The Queen Seeks Higher Office

raimondohalo-NYTimes-featured

“Am I crazy?” may be the biggest unspoken question of our times.

Here’s a fun one.  With other states’ inexplicably imposing restrictions on Rhode Islanders, am I crazy for having the passing thought that this might somehow be related to Democrat presidential candidate Joe Biden’s search for a vice presidential running mate?  I mean, it seems implausible, but the recent tone coming off my non-scientific Twitter stream is that our Democrat Governor Gina Raimondo is surprisingly strong in the running as the “competent” choice, despite having the wrong skin color.

A few nearby states run by lefty partisans could tilt that momentous decision a bit by generating headlines that undermine the competence narrative.  (Yes, Massachusetts complicates the picture, but the governor isn’t the only decision-maker, and anyway, me-too-ism is a real pressure in political offices.)

But now let’s put the fun questions of political speculation aside.  Am I crazy for thinking more attention ought to be paid to the intersection of the COVID-19 story and the vice-presidential story?  Nobody is asking a key question of how all this should be working.

Rhode Islanders find ourselves in the position that the governor is granting herself the sole authority to decree whether children can go to school, whether bars can stay open (and how long), and how many of your family members you can have in your backyard.  She is personally (“I”) threatening to shut things down if we don’t live up to her expectations.  That’s problematic enough on its own, but what happens if that same dictator decides her time is better spent traveling the country campaigning for her next job?

As a Raimondo skeptic, I find it hard to believe the Biden team would actually choose her for the ticket.  More likely, her army of PR flacks have been working overtime to generate “buzz,” aided by the cigar-room whispers of her long-time Wall Street backers.  But if her ascension is a topic of conversation, shouldn’t we be discussing the consequences?  Shouldn’t reporters be asking her how she could possibly micromanage the lives of a million defenseless virus vectors while shifting her focus to a national political campaign?

Shouldn’t we be asking whether she will resign?

The opening speculation of this post is, admittedly, a little over-the-top in its silliness, but frankly, it doesn’t seem our governing class is very serious.  We’ve allowed our representative democracy to devolve to the decisions of a single person, and the local chatterers are abuzz with the possibility that our local celebrity royal might soon be a national name.  Whether she can do her day job and what the consequences might be for… you know… the people the politicians and journalists are supposed to be serving are questions that seem not to matter at all.

Are we all crazy?



  • Rhett Hardwick

    I am unwilling to speculate. It seems to me that the “governors” (who do not hold elective office) rarely socialize with the governed, such that I do not hear candid opinions expressed. This was not always so; years ago, at a party, I was shot in the eye with a water pistol by the Massachusetts Banking Commissioner.

  • Lou

    Job 5:2; “Surely resentment destroys the fool, and jealousy kills the simple.”

    • ShannonEntropy


      As a dog returns to his vomit, so a fool returns to his folly.

      … Proverbs 26:11

      Welcome back, Lou

  • ShannonEntropy

    This is going to be the most important Dem VEEP choice *ever* cuz if Biden wins he will be 25th-Amendmentized out of office within a year of taking the oath. The “Hidin’ Biden” strategy is working so far — count on him refusing to debate as part of that strategy — but his dementia is getting so obvious he prolly won’t know his own name by 2022

    But as for Queen Gina… other than being a woman she doesn’t bring much to the ticket. OTOH, many VEEP choices have been people nobody’s ever heard of before: did you recognize the names Pence or Quayle or Palin or Agnew when they were announced ?? (( All but Quayle were governors or former governors )) Heck, most people had never heard of LBJ or Ford before they were picked, and they were both center-stage nationally

    My prediction: If Biden wins Gina will be tapped for Sec of Treasury

    You heard it here first, folks

    • Christopher C. Reed

      In the past 30 years, has any SecTreas not been a GoldmanSachsie?
      Just one of those things…those crazy coincidences…

    • Lou

      “You heard it here first, folks”, sure it is. Well, maybe among the the wayward flock on this website. You remind me a lot of the ex-poster Mike who’s superiority complex was good for some diversionary humor since he didn’t bring much else to the table.

      • ShannonEntropy

        My superiority complex is way more superior than Mike’s
        … everyone knows that

    • Joe Smith

      Pence was a bone to the religious right that if Trump’s “conversion” was only for show that there would be “one of them” in the mix.

      Palin probably did as much as possible a VP can do (brought in money and swung some voters – white women in her case) – for what was a losing cause anyway.

      Quayle I assume was a contrast to the older, “insider” Bush.

      Pretty hard to say you want a “contrast” and “experience” unless you’re a young person at the top of the ticket like Obama was.

      I do agree though this has by actuarial cold objectivity the highest probability of the VP ascending if Biden wins so arguably you want someone more with “could be President” than “brings something to the ticket different but being President ain’t one”.

      I would have thought a Liz Warren would say no way to being put in the shadows, but I suspect all on the short list know being President is more of reality for Biden’s VP.

      Would think Biden would pick someone who’s already been picked over by the GOP and Press — given I suspect their campaign will be one of focused, minimal campaigning to avoid exposing him and assuming Trump has imploded to a non-recoverable state. Hence, you don’t want someone who will have to be defending new allegations, etc. Given Harris ran long enough in the primary, one would think she would have the edge over say Rice.

      But I don’t disagree Shannon, Gina knows Jack Reed ain’t leaving in 20, neither is Sheldon and Cicilline – nowhere for her to go except to a Cabinet position and she’s had her PR staff polishing her image for Treasury or Commerce while placating the unions in her second term to be acceptable to them.

      or maybe I’m hoping that as I can’t wait for her to go and McKee has no shot in 22 unless he’s an incumbent and/or can convince the GOP to back him as he ain’t winning a Dem primary for Gov in 22 if he’s merely the sitting Lt Gov.

      • ShannonEntropy

        Palin probably … swung some voters – white women in her case

        I think Palin hurt McCain with women mainly cuz she is so physically attractive. Women hate competition like that so he would have done better with a horse-face like say Pocahontas

        I suspect all on the short list know being President is more of reality for Biden’s VP

        One out of four VEEPs end up POTUS… that’s the reason LBJ gave for accepting the job. In this case I’d bet my house Biden wouldn’t finish his first year in office let alone his entire term