The weekend has arrived and Joe Biden has to decide who will be his running mate, probably the most important decision of his presidential campaign so far.
But some analysts go a step further and are encouraged to give a number of reasons why the person he appoints, should the Democratic Party win the November election, could become the 47th president of the United States.
Such is the view of veteran commentator and politician Patrick J. Buchanan.
In a column posted on his official website on July 31, the former Reform Party presidential candidate said that, indeed, if Biden wins, “there is a real possibility” that his vice president will go on to run the White House.
Biden’s problems and the crucial role of his vice president
So far it is known that, in the Democratic candidate’s own words, the presidential formula will be completed by a woman.
And this is where the questions and disputes within the party open up, since, as campaign collaborators and donors have acknowledged, in the face of the certain possibility that the female candidate might become president, they are looking for someone who is not “unloyal” and “ambitious,” like Kamala Harris, for example.
One of the big reasons for this projection is Biden’s age. If Barack Obama’s former vice president beats Republican Donald Trump, he will be sworn in at 78 (he will be 80 before he reaches the middle of his eventual first term).
But in addition, on several occasions, the Democratic candidate made strange comments that make many doubt his mental capacities.
For example, in February he claimed he was running for the Senate. During the race for the Democratic nomination, he told people to “visit” Joe 30330 (mistaking it for a website). He also advised parents to make sure they put “the record player on at night” to help their children. In March, he began reciting the Declaration of Independence and immediately forgot it, and during a speech he thought his wife, was his sister.
9 vice presidents who went on to lead the United States
In his article, Buchanan reviews the history of the people who came to the White House to show that it is not at all uncommon for a vice president to come and lead the United States.
Indeed, of the 45 presidents the country has had, nine did not complete their terms and had to be succeeded by their vice presidents: one resigned, four died in office and four were killed.
- John Tyler became the president in 1841 when William Henry Harrison died of pneumonia a month after taking office.
- Zachary Taylor died in his second year of office in 1850, being succeeded by Millard Fillmore.
- Andrew Johnson became the president after Lincoln’s assassination at Ford’s theater.
- Chester Arthur succeeded James Garfield in 1881 after he suffered a fatal wound from an assassin’s bullet in a train station.
- Teddy Roosevelt became the youngest president in 1901 when he succeeded the assassinated William McKinley.
- Lyndon Johnson succeeded John F. Kennedy after the tragic assassination in Dallas in November 1963.
- Calvin Coolidge took over after the death of Warren Harding in 1923.
- Harry Truman succeeded Franklin D. Roosevelt after his death in April 1945.
- Gerald Ford became president after Richard Nixon resigned.
Biden’s “conditions” for electing his vice president
Biden began his vice presidential selection process by eliminating and discriminating against entire categories of people. Those with zero chance are men and, above all, whites.
First of all, Biden has already said he will choose a woman. The Democratic candidate wants to break with the history of the United States which, in its 230 years of existence, has had male vice presidents.
This means that 17 of the 24 governors and 30 of the 47 Democratic senators were automatically eliminated.
Moreover, in the wake of George Floyd’s assassination and the ensuing protests, pressure has grown on Biden to choose not only a woman, but a black woman.
If Obama’s former vice president were to follow these criteria, virtually all but a few of the party’s senators and governors would be left out. And this is where Buchanan asks, “What national interest impelled Biden to so restrict the pool of talent from which a possible presidential successor would be chosen”?
“Joe Biden would be the oldest man ever to serve as president. He would enter office with visibly diminished mental capacities. And he has decided to restrict his choice as to who should inherit our highest office by ruling out the vast majority of the most able and experienced leaders of his own Democratic Party,” Buchanan noted.
“Is this any way to select someone who could, in a heartbeat, take control of the destiny of the world’s most powerful nation?” he asked.
In this way, and to finish, Buchanan exposes the decline of the leadership of the Democratic Party to choose its maximum referents, asking himself, “Whatever happened to Jimmy Carter’s ‘Why Not the Best?'”