Gail: Yeah, but given where we are now, stay in place has to be the rule. Meanwhile …
Bret: … back to the veep stakes: The Michigan governor, Gretchen Whitmer, has been in office less than two years, and her chief claim to national fame is banning big box stores from selling gardening equipment. I think steps like those are lockdown overkill, and, more to the point, a gift to the Trump campaign.
Gail: I came up through the world of state politics that I will totally concede is unglamorous in the extreme. But making your way through the legislature into the governor’s office of a large, diverse, feisty state is no small matter. Especially if you then become the person Trump calls “that woman.”
Bret: I’m guessing Trump calls every woman “that woman,” possibly including Melania.
Bret: Regarding other veep picks, my own favorites are Amy Klobuchar, who continues to project extreme sanity and can deliver an important state that Trump has his eye on after coming close in 2016; and Rhode Island’s governor, Gina Raimondo, who won’t deliver an important state but can appeal to moderates because she sometimes takes business-friendly positions. Obviously I like the centrist candidates because their views are closer to mine, but I also think Biden’s chances will be better if he reinforces his brand as a safe centrist instead of trying to reach out to the more left-wing side of the party. What do you think?
Gail: Well, the Bernie Sanders fans certainly wouldn’t agree. And it would be good to have a little excitement on the ticket. I can see why people are talking a lot about Elizabeth Warren and Whitmer, who has become way more popular since the president expressed his antipathy.
There’s not a whole lot of concern among Democrats that Biden won’t be a moderate. What we want is constant reminders that he’d be different from Trump.
Bret: An editor at a conservative publication recently asked me what Biden needs to do to win my vote. My answer was: “Breathe.” I don’t think Biden has to worry too much about differentiating himself from Trump. I think he has to worry about not differentiating himself enough from the people Trump is going to call “the scary-crazy-evil-stupid-fake-lying-socialist-politically correct-America-hating-Castro-loving-extreme-radical left.”
Gail: Ah, that’s what authority figures called me and my friends back in college. Sorry to say, it’s gotten old. This fall is going to be so fraught with real crises nobody’s going to have much time to worry about socialism.