Transcript for FiveThirtyEight Politics Podcast: Harris is Biden's VP pick
Hello and welcome to this emergency edition of the fight dirty politics podcast I'm deal injury. Presumptive democratic nominee Joseph Biden just announced California senator Connolly Harris as his running mate may not be a surprise if you've been listening to this podcaster in the past few months it is historic. Harris is the first Asian American and the first black woman in American history. To be a general election candidate for president or vice president of either of the two major political parties. And Huard meet to discuss what Joseph Biden's pick up come what Harris does and doesn't mean in many regards our senior politics reporter. Parity can junior how the current parent. It is you know and also here with us is politics editor Sarah crossings and -- how to count. Hey Galen. RA so parent I think you've called this a couple times on this podcast recently or more or less called it. What's your first reaction to the fact that it was seeing the most seemingly likely pick in the act. Cell. I cannot believe the predictions but what I was trying to say when I rooted out this new sacrament was. Like in some ways like there's this whole period at the party decides the candidate. Added that that sort of ailment when he sixteen bit sort of predictable that apply in this time in my Constance was like. A lot of people say a it's a personal chemistry questions does the candidate like this person in my view was always. Now Joseph Biden is a member of pardon me who's got to be considering the coalition. That he's leading in what it wants so Joseph Biden promised a woman so that was first of law. And it was narrowed it down who were the most qualified people senators the problem rent president of course you're down I think in my view. Nick Cannon narrowed it closer to a common errors Amy Klobuchar Elizabeth Warren people like debt. You know that George Floyd protest of his death president rightly did sort of put more pressure. To freedom to pick up black woman so when you really looked at who were those of the most natural candidates were. I sort of thought it's it will be his copilot harris' to lose and maybe Joseph Biden goes aggressive excellent Susan Rice. But I thought it was always the most logical person who's run for president before. Like Cecil left of Joseph Biden sees that as leptin levels of Warren G you can imagine her being at doing it immediately pretty well. She's black she's agencies yet the diversity in the party such as thinks she's the most logical person for the job council level. No matter what Joseph Biden's staff says about house impressed in the interview or whatever the claim in the tick jockey reality like. Media random personal be able to pretty usually tell you might be depict this because this is a very logical and. So pair you're just wrote a piece for the web site which for anybody who has been paying attention. Cure. Couple hours or so no you did not manage to right that entire piece in the five minutes from when Biden announced you're pre written it's. Good on you and I guess the fact that it was the predictable choice made it. You know more simple for us here at 530 days or thank you. And we're gonna go through a lot of the different things that you discussed in the article encourage people's ago. Read it but kind of getting this out of the way up front Sarah how much does. A vice presidential pick. Us backed the ultimate. Outcome of an action what do we know an art. Right so the recent we have in terms of the elect twirled impacts of the vice presidential candidate is pretty limited it doesn't actually have that much of the world. As Perry was saying earlier there's a lot of elements where it can be good for party unity T or for signaling interaction of the party and I know we'll talk about that at that more later. But studies that it looked to see an analyst Sarah home states and manage or is this idea that now you know more women are more black Americans will turn out to vote. The research is much Margaret mixed on that there isn't a woman block vote. And in terms of what we do know about black voters turning out because Harris is now on the ticket you know we only have one sample before this Obama are great and and yes black voter turnout was up then it's a different dynamic he was at the top of the ticket he was running for president. And the research points and opposite directions there so the overall effect in terms of her being added to the ticket elect orally. It's hard to measure and would be small and is how are forecast treat that as well. So. Look at the VP pick I think I think people are voting in the top of the ticket. But I think in some cases the VP pick up next how they see the top of the ticket again probably palpable in the resurgent as my own reporting was. Republic you know boulders did not look will on John McCain picking Sarah Palin as vice president. Once it became clear that she did not probably hadn't experienced and announced for the job and he was an older candidate so I think if Joseph Biden and hit somebody who. It's still buying it picked he religion I respect the villages I think their grievances immediate questions about. Is this person in their thirties qualified to be vice president and probably some criticism of should there be two white Meehan and ticked I think that's. Example where there would have been some of pet so. In terms of Harris I think that to excuse or any looking for our. Does he sort of turn off. Turn out voters who might like Biden's he perceived as too liberal other motorists who don't like a personal color other poll voters who don't like it woman. So I think assurance that if we had some holes. That compare I didn't parents vs buying and murderous Biden what was Jarvis Biden Anwar. And this seems to be very little facts so far so I'm not really competent. Bet there'll be a huge effect downward for the second question would be does