, ready to govern. It will energize the voters you need to turn out in big numbers, especially Black Americans, suburban women and Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersSanders opposes Biden Interior nominee in procedural vote Briahna Joy Gray on how Sanders changed the healthcare conversation Sanders 'delighted' DeSantis asked White House to import Canadian prescription drugs MORE’ (I-Vt.) fans on the party’s left.

Putting Warren in your cabinet signals you are already taking action on income inequality — looking to address the urgent needs of students with college debt, financially squeezed middle-class workers and small businesses. The left will love this pick.

The only problem with Warren is that she is an excellent choice for vice president. But this move will not take her out of the running.

There is no such complication with Klobuchar.

She took herself out of the running for VP recently. Naming a hardworking Midwesterner with stellar credentials to fix the odor of corruption coming from President TrumpDonald TrumpNorth Carolina Senate passes trio of election measures 14 Republicans vote against making Juneteenth a federal holiday Border state governors rebel against Biden's immigration chaos MORE's Justice Department will remind everyone what is at stake.

And since there is no vacancy on the Supreme Court at the moment, naming Harris as your future choice for the high court will not rule her out as a pick for vice president either.

Now, here comes the risk.

Name Rice as your Secretary of State with the caveat that she, like Warren and Harris, is a contender to be your running mate — even if doing so sets off red lights and screams in the Trump media echo chamber. 

To my mind, she’d be a great vice president.

Rice provides you with a fierce tag-team partner for Trump’s bare-knuckle political wrestling. She has no problem saying the Trump administration is “racist to its core.”

“We have a choice,” Rice recently told HBO’s Bill MaherWilliam (Bill) MaherMaher goes after Manchin: 'Most powerful Republican in the Senate' Maher calls college a 'grift,' compares it to Scientology Bill Maher rips celebrities considering running for office as malignant narcissists MORE

That choice, she said, was between Trump remaining in office and Biden winning.

If the Democrat won, she added, Americans would have a president who “understands that…it’s time to invest in health, in education, in housing and…in so many of the underlying conditions which have exacerbated the systemic racism in this country…I would urge those that are questioning how they might vote in this context to be very mindful of what the choice is. It couldn’t be more stark.”

Running mates are traditionally the “attack dogs” that allow the presidential nominee to keep clean while they handle the day-to-day combat.


Spiro Agnew famously played that role for Richard Nixon in 1968. John Edwards did it for John KerryJohn KerryBudowsky: President Biden for the Nobel Peace Prize Bishops to debate banning communion for president In Europe, Biden seeks to reassert U.S. climate leadership MORE in 2004. Sarah Palin tried her best for John McCainJohn Sidney McCainFive takeaways from the Biden-Putin summit Meghan McCain: Harris 'sounded like a moron' discussing immigration Arizona AG Mark Brnovich launches Senate challenge to Mark Kelly MORE in the final weeks of the 2008 campaign.

Rice fits the role. Her sharp intellect also makes her a favorite in any debate against Vice President Pence.

And she has already been battle-tested.

For years, Republican talk radio hosts vilified her over her response to the attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi in 2012.

They accused her of “lying” for saying the attack grew out of a spontaneous demonstration, prompted by an American anti-Muslim video.

The truth was more complicated, but also exonerating of Rice. The CIA director at the time of the attacks, David Petraeus, later told Congress that the agency knew a terrorist group was involved in the attack — but that this classified information had been intentionally omitted from an unclassified memo given to Rice to prepare for TV interviews.

To this day, Republicans point to Benghazi to libel Rice even though she — and the Obama administration — was cleared of any wrongdoing by 10 separate investigations, many done by Republicans in Congress.

Rice also shines a light on a major Trump weakness — America’s diminished strength on the world stage.

A Gallup poll released earlier this month found 58 percent of Americans disapproving of Trump’s handling of foreign affairs.

And this was before Trump’s former National Security Adviser John BoltonJohn BoltonUS drops lawsuit, closes probe over Bolton book John Bolton: Biden-Putin meeting 'premature' Republicans request documents on Kerry's security clearance process MORE kicked off his book tour by slamming Trump’s handling of foreign policy, saying: "I don't think he has the competence to carry out the job.”

Rice is uniquely well-positioned to highlight Trump’s failures in handling North Korea, China and Russia.

Her selection also signals that you are hiring people who have expertise and speak the truth as compared to the incompetent loyalists around Trump.

This is no time to lay back, Joe.

Trump can’t be counted out. It is no coincidence that only three incumbents have lost in the last 50 years. He has a ton of money. He will play the lowest racial politics — last week retweeting fights between white and black people. He still has the power of the White House.

Naming a few cabinet members now will shine a light on his poor cabinet choices — further revealing the damage done by the big fumble of 2016.

Juan Williams is an author, and a political analyst for Fox News Channel.