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Aug 06, 2020

2020-10-01@21:25:24 GMT

Susan Rice is the VP Biden needs

Susan Rice is the VP Biden needs

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(CNN)Joe Biden has a high-class problem. He has a short list of highly qualified women, who would all serve as excellent running mates.

Jen Psaki But there is a strong case to be made for Susan Rice. For full disclosure, I have known Rice for more than a decade, going back to the first Obama campaign and the early days of the Obama White House.
And four years ago, I would have bet my life savings against the odds that she would be on Joe Biden's shortlist of running mates in 2020. I also would have felt comfort in knowing Hillary Clinton would be campaigning for her second term at this point. I can admit to being wrong.
    But elections, like governing, are about meeting the need of the country at a particular time.Read More As a family member, who has voted for both Democrats and Republicans, recently said to me about Rice, "I just feel like she would know what to do when she gets in there because she has been there before. And right now, we need that." And government experience matters -- now more than ever before. The team that would surround Biden, should he win the election, would be dealing with a recession, a global pandemic and the rebuilding of an institutional infrastructure that has been decimated by the Trump administration. Though I had met Rice before she began her tenure in the White House, I first really saw her in action when she was the US Ambassador to the United Nations (2009 to 2013) and later the National Security Adviser (2013 to 2017). And what I observed was a leader with the guts and the experience to step into the role of commander in chief. During her tenure in the Obama administration, I saw her stand up to older white men who served in cabinet roles and senior White House roles -- and witnessed her speak on behalf of more junior staff during meetings with the President of the United States. She pushed for a deal with Iran. She advocated for opening up relations with Cuba. And she helped lead the global response to Ebola, leading the development of the pandemic response plan and even briefing incoming Trump officials on it. Her leadership helped prevent Ebola from becoming a broader pandemic. As such, Rice would be a strong partner for Biden in addressing our current global pandemic, re-engaging our partners overseas and rebuilding the national security institutions -- from the State Department to intelligence and defense agencies -- that Trump has undercut. She is also not without her public bruising.Bidens VP selection should hinge on this one question No one serves the number of years she has in public life without having some tough moments, or even years. And perhaps no moment in recent memory exemplifies that more for Rice than the months after Benghazi. I was the spokesperson at the State Department through much of this "controversy," a time when Fox News dedicated hours of programming to covering just this issue. We should not be naïve about the efforts the Trump team and his allies will make to revive Benghazi as a fake scandal should Rice be Biden's pick. Despite the fact that the UN Ambassador has absolutely no role in Embassy Security, Rice became the fall person for a fabricated controversy surrounding a real tragedy that left four Americans dead, including US Ambassador Chris Stevens. But even this incident tells you something about her. When other members of the national security team refused to go on television, including then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Rice took one for the team and did a full round of Sunday shows utilizing talking points prepared by the intelligence community based on what they knew at the time. Even her mother warned her not to do it, but she stepped up when no one else would. And it bruised her — publicly but also personally. From my vantage point as White House Communications Director at the time, the bold, courageous, outspoken policy wonk once inclined to jump into public debates was less likely to do so during the final years of her tenure. In the end, with the benefit of time, writing and reflection, the whole episode has ultimately made her stronger. She has become a model of how to pick yourself back up and keep fighting -- even when people try to knock you down. Her book, as well as interviews she has given and opinion pieces she has written in the years since Trump took office give a preview of who she is today -- scars and all. She is direct, tough, and no holds barred, and has written about everything from the alarming influence of Putin to the next steps in racial justice. We should not underestimate the value of having someone in the role of Vice President who knows how to pick themselves up. She is not a politician. In fact, she is the anti-politician. Political experience is overvalued. Every four years, pundits and prognosticators argue about why one candidate over another may help with moving the electoral map. It rarely makes a difference. Biden should pick a Black woman for VP. Here are 6 great options Outside of political calculations, I can't imagine a scenario where Joe Biden doesn't pick a woman of color as his running mate -- not because of how campaign ads will look, but because he needs a woman of color at the table with him in the White House. Rice is the great-granddaughter of slaves, the granddaughter of Jamaican immigrants, and the daughter of a man who served with the legendary Tuskegee Airmen during World War II. Her father wasn't even allowed in the officer club at Fort Knox because he was not white, yet he still rose to become a Governor of the Federal Reserve. She attended her confirmation hearing with her infant son -- chaired by none other than John Ashcroft -- and served as Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs while nursing him, long before breastfeeding in public or even being a working mom in a high-level position was seen as the norm. Campaigns feel long and hard. But governing is longer and harder. Joe Biden has been pretty clear that he is looking for someone who is a trusted partner, someone who could step into the role on day one. That's the right criteria. Susan Rice's strength is never going to be her impact as a rousing public speaker drawing crowds of 50,000, and while I have no idea how she would handle a list of fundraising calls, this moment is not about finding a political sidekick or Twitter celebrity. It is about finding someone who can be a trusted partner to Joe Biden in the White House.
      If she is Biden's running mate, here is what I hope people learn about her: She is not only smart as hell, she is funny, outspoken and has a fiercely loyal group of women around her. Susan gives hugs, isn't phony, and won't be bamboozled by Vladimir Putin or Mitch McConnell. Get our free weekly newsletter

