And then there were two. After Elizabeth Warren dropped out just two short weeks ago, Americans are officially left to decide between Bernie Sanders and Joe Biden for the Democratic nominee who will take on Trump in November. Although, it's unclear if Tulsi Gabbard is still technically in the race, lurking in the shadows somewhere. Either way—it’s really between Bernie and Joe now, and last night they took to the debate stage to discuss their policies. While the two dems fall on opposite sides of the spectrum, and there's not a lot they agree upon other than the fact that the current President in the White House has got to go, they agreed on one other thing Sunday night. They both seemed to promise that they would pick a woman running mate if they become the nominee.
“If I am elected president,” Biden stated. “My cabinet, my administration will look like the country. And I commit that I will in fact appoint a woman to be Vice President. There are a number of women who would be qualified to be President tomorrow, I will pick a woman to be my Vice President.” Sen. Sanders hinted that he would take similar action, citing that he would like to appoint a progressive women lawmaker as his VP. While some may argue that the two men candidates are simply pandering, it would be incredible to see a woman VP and, better yet, a balanced cabinet. Now, it is not a matter of if either candidate will pick a woman VP, but who. So boys, it’s time to choose your fighter.
1. Elizabeth Warren
In the wise words of Avril Lavigne, “can I make it any more obvious?” Any avid Warren supporter would love to see her as the Vice President of the United States. But this isn’t exactly an obvious choice for Sanders, Biden, or even her. After Warren dropped out, she neglected to endorse a candidate. While most believed she would endorse Sanders at some point, considering that they are both porgressive Senators with similar viewpoints, she has yet to do so and most likely will not. Many of her supporters made their own decisions on who they would support next. While most quickly jumped over to team Bernie, a good few slid over to Biden’s end. Therefore, couldn’t she be a VP candidate for either nominee?
The fact of the matter is, a lot more goes into picking a VP than just that person’s popularity amongst the masses. Oftentimes, candidates will pick legislators from a different area of the country as a means to increase representation and therefore support. Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders both represent New England. Biden is also from the East Coast, hailing from Delaware. This is not a hard and fast rule, but this, mixed with the fact that Warren has not endorsed either candidate, reduces the chances that she might get picked to be VP.
But wait! This isn’t necessarily a bad thing! Some are prophisizing that Warren may be appointed Senate Majority Leader or a cabinet advisor. “Elizabeth Warren is probably the sharpest mind in the party,” Patrick Stevens of Minnesota stated in a New York Times article on the subject. “I certainly hope whichever of these two candidates wins picks her to be in their cabinet as a close adviser. We need her working for us.” If Warren is picked for one of these roles, she could be a voice for progressives, women, working families and the dozens of other groups she stood up for as a presidential candidate.
2. Kamala Harris
It was a sad day when Kamala Harris dropped out of the race so early on. It meant the loss of a woman of color and therefore representation for millions of Americans. Luckily for her supporters, however, she certainly would be a contender for the VP position. Many Biden supporters have cited a Biden/Harris ticket as the ultimate dream. For a while there, #BidenHarris2020 was even trending on Twitter. Harris made this dream for some seem like even more of a possible reality when she endorsed the former Vice President just a few weeks ago.
Harris represents California, and her policies and viewpoints also fall more-so on the moderate end of the scale, like Biden. Because of this, she would be an ideal candidate to appoint as his running mate. This is not to say that if Bernie were to run, he could pick her too. Maybe having a moderate on his ticket might sway less liberal voters. But if you’re asking me, who is by no means an expert, I think it's very likely that Sen. Harris will be Biden’s choice.
Many of her policies, specifically her tough on crime era, have made the average liberal weary, and rightfully so. But Harris has a lot of more progressive viewpoints as well, and would be a great VP to have. And who could forget that times she dragged Brett Kavanaugh, Attorney General William Barr, and a number of other assholes across Capitol Hill with her iconic questioning skills? That’s enough to get me just a little excited.
3. Amy Klobuchar
I will admit, I don’t know much about Amy Klobuchar other than the fact that Rachel Dratch’s impression of her on Saturday Night Live sent me. However, she does appear to be a top contender for the VP position, specifically if Biden were to win the nomination. Klobuchar represents Minnesota and therefore, the midwest, where two of the four curcial swiing states needed in order to beat Trump in November reside. On top of this, she also falls of the moderate scale and believes in similar ideas that Biden does.
The possibility of Klobuchar becoming an option for VP was only made stronger when she endorsed him around the same time that Harris,Yang, and a number of other former candidates did. When she did this, many believed that it swayed a lot of Minnesota voters, giving insight into why Biden got such a sweeping victory in that state’s primaries. While Klobuchar might not get a ton of feminists excited, and her stance on gun control is questionable to say the least, she and Elizabeth Warren weren’t wrong when they boasted that she has won every election that she has ever been a part of.
4. Tammy Baldwin
This Wisconsin lawmaker made history back in 2012 when she became the first woman to ever be elected to the Senate from Wisconsin and the first openly gay person to be elected to the Senate in United States history. A progressive who vehemently opposed the Iraq war and supports Medicare for all, she seems like an ideal option if Bernie Sanders is to win the nomination. Because she is more pogressive, however, many think she could be the perfect running mate to balance out Biden as well.
