Christine Emba here, helming Round 57. I’m counting down the days until we get a female president … or until I can go outside, whichever comes first.

The Commentary

At this point in the presidential primaries, former vice president Joe Biden has all but secured the Democratic nomination. Sen. Bernie Sanders is still technically lurking in the wings, but the 2020 race is almost certain to be Biden vs. Trump. And may the best — or at least marginally more competent — man win!

The 2020 presidential race seems likely to hinge on the coronavirus and its social and economic fallout, most of America’s top concern right now. But as our crisis deepens, it’s hard not to wonder whether we might have chosen our candidates differently had we known what was coming. Perhaps not a male septuagenarian of questionable health?

Consider Elizabeth Warren, who certainly would have had a well-developed plan for getting coronavirus testing, ventilators and personal protective equipment rolled out to states in need. Or Amy Klobuchar, whose legislative skills and work-to-a-solution attitude could have gotten a stimulus bill organized and off the ground in a timelier manner. Perhaps Kamala D. Harris, whose talents are currently being wasted setting Matt Gaetz straight on Twitter (truly a thankless task if there ever was one), when she could be marshaling an entire country into an orderly, guideline-abiding response to the crisis.

At least one source reports that all three are on Biden’s shortlist for vice president; that nod would immediately springboard them to “most likely to be the first female president” (though one shouldn’t forget about the women on the rise in a Republican Party that might soon be looking for a little reinvention).

But one has to wonder why yet again women have been relegated to the role of also-ran. As I wrote after Super Tuesday (approximately 10 years ago?), “For all our advances in gender equality, women are still expected to be the supporters, the team players, the ones who fade without complaint into the background in order for a man to seek the light.”

That was then. Today, it seems even more of a mistake to have overlooked a bevy of female candidates’ obvious qualifications in favor of a safe, male choice.

— Christine Emba

The Ranking

Don’t forget to click on the chart’s yellow highlighted text to see the rest of the Ranking Committee’s annotations.

Future Female President
Nikki Haley
Sen. Kamala D. Harris (D-Calif.)
Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.)
Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (D-Mich.)
Sen. Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.)
Stacey Abrams
Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.)
Sen. Joni Ernst (R-Iowa)
Nina Turner
Gov. Gina Raimondo (D-R.I.)

Also receiving votes: Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto (D-Nev.), Rep. Katie Porter (D-Calif.), Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-N.Y.), Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham (D-N.M.), Melinda Gates, Malia Obama

From the Annotations

If you doubt Nikki Haley has presidential ambitions, note how carefully she has navigated the Trump era.
Greg Sargent, on Nikki Haley
Klobuchar is the odds-on bet to become Joe Biden’s veep choice, and he is the odds-on bet to become president. Apart from LBJ’s immediate accession after the Kennedy assassination, no Democratic VP has failed to eventually be the party’s nominee since the Truman administration’s Alben Barkley.
Henry Olsen, on Amy Klobuchar

Agree? Disagree? Share your thoughts in the comments. We’ll see you for the next ranking. Until then, may the best woman have to support a man!

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