Should Biden do a 180 and pick Colin Powell as his VP?

Author: Imabench ,

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  • Imabench
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    However long ago it was, Biden promised during a debate I think that he would choose a woman as his VP. The big stickler of the point was that Biden as an 'old white guy' alone does not represent the diversity of the Dem party, and picking some other white guy regardless of age as his VP might lead to turnout/enthusiasm issues since Biden himself already had that within his own primary campaign. So he promised to pick a woman as his VP to pacify the portion of the base that values that kind of thing, yatta yatta yatta. 

    In light of recent events though with the George Floyd killing and subsequent crackdowns, one can argue that race has taken precedent in American's minds over sex/gender. Some Dems who might have pulled for a Biden/Warren ticket or a Biden/Klobuchar ticket are now likely far less enthused about such a combo compared to other potential tickets like Biden/Harris or Biden/Abrams since the national spotlight has shifted HARD to race relations in the US. It is now at the point where if Biden had NOT made his original promise to select a woman as his VP, Biden selecting an African American male as his VP would be much more relevant to all the discussion going on, and by extension a better asset, then if he were to select a white woman as his VP partner. 

    Lets put a pin on that for right now and focus on another thing going on. 

    A recent trend among prominent Republicans has taken place in light of the response to the George Floyd protests, where prominent officials and former officials have either flat out said they would not support Trump's re-election, or would even consider voting for Biden instead. Many of these people are ones who were tied to the Bush, Romney, and McCain campaigns stretching back to the year 2000, all of whom Trump has significantly criticized throughout his presidency and presidential run in 2016, sometimes even before he even began campaigning in the first place. Many of these Republicans, who are held in high regard by centrist and moderate republicans, have increasingly voiced their distaste for the President and how he has done things. 

    One of whom just so happens to be Colin Powell. 


    The goal of a VP selection is four-fold: 

    #1 - Be capable of becoming President if something happens to the actual President 
    #2 - Not be a negative distraction 
    #3 - Bring more people/enthusiasm to the ticket
    #4 - Not cause more people to go to/become more enthusiastic about the other ticket (Trump/Pence) 

    #1 - Colin Powell's competence is not an issue, he arguably would be able to handle being president better than Biden could. 

    #2 - Colin Powell would not be a negative distraction on the scale that Sarah Palin was for McCain in 2008. If anything, a Biden/Powell ticket would see more gaffes coming from Biden himself than Powell. Biden could make 7 gaffes in the time it takes Powell to make anything close to one. 

    #3 - Would Colin Powell bring more enthusiasm to a Biden ticket? For anyone who really values diversity, Powell would naturally be a plus just by being a person of color. For people who value military service, Powell would also be an attractive selection since he was a 4 star general and has already served in a cabinet-level office. For people who are moderate conservatives or are part of the GOP that are put off by Trump (there are a lot of them), Powell teaming up with Biden would gain much more consideration from this voting bloc to temporarily switch sides then any female-selection as VP would be able to replicate.... African Americans who understandably question Biden's allegiance to the African-American vote would definitely be pacified by a Powell selection as VP, arguably even more so then Kamala Harris since Harris's service as a prosecutor has put off some black voters from liking her since shes been on the side of law enforcement in the past. Powell's national profile is also still large enough where people would be more likely to recognize/remember him compared to some obscure selection made by Biden chiefly on the basis of gender. 

    In terms of what Colin Powell can bring to a ticket, there is much more he offers to the Biden camp as VP then just about any woman could at this point. Only Michelle Obama or Oprah at this point could bring more people to the Biden ticket than Colin Powell could, and neither of them are going to accept that offer to do so which leaves Powell near the top of the line. 

    #4 - The clearest drawback to a Powell VP selection among Democrats would be the fact that he is basically a Republican NeoCon. I dont see any Bernie Bros or whatever is left of Warrens base being super-pleased by a Powell selection, Powell would arguably reinforce Biden's more centrist stances on issues compared to the more liberal positions that Bernie or Warren would pull for. The thing about appeasing the super liberal faction of the Dem party is that no one who Biden selects to please this part of the base wouldn't also just push centrist Republicans back to supporting Trump..... If Elizabeth Warren is selected as VP, 9 out of 10 wavering Republicans would go right back to reluctantly supporting Trump, while the other 10% may choose to just stay home instead of flip sides. Warren and Sanders as VP would push away just as many people from considering a moderate/centrist Dem like Biden as it would rally those in the far left to support the ticket. Selecting a very liberal candidate as VP that intends to rally the extreme faction of the base would far more likely become a liability than an asset during the general election, which violates rule #2 of what a VP candidate is meant to do for a President..... For regular Dems who question if Powell is really on their side, the fact that he voted twice for Obama over McCain and Romney, and has become a vocal critic of Trump indicates that he has had at least some change in allegiance that dates all the way back over a decade to 2008. 