he increased black turnout this error perks you. Black turnout was about 66%. In 2012. And about six he was in 2002016. That to be GAAP net matters. And he could I think the data to get Hillary could have won probably was confident me secure hire black turnout. I think the reason I'm skeptical that Harris necessarily. Adds much in terms of black enthusiasm. Is paid because she's not be first candidate who's black is error or to. And second because she ran for president and at least all the data is in the democratic primary younger black voters harper armies Sanders and senator Warren. Older black voters and or Joseph Biden Simon entirely can I I think that the case that. If Michelle Obama was on the ticket I would be even more be more sort of bullish on the idea that maybe black turnout seemed reasonable person but I don't think in the case that Harris. We have particularly strong evidence that she Yi as an electoral impact. I guess the third question might be like Alice Harris as the campaign. And with CB commander good. Once gallons there is we don't really haven't seen him paint we sort of zoomed speeches and zoom events and so on. But in terms of thinking about passing campaign and when he nineteen. She was fine in debates she wasn't spectacular she wasn't terrible she didn't hurt your agencies he's gonna close. Or at you so I think generally watching her campaign. It's hard to think she's going to be spectacular. But also are from you think she will be terror. Sarah. Not appearing walked through a lot look I mean it's a historic moment rightly we shouldn't discount the amount of enthusiasm hats but at the same time you know oversaw more than eighty days now and I think. Seems like putting you know the vice president on the ticket is good. Mark for the party morale than it changes the outcome necessarily in any one given states. But I mean I think the other thing that's a factor here's specific to fight in particular. This if he wins he's already the oldest nominee going into the election if he ends will be able this president and so I think. Another factor in this BP's stakes process. Has been thinking through it will cook this person beat Biden's successor ray and I think that puts a lot of weight and on the decision. Especially in regards to parents. Because as Perry was staying in a she she Rihanna earlier this year and didn't win the nomination and so I think. She's obviously proven capable politician and the fact that she's 111. Of the largest states in the US and assist senator there. I think she still has a lot to prove in terms. How she will operate on that elevated national stage. And it's also with Kobe too it's just going to be so much harder to campaign. The current Biden aren't gonna have to traditional stump speech you know to nighter anything celebrating the announcement. And it just complicate some of the roll out here. Again on the question of the massive raised is that. I mean one thing I don't know right now but I think out don't we are those. How does that trump campaign see her like they had a hard time Kenneth Keating died in the belly like he's older he's the center moderate ease. He's light he's a man like and others like years and he's in he's been pretty good I would say item as you're at in running for president. Without it sell it like you know he's avoided saying things that are easy to sort of he's a few things unlike you know you'd you don't want to vote for me you're not black beauty of the things that are easy. To attack him for being so all too liberal too liberal for vs my senses like. Harris is a senator from cal court. So I'm guessing her record as some things that the Trump's campaign is goodness he's on animal its changes the result of the election but I do think. That's wrong I expect strong and Mike institute at new material. To attack their holders live and I think that's an important campaign. And you got a magic Biden's camp has been. It's going to be yet tonight think you know whatever her record and articulate as when her record do we yet that the and what should we be nervous about it had a legal Bethany her record and we're at because points. Yeah that gaps. That. Significant question for the party and for the campaign sir you said that. You know I've VP selection can play in two party unity and just kind of how old members at a party rather they were already gonna vote or not. Feel about the party. Witter is terrorists. We have in this spectrum of the Democratic Party because. In my recollection she started running for president. And quite. A liberal platform progressive platform. And and course corrected somewhat back towards the middle want to became clear. That a Medicare for all that abolished private insurance was kind of a no go for voters seemingly. And I'm looking at the alerts that I got when terrorists carries his name was announced today. The New York Times called her a pragmatic moderate in their alert on my phone. You know she sometimes. Being into the idea that she was a prosecutor she has other times. Are their parts of the party on a ideological. Level that are happy or sad about this result carries. It's not an ideological. Departure for right and rate if you really want it to signal to see Anders to warn supporters he would have picked more rate. That said Harris is. You know as the times as saying in their push killer ray you know moderate candidate but that's not really what tracks with her voting record she's fairly liberal if you look you know one metric for that is the DW nominate scores we often use that and articles to get the sense. The senate her representatives voting record and she's pretty liberal. Now it's true that she hasn't called you know to break that they attack in the way that worn hats. But she's not exactly. Joseph mansion eaters so it's not that Biden has meat is safe pick I would say in Harris. But in terms of happening overlap in policy goals and ideology I think about you know even though