The headline of the New York Times, "One Big Difference About George Floyd Protest: Many White Faces." The New York Times article says that there was a significant presence of white protesters across the country. A team of researchers asked protesters they encountered about this, gathering data on every 5th person they spoke with from people in New York, Washington, and Los Angeles. The results are initial rough surveys, but they point to some fascinating statistics. (1)
The researchers estimated that 61% of those surveyed in New York were white, whereas in Washington, DC, whites made up 65%, and on Sunday in Los Angeles, 53% of the protesters were white. More data needs to be developed to see if arrest records hold up to the initial results. Black observers of the Black Lives Matter protest were surprised at the significant number of white people marching in the demonstrations.
White protesters can be seen taking down statues at places all over the country; if the numbers are correct, then the leaders such as they are of the Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement should be concerned. This is especially so if young white people are influencing the direction of protests and the demands to be met and are trying to take over the BLM movement. Pew Research did a study of the Democratic Party on attitudes of an old white man being the party standard-bearer. The research shows that 41% of registered Democrat voters say, "they are bothered that the likely Democratic nominee for the 2020 election is a white man in his 70s." (2)
Many left-leaning Democrats who are supporting BLM, Antifa, and the demonstrations desperately want a black woman as vice-president; for now, the two most often spoken of are Kamala Harris of California and Stacey Abrams of Georgia. Harris’ problem is that she could not convince Democrats to vote for her in the primaries. I cannot find any delegates she won during the time she ran for the party nomination. If she can't convince Democrats to vote for her, how can she convince other Americans to vote for her? As for Stacy Abrams, the Vice-President of the United States is a heartbeat away from being president. Ms. Abrams has never held statewide office in an executive position. She ran for governor and lost; she contested the results of the election and still lost. The question is, does she have the qualifications and experience to be a heartbeat away from being president?
Joe Biden backed himself into a corner promising that he would have a woman as a VP. Now he is under pressure, because of the racial unrest in the country, to be forced to pick a black woman. The single most important person responsible for Joe's comeback is the Congressman from South Carolina, Jim Clyburn. In an interview with NBC News, Clyburn said, "I'm among those who feel that it would be great for him to select a woman of color. But not a must." (3)
The question is, should Democrats select a vice presidential candidate based on sex and race, or experience? Is this election going to be based on the VP vs. the presidential candidate? Two previous campaigns that were struggling sought to use a woman as its vice presidential candidate to create momentum for the leader on the ticket: Sarah Palin for John McCain and Geraldine Ferraro for Walter Mondale. Both were thought to attract women voters to the respective campaigns. It didn't work as both the Democrat and Republican lost their bid to win the presidency in a landslide, based on a woman on the ticket.
I don't know whether Harris or Abrams will get the nomination. I understand that the seven-person committee that Joe Biden has selected is made up of five white men. I'm not saying that they'll be prejudiced against two black women, or any black or minority women, but they will have an influence on who Joe Biden finally selects for his VP candidate. One of the things that American voters will have to deal with is that Joe Biden will be 78 years of age when he takes office for his first term. He will, in fact, be the oldest person ever to take on the presidency of the United States and so the vice-presidential selection could be crucial. I'm not saying that the vice president can't succeed and prosper over the four years of being president, but one only has to look at the pictures of Barack Obama on the day he came in the office, and the day he left office, to see that the pressure of being president aged him beyond his years.
Joe Biden is faced with an incredible decision concerning these two women: one will be perceived as bad, and the other will be regarded as unacceptable. Not selecting a woman of color would be bad and it would tend to alienate the left-wing of the Democratic Party, but if he doesn't pick a woman at all, I don't think he will have support from the black community or the strong liberal left. So, if Congressman Clyburn says it is "not a must" to select a black woman on the ticket, then Joe may go for the experience. That may be the best decision for the Democratic candidate.
If Joe Biden selects a black woman, will she distract the voters when they go into the voting booth in November at the end of the campaign? As he prepares to make his decision on his candidate, Joe Biden will have to go in his basement and ask himself this question: if I put a woman of color on the ballot along with me, will the voters judge me on my selection of vice president, rather than on my record? If I believe they will, then I will probably lose the election. Biden doesn't enjoy the notoriety of being the first presidential candidate picking a woman for his vice president. If he's picking a woman and a woman of color, that will be a first. If he believes that his selection is a woman, and a black woman will lead him to his election, he will have made the wrong choice.
Perkins Twist: I think there is an out for Joe Biden on his vice-presidential candidate. There is a great deal of pressure to pick a woman, a black woman for his running mate. If he makes that selection himself, his campaign goes down in flames, like McCain and Mondale, and he will lose in a landslide election to Trump. What if Biden punts the decision to the floor of the Democratic convention, lets the delegates decide who his running mate should be, and upfront agrees to accept the party's candidate regardless. If he does this, it should make for great television. But it still might not win him the election.