To: readers across the Aisle
Subject: Battle of the VPs
Date: August 13th, 2020
Battle of the VPs
Biden just announced that Kamala Harris will be his VP. With 89 days left before the November election, we break down Harris' and Pence's political careers and what it means to be VP.
In this newsletter:
VP role by the numbers
Let's take a walk down the Aisle...
Veep- why it matters
A lot of people think the government is like House of Cards, a group of really smart people covertly running an evil underground operation. It's really more like Veep- mostly well intentioned people that are just kinda dumb.
In this election, VPs are especially important because they're more likely to become president due to the old age of President Trump (oldest president elected at 70) and Democratic candidate Biden (even older at 77).
Kamala Harris as VP
Biden's VP pick, Kamala Harris is the first Black woman and South Asian woman on a presidential ticket.
Background: raised by immigrant parents, went to Howard (HBCU), and then law school.
Career: served as AG of California. Senator. In her own presidential campaign, she performed poorly at primaries.
Quote: "If you're fortunate to have opportunity, it is your duty to make sure other people have those opportunities as well."
Platform: Medicare for All, higher minimum wage, reform cash bail
Centrist: establishment believes Harris brings centrist perspective, which will attract undecided voters & unify the country
Republicans: *spits out drink* Harris is not a moderate
Identity: supported Planned Parenthood for women & policies for immigrants/ POC
some argue that Biden campaign is using her for diversity
Law enforcement: prosecuted 1,500 marijuana cases contributing to mass incarceration of Black population in CA
Progressives: along with Biden's 1994 crime bill, this is a big blow
Political ambitions: called Biden out for opposing busing (bringing minority students to mostly white schools); some say it is sexism to fault her for being ambitious
Right: Harris won't appeal to either moderate conservatives or radical progressives
Left: Harris has a history advocating for working class people and minorities
Mike Pence as VP
Serious question: was congress ever working? As VP, Pence mostly stays out of the spotlight but that doesn't mean he hasn't done a lot for the Trump administration.
Background: Christian evangelical. Went to law school. OG Tea Party movement.
Career: Congressman of Indiana for 12 years. Governor of Indiana, although he wasn't very popular. VP.
Quote: "I'm a Christian, a conservative, and a Republican, in that order."
Platform: limited government, balanced budget, support military, socially conservative
Values: his strong commitment to religious values balances Trump's questionable ethics & his levelheadedness makes him better with the media
even political rivals describe Pence as personable & reliable
Fundraising: fundraised over $4M for 2020 campaign through his own PAC (a first for a VP)
secured $8 billion in funding for the Space Force
Social issues: introduced religious freedom bill in Indiana, which progressives argued protected discrimination against LGBTQ+ population
gay conservatives argue that there is no evidence that Pence supported conversion therapy & he's not anti-gay
Policy: although Pence spent 12 years in Congress, 0/63 of his bills became law
As Governor, he was able to handle health issues well, but as lead of coronavirus task force he's struggling with the White House on their pandemic response
Right: Pence balances Trump by bringing traditional religious values to the ticket
Left: Pence is extremely bigoted & won't compromise on social issues
Not just a fancy sidekick
The VP position holds more power than you think. Historically, 14 Vice Presidents have gone on to become President. 8 succeeded to the office after the death of a US president, while 5 were elected for office afterwards.
4 took this office directly after finishing their term as VP.
3 times Section III of the 25th Amendment, in which VP becomes acting president, was invoked. Once when Reagan underwent surgery, and twice when George Bush was sedated for medical procedures.
What: Trump flails during Axios interview
Right: this is why the campaign is falling behind
Left: when the TA asks a discussion question and no one did the readings
What: Second stimulus check negotiations
Right: Trump may have to sign an executive order since Dems won't compromise
Left: Republicans are using this to get more military funding
What: potential Tik Tok ban
Right: China is increasing surveillance on Americans
Left: Trump is abusing power- this may not be legal
What: Biden says Black community not as diverse as Latino community and asks reporter if he is a junkie
Right: Biden thinks all Black voters think the same way
Left: Biden was referring to diversity of attitudes among Latinos from different Latin American countries
Spread some good
Donate to organizations helping Beirut, which suffered a devastating explosion last week
Israel considers Lebanon an enemy state but Tel Aviv lit up its city hall with Lebanese flag in solidarity
Help working class families struggling with food insecurity during COVID
Log Cabin Republicans is the nation's largest organization representing LGBTQ+ conservatives fighting for equality for all Americans
Quote of the week
"There is nothing which I dread so much as a division of the republic into two great parties, each arranged under its leader, and concerting measures in opposition to each other.
This, in my humble apprehension, is to be dreaded as the greatest political evil under our Constitution."
-John Adams was the first VP of the United States. He became the second President afterwards.
Share The Aisle
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This article cites 15 liberal news sources in blue and 13 conservative news sources in red. 6 sources were considered neutral in gray.