Budowsky: A Biden-Warren ticket in 2020?

Budowsky: A Biden-Warren ticket in 2020?

For purposes of analysis imagine if former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenBiden invokes Ted Kennedy in defending remarks about working with segregationists Biden invokes Ted Kennedy in defending remarks about working with segregationists Booker hits Biden's defense of remarks about segregationist senators: 'He's better than this' MORE is nominated for president, and chooses Sen. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth Ann WarrenSanders denies tweet about corporate Democrats was dig at Warren Sanders denies tweet about corporate Democrats was dig at Warren Warren: 'On Juneteenth and every day: Black lives matter' MORE (D-Mass.) as his vice presidential candidate.

In my column two weeks ago titled “Warren has a plan for Democrats,” I suggested she was the most underrated candidate in the presidential sweepstakes, and that if she is nominated, she could choose retired Adm. William McRaven as her running mate and run a progressive national unity campaign. Warren’s strategy of offering detailed and almost Rooseveltian proposals has begun to bear fruit.

ADVERTISEMENT

Today, let’s reverse the analysis. Consider the prospects if Biden is nominated and selects Warren as his running mate.

Biden retains his lead in the Democratic race, though there are signs it may be slightly narrowing. He towers above President TrumpDonald John TrumpBooker hits Biden's defense of remarks about segregationist senators: 'He's better than this' Booker hits Biden's defense of remarks about segregationist senators: 'He's better than this' Trump says Democrats are handing out subpoenas 'like they're cookies' MORE in presidential polling and for now has greater odds of defeating Trump than any other Democratic candidate. Some credible polls suggest the prospect of Biden winning a sweeping landslide.

Trump, who will never be accused of telling too many truths, claims he hopes to run against Biden. In truth, Trump is worried silly (using that phrase literally) of running against Biden. The antipathy toward Trump from more than half the nation is so intense that a Trump-Biden race could pit Teflon Joe against Velcro Donald.

While Biden is the front-runner, he could easily be surprised in the Iowa caucus. The Des Moines Register-CNN poll suggests that Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersSanders denies tweet about corporate Democrats was dig at Warren Sanders denies tweet about corporate Democrats was dig at Warren Democrats asked to create ideal candidate to beat Trump pick white man: poll MORE (I-Vt.), Mayor Pete ButtigiegPeter (Pete) Paul ButtigiegPoll: Democrats view Biden as most electable, while Warren sees gains Poll: Democrats view Biden as most electable, while Warren sees gains 2020 Democrats share their families' immigration histories MORE of South Bend, Ind., and Warren are all within striking distance of winning the Iowa caucus and Sen. Kamala HarrisKamala Devi HarrisDemocrats asked to create ideal candidate to beat Trump pick white man: poll Democrats asked to create ideal candidate to beat Trump pick white man: poll Biden defends remarks about segregationist senators: 'Apologize for what?' MORE (D-Calif.) has an outside chance.  

The Democrat who wins the Iowa caucus will receive the mother of all rocket boosters of support during the radically compressed schedule that follows in the month from Iowa to New Hampshire, South Carolina and Super Tuesday.

Biden’s campaign has performed brilliantly against Trump from the day he announced until today. He would be well advised to continue on course generally but offer a sharper, clearer and bolder vision of American leadership in the world and progressive Democratic leadership at home.

Biden is right to understand that Americans want stability, security, experience, common decency and a patriotic sense of shared community and national unity from their next president. Warren is right that Americans want a leader who champions an economy that is fair, a health system that is affordable, and a system that is not rigged against workers, consumers, students, seniors, patients, the middle class and the poor in favor of the most wealthy Americans and the most greedy special interests.

Biden is wrong to imply that if only Trump is gone, Republicans in Congress will immediately negotiate with a Democratic president in good faith. In fact, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellOvernight Defense: House passes T spending package with defense funds | Senate set to vote on blocking Saudi arms sales | UN nominee defends climate change record Overnight Defense: House passes T spending package with defense funds | Senate set to vote on blocking Saudi arms sales | UN nominee defends climate change record Senate to vote Thursday to block Trump's Saudi arms deal MORE (R-Ky.) brags that he will continue to be the “grim reaper” and destroy any legislation from a Democratic president, while promising to further pack the Supreme Court if a vacancy arises during an election year.

Biden should not even hint at the bipartisan sincerity of McConnell and Republican leaders in Congress without Trump. They are prisoners of Trump today, champions of elite special interests always, obstructionist against Democratic presidents without end and willing to destroy the Senate to pack the Supreme Court.

ADVERTISEMENT

McConnell, who brags about being the “grim reaper” against all enlightened Democratic plans, is the symbol of the corrupt fixed system and perhaps the most unpopular national politician. Biden and Democratic candidates for the presidency, House and Senate should run against the hugely unpopular “grim reaper” McConnell and the Trump Republicans in Washington.

If Biden is nominated, a Biden-Warren ticket could paint a portrait of a president and Democratic Party united to serve all of the people. They would stand up against a system that is rigged and campaign to lift the lives of workers, farmers, consumers, seniors, students and all who favor a politics of hope, action and unity over hatred, greed and division.

Budowsky was an aide to former Sen. Lloyd Bentsen (D-Texas) and former Rep. Bill Alexander (D-Ark.), who was chief deputy majority whip of the House of Representatives. He holds an LLM in international financial law from the London School of Economics.