A lot of veepstakes talk in the air. Personally, I’m hoping Hillary picks Xavier Becerra. It’s true that Liz Warren (my second choice) would help bring some of the angrier Bernie voters on board. And it’s true that Corey Booker (my other second choice) is a helluva man. No kidding. Rescued a man from a burning house, literally. Hard to top that. But both he and Warren are senators, and we need every senator we can get. And both are also future and exceptionally qualified presidential candidates, and being veep is rarely a path to the oval office without somebody getting shot first. So I’m loathe to pluck someone out of the Senate. It doesn’t help any that both Massachusetts and New Jersey have Republican governors who would not replace either with a Democrat.
Corey Booker’s base is solidly Democratic and already vote at a higher rate than anyone else in that Democratic base….including nice white middle class Democrats. (Indeed, boomer/gen-x black women have the highest rate of voting of all Americans.) And to pick Liz Warren to draw Berniecrats seems a little unseemly. Most of them are going to come over anyway, and a fifth will vote for Trump whether or not Liz Warren in on the ticket. There’s no doubt that selecting the eminently qualified Elizabeth Warren would be interpreted, unfairly and wrongly, as pleading for Bernie votes. Still, that is how many would interpret it, Hillary pleading for votes. Begging even. And a presidential candidate should never beg. Jimmy Carter begged the voters once. He never recovered.
Xavier Becerra, though, not only rewards one of the key components of Hillary’s winning coalition, but it would dramatically increase the amount of Hispanics who will vote on election day, always a weak point for the Democrats. There were already record numbers of Hispanics registering to vote in the primaries this year, such was their fear and loathing of Donald Trump. With Xavier Becerra on the ballot, the son of Mexican immigrants much like a certain Indiana judge, versus Donald Trump, who has called everyone from Mexico to potential rapists and degenerates, the number of Mexican American voter registrations will sky rocket. This would not only help the Democrats beat Trump this year, but would have profound long term implications for political power in the south west. If Hispanics began voting at the same level as whites, a lot of crazed Tea Partiers and redneck sheriffs can kiss their political asses goodbye. At last there would be a price to pay come election day for all that Republican nativist ranting.
Becerra could turn the southwest into an electoral vote nightmare for the GOP. The increase in Mexican-American voters coming out for a second generation immigrant a heartbeat away from the presidency will deliver Nevada, Colorado and New Mexico to the Democrat column, turn Arizona into a swing state and even force the Trump campaign to spend its limited resources in Texas, where the Hillary campaign will make a huge effort if only because the Republicans will have to spend so much money fighting it (Texas with its seventeen media markets is very expensive for statewide TV advertising.) Becerra on the ticket will give an increased edge in Illinois, make things that much harder for Trump in Florida, and dramatically increase fundraising in California. And above all, it puts Trump’s vicious anti-Mexican bigotry (and his prejudice in general) in the front row seat all campaign long. With Becerra on the ticket, Trump will be a racist 24/7.
And besides all that, Becerra is thoroughly qualified, smart as hell, and a nice guy. He was our congressman for years, and come to think of it, he actually knocked on our door once. As did his brother. The man walked the precincts, old school.
Yeah, Xavier Becerra for vice president
End of pitch.