Presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden appeared to confirm this week that he is prepared to turn over the reins of critical aspects of his prospective administration to running mate Kamala Harris.
As Breitbart reported, the former vice president acknowledged in remarks on Wednesday that he chose the California senator in large part because she is “ready to lead on day one.”
If he wins on Election Day, Biden, age 77, would be the oldest president to be elected to a first term in the White House. As MarketWatch notes, Biden has even referred to himself as a “transition candidate.” And Americans seem to indeed view him that way.
According to a recent Rasmussen poll, 59% of voters — including nearly half of self-identified Democrats — believe that Biden’s vice president will take over before the end of his first term.
When Biden made his long-awaited announcement confirming that Harris would fill out his party’s presidential ticket, there was a clear spike in interest surrounding her role in the campaign.
Biden’s rhetoric touting his running mate’s ability to “do this job on day one,” along with a subsequent tweet reiterating that message, only fueled the speculation.
“If [Harris] and I are elected, we’re going to inherit multiple crises, a nation divided, and a world in disarray,” he tweeted. “We won’t have a minute to waste. That’s why I picked her: She’s ready to lead on day one.”
“Just frankly in awe”
As one commentator noted in a recent MSNBC interview, Biden’s “historic” decision appears to set the stage for Harris to make history.
“What Joe Biden did today, is not only make history by selecting Kamala Harris to be his running mate, but he also set it up that the first woman president could be a Black woman and that is something that I am just frankly in awe of at this moment,” Zerlina Maxwell said, according to Breitbart.
CNN’s Chris Cillizza was even more direct in his analysis, as indicated in a tweet describing Harris as a woman “whose resume suggests being ready to step in, if and when Biden decides to step aside.”
For his part, President Donald Trump has dubbed his general-election rival “Slow Joe,” declaring that he is “handing over the reins” to his “phony” running mate.
When it comes to the likelihood that Harris will end up in charge, there appears to be some agreement across political lines.