Hey Joe Biden, forget Kamala Harris — choose Tulsi Gabbard as your running mate instead

U.S. Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard speaking with attendees at the June 2019 California Democratic Party State Convention at the George R. Moscone Convention Center in San Francisco, California.

Photo used with permission under a Creative Commons License

U.S. Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard speaking with attendees at the June 2019 California Democratic Party State Convention at the George R. Moscone Convention Center in San Francisco, California.

Brent Midlam, Opinions Writer

Although he lacks extensive media attention, Joe Biden, the presidential candidate nobody wanted to talk about, is now the presumptive Democratic nominee for the 2020 election. And with the general election fast approaching, Biden has been in the process of reviewing prospective vice-presidential running mates. In his selection process, the former vice president must select a partner who is appealing to certain parts of the voter base Biden himself can not connect with. 

Although most pundits predict Biden’s choice to be Kamala Harris, Elizabeth Warren, Stacy Abrams, or other moderate female candidates in the Democratic party, a more appealing option is Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard who checks all of the boxes for a successful and effective running mate. Gabbard will contribute diversity and vitality to the Democratic presidential campaign, satisfying key constituencies with which Biden lacks traction such as centrist military families.

One major concern expressed against the former Vice President Biden is the fact that he is in his late seventies, often suffering from memory gaffes and incoherent statements. By including a young woman of color like Gabbard, Biden will revive his campaign with fresh new perspectives, undoubtedly appealing to progressive voters, while also reducing anxiety about the age of the executive administration. 

With Biden’s history of strong rhetoric regarding the importance of diversity and gender equality, as well as his pledge to choose a female running mate, the public now expects a diverse running mate and would think badly of the vice president for going back on his words.

Another aspect that differentiates Gabbard from other prospective running mates is her service in the Hawai’i army national guard, even taking a one month break from her own presidential bid to serve in Indonesia for the US army. As an officer and an ardent advocate for veterans, she will appeal to veterans and those in active service. Biden, who does not have many connections to the military, will be able to enhance his campaign with Gabbard’s service record, gaining invaluable support from a massive field.

Congresswoman Gabbard also provides an appeal for swing voters: populist or moderate conservatives who will decide the election in 2020. Unlike other Democrats, she often reaches across the aisle, even appearing on Fox News’ Tucker Carlson Tonight. Many voters who might be turned off by the far-left leanings of Biden and previous Democratic candidates will be won over by a vice president who listens to the opinions and concerns of all of America.

Furthermore, Gabbard contributes an outsider perspective to the campaign. Her background as a Hindu Samoan woman from Hawaii will bring ideas to the white house that have never been discussed before. And unlike Biden, Gabbard has not been caught in the stagnation of politics, only being a representative since 2012. Along with an establishment-type candidate on the top of the ticket, Gabbard will round out a campaign that has left a significant voter gap behind. 

Finally, she is a committed Democrat who will not undermine Joe Biden’s campaign or, hopefully, his presidency. Despite her moderate bent, she still holds true to core liberal positions, avidly supporting gun control, a woman’s right to choose and environmental protection regulations.

Other options like Elizabeth Warren and Kamala Harris simply carry too much political baggage to be successful campaigning for Biden. After running their own trying presidential campaigns, they will need to wait another four years to allow the heat of the 2020 election cycle to die down.

And while Gabbard has made enemies among the liberal news, she still is a viable option for vice president. Her actions during her campaign for president may have been questionable in some instances, but her success in Congress demonstrates her capability. Though, as a young politician, she is not experienced enough for the oval office, she will perfectly enhance Joe Biden’s campaign.

As Biden now has the Democratic nomination all to himself, he needs to look ahead to the general election. If he wants to defeat Trump and bring order back to the country, it is imperative that he choose Tulsi Gabbard as his vice-presidential running mate, broadening his coalition to include conservatives and liberals alike.