Among the women who meet the above tests, there are problems. Sen. Kamala Harris has run for president and been exposed to the scrutiny a campaign brings (though not nearly to the degree she will be if chosen for vice president), but she forfeited some trust with Biden by aiming an insulting charge against him during one of the early debates in 2019, suggesting that he allied with racists on busing decades ago. Also, her campaign was a bit of a mess. She endorsed sweeping policy changes without thinking through the consequences, and she had trouble parrying attacks. As it turned out, her torpedo to Biden’s hull was the biggest moment in her race.

Susan Rice has a distinguished record of public service but has never run for anything. She is also potentially quite a lightning rod. She misled the country about what had happened in Benghazi, Libya in 2012, and Trump partisans believe she was part of a conspiracy to damage the incoming Trump administration. The latter accusation against her is mostly rubbish, but putting her on the ticket would give the Trump campaign something to talk about that might resonate with the Fox watching crowd (not all of whom are Trump voters). Because she’s never been in elective politics, she is almost guaranteed to make rookie mistakes.