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Could a Republican Woman Replace Biden on the Ticket in 2012?

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Kanye West isn't the only one who's had his world rocked by George W. Bush's new memoir.

The former president recently revealed that Kanye's disparaging comments following Hurricane Katrina, that "George Bush doesn't care about Black People," marked one of his all time low points as commander-in-chief. (Apparently he's forgotten about that whole weapons-of-mass destruction snafu.)

But the president also dropped another bombshell: that he actually considered dumping Vice President Dick Cheney for his Darth Vader like persona. This revelation is sure to rock the Vice President's world.

Not the former Vice President, but the current one.

The reason? Because for the last year rumors have been rampant that Vice President Joe Biden might be asked to step aside in favor of a more buzzworthy, vote-getting candidate. The most buzzed about name? You guessed it. Current Secretary of State and the president's one time rival, Hillary Clinton. Initially I gave these rumors the same credence I give most that appear rooted in wishful thinking. You know, like the rumor that singers Tim McGraw and John Mellencamp were both seriously considering Senate bids? Now while nothing would make me happier than to see the "Singing Senators" quartet get some real talent, as we all know, so far singers Mellencamp and McGraw have not become Senators. (Click here for a list of celebrities who have taken the plunge into politics.)

But in the last week the potential for a Biden switcharoo has begun to sound less like a conspiracy theory and more like common sense for Democrats. The reason? Because the recent roar of Mama Grizzlies nationwide has made it all but assured that for the second presidential campaign in a row, the GOP will have a woman on the ticket. They certainly have plenty of attractive candidates to choose from. (For the record I mean politically attractive.) There's newly anointed Senator in the swing state of New Hampshire, Kelly Ayotte. Newly elected Governor in the swing state of New Mexico, Susana Martinez, who made history by becoming the country's first Latina Governor. Then there's Nikki Haley, who also made history by becoming our first female Asian-American Governor and Mary Fallin who made history by becoming the first female Governor of Oklahoma.

There were also eight new female Republican members of Congress elected compared to just four new Democratic ones. But that wasn't the only bad news for Democrats. As I noted on MSNBC's "The Dylan Ratigan Show", while they traditionally win women voters outright, this year they lost them in some key races. (According to some analysis they lost them in total by about a point, but this remains in dispute.) The message delivered at the ballot box by women appears to be the same one delivered by other voting blocs: "What have you done for me lately?"

While Sarah Palin was ridiculed by many Hillary supporters (some of whom gladly supported the eventual Democratic nominee, while others ultimately held their noses and voted for the President, considering the half-term Alaskan Governor unqualified) next go round they will likely have a slate of diverse, experienced female GOP Vice Presidential contenders to choose from -- in large part thanks to Palin's primary endorsements.

If the economy remains stagnant it will become tougher for Democrats to convince some women that issues like abortion are more important than issues like taxes, and to convince them that the GOP is anti-women when it is willing to run high profile women candidates, from the State House all the way up to the presidential ticket.

While there are plenty of Hillary supporters still nursing wounds from the 2008 primary fallout who would probably prefer to see their chosen candidate's vanquisher replaced on the ticket, we all know who's a more likely candidate for taking a walk. There are certainly some strong Democratic women to choose from, among them Sen. Claire McCaskill from the swing state of Missouri, but I actually think a bigger threat to Biden may come from across the aisle. After all, rumor has it the Tea Partiers are gunning for moderate Republican Senators from Maine, Olympia Snowe and Susan Collins, both of whom have high marks from pro-choice groups. The Vice Presidency might not be a bad next act for both of them, over the possibility of a primary bloodbath.

Clearly all of this is speculation. I'm sure we'll hear yet again this week how those of us in the chattering classes who are chattering on about this are crazy. But I believe we heard the same thing about early rumors that President Obama was going to name his one-time rival Secretary of State and we all know how that turned out.

Though my mother would be crushed if the Biden speculation turned into more than that, (she has a soft spot for Biden's plucky, fighter persona, and his mischievous smile) I sometimes get the feeling that she would mind more than he would. A friend of mine once said that you should never vote for someone who looks and sounds like they would literally rather not live than not be elected to higher office; something about the narcissism and hunger for power that denotes. I always got the impression with Biden that he's A-okay with the fact that his beloved mother got to see her son ascend to the Vice Presidency and if he truly thought it were in the interest of his party and his country, he would step aside, and keep smiling while he did it.

Let's see if the Mama Grizzlies make it come to that.

This piece originally appeared on TheLoop21.com for which Goff is a political blogger.

www.keligoff.com

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