Pence Should Ask Harris Who Her VP Will Be

Vice President Mike Pence has been doing a fantastic job. He has stood in the shadows so the Trump-Pence Administration could shine. Always prepared to ensure  continuity, he hasas yet been careful not to demand a role greater than the office affords. 

It’s not an easy job, but with his discipline and commitment to our constitutional order, he has made it look easy.

He has been everything one could hope for in a vice president.

As a show of gratitude for this service, I propose to offer some advice on the upcoming debate with Senator Kamala Harris (D-Calif.), candidate for vice president of the United States.

Harris should be asked who she intends to select as her vice president when she becomes president. I can think of no more important question for her.

Joe Biden, if he wins in November, will be 78-years old by the time of his inauguration. He will be the same age as Trump —who is now immune to COVID —would be when he leaves office, should he have the honor of being reelected.

In fact, Biden will be older than anyone who has ever served as president, other than Ronald Reagan, and then only in the last part of his last year of his second term.

Life expectancy in the United States is 78.6 years. It had been steadily climbing since 1960, but it plateaued—or maybe it fell a little—after the Affordable Care Act became law. Anyhow, for men it is actually a little lower, 76.1 years. The good news is that a man who is 78 can expect to live a little more than 8 years. Statistically, then, it is conceivable that Biden could serve as many as two terms, if his program of socialism and central economic environmental planning, and his Antifa support, turn out to be popular.

This assumes his program of socialism and central planning and Antifa support will tolerate free and fair elections; the black uniforms Antifa wears to conceal their identities and bonfires of other people’s business and property make me wonder.

In any event, I am not sure what to believe, but many people speculate that Biden may be suffering from age-related cognitive decline. From time to time, he appears to lose his train of thought or misstate where he is or what he is doing. Biden’s campaign has been reluctant to allow Biden a challenging schedule. Indeed, in June 38 percent of likely voters said they suspected Biden may be suffering from mental decline. It could be that Biden is just slowing down. Many men at age 78 slow down, often quite a bit.

Each person is different and there are many people who remain sharp through their 70s. Some people remain sharp in their 80s. When Winston Churchill served as prime minister a second time, he was 77. Reports are he was not in great health though, and in 1953, at 79, Churchill had a major stroke. In time he was obliged to resign and Anthony Eden became prime minister. Of course, Churchill was a towering intellectual genius, and so his decline would have been harder to notice, as a declining Churchill simply regressed to the capacity of an ordinary man.

But Biden started out ordinary. That is his appeal, in part. He campaigns on a theme of being a simpleton from Scranton. He’s compulsive, and through his career has made many gaffes. I don’t mean to harp on gaffes, although many of his gaffes have been doozies. 

Like the time he said “You can’t go to a 7-11 or a Dunkin’ Donuts unless you have a slight Indian accent. I’m not joking.” Or the time when he said into a live mic, at a televised press event for the Affordable Care Act, “This is a big f***ing deal.” In both cases, I am sure Biden thought he was being relatable and funny. But these instances speak to the modesty of his mental faculties when they were fully functioning.

If, hypothetically, Biden is suffering age-related cognitive decline—and these things are usually progressive—one has to consider whether Biden may have to be removed from office pursuant to the 25th Amendment. I am not saying he would be removed because some “deep state” would seek to remove him. I mean he might be removed for the actual purpose of the 25th Amendment. The 25th Amendment has been used appropriately in the past, for example, when President Reagan had surgery, and when President Bush had a colonoscopy. In Biden’s case, it would likely not be temporary, but permanent removal.

Given Biden’s age and condition, if Biden is elected, Harris will be more likely than any vice president in history to become president soon. The vice presidency is a great honor and a great responsibility. And never has this been more the case than it is with Harris. 

So we need to know: how will President Harris govern, and who will she select to be a heartbeat away from the presidency?  

About Jay Whig

J. Whig is an attorney practicing in New York and a resident of Connecticut specializing in insolvency and restructuring. Opinions are his own.

Photo: Erin Schaff-Pool/Getty Images

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One response to “Pence Should Ask Harris Who Her VP Will Be

  • Excellent question, and a point that really needs to be hammered home. A vote for Biden is a vote for a Harris presidency.

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