If you’re planning to profit off Joe Biden’s upcoming Vice-Presidential nomination, you better get your bets placed now! The presumptive Democratic candidate for President promised reporters — during a brief question-and-answer period, following a prepared speech in Wilmington, Delaware – that his running mate will be announced next week.
From the looks of things, Kamala Harris will be chosen to share the Democratic ticket.
The California Senator has long been the betting favorite to win the VP nomination, but some of the most compelling evidence for her selection was made public this week.
It is believed that her only real competition is Susan Rice, who worked with Biden as a member of the Obama administration. Tammy Duckworth is a distant third on the odds boards. Regardless, anyone other than Harris being named his Vice-Presidential nominee at this point would be a huge surprise.
|Political Betting Site||Kamala Harris VP Nomination Odds|
- Odds current as of 7/29.
Why Kamala as Biden’s VP Makes Sense
It looks like Kamala Harris will finally be announced as Joe Biden’s running mate. Over the past few months, I’ve written no fewer than six articles detailing why the senator makes the most sense – and now, the Democratic challenger promises to give us his decision within the next week, more than three months after securing his party’s nomination.
Throughout the Spring and Summer, there have been numerous rumors concerning who the Biden campaign would ultimately pick. For the longest time, Amy Klobuchar was the favorite to get the job. Her chances crumbled after it was exposed, during the George Floyd protests, that Klobuchar refused to bring charges against the officer who killed Floyd for a previous brutality claim, as a prosecutor.
Elizabeth Warren was another former presidential candidate thought to be in the running. The Massachusetts Senator was the preferred choice among the progressive wing of the party. Many believe that by putting Warren on the ticket, the Democrats could save a higher percentage of the disgruntled Bernie Sanders supporters rejecting Biden as their nominee.
However, all signs point to the Joe Biden campaign going in a different direction.
The sound defeat of Sen. Sanders and Sen. Warren in the primaries served to validate the strategy.
Recently, Biden’s been under increased pressure not only to pick a woman as his Vice President but to pick a woman of color. As Amy Klobuchar and Elizabeth Warren slid down the odds board, Obama’s former national security advisor Susan Rice, Sen. Tammy Duckworth, Val Demings, and Karen Bass moved up to become Kamala’s competition.
Harris held her spot at the top of the field through it all. For all of the following reasons, it’s looking like the months of Kamala Harris betting predictions are going to pay off finally!
Biden’s Notes and Politico’s Premature Publication
Unless the Biden campaign is pulling one of the more creative bluffs in modern political history, Joe may have shown us his cards on Tuesday evening. At a press conference for his proposed “Build Back Better” economic recovery plan, an Associated Press photographer captured a photo of the candidate’s notes.
Biden carried a list of talking points for a variety of topics about which reporters in attendance were likely to ask questions. Kamala Harris’s name was scribbled across the very top of the notepad, followed by these five bullet points:
- “Do not hold grudges.”
- “Campaigned with me & Jill.”
- “Great help to campaign.”
- “Great respect for her.”
These notes appear to be in preparation for inquiries pertaining to Politico’s report that Sen. Chris Dodd. Biden’s close friend and co-chair of his VP candidate vetting committee has concerns about Harris, stemming from her pointed attack on Joe during the first Democratic debate.
This led to a significant amount of bad blood between the two campaigns. Especially when Harris’s team immediately began churning out merchandise emblazoned with “That little girl was me,” a quote from the same debate moment. It fueled speculation that the California senator planned the ambush to be a launching pad for her campaign – at the expense of Biden.
The Politico piece isn’t the first we’ve heard from someone in Joe’s inner circle, still upset about the debate; Jill Biden was also quoted as having been disappointed by the attack earlier in the vetting process.
But like the cheat sheet says, Kamala has thrown her support firmly behind her potential running mate since dropping out and has enthusiastically campaigned on his behalf.
Speaking of Politico, they may have given away the VP pick prematurely.
On Tuesday, the website published a report saying that Biden had announced Harris as his VP pick on August 1. Many have pointed out that outlets routinely write stories for multiple outcomes in advance.
What made this leak different was a quote attributed to Joe calling Kamala “a worthy opponent and a worthy running mate.” Preparing different copies is normal; having direct quotes from the candidate ahead of time is not.
Between Kamala’s talking points being prominently featured in Biden’s notes – unlike any other contenders for the nomination – and Politico accidentally publishing an official announcement pre-dated for August 1, it sure seems like the campaign has made their decision.
Democratic Party Wanted Her as the Presidential Nominee Before Primaries
Heading into this election cycle, Sen. Harris was the clear preference of Democratic Party leadership. She was initially sold as a progressive and was expected to perform well with young and minority voters. Not only is Kamala relatively young (especially compared to the eventual nominee), being a mixed-race – Indian and Jamaican – woman of color, added to her promise as a candidate.
