- Joe Biden’s running mate embodies the progressive trend of the party
For a US presidential candidate, the choice of running mate is often nakedly
political. Who will clinch a swing state or put an unpromising one into
contention? Who will please a wing of the party that remains cool on the main
name? For Joe Biden, the test was more substantive. At 77, he needed
someone who could share the burdens of office and, in extremis, replace him.
With her national experience, Senator Kamala Harris was better-suited than
the mayors and governors who were touted. Unlike Susan Rice, the former
national security adviser, she is steeped in domestic politics. For Donald
Trump, the beleaguered president, a Biden-Harris ticket will be difficult to
Her elevation also reinforces the progressive trend of the Democratic party.
Mr Biden was running to the left of Barack Obama, his old boss, even before
the coronavirus pandemic and the race protests. On tax, healthcare and
climate change abatement, he is open to a larger role for the federal
government. He saw off Bernie Sanders, the Vermont leftist, by co-opting
some of his ideas. Because he is so outwardly conventional, the ambition of his platform is sometimes missed.