they had that now infamous debate moment Beaufort segregation and the fact that Harris was Boston. To school. Her and cried and actually in the end had the same policy years stance on passing an integration in schools like do you think there's a lot of similarity between the two. But the fact that she's so much younger than I'd and I think is probably the bigger thing at play here she could at least represented new voice of the party. And today you now to the extent that he's played that he's a transition candidate it definitely could I think. Point Perry made in his article as well. Is I think we're moving away from a Democratic Party. That has two men on the ticket level and two white men and I think harris' nomination. Wrapped. Represents. And that shift. So it's worked in the party divided and maybe three ways like there's an ideology ideological divide things think Sarah's right. Harris is light. Left I think she's like the four most liberal senator by regret with having like this he's in the top ten for sure. I don't believe that the senators the senators themselves off an early this state lives and the like there are a lot of AOC's in the US Democratic Caucus and birds so. She's left but not like Elizabeth Warren burden so I think this week giving him or items six balances by editors idea. Now turns the light ease. Even though Harrison's younger self the parties divided between this sort of like younger Cold War it wants a lot more liberalism in this older cohort of voters who. Who don't. And in the polling I saw Justin Harrison is often a favorite of democratic voters over age forty fives in some ways he. Yields are some of the same people says she's like Biden voters. Second source of presidents of locals oppose the Sanders voters. She's like the third sorts of resident behind warrants and it's that as well but the big thing in the room is that is in terms seatbelt ticket per share in terms of race like. You saw over the weekend that there was a you know Gretchen Widmer there was a real news and talk about Gretchen Widmer head an interview with Biden. And you saw this Florio like letters and cell line from like. Black and leaks in the Democratic Party saying basically divided you must you must pick. A black person we will be attended and I think that's the part of the party that I've been a little surprised by how pianists like. We had a although remember when the Democrats were led by a black person because it was very recently so I was a little surprised at how you know were ruled citizens wrong that bush is being in the demand has been. Along lines as Joseph Biden black people support you in the primary and basically. You owe us for two weeks before that and there were you must pick a black woman's and that's where the party unity really came to unite do being. Do I think black voters was set out it Biden pick Chris whoever knowing you know. But I think Biden but it had to deal with like a week or two like criticism from like black and leads black columnist. Black television host and I think they avoided Kennedy leak criticism by picking up lakers'. So when it comes to those three divides that you described in the party's race age and ideology. What parts of the party are. Maybe not satisfied by this pact and is it up to a question of whether their votes are on the line or whether they might not turn out like you said that she was favorite for older people. Does this mean that young people are like arts where I'm out. Like the product sold a polling suggests. Like people under thirty or Democrats have seen some black and you know some so some of the data suggest that Biden is now beloved. With people under under thirty in particular the does that mean they're gonna stay home I don't know the answer that question but. That's where he's weaknesses like cross races under there. The problem is I don't be beyond speaking Sanders vice president. There's not a lot of evidence that I see if there's anybody who's under thirty to be a viable VP pick who's popular I don't think. I think any other with helping to EO CE to get under thirty vote you can imagine why don't create lots of other problems. I don't think there's anybody in the current list too because it helped win so I think you're gonna see a lot of criticism from the left in the next couple days like she's a prosecutor. People are gonna pick apart the case is an RV she was too. Talk on crime to talk on to the minor crimes episodes of the you'll her. Talking about like enforcing truancy policy in San Francisco I think that's where the prisons and come people who. And it's like this to be like cross racial like the black left. People who protested people were protesting now like Pamela Harris is not a favorite of the people who emerged out of the George Floyd protests in those who Wear black. Often selecting deaths wiggle the left. The Bernie Sanders people do not like her. Deaths were the criticism is gonna come and I think it's going to be. Sort of intense and acting she's got to be thinking. Like do you lose a lot of votes there I don't know because the of the day. Like people who were very active in politics and very activity to and that's stay homeless to get into question is more. Are there complaints. Strong. And I am curious about you know whipping about shrubs racial policies. He did signing criminal justice reform bill it was pretty minor but at Dillon 2018 I wonder if strong thinks about. Attacking Biden. And Biden mr. crime bill and Harris mrs. prosecutor on the line is that like you know that they have been two parts to black people. It will be a sort of a digits who move and I would be surprised to trumpet and make that. Yet no diet to echo it carries that I mean I think the last is going to be the most vocal critics of her and even took and we knew Biden was going to pick a woman right that's all we knew until like an hour ago. But even keep its more and I was always a little unconvinced that that would that