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      This moment doesn't call for the traditional running mate who will shake hands and kiss babies on a bus tour across midwestern swing states. And that's probably not Rice's thing anyway. But there isn't anyone with the experience, the relationships across government institutions and the female cojones who could serve as a better partner for the most important task of governing than Susan Rice.

      News Source: CNN

      Tags: white house

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      Leslie Marshall: Biden proves he should be president — we now have more evidence than ever

      The Commission on Presidential Debates wisely announced Wednesday that it would “add additional structure” to the next two candidate debates “to ensure a more orderly discussion of the issues.”

      That was a diplomatic way of saying changes are needed after President Trump acted like a 5-year-old having a gigantic temper tantrum at his debate Tuesday night with former Vice President Joe Biden.

      The debate made it crystal clear that Biden is more suited than Trump be president for many reasons, described below. Even many Republicans have acknowledged that Trump’s performance probably hurt him by repelling some voters.


      Trump constantly interrupted Biden and moderator Chris Wallace of Fox News, rarely letting them get out two sentences without shouting, complaining and heckling both Biden and Wallace.

      A Fox News analysis found that Trump interrupted Biden 71 times and Wallace 74 times for a total of 145 times. Biden had no choice but to interrupt in order to get a word in edgewise as Trump constantly tried to keep the Democratic presidential nominee from speaking. Biden interrupted Trump 49 times and Wallace 18 times for a total of 67 times, according to the analysis — less than half as many times as Trump interrupted.

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      Speculation about possible debate format changes centers on giving the debate moderator the ability to turn off the microphones of candidates speaking out of turn. The commission may come up with other ideas as well, but commissioners can’t rely on Trump or his campaign promising not to repeat Tuesday night’s disastrous performance.

      Trump’s campaign had agreed to rules that allowed each candidate to answer questions uninterrupted, but the president showed once again that he believes no rules or laws apply to him and that he is never bound by any promises. Obeying rules and laws is for suckers and losers, he clearly believes.

      If anyone needed more proof that Trump is a loudmouth bully and serial liar with little familiarity with public policy issues, Trump gave it to them Tuesday night. His constant interruptions made it impossible for the candidates to discuss any issues in any depth, meaning the American people learned nothing of value from the encounter.


      The advantage of this for Trump is that he was able to avoid questions that exposed his ignorance and incompetence. His constant yelling and complaining acted like a shield for him. Maybe that was why he pursued this strategy.

      The 98-minute debate was a train wreck and there are many people in both parties who agree with me on this. I couldn’t stand the constant interruptions and I don’t like anyone telling another person to shut up, or engaging in name-calling.

      But sadly, after his 2016 primary debates and the debate it’s clear that Trump has debased the  format and turned the debate it into a contest of who can yell the loudest and be the most insulting, obnoxious and boorish. Trump is the champion at doing these things — no one else stoops so low.