  • Marko
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    Nah. Even if you could excuse Biden for forgetting his promise that he would choose a female VP (given his advanced dementia), I don’t think other democrats would.
    In light of recent events (one rogue cop kills one black guy), it would be insanely stupid of us to claim that race should take precedent over anything else, especially over something as important but lowkey these days as competence.  Chiefly, in the Increasingly likely scenario that Biden slowly succumbs to his advanced dementia. 

    That Powell decided to endorse Biden doesn’t automatically make him a suitable candidate for VP. Finally, you summed up the reasons why it wouldn’t work yourself, which saved me plenty of time. 
  • Imabench
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    --> @Marko
    Nah
    Had you left your response just at that one word, it would have still been a far superior response compared to the actual idiocy you made from that point on. 
  • Marko
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    --> @Imabench
    No need to get personal about this. Chill out man.
    Respond to the rest of it or not. I gave you the courtesy of adequately responding to yours. 
  • Imabench
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    --> @Marko
    I gave you the courtesy of adequately responding to yours. 
    That dribble that was your reply was hardly any sort of 'adequate response' 
  • Marko
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    --> @Imabench
    You wrote a long-winded opinion piece. A disagreed with it. Grow some balls and stop taking it personally.

    As with most opinion pieces, they make an weak attempt at showing both sides of the argument. Unfortunately for you, the reasons you gave on why Powell would be a bad pick were greater than the reasons why he would make a good pick. So I picked my side (using your arguments).

    Essentially you entered in a monologue with yourself and asked us to pick between two sides, and now that I picked the side you didn’t want me to pick, you’re angry.
    Oh well....

  • Imabench
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    You wrote a long-winded opinion piece. A disagreed with it. Grow some balls and stop taking it personally.
    Its the stupidity in your initial response itself that I took issue with more then the fact that you dont agree with Powell as a possible VP pick. If you actually want to discuss the matter, then fire up whatever functioning brain cells you have and actually make respectable counter-points to it 


    Unfortunately for you, the reasons you gave on why Powell would be a bad pick were greater than the reasons why he would make a good pick
    Based entirely on your opinion and nothing else. 

    My argument was that the drawbacks Powell would have as a VP pick do not outweigh the numerous positives he would bring to the ticket, which I did by citing his likely appeal to moderate conservatives, people who respect the military, African-Americans, as well as the lesser emphasis on gender of a VP candidate in light of the Floyd protests.... Your argument that those cons outweigh the pros amounted to "I believe otherwise" and then you lazily left it at that, so I dismissed your opinion for the lazy attempt that it was rather then legitimately discuss the issue you wrongfully think your response somehow earned. 

  • Marko
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    --> @Imabench
    Ok. What exactly was stupid? 
    Here is a list of the things I said:
    1) Biden has dementia.
    2) Many Democrats are unlikely to forgive the breaking of a promise to choose a female VP.
    3) It is a terrible idea to pick a VP based on recent events
    4) Choosing the VP based on the colour of their skin is a terrible idea.
    5) Competence is a virtue.
    6) Endorsing a candidate is not a good reason for the candidate to pick them.
    7) Personally praised you for coming up with the counter arguments that clinched the deal in my eyes. 

    Which one of these points is ‘stupid’? I’ll quote the infamous Imabench in saying ....’If you actually want to discuss the matter, then fire up whatever functioning brain cells you have and actually make respectable counter-points to it’.

    Yes of course. I do get to have an opinion, don’t I? 

    Like you said, for many democrats he is associated with the Iraq war and the Bush era, while for many republicans he a complete sell out. Not a great combination in an election.
  • Greyparrot
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    --> @Marko
    Essentially you entered in a monologue with yourself...

    He does that often.
  • Greyparrot
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    --> @Marko
    1) Biden has dementia. <---Agree
    2) Many Democrats are unlikely to forgive the breaking of a promise to choose a female VP.   <---Agree
    3) It is a terrible idea to pick a VP based on recent events   <---Agree
    4) Choosing the VP based on the colour of their skin is a terrible idea.  <---Disagree. Most Leftists believe skin color is extremely relevant.
    5) Competence is a virtue. <---Agree for a president but a VP isn't as relevant. FDR didn't give a crap about Truman's competence. 
    6) Endorsing a candidate is not a good reason for the candidate to pick them.  <---Disagree A VP pick is all about focussed pandering and signaling, like a banner.


  • Imabench
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    --> @Marko
    "1) Biden has dementia."
    Dumb claim number 1. Show a medical diagnosis from someone that actually is trained in a medical field that doesnt rely on some halfassed compilation of Biden just mouth-fumbling words like hes been doing since the 1980's. Hell most medical professionals even indicate that Trump's medical health is far more concerning than Biden's and theyre supposed to stay out of the subject: 
    https://news.yahoo.com/trumps-mental-state-not-bidens-is-the-real-concern-mental-health-professionals-say-223617342.html

    "2) Many Democrats are unlikely to forgive the breaking of a promise to choose a female VP."

