There’s not much certainty in the world these days, but we can feel relatively sure that a woman our age will be on the Democratic presidential ticket this fall. The presumptive nominee Joe Biden has promised this, and he’d be in a world of hurt if he reneged now.
It would be something of a balm for the still-smarting pain of missing out on a woman president in 2016. Plus, if the Democrats win, the vice president would be set up nicely for a run at the top spot in the future. (And with Biden’s age, we cannot ignore the possibility of a woman vice president stepping into a vacated Oval Office. Just sayin’.) For many of us, there’s still a good chance we’ll get a woman president in our lifetime!
With the recent wave of protests against systematic racism, there’s a good chance that Biden’s pick will be a woman of color. Many in the party are calling for it.
As NextTribers, we should be proud that there is such a deep bench of accomplished women for Biden to choose from. The list of possible candidates has narrowed slightly as fellow presidential contender Amy Klobuchar pulled out of consideration, urging Biden to choose a woman of color.
Biden has said he will announce his pick by early August, but we wish he’d do it sooner. As we wait, we are eager to hear who you as women of experience and smarts would like to see in the number two spot. Please answer our five-question survey below so we can learn who gets the NextTribe seal of approval.
Stacey Abrams, 47, Georgia politician, activist, and author
Abrams got national attention for coming within a hair (well, at least for Georgia) of winning the governorship. The Yale-educated lawyer is the female Beto O’Rourke: A loser who still wins. She served in the Georgia House of Representatives for 10 years, and for four of those she was the minority leader. Today, she’s the founder of the voting rights group Fair Fight 2020, and she’s not been shy about promoting herself to be Biden’s wing-woman.
Sen. Tammy Baldwin, 57, Wisconsin
The second-term senator is already known for her first. She’s the first openly gay person elected to the Senate, and of course would be the first openly gay candidate for vice president. Baldwin worked her way up from a county board of supervisors position all the way to the Capitol Hill, where she has one of the most liberal voting records.
Keisha Lance Bottoms, 50, Atlanta Mayor
Georgia produces another dynamic vice presidential contender. Bottoms, a former city council member and judge, has been added to the VP short list thanks to her job of handling the double-whammy crises in her city of COVID and police protests, which became more immediate and fraught after the killing of Rashard Brooks in Atlanta.
Rep. Val Demings, 63, Florida
The country first got a good look at Val Demings during the Senate impeachment trial, in which she served as a manager. The toughness she exuded then was no political show. She is a former police officer and served four years at the chief of the Orlando Police Department before getting elected to the House of Representatives. Her knowledge of law enforcement and the issues and sensitivities surrounding racial justice boosts her chances in the current atmosphere.
Sen. Tammy Duckworth, 52, Illinois
What a varied career the freshman Senator from Illinois has had. She was born in Thailand to a Thai-Chinese mother and an American father whose ancestors fought in the American Revolution. While earning a PhD in human services, she served in the Army as a helicopter pilot, eventually earning the rank of lieutenant colonel. In 2004, during the Iraqi War, an attack on the helicopter she was piloting led to the amputation of both legs. Before starting her political career, she served in the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs.
Sen. Kamala Harris, 55, California
She didn’t set the world ablaze during her own run for President, dropping out in December before the first primary, but Harris has solid experience, as an attorney general in the most populous state and now as a Senator. Of Jamaican and Indian heritage, she has been called the “female Obama” and prompted lots of fist pumps with her withering questioning of Brett Kavanaugh during his Senate hearings (though in the end it didn’t help). Plus, she has already been vetted by the media, including NextTribe.
Susan Rice, 55, former National Security Advisor
Rice’s experience in foreign policy runs deep, which might have helped her get the nod at any other time, but now the country is hyper-focused on the domestic issues that dwarf all else. A Rhodes Scholar, Rice received her Masters and Doctorate, both in International Relations, from Oxford University. She has served in the State Department, as the Ambassador to the United Nations, and as Obama’s National Security Advisor. If not the VP pick, maybe the next Secretary of State?
Sen. Elizabeth Warren, 71, Massachusetts
Whatever else one says about the second-term senator, surely everyone agrees she’s a fighter with a breathtaking fearlessness, which we talked about in our article about her last year. The list of people she’s taken on, usually to their face, includes banking executives, top government officials, and her fellow candidates in her unsuccessful run for the President in this cycle. Her tenacity prompted Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to speak the words that have become a rallying cry for women everywhere: “Nevertheless, she persisted.”
Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, 48, Michigan
Whitmer has become a hero in some circles for the way she has guided her state through the coronavirus pandemic, and for standing up to Trump and his supporters after a large anti-lockdown protest at the Michigan State Capitol. Following terms in the State House of Representatives and Senate, she won the governorship in 2018 and has hefty support in this all-important swing state.
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