Also, the DNC hoped to avoid nominating another old white candidate after presenting itself as the party of diversity. Hillary Clinton was supposed to be the first woman president — and since she couldn’t be, the Democrats would look to correct 2016’s grave injustice by bestowing the honor on someone else.
It wasn’t meant to be.
Harris did enjoy a brief stretch as the frontrunner to become the Democratic nominee but was never able to capitalize on the enthusiasm generated in the aftermath of that first debate. The next time the candidates met on stage, it was Kamala who found herself on the receiving end of a blindside attack.
Tulsi Gabbard annihilated Harris with a detailed rebuking of her past as a “tough on crime” prosecutor and California Attorney General. She never quite recovered and became the first top tier candidate to withdraw from the primaries on December 3.
If Democratic Party leaders and donors had their eyes on Sen. Harris for the presidency from the start, making her Joe Biden’s Vice President is the next best thing. Whoever gets the job will be responsible for picking up the slack on the campaign trail to cover for a candidate whose cognitive decline requires that he stay hidden away from public scrutiny, most of the time.
Her prosecutorial background will also be an asset when taking the fight to Trump. Kamala can be a fierce debater and is an experienced campaigner with several high-profile victories under her belt.
In June, I wrote about Harris’s likelihood of becoming the VP nominee. Included in the article was a clip of the senator, which I thought contained evidence that Harris was receiving training to address her weaknesses – further proof that the Democratic Party was grooming her for the position.
Harris is twice the orator she was at the beginning of the Democratic primaries. Her body language and ability to deliver a speech with passion and charisma have drastically improved since the earliest debates. She’s clearly receiving intensive training from top political strategists. The DNC doesn’t dedicate time and resources on a candidate unless they plan to use them.
Once the announcement is made, it will be time for Kamala to put those skills to use doing the heavy lifting for the Democratic ticket.
Remember, whoever becomes Joe Biden’s Vice President is highly likely to be promoted to the top spot.
The 77-year-old’s health appears to have rapidly declined. Footage of interviews from just four years ago is nearly unrecognizable compared to his current form.
Party officials would prefer to get Biden into the White House and let his administration and advisors run the country. After one term, he’ll retire, and Kamala would take over the ticket and run in his place (my prediction: with Pete Buttigieg as her VP).
But Joe’s not guaranteed to make it through his first term – or even to inauguration day!
In that case, the Democrats need someone who can take over immediately. Either to finish the campaign against Trump or as the President of the United States. Sen. Harris is the best fit (from the DNC establishment perspective) to fulfill those obligations.
Wikipedia Edits Are Right Again
Before the latest signs that Kamala Harris is the pick, there was the story about the sudden influx of updates being made to her Wikipedia page. At the time, I published a piece titled “Time to Bet on Kamala Harris’s Vice-Presidential Nomination!”
In response to The Intercept’s report that a “highly dedicated Wikipedia user has been scrubbing controversial aspects of Harris’s “tough-on-crime” record from her Wikipedia page,” I wrote:
This is a huge “tell” that the campaign will be announcing Harris as the Democratic ticket’s VP in the next few days.
Journalists have discovered over the past several election cycles that sudden, high-volume Wikipedia page edits are almost always a sign that the subject of the online entry is being tapped for a nomination!
The article then detailed how the Wiki bios of Sarah Palin, Joe Biden (2008), and Tim Kaine all received similar attention before their respective VP nominations were announced. In every case, the candidate whose page saw the most updates was the pick.
Assuming the pattern continues to hold true, the senator should be a shoo-in for the nomination.
DNC Policy Committee Reveals Intentions
Another thing Harris has going for her is her political leanings. As the DNC has made abundantly clear, it is a center-right party on the economy, trade, and foreign policy with liberal social stances. They’re entirely beholden to corporate donors, just like Republicans, so they use a handful of polarizing issues such as abortion, trans rights, and general “wokeness” to create whatever distinction exists between the two parties.
Kamala is a Democrat in the same vein as Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama, and Joe Biden. Despite a concerted effort from Bernie Sanders and the left-wing to pull the party left, DNC officials and donors have resisted.
During the primaries, establishment Dems were rewarded with an influx of moderate “Never Trump” Republicans who flooded the ballot boxes and held the party in the center-right. As such, most decisions by the Biden campaign have been made with those voters in mind.
This lack of respect for the left was on display last week when the Democratic Policy Committee voted on Biden’s policy recommendations. At every turn, the collection of industry lobbyists and establishment insiders shot down progressive proposals like expanding Medicare and legalizing marijuana.
The Democratic Party is fully committed to its current path, which is working according to the primaries and poll numbers. There’s no reason for Biden to nominate somebody slightly more left-leaning like Elizabeth Warren at this point.
