The Best Democratic Alternative: A Kamala Harris – Josh Shapiro ticket


The firm announcement of President Joe Biden yesterday morning that he will not withdraw his candidacy is a prelude to the downfall of American democracy, rule of law, and freedom of the press.  If Biden remains as the Democratic presidential nominee, America will move inexorably towards the presidential election of Donald Trump this November and the advent of American fascism at his inauguration on January 20, 2025.

Anybody who denies the imminence of Trump fascism is politically deaf, dumb, and blind.  The conclusive irrefutable proof of the coming of Trump fascism can be found in the statement of Trump’s leading confidant, Kash Patel, as follows:

” We’re going to come after the people in the media who lied about American citizens who helped Joe Biden rig presidential elections.  We’re going to come after you, whether it’s criminally or civilly. We’ll figure that out. But yeah, we’re putting you all on notice.”

I have a reputation as anti- Trump.  I have proudly worn this distinction since I opined on his candidacy announcement in 2015.  I amplified my denunciation of him when I wrote a column describing and documenting his status as a fascist in 2018.

Accordingly, I find the Patel statement most chilling.  I will be 75 years old in November, and I doubt that I would survive more than a year in a Trumpian prison.

I am accused by the factually ignorant of exaggerating the threat of Trump fascism.  To those individuals, I respond by giving you Trump’s statement accusing Liz Cheney of treason and calling for her to be tried in front of a televised military tribunal.  This is reminiscent of the 1944 Nazi show trials resulting in the execution of the German generals who failed in their plot to assassinate Hitler.  Any further questions?

Joe Biden has compiled a record of admirable presidential accomplishments, most notably in the arenas of environmental protection, long overdue national infrastructure, and gun safety.  It is also now abundantly apparent that his economic policies are at long last producing the ultimate success of powerful growth and declining inflation.

Yet this success is irrelevant to the issue of whether Biden should stand for reelection in 2024. The disaster of his debate with Trump rendered his candidacy moribund, as I stated in my column of July 2.

The Democratic presidential nomination in 2024 is not a decision regarding the merit of the Biden presidential record.  Instead, it should be a judgment on the candidate best equipped to defeat Donald Trump.  As conservative commentator Charlie Sykes has stated, the Democratic presidential nomination is not a gold watch to be given to Joe Biden for long, honest, and faithful service.  Rather, the Democratic presidential nomination is a mission to be fulfilled by the ticket most likely to defeat Trump and halt the march of Trump fascism.  That goal could be attained nationally by a ticket of Vice President Kamala Harris for president and Josh Shapiro, Governor of Pennsylvania for vice president.

When talk first began after the debate about Biden withdrawing from the campaign, most Democrats immediately coalesced behind Harris as the most appropriate replacement for Biden if he withdrew.  Support for Harris has been particularly widespread and profound among People of Color and women voters.

I have long admired Kamala Harris for her outstanding service and nationally renowned accomplishments as Attorney General of California and as US Senator from California.  She has been a model of exemplary and loyal service as Joe Biden’s vice president.

I did have a concern about the electability of Harris based upon polls during the past year.  However, I failed to remember the fact that in postwar America, vice presidents are universally unpopular.  They gain nothing from the popularity of the chief executive they serve, yet receive all of the president’s negatives.  Examples of this unpopularity during their vice presidential tenure include Richard Nixon, Hubert Humphrey, George H.W. Bush, and Joe Biden himself.  Recent polls have shown Harris running within the margin of error against Trump and better than Biden does.

The leading weakness of the GOP and Trump is the reproductive choice issue.  Nobody can express more effectively and eloquently than Kamala Harris the Democratic intention to restore the abortion choice protection previously guaranteed by Roe v. Wade. And remember her debate against Mike Pence in the 2020 campaign, in which she verbally trounced the then incumbent vice president.

For her vice presidential running mate, Harris needs a candidate who checks off three boxes: White, male, and most likely to carry a swing state for the ticket.  Nobody meets these requirements more effectively than Josh Shapiro.

