On April 8th, 2020, Bernie Sanders dropped out of the presidential race. “I wish I could give you better news,” he stated, “But I think you know the truth. That is that we are now some 300 delegates behind Vice President Biden, and the path toward victory is virtually impossible.” Now, Biden is the only Democratic candidate left running, making it extremely likely he will be the Democratic nominee. The next question is, who will he nominate for Vice President?
During a Democratic debate in March, Biden stated, “I commit that I will in fact pick a woman to be Vice President.” Not only has he decided he wants a woman, but he has stated that he would prefer a woman of color. This statement has become a little controversial, but not for the reasons you’d think. Most people, for once, are not disputing whether or not a woman is capable of succeeding at a job like the vice presidency, but about the way Biden committed to picking a woman. Did Biden mean that he knows the best candidates are women, and he will choose the best one, or did he mean that he will be choosing a woman over a man as a political strategy, whether or not this lines up with who deserves the job? I’d like to believe the former, but how can we be sure?
Everyone knows that there are many women who have undoubtedly earned the Vice President position, but now that Biden has stated he will only choose a woman, it leaves the door open for people to criticize his future choice and claim that she only got the job because an older, white, powerful man gave it to her. Some people believe this type of statement from a Presidential candidate is long overdue, and are pleased with Biden’s words. They think as long as a woman gets the job, they won’t have any issues with Biden. Others, however, think Biden is patronizing women to appease the Democratic party. Washington Examiner Columnist Kaylee McGhee said, “Biden has done a disservice to his future running mate by emphasizing her gender rather than her accomplishments.” There is no doubt that some of the best candidates for the Vice Presidency are women, as shown by the record high number of women who ran for the presidency itself this year. However, stating that you will pick a woman and only a woman for the job takes away the feeling of worthiness and accomplishment behind what would be a historic feat for women everywhere.
Biden’s idea is not the problem. The problem is that women want their first female vice president to have, undisputedly, earned her position. If Biden had simply said he will choose the best person for the job, no one would be having this discussion. Instead, whether it was intentional or not, Biden might have just undermined the qualifications and merit of any woman he chooses to be his running mate for the 2020 election.
To some, this may seem like a nonissue. They might say that a woman is going to get the Vice Presidency, so who cares if some people think she didn’t deserve it? But this is a big deal. It is more than possible that Biden is choosing a woman Vice President because she deserves it, and it is also more than possible that he is choosing a female Vice President for its political gain, or it could be both. There will always be people who see women as less than men. We know that. We can’t change that. What I want, and I think what all women want, is not for the Vice Presidency to be a feminist consolation prize. No matter what, we want the female politicians to be considered against the top male politicians for the job, and we want the best person to win, regardless of gender.
Ashley Tosh was born and raised in Fremont, California. This is her second year at the paper, and she is the Hatchet’s Editor in Chief. As a staff reporter last year, she often covered news and sports stories, and she always tried to find topics she was passionate about to report on. She was also The Hatchet’s Political Columnist. In the future, Tosh hopes to become a professional journalist and use her voice to make a difference in the world. Tosh has played sports her entire life, but she has a special love for softball. She dreams of playing softball in college, and uses this to motivate her in every aspect of life.