I am old enough to remember when the vice presidential selection came quickly and sometimes somewhat poorly orchestrated, almost as an afterthought at the end of the convention. In the new system, the selection gets lots of attention in advance, and the candidate is seriously vetted. But is the new system all that much better? If Eagleton exemplified what could go wrong under the older system, Sarah Palin illustrated the pitfalls of our present approach, where the pick now is expected to serve as a sort of pre-convention news splash. Admittedly, the older system gave us Spiro Agnew. but it also gave us Harry Truman and Lyndon Johnson. Like our now sadly obsolete comic-opera conventions, the older way was problematic in all sorts of ways, but it did produce some fine figures.
So now the rosters are complete. The campaign posters can all be printed. It's still basically Biden vs. Trump - hardly Harris vs. Pence. But, for those, for example, who worry that Biden is too much a nostalgia candidate hoping to lead us back to a pre-Trump "normal," when in fact that "normal" was already problematic and was what led us to where we are now, they may take some comfort in the Harris-Pence matchup, where the nostalgia for a long gone America that never actually was is on the other side. Whatever else she may bring to Biden's ticket, Kamala clearly represents a future very different from Pence's ideologized American white Protestant past.