The fact that Baldwin represents Wisconsin is also key,as this is yet another one of the swing states needed to beat Donald Trump. While Baldwin might not be the first person many think of, she would be a wonderful Vice President. Not to mention, she would be the first LGBTQ+ VP in American history.
5. Kristin Gillibrand
Former Presidential candidate, Kristin Gillibrand, is another woman to keep an eye on as a possible Vice President option. A Senator for New York State, Gillibran took over Hillary Clinton’s seat when she became secretary of state back in 2009.
One of the most pogressive Senators out there, Gillibrand would be a great VP option to serve alongside Sanders, or another possible candidate to balance out Biden’s moderate ticket. She led the effort to repeal “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell,” and helped to ensure that all first responders from the 9/11 attacks receive permanent healthcare. Clearly--she cares a lot for the American people. The only thing that might make Gillibrand a weaker contender than some of the other women on the list is that she does represent NY, an already blue state in an already blue region. Whoever becomes the nominee will want to ensure that they attain most of if not all of the swing states, meaning it would be in their better interest to stay away from running mates from the North.
6. Gretchen Whitmer
Here’s another option from the midwest, which as I’m making this list, seems more and more important when thinking about who could be a good option for VP. Michigan is, you guessed it, another swing state. Whitmer currently serves as the Governor, winning back Michigan as a blue state back in 2018 with a whopping 53 percent of the vote. Back when she was running, both Biden and Sanders endorsed her, which means she would be a great option for either candidate. Just before the Michigan primary, Whitmer endorsed Biden, which was crucial in his victory in that state.
A setback for her could be that she has only served as Governor for about 15 months. For Sanders and Biden, they might choose to pick a more seasoned politician as their running mate, but who knows! But with everything going on COVID-19 wise, Gov. Whitmer may need to put all of her focus into her own state, and not the whole country for the time being.
7. Tammy Duckworth
Representing Illinois, U.S. Senator Tammy Duckworth is also a former Army Lieutenant who served in the Iraq war between 1992 and 2014, when she unfortunately lost portions of both of her legs. While the lawmaker has served on a number of committees, she is primarily an expert on defense issues and veteran affairs. For this reason, she could be the single best potential candidates for swaying people who might otherwise think about voting for Trump. If she were on the ticket, whoever the candidate is would likely get the support of veterans, Dems who strongly support the U.S. Army, and a good deal of Republicans.
Sen. Duckworth would also offer much needed representation for the Asian American population. Not to mention, she became the first Senator ever to give birth while in office. Let’s hear it for bad-ass mamas!
8. Catherine Cortez Masto
Democratic Sen. Catherine Cortez of Nevada is another one to look out for. Wait a second, is Nevada a swing state too? Well, not exactly. In fact, Nevada is becoming increasingly Democratic. Hillary Clinton even won that state in 2016. But if Biden or Sanders want to get support from the mountain states, which have a potential to turn blue, a lawmaker like Masto could be a smart choice. Sen. Masto also made history as the first Latina elected to the senate. "It's not just about making history. Don't you think it is about time that we had diversity in the U.S. Senate?” She said. “Don't you think it's about time that our government mirrors the people we serve every day?”
This would make Masto a great option. The only thing that could get in the way is the fact that she is fairly new, something Sanders and Biden might try to stay away from.
9. Stacey Abrams
And last but not least, Stacey Abrams. If you’re not already a fan of the voting rights activist, you might still recognize her name from the 2018 elections. Abhrams very nearly became the first black woman Governor in history when she ran in her home state of Georgia. Although she is not in the House or the Senate, Abrams is the type of politician that gives people hope. She garnered countless supporters not only in Georgia when she ran for Governor, but around the country. Many have pegged her for the ideal VP candidate if either Biden or Sanders were to be the nominee.
If chosen, Abrams would offer representation for the women, black Americans, and numerous other groups. Not to mention, her hailing from Georgia means she would not only offer a voice for the South, but could sway voters in that portion of the country. As far as her views go, she is every liberals dream. She perfectly ecapsulates Sander's "Not Me, Us" stange on creating a better America for those who's voices do not often get to be heard.
All in all, the most important thing in this upcoming election is getting women, people of color, and young people to turn out in record numbers and vote. Additionally, winning at least three of the swing states, Michigan, Wisconson, Pennsylvania and Florida, is crucial in beating Trump. With these nine women, there is no obvious choice. While it's important to get someone who may aid in winning the swing states, its also crucial not to alienate young people, women and POC and stopping them from voting. Whatever happens, at least we'll know that with one of these ladies, Sanders's and Biden's campaigns will get stronger.
Image via USA Today on YouTube
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Aliza is a Creative Writing BFA student and former BUST Magazine intern! When she's not writing, reading or scrolling through TikTok for hours on end, you can find her consuming copious amounts of iced coffee or doing something witchy. Follow her on Twitter @alizapelto.