Biden narrows list of VP choices

Possibly down to six serious contenders.

Posted: Jun 13, 2020 8:44 AM

WASHINGTON (AP) — 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 spokesperson.

Biden, who has already said he will pick a woman as his running mate, is facing increased calls from Democrats to put a woman of color on the ticket — both because of the outsize role that black voters played in Biden's road to the nomination and because of the reckoning over racism and inequality roiling the nation following the death of George Floyd. The black Minneapolis man died after a white police officer pressed his knee on his neck for several minutes, an episode that was captured on video.

Terry McAuliffe, the former Virginia governor and former Democratic National Committee chairman, said that while Biden's choice was likely to be “all about personal chemistry," it would be “exciting for the party” to have a black woman on a major party presidential ticket for the first time.

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.

Biden's vetting committee had conversations with a larger group of women earlier this spring; those continuing on in the process have been asked to turn over financial records, past writings and other documentation. Biden has had various public and private interactions with many of the women his vetting committee has considered thus far, but has not yet had any formal one-on-one interviews expressly to discuss the No. 2 spot on the ticket. Those aren’t expected for several weeks.

Rice, who worked closely with Biden during his time as vice president, has emerged as a favorite among some former Obama administration officials and is personally close to the former president. She has never held elected office but has extensive foreign policy experience, including as U.S. ambassador to the United Nations. She's also been an outspoken critic of the Trump administration since leaving the White House and considered running for U.S. Senate in Maine.

Rice has long been a target of Republicans, including for statements she made after the deadly 2012 attacks on Americans in Benghazi, Libya. Republicans have also accused her of spying on Michael Flynn, Trump's first national security adviser, though records declassified by the Trump administration show no evidence of Rice improperly accessing any information.

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.

Minnesota Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 489116

Reported Deaths: 6614
CountyCasesDeaths
Hennepin1014901592
Ramsey43327810
Dakota36619394
Anoka33496391
Washington22208262
Stearns18822202
St. Louis14887265
Scott13403107
Wright12609116
Olmsted1185990
Sherburne878574
Carver787641
Clay695588
Rice677691
Blue Earth601035
Kandiyohi581274
Crow Wing523582
Chisago501745
Otter Tail486071
Benton450990
Winona419749
Mower410831
Douglas394568
Goodhue389069
Nobles387247
Polk345063
McLeod341250
Beltrami338951
Morrison327747
Becker314842
Itasca314646
Lyon313845
Isanti309456
Steele303611
Carlton300449
Freeborn286424
Pine283216
Nicollet262441
Todd249730
Brown248237
Le Sueur238120
Mille Lacs229447
Cass221224
Waseca210417
Meeker208134
Martin190829
Wabasha18733
Roseau181017
Hubbard161041
Houston158214
Dodge15404
Renville152640
Redwood147127
Fillmore13969
Pennington138716
Chippewa136935
Cottonwood136020
Wadena131420
Faribault124917
Aitkin119133
Sibley118310
Watonwan11828
Rock116314
Kanabec108820
Pipestone101824
Yellow Medicine97717
Murray9548
Jackson94610
Swift87818
Pope8165
Marshall78615
Stevens7478
Lake74218
Clearwater72014
Lac qui Parle68716
Wilkin67711
Koochiching62111
Big Stone5173
Lincoln5122
Grant4928
Norman4798
Unassigned44768
Mahnomen4437
Kittson41021
Red Lake3615
Traverse3115
Lake of the Woods2221
Cook1190

Iowa Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 337676

Reported Deaths: 5494
CountyCasesDeaths
Polk52087560
Linn19512317
Scott17167212
Black Hawk14970293
Woodbury13847214
Johnson1317075
Dubuque12450196
Dallas1022593
Pottawattamie9897146
Story965045
Warren514976
Clinton502684
Cerro Gordo501383
Webster495788
Sioux480369
Marshall465273
Des Moines428461
Muscatine426393
Buena Vista413237
Wapello4059110
Jasper387767
Plymouth368978
Lee354653
Marion341571
Jones285155
Henry279837
Bremer270555
Carroll266948
Crawford253635
Boone244330
Benton241154
Washington239547
Mahaska215746
Jackson210339
Dickinson204240
Tama203065
Kossuth198655
Delaware186240
Clay184425
Winneshiek183628
Fayette179335
Page178119
Buchanan177829
Wright174531
Hamilton173942
Cedar172723
Hardin170239
Harrison167670
Clayton160254
Butler159331
Mills148520
Floyd148141
Poweshiek148030
Cherokee146236
Lyon145741
Allamakee144848
Madison143218
Iowa140723
Hancock138030
Grundy132430
Winnebago130531
Calhoun129611
Cass129651
Jefferson128634
Appanoose123247
Louisa122644
Mitchell120740
Chickasaw119915
Union119331
Sac118818
Shelby117634
Emmet115340
Humboldt113725
Franklin109719
Guthrie109628
Palo Alto101721
Howard99722
Unassigned9720
Montgomery96936
Clarke95120
Keokuk92429
Monroe90028
Ida81832
Adair81630
Pocahontas80919
Davis76623
Monona76527
Greene73110
Lucas72221
Osceola68315
Worth6678
Taylor64112
Decatur5719
Fremont5619
Van Buren53718
Ringgold50620
Audubon4759
Wayne47221
Adams3194
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