Shapiro’s presence on the ballot would make the Harris – Shapiro ticket a definite favorite to carry the vital swing state of Pennsylvania.  There is another aspect of Harris’s Pennsylvania experience that is relevant to his appealing to white working class voters in other states.

James Carville has described Pennsylvania as “Pittsburgh in the west, Philadelphia in the east, and Alabama in the middle.”  Having grown up in Pittsburgh, I can attest to the accuracy of this description.

During the 2022 gubernatorial election, Shapiro was surprisingly successful in appealing to white working class voters in the “Alabama” portion of Pennsylvania.  This experience would be vital to the Harris-Shapiro ticket attracting white working class voters throughout the nation who otherwise would become Trump supporters.

I was the first New Jersey columnist to discuss the possibility of Josh Shapiro being elected as the first Jewish president even before he was elected Pennsylvania governor in 2022. I authored a column two weeks ago, describing at length his political and policy successes, both as Pennsylvania Attorney General and Governor.  Indeed, Josh Shapiro is a national Democratic Party superstar.

I have encountered resistance to my advocacy of Josh Shapiro based on the claim that there has been a national resurgence of antisemitism that makes his election to national office impossible.  I have a two-fold response to this argument.

First, remember the election results of the 2000 presidential race, when the running mate for the Democratic presidential candidate Al Gore was the Jewish Senator from Connecticut Joe Lieberman.  The Gore-Lieberman ticket carried the popular vote nationally by 500,00 votes, only to lose the electoral vote by the paper-thin margin that gave the GOP Bush-Cheney ticket the electoral votes of the State of Florida.

Second, as one who is has been well aware of antisemitism on a daily basis throughout his life, I do not believe that antisemitism is any more virulent or widespread in 2024 than it was in 2000.  It is just more evident and apparent due to the widespread acts of violence committed by Arab-American college students and White Christian Nationalists.

A Harris-Shapiro ticket would be a national winner. The energy and excitement it would generate nationwide would be a powerful asset in the Democratic campaign to capture control of the US House of Representatives and retain control of the US Senate.

If Biden will agree to a gracious withdrawal, which his patriotic and noble career deserves, it is not too late to make a victorious Harris-Shapiro ticket happen.

Alan J. Steinberg of Highland Park served as regional administrator of Region 2 EPA during the administration of former President George W. Bush and as executive director of the New Jersey Meadowlands Commission. He graduated from Northwestern University and the University of Wisconsin Law School.


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9 responses to “The Best Democratic Alternative: A Kamala Harris – Josh Shapiro ticket”

  1. Good morning, Mr. Steinberg,
    I hope this latest column of yours is spread far and wide. Just as it was thoughtful Republicans who very recently were working in the White House, who put Country above Party and told of Trump’s treasonous actions leading up to, and on January 6, 2021, it will be thoughtful Republicans ( and thoughtful former Republicans like yourself) who will have put Country ahead of Party and saved America from a hellish, Trump 2nd term in 2024. The sycophants and the willfully ignorant on the Democratic left and center ignore the very real threat of President Biden’s very real and demonstrated cognitive decline and support him blindly for re-election are unintentionally gift-wrapping a second term for the very dangerous Donald Trump.

    Trump can lose Pennsylvania and still become President. But if Biden loses Pennsylvania, that certainly means he lost Wisconsin, and hence this election. You are spot-on in your assessments, Sir. The Harris-Shapiro Ticket would and will save us all -even the MAGA crowd- from 4 more, and far worse years of Trump. We cannot let Trump win! If Trump and his minions ever do try to come after you, they will have to get by me. I am Alan Steinberg!

