Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) has some somewhat predictable advice for former Vice President Joe Biden when it comes to winning the presidency in November. Oddly enough, she might be right.
Only days after Biden proclaimed himself the arbiter of blackness, the representative discussed how the candidate might increase his chances of defeating President Donald Trump in November. During an appearance with NPR, Omar indicated that Biden could increase enthusiasm for his candidacy by picking a minority running mate.
“I think it would be really helpful for our party to continue to have diversity as not something we talk about, but something we celebrate and push forward,” Omar said. Later in the conversation, she added, “To have somebody who is really connected to the people who have been the backbone of the Democratic Party will help create, I think, the enthusiasm that Biden lacks right now with the majority of the base.”
Omar stated that she was in talks with Biden’s campaign team and would vote for the Democratic nominee in November. She has not yet announced a formal endorsement.
Biden has already vowed to choose a female running mate, but it is not yet apparent whether these individuals will also be a minority. It was recently reported that Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) being considered for the position.
Given the current state of the Democratic Party, it seems that Omar is right. In the latter days of the Democratic primaries, the fact white males dominated the field of candidates was not lost on many on the left. Several high-profile Democrats lamented the fact that the party couldn’t seem to pick a candidate that scored at least one point higher on the intersectional hierarchy scale.
To put it simply, Biden needs a lifeline. While most polls show him slightly leading President Trump, his voter enthusiasm is in the toilet, which could easily swing the election in the president’s favor if those who somewhat prefer Biden decide to stay home and watch Key & Peele reruns on election day. However, if the former vice president selected a minority running mate, it could increase enthusiasm in some Democratic voters.
But the issue isn’t whether or not a nonwhite vice presidential candidate would increase voter enthusiasm. The question is whether or not it would make voters excited enough to show up at the polls in numbers high enough to defeat President Trump. The former vice president’s latest gaffe certainly isn’t going to help his chances. But either way, the 2020 race is shaping up to be a close battle.