Harris: Uh, let me amend what I said about Biden running again and me being his "ticket mate"

AP Photo/Patrick Semansky

Thank God. They’re both going to retire and give America the Gavin Newsom/Stacey Abrams ticket that everyone’s craving.

Oh, wait, my bad. They’re both likely to run again, I’m seeing here. It’s not the “ticket mate” part of what Harris said a few days ago that she’s now walking back. It’s the “running” part. For legal reasons, she should have chosen her words more carefully.


Who the hell says “ticket mate” instead of “running mate,” by the way? It’s like she’s from another planet sometimes.

“The president intends to run and if he does, I will be his ticket mate. We will run together,” Harris told a Times reporter Wednesday as she prepared to depart for California aboard Air Force Two.

Advisors had told the reporter that Harris wanted to come to the back of the plane to clarify what she told CNN on Monday. In an interview with CNN’s Dana Bash, Harris was asked about speculation that Biden would not run and about her own potential candidacy.

“Joe Biden is running for reelection, and I will be his ticket mate,” Harris told CNN. “Full stop.”…

Harris’ follow-up statement were intended to avoid using “trigger words” that would set off requirements for Biden to establish a formal campaign with the Federal Elections Commission and begin fundraising, said the Democrat who requested anonymity to convey internal discussions.

Ah, the all-important difference between “is running for reelection” and “intends to run.” Using the present tense could create campaign-finance implications. It’s the same reason Trump has declined to say that he’s running for president even though he’s teased in a hundred different ways that he’ll decide soon and his fans will be “very happy” with his decision. Legal fictions are silly.


The left will be unhappy to know that they’re likely to be stuck with President 38 Percent again, this time as an octogenarian. But let’s see if we can make them less happy with the scoop below.

Progressive stars like AOC and Elizabeth Warren have spent the last five days demanding that the White House kitchen-sink it in extending abortion protections post-Dobbs. They want Biden to endorse Court-packing, to call for ending the filibuster, to authorize abortions on federal lands, to pay for travel vouchers for pregnant women in red states — the sky’s the limit. It’s time to fight!

Reuters reported this afternoon, however, that Biden’s about to say no to all of it.

The White House does not support calls to allow abortion providers to work from federal property, because it is worried the federal government won’t be able to keep them safe on or off the property, two sources explained.

Offering federal funding to women to travel out of state could run afoul of the Hyde Amendment, which prohibits federal funding of abortions except in cases of risk to a mother’s life, rape or incest, two sources said.

A White House official said the idea is well-intentioned but it could put women and providers at risk. “In states where abortion is now illegal, women and providers who are not federal employees could be potentially be prosecuted,” the official said.


What would it even mean to host abortion providers on federal land? Are they talking about carving out parts of military bases? Do they want to repurpose courtrooms at the local federal courthouse to perform baby-killing procedures?

Or do they mean having employees in federal buildings hand out abortion pills to women, who could take the medication right then and there and presumably be beyond the reach of state law enforcement? HHS chief Xavier Becerra said yesterday that his department will focus on making the two key abortion medications, mifepristone and misoprostol, more widely available, maybe by having the FDA relax regulations on who could prescribe them. But presumably they’d still need at least a pharmacist to dispense the pill. Is there a corps of federal pharmacists standing by to be deployed to post offices around the country?

Procuring the pills would present a Hyde Amendment problem too. They’d need companies and/or nonprofits to donate the medication instead, presumably.

Doesn’t sound like much is going to happen here. Easy prediction, then: Progressives will soon be as angry at Biden’s “inaction” as they are at Republicans.


That’s how President 38 Percent becomes President 35 Percent. And how Republicans end up with the biggest House majority they’ve had in nearly 100 years.

In lieu of an exit question, read Michael Brendan Dougherty on “the dangerous Gavin Newsom.” I’ve been bearish on Newsom for the simple reason that few Americans would say they wished their local community was more like California, but Dougherty’s right that Newsom has his selling points. He’s young and energetic, his state’s economy is roaring, he’s popular with Latinos, and he’d have mountains of campaign cash with which to support a national campaign. Democrats could do worse. And obviously have.

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David Strom 10:40 AM | April 12, 2024