he Easter placated the left in the right way just because like when you looked at her base and the primary is practically the same as the bitch edges it was you know college educated a little bit wealthier and white and so I was never. Terribly convinced that someone like Warren and would actually bring in the use witnesses Perrier saying I was that your who that would be. And I think there are other factors that I didn't want it to consider in his pick which is why Harris was I think a Smart choice for his campaign. When it comes to this historical nature. This pact as I've mentioned at the top. You know just taken itself is historic but also if Biden and Harris were narrowed to win. It where it surely be historic would be the first woman vice president. First black woman are Asian American and it to be selected as a running mate. You know. That's something debt. We talk a lot about in the media and it's something that I talked a lot about in the party as you pointed out in your piece and we talked route on this podcast James Cliburn very early on. You know he was a big supporter of Joseph Biden and along with supporting dividing is that you should pick a black woman as a running mate. Our voters enthusiastic about the history aspect of this like how does that play in to you. Elect to coral considerations. At or does it just shape the media narrative in a way that ultimately does affect. Workers. So the poli S scene suggest the number of people who say it was areas like the polls ass like he's somewhat important. Is it very important or is it beats I've gotten extremely important he picks. There are some colors running mate. I assume that your real democratic voter you don't want to say you don't care at all. So it's into the a lot of people say somewhat important at the very year or extremely important number was way below 50%. And some names in the around like twenty year thirty that I saw among Democrats is not cleared needed to democratic voters and even black voters. Were clamoring for a person of color they want to win like that's all dynamic route is that voters are Democrats just watch raw now and I don't think. So I think historic nature and I think it is a matter to people I think people will be. You know I think Democrats they prize being the diversity party I think they don't horror tablet Paris to Widmer in this incident sees a minority. I don't think they were like they really were invested in this the waded the media covers the I think it's like not. Going to drive a lot of votes and it's not subjected I don't think is a very upbeat priority the democratic votes. I think that's right I think though you know the fact that what was it Biden was. Fifth in Iowa fourth in New Hampshire second in about as he makes a comeback there but then because of Clive parents rep. You know endorsement before the primary. And that black voters in South Carolina didn't Parikh quick pan. I think that's gotten baked in you know ways it's almost outside and Biden's control it's not reflective of oh this is what black Democrats won. But it's so tied up and this is how quiet and got to where he is that accusing get that that narrative takes on something else and terms of how the media covers. So lastly you know we humans and us towards the beginning Serra by. People are thinking a lot about 20/20 42028. Essentially just future election cycles is it fair. At this point to say that. And whatever happens in the fall. Connolly terrorists is the unlikeliest person to be the next democratic nominee for president after Joseph Biden. Glue what ever happens. Here. Well I mean. It it really I think does depend on the outcome like again period at this greet Lothian in his piece where it's like. If Biden loses Harris has ambitions to take a hit rate lake ask Lieberman asked Edwards asked Halen. That these are people who you know were at the second on the ticket but then haven't gone on to have a successful. Career trying to run again for president right that's not to say can't be done you know Richard Nixon ran for his party's nominees in nomination twice. But I think it takes him right OK setting that aside let's say Biden wins. Parents. I think then doesn't necessarily. Have an easier time even if Biden were to step down and see you know what the transition candidate they think of someone like Gerald Ford greatly yes it was under different circumstances. Nixon had resigned in scandal but he's a lot of very heated contested primary to get where he lives. LBJ at you know decided not to run for reelection at one point and then handed it to hum tree right. Lake. Dean BP don't get me wrong helps you in terms of the national profile. And running for president. But it I know we means paves the path for you makes it that much easier. And I think it boils down to it Peary you know kind of late at the outset forced to his Harris wasn't particularly effective candidate here in 20/20. She can change that now you know she obviously has had success and California and being a senator. But how little she you know kinks that narrative now going forward. Go in Paris and. So Galen a case the question isn't if Joseph Biden in Paris in the election. You like being Harris is the most likely he. If they win the election I think it's what they lose now if they win the election is she the most likely democratic and Newport. Way below 50% I want to get the deal over but I think yes is the answer the question and the reason is I I I've learned my lesson. I watched I mulled over what Joseph Biden ran for president and other naked eye covered him if he was a terrible candidate and didn't do very well. Bias. The sitting vice president article when a person who is by its president and look heels to lots of black people. And I think Harris in a race without Joseph Biden in its. Would probably be my favorites who witnessed South Carolina primary right I think that seems you know seems true. Well I yeah. Reading it yet reading at the