      Congratulations, Mr. President.

      However, Trump’s disgusting behavior on the debate stage is not part of the job of being president. In fact, it makes it almost impossible for a president to be effective. This helps explain why U.S. relations with many nations around the world have deteriorated under Trump and why his deeply flawed leadership is responsible for most of the more than 200,000 U.S. deaths in the coronavirus pandemic and for our wrecked economy.

      Here are some reasons why it’s clear to me that Biden won the debate:

      Biden came off looking more calm, mature and professional than Trump. A focus group of undecided voters agreed that Trump looked like a bully. A CBS News poll found that Biden won the debate by a 7% margin, just a couple of points lower than he is polling against Trump among voters nationally.

      Trump foolishly set expectations for Biden ridiculously low. Trump and his campaign frequently intimated that Biden was senile and incapable of speaking coherently or making decisions. In July Trump even told Fox News that “Joe doesn’t know he’s alive,” making it sound like Biden was in a coma. Biden showed clearly that Trump’s claims were absurd lies, enabling Biden to exceed expectations with his performance.

      Biden spoke directly into the camera and showed he was genuinely concerned with the welfare of the American people during the tough times we are going through due to the coronavirus pandemic. Trump showed he is concerned only with himself, whining about the supposedly unfair treatment he gets, making absurd charges against Biden, and telling viewers he has handled the pandemic absolutely perfectly. Perfectly? With over 200,000 Americans dead? And with Trump fighting with his own health experts as he continues to hold large rallies without masks and social distancing?

       Biden showed he is a regular Joe from Scranton. True, Biden has moved into a high-income bracket in recent years, but he pays his fair share of taxes and releases his tax returns, unlike Trump. Biden came across as understanding the plight of millions of families worried about keeping their jobs, having health insurance, and other common concerns. When Trump cast himself as the defender of the suburbs (a veiled reference to keeping out low-income minorities) Biden shot back with the funniest line of the night: “Trump wouldn’t know the suburbs unless he took a wrong turn.” Biden drove home his slogan that this campaign is really about Scranton vs. Park Avenue.


      Biden won on the issues of race, and law and order. Biden clearly condemned violence and said most police officers do a good job and are dedicated to serving their communities. But he acknowledged that more must be done to combat systemic racism and open the door to equal opportunity for all Americans. Disgracefully, Trump refused to denounce white supremacists, and specifically the racist group Proud Boys, claiming he didn’t know of the group. This divisive talk by the president might work if he were running for sheriff in the South in the 1950s when Black people were prevented from voting, but it will certainly hurt him with voters now.

      Biden didn’t attack Trump’s children. Biden could have easily done so, because the only qualifications Trump’s daughter Ivanka Trump and her husband Jared Kushner have for working in the White House are their family ties. And Trump’s two adult sons are clearly trying to take advantage of his position as president to boost Trump businesses. Trump attacked Biden’s son Hunter for his business dealings and expressed no human emotions when Biden talked about his son Beau, who died of brain cancer five years ago after volunteering for the military and serving for a year in Iraq. Biden pointed out that Trump has reportedly referred to those who serve in the military as “losers” and “suckers” — a claim Trump denies.

      But the bottom line is not who won the debate; it’s whose minds the debate changed. Polls show most voters have made up their minds on who they will support and some have already voted early.


      I suspect Trump’s bullying and interruptions turned off a significant number of undecided voters, and made many American wonder what four more years under a president who focuses on his grievances and throws temper tantrums would be like.

      Four more years of Trump clearly wouldn’t be a walk in the park … not even a park on Park Avenue.


      Leslie Marshall joined Fox News Channel as a contributor in 2009; providing analysis on both political and social issues from a liberal point of view. A nationally syndicated talk host, whose program, "The Leslie Marshall Show" can be heard on radio, stream, "Tune In," "The Progressive Voices Radio Network," and "The Armed Forces Radio Network."

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