Joe Biden’s favorite picks for VP

Joe Biden’s favorite picks for VP

Some believe Joe Biden’s Vice President pick will be the most important in United States history—and it’s almost certain a woman will land the spot.

If presumptive Democratic nominee Joe Biden is elected, he would be both the oldest president and potentially the first intentional one-termer since Rutherford B. Hayes in 1877. This makes his VP pick more important than usual. His running mate could not only become a possible future presidential nominee, but also Biden’s successor in the White House were he unable to finish his term.

The US vice presidency was long considered a political graveyard, derided as “the most insignificant office that ever the invention of man contrived or his imagination conceived” by its first occupant, John Adams, and even jokingly referred to as a “bitch” of a job by Biden himself in 2014. Starting with Nixon, however, eight of the last 13 vice presidents have gone on to win their party’s nomination for the presidency.

In short, Biden has a key choice to make, and although he has vowed to choose a woman candidate there are any number of opinions as to who it should be. With a decision expected in early August, here are the contenders likely under final consideration:

Senator Kamala Harris

Following this year’s protests over racial injustice and police brutality, pressure has increased on Biden to choose a woman of color. Harris, the daughter of Jamaican and Indian parents and a first-term senator from California, would be perfect. A road-tested former presidential candidate and ex-prosecutor, the high-profile 55-year-old has already been heavily vetted by the media and rival campaigns.

Former national security adviser Susan Rice

Also 55, Rice served as President Barack Obama’s national security adviser during his second term, where she worked closely on foreign policy matters with Biden and has also been US ambassador to the UN. A Black woman, Rice could help drive the African-American vote, the Democratic Party’s most loyal constituency. But she has never run for public office, which means she would be untested on the campaign trail.

Representative Val Demings

The 63-year-old African-American congresswoman and former Orlando police chief served as one of the managers of the House of Representatives’ impeachment proceedings against Republican President Donald Trump but has a lower profile among voters nationally. Demings is very much an outsider for now, especially given the current political climate regarding law enforcement.

Representative Karen Bass

Bass, a congresswoman from Southern California and chair of the Congressional Black Caucus, would add a progressive voice to the ticket. She has an extensive background in police reform efforts and led the legislative response in the House to the killing of George Floyd by police in May. At 66, however, Bass is the oldest candidate on this list.

Senator Tammy Duckworth

With a compelling personal story as a combat veteran who lost her legs during the Iraq War, Duckworth, 52, would help bolster the campaign’s national security credentials. The senator from Illinois was the first woman with a disability and the first Thai-American elected to Congress.

Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms

Bottoms, 50, is the first-term mayor of a city that has been on the front lines of the country’s two greatest challenges this year: the coronavirus pandemic and the protests for racial justice in the wake of the killing of George Floyd. Nevertheless, some feel her lack of experience at the federal level may cost her the opportunity.

Senator Elizabeth Warren

The 71-year-old senator from Massachusetts is seen by Biden advisers as a bridge between the former vice president and people skeptical of his commitment to progressive policy priorities. Her selection, however, could fuel allegations by the Trump campaign that Biden favors an overly leftist agenda and cost him voters in key battleground states.

New Mexico Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham

Lujan Grisham, 60, became the first Latina Democratic governor in 2018, following a six year spell in Congress. Biden’s campaign has been encouraged to consider a running mate who could boost his support among Latino voters, potentially the largest minority voting bloc in this year’s election.


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Paul Imison
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