vice presidency he's it's yeah I sort of think she is an active position and some of the people on you know that follower of with a left wing of the democratic part of what's the complaining today if they. They would they thought it was easy to beat you would have been easier for the left to be but they're sort of nervous are ready. Into when he when he or if you're right if you like Elizabeth Warren and or whoever the less person isn't it me or. Harris is the vice president and the candidate of the black vote it's Biden was in Barack Obama wasn't Hillary was. I think that is Perrier in street I guess the reverse of that would be. I don't like. And I'm comfortable with this kind of electability. Focused I think in inevitably ends up as hurting. People of color in you know candidates but. Deep black voters in self money in 2020. Where they liked Joseph Biden but they also. Yeah out of America would be ready to vote for a black woman the top of the ticket so. Does Harris being vice president changed I don't know what I mean. But I still think acting in two point when he for Biden doesn't I think we're to have. I don't know the equal on the Biden is like mostly Terry McCall has the best guess I have now acts I don't think there'll be. Sound like centrist white man who runs in 20/20 four and runs the ways you buy it and and I think that person. Will be a formidable can't. Wrapping up here you know when Biden announced at that debate that she was credited a woman for vice president also said he was going to pick a black woman. As days Supreme Court justice. And at a time people double OK he's kind of like hedging his position in case he doesn't pick comma errors because there's already such so many expectations but keep what pick coddling terrorists. That he would definitely put a black warrant for the Supreme Court. Now. He is obviously picked a black woman as vice president or. Candidate do you think that's still applies to his Supreme Court picks and if so you know people repeating what calm waters as the obvious pick their. Who are be you know who's on that list now. For Supreme Court next Supreme Court justice. We got to look at the appeals court judges Wear black women are I think that promise is still relevant I don't expect him. To rake in I get the name out might give is like Cyril Eiffel as the head of the NAACP. A legal defense funds a very prominent lawyers he's like I do think that's one person. Who I think might be a name that I would. Look for I do let's talk about that promise I thought that promise was really important and when I have so. When buying instead and a pick game. Of theme a woman for vice president a black woman for. Supreme Court I did think he was hinting dated maybe maybe maybe I've not picking Paris. What I changed is the I think Klobuchar would have been. All realistic in maybe in his topped the treaty. If not for. The George Floyd protest what happened there and the sense that he. Was was not too lenient to the police in Minneapolis which is the sort of the center of the race was he's here I do think once me hits. I don't know how realistic. And that's right and agree with this an accident recent racial equality in America was more important after meet meet at the before. But I do think this sort of strong his list down considerably. And I think it's changed elect while look at this BP process cycles that look like it was a pretty. May when he pit period where there was like Klobuchar. And Widmer. Head and and warrant in. And Harris with a lead Kenneth is opposed that period which I think. Susan Rice I think my sense is the runner up here with Susan Rice and I don't know what they're reporting we'll show that but I think it. We've really been sort of watching a week's black woman will eat cake contest in the Harris had a big advantage. In that way in and guessing. He would not meet people acts noticed picked up promise had he known he would have been sort of box into the black wouldn't repeat he. As I sort of pink he was. Now and I wonder. The one thing McCain now consistently with that Biden's folks were nervous about picking someone. For vice president who they thought will be angling for president from Zia. And it's hard to imagine Pamela Harris. Doesn't want to be president is not theoretical issue here. So I do wonder. If Biden you know I wondered two years it Biden held liable to that was picked like right do you think. My sense is that Biden referred Susan writes for governing but Harris meet more since the campaign and wonder some of the leaks that comment after this won't reveal what I think was going on here. It. Time house or. Overall I don't think that Harris picked is suddenly going to change the race overnight for Biden in terms of electoral odds he still has a heavy. Leaf right now against trump right. But the fact that we're going into the conventions. All eyes will be on Harris during Wednesday when she gets her acceptance speech. I think. Given the factions of the party in which could appeal to a little bit more her liberal and by then but still moderate to some extent. A woman of color on the ticket I think those are strong scenes in which Democratic Party wants to be looting and while that might not. Be easy to quantify X and other factors if this is a referendum election on trump how much of that had to do with Biden or here's at all Brantley and just getting trump out. But I think there's a lot of potential for her he hair. Moving Ford on this ticket. All right let's leave it there so. Thank you parent. Think scale and betaseron. Thanks Galen. My name is Gail intricate and it Rothschild as in the virtual control room you can get in touch by emailing us at pod cast at 530 dot com. You can also course greeted us with questions or comments. If you're a fan of the show leave as a reading a review in the apple pie cast store or tell someone about us thanks for listening animals use. Yeah.
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