Posted on May 15, 2020

Black Versus Brown: Joe Biden’s Racial Veepstakes

Chris Roberts, American Renaissance, May 15, 2020

The headline was blunt: “Latinas Want to See One of Their Own as Biden’s VP.” But that was nothing compared to this:

“The Latino community has the potential to be kingmakers and queenmakers. We actually have larger numbers than African Americans, but I think we have a little work to do in flexing our muscle,” said Maria Cardona, one of the top Latina Democratic strategists in the country, noting that the turnout rate for Latinos remained below 50% in 2016. “We’re leaving so much power on the table.”

Ms. Cardona is surprisingly frank, and she is right about the numbers. Still, many blacks believe Joe Biden “owes them” for delivering him the Democrat nomination — and rightly so. Without blacks, Mr. Biden would have lost to Bernie Sanders.

What should Joe Biden do? On the one hand, blacks always vote overwhelmingly Democrat, so why bother pandering to them? On the other hand, blacks vote at lower rates when they cannot vote for a fellow black — which can make a big difference in swing states with black cities, such as Michigan and Pennsylvania. So should blacks get the important jobs? Or, since Hispanics are less loyal to Democrats, should they be tapped for leadership positions to bring them into the fold?

Democrats are worried that President Trump is making inroads with both blacks and Hispanics. Even minimal increased support from either group could mean that the GOP wins several important states. Should Mr. Biden be more concerned about Hispanics winning him Florida or blacks winning him Ohio?

Racial power is a zero-sum game, and the old white guy leading the Democrats doesn’t have any half-black, half-Hispanic prospects for veep. Perhaps even he is beginning to wonder if diversity is really a strength.