“Joe Biden intends to name a woman as his running mate. Selecting that woman, however, is a much harder decision, almost certainly the most consequential he will make this year, revealing much about his values and his judgment.
We are already hearing the chatter: Should he choose a woman who can help him get elected because she represents a key swing state, a key ethnic group or an important region? Or should he select a woman who is steeped not only in politics but also in public policy with a proven record in public service who can significantly bolster Mr. Biden’s ability to govern?
I believe Mr. Biden should focus heavily on governance, because it stems from his own experience as senator and vice president, and because rarely has a running mate had more than a marginal effect on the election outcome. And he must remember that he could well be selecting a future president. Some nominees, alas, apparently didn’t remember, giving us Dan Quayle in 1988 and Sarah Palin in 2008, whom many saw as unqualified.
Mr. Biden should assume for these purposes that he will be elected and will immediately face the formidable fallout of the continuing coronavirus pandemic — the 1918 pandemic lasted until mid-1919 — and an unrecognizable economy with probable double-digit unemployment. Both crises will require new thinking, strong leadership, empathy and compassion.”