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Keisha Lance Bottoms should be our next vice president | COMMENTARY

Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms speaks in Cedar Rapids, Iowa in January.
Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms speaks in Cedar Rapids, Iowa in January. (Rebecca F. Miller/AP)

When we as a people are contemplating the increasingly difficult problems plaguing our nation, we now rarely, if ever, try to tackle any of those daunting issues by thinking: “As an American …”

No, each and every problem is now almost exclusively viewed through partisan or personal lenses: As a Democrat; as a Republican; as a liberal; as a conservative; as a person of faith; as a minority; as a millennial; as one discriminated against; and as part of the disadvantaged and completely ignored community.

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Human nature dictates that such thinking and behavior is quite normal. We see and fight for our rights based upon our own unique experiences in life. That said, we are all still Americans living in the United States with the hope that it becomes a more fair and prosperous nation.

As I have mentioned on this page in the past, my unique experiences in life are that as a white child who grew up in abject poverty often in African American neighborhoods. Those years and experiences turned out to be the happiest of my childhood precisely because of the exceptionally good people who surrounded me.

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Years later, I worked as a writer in the White House for President Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush. Years after that, I became an independent libertarian continually disappointed in both political parties for constantly turning their backs on the poor and disadvantaged. Now, I am looking at a country becoming increasingly divided by the day on a host of seemingly unsolvable issues. A country which is about to have one of the most contentious presidential elections in our history.

As one who does know a bit about politics, presidential elections and life, I thought it be important to sit back and look at the pending presidential election simply and only as an American.

As an American, it is clear that former Vice President Joe Biden is leading in most of the polls over President Donald Trump. That is the good news for anyone either supporting Mr. Biden or opposed to President Trump.

The bad news for those in those camps is really twofold. The first part of that bad news being that the election is still three months away and a great deal can happen so nothing should be considered a sure thing. The next part of that bad news is that as a candidate and possibly, future president, Joe Biden clearly has some challenges to either overcome or mitigate. The first problem is less in the control of Mr. Biden. The second one he can positively influence with one decision. As an American, I believe it critically important to the welfare of our nation for candidate Mr. Biden to pick the strongest running mate possible.

Mr. Biden has said to have made that decision and will announce his choice Wednesday or Thursday, according to The New York Times, quoting senior officials close to the campaign.

Without criticizing any of the other possibilities, I would only say that for me — speaking as an American hoping for the best for our nation — I would hope that the Biden campaign chose Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms. She would not only be an outstanding choice, but one with the experience, maturity and judgment to step up if called upon. Mayor Bottoms has a very compelling personal story which I would encourage all to research. But in short, she is the only mayor in the history of Atlanta to have served in all three branches of government, serving as a judge, a City Council member and now the mayor.

Beyond that, she is a product of the Atlanta public schools, has been an outstanding advocate for the poor and disadvantaged, fought for the rights of the LGBTQ community, and established Atlanta’s first fully-staffed Office of Equity, Diversity and Inclusion. Much of the country came to know of Mayor Bottoms during the civil unrest following the death of George Floyd and witnessed her calm and reasoned leadership.

Mayor Bottoms is an unabashedly proud progressive who would bring a great deal of real-world experience to the ticket.

Douglas MacKinnon (douglas.mackinnon@verizon.net) is a former White House and Pentagon official and author of the novel: “The Dawn of a Nazi Moon: Book One.”

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