Democrat VP Update: Val Demings is Biden’s Perfect Running Mate

This article first appeared at on 9th June 2020

A great deal has happened since I last previewed the Democratic VP Nomination market. We can only speculate how events are shaping Joe Biden’s thinking but we can measure the market impact.

Klobuchar bid ruined by Floyd murder fallout

Once it was reported that Amy Klobuchar was being vetted, the Minnesota Senator shortened below [4.0] behind Kamala Harris. The murder of George Floyd by police officers her state, however, may have put paid to her chances.

She was the formerly the lead prosecutor in the same Hennepin County and didn’t charge police involved in other suspect deaths, most notably the man charged with Floyd’s murder, Derek Chauvin. There is no suggestion of wrongdoing on her part but the optics are terrible.

Considering she has been shortlisted and vetted, there is a case to be made that her current odds of [25.0] are an over-reaction. However there are plenty of other senior roles for Biden to give this close ally.

Biden sure to focus on racial and national unity

The campaign narrative is obvious. Biden is the non-scary, moderate return to normality. The Democrat who can win over disillusioned Republicans. Reunite America after Trumpian division and white supremacy. After Black Lives Matter protests swept the country, picking a woman of colour is now very likely.

That is bad news for the two white women previously tipped – Gretchen Whitmer and Elizabeth Warren – and good news for the favourite, Kamala Harris. The California Senator is now into [2.38] for the nomination.

Harris now firm favourite but not without risk

Harris too has reportedly been vetted, but I remain sceptical. She could just as easily be Biden’s Attorney General, soon to be elevated to the Supreme Court. Plus she failed to excite black voters during the primaries – even after clumsily attacking Biden over working with segregationists and opposing school busing during the 1970s.

If I were advising Biden, the priority would be all about negating the effectiveness of Trump’s talking points and viral memes. That row with Harris would definitely be used.

So too will any hint of being ‘anti-police’. Trump is relentlessly pushing the ‘defund the police’ hashtag – shamelessly misrepresenting the Democrat position, just as he tried linking them with violent protesters last week. Biden made his position clear yesterday but closing down that line of attack should remain a priority.

Demings is the big market mover

Before the Floyd murder and protests put racial injustice and policing centre stage, I backed a different black woman about whom such accusations will never fly. Check out the thread below.

Her odds have duly collapsed into [6.8] but I’m increasingly confident she’s the one. Her case is impeccable. A working-class black woman, who rose to become Orlando police chief – in the most important swing state of Florida.

Not only is Biden/Demings the perfect ticket to promote racial unity, but she’s also a moderate. Demings was selected by Nancy Pelosi as part of the Democrat impeachment team, prosecuting Trump. Her weakness is lack of experience – thus not fulfilling the ‘president in waiting’ tag. But no candidate is without weakness.

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