    2020 NJ Alternate District Delegate for Joseph Robinette Biden, Jr.

  2. Let’s face facts folks the only reason why Kamala Harris was chosen as Biden’s VP is because she was a woman of color , if Biden actually looked for a qualified woman of color I’m sure he would have found 1000 better.
    She has no accomplishments in her 3 plus years as VP remember she was the Border Czar “how did that out”

  3. Harris-Shapiro ticket????? BWAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!! The writer gets funnier and funnier as the political silly season moves on. Kamala Harris is a DEI choice made by Barack Obama to garner the black vote for Dementia Joe Biden.

    As for Josh Shapiro, even in his own state of Pennsylvania, the voters hate his guts. He’s been trying to raise taxes through the roof and trying to impose draconian anti-SECOND AMENDMENT gun control laws, such as wanting to fund the PA State Police (a/k/a PA Gestapo) to monitor social media for any gun supporters.

    Thanks to a Republican legislature, they’ve put the brakes on any of Shapiro’s agenda. Shapiro is not well liked in PA, other than from the Democrazy Party in Philadelphia and Pittsburgh. However, just talk to a large segment of those in the Philadelphia locale that saw Donald Trump at the latest Pennsylvania rally and they’ll tell you they’re all voting Republican. Same for those in the Pittsburgh area. They were lied to by Biden about the coal and natural gas industry not being touched. The instant Biden took office he shut down both industries, along with oil and gas pipelines that deleteriously affected Western Pennsylvania and put a lot of people out of work. So, NO, Shapiro is not going to be the fair-haired boy the Democrazies think he’s going to be.

    And, lastly, if you talk to people in the Wilkes Barre-Scranton area, where Joe Biden says it’s his hometown, and he has a highway named for him there, the voters there hate his guts, want his name removed from the highway signs, and say they are definitely not voting for him.

  4. This is what happens when identity politics is at play, rather than the best person for the job. Period.
    I am not a political strategist or a historian. But, what has unfolded in front of the everyday voter, aided by the experts, media, pundits and so on, is an absolute sham.
    The voters were duped. “Fool me once, shame on you; Fool me twice, shame on me.” Another words, fooled twice, you might as well hang a big sign around your neck, that says gullible.
    The voters are insulted. We come in all shapes and sizes, colors and cultures, genders and beliefs and we all bleed red.
    Identity politics has divided us. Divide and conquer is a military strategy to make a group of people disagree and fight with one another so that they will not join together against one. Maybe, this tactic was done by design.
    Unfortunately, VP Harris does not have a track record and failed at all the tasks assigned to her. Tragic but true.
    What Trump did was awaken the complacent. He has taken up all the oxygen in the room. Like him or not, people are more engaged than every before in politics regardless of political affiliation.
    He blew the lid off of the Pandora box of politicking.
    The voters are smart. Leading a horse to water does not mean they will drink but, you could put salt in their oats and make them very thirsty. A dirty trick that politicians disguise as “Protecting Our Democracy.”

  5. Actually, in my long life, I have found folks of any political party who announce “the voters are smart.” are trying to con the public . They believe voters are dumb, ignorant, easily duped.
    A look at Kamala Harris record shows she was an attorney that was an elected official for majority of her life in politics. She was a good choice with Biden in part because she would be qualified to run our country immediately. not because of gender or color which are not, in the real world, an advantage.

  6. Separately I want to add that I am shocked at the level of anti-semitism around the country. Around New Jersey. At the level of racial and gender insults along with religion.
    I see the anti Harris comments are race and gender based insults. She is a daughter of two college professors, multi-lingual with a terminal degree, elected official, each time to a higher office as a lawyer.
    Was all the religious, racial and gender attack stuff just simmering inside homes? Does the internet allowing contact across miles and borders encourage it?
    I am old, and fear I shall not live to see America saved from our new Nazis.

  7. Voters are very smart. To think otherwise is having no faith in the great experiment- America – the melting pot.
    I am old, but I will never live in fear.

  8. Harris should not even be a Vice-President, let alone be a President. Her parents are not citizens of the United States. They were not born in this country; her mother was born in India; her father was born in Jamaica. She is NOT qualified to be President, let alone Vice-President.

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