Kamala Harris and Liz Cheney Running Together? Imagine if Joe Biden Quits

Kamala Harris
July 8, 2024 Topic: Politics Region: Americas Blog Brand: The Reboot Tags: U.S. Politics2024 ElectionJoe BidenKamala HarrisGOPMAGA

Kamala Harris and Liz Cheney Running Together? Imagine if Joe Biden Quits

No rule says that the person running for president of the United States needs to pick someone from his or her own political party.


If Kamala Harris Replaces Joe Biden, She Should Pick a Republican Running Mate:

No rule says that the person running for president of the United States needs to pick someone from his or her own political party.


And, yes, there is a chance of it occurring. 

That is a point that current Vice President Kamala Harris should remember if President Joe Biden withdraws from his reelection bid. Harris might wisely look to the past to "heal the nation" by selecting a Republican running mate.

The notion might seem outlandish, but there are some precedents on presidents looking across the aisle.

Historical Background on the VEEP

As History.com reported, "The U.S. Constitution originally called for the candidate who received the second-most votes in the Electoral College to serve as the president to the Electoral College winner."

It goes without saying that it made for the odd pairing of President John Adams and Vice President Thomas Jefferson, who despised each other greatly throughout their later political careers. Jefferson even went on to defeat his boss four years later, narrowly edging out Aaron Burr, with the latter man becoming the VEEP. It was soon determined that electors should cast separate ballots for president and vice president, and that led to the passage of the 12th Amendment.

For the record, Adams and Jefferson buried the hatchet and were close friends, until both men died on July 4, 1826 – on the 50th anniversary of the signing of the Declaration of Independence.

A Truly Odd Coupling

During the American Civil War, President Abraham Lincoln – the first Republican president – actually ditched Vice President Hannibal Hamlin, a former governor and U.S. senator from Maine, in favor of Andrew Johnson, a former U.S. senator from Tennessee.

It was a noteworthy and controversial choice, and only Jefferson, James Madison and Andrew Jackson had switched vice presidents for their second term. But there was more to the story in 1864.

Hamlin was a staunch abolitionist, whereas Johnson was a slave owner. Johnson was also a Democrat and was from Tennessee, one of the states that seceded from the Union at the start of the conflict. However, Johnson was also the only sitting senator from a Confederate state who didn't resign his seat. As a result, he was appointed by Lincoln to serve as Military Governor of Tennessee and then was selected to run on the National Union Party ticket.

Lincoln and Johnson won the 1864 election, but Johnson only served as vice president for two months, becoming president after the assassination of President Lincoln just days after General Robert E. Lee surrendered, which had essentially ended the Civil War. Infamously, Johnson was also the first president impeached, yet, he narrowly avoided conviction in the U.S. Senate.

However, in the modern era, we almost had some odd pairings.

In 2004, Democratic Senator John Kerry had "flirted" with the idea of asking his close friend Republican Senator John McCain to serve as his running mate in his bid to defeat President George W. Bush. It is unlikely McCain would have accepted.

Yet, interestingly, four years later McCain considered a similar cross-aisle pick with Independent Senator Joseph Lieberman. The maverick senator from Arizona later admitted he should have listened to his gut and gone against advisors' warnings that picking Lieberman – a supporter of a woman's right to choose – would divide GOP voters.

Why Kamala Harris Should Consider It Now

Lincoln looked across the aisle to help heal the nation during the American Civil War, and Harris could do the same to help heal the nation as it is now in its "uncivil war." There is no denying that former President Donald Trump's base won't be moved in the least, but winning a presidential election isn't about the base – it is about courting undecided voters in the middle.

The majority of Americans have made clear that they didn't want to see a Trump-Biden rematch, and Harris reaching out to a Republican running mate could be the answer to ensuring that Trump can't win in November.

Kamala Harris

There are three viable options that Harris could consider:

Liz Cheney – The former Congresswoman from Wyoming was unseated by a Trump-back rival in 2022, but she has remained a vocal critic of Trump, who has earned support from moderate Republicans and independents alike. Many of her policies don't align with those of Harris, but they share a common belief that Trump is a danger to the future of the nation.

Mitt Romney – The sitting senator from Utah has announced he won't seek reelection, as he believed it was time for a new generation of leaders to step up. However, when he previously ran for president in 2016, he infamously warned that Russia remained the greatest threat to the United States, and he has also been a Trump critic. His years of experience as governor of Massachusetts and then as Utah's senator could help guide President Harris, where he could still serve as a bridge to the next generation.

Nikki Haley – It would be an odd coupling as strange as the one between Adams and Jefferson nearly 225 years ago, but it could go far in helping heal the great national divide. Haley has warned that she doesn't believe Harris is up to running the country, but as her running mate could be there to also provide the necessary guidance and direction. It could result in an era of compromise and help break years of deadlock in Washington.

Of course, it could also set up a situation where the two face off in four years, but that's less likely to divide the nation as much as the reelection of either Trump or Biden!

Author Experience and Expertise: Peter Suciu

Peter Suciu is a Michigan-based writer. He has contributed to more than four dozen magazines, newspapers, and websites with over 3,200 published pieces over a twenty-year career in journalism. He regularly writes about military hardware, firearms history, cybersecurity, politics, and international affairs. Peter is also a Contributing Writer for Forbes and Clearance Jobs. You can follow him on Twitter: @PeterSuciu. You can email the author: [email protected].

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