Should Vice President Kamala Harris need to accede to the presidency in the event President Joe Biden is either incapacitated, resigns, or were to die in office, her first order of business would be nominating her successor. Under the 25th amendment, the president nominates a vice president to the Senate for confirmation.
The last that happened followed Gerald Ford’s accession to the presidency in 1974 when he appointed former New York Gov. Nelson Rockefeller to the post.
Harris’ frequent outbursts and nonsensical statements that have raised questions about her governing abilities. Even Democrats have questioned her competence, with some pundits comparing her with former Vice President Dan Quayle.
This would mean that Kamala Harris needs a vice president who can compensate for her perceived weaknesses. She needs someone who has the executive experience she lacks who would be viewed by the media and by Washington as a serious person who can get things done. She should go with a governor. Below is a few ideas of who she could pick:
Appointing fellow Californian Gov. Gavin Newsom would not work for reasons including the fact that both come from the same state and Newsom’s tenure as California’s governor has proven divisive and lackluster. He would compound Harris’ problems.
Would Kamala Harris Pick Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer?
In 2020, Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer emerged as a finalist on the list of potential Biden running mates. She has been a successful leader for Democrats in the state, having secured control of all three branches of that state’s government for her party.
“She was a rising star in 2020 but even more so now,” a Democratic political consultant told The Hill under the condition of anonymity.
Whitmer has been relatively well-liked as governor. She easily defeated Republican challenger Tudor Dixon in the 2022 midterms. She’s term-limited, so she would be an ideal choice for Harris if she wanted a woman she could work with.
Like Harris, Whitmer has been a strong advocate for abortion rights and of Planned Parenthood. Kamala Harris has been the Biden administration’s point person on its response to the overturning of Roe v. Wade last year. She succeeded in enshrining abortion rights in the Michigan state constitution.
She also signed significant gun-control legislation in the wake of the deadly Michigan State shooting.
Whitmer will play a significant role in Biden’s re-election as his 2024 campaign co-chairwoman.
Having Whitmer as vice president would give Harris a right-hand woman who has proven herself as a leader who can compensate for her shortcomings.
Sen. Elizabeth Warren
Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., also would be a good choice for vice president. She appeals to the Left-wing of the Democratic Party. Her experience in the Senate together with her appeal in her party would make her a strong choice.
Harris told WGBH Boston last January that she acknowledged the problems existed between Harris and Biden but that she personally liked her and shared common values with her.
“I really want to defer to what makes Biden comfortable on his team,” she said. “I’ve known Kamala for a long time. I like Kamala. I knew her back when she was an attorney general and I was still teaching and we worked on the housing crisis together, so we go way back. But they need — they have to be a team, and my sense is they are — I don’t mean that by suggesting I think there are any problems. I think they are.”
The vice president serves as the president of the Senate and has been called more often in recent years to break ties. The office also has been to be the incumbent administration’s point person on legislative affairs.
Both Harris and Warren share common views when it comes to abortion rights, financial issues, and the Green New Deal. Warren has been a major proponent of the plan in the Senate.
Colorado Gov. Jared Polis
Colorado Gov. Jared Polis would be a good choice for many of the same reasons as Gretchen Whitmer. He is an accomplished governor. He also would be the first openly gay man to serve in the role, which would enjoy support from the Democratic base.
He also would be more of a Centrist and could help broaden Harris’ appeal by prodding her to be more of a pragmatist. He begrudgingly implemented COVID lockdowns in his state during the pandemic. He questioned the effectiveness of the mask mandates and of the vaccines.
Polis claims to have reduced the tax burden on his state’s residents, which Republicans dispute.
His centrism could help Kamala Harris counter some of her Left-of-center instincts and appeal to a larger swath of voters.
John Rossomando was a senior analyst for Defense Policy and served as Senior Analyst for Counterterrorism at The Investigative Project on Terrorism for eight years. His work has been featured in numerous publications such as The American Thinker, Daily Wire, Red Alert Politics, CNSNews.com, The Daily Caller, Human Events, Newsmax, The American Spectator, TownHall.com, and Crisis Magazine. He also served as senior managing editor of The Bulletin, a 100,000-circulation daily newspaper in Philadelphia, and received the Pennsylvania Associated Press Managing Editors first-place award in 2008 for his reporting.