President Joe Biden’s promise to nominate a black woman to the Supreme Court obviously isn’t based solely on the person’s talent.
However, CNN’s Alyssa Farah Griffin thinks the pledge might backfire spectacularly. On Sunday, she brought up Biden’s slipping poll numbers with black voters and said the White House was handling the situation poorly.
According to The Hill, Biden first promised he would nominate a black woman to the nation’s top court during a debate before the South Carolina primary in 2020.
In a press conference last Wednesday, White House press secretary Jen Psaki said Biden “certainly stands by that” pledge now that 83-year-old Justice Stephen Breyer is retiring.
However, CNN’s Griffin says the reason Biden is going through with the pledge isn’t just standard-issue Democrat identity politics — and that it could backfire.
““I think representation is always a good thing,” she said on Sunday’s “State of the Union,” according to the Daily Caller.
So I think this is a good moment. I don’t really understand the strategy, though, of Joe Biden admit — saying in advance it’s going to be a black woman, because what it does is, it subjects this individual, who no doubtedly will be highly qualified, to being called somebody who was there because of affirmative action.
“I think the bigger thing here is, Joe Biden’s struggling with African-American voters,” she said.
“And it’s surprising. Last year, in April, he had 83 percent support. Now he’s got about 64 percent. I think he’s hoping this is going to give him a bump.
“But I think he’s misreading the tea leaves,” she continued. “I think it’s much more; it’s economic policies that are resulting in this, not simply who he is nominating to the bench.”
Former Barack Obama campaign manager Stephanie Cutter countered by arguing that Biden was “making this decision to ensure that the Supreme Court represents the people that it is supposed to serve” and that he wasn’t “making this choice because of politics.”
This drew laughter from another panelist, CNN’s David Urban.
“Steph, did you say that without laughing?” she said. “He didn’t — this is not a political pick? All Supreme Court picks are political picks.”
Biden’s pledge has been political from the beginning, as well.
Remember, the promise was made before the South Carolina primary in 2020 — after Biden had suffered a series of embarrassing losses and his political future was on the ropes.
South Carolina’s black electorate — spurred on by Biden’s racial entreaties, combined with an endorsement with black South Carolina Democrat Rep. James Clyburn, the House majority whip — handed Biden a massive victory and resurrected his campaign.
One year in, black voters aren’t as thrilled with him as they were when he was elected, as Griffin pointed out. Given how this nomination is being handled, those poll numbers could sink even lower.