As Joe Biden closes in on his choice of a vice-presidential running mate, Democrats in last week’s primaries sent a clear message about what a winning Democratic coalition would look like. If Biden wants to show he’s listening to these voters, there’s one name that apparently isn’t on his current vice-presidential shortlist, but should be: Rep. Barbara Lee (D-Calif.)
In choosing Lee, Biden would get a fighter who has the policies to meet the moment. This month, she introduced a bill for a national commission that would “examine the effects of slavery, institutional racism, and discrimination against people of color.” Fifty-six percent of Americans—including 78 percent of Democrats—now support Medicare for all, which Lee has backed for years. And her years as “the House’s steadiest advocate for peace” have permanently endeared her to progressive and younger voters and activists.
Her most notable stand on that issue came on Sept. 14, 2001, when Congress voted on President George W. Bush’s request for the authorization of using military force against those the president determined “responsible” for the attack. The resolution’s wording was vague and over-broad, but just three days after the 9/11 terrorist attacks, no one in Washington wanted to be seen as holding up America’s vengeance. No one, that is, except Barbara Lee. Despite appeals from her Democratic colleagues to reconsider, she voted no—the only member of Congress to do so.
In a better world, Lee’s prescience would already make her a contender for the bottom of the Democratic ticket. Her foresight contrasts with Biden’s many foreign policy lows, including a vote for the Iraq War and a proposal to federalize Iraq that Iraqis hated.
Print Headline: Another possible Veep to consider