Biden's VP pick is 'gonna matter for about 5 days': Dowd

The Powerhouse Roundtable breaks down the latest news on "This Week."
13:38 | 08/09/20

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Transcript for Biden's VP pick is 'gonna matter for about 5 days': Dowd
I don't think that who the vice president makes that much difference in the election. It's about Joe Biden versus Donald Trump, and that's what the election's about. Since Lyndon Johnson, I don't think any vice president has made a positive difference except from a negative standpoint perhaps Sarah Palin. Speaker Pelosi weighing in on Joe Biden's pick. Let's talk about it now with our roundtable. Joined by our chief political analyst Matthew dowd, Paul begala, Republican strategist Alice Stewart, and Christina Greer professor of political science at Fordham university. I want to start by putting up the list of what seems to be the finalists for vice president now for Joe Biden, you have kamala Harris as we've mentioned, you also have Val demings, Karen bass, Susan rice. Elizabeth Warren, Gretchen Whitmer and Tammy Duckworth. Christina Greer, let me begin with you, is speaker Pelosi right this isn't going to be a difference? Well, I think this does make a difference. Because Joe Biden is 77 years old, and many voters are look ING at the presidential nominee as someone who can step in and possibly repair and clean up the damage that Donald Trump and his administration has done. But also looking at who can be the future of the party in 2024, I agree with the speaker that Sarah Palin made a negative difference. But Joe Biden initially he said that he was going to choose a black woman, he then backtracked and said that he would choose a woman. We do know that black women have been the foundation of the democratic party, might I even argue of democracy these past few decades. It would send a very strong signal to the party that there's an appreciation of all the talent that black women in elite-level positions have served. But also as the voting populous. Now, I think that we face an existential crisis with the trump administration. If Joe Biden doesn't choose a black woman, I don't think the black voters will stay home but it will definitely send a message that the party recognizes that black people continue to contribute to wins but when it comes to executive-level leadership we have to again wait our true. Alice Stewart, the trump campaign taking practice shots at everyone on the list. Yeah, it's easy to do and that's part of the political game that we play. And I think Nate silver hit the nail on the head, it's still a guessing game at this point. There's generally historically more of a tendency to lean towards senators. Kamala Harris has gotten some beef within the democratic party because of how rough she was in the debates. But it's part of the process. I don't think whether it's a female or black female really makes a big difference. I think you need the best person for the job, not the right race, color or gender for the job, but the truth is, if Joe Biden is going to continue to run on the liberal policies of this current democratic party and gets someone onboard that supports the far left agenda of the democratic party that's not going to work in the general election. It helped him in the primary to become the democratic nominee, but where president trump is and most Americans they want to see policies that support the markets, that support our economy, that support education, that supports healthcare, that's going to be where voters go in November and it's not the far left new face of the democratic party. Matthew dowd, does the pick matter more this year because of Joe Biden's age, number one, and because of how much campaigning has changed during the pandemic? Well, you know, we're in such a time of disruption. I think matters to a degree. I'm of the one, there are 88 days until election. After he picks and the vice presidential debate, after this, this election is fundamentally, George, about Donald Trump and. Perception of Donald Trump and where people think the country today, almost 80% of the country thinks we're on the wrong track, a vast majority of the public disapproves of the president. Until Donald Trump changes those dynamics, which he fundamentally has to if he wants a legitimate chance at winning this election, he has to change those things. Who the vice president is and really fundamentally what their attacks on Joe Biden aren't going to matter until Donald Trump changes the perception of himself. This is a much different election from 2016. It's not an open seat. It's a re-election race. All re-election races for the last 70 years have been decided upon the perception of the person running for election and that's Donald Trump, and no president has ever been re-elected with a net negative job approval rating and Donald Trump right now is more akin to where Jimmy Carter was at this point of time. It will matter for a few days. It will matter for governance. Obviously who the vice president is in office, it will matter for Joe Biden's legacy and how that continues on, but for the election it's five days that matter. One of the big questions, Paul begala, is whether the president can change the perception of himself during this pandemic, one of the things that you write about in your book, how the pandemic has changed the perception about everything. It has changed everything. It's eliminated trump's two greatest superpowers -- first, he's made politics spectacle. For a lot of his followers. It doesn't matter. It's just show business for ugly people. No more it's now a life and death matter. In fact, we lost 1,240 souls yesterday to covid. If that pace continues today, and no reason to doubt it won't, we'll lose 52 during this broadcast alone, so there's no time to worry about the show business theatrical that Mr. Trump showed yesterday for example talking to his wealthy country club buddies. At his country club. So that's first. Politics is no longer a spectacle. The second is, he's lost his ability to divert the cameras. Gosh, he's great at this. He can always divert us. When hurricane Maria was destroying Puerto Rico, you know what trump did? He attacked Colin Kaepernick. An African-American athlete for taking a knee during the national anthem. Also, I know he was trying to divert the cameras. You can't divert the cameras anymore when you're losing a thousand people a day, god