A look at Joe Biden’s
potential veep choices

A number of candidates have Canadian connections

By Byron Toben

As the 2020 U.S. elections slouch toward November to be born, attention is currently focusing on who Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden will select as his running mate. Biden has stated that it will be a woman, possibly of colour, to be announced on August 1.

Kamala Harris - WestmountMag.ca

Kamala Harris – Image: California Attorney General’s Office / Public domain

Various lists have mentioned a dozen candidates being considered, vetted and interviewed. Wikipedia includes another 41 unlikely possibilities that unofficial sources have promoted (including Hillary Clinton and Michelle Obama!).

Here is a rundown of which potential nominees may have fans here in Canada and why.

California Senator Kamala Harris, 55, has attracted interest here at Westmount Magazine since she attended highs school at our own Westmount High! Originally from Oakland, California, she accompanied her mother, a cancer researcher hired by the Montreal Jewish General Hospital, during her teen years. Even if she does not make the final veep cut, many suggest her for the Attorney General position as she was the city district attorney for San Francisco and later the Attorney General for the state of California.

Susan Rice, 55, Washington D.C. born and a resident thereof, is married to Canadian-born Ian Cameron. She also spent early years in neighbouring state Maine, where her maternal grandparents had settled after immigrating from Jamaica. She still owns a house there.

Susan Rice - WestmountMag.ca

Susan Rice – Image: Chuck Kennedy/White House / Public domain

She was the US delegate to the United Nations during the Obama administration as well as a security advisor to it. (Do not confuse her with Condoleezza Rice, who held the same UN position under the George W. Bush administration.)

Gretchen Whitmer, 48, the Governor of neighbouring state Michigan can really see Canada from her backyard, unlike Republican 2008 candidate for vice president Sarah Palin, who bragged about seeing Russia from her Alaska porch. Michigan’s ties to Canada are long-standing and friendly.

Not in the running, but one that would warm the hearts of the 900,000 U.S. citizens resident in Canada (many if not mostly dual citizens), is upstate New York Senator and an early contender for presidential nomination Kirsten Gellibrand, 53. She has championed the change of the U.S. citizen-based imposition of U.S. income taxes on overseas citizens (unique in the world except for Eritrea!), which has created estate planning problems, some double taxation impositions and annual accounting expenses for them, their Canadian spouses, and business partners.

Gretchen Whitmer - WestmountMag.ca

Gretchen Whitmer – Image: Julia Pickett / CC BY-SA

These four are the only ones that I have found with some Canadian ties or affinities. Whoever is selected will become only the 3rd woman to be nominated for vice president on a major party ticket (The first was Democrat Geraldine Ferraro in 1984). Viewers with knowledge of other vice president possibilities with some Canadian angle are welcome to send their comments to us at Westmount Mag.

Others on the announced list are:

Five Senators: Elizabeth Warren, 70 – Massachusetts; Tammy Duckworth, 52 – Illinois; Tammy Baldwin, 58 – Wisconsin; and Maggie Hassan, 62 – New Hampshire

Two Governors: Michelle Lusan Grisham, 60 – New Mexico and Gina Raimondo, 49 – Rhode Island

One Federal House Representative: Val Demmings, 63 – Florida

One State House Leader: Stacey Abrams, 46 – Georgia

And one Mayor: Keisha Lance Bottoms, 50 – Atlanta, Georgia

Feature image: MattWade / CC BY-SA
Bouton S'inscrire à l'infolettre – WestmountMag.ca

Read more articles from Byron Toben

Byron Toben, a past president of The Montreal Press Club, has been WestmountMag.ca’s theatre reviewer since July 2015. Previously, he wrote for since terminated web sites Rover Arts and Charlebois Post, print weekly The Downtowner and print monthly The Senior Times. He also is an expert consultant on U.S. work permits for Canadians.

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