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In this election, the VP will be the VIP

Hector Johnson with Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham in Santa Fe. (Courtesy of Robert Stack)

Hector Johnson with Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham in Santa Fe. (Courtesy of Robert Stack)

A little over 10 years ago, I met then-Vice President Joe Biden. He asked about the relevance of my nonprofit supporting people with disabilities. While I explained it to him, I wasn’t nervous. He made me feel comfortable and was affable, almost avuncular. If he becomes the oldest president in history, voters know that his choice for VP will make Dick Cheney look like Spiro Agnew relative to influence.

Supporters are concerned that Biden might falter in the debates. He could be sidetracked or more than honest. The president will be quick with verbal punches, condescending nicknames and strategic obfuscations. Each party will claim their side won the debate based on moral turpitude or rhetorical domination. This will not matter.

The debates between the evangelical Vice President Mike Pence and his adversary are more significant. This will be the nation’s most televised vice presidential debate in history. It will matter. If Biden’s pick wins, he wins.

Remember when Sen. Dan Quayle received the knockout punch from Sen. Lloyd Bentsen, who declared, “I knew Jack Kennedy and you’re no Jack Kennedy?” All of us knew it was over. It did not matter, because Bush beat Dukakis and at that time, the most important job of the vice president was monitoring the health of the president.

This year Pence needs to lose the debates for Biden to win.

Controversies around the Electoral College and the role of the delegates have always been a bone of contention in every election. The super delegate matters now more than ever.

There is only one super-duper delegate. It is Joe Biden. His VP choice will determine if he wins.

Sen. Kamala Harris called him a racist on television. Stanford educated, security expert Susan Rice is great, with the exception of Benghazi. Most of the others are political neophytes with lousy management experience and less than an aesthetic presence.

If he picks Sen. Elizabeth Warren, every investment banker and pharmaceutical CEO will fund the incumbent beyond his wildest dreams. Other unknown political leaders under consideration could cause the phobia of the “Palin-effect.” What about Sen. Amy Klobuchar? She is so immersed in controversy that she lacks the vision to play the long game.

An untapped resource never considered is the Hispanic vote, (the second-largest ethnic group in the United States). They have not been galvanized as a voting bloc. The truth of the matter is they have never had the opportunity to back a role model. The right Hispanic could bring more untapped voters to the polls.

If Biden picks Hispanic Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham from New Mexico, a 12-year member of Congress previously appointed as the Secretary of Aging and Human Services thorough two administrations from both sides of the aisle, he might just win. She could be the perfect partner. She understands health and virus management. She is an advocate for people with disabilities. She is intellectually gifted. I have seen her behind a microphone. She will run rings around Pence with ease.

The question remains, will he make the right choice in the coming weeks?

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