OPINION: This article may contain commentary which reflects the author's opinion.
First lady Jill Biden apparently did not want Kamala Harris to be her husband’s pick for vice president and he had reservations of his own.
This is according to a new book, titled “This Will Not Pass: Trump, Biden, and the Battle for America’s Future,” authored by New York Times reporters Jonathan Martin and Alexander Burns.
“There are millions of people in the United States. Why do we have to choose the one who attacked Joe,” Jill Biden said in a conversation after she discovered that Harris was in the lead for the job, Fox News reported.
But there was support for her among some on Biden’s staff, including Ron Klain who is now the White House chief of staff, was in charge of the vetting for vice president and had Harris pegged for the job.
“Yes, Harris had attacked Biden more harshly than any other major candidate in the Democratic primaries. Yes, the Biden family had seen it as a smear and a betrayal. In Klain’s assessment, that would work to Biden’s advantage,” the book said. “Choosing Harris will show people that you are magnanimous and forgiving, Klain told Biden. It will show the country just what a unifying leader you can be.”
The book also said the Biden had reservations about selecting Harris as a running mate, in part because of her “past romantic relationship with Willie Brown, the former San Francisco mayor who had appointed Harris to a pair of minor political positions,” something he thought of “as the kind of thing that should be off limits.”
Others considered as a Biden running mate, as discussed in the book, included New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham and Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, as well as activists and members of Congress from across the country.
Another candidate who pushed hard for the role was Stacey Abrams, who, according to the book, did “not pass the test” and was seen by Biden’s advisers as a lost cause after she failed to win the Georgia gubernatorial race in 2018.
“Abrams fought hard to win real consideration but never overcame the experience issue” that Biden’s advisers warned him about, the book claims.
Grisham, whom the book billed as a “no-nonsense former state health secretary buried in managing the pandemic on the ground,” told the authors of the book that the vetting process from Biden’s team was “insane.”
“He asked me to sell him on vice president: ‘Why should you be the vice president?’” Grisham said, the book claimed.
“I didn’t ask to be vice president,” she said. “You asked for me to be vetted — you tell me why you think I would make a good vice president. This was not my idea.”
Others who were considered were Sen. Tammy Duckworth, Rep. Karen Bass and Rep. Val Demmings but Biden’s campaign saw them as “compromised or risky” selections.
“You know, white women are incredibly racist, as are white men,” one of Biden’s close advisors said in the book. “None of it was safe. It was a risky thing to do. But it was the safest of choices that we had.”
Think about that. A close advisor of the President of the United States painted the entire white race as racist.
The book also claimed that White House Communications Director Kate Bedingfield questioned the ability of Harris to do the job.
“In private, Bedingfield had taken to noting that the vice presidency was not the first time in Harris’s political career that she had fallen short of sky-high expectations: Her Senate office had been messy and her presidential campaign had been a fiasco. Perhaps, she suggested, the problem was not the vice president’s staff,” the book said.
Bedingfield denied the accusation to Politico and said, “The fact that no one working on this book bothered to call to fact check this unattributed claim tells you what you need to know. Vice President Harris is a force in this administration and I have the utmost respect for the work she does every day to move the country forward.”