Biden’s Imminent VP Pick: The Case For Rice Over Harris

By Ikenga Chronicles August 3, 2020

Biden’s Imminent VP Pick: The Case For Rice Over Harris

— Vitus Ozoke

I’m not saying that Joe Biden’s VP pick should be a Black woman, but if it must, the most qualified is, by far, Dr. Susn Rice. She’s the one person who, by her education, training, and experience, knows and understands the world and its geopolitical intricacies, and can help the United States to not just rebuild its standing among its key allies, but also reposition it to lead on critical issues. That is a major priority for the next American government.

It is also vitally important to rescue the soul of America and reunite a highly divided and polarized nation. That is the core plank and platform of Joe Biden’s campaign. If he wins in November, it will be because Americans know and trust him as a healer and a uniter. So, while Biden leads the efforts to bring the country back together, Dr. Rice will be engaged with the strategic efforts to reassert the United States at the epicenter of global leadership.

Now, there has been a lot of chatter about Sen. Kamala Harris as a potential VP pick. I love Harris, but I don’t think she will be a good pick for VP. There’s no chemistry between Harris and Biden. Her strident attacks on Biden during the Democratic primaries, accusing him, essentially, of being a racist, still linger. It’s one thing to accuse a man of being incompetent, but a charge of being a racist doesn’t just wash away.

Sen. Harris is a tough, fearless, and smart lawyer, a previous District Attorney for the City of San Francisco and former Attorney General of the great State of California, whose skill set and demeanor will be needed in the next Attorney General of the United States. Bill Barr has completely bastardized the Department of Justice. He is not just corrupt, Bill Barr’s knowledge and fidelity to the law and the Constitution of the United States is as suspect as it is questionable. American people need a courageous, no-nonsense AG to clean the DOJ and restore public confidence in the institution of American justice.

Strategically, both Rice and Harris don’t bring much to a Joe Biden ticket, and by much I mean votes, electoral college votes. Harris is from California, while Rice is from Washington, DC. Both are solidly blue ‘states’ already. Well, even though Washington, DC is not a state, it does have three electoral college votes, thanks to the Twenty-third Amendment to the United States Constitution. So California’s 55 and District of Columbia’s 3 electoral votes are very safe and secure votes for Joe Biden already.

So, Biden’s choice of either Susan Rice or Kamala Harris cannot be about the strategic calculation of votes. They both don’t bring strategic votes. But, I’ll admit that Harris is a charming and electrifying campaigner. She knows how to bring together a crowd and is able to work the crowd. We know that because she has run campaigns both at the state and at the federal levels, including a presidential campaign.

Dr Rice, on the other hand, is not a politician. She is more of a diplomat and a technocrat than a politician. But she is one fine debater of the Obama breed! Dr. Susan Rice will be Mike Pence’s worst nightmare in a vice presidential debate. She’s well-read and smart on the issues and articulate in language and delivery. And there’s something that recommends Rice to Biden on a more personal level. She has worked with Biden. For the eight years of the Obama administration, Biden and Rice worked as key top-level officials of the Obama team.

So, Joe knows Susan, but he doesn’t know Sen. Harris that intimately. It’s arguable that Biden’s closest encounter with Harris was at the June 27, 2019 Democratic Presidential primary debate. Who could have forgotten already “that little girl was me”, which emerged as the punchline out of that debate? In what was obviously a rehearsed swipe, Harris tore into Biden, suggesting he was a racist who opposed school bussing and desegregation of American public schools. “There was a little girl in California who was a part of the second class to integrate her public schools and she was bused to school every day,” Harris said. “And that little girl was me.”

It was a stunner, which no one saw coming, and one that staggered Joe Biden. To accuse Obama’s vice president of eight years of being a racist was breaking news. In a later exclusive interview with CNN’s Chris Cuomo, Jill Biden, Joe Biden’s wife, called Harris’ criticism of Biden over race and segregation “the biggest surprise” to her in the party’s 2020 race so far — but said voters “didn’t buy it.” So, Joe’s knowledge of Harris, which will linger, is the lady who called him a racist to his face on national TV. And that clip will be a campaign weapon for the opposition. There is no better TV than a campaign ad where the vice presidential candidate is accusing the presidential candidate of being a racist, to his face, on national TV.

Now, let me be clear: I’m not here to defend Biden’s record on race and civil rights. I believe that defense has already been made, ironically, by the victims of racism. Joe Biden is the Democratic nominee for president, and within a realistic shot of the oval office, because James Clyburn and the black communities of South Carolina and the South know Joe. They know and trust him not to be a racist. They know him as that loyal friend and ally of Barack Obama who worked his tails off side-by-side his boss to rescue and make America truly great. So, that jury is in, and I’m not one of the jurors. I’m more focused on why Harris will not be a good fit for Biden.

Washington is a big bureaucracy. There’s room for everyone with talent. Sen. Kamala Harris’ talent and tenacity will be needed more at the Department of Justice. Many people need to go to prison. There’s a swamp that needs cleaning. The corruption in today’s Washington stinks to the high heavens. Public faith in American justice system is seriously eroded and needs to be restored, and fast. Put simply, the soul of America needs to be rescued and restored. There’s no better person I can think of than Kamala Harris to lead that charge from the DOJ. Ambassador (Dr.) Susan Rice will be a very safe pick.

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