Anybody buying this claim from the Governor of Michigan during an interview with a local Fox News outlet? It was widely reported over the summer that Gretchen Whitmer was on Joe Biden’s shortlist of potential VP picks. And she clearly made it close to the finish line because she was eventually summoned for a meeting to discuss the matter with Uncle Joe personally. Of course, we all know what happened in that particular horse race and Whitmer found herself in the “also-ran” category. So was she disappointed at missing out on the chance to be the “historic” candidate in the media’s telling of the tale? Not according to Whitmer. She claims that she was “relieved” not to have been selected. (NY Post)
Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer said she would have accepted an offer to serve as Joe Biden’s running mate — but admitted to relief at not being picked…
“If Joe Biden had called and said ‘I need you to be my partner and be my running mate’ I would have said yes,” she told a FOX affiliate in Detroit. “This election was that important.”
But when asked about her reaction to Kamala Harris ultimately being tapped, Whitmer was candid.
“There might have been a sigh of relief over here at the governor’s residence,” Whitmer said. “I think everyone was pleased with the outcome.”
Whitmer obviously has visions of ascending to national office at some point and she never misses a chance to generate headlines and take MSM interview slots by taking a shot at the President. So pardon me if I look at this claim with a bit of a jaundiced eye. This sounds a lot more like the kid who really wanted a new bike for Christmas but sees that their older sibling got one instead and says, ‘oh, I never really wanted a stupid bike to begin with.’
What she’s really doing here is putting on the appropriate smile and praising Biden’s choice of Kamala Harris because that’s what you do if you don’t want to create more enemies inside your own party. It also keeps the door open to at least landing a cabinet position or some other role in the Biden administration so she can further raise her national profile. Whitmer isn’t even 50 years old yet so she’s probably playing the long game.
It wasn’t as if she was ever in any danger of actually being the VP pick anyway. The current movers and shakers in the Democratic party from the socialist progressive wing had already given Joe Biden his marching orders and he wasn’t about to turn around and spurn them by going rogue. He had been instructed that he was not only going to pick a female running mate but that they needed to be a Black woman. He might have gotten away with a Hispanic woman, but that was about as far as he could have strayed. (Asians don’t count as minorities in modern Democratic dogma for reasons we can leave for another article at some point.)
Among the available choices that would satisfy the Bernie Bros, Harris was clearly the safest pick. There was a lot of pressure on Biden to name Stacey Abrams, but picking a woman whose only notable claim to fame was losing a state-level election and refusing to concede and had never held an office higher than the state legislature was apparently a bridge too far even for Uncle Joe. And Biden wound up being able to eventually carry both Georgia and Michigan without the help of either her or Whitmer on the ticket. (Let’s not get started on that again this morning, please.)
I’m pretty sure we haven’t heard the last of Whitmer. She’s got some sort of mojo working back home. Despite her abusive lockdown policies and authoritarian impulses, she continues to draw better than 60% favorable ratings from Michigan voters for her response to the pandemic as recently as this month. I’m not sure how well that would translate to a national audience, but she’s turned out to be a skilled politician who would probably blend in pretty well in the swamp.