Illustration for article titled Congressman James Clyburn Wants Joe Biden to Choose a Black Woman as a Running Mate
Photo: MANDEL NGAN/AFP (Getty Images)

“I really believe that we’ve reached a point in this country where African American women need to be rewarded for the loyalty that they’ve given to this party. So I would really be pushing for an African American female to go on the ticket.”

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These were the words that House Majority Whip James Clyburn (D-S.C.) told NPR on Tuesday in regards to advice he has for former vice president and current Democratic frontrunner Joe Biden about choosing a running mate should he win the nomination.

Clyburn endorsed Biden right before to the primary in South Carolina, where he is a senior congressman. Biden went on to win in SC at nearly 49%. Perhaps Biden owes Clyburn some consideration since exit polls from Edison Research found 61 percent of Democratic voters in South Carolina said Clyburn’s endorsement of Biden was a significant factor in their voting choice, according to Reuters.

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“My aim was not just to win South Carolina, but to win it big enough so as to create a surge for Joe Biden,” Clyburn told The Hill after Biden’s Super Tuesday win. “Someone asked me ‘are you trying to stop Bernie Sanders?’ No, I wasn’t trying to stop him. I’m trying to create a surge for Joe Biden.”

According to The Hill, Clyburn named a number of black women who he thought would make for good running mates for Biden including Sen. Kamala Harris, who dropped out of the race for the Democratic nomination in December, as well as Georgia Democrat and voting rights activist Stacey Abrams. Clyburn also mentioned Democratic Reps. Marcia Fudge (Ohio), Val Demings (Fla.), Karen Bass (Calif.) and Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms as good potential VP choices.

Incidentally, Biden had named four women who he would consider sharing a ticket with last November. Abrams’ name was among them as Biden referred to her as “the woman who should have been the governor of Georgia.” Beyond that, Biden also pledged last month to nominate a black woman to the Supreme Court if he’s elected.

Black women represent one of the Democratic party’s most important voting blocks as they are the most consistent demographic in voting blue at over 90%. Black women are also not here to be political mules for Democrats or any politician for that matter, but adding one to the presidential ticket may go a long way in showing them that they are appreciated. Maybe Clyburn is right.

Zack Linly is a poet, performer, freelance writer, blogger and grown man lover of cartoons

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