President Joe Biden promised last week to nominate the first black woman to the Supreme Court. "Long overdue," he says.

When it comes to elevating African-American females to high office, Biden has form. He chose Kamala Harris, remember, to be the first female vice president of color.

But what if Biden elected to choose the same woman — namely, Vice President Kamala Harris — for the Supreme Court? Wouldn’t that be so unimaginative and tokenistic as to be quite racist? Even a leader as error-prone as Biden wouldn’t do that, would he?

Yet in Washington, there are whispers...

President Joe Biden promised last week to nominate the first black woman to the Supreme Court. “Long overdue,” he says.

When it comes to elevating African-American females to high office, Biden has form. He chose Kamala Harris, remember, to be the first female vice president of color.

But what if Biden elected to choose the same woman — namely, Vice President Kamala Harris — for the Supreme Court? Wouldn’t that be so unimaginative and tokenistic as to be quite racist? Even a leader as error-prone as Biden wouldn’t do that, would he?

Yet in Washington, there are whispers of a cunning plan to shunt Kamala on to the Supreme Court in order to bring in a more popular vice president, someone who might take over from an eighty-two-year-old Biden in 2024 and win the next presidential election.

It sounds too mad to be possible. Yet dementedness is a theme of the Biden-Harris administration. This week, after eighty-three-year-old Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer announced he would stand down, the “Kamala for Justice” rumors have spread more wildly. She has a legal background, of course, having served as attorney general of California before she became a senator.

On Wednesday, White House press secretary Jen Psaki did little to dampen the speculation when she said: “The president has every intention, as he said before, of running for reelection and for running for reelection with Vice President Harris on the ticket”

When political people say “every intention,” they often mean the opposite. Harris, for her part, also rebutted the suggestion somewhat equivocally when asked in December if she aspired one day to sit on the Supreme Court. “I like what I’m doing, the ability to travel around the country, to talk with folks, to push for policy, that has impact in a very direct way,” she said. Her recently resigned chief spokeswoman, Symone Sanders, dismissed the Supreme Court chatter on Twitter as “right-wing gossip with no basis in facts” — before adding “But that’s just my opinion. Idk.”

The question for Sanders is why would right-wingers want Biden and Harris gone — given that their presence in the White House seems to be such a brilliant recipe for Republican success. The real reason that “Kamala for Justice” is a trending topic in fiercely liberal Washington DC is because the Democrats are panicking. Biden’s polling is terrible: just 41 percent of Americans approve of the job he is doing. His party are looking ahead with dread to the midterm elections in November, when they are expected to lose the House and the Senate to the Republicans in a landslide.

Not so long ago, insiders said that, given Biden’s age and frailty, Harris would be more co-president than traditional “Veep.” It was thought that she would gradually take on more powers before taking the Democratic nomination from Biden in the run up to 2024.

That hasn’t worked out. Harris is more unpopular than Biden. Her press interviews go viral for all the wrong reasons. She has made a mess of the policy tasks she has been given — such as dealing with the immigration crisis at the southern border.

The Democrats are now scrambling for alternatives. Team Biden need a face-saving figure who can enable the old man to step away the White House with some sense of dignity and an orderly transition.

The problem is: who? People talk about transport secretary Pete Buttigieg, who speaks to the progressivist mindset because he is a married gay man. But his own run for president in 2020 suggested his popular appeal was limited. Ditto Amy Klobuchar, the senior senator for Minnesota.

The fantasy candidate is Michelle Obama, the former first lady. She is well-known and popular, which is more than can be said for any other serious Democratic contender. Americans don’t like to admit it, but they tend to like dynasties. That is why the Kennedys, the Bushes and the Clintons dominated Washington for so long. The return of Michelle and Barack to the frontline of presidential politics would generate considerable enthusiasm. Indeed, Biden himself once said he’d nominate Mrs Obama “in a heartbeat,” though whether he meant that is another question.

***
Subscribe to The Spectator World
first month free, cancel any time

***

The snag is that Barack and Michelle appear content with making content for Netflix and Spotify — and earning hundreds of millions of dollars doing so. Unless the Democratic machine can persuade them to return to the fray for the good of the nation, why would they come back?

Hillary Clinton, by contrast, would love another tilt at the White House. She’s certainly been putting herself about the interview circuit of late. Perhaps she can sense an opportunity for a rematch against Donald Trump in 2024. Then again, given she lost last time, why would Democrats invest their hopes in her?

For all the talk of Supreme Court maneuvers, come 2024 the party will probably find itself still stuck with Biden and Harris — and the possibility of a humiliating defeat to Donald Trump.

This article was originally published on The Spectator’s UK website.