    That can be challenged though...... The promise to pick a female VP was also done over the concern of representation/diversity among the party, so picking a black VP would arguably be an acceptable substitute since that would represent the concern of diversity that led to calls for a female VP in the first place. Picking Bernie Sanders instead of a female VP would be a disaster because as different as his views are from Biden, Sanders is as old and white and male as Biden. Powell doesnt fit that mold and fills the arbitrary quota for diversity that led to calls for a female VP selection in the first place. 

    "3) It is a terrible idea to pick a VP based on recent events" 

    Prior to this point the main driver for the VP selection was that it should be a woman. Recent events indicate that nowadays the party and the people in it cares less about gender/sex being represented in the final ticket and instead that race has become a highlight. At this point even if Biden selected a white female VP, people would question the decision over why he didnt pick someone of color due to the massive attention being devoted to race relations and the treatment of African Americans in the country right now. Picking a VP based on recent events may not be the best idea, but its better then the first decision to pick one based on gender which is what is being argued. 

    "4) Choosing the VP based on the colour of their skin is a terrible idea."

    At this point its still a better idea than choosing a VP based on their sex, which is what the policy was up to this point, which Im arguing Biden should go back on in the first place. 

    5) Competence is a virtue.

    Neither one of us questioned Powell's competence so this isnt actually one of your arguments. 

    6) Endorsing a candidate is not a good reason for the candidate to pick them.

    That wasnt any of my arguments I made for why Biden should pick him in the first place. Did you read the post or just respond to the headline and start inserting your opinion? 

    "7) Personally praised you for coming up with the counter arguments that clinched the deal in my eyes."

    You seem to be confused on what my arguments even are about 
  • Imabench
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    --> @Greyparrot
    He does that often.
    In fairness we both have a tendency to monologue. 

    The differences between us is that I back up claims and opinions with facts and tangible evidence, while you're ramblings are so incoherent and baseless that you legitimately should not have the ability to vote or procreate
  • Marko
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    --> @Greyparrot
    I’m starting to figure that out at my own expense.

    Yes, for many of my statements I probably forgot to wear my old, disheveled leftist hat, and responded based on how things ought to be instead of how things appear to be in the viewpoint of many leftists. 
  • Greyparrot
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    --> @Marko
    Wrongthink is justification for your cancellation. Scary world the left lives in.
  • ILikePie5
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    --> @Greyparrot @Marko
    Colin Powell supported Obama twice and Hillary Clinton. 

    “Republican”
  • Marko
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    --> @Imabench
    Dumb claim number 1. Show a medical diagnosis from someone that actually is trained in a medical field that doesnt rely on some halfassed compilation of Biden just mouth-fumbling words like hes been doing since the 1980's. Hell most medical professionals even indicate that Trump's medical health is far more concerning than Biden's and theyre supposed to stay out of the subject
    ____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

    No. Firstly, we don’t need a medical diagnosis to assess whether a person, who so happens to be a presidential candidate, has completely lost it. The visuals are unambiguous. Humans have a highly complex brain that allows them to assess the intellectual capacity of other humans. Secondly, the claim was ‘Biden has dementia’, and not ‘Trump does not have dementia’. Stick to the topic man.
    ____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
    That can be challenged though...... The promise to pick a female VP was also done over the concern of representation/diversity among the party, so picking a black VP would arguably be an acceptable substitute since that would represent the concern of diversity that led to calls for a female VP in the first place. Picking Bernie Sanders instead of a female VP would be a disaster because as different as his views are from Biden, Sanders is as old and white and male as Biden. Powell doesnt fit that mold and fills the arbitrary quota for diversity that led to calls for a female VP selection in the first place. 
    ______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

    Again no. Explain how a 13 percent representation is an acceptable substitute for a 50 percent representation (black Americans vs females)? In fact the discrepancy is even greater seeing that 50% of 13% are black females. 
    Who said anything about Bernie Sanders here? How old is Powell again? Yes, older than the rest of them, namely 83. With Powell equally in the mix, this is a race taking place in a geriatric ward.
    _____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
    Prior to this point the main driver for the VP selection was that it should be a woman. Recent events indicate that nowadays the party and the people in it cares less about gender/sex being represented in the final ticket and instead that race has become a highlight. At this point even if Biden selected a white female VP, people would question the decision over why he didnt pick someone of color due to the massive attention being devoted to race relations and the treatment of African Americans in the country right now. Picking a VP based on recent events may not be the best idea, but its better then the first decision to pick one based on gender which is what is being argued. 
    _______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

