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15 Jun, 2020 18:39

Bring back Obama! Why Joe Biden’s perfect pick for vice president is not a black female, but the former US leader

Bring back Obama! Why Joe Biden’s perfect pick for vice president is not a black female, but the former US leader

Choosing Barack Obama as his running mate makes sense for Biden – and America. And it gives the ex-president a shot at redemption for his past failure to tackle the cancer of US racism during his two terms in the Oval Office.

Joe Biden should make a shock move and ask former US President Barack Obama to be his running mate – instead of the female candidate he has been promising the world.

Granted, gender quotas are a no-brainer really when we find female politicians are still struggling to get a proper foothold on the political ladder, which clearly shouldn’t be happening in this day and age.

But it really feels like Biden has been making too much of a song and dance out of his promise to pick someone of the opposite sex as his running mate. The cynic in me thinks Biden is mostly doing it because he hopes it will attract female voters and help combat the sordid historical sex assault allegation made against him.

The latter thought certainly seemed to ring true after recent speculation that he was planning to go even one step further and pick – surprise, surprise – a sexual assault survivor in the shape of Governor Gretchen Whitmer, who was shouting her possible candidacy from the rooftops. Throwing her name into the mix made it feel like a desperate kite-flying exercise that was never going to get off the ground.

But an indecisive Biden has been dragging his heels on it so long that it now looks like the circumstances with #BLM will end up with him making sure his vice presidential pick is not only female, but black, too.

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With the good ol’ US of A now as close as it's ever been to an all-out race war with the ongoing riots, you could make the argument that it would smack of sheer political opportunism if Biden ends up picking one of the female African American candidates – not many of whom seem to be household names either, judging by the shortlist now being mooted in the press as possible VP contenders.

Even before the tragic deaths of George Floyd and Rayshard Brooks, I argued that the uninspiring Biden should cajole Michelle Obama into becoming his running mate. But seeing as the word coming from her camp is that she’s clearly not interested in the gig – coupled with these unprecedented times that we’re now facing – Biden should think outside of the box here and ask her husband to be his running mate.

Apart from maybe asking former National Security Advisor Susan Rice (or thinking outside of the box again and suggesting Condoleezza Rice should suddenly jump ships to join the Democrats), I honestly can’t think of a more suitable candidate than the 44th President of the USA – even though his eight years in office failed to fix the broken system.

One thing’s for sure: it would no doubt be enthusiastically embraced by all liberal thinking minds as their perfect Dream Team. After all, these two won handsomely in 2008 and 2012. And it would certainly put the fear of God into the Trump camp… and maybe send The Donald running back to that nearby church of his to light a candle or two, because he would need a miracle to defeat Biden with Obama on the ticket.

Biden could make Obama the first vice president in history with one goal and one goal only: to address the racism at the rotten core of America’s soul. This would include tackling everything from policing, legal reforms, gender equality and education.

Also, let’s address the elephant in the room. Obama would undoubtedly be a major asset in appeasing anyone with “grave” concerns (pun intended) about voting for an old man like 77-year-old Biden because he could conceivably become the first sitting US president to die of natural causes – thus leaving some vastly inexperienced token Veep being thrown in at the deep end and becoming president by default.

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Obama would certainly be a safe pair of hands to leave in charge if Biden – god forbid – did pop his clogs. Though it raises tricky constitutional issues. According to the 22nd amendment of the US constitution, presidents are only allowed to stay in office for a maximum of two 4-year terms, or a maximum of ten years in total if, say, the president had acted as vice president and was unexpectedly prompted to become the so-called Leader of the Free World, like when Lyndon B. Johnson took over after JFK was assassinated.

Let’s leave those if-and-when technical issues to one side for the moment. Obama is clearly a man who thinks with his head more than his heart judging by how he once said, “I’m not the president of black America. I’m the president of the United States of America…”

But for the greater good it would help heal wounds, in these precarious times we now find ourselves in, if he would step forward and declare, “I want to be the vice president with the sole purpose of being the vice president of black Americans in a quest to stamp out racism.”

If the 58-year-old Obama believes in putting his country first, there is absolutely no excuse why he should turn down the opportunity to again serve the American flag in such a meaningful way (It would certainly be a “beautiful, beautiful gesture,” as Trump might say, if he himself could get a notable black running mate like Obama in his corner instead of the inept Mike Pence).

The opportunity would give Obama, if nothing else, the chance to put to rest all the ghosts of his past failures in tackling racism and policing – otherwise there wouldn’t be a #BLM movement right now, would there?

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Don’t be fooled into thinking Obama’s failures on racism are only being questioned now as some cheap shot in the wake of #BLM. It was being addressed all the way back in 2016 by liberal publications like the Guardian with their chastising headline pointing out: “Obama has failed victims of racism and police brutality,” following the police shootings of innocent black victims Philando Castile and Alton Sterling under his watch.

Obama seems to be the ideal VP candidate – but, as the old adage goes, history could repeat itself with America being no better off a place after a Biden presidency, even with him as the old man’s sidekick. This would obviously then raise valid questions about whether or not Obama was any good as a politician in the first place. Or whether the Democrats pay only lip-service to real reform.

So with this in mind, it does seem like the only reason why Obama would turn down such a momentous challenge would be for fear of further damaging his own flawed legacy. Sure, he could fall flat on his face in his efforts to “help make American great again,” but I’d argue it’s worth a shot.

And if he played his cards right – who knows – maybe Obama could finally lay claim to being a true American hero on the same level as the iconic Martin Luther King. Rather than just being remembered by future generations as the “first black US president” and the one who offered hope, but failed to properly address racism.

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The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of RT.