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In reality, Vice presidents don’t have the most remarkable record of ascending to the presidency; the last time a sitting vice president successfully ran for president, it was George H.W. Bush. Nevertheless, vice presidents are seen as the heir apparent to the White House due to their recognizability and experience working under the president.
But not Kamala Harris. Her terrible public performances and matching terrible poll numbers complicate her presidential aspirations, and according to a report from Politico, Biden’s aides have someone else in mind as Biden’s successor.
Instead of Kamala, Biden’s people see Pete Buttigieg, the Transportation Secretary who’s most famous for taking paternity leave amid the supply chain crisis and ridiculously calling bridges and highways racist, as Biden’s heir to the Oval Office.
“While Buttigieg says he’s not contemplating the race to be Biden’s successor, inside the West Wing, others are imagining it for him,” reports Politico. “His name is sometimes discussed by aides as a natural Democratic presidential nominee in 2028 — or 2024 if the president opts not to run.”
“Nobody in the West Wing shuts that down,” one insider told Politico. “It’s very open.”
Naturally, minority staffers think the talk about Buttigieg succeeding Kamala is a racist slight against her and that senior staffers ought to crack down on all this talk about another white guy taking over for the older white guy.
The problem, of course, is identity politics. Joe Biden committed to picking a woman of color as his vice president and settled on the one who said she believed the women who accused him of sexual misconduct and who essentially called him a racist.
But no one really likes her, either. Her poll numbers are worse than Joe’s, and while Buttigieg may be another white guy, he still gets diversity points for being gay.
But Buttigieg, who claims no presidential aspirations at this point, will have to survive the wrath of Kamala loyalists first.