Hey, Joe: ‘People like me’ like Karen Bass…

Joe poll

All year, various Democrats — I think I’ve told you how many lists I got on as a result of working on James and Mandy’s campaign in 2018 — have sent me “polls” that are, as you’d expect, intended to involve me in a task that ends with giving money.

But I occasionally pause in my mass extermination of emails and fill one out — mainly to see what sort of questions are being asked. I then I click away when I get to the donation part.

Today, I stopped on a particularly superfluous one that asked for “confirmation” on the question, “DO YOU APPROVE OF JOE BIDEN?” But I decided to click on it because it mentioned that the Democratic National Convention, such as it is this year, is two weeks off. So I thought it might ask me about the Veep decision.

And the last few days, I’ve been grabbing any choice that presents itself to share the idea that Joe needs to pick Karen Bass — and that he needs to, without any doubt:

  • Say no to Kamala Harris.
  • Say no to Elizabeth Warren.
  • Say no to Susan Rice.

Because all three of those are highly problematic. I’ve been particularly alarmed by the frequent mentions of Susan Rice — my least-favorite member of the Obama team — in recent days.

And it’s not that Karen Bass is the only possible person to choose. But she’d be excellent– something I’ve become even more persuaded of as I see the rather silly efforts to bring her down (not being on board with anti-Castroism when she was in high school? having said polite things to Scientologists in 2010? really? are those the best you’ve got?) — and I want her to get mentioned a lot as a way of countering the never-ending wave of buzz over the three really bad choices.

There are others out there — for instance, I was impressed by this piece headlined “The Case for Competence” that praised both Rep. Bass and Gina Raimondo. But Rep. Bass keeps making the short lists, and Gov. Raimondo does not, so I’m pushing the one with a chance.

It’s been encouraging to see her mentioned so frequently in recent days, even as I’ve cringed to see one or more of the The Problematic Three mentioned as well. I don’t want to jinx this, but… it sort of reminds me of the way voters finally coalesced around Biden himself after all those months of nonsensical pushing of other candidates (such as Harris, and Warren, and of course Bernie). I’m seeing something happen I’ve been waiting and hoping for.

I’ve got this feeling that Rep. Bass is the one Joe himself would pick if he just went with his own judgment. So any tiny thing I can do to increase buzz for her, I’m trying to do. Maybe it will make somebody else mention her positively, too. And then someone else. And maybe somewhere on that chain of reactions, Joe himself will see it and be encouraged, see that he’s not alone on this. If it can just slip through, amid all the nonsense pushing Harris, Warren and Rice.

It’s a long shot, but this year — especially after seeing Joe shut down the competition once South Carolina had its say — I’m being optimistic. Why can’t we have two candidates who inspire confidence? Why not?

Anyway, so I clicked on the “poll,” and started answering the questions. But I almost quit and walked away when I saw the second one, “Do you think Joe Biden cares about people like you?”

ARRRGGGHHH! Think about this: Look at me, and tell me — what is a person like me? What does he look like, or sound like, or act like?

And who cares? What does this similarity to me have to do with anything? What kind of a jerk would I be if I only liked candidates who I thought would be good for “people like me?” Would that mean I was by implication saying, “The hell with everybody else?” And isn’t that the essence of being a Trump voter?

But I calmed myself down, knowing that Joe himself did not write this (and that I firmly believe that Joe cares about people like everybody), and that this offensive nonsense question is standard fare in these kinds of things, and there’s nothing I can do about it.

Besides, maybe I’m looking at it wrong. Maybe “people like you” just means people who are like me in good ways, ways that matter. You know, people who have backed Joe from the start, because he is the kind of person who cares about everybody. People who see that he needs to pick somebody who’s a good fit, like Karen Bass.

People who want what’s best for Joe, and best for the whole country. Thoughtful, concerned people

Yeah, that’s the ticket…

I almost quit when I got to the second question,

I almost quit when I got to the second question,

12 thoughts on “Hey, Joe: ‘People like me’ like Karen Bass…

  1. Brad Warthen Post author

    If I had time — which I don’t today, having a lot of work to do — I’d put together an exhaustive list of reasons I like Rep. Bass.

