Reports indicate that former Delaware Sen. and Obama VP Joe Biden has narrowed his VP short list to three named potential candidates—Sens. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) and Kamala Harris (D-CA) and former Obama ambassador to the UN and later his national security advisor Susan Rice.

Speculation rages that there are three more names on the new and improved short list:  Rep. Val Demings (FL), New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham, and Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms.

To no one’s surprise, Stacey Abrams is not on the list.

The Chicago Sun-Times reports:

Joe Biden’s search for a running mate is entering a second round of vetting for a dwindling list of potential vice presidential nominees, with several black women in strong contention.

Democrats with knowledge of the process said Biden’s search committee has narrowed the choices to as few as six serious contenders after initial interviews. Among the group still in contention: Sens. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts and Kamala Harris of California, as well as Susan Rice, who served as President Barack Obama’s national security adviser.

Those with knowledge declined to name other contenders and said the process remains somewhat fluid. Additional candidates may still be asked to submit to the extensive document review process now underway for some top contenders. Those familiar with Biden’s search spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to publicly discuss the process. The campaign dismissed the idea of a shortened list as early speculation. “Those who talk don’t know and those who know don’t talk,” said Andrew Bates, a Biden spokesman.

. . . . The campaign’s list includes several black women, including Harris and Rice. Advisers have also looked closely at Florida Rep. Val Demings and Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms, both of whom are black, and New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham, a Latina.

It’s not clear why Rice—who has never held a single elected office—is on the list, particularly given her roll in the unmasking scandals still hanging over the Obama administration and withdrawing her name as his potential Secretary of State following her misstatements about the Benghazi attack, except perhaps pressure from the Obama camp.

Instead, the Biden campaign focus appears to be on Warren and Harris.

The Chicago Sun-Times continues:

Harris and Warren have been seen as top contenders for the No. 2 spot since ending their own presidential campaigns.

Warren and Biden have forged a surprising bond in recent months and talk regularly about the progressive policy ideas the Massachusetts senator put at the forefront of her campaign. Biden already has adopted her proposed bankruptcy law overhaul. And now, with the coronavirus pandemic and resulting economic slowdown elevating the nuts-and-bolts of governing, some Democrats see Warren’s policy credentials as an asset to the ticket.

A Biden-Warren pairing would mean both Democrats on the ticket are white and in their 70s. Biden is 77, and Warren is 70.

Harris is the lone black contender who has won statewide office, notable experience given Biden’s emphasis on wanting a partner “ready to be president.” She and Biden have also demonstrated a comfortable manner with each other in online fundraisers. Harris is an expert voice in discussions of criminal justice, but some black progressives view her background as a prosecutor skeptically.

One contender whose standing does appear to have fallen is Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar, who was a prosecutor years ago in the county that includes Minneapolis. During that period, more than two dozen people — mostly minorities — died during encounters with police.

While the people with knowledge of Biden’s vetting process did not rule Klobuchar out, she is widely viewed among Democrats with close ties to the Biden campaign as less likely to be tapped given recent events.

Fox News has more on Biden’s thought process concerning selection of his running mate.

But Biden, in an interview with CBS News that aired Tuesday, said that the events of the past two weeks “haven’t” impacted him as he decides whom he’ll name as the party’s vice presidential nominee, “except it’s put a greater focus and urgency on the need to get someone who is totally simpatico with where I am” on matters such as “the systemic things that you want to change.”

. . . . Biden has emphasized for two months that he needs to choose a running mate who’s “simpatico with where I am,” pointing to his own strong relationship with President Obama during their eight years steering the country together.

Terry McAuliffe, former Virginia governor and former DNC chairman, told the AP Biden’s choice was likely to be “all about personal chemistry,” adding that it would be “exciting for the party” to have a black woman on the presidential ticket.

 

 
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