Thursday, May 23, 2019

Are Harris and Booker Running For Vice? And If So, Which White, Male Presidential Candidate Is The Conscious, Black, Female Democrat Supposed To Support?

             I’m not much of a gambler. 
However, Vegas is offering some pretty tempting odds for the 2020 presidential race.  Donald Trump is predicted to win. They’re giving him + 140 odds (meaning a bet of $14 will get you $140.00), Joe Biden is + 600, O’Rourke is + 700, Sanders + 800 and Harris is + 900 and so on. But I’m not trying to make a quick buck. I’m just tired of living in an America where I feel like I have a target on my back because I’m black.  Right now, we can’t as a nation, even agree that black lives matter. Which means that when my two sons or I get pulled over or pulled aside by anyone in this country, we’re literally scared for our lives.   
Steve Bannon was recently quoted saying that a Harris-O’Rourke ticket would be the Democrats best shot against Trump in 2020.  Although he’s suspect as a source, I was actually pretty excited about what felt like a free, helpful hint from Trump’s former BFF. So, I brought this intel to a black, female friend of mine who is also a long-time Washington insider.   
“So, I heard that a Harris-O’Rourke ticket might win?”   
I tried to tamp down the excitement in my voice, but it was too late. The truth was that the more I thought about it, the more I believed Steve Bannon to be right. We are talking about Harris, a career politician and sitting mixed-race female senator running with O’Rourke, the bilingual Texan who has been compared to a Kennedy.  I thought that a Harris-O’Rourke ticket might be the game changer that we wanted, but I needed my friend to co-sign this theory because she’s never been wrong.   
It was she who broke it down for me in 1996 when I thought that Dole might actually beat a post-Lewinski-scandalized, Bill Clinton.  It was she who knew that Obama would win by a landslide in 2008 and told me that he’d be reelected in 2012. And it was my friend who delivered the news to me in August of 2016, that Hillary Clinton would not win the upcoming election. 
“You don’t mean…” I’d faltered. 
“Yes,” she nodded gravely. 
“But all of the polls say…” 
“The polls are wrong.” Her voice was soothing, as though she were calming a child down after a temper tantrum. 
“You mean HE’s going to be…?” 
“President Trump,” she said without flinching.  She had already processed this unthinkable reality. 
So, this time, I sat in front of her expectantly, waiting for her verdict on Bannon’s prophetic offering. 
What say you, now soothsayer?
She looked up from salting her tofu scramble with a bored stare. 
“You know Harris and Booker aren’t running to win, right Laura? You understand that they’re just running for Vice.” 
Say what? 
“You can’t run for Vice President.” 
I was trying to fight the feeling of disappointment I felt rising in my chest. 
“Of course not,” she said impatiently.  “But Trump is a juggernaut, and neither Kamala Harris nor Cory Booker has the numbers to beat him in any scenario.  However, Vice is possible.  With Biden, Bernie or Beto, Vice is possible. 
Biden, Bernie, and Beto – OH MY!
“It’s far too soon to be talking about running mates.”  
This was said by Kamala Harris on the last Sunday in March.  It was the first 90-degree day of 2019, and there were about 50 of us gathered in the backyard of a close friend of mine to support Kamala in her bid for the 2020 Presidential nomination. However, her statement startled me because it felt a little like she was reading my mind.  Sure, I was listening for her position on policies and evidence of her passion and intelligence. But I was also trying to gather up any clues that might verify my friend’s frank, straight-forward conclusion.  I was close enough to make eye contact with her, so I gave Kamala my best plaintive look. 
Thank you, Kamala, for mentioning running mates.  Because if my friend is right, I’d really like to know now if you’re actually running for Vice President. Moreover, if you are, what’s the most helpful thing to do? Continue to support you or should I campaign for one of these white men running against you instead?  
If the money is on Biden, Bernie or Beto to beat Trump (and according to the Odds Shark-app, it is), then should I just cross my fingers that whoever gets the nod picks Kamala Harris as their running mate?  But there’s also an argument to be made that Senator Cory Booker might be a more attractive black running mate because he’s a man.  But perhaps Steve Buttigieg is a more attractive running mate than both of them, as he is a young, white, man who checks a box that Harris and Booker can’t – LGTBQ.
 I would love, love, love to see this enormously qualified, mixed-race, black, female being sworn in as President in January 2021, but I feel like I’m operating in a vacuum here in Los Angeles.   I have no idea whether or not America is ready to put a black woman in the oval.  And at the end of the day, the only thing I am really interested in is the most potentially successful combination – the one that can beat President Trump.  
Last year, the #Resistance movement celebrated when former Governor, Jerry Brown signed a bill to move California’s Presidential primary up to March 3. This date-move puts California on the first slate of Super Tuesday contests, which gives The Golden State an early chance to take down a hated president, but it also gives us Californians less time to decide.  For the first time in a long time, while our votes really do matter, we have less time to make sure that the candidate we support and believe in, is also the candidate that can win against Trump.  And if my friend is right, I might have to be willing to put aside my desire to see our first black female President take office next year, in order to bet on a sure thing.