    But you know, the biggest is that I keep looking at her and reading about her and am impressed by the totality of her. I just keep seeing good things, and noticing that I’m not seeing significant BAD things the way I do with Harris, Warren and Rice.

    I keep seeing someone whose vibe resonates with Joe’s. Some who could help him return the country to sanity.

    To put it in a nutshell, I keep seeing a grownup. A perfect running mate for that party I invented awhile back. And remember the party tagline: Act Your Age. Join the Grownup Party.

    And that’s big. That’s key…

  2. Doug T

    Bass would lose Florida for Joe because of the Castro thing. Joe wants Florida.

    Warren would play into the” Joe’s controlled by the left wing radicals” thing.

    I’m pulling for Susan Rice. After Klobuchar pulled out, Rice is my default choice.

    We do agree on one thing. Say no to Kamala.

    1. Brad Warthen Post author

      Oh, the Trump campaign will try to see to it that Joe loses Florida over Bass, but I don’t know that that would happen.

      As for Rice, I think she gives the Repubs a lot more to work with than Bass. Remember how they went on for hearing after hearing over Benghazi? You know what got them rolling on that? Susan Rice did, by going on TV and saying things about Benghazi that she was supposed to know were not true. I don’t know whether she was out of the loop or trying to spin it and doing it in a particularly ham-handed, destructive way. Either way is bad, right? Anyway, the whole administration got blamed, especially Hillary.

      And that’s not all. Check out Dana Milbank’s column. It has a calmer headline online now, but I preferred the one that appeared on my WP app. It stated the case better: “Susan Rice for VP? What the %$#@&?”

      Lindsey Graham and a lot of other Republicans would LOVE it if Susan Rice were the nominee. I would not.

      When they get tired of Benghazi, there’s other stuff, such as this thing Milbank mentions: “there’s a legitimate case to be made that she protected Rwandan strongman Paul Kagame, a former consulting client of hers, from international efforts to stop the mass atrocities in Congo set off by Rwanda-backed rebels.”

      Very problematic. I’ll take some Cubans in Florida mad about a trip she took in high school over that.

      Also, Rice has never faced voters for ANY office. Bass has, successfully, many times…

      1. Brad Warthen Post author

        I don’t always get into all my reasons on account of time, but I always have reasons.

        Put simply:

        • Rice’s selling point is national security experience. But there’s one thing after another in her history like the Benghazi and Rwanda incidents. She always made me uncomfortable back during her time in (appointive) office. I’m still puzzling over what it is Obama seemed to like about her.
        • Warren shouldn’t get it because of the same reason that Bernie isn’t the nominee (thank God).
        • And Kamala shouldn’t get it because I don’t trust her as far as I could throw her. Joe can be all “don’t bear grudges,” but I don’t forget. I don’t remember ever having seen anything quite like that on a debate stage. And every time I see her, she looks (watch her facial expressions) and talks and acts exactly like someone who would try to stab Joe in the back again if it suits her.
        1. Barry

          Harris wants to win and beat trump. I think she’ll do what it takes.

          I think she’d wipe the floor with mike pence.

  3. bud

    Any of these fine women would make a far better PORUS than Biden. The Republicans will find a reason to go after any of these women so let’s not waste time trying to figure out who would be least vulnerable.

    1. Brad Warthen Post author

      What an odd thing to say. Out of all these people we’ve seen over the last year or so, Joe Biden is the only one whose career has prepared him for the job of president. No one else comes close.

      Anyway, there’s one thing you say that’s true. The Trump people are itching to have a running mate to attack, no matter who it is.

      You know why? Because all their attempts to tear down Joe himself have failed…

      1. Brad Warthen Post author

        Actually, I got an email yesterday from the “Draft Michelle Obama” crowd.

        Months ago, when that movement first started, I wasn’t impressed by the idea. Of course then, I thought it was going to be Klobuchar, and I was happy with that.

        But now, the argument sounds better to me…


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