help us. The only way for him to win is to his job, it means testing, it means tracing, it means isolation, and it means treatment. And Alice, we did see the president all this week trying to come out and give more press conferences on the covid crisis. Putting out those executive orders yesterday. Which seem like they're going to draw a fair amount of fire, at least in the short term. Is that enough for the president or does he have to get back to negotiating table and get a bill through the congress? Well, to get a bill through congress you need to get congress to get together and talk about this, and I thought it was very telling at top of the show, George, when Schumer said that what the president did yesterday was far too narrow, well, look, what Pelosi and the Democrats have done is far too broad and too far from passage, that's not going to work for the American people. If the Democrats want to win in the race to play Santa Claus and put their policies in a package to help people affected by covid that's going to be at the detriment of American people. $600 that the Democrats wanted to continue to provide to Americans that's not incentive to get people off the couch and into work. A study by the university of Chicago shows that this $600 the Democrats want to continue to provide people who are unemployed is more than a lot of people make when they're actually at work, that provides zero incentives for these people to go and get jobs. Republicans are being wise and being thoughtful in this. It's better to provide incentives for people to get back to work, tax cuts for those who need it. Instead of paying people not to work, which is exactly what the Democrats want to do, it's part of their playbook. It's not going to work in terms of turning the economy around. One of the other things that Christina Greer, that the Democrats are fighting for in this pandemic package is money for the postal service, so many concerns that delays, because of defunding in the postal service, we're going to have delays of getting in those mail-in ballots. Real chaos come election day in the counting of the ballots. That's a real threat. And we also have to remember the U.S. Postal service employs a vast majority of black middle-class workers, always been an employment sector to help people move into the middle class. Not only a threat to our democracy and voting, it's an economic issue. When voters go to the polls, they're thinking about, am I better off now than I am four years ago? They'll say absolutely not because of education, health and covid, because there are no jobs to go to, people want to work, I agree with that. There are no jobs to go to. There are so many industries that have been destroyed and decimated. The real threat to our democracy the president is setting the stage, there will be fraud at the United States postal service, but we know the president has voted by absentee ballot, as has most members of his family, so by defunding the postal service it's a direct attack on the November 3rd elections. We should really pay attention not only to the leadership at the postoffice, but all 50 states who are struggling with how they'll be able to have a successful election season with very few resources from the federal government. Matthew dowd, one of the things that has been hampering the Republican strategy as they go through economic talks, during these talks, divisions among Republicans, on the payroll tax, on how much to spend, you'd think the president would be doing everything he possibly could to get money approved now, he can't afford to hoped to have this v-shaped recovery to flatten out in November. This whole discussion the president has really no theory of governance and has no really fundamental ideology in my view. I don't think this is going to be an election of liberal and conservative. The president isn't a conservative, as you watch him on various policies. But he really no theory of governance. When asked what he was going to do in the next four years if he re-elected? He had no answer to that question, and I think part of that is he on the shoot from the hips daily basis, picking one thing, I think the Republicans have really struggled in this era of Donald Trump to figure out who is or what is the way they want to govern and what is their fundamental philosophy on the approach to the country. Obviously, we're facing two fundamental crises at this time. The president doesn't have a consistent theory of government did, the president is missing that piece and running for re-election without a philosophy or theory of government makes it very difficult for him. Paul begala, do the Democrats risk overplaying their hands in these negotiations? No. No. People are hurting. People want help. I mean, it's music to my ears. When Alice Stewart accuses the Democrats of being Santa Claus, they need emergency responders. Democrats have to focus on social security. Last night Joe sent out a tweet, and he said this, today, Donald Trump stated if reelected he'll undermine the entire financial footing of social security. This suspension of the payroll tax would cut the funding of social security. Which is already being cut of course because of the recession, we're collecting less revenue in payroll taxes. When you do that, you're cutting social security, Democrats need to know this in their bones, they need to have this in their cells. They need to know that if they communicate to people that Donald Trump in his last two budgets proposed cutting social security, medicare, medicaid, by$2 trillion, and now he's doing it again as a so-called emergency covid package, he's bragged about it again and again. I have this in my book, there's an entire chapter about trump wanting to cut social security, medicare and, that chapter is called this chapter will beat trump I guarantee it. Joe Biden knows that. Alice, you get the final 20 seconds. Well, thank you. In Paul's great book, I encourage people to read, he talks about division. It's not president trump, it's Democrats who are refusing to come to the table and have the conversation. That divides Americans who need relief on covid. Look, the people of this country want to go back to work. They need a lifeline not a hammock and that's exactly what the Democrats are providing. That's all we have time for today. Thank you all.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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