I had always planned to wait until the March 10 Mississippi primary in which I will vote to decide for whom I would vote. But I have now decided – and have surprised myself (and will surprise many who know me). I considered many factors, superficial and otherwise, before deciding that I will vote for Joe Biden.
I considered relationships with campaign operatives and even with some candidates. After spending 35 plus years in Democratic politics, I unsurprisingly know people in almost every campaign. I am probably closer to more people in Senator Klobuchar’s campaign than any other because of shared history in Minnesota politics, and I know Senator Klobuchar slightly and like and respect her. But that is not enough.
I also know slightly and very much like and respect former Mayor Buttigieg, who (with some gaps) has run a remarkable campaign. For a short while, the former Mayor of South Bend was the delegate leader and is still solidly in the top three in delegates. He has tremendous talent and smarts, a message of meaning and substance, and we do, indeed, need to bring a new generation of leadership into the Democratic Party. But that is not enough.
If I could wave a magic wand and make one of the candidates president, it would be Senator Elizabeth Warren. Her politics are closest to my own, she cares about the things I care about (and she even did a town hall in Mississippi). I love her energy and I do so very much want to see a woman President in my lifetime. My 35 plus years in politics only makes that drive stronger as politics is not a field where women are near equal to men in how we are treated or heard. That should be enough reason to support Senator Warren but this year it is not.
Because this isn’t about me. It is about our country, our system of democracy, and about people whose very lives (unlike my own) depend on the outcome in November.
I am not hostile to Bernie Sanders, whose political ideas may be closer to mine than Joe Biden’s are. I don’t blame him for Hillary Clinton’s loss to Donald Trump, which was far more complicated than that. I will support him with enthusiasm if he is the nominee. And I believe there is a chance he might eek out a victory if by November Donald Trump is less popular than he is right now. But there is also a significant risk that he would lose and that he take down good people running for the Senate and the House with him. That is too big a risk.
Then there is Michael Bloomberg. I believe he is trying to do good in this race and in large part because he saw a gap that, before South Carolina, worried me as well. But I believe he has the wrong positioning and politics for the task at hand, which is to defeat Donald Trump.
I support my candidate, Joe Biden, because it is, I believe, the right thing to do and that he is the right candidate for this time. It is not personal. I have never met Joe Biden – we don’t share the same political space. It may not be what I want but it is what we need: A good and decent man, who listens to others, who wants to unite the country around shared ideals of democracy.
He has my vote on March 10.