Cure for the Blues: A Historic Veep Pledge

By Jamie Stiehm

March 11, 2020 5 min read

WASHINGTON — March plans are gone with the spring wind, so I'm stuck "on the pavement, thinking about the government," as Bob Dylan's lyrics go. Me and many other blue women.

Amid fears of the coronavirus contagion, Sen. Elizabeth Warren's exit from the Democratic presidential primary spread psychic pain among many American females. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention classifies our state as a mix of demoralization, depression and despair, with 2016 flashbacks.

Now it's between former Vice President Joe Biden and Sen. Bernie Sanders to be the standard-bearer. Different extremes they may be, yet they are similar ages of 77 and 78, respectively. They both hail from a tiny states, Delaware and Vermont.

Really? Thanks, guys.

They say Biden is electable and moderate and that Sanders is unstoppable on the left. But Warren brought new ideas for 2020, such as a wealth tax.

So, it stands to reason she should be pledged as the vice presidential pick — by both Biden and Sanders. The third-place finisher, Warren leans to the left of Biden and to the right of Sanders.

Given the advanced ages of both remaining candidates, whoever is chosen as a running mate has a high chance of becoming president.

Let it be Warren.

Hark, there's word the vice president — Veep — nominee will "almost surely" be a woman. Fred Hiatt, editorial page editor of The Washington Post, presented 10 possible choices, "a surfeit of talent," without picking one.

Some political scientists think the avenue for a woman to become the American president is through the vice presidency. For decades, the first women elected to Congress were widows who ran to take their husbands' places, like the late Lindy Boggs, D-La.

Taking campaigning seriously, Warren did not repeat the same lines like old actors on a stage. It was ironic to see her fall — and fail to run against President Donald Trump — on the centennial of women winning the vote in 1920.

Warren is deserving, prepared, energetic and upbeat — and a gale force when she took on billionaire Mike Bloomberg, knocking him out in one debate. His puzzled look was priceless, worth the millions he spent to stand there.

Next to brittle, buttonholed Hillary Clinton, Warren appears fluid and genuine. If she put Bloomberg away, perhaps she'd stand her ground against a Trump-Pence ticket better than most?

During his public life of nearly 50 years, long-winded Biden became known for verbal stumbles. Back at the Senate ranch, he never was a policy genius. The Iraq War and his untoward treatment of Anita Hill while chairing the Clarence Thomas confirmation hearings are among the worst marks on a mediocre record.

Just an average Joe, he'd shine from choosing exceptional Elizabeth, who grew up as the smartest girl in class. She'd also warm up Sanders' stern persona.

A double pledge to name Warren as Veep would heal and spark party unity. One lesson of 2016: Play as a team, Democrats.

The stinging loss to Trump came after a divisive split between Clinton and Sanders voters.

As for Sanders, he might put up a better fight against Trump than Biden. The stakes are higher this time than being a nice guy named Joe: addressing climate change, our broken treaties and the tax code, for starters.

Public health competence is becoming critical as the coronavirus persists.

Sanders brings a bolder vision and an engaged movement. Say what you will, he's consistent in his beliefs and willingness to call Trump out. Outsiders, such as this "democratic socialist," show more courage than conventional insiders like Biden.

Today's party insiders, including pollsters, pundits and cable hosts, say Biden is the one to beat Trump. They amplified his deeply personal endorsement from Rep. James Clyburn, D-S.C., like a political Sermon on the Mount.

So, Biden won red state South Carolina, not a party prize. In an establishment cascade like never before, other candidates then lined up behind Biden — literally.

Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., and former Mayor Pete Buttigieg craned their necks to stand by Biden and share the glory of his Super Tuesday wins — even Texas, even Massachusetts. Sen. Cory Booker, D-N.J., followed suit. However, Rev. Jesse Jackson endorsed Sanders in Michigan.

Either way, with Biden or Sanders, Warren may be the life of the party — and cure what's going around.

To find out more about Jamie Stiehm and other Creators Syndicate columnists and cartoonists, please visit the website

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