Kamala Harris is the perfect centrist neoliberal embodiment of the current Democratic establishment’s politics. When you don’t know if your presidential candidate can go the distance, having a VP with matching beliefs is vital.
The evidence may suggest that Kamala Harris is the Vice-Presidential nominee, but she’s not without her faults. The vetting process may have taken this long because the favorite’s background contains so many red flags.
Talk about a “Tough on Crime” ticket!
This election is about Donald Trump — and Donald Trump alone. Otherwise, the DNC would never get away with running a Kamala Harris-Joe Biden ticket during ongoing protests and calls to “defund the police.” We are talking about two politicians whose entire legislative histories before now put Trump’s recent “law and order” rhetoric to shame!
Following the murder of George Floyd and the subsequent police response to nationwide demonstrations, the police’s approval rating among liberals and the left is at an all-time low. Her connection to the cop charged with killing Floyd was enough to sink Amy Klobuchar’s VP hopes.
Sen. Harris has a similar prosecutorial record.
The resume she cultivated as the District Attorney of San Francisco and the Attorney General of California is not flattering. Especially not in the current social climate. This is a woman who wanted to jail the parents of truant kids and once said, “it is not progressive to be soft on crime.”
At the same time, she refused to prosecute Trump’s Secretary of Treasury, Steve Mnuchin, whose OneWest Bank committed widespread mortgage fraud, which included unlawfully evicting Californians from their homes during the housing crisis.
She took the same approach with the Orange County District Attorney’s office, which was found to be corrupt to the core. They were breaking all kinds of laws, including concealing evidence and using illegally employed jailhouse informants.
Along with the author of the 1994 Crime Bill – which introduced such harmful policies as the “three strikes rule” — this Democratic ticket is the least progressive pairing, in terms of criminal justice, imaginable.
Each has played a prominent role in creating and perpetuating the system that’s recently come under such heavy scrutiny. One might expect such a ticket to disenfranchise working-class and minority voters. They are more likely to have been on the receiving end of negative encounters with law enforcement and the court system.
Debate Attacks on Biden
As I mentioned previously, some within the Biden camp still harbor ill feelings from the first Democratic debate. Here’s an excerpt from the Politico article I referenced before:
When former Sen. Chris Dodd, a member of Joe Biden’s vice presidential search committee, recently asked Kamala Harris about her ambush on Biden in the first Democratic debate, Dodd was stunned by her response.
“She laughed and said, ‘that’s politics.’ She had no remorse,” Dodd told a longtime Biden supporter and donor, who relayed the exchange to POLITICO on condition of anonymity.
“Dodd felt it was a gimmick, that it was cheap,” the donor said. The person added that Dodd’s concerns about Harris were so deep that he’s helped elevate California Rep. Karen Bass during the vetting process, urging Biden to pick her because “she’s a loyal No. 2. And that’s what Biden really wants.”
That’s at least one high-level Biden campaign insider with serious reservations about naming Harris as the VP. “I don’t think Kamala Harris has it in the bag,” former Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid is quoted as saying in the same article.
Does Dodd have enough pull with his friend to influence a last-minute change of heart?
Is it possible that the DNC and the Biden campaign have been leaning towards Kamala? But, despite the public speaking training, Wikipedia edits, announcement leaks, and hand-written press conference notes, are still willing to go in another direction?
Where to Bet on Kamala Harris
Of all the vice-presidential frontrunners, Kamala is the closest to what the DNC initially wanted in a candidate. She also has the most experience campaigning and participating in political debates.
The senator’s history as a prosecutor will be a talking point for the next few months but won’t significantly damage Biden’s chances of winning. Her reputation as a cop may cost her some young black voters. However, that support will be largely salvaged by Harris’s identity as a woman of color – a woman of color in an excellent position to become the first woman President of the United States.
Most importantly, her background won’t matter for the same reasons Biden’s won’t: this election is a referendum on Trump.
Nobody is voting for Joe Biden anyway; they’re voting against the President – the polling even says as much. The Democratic challenger is leading nationally by an average of 9 points with some of the lowest enthusiasm numbers imaginable.
Any criticism of Harris’s history will be met with the same responses Democratic loyalists have used all election cycle:
If the Democratic establishment loves Kamala Harris, now is the perfect time to sneak her into office. There’s an excellent chance she’ll be replacing Joe Biden in the Oval Office, and if not, she’ll have a four-year head start on her 2024 campaign.
At the time of writing, Xbet is offering Kamala at +110 – an absolute steal! Their oddsmakers may have been slow to react to the AP photo of Biden’s notes and Politico’s leaked article.
If Xbet pulls their incredibly generous line before you can take advantage, BetWay is the next-best option at –150. That said, anything under –250 has betting value when you consider everything working in Sen. Harris’s favor.