Presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden might have encountered a problem in his ongoing running-mate selection process, according to Washington Examiner opinion writer Tiana Lowe.
Lowe argued that Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) is likely no longer a top contender for the ticket because of her involvement in a previous complaint against the Minneapolis police officer arrested on suspicion of murdering George Floyd.
Protests have erupted across the U.S. this week following video of officer Derek Chauvin kneeling on the neck of a handcuffed Floyd as the suspect repeatedly begged for air, ultimately losing consciousness and dying.
“He’ll decide who he’s considering”
It was not the first complaining against the officer, and Klobuchar was a Hennepin County prosecutor when her office investigated him in 2006 in the wake of the fatal shooting of 42-year-old Wayne Reyes. The New York Post reported that the case failed to result in charges against Chauvin.
The complaint against the officer was eventually dismissed, although that result came after Klobuchar became a senator. Nevertheless, her record as a prosecutor is coming under renewed scrutiny — especially from progressives in her own party.
MoveOn, a left-leaning political organization, is now calling on Klobuchar to remove herself from consideration as Biden running mate, but she has so far refused.
“He will make that decision,” she said of the former vice president. “He’ll decide who he’s considering.”
Klobuchar had been seen as a logical choice for Biden: a popular moderate representing a swing state. Her selection, some pundits believed, would attract suburban women — a key demographic — to the campaign.
“No obvious option”
That assessment appears to have changed amid outrage over Floyd’s death, Lowe explained.
“Given the quality of her competitors, Klobuchar could have survived generalized anxiety about her record before the Floyd killing,” she opined. “But now seen as inadvertently responsible for failing to stop one of the most heartbreaking deaths during a pandemic, she is done.”
Biden has signaled that his vice-presidential pick would be a woman, and other frequently mentioned candidates include Sens. Kamala Harris (D-CA), and Elizabeth Warren (D-MA). Lowe noted that each of the likeliest selections have their own shortcomings, leaving Biden with “no obvious option” even as “the stakes for selecting a running mate have never, ever been higher.”
The former vice president is having trouble stoking enthusiasm for his candidacy as it is. Without a compelling candidate to fill out the 2020 Democratic ticket, the path for Donald Trump’s re-election might have just widened a bit.