    Really? Where have you heard that—-as a result of recent events, the party cares less about gender than it does about race? Again, let me just point out that, if you were really concerned about representation, the president and the VP ought to be white.
    Unlike you, I am not obsessed with race, but in a population where 77% are white, 18% are Hispanic, and 13% black, even Hispanics have a stronger case for better representation than blacks do. Where is your outcry for them?
    What exactly do you mean by....’the treatment of African Americans in the country right now’? How are African Americans being treated differently?
    And to preempt your response, please provide me with the primary reasons why you think their outcomes might be different.
    _______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
    At this point its still a better idea than choosing a VP based on their sex, which is what the policy was up to this point, which Im arguing Biden should go back on in the first place. 
    _______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

    Why? You still haven’t provided us with any good reason why this would be the case. Remember it’s 13 vs 50  (possibly 6.5 vs 50). We never had a female VP or president, and we just finished having two terms of a terrible mixed-race president. Note: he wasn’t bad because he was mixed-race president but because he was part of the democrat establishment. 

    _______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

    You seem to be confused on what my arguments even are about 
    _______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
      
    You seem to be confused on what your arguments even are about 

    ______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
  • RationalMadman
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    --> @Imabench
    No. He will be accused of picking based on reverse racism rather than competence. This is as corrupt as only hiring majority race, gender etc in how wrong it is as a basis of hiring.

    I am not stupid, of course I know we need affirmative action, however this direct and blatant an alteration of hiring based solely on appealing to masses as a non-racist because of a recent event is so utterly corrupt and will be too obvious to gain more votes than it loses.

  • HistoryBuff
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    --> @RationalMadman
    He will be accused of picking based on reverse racism rather than competence.
    there is no such thing as "reverse racism". either you are discriminating based on race or you are not. You can't "reverse" that. 

    this direct and blatant an alteration of hiring based solely on appealing to masses as a non-racist because of a recent event is so utterly corrupt and will be too obvious to gain more votes than it loses.
    VP's are always picked to appeal to a specific demographic. Historically it was because of the state they were from. In Joe biden's case, it was because he was a right wing white guy (when obama picked him). Choosing for race is not unprecedented. Choosing for gender would be. But since the main purpose of a VP pick is to appeal to a segment of society the main candidate struggles with, it is totally normal. 

  • Dr.Franklin
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    what about being progressive and picking a woman!!!!!!!!!
  • ILikePie5
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    --> @Dr.Franklin
    what about being progressive and picking a woman!!!!!!!!!
    That’s not the reason why Joe wants a woman😂
  • Dr.Franklin
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    --> @ILikePie5
    LOL
  • RationalMadman
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    --> @HistoryBuff
    So if there is no such thing as reverse racism and there's only racism if you base on race, then in your semantic world, you call racial affirmative action racist rather than reverse racist?

    VP should be fundamentally selected based on competence and loyalty, any other reason is corrupt unless to reverse another corruption in a subtle way.

  • HistoryBuff
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    --> @RationalMadman
    So if there is no such thing as reverse racism and there's only racism if you base on race, then in your semantic world, you call racial affirmative action racist rather than reverse racist?
    affirmative action is typically designed to counteract racial bias by ensuring that minorities get to be represented. You could interpret that as racism I suppose, but I wouldn't. 

    VP should be fundamentally selected based on competence and loyalty, any other reason is corrupt unless to reverse another corruption in a subtle way.
    I'm not sure any VP has ever been selected for those reasons. the position of VP doesn't really do anything. They don't have much power. They are almost always picked for what they are or where they are from rather than any skills or loyalty. Some presidents never even really talked to their VPs because they didn't have any use for them. 

    VPs have traditionally been picked for what state they come from to strengthen a ticket. That isn't fundamentally any different than picking them for gender or ethnicity. 



  • RationalMadman
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    --> @HistoryBuff
    That is corrupt. Also, I did not call affirmative action racist. It is there to reverse racism, sexism and ageism (as well as 'SpecificReligionThatIsNotACultPhobia' and homophobia but that's not directly enforced via affirmative action and instead is enforced by reforming company policies on an ex-employee-complaint and media-shaming basis).

    Not to mention that Autistic people have only properly been understood to not be assholes but just 'needier' in recent times and over time there will become official equivalent protections for the hiring of them, especially in corporations that are more geared towards them (think less physical things, more specialist) such that they are provided for and not thought of as difficult for being extra sensitive to noise, personal space issues etc.

  • HistoryBuff
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    --> @RationalMadman
    That is corrupt.
    how is it corrupt? That is all the position of VP is for. Other than casting a tie breaking vote in the senate, it is doesn't do anything at all. It's almost sole job is to "balance the ticket" to try to get voters that would otherwise dislike the presidential candidate. Since the role of VP has no power and doesn't actually do anything in government, there is no reason for the position to be based on merit. Because they have nothing to do anyway.