Guest Column: Vice President Whitmer


Jacob Pickering examines the best possible vice president choices for the presidential Democratic Party nominee Joe Biden. 

Jacob Pickering

Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer should be the Democratic Party’s nominee for vice president in 2020. Whitmer gives Democrats their best chance of winning nationally on Nov. 3, and here’s why:

Personally, I’m partial to Elizabeth Warren and Kamala Harris, but I would honestly prefer to have Sen. Warren as treasury secretary and Sen. Harris as U.S. attorney general in an overwhelmingly victorious Biden/Whitmer administration.

First of all, former Vice President Joe Biden has already promised to choose a woman to be his vice president and, specifically, a black woman to be Biden’s judicial nominee to the U.S. Supreme Court.

Some suggest Biden would depress black voter turnout if he doesn’t choose a black woman to be his running mate, but based upon the impressive turnout of these voters showing up in large numbers to vote for Joe Biden overwhelmingly during the Democratic primaries, there is no apparent need for concern on that front.  Plus, two important words favor Biden: Barack Obama, the best president in generations.

Hypothetically, if everything else remains the same as 2016 (and it probably won’t), Biden only needs to add three additional states to the Democratic column to win back the White House: Pennsylvania, Wisconsin and Michigan.

That’s it. Three states.

Biden will win in Pennsylvania big time. Considering former Vice President Biden’s long-standing personal ties to the Keystone State (he’s from Scranton after all), Pennsylvania’s 20 electoral votes are a relatively easy pickup for the Democrats with Biden at the top of the presidential ticket.

On the other hand, with only 10 electoral votes, Wisconsin is the least important and most difficult lift for the Democrats of the three states in question. The outcome in Wisconsin is probably a toss-up at this point. Losing Wisconsin again would require Democrats to win elsewhere and flip a traditionally Red state in Wisconsin’s place, such as Arizona or North Carolina. 

Strategically speaking, this makes securing Michigan’s 16 electoral votes an urgent priority for the Biden campaign. Therefore, putting popular political rising star Gov. Gretchen Whitmer of Michigan on the Democratic ticket would clearly be of great benefit to the cause of reaching the 270 electoral vote total needed to win the presidency. With Gov. Whitmer on the ticket, Democratic victory in Michigan becomes an absolute certainty.

As you may recall from 2000 and 2016 (to Democrats’ chagrin), the national popular vote is of no consequence whatsoever in the outcome of the presidential election.  Putting a pronounced progressive on the ticket in 2020 as second fiddle will, at most, merely run up the score in already reliably Blue states, assuredly adding few, if any, electoral votes to Biden’s total.

Another potential candidate being considered by former Vice President Biden is Georgia’s legitimate Gov. Stacey Abrams, who is currently heading the Fair Fight organization working to end the Republican Party’s illegal and unconstitutional nationwide voter suppression schemes. Abrams would be a charismatic pick for V.P.; however, winning officially in gerrymandered, jury-rigged Georgia at this particular point in time is probably not a realistic goal.  And, therefore, choosing Abrams would likely be a wasted choice in terms of securing electoral votes.

Biden is also reportedly considering Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar for the job of second in command. Unfortunately for Klobuchar, Minnesota is already a reliably Blue state, and Gretchen Whitmer (who is also from the Upper Midwest) would be a much more effective and compelling candidate, considering recent events in the state of Michigan, which have placed Gov. Whitmer in the national media spotlight.

None of the other potential vice presidential nominees are likely to add to the Democrats’ electoral college vote total, with the possible exception of Florida congresswoman Val Demings, who should be Biden’s backup choice for vice president.

Florida is a must-win state for Trump. If Trump loses in Florida, as Don Meredith (doing his best Willie Nelson impression) used to sing on Monday Night Football at the end of the game:

“Turn out the lights, the party’s over…”