Joe Biden should look to shore up a weakness in his candidacy. One way would be to select a Lainta as his Vice Presidential candidate – either Senator Catherine Cortez Masto of Nevada and Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham of New Mexico.
Though she was elected only in 2016, Senator Catherine Cortez Masto is Nevada’s senior Senator. A friend of retiring Senator, Harry Reid, she replaced him. In replacing him, she became the first Latina elected to the US Senate. Her father was a Clark County (that’s Las Vegas) Commissioner, a county attorney, and, for many years, the head of the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority. She was not new to Nevada politics. Once Chief of Staff of the Nevada Governor, she served as a prosecutor for the US Attorney’s Office in Washington DC. She is also married to a former Secret Service Agent. She has been successful politically, elected and re-elected as Nevada’s Attorney General, though not everything went smoothly in her terms in that office.
Michelle Lujan Grisham, former New Mexico Director of Aging, Secretary of Health, and Congresswoman could be an even stronger candidate. First elected to Congress in 2012, she served as Chair of the Hispanic Caucus. She was elected governor in 2018 with 57% of the vote. In an age when the President organizes against Hispanic immigrants, Michelle Lujan Grisham points to her own family. She says she is a twelfth generation citizen of the United States. That goes back a very long time. We might have a different understand of our country if school children studied Santa Fe at the same time they studied the Pilgrims in Plymouth and the would-be cavaliers in Virginia.
Michelle Lujan’s most immediate family were not necessarily Democrats. Her uncle was a Republican congressman and GHW Bush’s Secretary of the Interior. Her grandfather was Chief Justice of the New Mexico Supreme Court. Her nomination as Vice President or Cortez Masto’s could mark a relatively permanent shift of American Latinos to being part of the Democratic coalition.
There is one more alternative that addresses a different demographic in the Democratic base – progressives who accept Joe Biden as the Presidential nominee but pined for someone else. Choose Elizabeth Warren for Vice President, Joe Biden gets our unlimited enthusiasm. Some financial support too.