Among the many candidates under consideration, she’s earned Biden’s approval. He likes her long legislative experience, first in the California Assembly and then in Congress where she’s been the chair of the Black Caucus.
I have had reservations about having an African American woman as VP candidate, because I thought a white woman would play better to the disaffected Trump voters. But the president’s steady fall in the polls makes for enough room to take a chance on an African American.
The fact that she’s earned a reputation as a bridge builder resonates well with Biden. He was known for having such ability during his long tenure in Congress.
Biden wants someone he can feel close to and with whom he can discuss every decision he will have to make. Karen Bass can do that.
In his choice of running mate, appearances are playing a huge role.
His own political profile was raised enormously by Obama’s selecting him as a running mate. It injected life into his waning political career. Now he is returning the favor.
As an astute politico, Biden knows that for a nation convulsed by racial strife, the recurring image of a White-Black leadership team in the White House will have enormous impact on the country’s psyche. The two of them, working harmoniously, day after day, will project unto all Americans the sense that the joint effort is essential for us to thrive as a nation.
A friend of mind offered that he thought a race war was inevitable. I disagreed. He called me an optimist. I am, and as such I am certain that there will be no race war in our land.
Having a powerful White Black symbol of leadership in Washington will ensure that outcome.
And so these next four years will be crucial.
The Republican side will take a while to exorcise the hard feelings stirred in them by what Trump represented. Eventually they will. But as they do, having the example of a harmonious Black -White relationship in the White House will act as a catalyst for a positive shift in attitudes.
Karen Bass may or may not go on to become president of this country, should Biden decide not to run for a second term given his age. He would be 82 at that stage. Even if she were to run for president in 2024, she will have to face fierce opposition from fellow democrats, both men and women. People like Cory Booker, Amy Klobuchar, Kamala Harris, Michael Bennet or others yet to surface. But she will have made a tremendous contribution to the nation’s healing if she delivers on the promise of supporting Biden during his presidency, which now appears highly probable.
Much work lies ahead for the nation. The challenge of China to our position in the world is clear. They are a dynamic and ambitious nation that will surpass us if we don’t put together our best efforts. Even if we do, maintaining our position of world leadership is not assured. That is how great a rival China has become.
But if we work together we will bring out the best in us, the best that we have yet to see, for it has been hidden from us by the racial strife that has afflicted us throughout our entire history.
A Biden Bass ticket has the potential to unleash new and transformative forces in America.
Oscar Valdes is the author of Psychiatrist for A Nation. Available on Amazon.