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Dems Threaten Backlash Over Biden Veep: ‘He Better Pick A Black Woman’

Democratic operatives, POLITICO’s Marc Caputo reports Tuesday, are warning presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden that he may face a backlash if he doesn’t select a black woman as his running mate.
African-American political activists were reportedly blunt with Caputo, suggesting that Biden’s quest for a palatable Vice Presidential candidate must involve only black female legislators. They are particularly concerned, they say, after Biden reportedly held a high-level meeting in Washington, D.C., with Michigan governor Gretchen Whitmer, once a front-runner for the Veep slot.
“He better pick a Black woman. If he picks Gretchen, he’ll lose Michigan,” Virgie Rollins, the chair of the Democratic National Committee’s Black Caucus told POLITICO.
Rollins also suggested that Whitmer, despite being a largely far-left Democratic governor, doesn’t hold appeal for Michigan’s minorities, and wouldn’t improve Biden’s standing in overwhelmingly African-American cities like Detroit and Flint.
“There are a lot of Black people mad at her [Whitmer] in this state,” Rollins continued, noting that Whitmer has failed Flint over its water crisis — a crisis that, despite Democrats’ claims, has been largely resolved — and failed Detroit over “education.”
Whitmer was enjoying almost universal approval at the start of the coronavirus pandemic when she became a leading voice for lockdowns and a headline critic of the Trump administration’s handling of COVID-19. As time wore on, though, and an increasingly confusing flood of coronavirus-related regulations issued forth from Whitmer’s office, it appears Michigan residents have soured on the governor. She is now hovering at about 60% approval.
Biden’s campaign has signaled that he may select a female running mate from a battleground state. The former Vice President is currently ahead of President Donald Trump in places like Wisconsin, Michigan, Florida, and Ohio, but only by a slim margin, comparable to the same lead then-2016 Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton enjoyed just weeks before losing to Trump in the general election.
Activists told POLITICO that a strong, black female candidate would do just as well at bringing in swing voters from select states as a midwestern governor.
“As Biden prepares to announce his choice this week, Black women activists and operatives have launched an eleventh-hour campaign to pressure him. In a pair of open letters Monday and last week, they made the case that he needs strong African American turnout in swing states like Florida, Michigan, Wisconsin, and Pennsylvania to win,” the outlet reported.
Biden is expected to announce his running mate as early as Tuesday, ahead of the Democratic National Convention set to take place starting next week. Although a number of names have been mentioned as front-runners, the campaign seems to be leaning toward either Obama administration United Nations ambassador Susan Rice — a candidate who, reports indicate, is the favorite among Obama alumni like Valerie Jarratt working to elect Biden — and Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA).

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